Can’t Spell “Tournament” Without “Torment”

While casual games are fun, there’s something about competing in a tournament.  Putting yourself up against a bunch of fellow players over multiple games, testing your skill, seeing who emerges victorious that day.

And knowing that it won’t be me.  The lack of pressure is such an enormous relief.

Yesterday, we had a Machi Koro tournament.  I’ve talked about the game before, but suffice it to say it’s very much a luck driven game, where you roll dice to determine the effects of various cards in play, and use money to buy more cards that are dealt at random.  Now it’s possible to mitigate the luck as much as possible — some card effects let you re-roll dice or alter rolls, and you can buy cards that trigger at a range of values so you’re not stuck waiting for a handful of numbers — but for the most part, you are at the whim of randomness.  And that whim did not take a liking to me yesterday.  If there was the absolute worst possible die roll for me to get, I got it.  I had some decent economy set up, but just could not hit the numbers needed to trigger it.  At first I was angry about it, but then just had to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I was in last place in the first game by a gigantic distance, and in the second game, I fared somewhat better, but the eventual champion ran away with the win before anyone could mount much of a challenge.  The bright side is that I got a $5 gift card for participating … which balanced out the $5 I paid to enter the tournament.  And so the cosmic scales were balanced.

With Machi Koro, I could at least blame my misfortunes on cruel fate.  In today’s Imperial Assault tournament, I had no one to blame but myself.  I built the skirmish squad.  I decided the strategy.  And it was a disaster on both levels.  Outmanned and outplayed in all three games.  My opponents had more figures in their builds than I did, so each round saw them able to activate multiple groups in succession while my spent ranks just stood there and watched.  I tried rushing ahead and got slaughtered.  I tried turtling up and got flanked.  I tried moving en masse and got area attacked to death.  The last of the three games?  It didn’t even get out of the second round before I conceded, with one unit left on the table and my opponent still having multiple units left to move.  I have never felt more outmatched in a supposedly competitive environment in all my gaming life.  It was so overwhelming I couldn’t even feel all that upset about it; I was clearly outmatched today, and it was definitely a learning experience as to what works in the game’s skirmish mode.

So to those I played the last two days, you’re welcome.  I hope I didn’t take up too much of your time.


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