|Nemesis Prerelease-Tempe, AZ
Introducia: I'm Mike Bahr, a level 3 judge from Tempe, Arizona. I was one
of three level 3's present at the Nemesis Pre-release, which was held at
the Tempe Mission Palms hotel. Also present were Ray Powers and Matt
Stenger, and a cadre of judgelings.
The tournament didn't offer any surprises as far as decks played, players
emerging as better than expected, or all the things that go into a usual
tourney report. There were, however, some prodecural notes that make a
judge's report on the matter worth writing. (Otherwise, I won't waste your
time. I judge several events per week, and I ain't gonna lie, most of them
I do on auto-pilot.)
For the factual record, the winner was Jeremy Brower at 7-0-1, second to
Steve Ward at 6-0-2. We actually had a player go 4-0-4 on the day and take
SEVENTEENTH place. (Prizes went to 16th). So we gave him the big Nemesis
poster since he had "the most challenging day". :)
Note #1: Central locations Good. One thing I heard over and over again at
this event was that it was at a great location. Tempe Mission Palms is
adjacent to Arizona State University, and is smack dab in the middle of
the Phoenix metro area population-wise. When planning events of scale, I
recommend always looking for something similarly central. Nobody has to go
all that far to get there. I got a double dose of this philosophy the next
day when I attended the local Renaissance Fair, which was held twenty
miles east of town in the middle of nowhere, and gripes about distance
Note #2: Give your judgelings lots of things to do. These guys will go
idle in seconds if you let them. We found that the best thing to help us
get more done, and to help them learn how to judge in appropriate
environment, is to have them run all drafts. Now, many of you may say
"Well, of course you do that." But it's not that simple... most of the
time they come in handy when you're passing out decks and such for the
main event, handling line operations, churning the cattle as it were, but
we're finding that they're much more effective in a smaller judging
situation. This ties into note #3.
Note #3: If you want people to come to your events, make sure your judges
treat them well. One of our judgelings was called to a table with a player
asking if his opponent's Laccolith Rig really is that powerful. (It is.)
Specifically, if the opponent then gets to choose the damage dealing, etc,
making it part Cessation and part Delirium. The judgeling in question
replied, very irritably, "Look, it just works, alright? Now just play!"
Our staff put that particular judge right onto a side event and we had to
smooth things over with the unfortunate temper-blast-recipient. Now, all
these things are not to make one think that judgelings are more a
hindrance than a help. After all, they ARE great for fetching lunch. (OK,
kidding.) A proper judgeling will be effective *and* personable, and those
are the ones most likely to advance in the future; keep an eye on them.
Note #4: Make land distribution NOT be a bottleneck. This probably means
putting some of your juniors on land distribution and really spreading out
the process to accomodate some "bandwidth". This was our main mistake of
the tournament as organizers... the rest of it was amazingly smooth.
Note #5: Watch players CAREFULLY when they play Pitch spells. I caught
one player not paying life for his Snuff Out three times; his opponent
didn't notice. The first time I was somewhat certain, but not enough to
make a ruling. The second time I was certain, but I opted not to rule
because his opponent was about to win game 1 that same turn regardless.
The third time, I was certain and I warned him on it. The beauty of it
was, I didn't have to hand out a game loss because the life margin made
him lose game 2 the next turn. (I saw that this would happen based on the
players' hands at the time.) Not too shabby. I love it when the game rules
for us and we don't have to be the "bad guys", and yet fairness is still
enforced. It's a rare thing. I guess it's like the old saying, "if they're
already going to die, don't bother shooting them again, just save your
ammo." Our "ammo" in this case is the authority we can command as judges
when our track record shows that we only give out penalties when they are
Note #6: No problems with the 5-turn rule. Time wasn't too bad overall.
One problem we DID have was when two people who left without withdrawing,
would be paired in the next round, nobody would know about it, and at the
end of time and the 5 turns, we would still not be able to find them.
(Obviously we start looking when time is called and there are four or five
tables in extra turns.) That creates somewhat of a hold-up of the
Note #7: Few judge test requests these days locally. Wonder why. Perhaps
a bad time, with school and all.
- Arizona Gamer Staff - http://www.arizonagamer.com - Tempe,AZ -
- Mike Bahr - DCI Level 3 Judge - Charles Donnell - E-Commerce -