|Mercadian Masques Prerelease-Indianapolis, IN, USA
Mitch Smithson, Level III Judge
Mercadian Masques Prerelease Tournament
September 25, 1999
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
That day started off rather well. All the staff that was to travel with
to the event (which is an hour or so from my home) was on time. We were
able to fit all the product and prize support (plus everything else
to run the event) into the back of one of our judge's car (a mighty
Celebrity station wagon) with room for another staff member. The rest of
the staff split up into two other cars along with the much needed
We had the station wagon checked out the day before (a complete tune-up,
change, tires checked, etc..) and were told everything was fine. WRONG!
About 20 minutes into the trip, on a major interstate, the tire on the
goes flat. Needless to say, we had a horrible time getting everything
my little compact car (but some how we did!), and minus half of our
we finally made it to Indy an hour and a half after registration was
to open! Did I mention the fact that we only had half our staff?! There
were a couple of staff people from Indy who were working with us, and
luckily (with LOTS of hurrying and scurrying) we were able to get all 300
so players registered and round one underway only 15 minutes behind
(with a skeleton crew!)!!! Organization is great.
About the middle of round three, the rest of the staff finally made it
(turns out the starter on the wagon was shot!!), just in time for booster
draft sides!! Yeah!! They cranked it up and, still in good spirits, ran
great drafts all day!!
So here are the specifics:
-294 players in the main sealed deck event, with 33 booster draft sides,
one standard constructed side.
-7 Swiss rounds (we only run seven rounds, and give out prizes based on
records. More players get prizes, and it pleases them to no end).
-We had, after everyone showed, six level 2 judges, two level 1 judges,
judge trainees, and a few other admin staff, plus myself.
-We had no major rules problems, since sixth edition rules and templating
are really self explanatory (I love 6th Ed.). The biggest problem we
was the tardiness of the event staff. But with a little diplomacy and
apologies, everything worked out great!
Biggest Player Complaint:
-WHAT IS HAPPENING TO RED? HUH? Give it some Viagra! Its lost its
Things to remember:
-Pre-releases are supposed to be fun! Remember, the K value and rules
enforcement of such events have been adjusted to show this. As with all
tournaments, you should always use your best judgment with regards to
penalties, but remember to maintain the integrity of the event (we had a
couple of sharks looking to win matches on penalties that would warrant
losses in PTQs). Don't be too lenient, but don't be too hard-nosed.
events are also a chance for you to relax and have fun as well. Use
judgment on where to draw the line.
-Pre-releases are a great place to put newer judges on side events,
especially if they are booster drafts >:) ! The drafts are a bit more
relaxed, and the newer judges have a great chance at learning a lot
all the pressure.
-Diplomacy..diplomacy..diplomacy: always remember to listen carefully to
what players are saying to you. When they are done, it doesn't hurt to
repeat everything back to them to make sure of the situation. When you
your ruling, feel free to explain why you ruled the way you ruled. Don't
overboard, however. There is a line between making a ruling, nonsensical
babbling, and coaching. Make sure to only do the first :). Just be fair.
Overall, it was a great event, and the players and staff were really
with its success!
Mercadian Masques Players' Favorites:
Forced March (a Black Wrath of God?)
Bribery (You get to do WHAT with my deck!?)
Unmask (Duress/Ostracize for free!)
Mercenaries (cool for limited)
Rebels (see mercenaries)
Magistrate's Scepter (retooled Time Vault!)
DCI Tournament Organizer
DCI Level III Judge
Simply Magic Events Coordinator