Just when we thought Warlord in its unpublished state might have climaxed in 2018, GenCon 2019 brought us 41 players (up from 30 last year) and two additional events! Shout out to everyone that made the trip to Indy this year, the organizers, and to all the well wishers stuck at home! You know who you are - please know you are missed!
- Lunch on Thursday
Earlier in the day a few of us met up at the RAM to grab lunch. For some this meant burgers, and for others this meant beer, and for others yet, this meant OPENING SEALED WARLORD PRODUCT IN 2019. We also jammed a few Battle Pack games to knock the rust off.
What a time to be alive!
Starting Carg'rags, really AEG?
Zevil strikes again!
- Ancients Event Prize Support
Just like last year we had a pretty amazing spread of prizes. Once again we did Top of Faction playmats awarded to each player that piloted their faction to the deepest run in the event, but along with the existence of a cut we added Top 8 playmats. For 2018 we were given access to the amazing artwork of Jason Engle and for 2019 we moved onto the incredible work of Drew Baker! Here they are:
Additionally, everyone in the Top 8 received a Nodwick Promo Pack and a single copy of Phoenix Interactive's 10th Anniversary Ancients and Open Reprint Set which contains gems like Mass Blessing, Toren Yscar, Supremus, Jackals of Mourn, and much more. First place got a Foil set of Rares from AEG's Epic Edition and second place received a Foil set of Rares from AEG's Temple of Lore.
And finally, our grand prize this year was none other than the framed original painting by Malcolm McClinton for Mass Blessing:
- Ancients Attendees and Class / Faction Spread
6PM quickly rolled around and people began congregating at our yellow tables in Exhibit Hall A just next to our old AEG standing banner that read "TERROR OF ITHAN SPIRE - DEFEATED SOCAL 2003". When the dust settled, loaners were given out, and the stragglers were signed up, we had a whopping 41 participants! Here's the standings after the last round of Swiss which includes player and Warlord names. Then here's the faction and classes represented:
There's no skirting it, Free Kingdoms made up nearly half of the field. I think there's three main reasons for this which I'll share:
1) FreeKs are incredibly strong. No other faction has access to Treewalk, Mass Blessing, and an 8-card hand just in their starting army. Being viewed as the "peasant faction" throughout years of design certainly paid off in the end.
2) Everyone deep down in their hearts knew they wanted to win the Albrecht playmat. It was just that pretty. Even those playing Deverenians or Chosen *shudder* secretly wished they could somehow walk away with Alby in their arms.
3) Samuel, Laird Jon Hawthorne, Sir Robert the Vigilant, Huntress Volda, Captain Dukat, and one of the Adarymys were all loaners and then you have your faction loyalists like Chase Causey who will never not play FreeKs.
When you add all this up, you get the faction disparity we witnessed. Are Free Kingdoms too strong? I'm not ready to say that. Are they among the strongest? Absolutely. But with only four of them in the top twenty, I don't think we have cause to worry.
Similarly on the class side of things, Fighters were out in full force same as last year.
- The Ancients Event
In 2018 it was more about just getting together for a play session until we had a Top 4 established to give away the prizes, but this year we were going the distance which meant 6 round of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 8. And so we 41 settled in for a long and wild ride.
It was an evening full of ups and downs. One group had a suicide pact spread among five or so players and naturally one or more of them lost and they all dropped. For some competitors, they had the joy of losing in the first action of the game to a deck we probably should have banned prior to the event. Instead we wanted to wait and see what would happen. We named the deck "Caitlyn the Free Win" because the games you win with it don't feel like real games of Warlord - they are very one-sided "free" wins. Both pilots, Vic and Josh, took the deck into the Top 8.
For those who didn't see it in action, your Warlord is Caitlyn the Free. First, you dig around your deck ideally for Viper's Strike. Your spell target for Caitlyn's Order is One Last Time (assuming you didn't draw one) and you are pitching Supremus, Selene du'Marguerite, Terrorshaard, and / or Invasion to grab it. Once Viper's Strike / Selene + Invasion is found and you pitch one of the aforementioned characters, you cast One Last Time to resurrect them and then Invasion in Supremus / Terrorshaard nearby Selene, attack + melee strike with Terrorshaard / Supremus, or shoot with Supremus. Shooting with Supremus is a great first action win because not a lot of decks stand up to five +9 ranged strikes for three wounds on the first action. Calling all Wil O' Wisps! (psst, they'll just attack with Supremus instead) Don't invest too much in torches and pitchforks for this one. Something will change, we're just in the tank on what and how we'll go about it.
- The Survivors of the Cut and Top of Faction
After six rounds of intense Accordlands battles, we had crowned our Top 8 and several of our Top of Faction. Congratulations to Chris Vaccaro, Robert "Fat Kid" Midgley, Vic Polites, Mike Zaret, Amanda Eagle, Richard Carter, Josh King, and Nigel Sellman on their Top 8 finish!
Also congratulations to the following on securing Top of Faction:
- Robert "Fat Kid" Midgley - Top Free Kingdoms
- Chris Vaccaro - Top Elf
- Vic Polites - Top Mercenary
- Amanda Eagle - Top Dwarf
- Dillon Vanover - Top Deverenian
- Wes Youngren - Top NoThRoG
- Chris Kessler - Top Chosen
- The Top 8
In the top 8, Vic Polites got two "free" Caitlyn wins against an unsuspecting Kerebrus piloted by no other than... Kerebrus. Chris Vaccaro generated enough strikes to land some shots on Stonefist's massive AC and Kapix came in handy against Sjonegaard's Mace. Winter and Stonefist asked the question, "Who is the superior chainsaw?" and Winter prevailed. And finally a Caitlyn was knocked out of the event as the Battle of Peasants and Dragons concluded with #teamdragon not drawing characters in one of the final game.
In the top 4, Saunginel and Winter had some in-faction fighting that probably should have gone to three games but Mike forgot to equip Excessus before attempting to chainsaw, and Vac just let the Invulnerability Potion and Primal Rage wear off. Meanwhile it was the repeat of the Battle of Peasants and Dragons. Exhaustion won the deciding game three here as Vic drew a bad hand and went for the combo while spent.
In the finals, we had a very unsurprising New Jersey mirror match between two of the strongest players in the field. At around 2AM Chris Vac and Fat Kid rolled for initiative in the final match of the night. All the other attendees had scattered and only Vic, Woodrow, and the convention center janitors lingered to witness the final round of the event. Though Fat Kid and Vac decided to split the prizes up, they still wanted to crown a champion. And after three games of a barrage of strikes from both side - ranged from the Elves and melee from the FreeKs - our GenCon 2019 Ancients Tournament Champion was crowned: Congratulations again to Robert "Fat Kid" Midgley on his hard fought victory!
TO BE CONTINUED WITH THE OPEN AND DRAFT EVENTS, ST ELMOS, AND CREDITS...