I played at the first PAX Dungeon Command Tournament, Ask Me Anything

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As the title suggests, I played at the PAX Dungeon Command tournament.  Afterwards, I spent some time talking to Chris Dupuis and some of the other judges about the game, so if anyone has any questions about how it went, whats in the boxes or the format in general, I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has.

Also, I live a short drive from the WotC building in Renton, so if anyone over there needs a set of outside eyes to playtest some Dungeon Command, I'd be happy to help out. 
What was the policy on the visibility of hit points? Was your opponent able to easily see how many hit points each of your creatures had left?

Also, were you able to mix and match which dungeon tiles you used for your board? (ie, two from each box) 
Check out my blog over at Roving Band of Misfits, or follow me on Twitter
What was the policy on the visibility of hit points? Was your opponent able to easily see how many hit points each of your creatures had left? 



All of the cards in play were considered public knowledge, so visibility of damage tokens was clear.  No one contested this, at least with me, though, and I volunteered the information at times.

Also, were you able to mix and match which dungeon tiles you used for your board? (ie, two from each box) 



It was a sealed tournament, so we were instructed to play with the boxes we got exactly as they were (they came with 36 order cards even though you only need 30), so we weren't allowed to switch them around.  From my understanding though, in a constructed tournament, you would be able to use whatever 4 of the tiles you wanted to (I'm guessing 2 end pieces and 2 square pieces would be required though).

When we played, the player who went first (decided randomly, usually a dice roll) would place all of his or her four tiles at once and get to decide if they were indoor or outdoor.  After that, the second player would place his or her four tiles (either indoor or outdoor, whichever player 1 decided), and they had to seal the 2 holes the other player made.  If the first player made an un-completable map, they would have to remake it until the second player could place.  No holes at the edges of maps were allowed.
Good to know about the beginning map construction. That's not how we've been playing it, but then I don't think I've read the rules too closely as to the "correct" way to do it.

It's interesting that you were required to use the full 36 order cards rather than being allowed to remove 6 of them.

Out of curiosity, how did you do in the tournament?

Also, was it single elimination? Double elimination?

And what was first prize? These things are important! 
Check out my blog over at Roving Band of Misfits, or follow me on Twitter
Out of curiosity, how did you do in the tournament?



I went to time (75 minutes) on the first match and we drew, the second match, some poor positioning of a drider and an umberhulk gave me the win, and the last match was a real nailbiter, we went to time but I won within the three turn rule (same as the MTG five round rule, but three rounds instead).

I ended up conceding after I won so that the other guy could go on and play and take third, and I went and enjoyed the show floor of PAX some more, since I hadn't gotten as much time as I had wanted to up there, and I had already spent five hours playing, which for someone of my weak board gaming stamina, is quite a bit.


Also, was it single elimination? Double elimination?



It was swiss format, so a win was considered 3 points, a draw 1 point, and a loss 0 points. Whoever had the most points at the end of it won.  In the case of a tie, the winner was decided by how good the opponents that they played against were. For instance, if I lost to someone who went 4 and 0 as my only loss, I would place higher than someone who had the same number of points but lost to someone who went 1 for 3.

There were 4 rounds of 75 minute games.  A lot of games went to time, but that may have been because we were using the precon decks, as opposed to ones people made with the intention of being overpowered, and because a lot of us weren't super familiar with the game, myself included.

And what was first prize? These things are important! 



The first prize was a statue of Orcus, I believe.  The thing was actually ridiculously cool.

The top two got books signed by someone at WotC (unfortunately, I didn't see which book or who it was signed by).

The first four places got the unreleased Golbin Tyranny box, which seems to have some really cool cards in it.  A big ass troll with regeneration, a big demon with reach 2 (iirc), and some ways to recycle your creature graveyard back into your library, which is pretty sweet.
I'm unfamiliar with the three (or five) round rule for ties. How does that work?
Check out my blog over at Roving Band of Misfits, or follow me on Twitter
As the person who Eric conceded to, I can definitly offer a giant THANK YOU. 3 wins and a tie was good enough (Not guaranteed until the very end though). Also, if you are playing drow, don't forget to use feint. Just sayin.

PDAs for the end game rule, when time ends the person who is currently playing finishes their turn. Each player then takes a turn? If even after that no one has won, the game is ruled a draw.

Also this was sent from my wife's iPad and I am no good at this typing 
How did you feel only playing one match per round, as opposed to the usual three?

With the game being so new, how often did you find your opponents inexperienced being noticeable? Things like forgetting to cower in obvious situations, or just generally bad positioning?

Did you find a largely carried play style among opponents? Or did you encounter many opponents using similar strategies? Do you think this leads to repetitive gameplay if so?

What were your feelings towards map building in a competitive environment? What tactics did you and others use while map building?

Worth mentioning I played aswell, I'm just curious, and would like to see other perspectives.  I would love it if others chimed into how a more serious enviroment affected their playstyles, and feelings towards winning or losing.
How did you feel only playing one match per round, as opposed to the usual three?



It would be nice to play each person more than once, but completely impratical. The games were limited to 75 minutes (plus the post-time rule), and very often they went that long. Anything more than one game per group would result in a 16+ hour 4-round swiss tournament.

Maybe if the game got big enough and you could break it out over multiple days. 


With the game being so new, how often did you find your opponents inexperienced being noticeable? Things like forgetting to cower in obvious situations, or just generally bad positioning?



I'm pretty sure that I forgot to use feint a billion times. Also, in each of my games we agreed to a single "order-card mulligan" (allow the other person to draw their order card at any point during their turn given that they forgot to do it at the beginning).

Lastly, I still don't like cowering. Of my four games, 2 (or maybe 3?) went to the 75 minute limit. The  one that certainly didn't was over after roughly 15 minutes. The player drew poorly (cormyr) and I drew well (lolth). He cowered a bunch of times, and I made him pay in short order. So, I don't know that I have found a real proper situation in which to cower yet. 


Did you find a largely carried play style among opponents? Or did you encounter many opponents using similar strategies? Do you think this leads to repetitive gameplay if so?



There really wasn't much in the way of style that I could discern. I went into the tournament feeling that Lolth was considerably stronger out of the box, and I still largely feel that way. However, after  my game against eric (topic starter), I might have to reevaulate that statement, because he rocked the crap out of it. (and to be sure, I'm still as guilty as anyone when it comes to making stupid  mistakes)

I do think that Lolth is better because it seems to be less susceptible to poor initial draws. But in constructed play, Cormyr could very well be built to be much more powerful... I dunno though


What were your feelings towards map building in a competitive environment? What tactics did you and others use while map building?



I didn't take it anywhere nearly as seriously as my (other) friend eric who won the tournament, so I can't really say. I believe his strategy (with lolth) was to go second and ensure that his starting area was as close as possible to his opponent's. This would ensure that by turn two (usually turn one), he would be in combat with his main cards, and off collecting morale (treasure) with his low level spiders. All while blocking his opponent from collecting any treasure. It seemed to work as he went 3-0 (plus a bye).


Worth mentioning I played aswell, I'm just curious, and would like to see other perspectives.  I would love it if others chimed into how a more serious enviroment affected their playstyles, and feelings towards winning or losing.



I hope that this game takes off. I spent a few minutes after the tournament talking with the judges and the designers there. It seems like they have some good ideas kicking around in their heads. I have missed playing the D&D minis game (though, admittedly, I have been pretty busy and haven't exactly made time for it). I think that this new game makes the whole process less time consuming on the planning end, which leaves me more time to spend playing. 
hi there, is it ok if i ask you for images of all the order cards from the 2 faction packs? thanks in advance.
I'd love an online database of the cards but posting scan's myself (especially here) seems like a great way to get in trouble.