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jacquesblondes

WKO Report: Kosice, Slovakia, 17-19 November 2017

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In an act of extraordinary kindness, our Bratislava-based FLGS, ihrysko, arranged for this Autumn's Central European WKO to be held in the second city, Košice, Metropolis of the East. Such events are usually held in the capital, some 400km to the West, but the organiser, Peter, wanted to support Košice's pretty active DM community. And the venue was my very own language school, The School of Blore 😃

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It was a three-day extravaganza of Dice Masters and HeroClix. DM started on Friday afternoon with a Modern Constructed side event. This was my main focus, and I've written about it in excruciating detail here. The WKO itself was on Saturday: an all-day War of Light draft (WoL was chosen instead of a newer set to make the cost of entry more accessible). Draft is not really my speciality, but I was quite looking forward to it, as I'd never drafted WoL before, and I'd heard it's good set to draft.

There were a full 18 people for the draft - 10 from Košice, 4 from Bratislava, 3 from Hungary, and 1 from the Czech Republic. This meant there would be five rounds of swiss, followed by a Top 8 cut. All rounds would consist of a single game, with a limit of 35 minutes, plus 5 further turns if necessary. The Kosice crew included me (originally from the UK) and my daughter, Izzy/Crazy Girl Logan. She’s 8 and she started playing DM with me in the summer of 2015. She used to love playing Flying Sidekicks, but these days we tend to play other games at home. She’s always up for a draft, though, and is pretty self-contained - she drafts, team builds and plays by herself. When I finish my game early I sometimes come to watch, and can’t help making the occasional comment, which she largely ignores.

I'm not sure I can provide much insight into drafting WoL that hasn't already been covered in excellent detail in a series of articles in these very pages (which I read the night before, by way of preparation). My draft was ok: I got a common Miri, Saint Walker with four dice, and a Kyle Rayner that had been passed about 5 times (apparently there was some good stuff in that pile). I felt a bit sorry for poor Kilowog, so I collected a few of those, too Izzy, meanwhile, was handed a SR Wonder Woman, and drafted a bunch of WW dice, so she was pretty happy. The bad news was that each of the three feeds that were opened had yielded a rare Lantern Ring, and we hadn't seen any of them.

The Swiss rounds went ok - I played aggressively, and lost only when I had to play one of the Lantern Ring teams in the second round. And boy, did I lose! I’d been scrapping away, doing a little bit of combat damage here and there; meanwhile, my opponent, Dano, was steadily buying Miris and Jades and Lyssas, along with a fairly early Lantern Ring. It was a bit like Scrappy-Doo versus Galactus: "Lemme at ‘im! Lemme at ‘im! I'll splat ‘im! I'll rock ‘im and sock ‘im! Lemme..” THRAKOOOOOM! 25 direct damage. To be fair to Dano, he didn’t take much pleasure in the victory, and what’s a guy supposed to do? Not draft the Ring? Draft it and not use it? Hardly.

Izzy won her first and drew her second, so she was doing better than me at that point. In the third round, she was playing Jozef, and at one point shouted excitedly over to my table:

"Daddy, I've got 10 characters in the field".
"Excellent", I called back. "Kill him!"
"But he has more!”

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Bless her little face! Jozef was running Team Up and soon converted his broad field into victory. In her next round, Izzy had Filip over a barrel, but launched a suicidal all-out attack, forgetting that double-blocking Ranx was back in Filip's field. In the final round, I was able to exact revenge upon Filip, while Izzy managed to beat the very gentlemanly Peter Scholtz, designer and art director of The Sorcerer board game.

By the end of swiss, I was 4-1-0, and Izzy was 2-2-1. It was after 16:00 already, and I was thinking that it was probably time for Izzy to call it a day, but she was still psyched for another game 😃 So we held our breath as the Top 8 was announced - I was around 4th, and Izzy had just scraped in at number 8! She would be playing the first seed and was unlikely to progress, but that was probably for the best, as mummy was getting a little anxious 😃 So, in the Top 8 round, I played Jozef and avenged his victory over Izzy, and Izzy played Balazs, another of the Lantern Ringers. Balazs was nice enough not to buy the ring, and said that it hurt him to beat Izzy, but clearly, it had to be done, and she was made up anyway:

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Izzy got her nice shiny prizes, gathered all her toys and clothes together and I took her downstairs, to where her chariot (and mummy) awaited. Then we waited for the Top 4 pairings. There were two ring teams (Dano and Balazs), me and Daniel, who was running a Teen Titans team with the Raven that gives other Teen Titans something like Regenerate. Predictably, I was paired with Dano for a rematch I had little hope that I would win. I’m fairly sure this pessimism did nothing to help - going into a game believing (with some evidence) that you have no chance is definitely not a winning strategy. In any case, Dano made even swifter work of me than last time, having had a few games to hone his gameplan.

In the other semi-final, however, Daniel managed to beat Balazs’s ring. I’m afraid I don’t know the details, but it certainly proves that Rare Lantern Ring is not an automatic wincon. So the final was a battle of the Daniels, and I had a ringside seat (come on!). I have to say, I very much preferred watching the ring to playing against it. I was much better able to appreciate the fact that Dano had drafted a really effective team around the Lantern Ring - Spectre global for KOing his own sidekicks for ramp, Mera global to significantly slow many combat-based strategies, and a bunch of 2 cost Miri and Lyssa dice, and 3 cost Jades (who provides more ramp), and Big Entrance to set it all up. (Below: Dano's Ring team and Daniel's Teen Titan's team).

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Both players had had some time to learn the nuances of their teams, and it was a great game, not at all as one-sided as my matchups against Dano. In fact, there was a point near the end where Daniel could have won. Although he was pretty low on life, he had quite the field and could have used common Carol Ferris’s ability to capture Dano’s Jade, which would have given him lethal combat damage, in spite of Dano saving masks for his Mera gobal. However, by his own admission, Daniel was overawed by the might of the ring, and the thought of his rapidly approaching doom blinded him to the opportunity.

In the end, Daniel lost the final but won a well-deserved Fellowship prize, and Dano won a well-deserved first place. Fittingly, one of his shiny prizes was yet another Rare Lantern Ring, and I understand that he is now planning to open a small jewellery shop 😉 All in all, the whole weekend was fantastic. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy playing the draft as much as I thought I might - I just prefer constructed, when it comes down to it. But the people and the atmosphere were great, and Izzy had a brilliant time. I really did enjoy watching the final, and loved playing the Modern and Golden side-events (congratulations, Jakub, on your Golden victory!). So thank you, Peter, for bringing the WKO to Košice! And thank you also to everyone who came - I hope you had as much fun as me and Izzy

Updated 2 Weeks Ago at 07:11 PM by jacquesblondes

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Comments

  1. IsaacBV's Avatar
    This was a fantastic write-up and it sounds like you all had an excellent experience!
  2. jacquesblondes's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacBV
    This was a fantastic write-up and it sounds like you all had an excellent experience!
    Thanks, man! Yeah, it was great, in the way that only 3 days of DM can be