There I was, in Seattle, Washington, when it happened. Penny Arcade Expo 2009. I won the right to go by winning the invitational here in Boise, and got really excited to compete. Before leaving I had decided to run Seaforge in the Workings man tournament on Friday night as a warm up, and Cryx in the Masters because people wanted me to win. So I will break this down daily.
We roll in to Seattle a few hours earlier than expected, so we get checked in and go on down to the convention center. Jen and Jason get their badges and we try and get mine. PPS Dave had just given them over to Smedley and he had to step out for the day, so I needed to get them tomorrow. Then we all help set up the booth, which was way cool for me, since I got to see how much work goes into it, and I only helped with the last half. I ended up polishing the display case alongside PPS Jack, and we were so anal retentive that was all we did, and we could have kept going for hours. I also met DC, Ed, Mike, and Will from the staff members, with Rob Stoddard and Rob Hawkins making appearances. Then Jen and I got to hang out with CaptCaine(Ross) and PPS Dave and Daryl (sorry if this is butchered) while we filled our poor empty tummies. Oh and on the way to food, Jen and I got lost for the first time of the trip, more of these to come. A small loitering session down at G3 followed the food. Then we got to go pick up Tamwulf from the airport, whom almost didn’t make it, he found out at 12:30 that he could come to PAX. Hotel and sleep time.
Up early and down to the convention center for more badges, Tam gets his in a quick and easy 5 minutes, and we were there super early too, oh well. The three of us were treated to exhibitors badges so Jen and Tam got ready to work and I loitered at the con booth, I got my badges and checked out for Working Man’s, found out that it was a 500 point single elimination tourney, no problem, I had the list waiting for it: Gorten, 2 Gunners, 1 Blaster, bokur, gudrun, Thor, 9 Forge Guard, Brun and Lug, came to 500 exactly. Anyway it launched at 7 p.m., so I had 9 hours to kill. I bought into Retribution (October releases were there, I got Garryth!), got a few t-shirts, and then wandered into the exhibition hall and damn near passed out from sensory overload. I have never been to a con of any kind and it was massive, lots of lines, and as I wandered I realized that all of these video games were not even out yet, nor were they coming out in a month of two.
Of the video games, the highlights were Resident Evil 5 for the PC, Blizzard had playable demos of all three releases they had coming, but they had 2 hour waits, and a x-box 360 game called Death Spank, which looks hilarious. I wandered for hours looking at the stuff on the fourth floor, got some food and then went for Working Man’s tourney (yes I abbreviated it, but I did go wandering around a lot and looking at stuff).
Working Man’s, I will go quick overviews cause full blown battle reports would take a ton of space and time. Oh, scenarios were all just kill the caster.
As we all waited to get started, I talked with a fellow by the name of Dustin, we had a fun time chatting and funnily enough we got paired into the first round together. He brought, Scorscha (at this I sorta groaned), 2 Destroyers (the one with the bombards) marshaled to a Koldun Lord, 2 mortars, and the Great Bears oh MY!
Gorten put a stop to AOE death and we fought each other back and forth, tooth and claw, killing each others’ dudes constantly. It came down to Gorten and all of my ‘jacks vs Scorcha and 1 Destroyer. I figured turns prior, he would spend the rest of the game running from me, but he kept charging at me and fighting me. We had the old stalemate of high armor (me) vs. high defense (him) but I cracked his defense first, stood still, gave her both barrels and buried Scorscha dead. Thankfully, Dustin had himself a back up plan if he lost so he enjoyed the rest of the night, I asked him later when I saw him at the Masters, cause he had an invite.
Hotel and pass out time again, it was like midnight when we left. Oh, I parked at a friend of Jason’s apartment so we had to walk 10 blocks back to the car, and on the way I was surprised to see a 6 ft, 3 in, tranvestite walk out of the bar. The transvestite had a beard, chest hair and fantastic make-up, only in Seattle I guess.
Up early again and we went to a diner for breakfast. Tamwulf navigated and I earned many gold stars for my licesne — Tam would tell me to turn at the intersection we just went past….we was sorta lost again, but we had iPhone and knew how to fix it, so I made several U-turns for breakfast. Back to convention center and an entire day of loitering for me. This was the bigger downer of the day for me, my phone died. So I couldn’t communicate with people to find things to do and after a D&D 4.0 Dungeon Delve. Some guy, and whoever he is, will pay if I find him, clocked me in my bad knee, almost knocked me down and added pain to my life, yay. I also had someone cut in front of me and got the last order for a sketch of a character of your choice from the artist behind Darkstalkers and Street Fighter, and I waited 15 minutes to try and order one, oh well, since Masters was tomorrow, I lost out.
I didn’t feel like walking much and head down to room 201 (the tourney room) waiting for Jen and Tam, but got into another fun conversation with someone in the Invite, and two other fellows that came there. Jen and Tam come down and we run into Kevin and Biggie of PP fame. Biggie desperately wants to hang with Jen and Tam (since he sees them so infrequently) but are without car, but I say since we are going to the same places anyway he just has to navigate, and we go party with more people and turn the day around for me. But alas, the leg seizes up and will be fun for the tourney tomorrow.
Sunday, tourney day.
My lists were Coven, Nightmare, 6 arc nodes, 10 Bane kKights, 2 Pistol Wraiths, 6 Bile thralls, Skarlock, and Tartarus. I also had Goreshade, Nightmare, Deathjack, Deathripper, Skarlock, 2 Pistol Wraiths, Tartarus, 6 Bile Thralls, and 17 Bane Knights, tee hee.
Well i don’t feel like going too far into the battle reports again, but anyway, Round 1 is the same Retribution player I lost to, I take the Witch Coven list, sadly not remembering Kaelyssa has Banishing Ward, so the Coven make the battlegroup do the work for them and we trade hits back and forth. I start to get the advantage and a Pistol Wraith gets the job done using two Corpse Tokens to boost the hit and then the damage, then my dice roll good and it was over.
Round 2, I pull a Cryx player and I fail to measure my control range before moving and fail to get an arc onto is eAsphyxious, oh I ran the Coven again. Then my dice crap all over me, letting me roll a 5 on 3 dice to hit, then I do fair the second spell, then I roll a 5 on three dice to damage. Coven fail me and then a Pistol Wraith goes for broke, I roll great but it would never be enough, ah well, I eat a cav charge and the eat a Spectral Legion charge, I die, I get pretty pissy at this point, mainly cause I hit my already hurting knee again, but I go for coffee with Bobaferret and chill out, realizing I can get 3rd, but Goreshade is coming with me this time.
Round 3, an all-beast army with Kromac is what faces me, and another cool guy, I have tons of fun and so does he, even though he lost in the end. Onto my chance for 3rd, I realize the guy i faced first in Working Man’s is up for third too and we hope to face each other, but we draw seperate opponents, I am a bit bummed I wanted another awesome game.
Round 4, Circle again. My opponent lets me call for a specific version of Krueger, I ask for eKrueger even thoug his feat helps in the Mosh Pit scenario. He gives me what I want, and I learn a little bit of playing him. I get a Bane Knight within 2 inches and charge Goreshade up, getting the knight in my control. Nightmare has 3 focus and preys Krueger. I think, “this is the game.” I go for Soul Gate, we check the Druids, and I am barely out — then we both see the Woldwyrd, I am a sliver inside, we both stared at that a while, triple checking the measurement, but it was a solid measure, so no Gate. I try to weather through to the next round, but a Shadowhorn Satyr jumps at me and finishes off Goreshade with its last fury point — and it was barely enough. Still had fun during the tourney.
I leave realized that Bobaferret and Tamwulf are helping tear down the booth, so instead of sitting there I get let in to help, which apparently was enough to qualify me to go with the entire crew for dinner — I thought i was going to be on my own, and I was fine with it, but I got told by a few people I had to come. On the way there we had another only in Seattle moment, two girls sitting there talking to a dude. The girls were okay looking, they were not over sized or anyhting. And one girl loudly proclaims to the whole street of Seattle, and I quote, “If I had a strap on, I would fuck her in the ass, right now!” We all walked away laughing to the epic moment of the night. It was great sitting there, we were all tired, had an awesome waiter and I got to eat some really great food, and enjoy everyone’s company for the last time of the trip. I would love to be able to sit down with all of them, or play a game with them, or heck work my butt off at a con with them next year. We will see how the wife feels about that though.
We all pass out for the night for a few hours, Tamwulf gets a ride to the airport and we all take of to get home, the road home took me a lot longer than I wanted, I needed to see my family, I really missed them, but they would not have had any fun at the con.
All in all it was great to be with a few friends, meet several new awesome people, and have a ton of fun. I haven’t had a solo vacation in 5 years, it was needed. Oh, and without spreading bad rumors or bad news, I am still healthy and feeling great from the Con, apprantly there was a lot of sickness rolling around, which I seem to have dodged, for my daughter’s sake, I hope I did.