Sunday, December 25, 2011

WPN Boy (Part 2)

[This is part 2 in a series, and assumes that you've already read Part 1 (not to mention the entire Road to WPN series, which begins here)]

Q&A Session

Behrooz 'Bezman' Shahriari checked in last time with more Q's for me to A!
- What's the most rewarding part of being a WPN event-organiser?
- What's the most difficult part?
- Do you enjoy magic more or less? How has your relationship with the game changed since a year ago?
Most rewarding part: To be completely honest, I get a blast out of seeing people having fun playing Magic, and knowing that I had a hand in arranging that experience for them. Also, I love the fact that if I want to play Magic myself, I'm never more than a couple days away from another opportunity to do so!

Most difficult part: The time commitment is quite more than I thought it would be. Between logging the events in WER, keeping the event calendar up-to-date, getting a decent newsletter out every week, keeping the stores apprised on what booster packs they need to have on stock for any given event, advertising the events, writing the blog - and all of that is on top of the time I put in at the actual events themselves!

Enjoying Magic: I think there's give and take here. I was disappointed to learn just how many people go to the 'net for deck ideas (sometimes with minor tweaking) for constructed events. I would SO much rather see a bunch of home-brewed decks battling it out, like kitchen-table Magic at an epic level :) As it stands the events often end up being won by those who can afford the cards needed for the "best deck" (whatever that may be at the time).

On the other hand, I definitely find myself having many more ideas for decks, and build a lot more (and enjoy playing them) than I used to. They're unlikely to win too many of my own events, as they are not the "best deck" (nor am I a world-class player) but I have a blast with it.


November 25, 2011: Tonight we held FNM at Novel Places instead of the usual location, and was a Standard event. I knew we'd have trouble, it being the night after Thanksgiving. Adding in the fact that it was at an unusual location, I was worried. Unfortunately my fears turned out to be founded. Only 2 players showed up, so I joined in to make it more interesting. We played three rounds, round-robin style.

The idea came up tonight of running a casual Magic night (since this was essentially that). Something to pursue later?

November 26, 2011: Innistrad Draft at Novel Places. Patrick had another event taking place on the main floor of the store, so we surreptitiously held the event upstairs. That area is used mostly as storage right now, and is filled with antiques and curios. The open rafter design of the old building made for a rather spooky setting, just perfect for an Innistrad Draft. We had 11 players, and (despite my having to rush back home to get my basic land box which I had forgotten), the event went off rather well. I owe a HUGE thanks to Craig, who had come out to help me run the event so he could make sure he knew what would be needed to run WER for the Dark Ascension prerelease events he'll be running at Novel Places at the end of January.

5 players had never played at Novel Places before, which helped with our bottom line for maintaining Core Level. Thanks go to Serg for helping arrange for so many new people to come out!

December 2, 2011: Standard event FNM at Beyond Comics. 8 players, so we ran a sanctioned 3-round event. Also tonight I picked up a used netbook to use as a back-up, especially when we'll have multiple Dark Ascension prerelease events going on at once.

One player was new to the DCI at this event, and two of the players were brothers who attended together. Hopefully some or all three will become regulars!

December 9, 2011: FNM was Innistrad Booster Draft tonight. All three of the new-to-us players from last week made it, along with another new DCI member and 6 others for a lovely 10-person Draft. The event itself ended up rather oddly, as the prize distribution was originally set based on the "perfect" result which would have had 2 players at 9 match points (we only run 3 rounds for limited events due to time constraints). But after round two, when I expected to have 3 players at 6 points, we instead had only 1 (the player who won round one but got paired down in round two didn't win as the model predicted, and two other round 1 winners ended up in a draw). I made adjustments to the prize distribution (increasing the pack payout at each level, since there'd be fewer people at the very top), and STILL had 3 packs left over at the end to randomly give out amongst 4 players who hadn't won a pack.

Strangest moment of the draft was possibly the situation where a player who had mulliganed down to 5 cards had an early board state of 2 copies of Blazing Torch and 2 copies of One-Eyed Scarecrow (in addition to his lands). So bizarre!

December 10, 2011

Bigger news is that Patrick has agreed to give the Casual Magic night a try, so the first one will be this coming Wednesday (December 14). He'll keep the shop open two hours later than normal, and the official posted times will be 6-9 pm.

December 14, 2011: The inaugural Casual Magic Night was tonight. My sons have karate on Wednesday nights, so we showed up late (~8:30) but there were three other players there (including one that had never been at Novel Places before). Not too bad for the first time out. I'll continue to advertise it in my weekly email newsletter, and try to drum up interest at FNM.

December 16, 2011: FNM at Beyond Comics, Standard Constructed. 10 players again tonight (this time I did not need to play!). We ran 4 rounds, and I think it went quite well. Next week is Two-Headed Giant, Innistrad Sealed. I'm looking forward to it, and hope we have at least 4 teams!

Tonight I scheduled the FNMs for February. The first week we'll sacrifice FNM to run a Friday night Dark Ascension Launch Party. Second week will be Innistrad/Dark Ascension Draft. Third will be Standard, and fourth will be my first ever Block Constructed event. Haven't 100% decided if it will be Scars of Mirrodin Block (allows cards from Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged and New Phyrexia) or Innistrad Block (which will allow cards from Innistrad and Dark Ascension). Leaning toward the latter.

December 21, 2011: 7 players for Casual Magic Night at Novel Places tonight. Much insanity ensued when we combined my deck of Plane cards from Planechase (1 copy of each Plane in existence, including promos) with EDH/Commander. Turns out that a 5-player EDH game with Planes takes a LONG time. We called it (with no-one really clearly in the lead) at 9:30, a good half-hour after the event was supposed to end. Lucky for us Patrick seemed to be enjoying us being so goofy!

Also tonight, Patrick gave the thumbs up to extend the Casual Magic Night through January at least.

December 23, 2011:  FNM at Beyond Comics was Two-Headed Giant Innistrad Sealed Deck. We had (barely) 4 teams, so an official FNM. One player (Josh) had just shown up to observe, but he was convinced to team up with one of our regulars, Dan, who had shown up without a partner. Dan was willing to pay for both of them, provided he got to keep all the cards at the end of the event. Josh was happy to get to play for free.

Team "Last Minute" (myself and Craig) played pretty well together, winning Rounds 1 & 2, and were only 1 land drop away from winning Round 3.

I take issue with the WER on something, though. I had decided that the 12 prize packs would be distributed as follows:
  • 1st place: 5 packs
  • 2nd place: 4 packs
  • 3rd place: 2 packs
  • 4th place: 1 pack
That way everyone wins something. But in this case what happened was that two teams had identical scores at the top (win %'s, opponent win %'s, in every way identical) and the same for the 3rd & 4th slots. For the top two slots one team (myself and Craig) had beaten the other team, so you would think that the 1st place slot would be given to us. But instead it was given to the other team. And in the lower two slots the same thing happened. The team who ended up 4th place had actually beaten the team that was put in 3rd place. I don't know what criteria the WER bases places when the stats are identical (random would seem logical?) but in this case it seems to me that there's clearly a way to determine ranking: if the two tied teams played each other, rank the one that won that matchup higher than the other!

I'm worried about tomorrow's event at Novel Places. Despite this incredibly awesome flyer Craig came up with:
Santa Garruk wants YOU for the Draft!
Still it is on Christmas Eve, and with folks on vacation or with family obligations, we may have a hard time hitting at least 8 players. We'll see!

December 24, 2011:  Well, it was not as bad as it could have been! 5 players showed up for the Innistrad Draft at Novel Places today. I joined in as well so that there'd be an even number (although, as my 0-3 record will attest, we might as well have just given a Bye to everyone who was paired up against me). I proved once again that I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to drafting, and my deck was just God-awful. But, the players seemed to enjoy themselves nonetheless, and for that I am grateful.