Tacticon 2015 Friday and Saturday Recap

I’ve been very busy lately but its finally time to start updating what happened at Tacticon!  This post will cover Friday and Saturday.

Friday

Friday September 4th was a professional development day in my District and it was a really long day.  So when 4 PM came along I hit the road knowing that there was another long drive ahead.

This was also the Force Friday promotion.  I hadn’t really thought a lot about it because I was saving money for the trip so I didn’t plan to look for any Star Wars stuff.  BUT…I had seen on Facebook earlier in the day that the new Star Wars Miniatures Starter Set was to be a surprise early release on this day.  I had read that people were finding them at Targets all over town.  So, on the way out of town I stopped at the L St Target and, sure enough, they had them!

I impulse bought the heck out of it, but it did kick my wallet in the butt.  Normally I would but this from an FLGS or buy stuff at the Dealer Hall at Tacticon.  I’ll just use this opportunity to say that the Dealer Hall at Tacticon was a complete waste of time this year.  So, the money that I might have spent in the Dealer Hall just went to the Starter.  I did pick up a necklace for the wife at the Dealer Hall, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Back to Friday.  I was on the road by 4:15 and met Jack and his family and Jim at Popeyes off the Highway in Lincoln for dinner.  Jack III is a colorful dude and his quote for the dinner, after we said that Jaime may not be going to Tacticon was: “She’s dead?”.  No, she is not.  But he said it so matter of factly that it got us all LOLing.  Jack and Jim and I began trucking out to Denver.  It was an awesome trip.  We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and had a lot of Nerd Ground to cover.  We talked about Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, books, Star Wars: Miniatures, and just life.  We even got a little politics in and it was amicable conversation.  ;P It was really great conversation and made the 6.5 hour drive go so fast.  We rolled in a little before Midnight MST, checked in, saw Lis and Jon and went to sleep.

Saturday

I only had two games on Saturday, but that’s because one of them was an 8 hour X-wing tournament.

The X-wing tournament was an absolute blast and was the most fun I’ve ever had at a tournament.  The Denver group is really great.  I posted on my squad earlier, but Jim, a top tournament player in the US, helped me to refine my squad.  I ended up keeping the same ships, with some pilot and upgrade modifications.

pals of power

So, I just swapped out Xizor for Guri and swapped the Blaster Cannon for the new Twin Laser Turret that just came out.

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I played four games, winning two and losing two.  One of my losses was pretty close.  My opponents were:

Round 1: Scum – Firespray and Aggressor (loss)

I remember that in this match I lost an initial joust and then the Aggressor was able to keep out of range so that I couldn’t get it.  I had a real chance to win this one but dice didn’t go my way.

Round 2: Rebel – E-wing/X-wing/A-wing (Win)

Christine is a fellow teacher, in her first year, and was great to talk to.  She played a solid squad very well, but I pulled off the win.

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Round 2 action.

Round 3: Scum (Firespray, Y-wing, Z-95) (Win)

This gentleman was a new player and played very well for having less experience.  But, I pulled it out by staying out of his arcs a lot of the time.

Round 4: Imperial (Loaded Carnor Jax and Soontir Fel Interceptors and generic Lambda Shuttle with the new Emperor Palpatine Crew upgrade) (Loss)

My opponent is part of the Denver group and a really nice guy.  I played him in the Omaha Regional.  I’m certain that he’s not a dishonest player but I think he may have been using Emperor Palpatine more than the card allows.  It is supposed to be once per game round but I thought he might have been using his ability more than allowed.  Its ok because I didn’t have much of a chance in this game anyway.  The Interceptors were basically nigh impossible to hit, although I was able to take out Carnor Jax.  I should have gone straight for the shuttle and killed it first.  It was also 4 PM at this point and I wanted to get some quality time in with DJ who had just flown in.  We also had a game at 7.

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I was very happy with my 2-2 finish.  I got sixth place out of an original 14 and Jon got fifth. Jim won the tournament with four Y-wings on a coin flip (everybody was ready to be done as their wasn’t very big winner prize support).  I also went 2-2 at the Regional so my recent tournament showing has been very positive.  Many tournament players spend a lot of time thinking about the game.  The fact that I did well with limited time to plan or play is very satisfying to me.  More importantly, I had great opponents who were all dedicated to a fun, intellectually stimulating experience.  Finally, I flew it well.  I didn’t forget my upgrades and I only bumped a ship once.  I threaded quite a few needles between asteroids and even surprised opponents with some gutsy placements near board edges.

My squad was pretty solid.  Glitterstim and Twin Laser Turrets are going to be top upgrades moving forward.  The prize support was nice in that everyone got something.  I got a Tacticon 2015 range ruler, and alternate art Guri and Recon Specialist cards.

DJ and his wife Kathy and son Christopher arrived in the middle of Round 2.  DJ is my best bud and I hadn’t seen him in a year.  He lives in New Hampshire right now.  We got to hang out before the Savage Worlds game over dinner.

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DJ, Kathy and Christopher.

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Jon and Lis.

Rocky Mountain Savages is the Denver group that plays the Savage Worlds RPG, one of my favorite RPGs.  It is great because it is a general system like GURPS and allows for any setting.  We were scheduled to have Jim and Jack and DJ and I all playing Aliens: Colonial Marines.

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We had a fun GM.  We also had a player who, believe it or not, had never seen Aliens.  It was even better in that he chose to be the group’s Lieutenant and his inexperience with the Aliens world made him reminiscent of Gorman in the movie.

Our mission was to go to a colony world and rescue colonists.  I played an Armorer who had a variety of different arms.  The gameplay was pretty standard but the GM did some fun things to keep it exciting.  He had silly string to represent acid blood, for example.  He also had props.

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In the foreground, you probably noticed a Pentel Quicker Clicker.  During this game DJ and I traded my vintage Quicker Clicker for a late 1990s/early 2000s variant that he had.  I had to throw some mechanical pencils in here!

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Lighting wasn’t great in the room.  Sorry for the blurriness.

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Jack takes on the GM.

The only downside to the game is that the GM used an adventure deck of benefit cards and they got out of control.  His intent was to create heroic actions, which is admirable, but there were two problems.  1) We basically had unlimited access to more cards, getting new ones whenever we spent one and 2) I think adventure cards, when unrestricted, don’t encourage players to be creative.  They end up relying on the cards.  Yes, there is creativity involved on applying the cards, but they make the creativity too easy, in my opinion, and remove the challenge.  It wasn’t a “bad” game by any stretch of the imagination.

 I ended up waxing four xenomorphs in the game and it was awesome.

Oh!  Half of our group won prizes at the opening convocation of “Savage Saturday”, which Rocky Mountain Savages wisely decided to hold before the events this year.

It was a great first two days of the Con!  My next post will highlight Sunday’s games!

 

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