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Drafting Age of Ultron with a Big Prize and a Big Name

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Every Saturday night we hold a Dice Masters event at one of two stores, Comic Book University or the Game Preserve on the southside of Indianapolis. This past Saturday, we held a draft in which the first place player got an entire gravity feed. Here is what was fun and what I learned from the event.

I am the one that puts together all the events that we do locally and because I am a big fan of Dice Masters, I also participate in all the events. We have a good group of people that love to play more on the casual side. We do have a number of people that are a bit competitive. Myself included. Generally, we do a constructed format with a three pack buy in (which becomes the prize pool at the end) and we give out an OP Kit at every event. For the most part, everybody ends up with a copy of all the OP cards at the end of the event.

So drafting is fairly new to the people in our area but the reception has been good. We had nine people show up to play including none other than World Champion Dean himself. (We were hoping for another out of towner, but life comes first and he couldn't make it.)

Set up was pretty smooth for the event. The manager came back and distributed packs for the draft to everybody.

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Once everybody was seated, I went over the rules on drafting. Since everybody had drafted before, I didn't get into the minor details but stressed how to pass packs in order to avoid getting cards mixed up and to constantly count cards before/between/after each point. I ended up with one less pack after opening all the packs, so it is always good to make sure everything lines up often. Best to catch things as early as possible.

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And let the Drafting begin! As you can see in the pictures. Dean is to my left in the corner not making the draft easy for me.

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Some teams I noticed that got put together where SHEILD Helicarrier/Iron Man (my team), Ultron/Drones (Dean), Ultron/Drones/Red Skull (Cory), SR Jocosta/Coordinated Strike, Guardians/Gamora assissin. I should do team registration next time.

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In the end, I did end up going 3-0 and winning the draft, securing the gravity feed (I had not bought, nor played any Age of Ultron before this draft).

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I believe that everybody had a good time and Dean was a great guy to have join us for the event. We even have a member of our little team that can say they have beaten the World Champion of Dice Masters. He was a very good sport about us joking about it as well. I think it was good that we had somebody beat Dean though. I think it was also good that Dean didn't win the event. And not because he is not a local player. I think our play group will understand that they can be as good as the best players in the nation, because Dean didn't dominate the draft. You can lose that when you are only playing with your local group. So Dean, I'd like to personally thank you again, for taking time out to come play with us while you were in the area. We really hope that you will join us again should you ever find yourself in area again.

Secondly, I love playing this game. I think giving away a gravity feed to the first place person is an awesome prize! I also think that winning the event, while being the organizer, put a sour taste in my mouth.
And here's why:
  • We ended up only running three rounds vs the normal four.
  • I created and organized the event.

We ended up running long because I wanted to run 45 minute rounds instead of 30 because the set is still new to players. Plus, I wanted the players to feel like they could enjoy playing the game versus being rushed through and not understanding what they were playing.

We could have played the last round. Management was ready to go and was not wanting to stay late, but was willing to do so. I knew I was 3-0 and I'd end up with the gravity feed, but I left it up to the group. If there was anybody that really wanted to play that last round, we would have done so.

Because I organized the event, I can't help but feel I tricked people into playing so that I could get a gravity feed for cheap. I did draft my team along with everybody else (even with Dean doing his best to give me the worst of the worst). and I did play to a 3-0 finish. I have no doubts that I probably would have ended up with a 4-0 record had we played another round. So it wasn't as if I didn't earn the prize in the end. Also, because we had 9 players instead of 8, the manager tossed in 12 packs that we divvied up for the 2nd through 5th place players. But it didn't feel like people were getting their money's worth.

Some good things that have come out of this event is that we will be giving out a gravity feed every month. We will also be starting these draft events 2 hours earlier so that we can avoid running into the same issue we had at this last event. I think we will try to break down the gravity feed among all the players that show up. For an 8 player draft, we would give away 40/20/10/8/3/3/3/3 as a prize pool. That adds up to 90 packs with the top 4 players breaking even or better based off buy in of $20. (12 packs for draft +8 packs for finished 4th = 20 packs or $20 at a dollar a pack) The bottom four players will still end up with 15 packs at the end (12 from draft and 3 from winnings) effectively making the draft a $5 dollar loss, which is a bit easier to accept.

Overall, I would say that this was a great event that will be added to the normal rotation of events that we will run at our store. With any luck, our group of players will continue to grow so that we can have 16 players showing up for draft and give away 2 gravity feeds. I think that would be fantastic!

So thank you everyone that showed up, and I hope to see more of you again next time.

If you are going to GenCon and would like to meet up, I will be doing some demoing for BlueOrange Games. Swing by and say hello.

Updated 07-27-2015 at 03:15 PM by Mathrin (grammer/spelling)

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