GenCon 2012, Part One

Yesterday I returned from my first trip to GenCon. I’ve wanted to attend to this epic convention for the last 20 years and finally made it happen. I was joined by a good friend of mine, Alchemist. I thoroughly enjoyed myself but both Alchemist and I agreed that had we attended 15 years ago, it would have been exponentially more awesome. Considering we are both much more mature and responsible with our money than in those days of frivolity, not to mention less starstruck when seeing or meeting celebrities and such, there was slightly less magic to the trip.
We got to play a lot of different games, attend several events, and usually remembered to take pictures. Below are some photos and highlights from the trip.
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Warhammer: Invasion North American Championship at GenCon 2012

Warhammer: Invasion

I packed a Dark Elf deck to GenCon 2012 specifically for the North American Championship event and ended up doing very well considering the circumstances. First off, I couldn’t decide what deck to bring, or build for that matter, so HappyDD and I discussed some options the day before I left and I ended up using a slightly modified version of one of his decks that is based around the Offering to Hekarti quest. I’ll post a deck list later when I have it handy. Secondly, I had originally planned to build a deck and test it extensively during July and June but with various holidays and other events taking priority I showed up in Indianapolis with zero prep. In fact, my experience with the deck consisted of 4 to 5 simulations of play on the night before the tournament. Alchemist (my friend who attended GenCon with me) doesn’t play W:I and I didn’t bring any other decks so it was a pretty useless exercise but I got a feel for it.
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Announcing the Warhammer: Invasion – Calgary Area Regionals 2012

I’m proud to announce that the local living card game league is hosting the Warhammer: Invasion 2012 Regionals for the Calgary area. Full details can be found on the Warhammer: Invasion – Calgary Area Regionals 2012 page.

Come join us for some great fun and prizes 😀

Thursday Night Invasion

Last night, HappyDD came over to play some Warhammer: Invasion. We got in five games in a few hours. He was trying out his recently devised Empire/High Elf Preservation deck and I played three games with my Dark Elf Mill deck and two with my Chaos Sacrifice Escalation deck. Although I may have had a slight advantage, having more refined decks, we had some very close games and if I remember right, we both won at least two each.

The Chaos deck was interesting to play again because I haven’t thought about it in a while and couldn’t remember if it needed some work. It performed strongly and I’ll likely wait until new battle packs are purchased before I look to make changes. I know for certain that there are a couple of cards in the coming March of the Damned expansion that I will be adding to the deck immediately.

The Mill also performed well but I’m questioning some of the cards. The one that sticks out the most is Harpies. The deck has so many hand reducing cards that the opponent rarely has more than three cards let alone seven. In fact, HappyDD took to playing his cards or developing them regardless of their usefulness at present or future, just so they would serve some purpose instead of me discarding them. Harpies would work better in a deck that has the capability to move enemy units into the quest zone or bump up the opponents Quest phase draw in some other way. Unfortunately, the majority of those abilities are on Empire cards and you can’t do and Order/Destruction mix. Perhaps in the future there will be something available for destruction to make better use of Harpies but for now I think I’m going to look for a replacement.

I should have taken some photos to make this post more interesting but I didn’t think of it.

CCGs and LCGs

Nearly 18 years ago I was introduced by chance to a collectible card game called Spellfire. The game was produced by TSR and featured content from the various AD&D campaign settings of the time. The game went through four editions of the core set and twelve official booster sets. The acquisition of TSR by Wizards of the Coast in 1997 saw an end to production. There is still a surprisingly strong following and those interested can check out http://www.spellfire.net/intro.shtml. Spellfire was my first exposure to the world of CCGs and led to my playing Magic the Gathering and a few other CCGs for a short time. By 1998 I had amassed a near complete collection of Spellfire but, due to some bad circumstances, they were all stolen. That was my last venture into the collectible card gaming world although I’ve since purchased some discount Spellfire cards when I find them for nostalgia’s sake.

The point of all this is that I’ve always had a longing to play a collectible card game again but haven’t been able to justify the expense it incurs (my obsessive compulsive collect everything nature would win out to any notions of limited ownership). This year I discovered Warhammer: Invasion by Fantasy Flight Games and learned about their Living Card Game format (LCG). In FFGs own words:
“A Living Card Game (LCG) is a game that breaks away from the traditional Collectible Card Game (CCG) model by offering a new fixed card distribution method that still offers the same dynamic customizable, expanding, and constantly evolving game play that makes CCG’s so much fun, but without the blind buy purchase model that has burned out so many players. The end result is an innovative mix that gives you the best of both worlds!”

Warhammer: Invasion pits the various races (each of which has an affiliation to either Order or Destruction) of the Warhammer Fantasy world against each other. Some races have a capital board that the players use to track various phases of the game as well as their overall health. The objective is to damage to the opponents capital board, which is divided into three zones. Do enough damage to a zone and it will burn. If you cause two out of three zones to burn, you win. Obviously various cards and core mechanics of the game affect this. There is a video on the W:I website that provides and excellent overview of the game here. Just scroll down to the Tutorial subheading.

This intrigued me and I have since bought in and begun playing with two friends. We use deckbox.org to track our inventory and store decks that we’ve created. It’s an amazing resource and it’s free! You can see some of the decks that I’m using at http://deckbox.org/users/WWaSP. As card games go I think this is the best one I’ve played. Although it’s a very new game and the cards available are therefore limited there are already a large variety of deck archetypes to be played and the game is quite well balanced.

Last weekend I finally had a chance to try out an older version of the Dark Elf mill deck you can see on deckbox profile and was quite happy with it’s performance. The basic idea of a mill deck is to cause your opponent to discard cards from his deck every turn (when a player runs out of cards, they lose). I made some changes to the deck and have been pondering an Order based versions that uses a mix of Empire and Dwarf cards.

So, if you’ve been dying to play CCGs and have been out of the loop for a long time, definitely check out the LCG format and the Warhammer: Invasion game specifically. I played a few games of the Call of Cthuluh LCG that is also prodcued by FFG and I enjoyed it a lot as well. After I get a few more games in I’ll give it a brief review.