Worlds' Report from Arco den Boer

Somewhat late (just returned from Canada), but nevertheless enjoyable 
I hope, here's my report on my trip to worlds in Montreal, Canada. It 
will focus less on the tournaments and more on the overall 
experience, as my memories of the games I played already faded. In my 
report you will also find some points of critique, but I should start 
to say that the orginazing committee did a great job organizing 
worlds. They put in much more effort than the locals did in Amsterdam 
last year and I feel I owe them eternally for such a great experience.

My flight to Montreal was without any delay, so at about 2 PM on 
thursday 23rd I arrived at the Best Western Europe hotel in downtown 
Montreal. The person at the desk was very unfriendly and unhelpful, 
but after a while I finally got the key to my room and settled. I 
hated the room: very dark with just one window looking out on a blind 
wall without the possibility to open it for fresh air. The airco gave 
me headsaches and nosebleeds (for those who wondered what happened to 
my infamous nose ring: I had to take it out for that reason). 

When I came down in the lobby Charles Jenkins and Spencer Carney just 
got the same treatment at the desk. Nice start! We went out for a 
bite, got a couple cases of beer and went up to the sunny roof 
terrace to talk about ourselves and worlds. Funny how I expected 
Spence to be the older, respectable family man, writing for 
Hemispheres, whereas he turned out to be this college jock type, very 
much into having a beer and a laugh. 

Around 6 PM room mate Luc from Belgium arrived and we went to Charles 
and Spences room for the draft. I put a note on my door for the 
others who might come over for the draft. Big mistake! The desk 
woulnd't let Joe and friends up to my room so they didn't get the 
note. So we played multiplayer. Charles wrote all about his glorious 
vitory. During the game, Andy and Bill Kenyon, who were sharing the 
room with Charles and Spence arrived. 

The next day, we were off to the library to meet the players and for 
the open qualifier and my Dutch sealed deck. I didn't get much from 
what happened during the qualifier except that you needed 12 TP out 
of 4 rounds for one of the 21 slots in the semi-finals. Dutch sealed 
went rather smooth with 10 players/3 rounds. Many got the Lure of 
Nature misprints in their packs. Simone de Ruyter won. 

Later that night we had dinner together and started the drinking 
game. Unfortunatly the drinking game started so late that we couln't 
properly finish it. By the time I knew how to get the most out of the 
rules (take a shot to draw a card every turn, take a shot to untap a 
character once a turn, take 2 shots to adjust a roll afterwards once 
a turn) the bar was closing. After I lost to Jimmy Chen, he made me 
drink 2 shots of his "girly drink" and he kept reminding me of that 
for the whole weekend. Jimmy, I actaully enjoyed that drink, that's 
why you had to buy another one. 

Saturday was semi-finals. I promised to play hero during worlds after 
my victory in Dutch championships with the overpowered Balrog deck. 
So I did. I built a new Gondor deck against hero, based on the red 
arrow/theoden/riders theme, with Aragorn/return of the king/white 
tree in the sideboard. I had played it only twice so far so I wasn't 
very familiar with it, although the basics are known. Just pick up 
many factions, some items, an ally and bring many characters into 
play at their homesites or with a chance meeting. Hazards were based 
around Beorning skin-changers backed up with targeted creatures, 
rivers and tappers to slow my opponents down. I decided to not play 
the successful agent/seek part to speed games up, bmuch to my regret 
afterwards. Against minions I played my yet undefeated version of the 
Elrond/big elves deck. Hazards were geared towards stopping Balrogs 
playing more than one MP card per turn or none at all.

First round I played Alicia from Joe Bisz' group, who ofcourse played 
One Ring. I must have been asleep because instead of going for 25 MP 
and cycling as soon as possible, I made the mistake to go for lots of 
MP. She played the deck well, although she almost lost the game by 
Khamuling me twice, helping me through my deck. My hazards came too 
slow and wrong so she dunked on me. My first loss ever to a one ring 
deck and a costly one, it turned out. 

End of part one.