It has only been a couple of days since I returned from PAX Unplugged but already it feels like a dream.
The con marked the first time that the Artificery Crew, and their partners the Knights of Ren, attended an event together as a team. While the general public only had a couple of weeks warning about the Galactic Qualifiers at PAXU, Cascade Games back in September let Artificery know that “something good, something big” was in the works. That was enough for me to convince the Crew to go all-in.
Planning began back in mid September with acquiring a four person condo that was then upgraded to a 6 person apartment and then to an 8 person house until we ended up with an entire brownstone that fit 13 people within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Into the house we fit the Crew (Elrathion, Agent of Zion, Tacster, Pearl Yeti, Brennsta, Stoko, Dass, and DrProfessor) and Knights of Ren (Sugi and Todd). Unfortunately one of the Crew had to miss the con – we missed you Grokdisco!
For many of us this was the first time we had ever met face to face. But by the end of the first night you’d think we were old friends, and in many ways we are. The Crew has spent countless nights playing Destiny with each other, organizing tournaments, debating the merits of various cards, and pondering the qualities of various Oreo flavorings.
Our first night together was spent with a quick podcast recording with Knights of Ren followed by some prep games of Destiny to warm up for the following day’s Galactic Qualfier. But after a few games were over and I was tired of getting wrecked by Todd’s r2-p2 out came the board games and the drinkables. The rest of that evening and all future evenings were marked with board games and drinks and staying up far too late for a group of competitive players who should be getting some rest for “the big event”.
Day 0 Prep – Agent of Zion, Stoko, Sugi, Tacster, Elrathion
After a solid 3 hours of sleep I was up and heading to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to signup for the Galactic Qualifier. I attended day 1 of the con dressed in full Knights of Ren garb in oppositition to Tacster’s Jedi robes and Brennsta’s Rey – heavy boots, black pants, tunic, robe, belt, gloves and lightsaber. This was PAX, and I expected cosplay to be everywhere…and boy was I wrong. So I got to play all 12 hours of Destiny while slowly peeling out of my costume and sadly looked around for anyone besides myself, Tascter and Brennsta in costume. No luck.
Day 1 Destiny was a rough start for both my play and the Galactic Qualifiers. The GQ gets an excuse – this was the very first one and Cascade Games had to work some bugs out of the system. It also had a much larger than expected attendance with over 80 players. What resulted was a longer than expected day – but at every turn of events Cascade Games was open and communicative and got things back on track as quick as they could. My own play does not have as good of an excuse and I wound up going 3-2 with Sabine. The highlight of the day was seeing two members of the Crew, Elrathion and Agent of Zion, go 6-0 and secure their seats to the World Championships. Frustrated by my own play I hopped into the Escape Pods, 8 man on demand tournaments, and secured a 3-0 win.
Once the Escape Pods were done I made my way to the Prize Wall to get my hands on some sweet sweet spot gloss. Throughout the entire con I was able to win enough tickets for 5 spot gloss character souvenirs. For those looking to get their hands on a collection of these, expect to open up your wallets or grind out and win at least three con’s worth of GQ’s and Escape Pods.
After Day 1 we played Battlestar Galactica. In short, damn you Cylons. Damn you.
Day 2 Destiny went better in all regards. Cascade Games switched tournament systems and the entire event ran smoothly even though the player turnout was HUGE and swelled to over 100 players. I had spent time thinking through my deck and talking to the Crew about the mistakes I had made throughout the previous day. Most of my day 2 games are a blur, but I vividly remember round 3 and round 6. I was fortunate enough to face off against Joe Colon, better known as HonestlySarcastic and the North American Champion, in round 3 with his well-honed 5 dice villain deck. This was the first game where I really felt like I had a grasp on how to pilot Sabine/Ira, and I was able to get a slim victory over Joe when our game went to end-of-time tie breakers. An eye-blink later and I was sitting at the top table, facing another 5-0 player for a spot at Worlds. This time the tables turned and my opponent outplayed me to win the match with r2p2. I knew that list was my worst matchup and Edwin took advantage of all the deck’s shield generation to the point where I milled myself out looking for damage. Hungry for a chance to take my frustrations out on other players I jumped into the Escape Pods and secured another 3-0 victory followed by my next pod where I got destroyed got AwkwardTurtle.
Left to Right – Stoko, Dass, DrProfessor, Pearl Yeti, Agent of Zion, Tacster, Sugi, Elrathion, Brennsta, Todd
After Day 2 play the Crew made our way to the Tavern for a happy hour with our fellow Destiny players. The original venue for the happy hour was apparently a giant insane party, thanks go out to Brennsta and Zion for finding the second location on such short notice. I arrived to the happy hour late (sorry team!) but had a blast. It was really great to hang out with players from all over the country, including the player who had just beat me in the GQ! These kinds of after hours get togethers are fantastic and the Crew plans to do one at each con…next time I’ll be on time. The best part of the night was adding FlaccidBaron to the Crew – he is the Artificery Store Champion and went 6-0 on the day to secure his seat to Worlds.
Day 3 found me missing out on another chance for Worlds with a round 4 loss against Nick from the Hyperloops – I just couldn’t find a copy of Second Chance anywhere in my deck. Cascade Games third running of the GQ was its best yet, the event ran smoothly and ended even sooner than the day before. After my loss to Nick I was able to finish out the day with another 5-1 record.
New Players cracking boosters!
After Day 3 was the saddest day, with a few members of the team having to head out early to go home. The rest of us spent the night playing games and hanging out with our friends into the wee hours of the night, missing our departed friends and already planning for the next trip. Those future events include the Portland Regional, Emerald City Comic Con and the growing possibility of a big trip to South By South West.
Team Prize Photo.
Until then the Crew will be organizing online tournaments, including Season 4 of the League, writing deck tech, shipping in flavored Kit Kats for the Senate to taste test and review …. and more.
Want to help out the Crew? We just put together a Patreon. Check it out here.