Worlds' Report from Arco den Boer 02

Erratum to part one: it was Brian (from USA) who shared the room with 
Spencer e.a., not Andy. 

So I lost my first game of semi-finals 7-0. With 30 players and only 
4 rounds this meant no finals for me. Somewhat frustrating, but why 
not enjoy the rest of the games.

Round 2 was against James Gutt. He hadn't played for a while and it 
showed. I had no idea what his deck was about and he was unlucky all 
the time. My Elves did a great job and were untouchable. An easy 6-0 
against his minions. 

Round 3 against Stephane, with his big Troll Lts. This was the 
perfect WWF matchup. My Elrond+sons against his 2 lts. My  hazards 
against minions were geared towards Balrogs above ground, but didn't 
hurt him much. He on the other hand managed to wound all my 
characters during my first turn and on top of that he attacked me 
immediatly after that. The Elves survived all this and managed to 
return to Rivendell safely. Soon they were ready to start over again 
and better prepared. I closed on him soon and when, towards the end 
of the game, the trolls thought they could burn down Lorien and get 
away with it, the Elves charged back and wounded his lts. It was a 
close 4-2 for me and lots of fun.

Round 4 against Josh Grace was a classic King under the Mountain 
against Return of the King. We managed to slow eachother down 
somewhat but nothing serious. Josh's dwarf managed to become King and 
so did Aragorn. He lost his only item during the council though, so I 
doubled mine for a 6-0.

Now I was ready to face one of those Balrogs or FWs that made it to 
the finals but I didn't get the chance. Hopefully next year's 
organization will stick to the rules of Swiss and allow 5 rounds or 
allow less people in the semi-finals. Ofcourse if I hadn't lost the 
first game...

Good thing is the Elf-deck is still undefeated and I really love to 
play this deck. I will definatly play it again and try to make it 
even better. Also I am not done with the other deck yet so I will 
keep it as well. 

Next day was finals, American nationals and country cup day. Brian 
Wong won finals and I am really happy for him because he deserved it, 
even if it took him to play Balrog. 

The country cup is a very cool idea but still needs a lot of work. 
Wim Heemskerk and me were the Dutch team. To start off each player 
got 2 starters and lots of boosters. Also we had to build 30/30 
decks. Very generous, but this meant we were almost playing 
constructed. Opening and sorting so many cards takes a lot of time 
that we should have used for more playtime. 

Contrary to playing 30/30 decks we would be playing 60 minutes rounds 
and 6 of them. ??????????????? Effectively each player got about 3 
turns per game max. and nobody got even halfway through their decks.

The games themselves were much fun and after 3 rounds we were 
undefeated and had to face the UK team. With their insane rolls and 
their "wild" sitecards, that could be any site during a given game, 
and being the only team to have such cards (the other teams just 
added the allowed 2 sitecards per team from own sitedeck), they 
proved too hard to beat. Round 5 and 6 would be played after dinner, 
round 5 being against Belgium for the right to play the UK in the 
finals. I was rather tired after 4 days of playing so I proposed not 
to play those rounds and enjoy my dinner and a drink instead, which 
was gladly accepted by the other teams. Cheers to the UK team!

So what did we learn? Stick to the rules of country cup as invented 
by Daniel Spronk, also to be found in the worlds program book. 
-Rounds should be 1.5-2 hours and 3-4 rounds with 8 teams will be 
more than enough (I'd say 3 rounds of 2 hours). 
-2 starters and 6 boosters per team will do and you will even get 
better decks than in regular sealed. 
-Stick to the rules for deckbuilding in regular sealed. 

Monday was American nationals finals. In the morning Luc and I were 
glad to check out of the hotel, but not before we got charged 
$20/night more than agreed on when booking the room. I went with Luc, 
Wim and Simone for a siteseeing tour guided by Steve. We got to see 
the altar in Notre Dame that appears on the Tolen Mar sitecard. After 
finals Luc and I met up with Dave and his wife Wendy, whose 
appartment we would share for the next 2 days. Wow, this apartment 
was amazing: in the middle of old Montreal and very cheap. Dave and 
Wendy were very pleasant people to share an appartment with.

Tuesday Luc and I went for more siteseeing, such as Chinatown, the 
local gameshops and Mont Real. For the evening Brian the champ, Anne 
and Jimmy Chen came over for dinner. Dave and Wendy cooked a great 
vegetarian meal (to which I added my "patatoes from the oven") and 
later Francois (local) came over as well. 

Wednesday was split up day. Dave and Wendy left for NYC, Luc went 
home and I went to beautiful Quebec City. On friday I returned to 
Montreal to watch the football (soccer) qualifier between Ireland and 
Netherlands. I spent the night with Francois and his family and 
learned how to play the Harry Potter cardgame in his gameroom. We 
lost the game against Ireland and will not be at worlds in Japan/ 

Same day, after a visit to the biodome, Montreal tower and the movies 
Planet of the Apes (boring) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 
(funny), I travelled 1000 km. to Gaspe penisula for some great 
nature. Met a very nice German girl with whom I spent the next couple 
of days. Towards the end of my trip I visited Tadoussac, famous for 
it's whales. That was impressive. In the end I travelled a total of 
3000 km. by bus, but a look on the map shows I only saw little of the 
immense province of Quebec. Last in Canada night I spent with the 
German girl in Montreal.

My trip to Canada again proved that MECCG worlds is more than just 
playing the game. You get to see something of the world, meet great 
people and have a great time. I urge everyone to try it at least 

I have done quite some complaining in this report, but all in all 
worlds in Montreal was a great success. Lots of thanks to Steven, 
Gary, Dave, Jimmy and whoever I forgot. Also thanks to Luc for being 
a great companion and Francois Petitclerc for helping me out and 
being excellent company. 

Some final thoughts:
-For next worlds it would be smart to rent a joint accomodation for 
everyone to stay at. It doesn't have to be luxurious, we will be 
playing all the time anyways. This way we can keep the costs as low 
as possible for everyone.
-I keep wondering howcome Amricans seem to marry and have kids 
approx. 10 years earlier than Europeans do, if they marry at all (UK 
seems somewhere in the middle here). Is this Anglo/American culture/ 
tradition? Please enlighten me. 
-I am still amazed by Jimmy Chen, who is only 17 years old and in 2nd 
year of McGill University. He must be unbelievably intelligent (he 
and Gene Berry played the only "new" decks to appear during worlds), 
but I wonder how a kid survives in the big world. 

Enough about worlds. Thanks if you made it to the end.

Hope to see you all next year in Europe.