I had a great time and I wanted to express my gratitude to everyone for being a part of that.
First and foremost, thanks to Mark for throwing this thing together and making it all happen. Also, thanks for playing me in the first round. I can’t believe we bounced Cirdan and Strider in the draft and that I would go on to bounce two characters in the second round and face having them influence away in a third game. Believe it or not, targeting your Glorfindel with an assassin was not my stupidest move of the day. Still can’t believe it almost killed him too. Thanks also for cooking the pork ribs. They were great. It was the high point of the day to play the defending world champion and to be trounced 6-0.
Big shout out goes to Joe, the new and returning World Champion. Joe was very soft-spoken and nice and yet was the most intimidating person in the tournament. He showed up to play wearing a necklace strung with gold rings. Each of those rings came from winning a major tournament for this game. I’ve never seen a more subtle intimidation tactic since Bobby Fisher.
Also a shout out to 6-year-old Ian, the youngest and, therefore the coolest MECCG player I’ve ever met. This kid picks up a stack of ME cards in German or Japanese and can name 90 percent of the cards in that stack. It is way more than I can do. He’s also got great math skills and figured out what roll were needed as quickly as I did. Ian liked my narration style, the way I told the story of what was happening as our parties journeyed around Middle Earth. If Celeborn had not decided to keep the fancy sword he’d just reforged for Agagorn the game might have ended differently.
And let’s not forget Sean and Skye, the two coolest parents in the world for raising up Ian on MECCG. Great playing Arda with both of you and I enjoyed your banter during your head to head match. Also thanks for the trade Sean.
Also need to give a Shout Out to Rees, although that isn’t the way he spells it. He was playing Skye’s One Ring deck and I faced him in the second round. After Radagast was killed while visiting the Dead Marshes for a certain lost scroll, I made my worst mistake of the day. I figured he was doomed and basically went into autopilot. A little voice on my shoulder said Cirdan needed to run away from the White Tower and abandon the palantir, but I didn’t listen. I didn’t think Rees could get through all three of my characters there. But he did, and in the end, Rees only had 7 marshaling points in the game. But I only had 3. He won 6 - 0. It was a masterful lesson in pride delivered by a nice guy.
I learned a lot about playing MECCG this tournament and most of the knowledge came from Brian, aka Sauron. Like most of these players and people I’d never met them in person. I’ve just read their posts over the last 20 years. As for Sauron, I knew him only as, “The Guy Who Doesn’t Want To Be Recorded on GCCG.” You can’t ask Brian for a deck list, but ask him for advice on how to escape a siege, how to structure your locations, what’s the maximum distance you should ever have a site for a resource, how to minimize dice rolling. The guy is completely willing to share all of this great knowledge and it’s solid gold.
Another great teacher is the MECCG player I’ve known the longest, Gene. Gene is never up tight about you forgetting the rules. If you screw up, which I do all the time, he’ll let you go back. He’ll discuss with you all the things to make your deck better. He also plays the coolest theme decks you will ever see. I faced him in the last round and he had a deck that brings out all the great elf lords and had a hand size of 15 at one point. it was a work of art.
A few more notes. Heiner is the most calm MECCG player I’ve ever seen. The guy is not phased or nervous about anything. His Balrog deck was the most evil thing I’ve ever seen. Anything that regularly generates more than 40 points as quickly as his deck does has to be made of pure evil.
Bill thanks for the trade and for parting with one of your German promos. My quest continues for the rest, but I have one less thanks to you. Patrick and Larry, it is alway good to play with you two and I look forward to more time together at ConQuest Avalon in Sacramento this November.
I will end this note with Chad! Every tournament needs a Chad! Chad has the best, and often loudest, reactions to events in the game you will ever see. Picture that guy watching the football game with the lousy call or the wild goal. That’s Chad! The amazing thing is, most people can’t get to Chad’s level of reaction until they are two rounds into the Drinking Game. But when Chad is two rounds into the Drinking Game, he’s still just Chad!
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