Here is the next of my Special Guest Bloggers to share their thoughts on the 2016 DiceMasters UK Nationals.
Joe is a regular contributor to the “Critical Twits” podcast, a weekly gaming broadcast that discusses all things tabletop & video gaming in an entertaining and delightfully curmudgeonly way (As only we Brits know how). Joe has recently done some episodes exclusively on the subject of DiceMasters that I strongly recommend you give a listen.
But, before you do that, here’s Joe’s blog about the Friday qualifier…
So, I guess my little adventure started on Thursday when me and two thirds of the Critical Twits, along with friend of podcast Rob, made our way to Birmingham to check into our hotel nice and early, play some games in the free play area (a lovely idea from the Expo) and get all settled in for a day of tournaments on Friday.
This did not go to plan.
After a glorious hour and a half of broken sleep (everyone else slept fine), we gathered our party and ventured forth (points if you get the reference). We wandered up to the NEC nice and early to collect our passes and tournament tickets. After dropping the Twits off for their 9am press event, I wandered back to my car to collect my Dice Masters stuff (I know, I know, finally I mentioned the point of the article), on the way I managed to bump into Chris aka True Mister Six. Well, I say bumped into, he pointed and said “Joe” as I walked/shuffled past. I said “Hi”, I apologised for being sleepy and confused, and I went to collect my team. *editor note: I recognised Joe’s impressive dreads from his Facebook profile pic. Plus – he was wearing a Critical Twits t-shirt. I’m not a weird stalker or anything…
I should probably mention my team. I’ve always loved the control archetype, this is true tenfold in Dice Masters, because it’s an open format, you can tell exactly what you’re against straight away, the moment the enemy team is put down. So I’ve been working on a bunch of different ideas over the last few months, looking at online teams, comparing them with teams I’ve made, and trying to find a nice common ground. Anyway, I’d settled onto the following:
- Magic Missile
- Hulk – Green Goliath
- Constantine – Hellblazer
- Professor X – Recruiting Young Mutants
- Oracle – Master Investigator
- Half-Elf Bard – Master Lords Alliance
- Mera – Queen of Atlantis
- Elf Thief – Lesser Harper
- Captain America – Super Soldier
So this is the team I’d spent ages agonizing over. Cap was there to ruin the day of Lantern Rings and Gobby, Mera to slow down Guy Rush, Constantine for Constantine things, Hulk to do what he does best, and finally Bard to win games with huge swings for big numbers. Oracle; a big debate topic was Oracle vs Jinzo, in my opinion Oracle wins this for EVERY team unless you’re looking for pressure rather than control, combined with Thief, Oracle ruins other people’s fun, which is exactly what a control team tries to do.
Without further ado, I’ll actually talk about the event itself.
10am rolls around, there’s 36ish people, everyone looks far far more awake than I feel, Chris gets me to mime a song with him because internets… I sang the first bit, because even after we finally found a song I knew the lyrics to, I still got confused as to what my role was in the whole ordeal, I’ll also point out the only reason I knew the lyrics at all was Supernatural, god bless good TV.
Round 1! So, the event starts and I’m confronted with my first opponent, Jason. He’s playing a rush team with Bard and Guy on it (There’s always one). This was a great start to the day, a nice fun game against a lovely opponent. Luckily for me, he struggled to roll all that well and I took the game 2 to 0.
Round 2! I find myself against another lovely opponent, although this time it’s a mirror match, ish. This team didn’t feature Cap, and had Dwarf Wizard. It was a fun round with close games and another opponent who was a pleasure to play against (this will be a theme; the people were awesome). Sadly, the round went to him without me winning a game, 0-2.
Round 3! A team I had to look over a few times, piloted by Kieran Briggs. He was using Natalia Thor, Tsarina, Johnny Storm, Punisher War Journal, Hellblazer, Kobolds, and Blue Eyes. It was a pretty cool team, but I managed to take the win again 2-0.
Round 4! Bob Boyne and his team with all the things! Gobby? Check. Guy? Check. Bard? Check. Tsarina? Check. Teamed up with PXG, Red Dragon, Hulk GG and Ring Lesser Gear. I was a bit taken back by all the potential win cons in there, although turns out none of them had quite enough support to break through a dedicated control team. He managed to take a game off me with Tsarinas, but the team pulled through and I won 2-1.
Round 5! Ben Scott. Well, If you’ve not heard by now, Ben is a bit good at Dice Masters. We had a pretty good couple of games; in game two I got so far behind, then pulled it back, only to lose, boooo. But, a lovely chap, a fun game and an interesting choice to run Imprisoned instead of Polymorph and Breaker to remove action dice. A well-deserved win to Ben 0-2.
Round 6! Sadly, the software was playing up and a lot of people got matched up against people they had played already. I got matched up against Jason from round 1. I was really happy to see that his dice had improved and he’d won a few games, although we’re at a point where I need to win to qualify, so I’m hoping for a repeat of round 1… Sadly for Jason, this is exactly what happened, his dice refused to play nice and I won 2-0 again.
So, this was the end of the Nationals qualifiers. I managed to qualify and get 7th place. This earnt me a full art Guy Gardner and Loki, along with the participation prizes of a Play Mat, a Melinda May and Terry McGinnis and a Squirrel Girl. I hate Squirrel Girl, she’s stupid, but I love the mechanics of the card so I was dead happy to get one.
This concluded Friday, I had qualified, I was happy, I didn’t have to play Saturday so I could go enjoy the rest of the Expo for a day before Nationals on Sunday. I had a few things I decided I needed to include to take on the challenges of the day, namely mirror matches, and I could remove some tech I had put in to deal with direct damage, which seemed to be weirdly absent from the day. I had a genuine fear of Lantern Ring teams, but no one else really seemed to be prepared for them, besides the odd Breaker in there. This little bit of information played on my mind all Saturday, and lead to make a decision that was possibly stupid, possibly genius, but overall didn’t pay off…
There you go folks – Joe’s overview of his Friday Qualifier experience at the UKGE.
Please go and check out The Critical Twits gaming podcast HERE or through your preferred podcast subscription service. And the episode of particular note mentioned at the top: the Dice Masters Nationals prep episode found HERE.
Thanks for reading…