|The Kingsmoot in the East
A report on the East Coast regional event for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 09 September 2009|
Now that the dust is starting to settle from the fury of World Championship-level events for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, we present this report from tournament organizer Jason Nicoll on the "Kingsmoot in the East". The Kingsmoot was brought together by a group of dedicated A Game of Thrones LCG™ players from all over the East Coast. Jason sent us this review of the event and we present it to you as an example of how an LCG™ event might run and to put some ideas out there for those players interested in organizing one of their own. Without any further ado, take it away, Jason:
On July 18, 2009, the “Kingsmoot in the East” tournament for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game was held in the shadow of Nagga’s bones (ok, actually in a private dining room of a midtown Manhattan café). The Kingsmoot was the first AGoT event since the game fully transitioned to the LCG™ format to bring together players of various playgroups from different states of the northeast. The idea for the event sprang from a post on the Fantasy Flight Games forum by Erick Butzlaff (“finitesquarewell” on the forums) of the Washington, D.C. group, suggesting that the different AGoT player groups in the northeast gather for a large, all day tournament. Over the course of a couple months that idea was kicked around with interested players chiming in to reach a consensus on a date, location, and format. The planning was very much a community effort. The participants came from local AGoT groups representing Delaware/Pennsylvania, D.C./Virginia, and New York, and individual players from Connecticut and Massachusetts and consisted of both veteran players who picked up the game during its CCG days and new players who started with its relaunch as an LCG™.
Among the participants was Luke Reed (“Maester Luke”), the 2008 AGoT Joust World champion and ambassador extraordinaire for the game. Luke, never one to disappoint, arrived with a surprise: an advance copy of the upcoming Kings of the Sea expansion for AGoT (Right: Some of the participants huddled around a table as Luke Reed previews the Greyjoy expansion). It was a real treat for the veteran players to get a chance to see the mix of reprinted favorites (in some cases with new twists) and newly designed cards. As avid players are prone to do, analysis immediately began. For the new players, hearing numerous and lively opinions on each card was probably an interesting crash-course education. FFG also provided several premium prizes to augment the standard package available to player-organizer “Night’s Watch” members. (Follow this link for more info on AGoT prize kits) Finally, a striking custom banner produced by FFG featuring gorgeous Greyjoy-themed artwork truly added impact and atmosphere.
Left: Peter Thomas (left) and Will Shanks (right).
The Kingsmoot was run as a “joust” (two-player) tournament using Swiss style pairing. Five rounds were played, the final rankings being determined by record and, if necessary, strength-of-schedule. The prevailing view among players heading into the event was that Lannister was the strongest house in the game at the moment. The results likely did not dissuade anyone from that opinion. The top two finishers (Erick Butzlaff and Corey Faherty) were both playing Lannister. Targaryen decks also had a solid showing with fourth (Luke Reed) and sixth place (Dan Strouhal, “Twn2dn”) finishes. And what was even more convincingly clear from the results is that the active D.C./Virginia player group -which had players finish first, second, third (Casey Campbell), and six- is building potent decks and playing them exceptionally well.
The premium AGoT prizes were awarded to the top three finishers as well as a trophy for the champion. Other AGoT themed items were raffled off and every participant received a “Storyline” ballot to vote on game design decisions that will affect future card releases. Erick being champion was rather fitting given that he was the person who had posted the forum message that first suggested organizing a large northeast event. (Erick would also go on to win the combined AGoT World Championship at Gen Con 2009)
Erick Butzlaff, Kingsmoot champion, holding the trophy and the premium Targaryen house card that he chose as his prize.
The Kingsmoot reinforced something I consistently hear from other players and have seen for myself at every small and large AGoT gathering in which I’ve participated: there is wonderful camaraderie permeating the community of avid AGoT players. If you enjoy AGoT, I encourage you to post on the forums here and check with your local game shop to see if there is another player or group of players in your area. And if there is a large AGoT event happening in your area, attend it. Especially for new players, the chance to play and discuss the game with a large assortment of players is a tremendous opportunity to learn and better appreciate the nuances and depth the game has to offer. For me, a long time strategy board game player who rarely touched CCGs, I jumped into AGoT on the tail end of its CCG run after reading the announcement about the upcoming transition to LCG™. A year and a half later I am still going strong with AGoT (including being the Night’s Watch member in Manhattan) as it remains one of my favorite diversions.
Full Kingsmoot results as well as information about opportunities to play AGoT in Manhattan can be found at www.AGoTNY.net.
Thanks Jason for your report on the Kingsmoot! If you are interested in hosting A Game of Thrones LCG™ events in your area, contact Scott Clifton for information on how you can order prize support.
Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game™ format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.
Wow, that's an impressive Champion award, and the banner is gorgeous. Glad to see everyone had a great time, and hopefully we can get a relaunch of competive GoT play going again.