Legacy Tournament at The Dugout in Hickory, NC

The Dugout, one of the local game shops in Hickory, North Carolina, will be hosting a legacy tournament for the Magic: The Gathering game on Saturday, August 13th at 1:00.

If you're an old Magic player who hasn't played in a while, this is the kind of tournament for you. There's no issue of being unable to play because you don't have the newest cards. Every set from Magic's long history is legal (except for Unglued and Unhinged), but unlike vintage (type one), the "Power Nine" and the game's other most unbalancing cards are outright banned rather than just being restricted.

For a list of banned cards and other details on the legacy format, click here.

Need to know how to get there? Last I checked, Google Maps was sending people down the street a bit, but here's a decent image of the place. It's on Catawba Valley Boulevard, right by the mall.

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8/3/2011 Update... Here's part of the message Tim sent out in the newsletter:
Ok folks…breaking news from the Dugout! On Saturday August 13 at 1:00pm, we will be hosting our very first MTG Legacy Tournament!! The entry fee will be $5.00 and there will be prize support. So come hang out with us on the 13th, play some Legacy, meet some new folks, and have a blast!

Ty Hawkins, Slacker Extraordinaire

Ty Hawkins is a classic slacker, fairly intelligent and talented but without the work ethic to be as good at anything as his parents (or anyone else) expected of him. Even though he barely graduated from high school and dropped out of the local community college, he has managed to build a relatively stable income through various online means. These have ranged from respectable stock trading to shady pyramid schemes. If you can do it online, he's probably tried to make money at it... and he usually succeeds, though his successes are always shortsighted enough that he is in need of a new business plan within six months.

Ty rents a studio apartment in New York City, in a neighborhood that isn't scary itself, but is close enough to a rough neighborhood that he started taking a self-defense course and learned how to use a gun. He likes it there, and despite family members far away who have begged him to move home for years, he doesn't plan on leaving any time soon. Ty is satisfied with life right now, and he believes that he has everything he needs: a bed, a bathroom, an internet connection, and enough attractive women in his building to keep him "distracted."

Lochlann's Laboratory: Larry, Dog Boy Psychic

Three dog boys who served Travis Lochlann helped him escape from Lone Star with his life after he took the fall for Desmond Bradford: Moses, Larry, and Jerome. Each of the three served Dr. Lochlann in a different capacity before his exile, and each fills a very different role in the lab now.

Larry is the oldest of the three dog boys who helped Dr. Lochlann flee. He has greater psychic powers than most of his peers, and is seen as the wisest of the three. When not in the presence of Lochlann, Larry and Moses often bicker over the correct course of action: wisdom vs. anger. Luckily for the trio, Larry is good at calming his temperamental partner down.

Budget Deck for Standard: BUGrove Elder

Just on the heels of my complaints about Magic: The Gathering becoming too expensive, Star City Games and Wizards of the Coast both post articles about budget decks for standard. On the official WotC site, Jacob Van Lunen walks us through his ideas for a blue/black deck that abuses Gravitational Shift. Over on Star City Games, AJ Kerrigan doesn't go into as much depth, but he tosses out four deck ideas... several of which are quick enough for potential turn 3/4 wins with the right draws.

Because I am the rogue deck builder that I am, I can't be satisfied using somebody else's list... so I wanted to get in on the action and share a budget deck that I've been working on myself. It clocks in at just under $80 using the prices at Star City Games (and we all know that you can snag cards a lot cheaper if you work at it on eBay).

Sooo... what deck can you think of that gets to swing with a 8/6 trample, first strike, vigilance, haste, lifelink, deathtouch, hexproof creature to win the game? This deck can do it fairly consistently (and 8/6 is a conservative number). This deck is a Timmy's dream come true... and with an average converted mana cost of 2.79 (and Phyrexian mana letting you play things even cheaper when need be), it is fast enough to compete with the best decks in standard.

Three Player 40K, Second Attempt

A few weeks ago, we tried out a game of 40K in which each player was on his own in a three way free-for-all. It was interesting, and you can check out the details by clicking here. This time, we had a different player and a different army in the mix. Eric, usually our Tau player, decided that he wanted something different, so he grabbed Matt's Space Marines. Jeremiah played orks, as usual. And I played my Blood Angels this time. For some reason, I stopped taking pictures after the first or second turn. I usually have tons of pics to choose from for blog posts and I only have seven.

Our setup was exactly the same as last time. 1000 points, four objectives (one in the center, one for each player to place), kill points for the tiebreaker, deployment as in the following pic:

As with last time, I was concerned about Player C being at a disadvantage. This time it was Jeremiah who ended up with the long edge, and I cautioned him not to split up his army like I did last time (which led to me getting smashed by the other players). He kept most of his force together, but still sent his deffkoptas on some tank-killing runs and kept his nobz in cover away from the fighting.

Free Rifts PDFs at DriveThruRPG

I was really excited when I found out that Palladium Books was going to start releasing their books as PDFs on DriveThruRPG, and then I was sorely disappointed to find out that they weren't releasing any of the newer books there. To be honest, I didn't look again after that first disappointing glimpse until just recently, when I discovered that my assumption was only partially true.

No, they still aren't releasing the new books in PDF format. But they are releasing sneak preview materials for new books that will be hitting the shelves soon. These are the free PDFs that are listed on DriveThruRPG at the moment:

Here's hoping these are just a taste of a long line of sneak previews!

Recent Magic Tournament Results

I've been playing a lot of Magic: The Gathering lately, if you haven't noticed by the increase in Magic-related posts here on Outsyder Gaming. In the last few months, I've come to a few realizations about the game:

  • I don't really like Standard anymore. Gone are the days when I could put together a decent deck for less than a hundred bucks and make top eight with it at FNM. Budget decks have always been tough to make work, but nowadays they are just so sorely outclassed that it just doesn't seem worth the effort. You either sink tons of cash into the format, you don't play at all, or you get used to losing a lot.
  • Legacy, while much more expensive to get into, is actually less expensive over the long haul. Similar to Warhammer 40K, in the legacy format you dump a lot of cash on the game when you first get started but you don't have to make major investments after that.
  • Limited formats (draft and sealed deck) are much better options for me. Since I stopped playing (back when I was running a budget Gruul deck and making top eight consistently) and started back (with budget decks that get me 1-2-drop performances consistently), I've had the following results at tournaments:
4/1/2011: Win, Win, Loss, Win, Finished 2nd
5/6/2011: Loss, Loss, Drop (Bad night...)
6/3/2011: Win, Loss, Win, Win, Finished 3rd
7/17/2011: Win, Win, Win, Win, Finished 2nd

5/29/2011: Win, Loss, Drop (Time constraints... wanted to keep playing...)
6/12/2011: Win, Loss, Draw, Loss, Finished 10th
7/3/2011: Loss, Win, Loss, Drop
7/22/2011: Loss, Win, Loss, Drop

Total for Limited: 10 wins, 4 losses, three out of four top eights
Total for Constructed: 4 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw, zero top eights

So the big question is this: Do I fork out the money for these $20+ mythic rares, or do I just suck it up and expect losses in constructed tournaments? 

Eventually, I'm sure I'll start forking out the money... even if I'm just selling off cards to get the new hotness. For now, though, I think I'm going to hang back and stick to limited for a while.

Lochlann's Laboratory: Moses, Dog Boy Bodyguard

R.UE.259Three dog boys who served Travis Lochlann helped him escape from Lone Star with his life after he took the fall for Desmond Bradford: Moses, Larry, and Jerome. Each of the three served Dr. Lochlann in a different capacity before his exile, and each fills a very different role in the lab now.

Of the three dog boys who helped Travis Lochlann flee, Moses looks the toughest and has the most foul temper. He considers himself the leader of the others, although they only grudgingly follow his orders unless they know they came directly from Dr. Lochlann. Moses is in charge of security and any mercenaries that Dr. Lochlann hires. Whenever there appears to be a threat to the laboratory, Moses usually leads whatever group goes out to eliminate said threat.

Blood Angels Army List for Tonight

Tonight is game night, and we're playing 40K. I'm glad we're finally getting back into playing again. It had been so long since we played, I spent way too much time last game looking up rules that I had forgotten. Tonight should be another 1000 point three way match like last time, although this time Matt isn't coming and Eric will be taking his spot. That means this battle will be Orks vs Tau vs Blood Angels.

I'll be commanding the Blood Angels, and this is the list I intend to run:

Magic: The Gathering Event Calendar... MtGmom

I just stumbled across an awesome Magic: The Gathering event calendar and I wanted to share it. The site is called MtGmom.com, and you can find events listed here from all over the place. If you're ever planning on going to a major event or you'll be playing somewhere out of town, this is the first place you should look for details. Click the banner below to visit the site.

Rifts Errata

I've never bothered much with errata. I just hate having to justify it to other players. "Yeah, I know the book says that, but the company that wrote the book says that it doesn't actually work that way anymore." Blegh. Seeing the looks on peoples' faces when you try to say that is just terrible. However, it is no big secret that Palladium Books products suffer from some internal consistency issues. If you're like me and you encounter these issues, you just pick whichever contradictory or ambiguous rules make the most sense and you go with it. No harm done... on with the game! But for those of you who need the official fixes (or just want something official to clear up a rules argument you're having between you and another player at your table), you can find all of the official errata for the Rifts megaverse by clicking the following link:

http://www.palladiumbooks.com/index.php/resources/the-cutting-room-floor (just scroll down a bit)

Rifts rules lawyers rejoice!

Mass Effect D20

I'm a huge fan of the Mass Effect series (and so is my little brother... he's even read the novels!). So when I was scrolling through the WotC forums the other day and noticed a thread under the d20 Modern section that focused on bringing one of my favorite games into the D20 system, I was thrilled. This might be old news for a lot of folks, as the thread appears to have been around since 2008, but it is news to me! A quick Google search reveals the following resources for a Mass Effect D20 campaign:

Three Player Warhammer 40K

Last week, we had three people for game night and we had planned to play 40K. This meant that we would either have to play 2 vs. 1 (not that fun), have one person sit out (even worse), or play a three way battle (which sounded promising). What wasn't promising was figuring out how to set it up. Unfortunately, the scenario in the big book isn't all that fun (we've tried it twice already), so it came down to trying to figure out a relatively even way to divide up the board. The best solution I could come up with was to divide the board as follows:

The board is a typical 6' x 4' Realm of Battle board. With this kind of deployment, each player gets exactly 1152 square inches of board for deployment. That's exactly one third of the board each. Now, I tried to search online for other setups, but I didn't find any others that I liked. Every single one warned about the player in the "middle" of the board getting ganged up on by the other two players and then the other two fighting it out between themselves, but most of these maps used an area around the center of the board on one side and the areas around each corner on the other side. This seemed highly restrictive to me, so I split things exactly evenly (space-wise at least). I figured that Player C, at least with my setup, could choose a corner of his own if the other two players seemed intent on crushing him.

Lochlann's Laboratory: The Lone Star Renegades

Desmond Bradford
Several years ago, a rumor began to circulate Lone Star that there was an ultra secret laboratory that focused on human experiments, something strictly forbidden in the Coalition States. Rather than deny the rumor, Desmond Bradford (the administrator of Lone Star and the one responsible for the forbidden experiments) feigned rage, conducted his own investigation, and picked a scapegoat: Travis Lochlann. Blaming Lochlann was convenient but disappointing for Bradford. The young doctor had already expressed some curiosity about human experimentation, and had dissected the remains of several genetically modified human cadavers retrieved by dog boy squads in the surrounding area. This curiosity put Lochlann on Bradford’s radar as a potential co-conspirator, but he had to be sacrificed to keep the secret projects going.

Sacrificed is a bit of a misnomer, though, as Travis Lochlann still lives (despite Coalition reports to the contrary). With the help of a few dog boy companions who knew his innocence, he escaped execution and actually fled with some of the evidence that was used against him (copies of Bradford’s own genetic research credited to Lochlann instead). Eventually, after trying to lay low and avoid Coalition patrols for a time, Lochlann settled down in a small village and took the time to study the research that he reputedly conducted. He found it fascinating, spending the better part of the next two years analyzing the data, building his own secret lab, and conducting new experiments.

Magic 2012 Database and Card Images for Magic Workstation (MWS)

For anyone looking for the latest Magic Workstation patch that includes all cards up to Magic 2012, look no further. You can find the new database by clicking here and downloading it from MWS Games & Manuals. For the card images, you can click here and download them.

Both mwsgames.com and mws.mtgbr.com are amazing resources, and I suggest you do more than just download the files when you follow these links.

40K 6th Edition Rumors, and My Opinions (Part I)

Okay, I just read through some of the rule changes that will supposedly happen in 6th edition (found here). Honestly, I'm not big on the rumor mills... but these are interesting. For the sake of this article, I'm going to assume that the rumors are true and share a bit of how I perceive the changes. Copied stuff is in bold... my comments are in italics.

Update: One Heck of a Week

The last seven days have been CRAZY... flying back in from Panama, spending time with my family for the 4th, trying to get somebody to come fix the siding and roof of my house after the last big storm, trying to get somebody to come fix my air conditioner, and scrubbing out of a Magic tournament... I've been pretty busy and I haven't gotten to work on the blog as much as I would have liked.

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