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Gencon Hot or Not list:
HOT: completely uneventful return trip
NOT: fustercluck inbound – scheduled redeye was delayed, which meant a missed connection if I took the delayed flight
I took an early a.m. flight – meant dozing in a chair in the airport. Arrived at Indy 4:30pm and had just enough time to get my swag
HOT: Al Rivera and Mike Godsil were great suitemates and it was good to have ¾ of the DTR team together to plan and go over the dutie/events
NOT: the ‘ready to order breakfast’ had a long omelet line-the rest was barely warm eggs n pork. Orange juice was watered down to undrinkable. Word – on Monday (when the Embassy Suites was a ghost town), the OJ was almost recognizable, so they DO water down to spread as little OJ as far as possible. Hot sauce was Tobasco or something generic – no Sriracha or something with actual flavor.
Total HOT – each hour of sweat = $10 MRSP so I loaded up on DTR base sets, Smashup expansions and mini-games. Also got an AEG Big Game Night swag box for conducting DTR demos. Premium set was a very nice thank you present from Mark and the AEG team.
Hot: The AMAZING response to DTR and the number of folks who post-demo ‘got it’ or proceeded to buy the game. Also, a number of folks came in Saturday with the “I got this at Big Game Night and how do you play”. I pointed out the ‘stacked decks’ and tutorial and ran demos. Again, most ‘got it’, so while giving away 500 base sets has to be a loss leader for AEG, the good will and potential converts, I sincerely hope will pay off long-term in growing the DTR community.
NOT: Blowing out my voice Thursday. Thanks to the wonders of Cold-eze and Airborne and the power of Positive Thinking, I was able to recover enough to function the rest of the way. Going forward, I’ll try real hard to arrive Tuesday, so I’m fresh and rested Wed and Thus.
I had set aside a second set of decks. Long story short, some settling of contents occurred while my attention was on the current demos. I ended up sorting two boxes into suits/values, rebuilding the base set learn to play decks by swapping back and forth. Two hours to sort into suit/value, 1 hour to rebuild decks. NOT FUN. I settled on one box for demos and kept it with me at all times. I think it was casual passerby ‘just looking’ – do that enough times and bad things happen.
HOT: Cosplay and lots of folks in character. The camaraderie of the DT/DTR community in embracing the game and each other. The 35 minute limit will continue to be monitored, but at Gencon, overall, 10-15% (3-4) matches went to time, mostly on MCC D&D decks. Still, the rounds went smoothly, and having a designer, playtest lead, playtesters and story/development team members provided plenty of coverage for rules questions. Most questions were pretty basic – e.g. no Ghostly Gun issues.
The playerbase is doing a good job of expanding the game space w/ the limited card pool of the base set. Going in, I thought MCC D&D would be strong (it did win Saturday and overall), but I was a bit surprised by the power of the SG Dudeslide – the decks starting Sloane and going full-bore agro may well be a thing. Not unstoppable (see MCC and LD wins), but a very easily played strong deck archetype. Think of it as DTR version of initial scorched earth decks that took a while to effectively counter.
Overall, about an equal (45% each) split on LD and SG with slightly more MCC than 4R. While a 4R deck or two always made the cut, they really faded out by top 4. I think this may well be that 4R is sort of the Jinteki of DTR. It takes a while to get going (e.g. find/tutor spells to use/activate abilities) and often dies to SG Dudeslide or a MCC that can fast flood CP. I expect a few archetypes to dominate the rest of 2014 OP, but player creativity plus the initial round of saddlebags and pine box should help the meta shift and grow in a healthy manner. Brian Fox won it all w/ MCC D&D. That there is a stronger player out there than Rich Carter, is scary indeed.
CONS: none from a judging perspective
HOT: Meeting the old guard, as well as the Doyenne of Warlord – Laura Marie Scott. It was great talking old times and hearing ‘war stories’ as well as getting some HEG Tournament Championship Player and Saints & Sinners cards signed. Playing classic again.
NOT: My Grateful Deadlands WEF terror/fear deck never really got going (I won on time vs. Chan, but 0fered every other match). It can surprise new players or weak decks, but the canny vets knew the tricks and weaknesses. Also, my voice was shot, and I knew I had to resort two boxes of DTR cards (see above).
HOT: Playing Alex Wirges of Gomorra Gazette in Reloaded and Classic formats. Seeing Alex get a nerd-gasm from drawing 19 cards and pulling a DMH
NOT: Too little free play.Putzing around with my LD:Mob Justice deck. Managed to Manhunt his Samhains, Kidnapping, and a two redraw Jackelope. But I made a bunch of mistakes – starting Timmy Derrick xp vs. WEF? WTF? Being tuned in to DTR meant forgetting the extra card for influence for most of the game. Not taking production for my deed for 3 turns.
Artist Alley: Getting classic cards signed by Jeff Easely, Jeff Meneges, April Lee, Raven Mimura, Steve Ellis. Also met the talented Jesse Hibbs and chatted art and DTR (he’s a fan/player) and purchased the original of JC Hex Slingin’. Hey, Jesse, you made the freakin’ BOX COVER and got signed cards of that, Mechanical Horse, and Good Turn.
NOT: I don’t have a spare Hangin’ Judge (QS) for Raven to sign. MUST. HAVE.
Overall, a fantastic experience – old friends renewed, new ones made, and stoked to have been part of the ground floor launch experience
Thoroughly enjoyed playing classic with ya. I'm dustin' off my guns and making the Classic event at GenCon 15 a priority.