After the problems with the Euros earlier this year, i was a little concerned about the nationals. However, a couple of good friends were going and offered me a lift. Being someone who hates driving, i took up this offer and we booked a Premier Inn on the outskirts of Liverpool. This turned out to be a good idea, as the parking was a little pricey at the venue (was slight cheaper us using public transport, and we removed the stress of city driving from the driver - wins all round). Still, this was costing about £100 for the event (plus food and drink and anything else we wanted).
Problems at the Euros
The main issue with the Euros was the lack of planning by the organiser. The registration was extended, start delayed a lot and change of playing format - all led to a pretty unpleasant experience (brief overview here). My concern was that they would not have learned their lessons. I was pleased to notice that they had. Registration was staggered, the cut off time for registration was strict, start times were prompt and the game consisted of the amount of rounds that players were expected. On top of this, the layout of the admin area was colour coded and very visible. Communication systems were loud and clear, and information was being conveyed.
Wow, problems of the Euros seem to have been put to bed - may they never service again. Organisation needs to keep this level as a minimum.
As the new 2 player starter came out a short time ago, it was no surprise to see a LOT of new decks. Unfortunately they were all round Kylo and Phasma (not necessarily together, but very prominent). Hero decks were lacking, so i was in the minority of playing my eLuminara and eRey.
The games at this tournament for me were great. So many were really close and went down to the last dice rolls - just how a game should be. With those, i didn't care if i won or lost as the game was so enjoyable. In the end i ended up 2-5 (2 wins and 5 losses). My target was to win 1 game, so getting 2 was great. I may have won another, but made a mistake late in the game, and died before i could correct it - still, a fun game.
My opponents were brilliant and we always had a pleasant chat. I am a fairly relaxed player, so was happy for people to make the odd small amend, and i liked to remind people to get their dice, use the abilities etc. I was there for the fun, not to challenge the championship.
My friend is a big Grievous fan, and really wanted the top 8 play mat. He worked really hard in building his deck and working out how it played, and how other decks played. This is preparation that i find hard to do, but he seemed to relish it. As a result, he made it into the top 16 cut (the best 16 players of the knock out stages).
The following morning was the cut play off, this was a knock out round. After a tense period of time (it felt like a couple of hours, but was probably just 45 mins), he won and got his mat. Everything else after would be a bonus. However, he finally got knocked out by the eventual winner of the tournament (who also beat me the day before, and i like to think i helped him out a little to his victory).
The second day for the other Destiny players were the side events. This is where the event took a bit of a nose dive, and i think the organisers need to pay a little more attention to.
There was a premium side event (costing £5 an entry), which was a multiplayer variant of the Destiny game. The staff had no idea what the prize would be (as it was to be announced on the day) and no idea if everyone would get one. For a £5 entry, i would expect something out of it - either the chance for the top player to get something really cool - and for everyone to get a participation prize. This was not the case here, and i missed out on getting the promo card (were only 16, but 24 players). Ideally, they should have closed this at the 16 players, so people who registered early would have benefited. Never mind, these things happen.
30 minutes before this, they had an Empire at War pre-release. This cost £5 as well, AND we had to but the 3 boosters (maximum we were allowed). We then got the 3 promo cards. I failed to see what the £5 cost was for, as you don't need to do this in store, you just play the games. Never mind, i did pull a Legendary from my 3 packs - so that made me happy.
They were handing out prize tickets, and these tickets could be converted into prizes. This was a great idea, as it allowed people to get some swag from previous events. Trouble is, Destiny has not been around that long, so there was nothing to get. Somehow, we ended up with a LOT of prize tickets, so we all pulled together and got ourselves some nice swag from the other games.
I had a great time at the event. I think it would have been enhanced a lot more if the side events were organised a little better. However, the thought the organisers had put into place, along with listening to the community, must be applauded. I for one will be booking tickets to go again next year, where my target will have to be increased to win 3 games.