• WKO Review/Recap: Orlando

    First things first, I'm sorry.

    I feel like in some way I'm responsible for the discontent that this event has fostered, and I honestly wish I could go back and do more to make the event better. I didn't decide how the event was going to be run, I didn't decide what days would hold what events, and I didn't have anything to do with the actual logistics of the event itself, but maybe if I'd called up sooner and volunteered more I could have helped to make the event better. I feel in part responsible, and it saddens me that this event was a relative mar on the Florida Dice Masters community.

    That all being said, we did still have a tournament, and we did have some really great matches against some really great folks. If one thing came out of the entire event it was that the East and West Coast groups, along with the North FL and South FL Groups came together for the first time and got to shake hands and exchange greetings and Metas. I met folks form Jacksonville, South Florida and all along the coast between. Several folks from Atlanta and South Carolina also came, and I'm not sure, but I think the event also confirmed that there is a ban on Dice Masters in the state of Alabama (either that or I just missed those folks).

    Rather than go into details about the event itself, I'll simply highlight some Meta trends I noticed, and give you the deck list of the winner and runner up. But first, let me say thanks TO Jarrod and Mike who performed well as TOs under some very stressful situations. These guys were volunteers who love Dice Masters and their passion showed, despite the set backs the event it self may have had. Thanks guys.

    Trend wise, I saw a slew of Lantern Ring teams, almost no Guy teams and a little bit of everything else in between. In the end though, it was two AvX heavy teams that rose to the top, and I believe that that is in part because Florida, being the young scene that it is, just doesn't have the experience against such teams. I know my lack of experience facing off against Jinzo was my downfall, and I've probably had as much play experience as many other Floridians. Speaking of Jinzo, let me show you the team that knocked me out.

    @amonroe87 knocked me out with his team which included:
    Iron Fist
    and

    In the end all he did was buy Poly, Jinzo, and an injection Fairy Lily and let me burn myself to death trying to play keep up. Should have bought my Dwarf Wizard and countered that way, but I just wasn't thinking, and after sending lvl 1 Jinzo to used with Umber Hulk, Jinzo and a Lily both dropped at level 3, alongside 3 sidekicks on a turn I had gambles I could hold out defensively and spend my energy and ramped some characters to try to get a bit ahead. in the end, it was a great match and i'm glad my opponent went on to the finals.

    Then of course, there was the guy that beat him. I'm proud to say that Jonnydb86, is a guy from Tampa that has been playing pretty regular at our local stores. I watched him sit down at his first PDC event in New Tampa and do really well with a mat I loaned him, hitting top 4 if I recall correctly. This was his first Dice Masters Tournament I think, and he hadn't yet traded all of his X-wing(?) collection for an impressive Dice Masters set. As he fleshed out his collection and, I can only assume, cracked out game after game of practice, he started taking more and more games off of me in our other events and came to be a top notch pilot. His team, though sporting some hefty AvX powerhouses, is also something he's come to know inside and out and is truly a team to be feared, almost assuredly due to it's pilots skill as much as it's content.

    Elf Thief Common
    and

    Total for the weekend, there was one round of Draft side events, and 2-3 rounds of constructed, but no one walked away with more than a pair of Iron Fists, and I think I pulled one of the few Cables. I will say, unlike most folks, I don't buy collectors boxes so the Captain America and Raven were gladly accepted promos, but I'm still looking forward to perhaps a promised promo in the mail soon. I will say, I greatly appreciated the fact that an event was held in Florida, and look forward to both our State PDC event, and the next WKO season where hopefully I won't be driving to Atlanta to compete, as another Florida Locale will get the bid. Either way, hope to see all of you great folks at both events!

    Thanks to everyone I met who helped make the event seem huge in scope and importance, and thanks to all of those of you who strove to make the event great. Even our grumpiest visitor from the far off land of Utah was rumored to have given a newer player a Super Rare, out of the kindness of his heart. Thanks on his Behalf... Other Kobold King.
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Great write up Patrick. Good to see that the Community shines out even when things are stacked against it.
    1. Nafohw1's Avatar
      Nafohw1 -
      Thanks for the write up Shadowmeld! I know emotions were running high that day. Many people traveled far and wide with certain expectations. I can't imagine how let down they must have felt. That being said at the end of the day, the judges did the best they could despite all of the hiccups. I know many were upset by the apparent lack of organization, but at the end of the day they are people too. While what happened might have left a sour taste in people's mouths, I am just glad that as a community we had a chance to get together and play the game we all love. It was truly a blast to meet several of you and to finally put faces to avatars. This was my first ever tournament and I think what I'll treasure most from the experience are the new friends I made! Oh, and the fact the I got an autograph from "The Nefarious Geneticist" himself
    1. Jonnydb86's Avatar
      Jonnydb86 -
      Thanks for the kind words @Shadowmeld ! I remember that first tourney sitting down with an all villains team and thinking, this game is awesome. Since then I've been hooked, and don't think in all the games I've played before this that I've found a system that I love as much as Dice Masters. The community has been fantastic, and I am so glad I got to meet a lot of you this past weekend.
    1. Nafohw1's Avatar
      Nafohw1 -
      Congratulations Jonny!
    1. DudeCookie's Avatar
      DudeCookie -
      I'm sorry, but as someone who was there and talked with players and staff there, I am going to have to call you out.

      "I didn't decide what days would hold what events"
      YOU posted in the Facebook group stating that there would be side events on both days. You effectively decided to tell the community that there would be side events, knowing full well there may not be! This is some random accusation or what have you, this is brought up as fact because...
      "but maybe if I'd called up sooner"
      You did call up sooner. A lot. I know this. Justin Z knows this, the OWNER OF THE STORE knows this! You made so many calls to the store asking about side events that it gave the store owner a headache! Not to mention staff's comments on how you seemed to pressure them throughout Saturday to run events, when they told you they weren't.

      Not that I am defending the store staff, because they weren't that great, either. Some were nice, but others, including the infamous fo-hawk dude, were rude and aggravating to deal with.

      Bet let's talk about the judging staff. They were awesome guys. Truly. Hanging out with them and talking with them, they're pretty awesome. But when they announced that it would be 3 rounds of best of 3, 50-minute rounds, then cut to Top 8? What the what? At LEAST 20 of the 48 players tried to tell him he was wrong. He quickly scrambled to take out a printed out version of the rule book to defend himself! Like 3 or 4 players actually went to him to get everything resolved, which didn't really do anything! It ended up being Best of 1, 50-Minute Rounds. For. 3. Rounds. of. Swiss. For. 48. Players. Then. Cut. To. Top. 8. Are you KIDDING me?! How does that even seem REMOTELY right?! He pretty much told everyone, "drop if you lose in round 1 or 2." 48 players = 6 rounds of swiss, not 3!!

      The real icing on the cake, for me at least, was when the head judge posted in one of the Facebook groups, "6 rounds were played, it's just that the last three were played by the Top 8." Yes, that is a direct quote from the head judge who CLEARLY DOESN'T KNOW HOW SWISS WORKS!

      Promos are one thing, Side event availability and being lied to (by you) about them is another thing, but good god, tournament staff of a REGIONAL QUALIFIER EVENT should at least know how to run a SWISS STYLE tournament and know times!!!

      /rant
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by DudeCookie View Post
      I'm sorry, but as someone who was there and talked with players and staff there, I am going to have to call you out.

      "I didn't decide what days would hold what events"
      YOU posted in the Facebook group stating that there would be side events on both days. You effectively decided to tell the community that there would be side events, knowing full well there may not be! This is some random accusation or what have you, this is brought up as fact because...
      "but maybe if I'd called up sooner"
      You did call up sooner. A lot. I know this. Justin Z knows this, the OWNER OF THE STORE knows this! You made so many calls to the store asking about side events that it gave the store owner a headache! Not to mention staff's comments on how you seemed to pressure them throughout Saturday to run events, when they told you they weren't.

      Not that I am defending the store staff, because they weren't that great, either. Some were nice, but others, including the infamous fo-hawk dude, were rude and aggravating to deal with.

      Bet let's talk about the judging staff. They were awesome guys. Truly. Hanging out with them and talking with them, they're pretty awesome. But when they announced that it would be 3 rounds of best of 3, 50-minute rounds, then cut to Top 8? What the what? At LEAST 20 of the 48 players tried to tell him he was wrong. He quickly scrambled to take out a printed out version of the rule book to defend himself! Like 3 or 4 players actually went to him to get everything resolved, which didn't really do anything! It ended up being Best of 1, 50-Minute Rounds. For. 3. Rounds. of. Swiss. For. 48. Players. Then. Cut. To. Top. 8. Are you KIDDING me?! How does that even seem REMOTELY right?! He pretty much told everyone, "drop if you lose in round 1 or 2." 48 players = 6 rounds of swiss, not 3!!

      The real icing on the cake, for me at least, was when the head judge posted in one of the Facebook groups, "6 rounds were played, it's just that the last three were played by the Top 8." Yes, that is a direct quote from the head judge who CLEARLY DOESN'T KNOW HOW SWISS WORKS!

      Promos are one thing, Side event availability and being lied to (by you) about them is another thing, but good god, tournament staff of a REGIONAL QUALIFIER EVENT should at least know how to run a SWISS STYLE tournament and know times!!!

      /rant
      I respect your opinion, and I can understand how it was formed. I DID call the store a week before the event and I did raise a stink about there being no side events, but that was the only call I made. The Owner, at the time, asked me if I was the dude that had been calling, and maybe that should have raised a flag for me, but I informed him then that no I was not that gentleman. It truly was the first time I had called. The conversation led to the Owner telling me that they would give priority to HC but that if room and time were available, they would hold DM side events. I told him thank you and that I would be spreading the word about all the side events. My posts about side events mentioned that HC would take priority and that DM would take a back seat, but if time and space were there we'd be served. This is what I was told. The reason I pushed for this is because I knew, a week from the event, that folks had already posted that they were coming form out of state and would be there a day early. I was attempting to get these folks the events they were hoping for.

      As for the accusation of lying, I don't want to start a debate, so I'll simply post here that the store changed their calendar of the event stating "Side events will primarily be Heroclix. If space and time permit, we will try to open up for Dice Masters side events. " and when I was told that I shared the news across the mediums that would get the attention of the players that had already been told that the events were canceled. If anyone was lied to it was the DM community as a whole. "Space and time" have nothing to do with "judges", which was the true hold back it would seem.

      Anyway, as I said, I'm sorry that I couldn't do more and I strive to help make events in Florida stronger in the future. Our next big event will be at Critical Hit Games April 2nd for the State PDC and I will do all I can to make my home store a place everyone will enjoy.
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      So... on the WizKids and the Store side of things... obviously I wasn't there, although I do know that one of us from the frozen tundra of Minnesota was able to stop by, but what I've found locally is that primarily because Dice Masters is still relatively young, it doesn't always get the priority and attention that we often think it should. This can be both from a WizKids perspective, as HeroClix in particular has been around a LONG time, and from the store perspective, as the income made from Dice Masters is likely pretty minimal when compared to something like Magic.

      So as we respond to situations like this, my question would be what I often ask my kids - what response will get us the result that we really want? In my case, the result I really want is for MORE support for DM from both WizKids and Stores. I don't want DM to fade and die, I want it to grow. I want it to pass Pokemon and YuGiOh, maybe even take on Magic someday.

      From a WizKids perspective, how do we respond in a way that helps the game? Is it helpful to let them know how much of an opportunity they missed? Would it help to suggest how they could improve in the future? Would it help to let them know how disappointed some people were, and how that might damage their future prospects?

      For the store, how do we let them know of the issues that happened without souring them on Dice Masters in general? How do we voice our concerns to TOs who are volunteers and probably doing the best they can without discouraging them? How do we make it so that they come out of this experience determined to make the next DM event a success rather than determined not to host another major event?
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      I was there with 10 others from the Melbourne location. As a strictly dice masters player, I cannot speak for the Hero Clix events on Saturday, but I can speak of Sunday.

      First off, the judges did a great job. They were fair and quick to help with any disagreements. It was difficult to hear because we were in an open area of the mall, but that is how it goes. Yes, there was a misunderstanding on the way the rounds were being done. It was announced the first part of the main tournament would be best of 3, but the way the judge said it led to confusion. Many players, myself included asked for clarity. In the end, we got stuck with best of 1. For the time limit and number of players, best 2 out of 3, 50 minute time limits before the top 8 made sense, but that was lost.

      Second, the prizes. This was entirely on Wizkids and the judges felt bad but offered what they had to make up for it.

      Finally, Shadowmeld, I am sorry, but I completely disagree with telling people who lost the first round they had no chance to make it to the top. So many dropped out (which actually gave me a chance) and that shouldn't have happened. I understand why you did it (as you could win the same prizes in the side events), but I feel that players still could have had a chance as with my experience coming back from a loss always gave a stronger SOS. Of course, this usually with 4 or 5 rounds. I will conduct an experiment later to confirm or disprove this.

      I still enjoyed myself immensely, especially because I did not face any Guy Gardner or Ring teams! I saw variety. I went 1 and 2, but my opponent had better dice rolls and Cloudkill finally got me. I look forward to the next one and if money permits will attend Nationals to attempt to qualify up there.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      I have to say that three rounds of Swiss only sounds incredibly odd. How many players were there?
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      45. It was 6 rounds of event, 3 Swiss and 3 top 8
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Wow. That's completely out of the ordinary. Three rounds is woefully inadequate for that player count.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Indeed, that is why it made no mathematic sense to continue the event after a first or second round loss.

      With a maximum Strength of schedule of an opponent who has already had losses, there was no way to make top 8 unless you entered round three as one of the top 12.

      Top twelve were 2-0, half would win, half would be 2-1 and those folks would have a strength of schedule that included only a loss to a 3-0 opponent. Everyone else would be 2-1 but with wins against folks who were at best 1-2, meaning there was no possible way to make the top 8 if you lost in rounds 1 and 2.

      Atleast it made dropping for side events an easy decision.
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      Indeed, that is why it made no mathematic sense to continue the event after a first or second round loss.

      With a maximum Strength of schedule of an opponent who has already had losses, there was no way to make top 8 unless you entered round three as one of the top 12.

      Top twelve were 2-0, half would win, half would be 2-1 and those folks would have a strength of schedule that included only a loss to a 3-0 opponent. Everyone else would be 2-1 but with wins against folks who were at best 1-2, meaning there was no possible way to make the top 8 if you lost in rounds 1 and 2.

      Atleast it made dropping for side events an easy decision.
      Yea, 2 losses and you're done for, but 1 loss? Maybe...depending on how many dropped. I still had fun and hope that next time the number of rounds better matches the participants. I'll try to get the Melbourne store mentioned for a possible location as we could handle everyone, run all events, and even other events.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by bahamut7 View Post
      Yea, 2 losses and you're done for, but 1 loss? Maybe...depending on how many dropped. I still had fun and hope that next time the number of rounds better matches the participants. I'll try to get the Melbourne store mentioned for a possible location as we could handle everyone, run all events, and even other events.
      I'm looking forward to the Melbourne store for off season WKO or PDC stuff. and maybe if I'm close enough when I move to Orlando.
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      I'm looking forward to the Melbourne store for off season WKO or PDC stuff. and maybe if I'm close enough when I move to Orlando.
      We always welcome any and all players. Though, I would love to face off against your creations a lot more.
    1. amonroe87's Avatar
      amonroe87 -
      Thanks for the write up shadowmeld! I was worried about Dwarf wizard btw and I was surprised you never bought it. I'm gonna work in constantine to help that in the future.

      But sidenote, it is funny how metas can be. Cause you said that you haven't had much practice versus jinzo, and that's all my group plays with lol. Mike from my group (also in top8) has almost blown his brains out the last two months playing against it.

      Crazy how things are so different in different areas, it was great to see the florida, and South region, community there! Hope to see yall at the PDC in st. Petersburg in april!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      I've been to Melbourne before - have some family with a beach house there. Next time we're in the area, we'll have to time it to a rainbow draft!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yort View Post
      So... on the WizKids and the Store side of things... obviously I wasn't there, although I do know that one of us from the frozen tundra of Minnesota was able to stop by, but what I've found locally is that primarily because Dice Masters is still relatively young, it doesn't always get the priority and attention that we often think it should. This can be both from a WizKids perspective, as HeroClix in particular has been around a LONG time, and from the store perspective, as the income made from Dice Masters is likely pretty minimal when compared to something like Magic.

      So as we respond to situations like this, my question would be what I often ask my kids - what response will get us the result that we really want? In my case, the result I really want is for MORE support for DM from both WizKids and Stores. I don't want DM to fade and die, I want it to grow. I want it to pass Pokemon and YuGiOh, maybe even take on Magic someday.

      From a WizKids perspective, how do we respond in a way that helps the game? Is it helpful to let them know how much of an opportunity they missed? Would it help to suggest how they could improve in the future? Would it help to let them know how disappointed some people were, and how that might damage their future prospects?

      For the store, how do we let them know of the issues that happened without souring them on Dice Masters in general? How do we voice our concerns to TOs who are volunteers and probably doing the best they can without discouraging them? How do we make it so that they come out of this experience determined to make the next DM event a success rather than determined not to host another major event?
      Yort - you have inspired me. That is all.
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      I've been to Melbourne before - have some family with a beach house there. Next time we're in the area, we'll have to time it to a rainbow draft!
      Message Get Your Fun On on facebook and Mark can set something up. He will also post it, so the rest of us know to be there.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by bahamut7 View Post
      Message Get Your Fun On on facebook and Mark can set something up. He will also post it, so the rest of us know to be there.
      No idea when it would be but I appreciate that!