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yesterday, at organized play

Well, at least it was yesterday by the time we left…

soulconduitSaturday evening, Better Half and I headed into Knoxville’s "Old City" to partake of the Magic: the Gathering "New Phyrexia" prerelease tournament being held at Organized Play there – we confess to being relatively unimpressed with this particular set/cycle, but that may have more to do with the specific format of the tournament (six-booster-pack sealed-deck) than anything else. It just seemed like there were too many interesting abilities that could be exploited… if you had the right cards, which you never do in that kind of format, so everyone was left with cards and decks they were unhappy with (which was something of a first for pre-releases for me – normally you get some folks who are quite happy, and then the rest are mediocre), and you played against (and, in my case, lost against) a lot of the same decks over and over again.

Anywise, this post is not about the vagaries of Wizards of the Coast… Instead, it is to illustrate a familiar point – given that I was outside of the house and my pants were on, I was, of course, armed and carrying openly at that, and throughout the five or so hours Better Half and I spent at Organized Play, only one person out of somewhere around 40 so much as batted an eye so far as I could tell, and despite my absurd losing streak (I won a grand total of two games the entire night, and lost all matches), I was not overcome with a mind-corrupting desire to shoot up the joint.

Why, it is almost like those who would deny me the ability to defend my family have no idea what they are talking about. This is my shocked face.

People had fun. People laughed. People annihilated my poor little creatures (and me). People assuredly did not "let me win". The shop cat passed out happily in my lap (no, really, they have a cat). And no one seemed to really care that I was carrying a firearm, apart from the, "Well, that is different," reaction one would expect anywhere. Again, this is far from unusual, but anecdotes like these only serve to demonstrate (on a damned near daily basis) just how incorrect those who would abridge our rights really are…

And to come full-circle, if you live in the Knoxville area, and are looking for a good board, tabletop, role playing, or collectible card game venue, Organized Play is one of the better places we have found – the store was clean and well-organized, the staff was friendly and helpful, the clientele seemed a bit better than a few of the other stores that we have visited (barring one notable exception who we have encountered before and know to be a jerk), their comic selection seemed large enough for most people (though, honestly, I have no idea), and they have a cat. Our only complaint was that it was a bit difficult to hear the event organizer in their back room (ok, pretty darned near impossible), but they are planning on correcting that in the near future. And, in case it was not obvious, they do not seem to mind law-abiding, permitted Tennessee residents lawfully exercising their rights on their premises by bearing arms – a concession for which I heartily thank them, especially given their relative proximity to Downtown’s various less-than-friendly districts.

Now, to figure out what kind of deck I apparently should have constructed…

(Obligatory FTC Disclaimer: Organized Play provided me no money to write this recommendation – in fact, I paid them for the ability to use their facilities last night, and I probably will again in the future. Of course, if they want to spot me the entrance fee for a prerelease in exchange for a comprehensive review, I am sure we could work something out…)

7 comments to yesterday, at organized play

  • Stopped playing Magic around the time of Fallen Empires. Never regretted it.

    Also looks like they simply duplicated Mirror Universe from the Legend’s run.
    http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=1414

    I assume you can still exploit that card by doing a massive fireball or other direct damage spell to yourself and then use the mirror to swap life the instant before your death….

  • Ah, yes, Magic: The Addiction. I remember it well. I also stopped around the time of the Fallen Empires set, but that was mostly because I went to college and left the friends I played it with behind. It was a fun game, but some of the rules were starting to get a bit overcomplicated at that point.

    Some of the people I met at college were into GURPS, so I got into that instead.

  • I came in to MtG during the Ice Age cycle, and quit buying anything new shortly after Tempest when they changed the errata on the land cards. I was getting a little fed up with all the strange rules and strategies (like Weerd mentioned); it was kinda like playing a bunch of lawyers. Plus, I hadn’t been impressed with the evolution of the artwork. I thought it was becomming too cartoonish and garish. Oh well, just my opinion.

    After I quit buying new stuff I bought a bunch of boxes of Ice Age, Fallen Empires, Homelands, etc. on eBay. Haven’t played in about a year though.

  • Laughingdog

    Much bigger fan of the Munchkin card game myself. The bonus for that one is that only one person needs to have the decks, and people are usually pretty eager to try it out after watching a game once.

  • To all those folks who once played Magic and got out of the scene – I am sure we could work out some kind of arrangement for storing those old cards that are collecting dust in your closet somewhere… ;)

    @ Weer’d Beard: Damn. No new ideas under the sun, eh?

    And, fortunately, that particular exploit has been patched by the “stack” – first on, last off. So the fireball would resolve, you would die, and then the lifeswap would sputter due to “lack of caster”.

    @ Jake: “Addiction” does not even begin to cover it… We get out for about six months or so, and then get back in to see what all has changed, and then bow back out again, and so forth, so on. It is entertaining to build decks – arguably my favorite part – but it is just fun to figure out combinations and such.

    @ alcade: Oh, the rulelawyering has not changed, but every damned game in the universe has that… no matter if you are playing with collectible cards or firearms.

    @ Laughingdog: Better Half and I have gotten into Munchkin as well, and even gotten my parents hooked! They take it to play with their friends camping…

  • I wish I had, oh, about 10 extra hours in the month to game. I don’t think I’ve rolled a die in anger in about a year. (Gave up cardboard crack around ice age – got back in a little when it went online and I could bum cards off a friend who was making a small profit off opening online boosters, making sets, converting them to cardboard, and selling them. Currently out again due to not keeping up with the Joneses).

    Ammo is almost cheaper.

  • Yup, that is pretty much the reason we fall out of favor with Magic on a regular basis – the rate at which they release new sets, and thus disqualify old sets for “organized” play, is simply impossible to keep up with unless you invest far too much time into the game.

    Which is the whole point.

    We do prereleases and releases when we like the sets, but Friday Night Magic is, ironically, too expensive to be worth it.