Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Road to WPN (Part 14)

[This is part 14 in a series, and assumes that you've already read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, and Part 13]

Before I get back into chronology, there are a couple of anecdotes that I meant to share in past issues that I forgot about when I wrote up their respective reports, so I thought I had better catch up on those quickly here.
  1. At the M12 Sealed Tournament at Beyond Comics (covered in Part 12), something happened that I think helps demonstrate how I want to make my events set apart from many other places. At one point during a game, a player sat with his bomb of a creature under an Ice Cage. He also controlled a Kite Shield. Despite reading the text that the Ice Cage would be destroyed if the creature were targeted by a spell or ability, he didn't realize that equipping the Kite Shield to the creature would accomplish that goal. After that game was over (because it would have been unfair for his opponent to point it out in the middle of the game, not to mention against tournament rules), I pointed out the solution to him. A similar thing happened later involving a situation where someone faced off against a Gideon, and he didn't realize he could apply a Goblin Grenade's damage to Gideon after targeting the opponent. Again, after the game was over I explained how Planeswalkers work a bit better to him. This is what I want to foster at my events: a casual atmosphere where people can learn to understand and play the game better.
  2. One of the nice things that WPN does for organizers is put together batches of images from their products, including pre-made banners for prereleases, launch parties, game days and the like. In fact I took advantage of these offers in putting together flyers for Scars Block events early on. M12 was my first Launch Party, and I looked forward to making use of the pre-made flyers for that set. Unfortunately, they were not released until the Monday AFTER the Launch Party weekend! So a large part (the prerelease & launch party parts) of the released items were already useless for their intended purpose by the time they were released! I certainly hope this was a fluke, and not the normal course of events!
August 12, 2011: After a great deal of agonizing, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could get both stores up to Core Level in time to register for an Innistrad prerelease (deadline August 14). Looking at the WPN Report Card, and knowing that Beyond Comics already had an event scheduled for August 13, I decided that I needed to make a push for Beyond Comics.

So, for tonight, I organized a casual M12 mini-master tournament that included 6 people who had never played at Beyond Comics before. That gave us our 3rd event, and 6 of the 11 unique people we still needed to jump through that final hoop. Craig (who has been mentioned before) brought his wife & daughter out, and I brought my two sons. None of us had played in an event there, although 5/6 of us had played at Novel Places (the main reason why I didn't try to do this at that site - it wouldn't have really helped, unfortunately). We were joined by a 7th player (thanks, Roger!) who has attended events at both sites, and who wanted to stop by and pick up an order that he needed for his deck he planned to use Saturday at the SCGOpen in Richmond, VA.

The mini-master (AKA pack wars) format is fun and wacky. My deck got progressively worse as the evening progressed (I won my first and second matches and got two packs to add to my deck). In match 3, however, Roger creamed me. My biggest mistake was staying in 5 colors. Ah, well :-)

I provided the booster packs for the event, and all the singles were gathered up afterwards to become stock in my store. While the participants didn't get to keep their cards, the event was free of charge, and a fun time was had by all who attended.
We're almost there!
If we can just manage to get 5 new players at tomorrow's M12 Draft, we'll have it made!

August 13, 2011: ARRRRGGHHHHH!!!!!! So close!!!!

At today's Draft, we had only 9 attendees. Of those 9, 3 had never attended an event at Beyond Comics before. That leaves us 2 short of reaching Core Level in time to run an Innistrad prerelease!
So maddening!
The event's attendance was probably low due to many factors:
  1. In (relatively) nearby Richmond, VA, Star City Games was holding its SCGOpen today (and tomorrow). I know of at least one person who probably would have attended today's draft but was there instead.
  2. I foolishly scheduled this event on the same day as the Magic 2012 Game Day. The Game Day is a special event that can only be held on one certain day (always a Saturday as far as I know). The "big fish" local gaming store holds a Game Day event, and that probably drew many potential players away from us. This one is totally my fault - I need to be better about looking out for those in the future. Of course, once we reach Core Level, we can run our OWN Game Day events, so I'm not likely to make THIS mistake again!
  3. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair started yesterday, and it's actually a pretty big deal in our area. It is conceivable that some people who may have otherwise come to our Draft instead were at the Fair.
Regardless of the reasons, the simple fact is that we missed our goal by 2 people. Every other hoop was jumped through, and we got that last one 93% completed, but we just couldn't quite make it.

The event itself went very smoothly, and I enjoyed myself among the company of the players (and I think they enjoyed themselves as well).

At the moment I am trying a Hail Mary pass, and am concocting a scheme to get my brother & his wife to come out to the store tomorrow for a casual event. She has never played before, so we would be teaching her the game (and he would need a refresher - he hasn't played in years). That would give us our final 2, and should do so in time to register for both the Innistrad prerelease (deadline Aug 14) and Friday Night Magics in September (deadline Aug 15).

I'll post a short update tomorrow to let you know if I managed to pull this off...



pureval said...

So close and yet so far. I hope things work out for you. It has been very interesting to read about this side of the game.

Les said...

So close!!!
Well I hope you can get the last two people, If I remember correctly there is a date for this to be sorted to be in time for the pre release?

Oh the pressure! GO on get it done! You may have to send the boys on the sidewalk with a sandwich board getting people to join up!