Hey folks, how’s it going?
Now is time to share my event overview of the UK Nationals tournament that took place at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham on the 3rd June.
We had 14 qualified players in total, and we were told that the plan was to play 4 rounds of Swiss, then run a quarter final, semifinal and final of 8,4 and 2 respectively.
After much deliberation I decided to run the ‘Collector’/’Nobby’ list I used on Friday’s Qualifier. There are a few reasons for this;
1. I was super-familiar with the team. Andy had me on a strict Mike Plumb 100 games strategy before the event and I’d played the team to death. It’s a team that suits my more tentative play style down to the ground and I’d most definitely put my hours of practice in with it;
2. It had gone 3W 1L on Friday so I was pretty pleased with it’s performance. After the 2 qualifiers I had a pretty strong sense of what I was going to be seeing at Nats,and felt reasonably confident I could replicate its record from Friday;
3. It’s fun to play. I like the janky fun of ‘The Collector’ and what it can do. I’ve had a few laughs with it in the past and hoped for some laughs again.
Here’s the list in it’s entirety:
Basic Action Cards
◦ Villainous Pact
◦ Magic Missile
◦ Danger Room – Flame Throwers n’Pointy Stuff
◦ Chwinga – Paragon Elemental
◦ Batarang – What Goes Around
◦ Norman Osborn – Don’t Call Me “Nobby”!
◦ Blob – Appetite for Destruction
◦ Shriek – Dark Empathy
◦ Bishop – Butterfly Effect
◦ The Collector – Taneleer Tivan
I’m sure it’s strategy is pretty clear to most: my plan was to get ‘The Collector’ out early and spam ‘Norman Osborn’ using ‘Danger Room’ to increase the Villain damage count. ‘Batarang’ and ‘The Blob’ were there to manage any pests, as was ‘Chwinga’ Swarm Bolts with ‘Magic Missile’ global.
‘Shriek – Dark Empathy’ had proved quite handy in play-testing combo’d with ‘The Collector’ in my opponent’s turn to ignore critical game-texts before the attack phase (like Dragons and ‘Mr Fixit’.) I needed lots of Bolts to pull it off, so another great reason for the ‘Chwinga’ swarm.
Let’s see how I got on…
I’ve got to admit – a few day’s later now, and with it being such a full day, my memory may have gone a bit on the hazy side, so I hope you’ll excuse the less detailed run down I would normally give.
It was a looooong day of Dice Master-ing.
Round One – Matt Haley
My first round of the day I was facing Matt Haley, with his version of the ‘Ring of Winter’/’Gold Dragon’ gross-ness.
I had a plan though. I had faced enough ‘Gold Dragon’ dice through the qualifiers I knew how I was going to play it. Simply put: I was going to just let the Dragon through and come back swinging while Matt re-grouped.
Turned out, much to Matt’s dismay, that it wasn’t going to be an issue as the ‘Ring of Winter’ didn’t feel much like rolling an action face during that first game. Matt pivoted to his ‘Hulk – Power of Attorney’ while I took full advantage of the delay caused by Matt’s mis-rolling Ring. I spammed “Nobby” as often as possible with ‘The Collector’ (I ‘Blob’-ed something too, but can’t remember quite what it was) and those 3/4 pings each turn soon caught up.
The second game went a little different; Matt got his Dragon out nice and early, however, I stuck to my plan and let the ‘Gold Dragon’ roll through. It was a painful hit, but the plan worked and while Matt cycled things through I laid into him with some serious ‘Nobby’ hits. Matt tried to manage my field with his ‘Green Devil Mask’ but I was able to keep a small, tight field and worked around it.
My first round was a win.
Round Two – Phil Ball
My next match up was against Phil from Dice Mayhem, and Phil was playing a Villain team built around ‘Avalanche – Quake in Your Boots’, ‘Malekith – King of the Dark’, and ‘Staff of the Forgotten One’. The strategy was to use ‘Malekith’ to turn his Sidekicks to Villains, field them while ‘Avalanche’ was out and the Staff was in play to clear the field for lethal swings.
I knew who my problem spots were, but also liked the look of all the Villains on the other side of the table, so I set about grabbing my ‘Collector’ to start my ‘Nobby’ combo, then snapped up a ‘Blob’ to try and take one of Phil’s key pieces out early.
It didn’t work – Phil pivoted to SR ‘Jubilee’ and spammed me with a thousand cuts that started to catch up and finish me off. I had lost my first game of the round.
Game two and three went differently. I used my ‘Chwinga’ swarm to keep my Bolt count up and used ‘Magic Missile’ global as often as possible to ping Sidekicks and ‘Mimic’ in an attempt to keep Phil’s Ramp down, while doing a bit of spamming of my own with ‘The Collector’/’Nobby’ combo. This worked beautifully, especially with Phil’s Villain count, and it caught up with him super quick.
The third game nearly timed us out at rounds, but a stack of rolled Fists meant I could get the damage done by the fifth turn at rounds.
I had won my second round.
Round Three – Seth Connor-Fullwood
Seth and I had both been working with ‘The Collector’/’Nobby’ for sometime, and Seth had beaten me ’nuff times with his variation, so I was a little disheartened to draw him to be honest.
I went in swinging though, changing up my early purchase order to go for a ‘Blob’ and shut down Seth’s ‘The Collector’ before getting on with my own ‘The Collector’/’Nobby’ damage machine.
It worked – Seth pivoted to his SR ‘Jubilee’ and started buying up ‘Danger Room’ dice (I believe, although I never got around to asking, he wanted to get a big bundle of Bolts together to shoot some of my stuff off) but it wasn’t enough and I was able to deal lethal damage.
The second game was a different story. It was basically a race to ‘The Collector’, which Seth won (I swear I whiffed my ‘Collector’ die over four turns in total – eight whole rolls!) and I got pinged to death.
The third game started up, but we were swift running out of time. We both rushed to get some damage in but time was called and we were into rounds with no apparent route to finishing each other off. Round five rolled round and we ended on one game a piece and one incomplete.
Round three was a tie.
Round Four – Andy Spug
Next up: Andy Spug, with his Common ‘Mr Fixit’ team. Eurgh – I hate that Fixit. He formed a big part of my 100 games of practice.
Andy decided to go for control before running at his ‘Fixit’ in an attempt to lock me out with ‘Shriek’ and Uncommon ‘Madame Masque’, but Andy had clearly underestimated the mighty Boomeranging power of the ‘Batarang’. I set everything up as planned with my ‘The Collector’ and then bought up some ‘Batarang’ die and set about smacking away the aforementioned Villain character control so I could just get on with my own win con plan.
It worked, and I soon managed to ‘Nobby’ Andy to death. (#sentencesyoudidn’tthinkyou’dwriteever)
Game two Andy moved much quicker towards his win con and swiftly bought up his ‘Mr Fixit’ and Rare ‘Madame Web’, as well as some of his control cards. Again, the might of ‘Batarang’ and an abundance of ‘Chwinga’ bolts meant I could relentlessly ping away Andy’s ‘Madame Web’ and Villain characters.
We went to rounds, and neither of us was in a position to deliver lethal by the end of the second game. I was one game up so took the round.
I was at 3-1-0 by the close of Swiss.
TOP EIGHT – Dan Lloyd
By God, my record had me in Top 8. Holy shit.
We had participation prizes divvied up and moved onto the Top 8 Games.
At this point I was up against Dan Lloyd, who I’ve known for some years now on the Dice Masters “circuit”. Dan was playing a very similar team to mine centred around ‘The Collector’ and SR ‘Norman Osborn’.
My memory is a bit hazy, but I most definitely remember is using ‘The Collector’ to help ourselves to each other’s dice all the time. At one point I distinctly remember Dan reaching over to use my ‘Nobby’ after I’d foolishly made the effort to ‘Blob’ his. LOL
We were, much like when I played Seth, in a race to see who could ‘The Collector’ quicker, and in two out of the three games we played I was able to get the damage in quicker. One of the keys to my strategy was to buy up Dan’s ‘Investigation’ dice to cut off his ‘The Spot’ Ramp and keep him from rolling silly amounts of dice to afford whatever he wanted. In each game I managed to secure two of those bad boys; which were pretty handy for my own ramp too.
I’m also pretty certain that my Rare ‘Bishop’ helped out somewhat, at least slowing Dan down a little, although he was canny enough to use my own strategy of buying ‘Nobby’ dice and then using the ‘Collector’/’Shriek’ combo to keep ‘Bishop’ at bay on the turns he had Bolts going spare.
I was through to the top four.
TOP FOUR – Mike Power
My Top Four game was against Mike Power, who went on to become the eventual winner and our new UK National Champ, so the outcome is going to be pretty obvious I suppose.
Mike was running an Attune team using SR ‘Yuan-Ti Pureblood’ , Rare ‘Pseudodragon’, and ‘Xandala Cimber’, along with a bucket tonne of one cost Actions/Basic Actions.
It was hella fast. Two purchases of two cost dice and Mike’s damage machine was out the gate before I’d got my own win con vaguely set up. I tried to slow things down by pinging off ‘Pseudodragon’ and ‘Yuan-Ti Pureblood’ as often as possible with the ‘Magic Missile’ global but the little buggers kept rolling back in next turn. This also became increasingly difficult to do as Mike used his ‘Bat-Signal’ to spin them up making it more and more expensive to do – plus the fact that the damage was mounting every time ‘Bat-Signal’ was bought and used.
I got a few ‘Nobby’ licks in but I couldn’t keep pace and Mike delivered lethal with a mass purchase of one cost Actions that dealt two damage a piece.
The next game I took a more defensive approach and rushed to my ‘Bishop’, which did serve to slow Mike down… a bit. What it did mean though was that my boat had slowed down too and I delayed picking up ‘The Collector’.
I managed to get a few ‘Nobby’ hits in eventually, but all this meant was Mike was biding his time buying ‘Xandala’ too so he had enough ping power to zap ‘Bishop’ out the field and do the excess to me. I also shot ‘Pseudodragon’ a few times again with ‘Magic Missile’ but this was some sort of magical ‘Pseudodragon’ dice that was determined to roll back in every. Single. Time.
I had bloodied Mike’s nose a wee bit, but nowhere near enough and it was soon all over for me.
I was knocked out in the top four, finishing with a record of 4-1-1.
What a day. I’d only ever reached the cut on one other occasion at a WKO in last year’s competitive season. It was like being in the twilight zone.
It was certainly a bit of a weird feeling competing with a meta-team that I’d actually put some good hours of practice in with.
My heartfelt thanks to all my opponent’s over the weekend – I sincerely had a blast playing you all. Dan – a particular shout out to you for both our qualifying match and face off in the Nationals top eight: they were awesome games.
I was also super proud to see fellow Elemental Clan member Seth get to the final. You’ll hear me say it on the next episode of the podcast – I met Seth when he was just ten years old playing Dice Masters and I loved seeing one of the next generation of UK players playing to such an impressive standard. Next year dude.
Congrats to Mike on becoming our new National champ, even if he did knock me out with a dirty, nasty, cheesy, spammy team. LOL
I’ve definitely got the post-Nats blues and can’t wait for the next set of WKOs to start up. Especially because it’s already looking unlikely I’ll make the UK Games Expo next year due to an inconvenient family member’s 60th Birthday holiday in the works. (#reallife vs #nerdlife) maybe our Nats will take place somewhere else on a different date… selfishly crossing my fingers.
Please share any thoughts or comments on my story from UK Nats in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you….