Damn, being stuck with just thoughts is weird. It was a long time ago since last. Maybe I should hang out at airports more often. Clear the head or something.
I guess the kindle first came with meeting old school players in Regensburg in late 2012. The flame got properly lit when I joined the first Arvika Festival a little over two years later. An old School tournament way further away from home than I was used to, a new setting and a new community. It was brilliant. I became a regular at Arvika's larger gatherings, made sure to book WSK in Växjö each year, and found myself playing Varberg, Stockholm and Karlstad as the scenes start to emerge. When I by chance visited Munich, I got to hang out with local player Custer, and started to realize that traveling too meet oldschoolers maybe held a far deeper value than just playing the game against a new deck.
the first Fishliver Oil Cup two years ago I was there. It was the first time I jumped on a plane to play Magic, bypassing the seas of northern Scandinavia. They promoted it as "Italian Rules, Swedish Style". It was a far stronger lure than than something like "Swedish Rules, Awesome Prizes", or "Italian Rules, Professional Style". It is not the rule set or decks or prizes that matter for me. It is the style. Now, a couple of years later, what was once referred to as "Swedish Style" has perhaps become just plain "Old School Style". And I've realized that that's my allure.
A couple of weeks after last n00bcon, Erwin Demmer of the "4,000" crew in the Netherlands sent me a mail. He was going to host a small tournament in his home with around twelve players. The format was Limited Constructed. Only cards from Limited Edition (i.e. first edition Alpha and Beta), with modern constructed rules. Max four of each card, restricted list, 60-card decks, etc. It sounded awesome, but I was still new to this whole traveling thing. I think I waited a week before I responded to him, pondering it over. Did I have too much work on my plate to just leave for a few days? What about me moving to a new apartment soon thereafter? The weekend that Erwin suggested was in fact at the same time I had to see a man about a horse.
|True story btw, I was to deliver a horse I'd been helping taking care of to a man about five hours train ride north of Oslo.|
Gordon "Ditchy" Anderson also signed up for the party, and KungMarkus expressed interest. Stuff got in the way however, and it was clear that this was a journey I would walk alone. That is another cool thing with the community. I have zero doubts traveling alone to a den of 93/94 players. I pretty much know that they will be good people to hang out with.
So I was going, and I was going to show the aquatic community down there what Scandinavians can do with old cards. Represent, if you will. Step one was to build a deck for Limited Constructed, perhaps the most stupid constructed format, rivaled only by the Wizards' Tournament.
Building a deck in a format like this starts with looking at what you have. It is very similar to 93/94 in that aspect, though even more restrictive on what card you can ever hope to dig up. Luckily, I have a pretty sweet card pool at this point. I traded away a binder of Modern and Commander staples two years ago to get four Beta Scrublands. So I had the mana for Black/White.
|80% of my black borded duals right here!|
|It may not look so pretty these days, but I guess it's the inside that counts.|
|Dead Guy at the Party.|
|Speaking of card pools, I found this in the pocket of my Hurloon Jean Jacket. Suppose I found it on the floor after The Wizards' Tournament when I helped rigging up for n00bcon. If anyone lost it, let me know.|
Due to work I had been almost completely off-line from social media for the last couple of weeks. Not that I was working late, I pretty much never do, but instead due to my head being completely done by the end of each day. I was in no shape to try and plan things beyond work, ultra-sounds and moving to the new apartment. I had my plane ticket ready, but I hadn't planned anything beyond that. I figured that I could solve those problems as they came, throw money at a random hotel, and travel via taxi if I couldn't find out about the local transports. I realized to some chagrin that I was in the odd position where I for once had more money than time, and had to plan the trip accordingly.
The day before I left our host Erwin contacted me again. When he heard that I hadn't booked anything, he said that I was welcome to stay in his home and that he would even pick me up at the airport. That's old school players for you.
I could go on. This could be a really long post. But in the spirit of somewhat digestible brevity, I'll just fall back and show some pictures from the weekend.
|Trading stories and playing Magic.|
|After an early rise, it is time to gather the Knights of Thorn for the fourth time. A little south a fifty players from surrounding areas (along with a guy from Serbia and a Swede).|
|Pretty sweet turn two on the play right here.|
|Got the chance to battle Dyan in the second round. Another one of the first seven, along with being an early contributor to this blog as well as one of the pioneers in old school EDH.|
|The glorious prize.|
|Mari Stenhage, here sporting the n00bcon X t-shirt, was the organizer and scorekeeper for the event, as well as a former Knights of Thorn Champion.|
|A playmat showing veteran experience from the Dutch old school scene.|
|A solid crew awaiting the Top8.|
|Mari breaks the lance and picks up a second copy of the Knights of Thorn. Savannah Lions clearly work well with Stone Rain. Amazingly well played, and congrats!|
|The after-teaching at Erwin's place go on until around four in the morning. As a presently weak man, I give up already around midnight. There's a fight tomorrow, and I plan to land some blows.|
|Sunday. The Warriors have gathered.|
|Trading floor. Should have brought my binder.|
|Some pre-game bartering with Jason add these cards to my collection. The gauntlet is an inked Unlimited., but the dual is surprisingly sweet for me as a collector of sorts. After 24 years, this one finally puts me at 40/40 ABU duals.|
|Jason Schwartz. An old school player if I ever saw one.|
|Game on. This is what's on stake. For all the marbles.|
|A lot of Royal Assassins and monoblack in the meta. Serra Angel and Circle of Protection: Black delivers.|
|Facing off against Koos with RG. Pestilence doing a lot of work.|
|Koos vs Dyan in the traditional beard-off.|
|After the match with Jason, we decide to play a game for Scrye #3 ante (that is, you must offer to sell any cards you win for the price according to Scrye #3 after the game).|
|I succefully take down the match, and collect an Alpha Counterspell as my spoils. It is valued at three-fiddy.|
|I saved the actual coins if you ever feel like selling it Jason. Feels like it might have been a little cheap these days.|
|Free beer, free krokett, and lovely smiles :)|
|Fighting against Magic Mike, the glorious Hill Giant Champion. Why so few mana sources brah?|
|The indoor crew.|
|Tight play in the final rounds.|
|After a solid 6-0 start, I am finally bested by UW Control for a 7-1 in the end of the swiss. I am uncertain about the actual standings, as we didn't report results anywhere. I don't think anyone of us really thought about it.|
|Well, nothing to fear there. This is perhaps the most brilliant final standings I've ever seen. They were written way before the tournament was finished. Just play, have fun, and ignore the results; they are already set.|
|The lucky champions; Jason Schwartz, Mg, and Michel.|