DC Kotei 2014
There is a bit of explaining to do so, you’re not completely lost in all of this. Legend of the Five Rings is a Trading Card Game much like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon, but much cooler because I play it.
The Kotei Season generally runs from February through June of each year, where regional tournaments occur around the world. Each season incorporates a major event currently occurring in the Emerald Empire, with each event determining at least one factor of the larger story. Kotei winners are pre-qualified into major events such as Gen Con and the European Championships, allowing them to skip the qualifying rounds.
(Please visit Wikipedia for a detailed explanation and feel free to ask me any questions)
Kotei is our tournament to better put a name on it.
We just entered a new arch. Ivory Edition brought about a lot of changes to how the game is played. Changes mean new story lines, new rules and new cards. Now, as much as I love L5R, this horrible thing I have called a ‘Day Job’ has prevented me from being able to play as avidly as I’d like to. I didn’t get my deck together in time, some because of money, but mostly I didn’t have time to master the deck, or at least have an idea about what my cards said before the event.
I arrived with the hubby and was thrilled to see so many of my friends, who I’ve met through playing. I’d missed them terribly. Specially my Mel. Anyway, after registration, we noticed we were a couple of people short. There was a call for anyone else who could play to sign up as we stood in a circle listening to the announcement. My wonderful, adoring, loving friends all shoved me into that open circle of people as if I were some sacrifice to a long forgotten L5R God.
There was one big issue: I didn’t have a deck. I was offered many, many decks and it took every ounce of my heart not to say ‘Scorpion Clan, Bitches,’ but I didn’t. My loud mouth did, however, announce to an entire room (60+) that I was in need of a Scorpion Dishonored deck. Because that’s how I roll.
I learned several things that day, but none more important than this:
Never Underestimate the power of Geeks
Seven people stood around a table. With the help of Donny, Palmer and Dineen, I had a deck worthy of play. They even pulled some rare cards out of thin air. I was impressed and Mel let me use her Honor Counter, so I looked all professional like.
I’m going to point something out. Palmer and Mel are very good friends of mine. Actually, screw that. They are family. However, Donny didn’t know me at all and he supplied 98% of the deck, with Palmer and Dineen throwing in cards. (SEE! Dineen, I didn’t forget!) Running dishonored is hard because, to run it effectively, you need three Brilliant Cascade Inns and I have a better chance of pigs flying out of my… nevermind. The point I am making is not only that Donny did something awesome for a member of the community (nor is my point that he is an awesome guy. Which he totally is), but also that this is not uncommon in our community. Now, side note, not everyone is like that, not all of them are saints, but there were other people ready to throw in whatever extra cards they could to get me a deck that was doable.
In the ‘13 DC Kotei, I had the help of Mike, Cam, Eric and Alex to get my deck up and I needed about 40 cards. Even if I went up against them, none of them would ever want to see my deck screwed just because I wasn’t lucky enough or had enough money to pull the cards I needed.
Back to the present. Wonderful people got me a deck and I thought, ‘hell, even if I lose all my games this is already an awesome day.’ Thanks to the amount of people present, we could play seven rounds before they determined the Top 8 players.
Match #1 Will of the Crane Clan
I played against Will, who ended up being a Top 8. I lost, horribly and quickly. I had fun losing. I only had a few moments before we started to even look at my cards, not that knowing my deck would have helped. Will is an amazing player and an awesome person. After he beat me, he even explained to me why he beat me and pointed out the mistakes I made. The one I make all the time is a major flaw in my game play. It was one I didn’t repeat the entire day. As funny as it sounds, it was a pleasure losing to him.
Match #2 Tiger of the Lion Clan
My opponent for this round also made it to the Top 8. My angry, ethnic opponent (his words, not mine, LOL) was, by far, one of the fastest players I’ve ever seen and I had to be the slowest person in the room. He was fun to play. He was also very helpful, reminding me of the rule changes, pointing out where I was making obvious flaws. His suggestions helped me a lot. I lost quickly and took some time to look over my cards more when our match was over. He was by far the most entertaining opponent of the day.
I am going to pause here to point something out: When I sat down with both Will and Tiger, I explained to them that I had no idea what I was doing with that deck and barely knew the new rules. We have 45 mins to play and, if by some awful miracle, we had gone to time, I would have conceded to them immediately. I was thanked several times during the day by signing up to ensure we had more than enough, but I didn’t intend to win any match that day. I knew I was taking far too long on my turn because I was clueless and that time waste isn’t fair. At least, it’s not fair in my opinion. The point here is: if you’re new, if you’re a little confused, a little lost, there is no harm in saying, ‘Hey, this is my first Kotei’ (I did it all last year and made a ton of friends) or ‘I just tweaked my deck.’ I’m not saying you should tell them everything about your deck, but it’s polite, especially to the veteran players.
Match #3 Mark of the Lion Clan (and lots of Nagas)
Same situation: I explained my situation to Mark, who is by far the nicest person in L5R (Sorry, Donny) that has ever existed. He slowed down and helped me understand everything that both of us were doing. He pointed out that I had my stronghold on the wrong side all day. He explained some things I found confusing and it was the most fun I had all day. I was learning. I didn’t feel like an idiot for having no idea what I was doing. It was an honor to match up against Mark. Mark says I won that match and so it was. I insisted on giving him a hug before he left for the day. Only after I left did I remember him from last year. I was sitting next to my friend Scott. Mark was his opponent and I was having so much fun listening to two men who weren’t playing to win, that I was distracted in my game (I won anyway). It was nice to listen to the two of them take a loss. It seems silly, but the whole world needs more Marks.
We had lunch! I was forced to eat chicken!
Match #4 Chris of the Crane Clan
Chris had beaten my husband earlier in the day and now he joked that he was taking out the whole family. Chris was another skilled player. I was a bit faster this time, but I was obviously outmatched. He pointed out a few errors I made, had a couple of suggestions and we had a very pleasent match. I think I did much better in this match up. I didn’t lose in the first 10 minutes, so that was a plus for me.
All day people were asking me how I was doing: old friends, new friends, randomly friendly people. All of them said the same thing: as long as I was having fun. that’s all that mattered.
Match #5 Jeremy of the Phoenix Clan
Jeremy and I rolled off for a winner, and Jeremy won the roll. If we kept going, it really could have gone either way, but we both had strong chances of winning. Jeremy and I chatted. We had a fun time. I walked away frustrated a bit because I wished I could have seen how the game truly went.
Match #6 Greg of the Phoenix Clan
Greg is another player who is much faster than I am. I made a few big mistakes at the beginning of the match that ensured I wasn’t going to win on top of the fact that Greg was a better player. I am just happy that I matched up with nice people, it would have made losing so much suck.
Match #7 Shomo of the Crane Clan
Honor against dishonor could go either way and, this time, honor won out by making some very awesome decisions and because I didn’t see a damned card that could dishonor to save my life, literally. I liked his choices and he won in the end. By this point, I hate the Crane and Lion clan. Just throwing that out there, LOL. However, I got to interview a very nice lady named Ashley, which I will be posting about in a few days. I had a few more people that I wanted to interview, but they disappeared before I was able to sit down with them. Maybe next time.
I did, however, get to interview and chat with Dan Dineen and we had a blast. I am hoping to have that available as soon as possible; however, you can’t hear us very well as the background noise is horrible, so I am going to try a few things, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last chat I have with him.
I was very excited that 3 of my friends made it to the top 8 and after it got down to the top two, it was two of my favorite people, Palmer and Mel, who happen to be dating so I am sure that made for 3 interesting matches.
Palmer won the first match, Mel the second and Palmer the 3rd.
He won the DC Kotei for the last 3 years in a row. Congratulations, Palmer!
I want to thank Barto and Team Real Jobs for throwing another wonderful DC Kotei and taking a picture with me. I hope to be more involved with them in the future and even win some games. However, it’s awesome people like him that keep it going and fun for everyone. Also, thanks for the fat loot.
I want to thank all of my opponents for being wonderfully entertaining.
I want to thank the Tanuki clan (my family) for letting me pet them throughout the day.
I want to thank the L5R community for being so awesome.
I want to thank Melissa Bowers for the amazing pictures she took of the day!
P.S I did ask each person I mentioned here if it was okay to mention them 🙂