A year of travels and tournaments
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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This year has been my most prolific gaming year ever. I made several trips with different friends and family to play in tournaments of different games and I had a great time with them.
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1. Board Game: Middle-earth [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:914]
José San Miguel
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Valencia
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In March I attended Lure of Middle Earth XVII (which was my eighth time there) at Castle Stahleck in Bacharach, Germany.



I went with my wife and daughter (her first time there, she loved sleeping in a castle!) and a friend. We had a great weekend.

This is a very special meeting for MECCG fans. I had missed the previous two editions because I depend on Ryan Air to get there and they changed their flight schedules for a while. This year was even more special because the designer of the game, Coleman Charlton (designer of the Rolemaster and MERP rpgs too) attended the meeting. He was very kind to everyone and I had the chance to talk with him about his work.

I played the General Opponent tournament, ranking 4th and losing only the first game by one point (19-20) in a Fallen Gandalf mirror match.

I also played the Hero Only One-deck tournament, losing all my games against former world champions xD

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2. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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June was crazy with a lot of events every week!

I've been an avid Netrunner player since 2013, but this year's tournaments season was very intense. My FLGS organizes GNK (game night) tournaments once or twice each month and we had the Store Tournament in March.

The first big tournament of the year was the European one at the UK Games Expo. I organized an expedition with my Netrunner friends.

This was my first big gaming convention, and I was a bit skeptic about the whole thing because I have social anxiety and I don't like big crowds, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. Maybe I even try Essen in the future.

We trained a lot for the tournament with literally hundreds of plays in the previous months. I made a choice of decks based on meta predictions, I played decks what I didn't really like, and I was completely wrong. I didn't even make the first day's cut.



I was a bit disappointed with my performance, but then I had more time to enjoy the Games Expo. I met Ian Livingston, Games Workshop co-founder and had one of my favorite gamebooks signed by him. Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are one of the main reasons I'm a gamer today.



It was an amazing experience with my friends.


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3. Board Game: Middle-earth [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:914]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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Just one week after UKGE I had to face a difficult decision. In the same weekend the MECCG Spanish Nationals at Vila-Real and the Twilight Struggle World Championships (Online) where going to be played. And I wanted to play both.

So I compromised going to the MECCG Nationals on Friday to play the Hero Only One-deck tournament. I won all my games with my hobbit deck, scoring an almost perfect score (17-1) because of a silly mistake in the last turn of the last game. So I got the Spanish title in that format. And I immediately returned to Valencia, missing the General Opponent tournament on Saturday, to prepare for...
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4. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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... the TSWC. It was the first time I played this tournament. I love playing against the best players even though they crush me. And they did

I made the cut on Saturday (2-2) so I could play four more games on Sunday. I got 3-5 in the end, not bad taking the level of the players into account. I hope to do better next year.

Eight games of TS in two days is exhausting, but it was a great experience.

Previously this year I played in a Spanish online tournament in which I came 2nd and a local F2F tournament in which I came 2nd too, losing only against my gaming partner. Later this year I played in the Reddit Async League, in which I didn't do any good.

 
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5. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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And just one week later, the Netrunner Spanish Nationals!

So the Valencian Netrunner group went on tour again, this time to Madrid.

This time I decided to ignore the meta and just play decks which I enjoyed and felt comfortable with. And I couldn't make a better decision. My Geist deck performed almost flawlessly on the first day, keeping me in the top tables.

I had planned to play the Ashes tournament on Sunday, but I made the cut to the top 8 by a wide margin! Not in my wildest dreams would I hope that. And the best thing is that I played with fun decks, not top-tier soul-crushing decks.

So on Sunday I played the top 8 and made it to the final game, in which I lost to a better player.



I couldn't be happier anyway. And I got a big bunch of promo cards and tokens, a nice top 8 playmat.

The day didn't end well though because, just as we got back to Valencia, leaving a friend at the train station, I got careless and I had my handbag stolen With nothing of value except my decks and all the promotional stuff, which I was super excited to show my wife in a few minutes when I got home. Well, I couldn't.

I had a great weekend with my friends anyway.
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6. Board Game: Middle-earth [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:914]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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In September arrived the third and last MECCG gathering of the year at Llinars del Vallés (near Barcelona). Another chance to spend a good weekend with my friends.

I defended my title in the Hero Only One-deck tournament winning all games again with my hobbit deck.

I didn't prepare a General Opponent deck for lack of time and I played that tournament on Saturday with the same deck that the previous day, ranking 5th.

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7. Board Game: Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:737]
José San Miguel
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Valencia
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Most of my Netrunner friends (and my wife too!) were super excited about the new edition of L5R and we started playing it since the first day.

At the begin of October, they were going to hold the L5R Launch Party at my FLGS, and I was going to miss it because I was on my holidays with my family in London. So they indulged me and let me spend an afternoon at the Launch Party in a store there



I had some plays with the nice folks there.

 
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8. Board Game: Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:737]
José San Miguel
Spain
Valencia
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The last big event of the year was the Madrid Kotei. The first European Kotei. It was held at the Game On expo last November.

It was my biggest tournament ever, of any game, with 456 attendants, and at some moments it was very chaotic. I made the first cut and finished 111st with 4 wins and 3 loses, which was my objective for the tournament.



We also played a lot of board games during the expo.
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9. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2493] [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked]
José San Miguel
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Valencia
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Bonus tournament! OK, I'm cheating a bit. They were doing demonstration games ok the Pokemon TCG at the Game On expo and organizing mini tournaments on the fly. So my friend Luis and me got into one. I've been playing Pokemon with my 8-year old daughter using preconstructed decks for a while, and I saw the chance to get her a nice Pokemon playmat.



In the end, it was my friend who won the tournament xD
 
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