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  • ORGANISED PLAY UPDATE - SEPT 2016

    by Nick Taylor
    Wednesday 31st August 2016

  • With a new Magic set rapidly approaching, more X-Wing waves due out this autumn and the release of a slew of board games post Essen it’s as good a time as any to review what is happening in the store with each of our current game systems.

    Store Changes
    [Store Facebook Group]



    With the expanding number of events we have been fitting into an already busy schedule we have decided to open on Sunday with regular opening hours from 10:30am – 4pm. This means you can buy and play your favourite games all weekend with tables available for gaming during those hours. We are also changing our hours on Tuesday to be open from 4pm- 8pm. This offers customers an opportunity to pick up items on their way home, again tables will be available for gaming during those times. Below is a schedule of our new opening hours which will commence from Saturday 17th September.



    With the new schedule in place, the store will close at 10.30pm on Wednesday & Thursday when gaming has to be complete. Friday will still be a more relaxed finishing time with Saturday and Sunday aiming to close within 30 mins of events finishing.

    Over the next week we will be reposting all of the store rules in the store, please take a minute to read through them, as we aim to keep a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment for ALL gamers and customers to enjoy.



    With the changes in timings mentioned above we are altering our event registration times. Registration will close 5 mins before the scheduled start time of events in order to smoothly and easily get the first round paired and seated. This includes both week night and weekend events.

    Wednesdays: registration close at 7:30pm - start time of 7:35pm
    Friday: registration closes at 7:40pm - start time 7:45pm
    Saturday/Sunday: registration closes 5 mins before start, e.g. 11am start means registration closes at 10:55am

    If you're running a few minutes late, then let me know before the registration close time. I will however be stricter on these start times over the coming weeks.

    Advanced notice of days we're closed or have different hours through to December:

    Tuesday 13th Sept (Closed)
    Wednesday 14th Sept - Friday 16th Sept (6pm – 10pm only)
    Sunday October 9th (Closed)
    Sunday October 16th (Closed)
    Tuesday 8th November – Sunday 13th November (Closed - inclusive)

    Finally, we will be having a stock take over the next couple of weeks preparing for new lines and reviewing existing products. We anticipate that various products will be going on sale next month so keep an eye out on Facebook, Twitter and in store for updates about sale items, as when it is gone it is gone.

    Magic the Gathering
    [MTG Facebook Group]



    We have had a thorough review of what is currently offered in store, including structure, cost and prizes. We have always aimed for a quality event that is value for money depending upon the style of event. We have concluded that we need to make some changes to maintain our position on this.

    Prereleases

    These have not changed for quite a while but looking at the current format we have concluded that some changes are required to improve our events for the players.

    With that in mind we will be running the following schedule for the Kaladesh Prerelease on 24th & 25th September:

    11am Saturday 24th September – 5 Round Main Prerelease (Colchester)
    6pm Saturday 24th September – 3 Round 2 Headed Giant Prerelease (Colchester)

    11am Sunday 25th September – 5 Round Main Prerelease (Colchester & Chelmsford)
    6pm Sunday 25th September – 3 Round Evening Prerelease (Colchester & Chelmsford)

    By reducing the main Prerelease by 1 round we feel this will give everybody a good day of competition with the event finishing around 5.30pm, including prize giving. This then gives players an earlier short break to sign up for the evening session, organise food and trades.

    You will notice that 2HG will only be available on the Saturday of Prerelease weekend. This will enable us to run some cheaper 3 round single player Prereleases Sunday evening for those unable to attend the main events as well as anyone wanting more Magic.

    The new 5 round prize structure is available and printed below.



    This will be effective from the Kaladesh Prereleases. As always we will be evaluating the changes and your feedback is welcome.

    Release Weekend

    FNM will remain in its current form with drafts at 7:45pm and 11:30pm giving players a good chance to play some drafts over the course of Friday evening.

    For the main Kaladesh release weekend we will be running a Sealed Challenger Series event on the Saturday, which will culminate in a top 8 draft for those lucky enough to make it. This will follow the same prize structure as constructed Challenger Series events. Full details will be up shortly for this event.

    The Sunday of the Kaladesh release weekend will be reserved as a testing day for GP London meaning there will be sealed pool discussions, possibly a card evaluation seminar and sealed pools available to build with. From Aether Revolt the Sunday we will offer similar format if players want to use it to test for Grand Prix and offer up another chance to draft in the afternoon. If you want to learn a bit more about the game this is for you.

    Game Days

    We feel that the last Game Day ran smoothly although we were not completely satisfied with the prize distribution. We have therefore worked on this for the Kaladesh Game Day weekend on 22nd & 23rd October and are pleased to announce the following structure:



    We'll additionally be adding brewing deck construction prizes to the mix.

    Grand Prix Trials

    These have become a good way to gain Planeswalker points and get some tournament practice under your belt. For the rest of the year we will be introducing a low entry fee of £2.50. Each GPT offers a constructed format swiss tournament with top 8 cut. The top 8 based on the swiss will get to draft 2 cards from an FTV Lore following on with a top 8 playoff for the Grand Prix byes.

    The Challenger Series

    There are only 2 Challenger Series events left this year, October 1st (Sealed) and November 19th (Standard). These both offer entry of the top two players to the Tournament of Champions. The Challenger Series events will remain the same as before with the exception that entry to the Sealed being slightly higher due to the additional cost of sealed product.

    The end of year event schedule will be released by mid-September with formats and prizes listed. This includes the Tournament of Champions, Xtremetrades Invitational and our Christmas Sealed event.

    Wednesday and Friday Night Magic

    With the constant increase in costs of product and SCG Game Night kits over the last 6-12 months we have reviewed how these are running. On the whole we have been able to absorb most of the additional costs, but in recent months the costs have gone up substantially and tipped the balance.

    We are reluctantly adjusting the entry fees and prize distribution from September. All players will now receive a minimum of 1 booster on both Wednesday and Friday, however, the SCG Game Night kit being no longer available from October.

    As always we will constantly review the position and adjust entry fees and prizes when circumstances permit.

    The new prize structure is detailed below and will begin on the week commencing 19th September:



    X-Wing Miniatures
    [X-Wing Facebook Group]


    After some good feedback from last month's Sunday event we will be trying a few more when we can fit them in. Additionally, feedback was good from the July Escalation Battle, so we'll be switching between escalation battles and dogfights for the remainder of the year to keep things fresh and interesting.

    We still have a free to use table in store Thursday – Sunday if you're looking for a game. We're looking at adding a casual day once a month on a Sunday, nothing competitive, but a day to try out an epic battle, test a fleet and/or battle competitive lists. This will also help us grow the game in store and offer up demo games.

    Thursdays have been pretty quiet of late, but we will continue to be available for the remainder of the year. Tables are free and available from 7pm – 10:30pm for casual gaming.

    Board Gaming
    [Board Game Facebook Group]


    We are looking to tidy up our board game library, refresh it and offer up more scheduled opportunities to play games. Currently we have a once a month Saturday event and gaming tables are available for gaming during opening hours. I'll be looking to initially add a Sunday board gaming session each month.

    We also have kits to run some board gaming events such as Epic, Star Realms, Splendor and 7 Wonders. We'll be looking to schedule these in the next few days, so keep an eye out on the website for further details.

    Hearthstone
    [Hearthstone Facebook Group]


    Hearthstone on the whole will remain the same. The monthly gatherings have been well received so far and we're waiting to see how the longer event goes on 10th September. I'll give a further update later in September with any changes.

    RPG
    [RPG Facebook Group]


    Entry fees for the RPG sessions are changing in October to those outlined below. The main night remains on Thursday from around 7pm – 10:30pm. We have enough space to run further tables and can look to schedule sessions on weekends if there is interest. If this is something you would like to do, then don't hesitate to contact us.



    That pretty much wraps things up, if you have any further questions or any comments on the above, please don't hesitate to contact me via email, Facebook or in store.

    Nick Taylor



    @nickxt
    Nick now spends most of his time running Xtreme Trades and has certainly curtailed his competitive Magic playing for the time being. However, if there's a draft slot going and is free he's more than happy to join in.

    Best Gaming Performance? GP London 2011 top 8, played multiple Pro Tours, a World Championships and European Championships.

    Favourite Format? Draft

    Favourite Deck? TEPS or any form of old extended storm decks.

    Lifetime Pro Points: 19