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Apocalypse Prerelease Report - Boston

Matt Villamaino

Apocalypse Prerelease - Boston
By Matt Villamaino - July 23, 2001
Logistics: Holiday Inn, Boxborough, MA, 5/26/01, 250 + players
Staff: Head Judge - Matt Villamaino (2), Scorekeeper - Helen Dunsmoir, 8-9 other Level 1 & 2 judges.

As we had done for the Planeshift prerelease, we decided to run the Apocalypse prerelease
using the flight system, starting with flights of 64 people, then switching to 32 person flights.

Each flight was assigned a judge to run it with myself being the overall head judge to handle any serious problems and to manage the overall event. After delays in the Planeshift prerelease we decided to use two computers for the event, roughly splitting up the flights between them, Helen Dunsmoir ran one of the computers and we had other judges rotating on the other one so they could get experience with DCI Reporter.

Head judge Matt Villamaino takes his turn running DCI Reporter.

Some players had complained about people allegedly adding cards to their sealed deck at previous prereleases so we decided to run one flight with a deck registration and deck swap for people who were concerned about this. Evidentially people were not as concerned as they seemed as we had to cancel that flight due to a low interest in it.

Since the set was new and there were a lot of new players there I decided to have one hour rounds and give the players one hour for deck construction. This also made keeping track of the multiple flights considerably easier. Before the event I set up a spreadsheet on my computer to aid in keeping track of where each flight was.

There were not a lot of rules questions that came up during the event that needed my attention, however we did have several situations that I needed to get involved in.

During one of the earlier flights, a player told a judge that he heard a player bragging that he was going to add cards to his sealed deck. The problem was we only had a vague description of the player. Two other judges and I then went on the floor to watch the players during construction, paying special attention to players who fit the description and taking note of the cards that they received.

Here's a card I wouldn't want anyone adding to their deck

Midway through the day I was approached by a younger tournament player and several of his friends. They complained that in the previous round, his opponent had accused him of cheating and rather than go through the hassle of calling a judge he should just concede to him. I talked to both players involved and felt that his opponent had bullied him into conceding the match. I gave him a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct - major and a game loss for it. I would have made the penalty more severe however I believed that the player honestly thought his opponent was cheating and was trying to save him from getting in trouble. I also talked to the new player for several minutes giving him general tournament advice to help him in the future including to always call a judge if there is a problem.

Towards the end of the day I was approached by a player who suspected that his opponent had used cards from a previous flight in his deck. I looked up the earlier flight and found that he went 1-2 drop. Only one of the three opponents was still there, however he didn't remember playing him (as I was to find out later, the player in question had actually been a no-show, getting him his second loss). I then spoke to the player about my concerns. When I asked to see his deck from the previous flight he claimed that it was lost or stolen (I can't remember which as I write this). One of the other judges also vouched for his behavior. While I suspected that he may had done it, mostly due to the lost deck from the earlier flight, without confirmation from a previous opponent I did nothing.

As we are just starting to run prereleases with the flight system (this was our second), we figured out a couple things to do differently for the next one. Mainly, the person keeping track of the flights (time remaining, announcements, assigning judges, etc...) should not be the head judge. When I had to handle an incident I may have only been gone a few minutes, but it got confusing when switching back and forth between timekeepers especially if they forgot to write something on the tracking sheet (such as the start time for a round). Also, though we decided to use two computers to speed up the event and prevent delays in other flights because of a problem in one, we only had one scorekeeper who really knew what was going on, so the time we would have saved was taken up by her fixing problems on the other computer.

For the next prerelease I am working on an improved tracking sheet, if it works well, I will make it available to anyone who wants it. We are also planning on putting together a seminar on DCI Reporter for our staff to get them up to speed with the program and using it for multiple, larger (32 or 64 person) events.

Matt Villamaino, Jr.
Your Move Games Judge Coordinator
DCI Level 2 Judge

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