Plattecon 2009 was a blast. I was able to get a co-worker to take half my Saturday shift, allowing me to make it in time for the Shadowfist tournament… which ended up being me, John, and Jim. We played a casual game or two, then played three games for the tournament- I played my Dragon/Monarch deck, Jim played a very strong Hand/Dragon deck using Bring It, Crane Stance, and Dr. Amanda Snow, and John played a series of different Hand decks, (okay, one was Peacock, and technically heavier on the Dragons), winning two games, and Jim won one. All hail the new Big Cheese! I didn’t do so well, but it was fun.
Tim arrived in time for the draft. A new curious player showed up- Jim did a demo, and John and Tim and I played a three player game. Tim was doing quite well, but stalled when he misred the resource conditions on Desolation and thought he couldn’t play it(d’oh!).
Then we drafted. Drafting that many packs takes a long time, but is a lot of fun and ends up making janky decks. I drafted mostly Monarchs, with some strong cards to splash either Ascended or Purists, but I only had nine Feng Shui sites. I decided to go mono-Monarchs, which was a strong deck. Jim and John both drafted Architects/Jammers. Jim played very well, and won this one. Still, I walked away with a Sacred Heart Hospital (alternate art) and a Ting Timg (promo) as prizes, the cards I wanted, so I was happy as a clam.
Oh, and John Monnet is a dirty rare drafter.
We got some shuteye. It was pushing one when we finished, and we had to be back at the con by 9 for the Dungeon! boardgame. Tim had been up since five, working a full shift that day. Poor guy.
Sunday morning brought Tom Nipple’s Dungeon! boardgame, a homebrewed Descent/Diablo/Hack & Slash Dungeon experience. This is the best version yet- fully cooperative, with a focus on party play, increased balance between the various builds, a new map painstakingly handcrafted by Tom Nipple himself, and a joyful hackfest. Specialization is key, and we had three melee characters, two potent mages, and me running around with a bow sniping things and opening all the treasures. It worked- we plowed farther into the dungeon than anyone else, though we would have been hard pressed to beat our record from last year where we cleaned the whole board out- the monsters got a bit of a boost this year.
It’s a four hour boardgame that feels too short. The balance is fascinating: deeaths are common, with few long term costs. Eventually, you can kill whatever is in your path, but your real enemy is time. You’ve got four hours to kill as much as you can. Making a good move fast is better than agonizing the perfect move. Once our group got into our groove, we started acting with SWAT team efficiency. An excellent game, highly, highly recommended. And there were prizes! Everyone got a “I Killed the Blood Avatar” button (with game buffs for our characters in future years), and I got a full set for collecting more chests than anyone else the whole weekend.
We injected a lot of money into the economy, which is key. We’ve got it to spend, and spend it supporting gaming. Admission to the con, which supports the student group, hotel room, and the great deals from Chimera Hobbies we picked up at the dealer’s room. On Saturday I picked up Castle Whiterock- normally a $99 module- for $25. (I bought the last one. The dealer said that was a popular item. I wonder how much he was losing on them.) The draft was $20 for each of us, which paid for cards. Tim and I picked up an assload of minis- Tim got the mini starter set, which contains four awesome maps, the Young Green dragon, and four adventurers. He got another tube of minis, some map tiles, and then, when they were packing up and we were going through the stuff, we saw the bargain bin of minis. Buy one get one half off. We dumped out the whole bin and searched through it, and had a huge pile of minis, which I offered to buy if they’d do 50% off the whole lot (instead of effectively 25% off). Yup. I ended up spending $92 on D&D bulk minis. Now have to sort all of them…