K, thanks for the comments on my previous few posts, sms_to_lj is a nice way to let off steam when frustrated, and I read the comments using Opera Mini on my phone, the reply interface is a bit crappy though so didn't until now. Easyjet let me rebook the ticket to a later flight, for only £35. Given that the total cost, including taxes, of the return ticket, had been about £33, I'm not sure that was a good deal, but it was cheaper than buying a new ticket, and it wasn't their fault, so not too bad. So, I'm on the plane, on the way, the rest is easy, right? Oh no...
Arrived at Dortmund, took shuttle bus to train station (the main one, oops, the local one was the recommended, me teh (tired) doofus...), bought my ticket for the next train, went to the station, and then got on the train. Anyone a Jethro fan? You know that
Train don't stop Camborne Wednesdayssketch he does? Yeah. The train I got on? Only goes to Muenster on Sundays. Right train, wrong day. When do I find that out? When one of the cleaners finds me, we're at the train depot. 30 minutes walk back to the station, I've missed the next two trains, and the one after that will arrive in Muenster at 2.30am. I'm exhausted, and it would mean waking granjero up when I got there as well. So I book into a hotel. A rather nice hotel as it happens. Except for the right next to the train track bit... 75EUR for the room, but it's past midnight, so I just give them my card. Plus the train ticket I'd bought was valid for that day only. Then the next morning I accidentally press the first class button so pay EUR20 when I could have paid EUR12, and only found out when the conductor checked my ticket half way to Muenster. So, that was EUR95 wasted and a missed evening at the event. Ah well, I got there, and the hotel was very nice.
Of course, the drawback to getting there very late, given I don't travel at all well, is that I'm knackered and haven't practised, so I bomb in the tournament. TBH, given it was Chris' Sigrida deck and I've barely played for the last year, not a major surprise. I played some very good games, had much fun, and many of my losses were very close, including to people who did well and got to the quarter and semi finals, so I was happy. Well, as much as being sniped at by that annoying new FreeK is fun, anyway. We ate in a local Bavarian themed pub/bar, which was rather good, I had some spaghetti/spinach combo, and chatting to Vince for a bit was cool. In the evening, I mostly bummed around chatting to people, trying to avoid Mr Redpath and stopping the Greeks from starting rules discussions; I don't do rulings anymore Andreas, so persuading me your most recent broken combo whinge is valid does nothing! Still, I managed to get the two of them together to talk for a bit, which was good. The free cask of beer being shared out was cool, and, unsurprisingly, Seb camped next to it all evening. Watched syblackjack run some DL challenges, and was scared by the sick overpowered and wrong new one they've released. Just wrong, damnit! No idea how much I drank, but my head wasn't exactly clear the next day, so it was a bit.
mapp! Doesn't that image look familiar to you? Why did no-one tell me the EVE MMORPG was using the Whately symbol for one of their factions? Anyway, didn't get a chance to try it (that's a lie, I couldn't be arsed to stop drinking for long enough), but Eve CCG was described to me by more than one person as Doomtown lite with spaceships. I'm very (very) tempted, and the cards did look very well put together. The Warcrack CCG, however, looked awful. Mechanically, it seemed fine, merger of Magic, Vs and Warlord, but the artwork and overall presentation just didn't appeal, too cartoony, and Vince tells me that the collation/card pool is very weird, he recommends simply buying common/uncommon sets and then going for singles to deckbuild. Given that he's gone into business selling them he might be a little biased, but he's probably got a point. There was other stuff there, but nothing really appealed. I was tempted by the Gallente t-shirt though, just for the logo.
Sunday played doubles. Teamed up with Pavel, and borrowed Chris's Bloody Countess deck to complement his Sir Aleron. We weren't the only ones to do so. Doubles in Epic really does suck, getting decks to complement each other is pretty much impossible. Chris and Vince shose the right Tavis/Trevor combo and nearly got to the finals, losing in the semis to a mirror match run by Nick (from London) and the older Waegemann brother who, let's face it, is a bit good. Matthias/Nick then faced the Yomaster/Psymon team that had hammered us in the Swiss with a very similar deck combo. Ultimately, it was great fun, and Pavel was cool to play with. We hammered some Nothrog, got beaten in our two mirror-matches (both just) and got completely neutralised by an Elf team using that Cleric that moves you. Very annoying to play against, but an impressive deck idea.
After all the presentations were done, it was to the traditional pizza restaurant for an evening chatting and catching up. Great to see and talk to Arne again, and I hope he can make a go of his new tournament TO venture, as he's definately one of the best event organisers I've encountered ever. If he can organise something for next year at the same venue, I'm in, even if it is a bit of Warlord and a lot of Warcrack/something else. Managed to help many many people negotiate the menu (great restaurant, great atmosphere, massive selection of different Italian foods, but the worst layout for a menu ever), my ability to read foodtypes in German improves constantly. Although translating from German to English then trying to explain to a Greek what it was so he could figure the Greek out for a different Greek was, um, interesting? I really ought to learn to speak the language rather than just remember that knoblauch=garlic...
Andreas tried another rules discussion, which I got out of, Steve asked the stupidest question ever and Vince shouted at him (he asked Chris to make ranged strikes better in the game; you see my comments above about getting sniped to death? Yeah, like they really need to be better. When this was pointed out, he said he a) didn't know this, b) didn't have the cards and c) hadn't researched it, but still thought they should be better. Vince shouted at him big time, most amusing). Eventually, exhaustion set in and we walked back to the hostel.
Travelling back was easy, although we first had to get another bag for all the loot, which was, well, an interesting challenge. One thing confused me completely; in Dortmund, there were many, many statues of flying rhinos. I have every intention of digging around, but does anyone have a clue why they've got multiple rhino statues with feathered wings? I took a picture on the phone, but as I've no idea how to get pictures off it, not really of much help :-(
Got here (Mike's) last night at about 9ish, and essentially collapsed. Did decide that if I travel via Luton again, I drive to his, park up, and take the train, there's a direct train from Wimbledon FFS.
Now, to plot the rest of the week..