Matt DawkinsUnited States
I have been quite busy lately, but finally polished this off after working on it off and on for a few months. We had the privilege of attending TetonCon earlier this year, and here's a detailed summary of our experience. =)
Wow, what a blast! TetonCon was incredible, and I highly recommend anyone who enjoys board/card games and the outdoors to give it a shot... we're already registered to return next year and can't wait!
Sunday, Day One
We started the trip off with a ten-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Jackson, Wyoming. The scenery around the Jackson Hole area is much like Colorado Springs, as the Tetons dominate the views over the valley as the front range presides over the plains. Nonetheless, we had to go through a lot of rolling hills, plains, and some desert to traverse between the two, so the Hoback River Canyon approach was ever inviting once we finally closed on our destination.
We checked in, hauled some board games into the room, and then started looking around... holy crap, you would not believe all the effort the staff went to for us. We had filled out housing surveys prior to arriving, and every single little thing we had requested was present in our condo. Frozen breakfast sandwiches, cereal, milk, juices, soda, frozen pizzas, two cupboards full of chips and cookies, bread, peanut butter, jelly, and a red velvet cake with "Happy Anniversaries!" written across it. (Anniversaries background: My wife and I had just celebrated our third anniversary, and my sister and brother-in-law would be celebrating their third anniversary the following week, and prior to mom's passing, it would have been my parents' 30th anniversary on July 1st as well.) Seriously, these folks pulled out all the stops, it was incredible. Each of us received a custom dice set and a TetonCon t-shirt as well.
Ready to go meet folks, we changed clothes and headed over to the lodge area to check in with the convention staff. Our timing was perfect, because they were starting up games just as we finished greeting the staff.
Rather unintentionally, the girls all jumped into Ticket to Ride while the guys all jumped into Eclipse. It was pretty neat to start off our gaming with a bunch of other couples, we all fit right in and got along quite well.
Katie kicked off her Ticket to Ride World Tour with resounding success...
Ticket to Ride: Märklin
1st, Katie: 194
2nd, Kathy: 168
3rd, Camille: 152
4th, Joanna: 103
5th, Denise: 70
...while I picked up a learning game of Eclipse (I've only played once before, several months ago) and I did particularly well in fulfilling my role as a newbie (unfortunately, the other three at the table were all just as or more inexperienced, so that excuse doesn't fly far).
1st, Michael: 35
2nd, Brian: 32
3rd, Trevor: 27
4th, Matt: 13
Yeah, it was ugly. I was strong in two resources, but not one, and completely forgot (despite a reminder from staff at the beginning of the game) that I could research and build orbital stations to compensate for the resource I was lacking in. As a result, I was limited to 2-3 actions each round, nearly half what the other players were bringing in. Nonetheless, I continued researching, upgrading, and building, expanding my way to the inner core and making allies with two players. Once Michael conquered the capital world in the core, I realized all too late that there was a wide open lane from the core to my homeworld. I dropped a single upgraded Dreadnaught into the path, but it was too little too late, and I was overrun by Michael's fleet, the same just used to conquer the galactic center. He received -2 victory points and I licked my wounds for the rest of the game. Only Trevor was able to capitalize on Michael's forces being preoccupied on my side of the galaxy, though some poor target choices left him in third. Brian's build-up of starbases and monoliths established him in second with Michael hanging on for the win. I guess it's time to borrow Katie's iPad and start practicing!
We were pretty well spent after all that, and my dad, sister, and brother-in-law arrived (they flew in) as we were wrapping up, so we all headed back to the condo and crashed.
Monday, Day Two
We started the morning off by visiting the town square in Jackson and eating breakfast at The Bunnery.
We're spoiled with the Omelette Parlor here in the Springs and find we have to avoid comparing local breakfast spots, but it was rather good nonetheless.
We played Love Letter while waiting for food to arrive (which was actually very quick), Katie and I were tied at one round a piece while Jon and Marissa had zero when the food got there.
Afterwards, we did some shopping and headed back up to the resort. Katie and I had not scheduled any horseback riding prior to arriving, but knew they did trail rides up Snow King Mountain from the resort itself and checked on the availability. I believe they had 4 groups daily for the 2-hour rides, and we were able to hop on the next one going out. I rode Doc and Katie rode Bernie, had lots of fun and great views all around.
I know, I know, enough dilly-dallying, back to the board games! We made it back for some open gaming. One of the staff let Katie hop into an ongoing game of Kingsburg while I watched. Katie came in last, I think it was difficult for her to come in, learn a new game, and then pick up halfway through without a good grasp of what the previous player was trying to do. At least, I was having trouble connecting the dots while watching. I do generally prefer games that use dice for action selection over games that use dice mindless combat/movement results, but it's not exactly a favorite mechanic of mine, so I'm not sure how much I'd really enjoy Kingsburg. I've since played Dark Horse, which has some similar mechanics, and I much prefer it.
We had plans to head back to the condo at this point for an early dinner (so we could make it back for more gaming), but we were waiting for Jon to finish up his game of Archipelago, so we quickly set up a six-player game of River Dragons with the two of us, my dad, my sister, and another couple. Despite three of us being in position to win on the final turn, Adrian sneaked in and pulled out the win while everybody blocked and stole planks from the other two. River Dragons has become one of my favorite fillers, as it offers a lot of enjoyable mind games in a fairly short amount of time.
We ran back for dinner at the condo. Anyone following our blog knows of our obsession with Netrunner. While I was staying in Tennessee, I introduced Jon and Marissa to the game after their interest was piqued when Katie and I attended the Tennessee Regional. They picked up a couple core sets, ordered some custom playmats, we got them some data packs for their birthdays and anniversary, and they were hooked. Whilst eating, we helped them out with some deck-building and coached them through a quick game. They were working hard to prepare for Netrunner events later on the week, but we'll get to that.
After dinner, we headed back and discovered the room had been reconfigured for a large Werewolf game. Now, I was not planning on joining, but decided to hop in when it appeared most of the convention goers were playing and the other games were being pushed back. You see, the last time I played Werewolf, we had a pretty awful experience... the seer was a horrible player (he advocated lynching players that he knew were villagers on multiple occasions), Katie was the first person killed, I was the first person lynched, and we spent half of our weekly game night waiting for everyone else to finish playing, yuck. Now, we LOVE The Resistance, because you get some of the same mind games (and then some) with no player elimination, but that's not as practical for a large group like we had in this case.
By the time we kicked off the Werewolf game, we had somewhere between 25-30 people playing, I believe. Despite a pack of werewolves, a sect of vampires, and numerous minor roles floating around (teenage werewolf, village idiot, cupid, PI, etc.), I was a plain ole Villager. I was awakened, along with Katie, on the first night... we had been chosen as the two targets of Cupid to be the star-crossed lovers... if one of us died, the other one did as well. The game went on for a good while, until there were just seven people left. Katie and I were both still in the game, I believed the seer was still alive, there was at least one werewolf remaining, and the vampires and PI had been eliminated.
It was at this point the thought occurred to me that it was awful unlikely for both Katie and I to have survived several rounds of werewolf and vampire attacks. So unlikely, that I suspected she was a werewolf and that I had not been killed because she knew that would take her out of the game too. Convinced that I was taking one for the team and eliminating one of the last (perhaps the last?) werewolves, I relayed my hunch, and then successfully nominated myself for lynching and got the votes passed. Katie was removed from the game... and yes, she was a Villager. Doh! I guess I was really over-thinking the game, but hey, it was a ton of fun, and I went out with a bang. And I was the last guy standing, so there's that. That left the seer, two villagers, and two werewolves in the game. With Katie and myself out of the game, the seer was able to use process of elimination to figure out who the two werewolves were, told the other villagers who they were, and successfully got one lynched. The remaining werewolf killed the seer, and the two villagers lynched the last werewolf to give the villagers the win.
We then reorganized the gaming area and set up for our other evening activities. I hopped into Space Cadets, a co-op collection of mini-games that I have heard quite a lot about, but not yet had the opportunity to learn. I came away with very mixed feelings. For one thing, with a full allotment of players, you only have one (maybe two) role(s) and each position itself is pretty easy to learn (though difficult to master). On the other hand, as easy as it is to teach each position, you have to go around the table and teach eight (I think?) different roles one after another, so it takes a large amount of time to teach the game, despite being a series of simple mini-games. It's also incredibly fiddly, with tons of small bits that take a while to set up and get sorted out to the right positions. I really enjoyed the game when I was fulfilling my position and doing my mini-game. The problem was, that's just a 30-second window surrounded by 15-20 minute periods of resolving actions, looking up rules, discussing who's doing what, etc. We called the game quits after about three hours (including set-up), during which we had moved into just one new sector, been unable to obtain a single crystal, and didn't blow up any ships. That's a long, long time, for a lot of floundering and nothing happening. I think this would be a fantastic game with a crew that knew what they were doing and how to play the game, but I think the process to train up a crew and teach everyone the game would be miserable - so I'm certainly not picking this one up for myself.
Meanwhile, Katie was playing Ticket to Ride: Team Asia with some of the same folks that she had played with last night. She teamed up with Camille (aka: the wife of the guy that betrayed me in Eclipse... no hard feelings, really ), while Jon and Marissa hopped in on a team together.
1st, Katie and Camille: 165
2nd, Marissa and Jon: 159
3rd, Kathy and Denise: 153
I thought it seemed like a really close game on paper, but the tale of the tape slightly differs. Kathy and Denise were being fussed at the whole game for sharing a lot of information, though I think they sort of needed to... poor Denise discovered the night prior that they've apparently been playing Ticket to Ride with house rules, and was still trying to figure out how to play properly. If I understood the secondhand account correctly, Jon messed up a route mid-way through the game and they went ticket-crazy trying to make up for the lost ticket.. which not only got them back into the game, but probably had them finish with more points than if they had gotten the original ticket with no issue, go figure.
Tuesday, Day Three
This was the day for our Grand Teton National Park Tour.
We saw antelope, bison, and elk while we were driving about. We had a chuckwagon breakfast at Dornans. And then we did a lot of driving around and sight-seeing with notable stops at Jenny Lake and Signal Mountain.
We ended up having mixed feelings about the tour. On one hand, it was beautiful and we got to see a lot of gorgeous views. On the other hand... the sights in Grand Teton National Park are awfully similar to what we have here in Colorado, so it wasn't anything mind-blowing for Katie and I. Towards the end of the tour, I found myself wishing I was back at the lodge playing board games. I think in future years, we'll skip out on this tour and go on a half-day hike somewhere in the area instead, or knock out other outdoor adventures while the tour is going on so they don't detract from gaming during open days. That said... for folks who aren't blessed with this gorgeous scenery where they're from, I think the tour was really neat and incredible for most of them.
We got back, cleaned up a bit, grabbed lunch, and then it was time for our Star Wars: The Card Game Sealed Event. So, I know you're wondering, how does a sealed event work with an LCG? Well, the staff put together two core sets and then randomly determined players to play the Light Side and the Dark Side. Due to the amount of players and limited core sets, each player would just be playing one side, not both. Once side was determined, Light Side players randomly received Jedi or Rebels as their faction, Dark Side players randomly received Sith or Navy as their faction. You were then given a group of objective sets for your faction and a few neutrals to deck build from, and then we got started. Naturally, I was randomly awarded Light Side and Jedi. Yes, I finished 2nd in the New Mexico Regional with Jedi, but that deck had 2x-of-each objective set and help from the first force pack. I truly believe that Jedi with 1x objective sets and just the core set pool is the weakest of the four main factions. I went 1-2 on the day (hey, second place of the three light side players! lol), and really felt that I did the best I could with the cards and draw that I had. It was pretty funny, and I think everyone (including my-self-depracating-self) got a kick out of me getting beat up on by newer, less experienced players while I used my balance of the force coin from the New Mexico Regional, lol. I taught my brother-in-law, Jon, to play the Star Wars LCG back in February (in fact, those were pretty much my only plays before I went on to place 2nd in the regional), but he hadn't played since then, so he came into the sealed event with a good grasp of the rules but just as much inexperience as everyone else. He not only beat me, but went on to finish 2nd overall and was the best Dark Side player. Since everyone else there already had a core set, the staff ensured that between prizes and give-aways, he pretty much walked away with a full core set. Not bad for a $10 entry fee!
This led to one of my most-anticipated events of the entire week... a full-blown six-player five-hour match of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game! For months, AGoT was #1 on my favorite games of all-time list. I played it back in May last year and really fell in love with the game (in which I led the Tyrells to a Round 10 win). Unfortunately, needing six players for balance and a few hours (more with newer players) to play, it's rarely been brought out since. We tried organizing a PBF (play-by-Facebook) game online, that worked really, really well... until someone (no names!) attacked another player's fleet, lost, and then lost their entire fleet in the ensuing counterattack and did a digital table flip. We also played an introductory game in-person with a few friends, but only got through a few rounds before having to call it quits due to time constraints.
Hot off the heels of his Star Wars LCG success, Jon joined me as House Greyjoy, while I stepped into the shoes of House Martell, our first time playing each of them. I maintained a truce with Tyrell and Baratheon throughout the first seven turns. Though Tyrell was unhappy about my presence in the West Summer Sea, they were content with my raids and attacks on Lannister forces and never moved against me there. My biggest concern was supply, and I held the Searoad Marches for a few turns to help, but was still spread quite thin. Fortunately, there was plenty of mustering this game, and nearly all of my 1-of units on territories were Knights, and I had every ship in my pool out on the board. Unfortunately, I could have easily been able to expand much more and was held back by the supply limits. Of course, that would have made me a much bigger target earlier in the game, so who knows.
Greyjoy and Baratheon both came quite close to victory mid-game, so I did my part to pull them back into the pack. I successfully attacked Greyjoy in the Sunset Sea and forced him to reallocate forces to the defense of Flint's Finger, which would lead to the fall of his Winterfell and White Harbor occupations. I also took Storm's End and the Kingsroad from Baratheon, further increasing my supply and lowering Baratheon's castle count.
On the final turn, I moved most of my East Summer Sea fleet into Shipbreaker Bay, with just one Baratheon ship in it. With march orders and siege towers ready in Sunspear and Storm's End, the undefended Dragonstone and The Eyrie would quickly fall if I took Shipbreaker Bay and, with Baratheon as my only competition, I would win.
Unfortunately for me, Baratheon had two ships and a Support +1 order on Blackwater Bay to assist in the defense of King's Landing this turn, and gave the extra +3 strength that Baratheon needed to tie me in the Battle of Shipbreaker Bay after we both played our highest house cards. Baratheon was higher on the Fiefdom track and won the battle.
As a back-up plan, I used my fleets across the southern half of the board to launch attacks on Flint's Finger and Highgarden instead of Dragonstone and The Eyrie, both successful, though I lost Yronwood in the process, which left me in second place behind Baratheon at the end of the game.
It was a really, really fun time, and I have to thank all the other players for never taking the game personally and enjoying all the scheming and backstabbing that comes with the game and really makes it a unique experience.
I ran out and purchased the print-on-demand A Feast for Crows expansion, which is an official variant that makes it a four-player game playable in two hours, and hopefully this will see much more play with that option available to us.
It was somewhere between midnight and 1am when we finished up, so we all headed back to our condos and crashed. Oh, and Katie, who was supposed to be sleeping and getting some rest for tomorrow's adventures, was awake and helping my sister out with Netrunner stuff. So much for sleep!
Wednesday, Day Four
I woke up three and a half hours later, as we had hot air ballooning scheduled for this morning. I think we were all rather grateful that weather cancelled that trip, because Katie and I certainly headed back to the condos and went back to sleep.
We were awake yet again and ready for a new adventure at 9:30am, whitewater rafting this time! Katie has never been before, I've only been once before, and that was nearly 20 years ago. So, being Katie's first trip, I volunteered us for the front of the raft. We proved to be quite adequate water buffering walls for the fellow TetonCon goers traversing the rapids with us... that is, we got absolutely soaked and had a complete blast. It was a really, really fun experience, we look forward to tackling some bigger rapids in the future.
We got back to the condo, changed clothes, showered, snagged our Netrunner stuff, and raced back to the gaming area. It was time for the constructed Netrunner tournament and it started as soon as we arrived. It was an abbreviated tournament due to time constrictions, but that made it rather unique and interesting. There were four rounds, each round 40 minutes long. However, each round consisted of a corporation vs. a runner, neither player playing both sides as usual. Opponents, and which side they played, was predetermined, so that every player played two games as the corporation and two games as the runner. There was also a custom score system awarding points for wins, timed wins, and ties. We had six players total in the tournament with the four of us and two others.
Katie brought her usual Jinteki: Personal Evolution deck, playing it for the first time since Future Proof was released (so, more Ronin). She swapped our her staple Criminal Gabe deck for a Criminal Andy deck.
I brought my NBN: Making News deck, the Never Advance variant, also my first time playing with Future Proof cards. I also was using an experimental Shaper Chaos deck, the R&D Big Dig Vamp variant.
Jon, my brother-in-law, ran with Weyland: Building a Better World and Anarch: Noise. I liked his Noise deck and had offered some advice there, but I never got a chance to sit down and really analyze his Weyland deck - just gave the standard advice to throw in some NBN tricks if he's going for the tag 'n' bag.
Marissa, my sister, brought in her Jinteki: Personal Evolution and Shaper: Kate decks. She'd spent some time studying and working with Katie's Jinteki deck over the week, and went for a lot of the same style and tricks. I helped her out with the Shaper deck a bit, trying to trim the fat (Net Shield) and supplement some of her weak spots (Ninja).
We all had familiar opponents in the opening round... my corp against Marissa's runner, Katie's corp against Jon's runner. Marissa got an early start with an agenda stolen towards the beginning and a full rig set-up very quickly. Fortunately, I managed to get SanSan down, and with the aid of some AstroScript counters, never had an agenda on the table during her turn and was able to fast advance agendas out of my hand to victory.
The second round pit my corp against Katie's runner, while Jon and Marissa played the other two players - a welcome break from family, I'm sure. The match between Katie and I was one of the best matches that we've ever played. She's quite familiar with my NBN Never Advance variant, and I'm quite familiar with her Criminal tricks, so we each had a pretty good idea of what we were getting into. Unlike Marissa, Katie knew from experience to trash SanSan and any drip economy that hit the table as soon as she saw them. She left herself low on cash, but prevented me from fast advancing by doing so. I finally got a server with SanSan safely installed, and about ten credits in hand, and was winning 6-5. If I drew Breaking News, AstroScript, or Project Beale, I'd win the game that turn, if I drew Private Security Force, I'd have it the turn after that. I spent three turns in a row doing nothing except drawing (and discarding) cards without finding a single agenda. Katie used Forged Activation Orders on the only ice I had in front of HQ: Flare. I was faced with the choice of bankrupting myself to rez it or trashing it and leaving HQ wide open for her devious Criminal devices... any combination of Account Siphon and Emergency Shutdown would be devastating, so I rezzed the Flare. Unfortunately for me, she had Ninja in hand, installed it, ran HQ, got past it, and used Emergency Shutdown on it... doh. I spent a turn on Melange to recover my credits, Katie got through R&D on the next turn and snagged an agenda for the win.
The third round pit Katie's Jinteki against Marissa's Kate, and my experimental Chaos deck against Michael C' HB Engineering deck. Katie won handily. Now, did I mention my Chaos deck was experimental? The concept is simple enough.. drop Replicators and *tons* of R&D hurt, with Crypsis as the only breaker. I run 3 R&D Interfaces, Maker's Eyes, and Mediums, alongside All-Nighters. The natural reaction for uneducated Corporations is to dump all of their ice on R&D. The trick is to take advantage of this and... never run on R&D. With all ice on R&D unrezzed, it takes one successful Vamp on HQ to bankrupt the Corporation, and now you can get into R&D for free with the rest of your turn (up to 6 clicks with all three All-Nighters out). Depending on what R&D tricks you have at this point (and whether or not you have Demolition Run in hand), you can go through a *ton* of cards in a single turn - normally enough to win the game. I went through 17 cards in R&D on my "glory turn" against Michael, but found very few agendas. My big mistake this game was running HQ very little. By the time I made my R&D assault, Michael had drawn into most of the agendas in his deck and was holding them in HQ. I figured it out way too late, and he took advantage of me spending all of my resources on the R&D assault to advance his way to victory.
The final round had Katie's runner against Michael C's Haas-Bioroid Engineering deck and my Chaos against Michael E's Jinteki. The R&D assault is a lot more precarious against Jinteki, because of the ability to flatline yourself if you're not careful. We ended up playing to a draw with time running out before we finished.
I don't have the exact results recorded, but Michael E edged out Katie by one point to take home the tournament win.
1st: Michael E (PER/?)
2nd: Katie (PER/AND)
3rd(t): Michael C (ENG/?)
3rd(t): Matt (MAK/CHA)
5th: Jon (BUI/NOI)
6th: Marissa (PER/KAT)
We followed up the Netrunner tournament with a brief Werewolf game, in which Katie was a Villager and I was the Teenage Werewolf (I had to say the word Werewolf every day). I was lynched on the third day and the villagers prevailed with seven people left.
We headed out for dinner, then came back with a small stack of games. With all of the Werewolf games going on, we'd discussed The Resistance with several con-goers and discovered a surprising amount of people there had not played it before. So we pulled that out and ended up playing it for the rest of the evening, getting in seven plays. Our group got rather raucous at times, providing an entertaining night for all.
Thursday, Day Five
Thursday was our Yellowstone National Park tour day. It was the first trip for Katie and myself to Yellowstone, and a really neat experience for both of us. It took up most of the day, but was totally worth it. For those familiar with Yellowstone, the highlights of our tour included West Thumb Geyser Basin, the Mud Volcano, Artist Point, the Upper Falls, Artist Paintpots, and Old Faithful.
That evening after dinner, we returned for some more gaming. Katie continued to display her Ticket to Ride prowess...
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa
1st, Katie: 189
2nd, Jon: 157
3rd, Camille: 126
4th, Kathy: 90
5th, Denise: 67
Ticket to Ride: Europe
1st, Katie: 124
2nd, Camille: 108
3rd, Kathy: 106
4th, Denise: 60
Meanwhile, par for the course, I decided to get schooled in a couple of games. I played Ora & Labora for the very first time. I rather enjoy Rosenberg's worker placement games, though it's hard to fit them in with our typical game night. I've played Agricola just once and still haven't gotten to Le Havre. Despite falling way, way behind the other two, I really liked the game (and have since added it to our own collection).
Ora et Labora
1st, Brian: 168
2nd, Michael: 167
3rd, Matt: 117
We were getting close to crashing for the night, but decided to work in the relatively short introduction scenario for 1812: The Invasion of Canada. I love this game, but it's been nigh impossible to get it to the table on game night, not the biggest historical/war-themed crowd. It's a very light wargame that does an excellent job of introducing the genre while remaining quite simple. I let Brian and Michael take the reins of the American side, while I took the three British factions.
Brian and Michael did an excellent job at leaving troops behind to prevent some of the Native American antics that often lead to British victories. I had the lead 3-2 and was holding Kingston going into the final turn, but lost when the Americans took back Erie and Ogdensburg.
Friday, Day Six
Friday was our last chance to do some of the extra things in the area. Dad, Jon, and Marissa headed out to the Jackson Hole Resort and Teton Village area, with a trip up Rendezvous Mountain. Katie and I stuck around Snow King, doing a round of miniature golf and coming down the alpine slide, before heading inside for more gaming.
We played a four-player cooperative game of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, where we played the Passage Through Mirkwood quest. I didn't get to finish the whole game, but I quite enjoyed the bit that I played and have since picked it up and played it solo many times - probably my favorite solo game now.
From there, I jumped into a game of The Cave with Michael and Denise, who had been interested in playing it all week. Katie had just learned to play (and beaten) David a bit earlier, and apparently she picked up the game pretty well, because she beat all of us in her second game as well.
1st, Katie: 60
2nd, Mike: 54
3rd, Denise: 35
4th, Matt: 26
We took a break and regrouped with family for an early dinner at The Gun Barrel Steak and Game House. I had some fantastic ribeye, Katie had a great filet, and Jon and Dad really enjoyed the elk chops and buffalo prime rib.
Of course, we must save the best for last... we returned for my personal highlight of the con, a sealed play tournament for Netrunner. First scheduled for Thursday night, it got pushed back because of how late the Yellowstone tour got back, and unfortunately we lost all of the players who had originally signed up for it. Katie, Jon, Marissa, and myself all took the field anyway, with random factions and starter packs.
I must interject with a big, big heap of gratitude to Mike for setting this whole thing up with his personal Netrunner collection. It's not easy to set up and organize a draft for an LCG, but he pulled it off, and it made for an extraordinary event.
We pulled Corporation decks first. I would've been content with any faction on either side of the table, but was pretty happy to grab Haas-Bioroid, which I believe is the strongest corporation straight out of the box. Marissa nabbed Jinteki, her favorite corporation. Jon pulled NBN, which he didn't seem too happy about. Katie got Weyland, who she's actually been pretty successful with in the past.
The highlight of the Corporation draft was that I somehow managed to draft three copies of Adonis - despite three copies being in my starter deck. This greatly restricted my deck-building options at the end of the draft (there was, in fact, only one possible legal 49-card build after cutting down to 3x of each card), but was totally worth it to rob everyone else of the best economy card in the draft.
On the Runner starter packs, I was thrilled to pull Gabe, my favorite runner. Marissa also got Criminal, with Andy as her Runner. Jon got Chaos Theory, which I believe he was also pretty uncomfortable with. Katie ended up with Noise, which I thought would prove entertaining - Anarchs being the only faction that Katie has never played as before.
The highlight of the Runner draft was being able to capitalize on my knowledge of the cards in the core set and familiarity with Gabe. You see, Gabriel has no decoders in the core set, and as a result, no decoders included in the starter pack I had. I was able to pull a single copy of Yog.0 during the draft, but knew that would be a weak point in my Runner deck for the tournament. It turns out, that single copy of Yog.0 may have been the only decoder in the draft. The other card of note that caused a stir in the draft was Kati Jones. Marissa, Jon, and myself all had and grabbed a single copy of Kati Jones from our initial hand we drafted from - Katie ending up left out and the only person without a copy at all.
With decks constructed and in hand, the tournament began.
- Matt (Criminal Gabe) beat Marissa (Jinteki Personal), 10-6
- Matt (HB Engineering) beat Marissa (Criminal Andy), 10-0
- Katie (Weyland Building) beat Jon (Shaper Chaos), 10-3
- Jon (NBN Making) beat Katie (Anarch Noise), 10-0
Marissa and I had a very close first, which I barely pulled out the win in. The second game got ugly... knowing that she had no decoders and hoping she wouldn't dig for Crypsis, I installed Chimera with some Inside Job protection in front of it and rushed agendas out just as fast as I could. She never found a way past Chimera and never stole an agenda in the second game, giving me the 6-0 sweep in the first round.
Katie did well with Weyland against Jon's Chaos Theory, but also struggled quite a bit with Noise, as expected for her first Anarch outing. Jon won the second game without her stealing a single agenda to come from behind and take the match, 4-2.
- Matt (HB Engineering) beat Jon (Shaper Chaos), 10-6
- Matt (Criminal Gabe) beat Jon (NBN Making), 10-0
- Katie (Anarch Noise) beat Marissa (Jinteki Personal), 10-4
- Katie (Weyland Building) beat Marissa (Criminal Andy), 10-6
I had a much more difficult time with Haas-Bioroid against Jon's Chaos Theory and a full complement of icebreakers, but squeaked out a 10-6 win. The tables flipped yet again with Gabriel out against NBN... with a lack of strong ETR ice, I had near complete control of the table with the full complement of Criminal events, and won 10-0 without Jon scoring an agenda, giving me another 6-0 sweep.
At the other table, Katie finally managed to get Noise up and running, pulling off the win over Marissa's Jinteki. Jon and I finished up early, so I did get to watch the end of the game with Katie's Weyland against Marissa's Andy. Katie was inundated with agendas, with one on the table partially advanced, two in HQ, and at least one in Archives as well. Marissa managed one run on HQ, missing the agendas, and Katie finished off the advanced agenda to win the game and get her own 6-0 sweep.
- Matt (Criminal Gabe) beat Katie (Weyland Building), 10-1
- Matt (HB Engineering) beat Katie (Anarch Noise), 2-0
Frustrated with a few close losses, Marissa and Jon dropped out to sneak in a Ticket to Ride game before calling it a night. I made short work of Katie's Weyland, using Crash Space to quickly deal with any tags and avoid meat damage. That left the door open to a very quick match win, only needing to advance and score a single agenda on the Corp side.
1st, Matt: 18
2nd, Katie: 8
3rd, Jon: 4
4th, Marissa: 0
So, after a week of flailing in several different games and genres, I finally pulled a major win in my most anticipated event. I'll take it. =)
Before calling it a night, Mike paused to announce the results of the Ticket to Ride World Tour. Results were determined by adding together each player's four highest event scores. Event scores were the player's score in each game divided by the average score for every player in that game. Players also received a 0.05 bonus for each game played after their fourth, to reward the more frequent players. And the winners were...
Ticket to Ride World Tour Top Ten
1st, 5.198: Katie
2nd, 4.787: Kathy
3rd, 4.610: Camille
4th, 4.180: Dante
5th, 3.593: Denise
6th, 3.406: Marissa
7th, 2.603: Joanna
8th, 2.248: Jon
9th, 2.247: Corina
10th, 1.037: Bret
Katie won the Asia map collection expansion, and the others in the top four each received a prize as well, from gift certificates to a beautiful framed photograph.
With that, we hit the road early on Saturday, bringing an end to our 2013 TetonCon experience... but we can't wait for next year! If anyone's interested in joining us, registrations for TetonCon 2014 are already under way, and you can check out all the details right here. Thanks for reading!
A blog about a recently married couple who have rediscovered board games in their lives.
- [+] Dice rolls