Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reprint - Gamer Weekend

This is just too much fun not to share. I am combing back articles to be added to the book. This entry will go under the chapter called "Just Funny" which is articles that have very little Maqic but I believe are written well enough to be included.

Like this one. (Which will be edited later.)

It was a Magic weekend. A very Magic weekend.

Hmm, I better amend that to – It was a Gaming Weekend. A very Zog Weekend.

Friday morning, Mare and Morganna leave for their very first dog agility competition together. Marilyn has spent the entire winter, spring, and summer, practicing for this. Morganna only has one fault. She doesn’t like crowds. Other than that, Morganna and Mare are flawless, and can win the whole thing. I’m sure of it.

They leave for Boston at 8:00 in the morning, and I head off to work. This weekend, I will be home with our other three dogs, and I will be dog sitting for my Mom and Dad. They are going down to Cape Cod for a long weekend. So I have their dog – Beauty.

The ugliest, smelliest, gassiest, bad breathiest, snoring, snorting whiney barking little mongrel you have ever seen.

When people ask me what kind of dog it is, I tell them it is a “Rat Monkey.”

“That’s not a dog?”

“No. It’s a Rat Monkey. Surely you’ve heard of them? They live on the refuse and feces of the other, higher, cleaner, more intelligent monkeys.”

“Never heard of them.”

“Well, that’s one right there.”

Who named this dog Beauty? Because whoever it was, was blind. Good lord this thing is ugly. And its breath is the worst I have ever smelled on a dog. It constantly smells like the dog just got done eating rotten fish out of the bottom of a trash barrel. And it snores loud enough to wake us up at night. And much like any old High School wrestling coach, it changes pitch when it snores. So right when you get used to one noise, it changes on you! Ukk, I hate this thing. And as faithful readers know, I love dogs. I wouldn’t have four if I didn’t, right?

Anyway. Mare is off. And she is off for the whole weekend. So, while it is true that I will miss her terribly, it also means that I will be playing a whole lot of games this weekend.

Friday at 3:00 Rod shows up at Computer Alternatives with Mick, his nine year old son. He is dressed nicely, but not so much to stand out. I have asked him to dress up because I want to show him around the office. Rod is single, and so is one of my good female friends at work. I told him to come in looking nice because I wanted to introduce him to everyone and see if anyone asked me on Monday “Who was that guy that was with you.” We’ll see on Monday I guess.

I show Rod around and then I take off fifteen minutes early so we can go home and open up Mercadian Masques.

I have a box and Rod has a box. And what happens is, we open up everything, sort all the rares and uncommons, and foils, and then we take turns picking cards that we want.

This time we do it a little differently. We start right off with Rod taking all the Blue cards, and me taking all the Green cards. Then he picks about 4 Black cards he wants, and I take 4 white cards I want, and then he gets all the white cards, and I get all the black cards. We lay out the artifacts, lands and red cards and take turns picking until all the cards are gone.

What good does it do to open two boxes of cards and have each of us have One Collective Unconscious, two thwarts, etc etc etc. This way, I get two boxes of Green stuff, and he gets two boxes of Blue stuff. That seems much more intelligent to me.

Mick gets to play Darkstone. What a great game. If you are looking for a good game to play while waiting for the Christmas deluge of titles to hit the shelves – pick up Darkstone. It is one of my three favorite games of all time. Pool of Radiance is Number one. Baldur’s Gate is two. Darkstone is three.

Friday Night –

The booty is divided up, and now it’s time for some Magic. Rodney is taking a break from Blue even though it is his favorite color. Because even though it is his favorite, it is not his best. Rodney does not play Blue like a master. He plays it like a beatdown color. So, Alan and I have convinced him that he needs to try other colors for a while in order to get his skill up with those. To find out what his best color is. Because the only way to qualify is to play your best color. Not your favorite. Right now, stunningly, Rodney’s best color is Green. And this is amazing because Rodney HATES Green. Hates it.

But, he seems to be doing the best with it.

So, next weekend is the last qualifier that Rod and I will be attending. And since I won’t be playing, Rodney is taking my LSD deck. My mono Green Hermit Druid deck. Man, I love that deck.

But, the way to win a qualifier is to play your deck over and over and over against everything you think you will face. And then play it against stuff you might face. And then play it some more against stuff you will be surprised to see. And then play it some more.

The first deck I play against it is Negator Black. This is a standard black speed deck and even with all the elim, Rodney wins a good 5 out of 6 games against me. Man is Plow Under a beating.

I pull out my Wildfire deck and we try that a number of times. This is a much tougher match up., and I find that I can win a good 50 percent of the games. But once again, Plow Under is the deciding factor. If he gets off a Plow Under – there just isn’t much chance.

Joshie Trash Talker calls up. “What are you doing?”

“Playing Magic, come over and help Rod get ready for next week’s PTQ.”

“Fine. I’ll be right there.”

Joshie is now all grown up. Well, sort of. At least he’s in college this year. You know what I have learned from Ken Krouner and Joshie (both of whom are in college this year)?

That having a campus separate from a town or meshed in with a town, is the best thing ever. Rod and I went to Johnson State College. Not a great college, but not a bad college either. But location wise – it was the best! Set on top of a hill, it was its own little community. Not a collection of buildings set miles apart from each other in the center of city calling itself a college, but a real little town on top of a hill. With a green for women to sunbath at, and a huge boulder that got painted different every month or so in the dead of night while avoiding the security guards. (Once it was pasting jet black with the words “Surrender Dorothy” in bright orange letters on the front of it. Another time it was more a tie die color. Other times it was the school colors, or just a bright pink.)

Anyway, Rodney and I go to the store and get provisions. A pound of roast beef, a 1/8 pound for Bologna for Mick, multiple Sobes, Bass Pale Ale for Rod, and a Newkie Brown and a Fosters for me.

It’s the start of a Magic weekend.

We come back and play Magic for another hour before Joshie shows up. Sobe has made us jumpy and hyper and hungry so I make myself a Roast Beef with Horsey sauce sandwich and Rod does the same. Then we proxy up Brian Kowal’s “Draft King” and Joshie loses 8 out of ten games to Rod playing my Deranged Hermit mid range Plow Under green deck. Man, I love that deck. But you know what it needs? A good name. Guess I’ll call it “Please release a Plague on me.” For the insane amount of elves it has in it. Hmm, how many… Twenty elves. Wow – that seems like a lot. That deck needs a Master of the Hunt in it.

Joshie hangs around for a couple of hours and we stick a frozen pizza in the oven and Joshie helps us eat it, and then Rod and I dig into the beer. I have my Newkie Brown and then I tell Mick he has to let Rod play Darkstone for a while and come play me in Pokemon.

With only one Charidzar in my deck – he smashes me three times in a row and I go in search of my old Inquests and Scrye’s to learn how to play this game better.

Rod and I play some more Magic and at Midnight call it a day. Gotta get rested up. We have a big day tomorrow!

I wake up at 7:00 and let the dogs out and head over to the store to get some coffee. Man, I love coffee. Oh, and let us get a Sobe Energy too. Nothing wakes me up like a large coffee and 20 ounces of mango orange tangerine flavored liquid caffeine and sugar.

Mick and I play my new Pokemon deck and this time, a timely Gust of Wind allows me to smash his little Bulbasaur and collect my last prize. Victory!!! I have beaten a nine year old! My morning is complete!

Rodney rouses himself a bit after, showers, shaves and dresses up in some nice clothes. He has a wedding to go to an hour and a half away. Mick is going with him and then they are coming back here. Time for me to get some work done and be half as good a husband as Mare is a wife.

While they are gone, I walk Thor (my Dachshund) scoop up dog poop from the back yard, mow our 3/4 acre lawn, take the recycling down stairs, clean up my desk, take out the trash, do all the dishes, and I’m sure there is more. It takes me three and a half hours and another Sobe to finish it all. In the middle of it, Alan calls.

“What are you doing today?”

“Playing Magic. Come down.”

“O - Kay.”

Rod shows back up at 1:30 with more provisions in hand. No wonder I’m getting fat. I have really generous friends.

Mick parks himself in front of Darkstone and Rod and I build up some Type two decks with Mercadian Masques.

Cho Mano Revolutionary has got to be the funniest card to see print in quite some time. Combine that with Humble, and you have a theme deck that is some fun to play.

I play a Hunted Whoop Ass. Rod plays a free Cho Mano. Rod does nothing. I do not have a Rancor so I just attack with my Hunted Whoop Ass. Rod Blocks with Cho Mano revolutionary.

“Easy there my son. Easy…” Rod says and raises his hands in a gesture of peace. The Whoop Ass listens and becomes very calm. When Cho Mano steps in front of the Whoop Ass, the Whoop ass just stops and stares at him calmly. “Easy there big fella. Easy.”

What a great card.

Alan shows up and plays his “Kill that guy. Counter that spell. Play God or Jesus and win” deck.

Well, that’s what I call it. He calls it “It’s German”
Alan’s deck has something like
12 Kill your guys.
12 Counter your stuff
6 extremely broken and under-costed kill you guys.

And a whole bunch of land.

And that’s the whole deck.

I play him with my new Spontaneous Generation/Collective Unconscious/Saber ants deck. My new type two deck loses every single game to his LSD deck. Pretty sad. But that’s o.k. because later on, I beat Rod a whole bunch of times with it, and I beat Alan a whole bunch of times with it when he plays a different deck. Here’s what I learned.

Green has some really broken stuff in this set.

Hunted Wumpus, Saber Ants, Collective Unconscious, Spontaneous Generation and Squallmonger are all a massive beating stick. I mean a MASSIVE beating stick. Wow are those cards amazing for Green. You know how when you see a spoiler you read a card and then you say “That looks broken.” And then you play it, and it’s just not that good?

All of these cards are BETTER than they look. Actual play testing has shown me that these cards are really, really good. Better than good. Great even. Unfair almost. He he he….

Alan plays Rodney about ten games with his deck and while I don’t see a lot of them because I am busy building a new Pokemon deck, I would guess that Rod wins about 75% of them. That’s some good because Rod is a great guy, but he is not quite the level of player that Alan is.

Feeling pretty good about Rod’s chances next weekend.

Ooops, look at the time. Rod and I and Mick get some food, some beer and watch Xena.

What a crappy show.

Last weeks Xena was so awesome. Gabrielle went up another level (it’s clear from some of her moves that he has achieved a new level of fighting) and Xena got a new weapon. Well, sort of a new weapon. It’s a Chakram, but it’s a new, more powerful, magical Chakram. Well, it’s explained that the old one was magical too, but this one is massively magical. Like “Holy Sword” powerful. Like – Kill Ares powerful. Really a well done show last week. This weeks episode was horrible and we say so. About the only good that comes out of it is somehow we get on the subject of Star Trek Captains and how they handle different situations.

Alan - “The Klingons don’t respect Picard. You know they don’t.”

Jamie – “Yes, they do.”

Rod – “No they don’t. They don’t respect Picard.”

Jamie - “Well, they shouldn’t, but, it’s been written that they do.”

Rod – “Yeah, but let’s be realistic. If Klingons see Picard’s Enterprise on the screen, the first thing they think is ‘oh god, here comes a whole lot of boring talking. Break out your ear plugs.’”

Alan – “Yeah, and when they see Kirk coming they panic. I bet they scare their kids at night with stories of James Tiberius Kirk. I bet he’s like the Boogie Man to Klingons. Clear your room or James Kirk will come for you in the Night!!!”

Rod - “Yeah, and the Klingons word for Pansy is “Jean-Luc. You know that kid that eats paste and tells on you when the teacher doesn’t see something you’ve done? They beat him up at recess and chant “Jean-LUUUC! You’re a Jeeeann Luuuuc!”

Alan – “Can you imagine if Q had tried any of his crap on Kirk?”

Rod – “Kirk would have punched him and laid him out.”

Alan – “Yeah, and he would have ripped his shirt doing it so his chest was exposed.”

Jamie – “Spock would have found some way to neutralize Q’s power’s and Kirk would have walked up and floored him. Then when Q got all mad and called him a stupid human you would have seen this look of shock when he found out none of his powers were working.”

Alan – “Yeah, and while he was on all fours wondering what the hell was going on, Kirk would have punted him right in the ribs and then put him in the stockade.”

Rod – “And that would have been the end of the episode. The last scene would have been Q in chains in some little cell, never to be heard form again.”

Much laughter

Alan - “And the Borg. Kirk would have wiped them out the first time.”

Jamie - “Remember when they put the Borg to sleep? Kirk would have ripped his shirt and gone over to this ship while they were all sleeping and fought them one on one until they were all gone.”

Alan – “No, he would have gone down to the Brig and said “Q, you want to get your power’s back? Take these guys out for us.”

Rod – “And don’t think about turning on me because you’re just another God for me to kill. Because I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.”

Alan – Much laughter “Remember when they found Apollo on some planet and he wanted them to worship him? And Kirk just blasted him?”

More laughter from all of us

Rod “And then in movie number five when they took on Satan? And Kirk says “What does a God need a spaceship for…”

All three of us at once – “AND THEN KIRK BLASTED HIM!!!”

More laughter.

Alan – “Chekov, lock phasers on the God AGAIN. Fire! Again, Fire!”

Much more laughter.

After this dies down we sign onto the net to see who made top eight in PT London. We find out my article has been updated with dozens of replies. Spend a long time reading them and then I make another Pokemon deck which is sure to beat Mick in the morning.

Alan takes off and I go upstairs with my three dogs and crash.

Despite the fact that I go to bed at Midnight, I again get up at the crack of seven.

I head over to the store for more Sobe and Coffee. Man, I need to get stock in that company. When I get back, Mick is up and wants my help building a new Pokemon Electric deck and I help him. Mick seems to think Imposter Professor Oak is better than Professor Oak because the Imposter is Rare and the real one is only uncommon.

With my help, Mick crushes me even worse than before, with an Electrabuzz wiping the floor with three of my Pokemon.



Rod and I work on some type two decks and then I make Mick and I some Scrambled eggs and raisin bread. Rod doesn’t want scrambled eggs and goes over to the store for donuts and Mt Dew.

Rod and I play ten more games of type two, then we play Secret Force against Rodney Haups and I win three in a row. For our final Match, we play another game of Pokemon and Rod wins the game with a lowly Pikachu killing my wounded Charidzar – the first time I have got him into play all weekend.

What a great weekend. Nothing like 25 hours of Darkstone, Xena, Magic and Pokemon to recharge your batteries! Good time, good beer, Good Sobe.

Its good to be a Gamer!!!

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