Wow, Ashes weekend at Team Covenant in Tulsa was a dream come true!
Besides reading our summary below and a message from Isaac at the end of this article, be sure to check out these reports from some of the other people who were there:
- Team Covenant's report and deck lists (videos coming soon!!)
- Champion Erik Rodriguez's swiss report (top 8 report coming later)
- Rodney Smith of Watch it Played's Facebook album and report
- Papa Pratt's write-up on BoardGameGeek
- The Main Action episode recorded at the event
Some of us rolled into Team Covenant's store Thursday evening and were blown away by their place. More curated shelf space makes room for some awesome gaming space! Team Covenant has built an amazing space and store down there, and they had great enthusiasm for the event and for Ashes.
Less than 4 hours before Ashes Weekend!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/VhRwJzyg6M— Isaac Vega (@IsaacsAshes) April 15, 2016
That Thursday, gaming included our first chance of the ridiculous and yet awesome game of Strike, which ended up being a staple of the weekend. Thanks to Erik for introducing us all to it.
By the time the event rolled around on Friday, there was a line waiting outside. Once the event started, it was completely packed all evening. Team Covenant and Isaac gave speeches at the beginning to welcome us! Even by then the Ashes games were going non-stop. I didn't even make it up front during staff introductions because I was busy playing a DRAFT tournament! Cool!
All day Friday, people were working hard on their decks, experimenting, revising, and making their game the best they could be.
We were privileged to have Fernanda Suarez, artist for Ashes and Dead of Winter there, sketching, signing stuff, and hanging out!
Later that evening, as the Ashes gaming continued, there was a live panel featuring Ashes Designer Isaac Vega, Fernanda, Graphic Designer Dave Richards, and Lead Playtester Bob Klotz. Discussion included development of Ashes, the future of Ashes, and the look of Ashes.
But Friday was just the beginning. The day started early at 10am on Saturday. One of the first things that happened was that Rodney of Watch it Played filmed a quick tutorial with the Team Covenant guys, featuring Team Covenant's custom tokens. Team Covenant plus Rodney in a video, Brian's dreams came true. Thanks to Rodney for being a part of the event!
Before the big tournament started, Jason Pere, author of flAsh Fiction (Ashes fan fiction) did a live reading! Jason publishes these great stories every week online.
Fan fiction, first round pairings, and prizes. pic.twitter.com/NIqOb3n1RP— Plaid Hat Games (@PlaidHatGames) April 16, 2016
And then... it was tournament time. It was 5 rounds of swiss (you get matched up each round with someone who has a similar record) followed by the top eight facing off in a single elimination tournament.
Those in charge, including the Team Covenant people and Bob, did a great job running things smoothly! Truly professional and I learned a lot about running tournaments just by participating and observing.
The competition was intense! I personally went 3-2 with Coal, not making the top 8. A lot of strong players played a lot of great games!
Round 4 and more sketch action. pic.twitter.com/qyRC710guj— Plaid Hat Games (@PlaidHatGames) April 16, 2016
The final 8 played in a separate room, and it was streamed in the store and on the Team Covenant site! Team Covenant will have some of these games along with commentary on their site soon. All 8 players really earned their top 8 prizes.
In the end, Erik Rodriguez's Rin won. Check out his deck on the Play Plaid site.
What a weekend! We had a blast and appreciate everyone who came so much! Special thanks to Team Covenant for being incredible hosts!! Here's a photo of the players who were still there at the very very end.
I cannot contain how thankful I am for this weekend. Again THANK YOU to all the Ashes fans that made it possible! pic.twitter.com/QPFV7Aogrq— Isaac Vega (@IsaacsAshes) April 19, 2016
We can't wait until next time! People came from all over the country and everyone was so great. It's almost con season so we hope to see you all again soon!
Here's a message from Isaac about the weekend:
I just want to say that this was one of the most rewarding and memorable weekends of my life! All I ever wanted is for a community like this to form around Ashes, and you guys are making it happen! Ashes has been close to my heart for a long time and now it has started to bloom before my very eyes. I cannot wait to see where the community is a year from now! I am so touched and humbled by the love you have shown me and Ashes! And I promise to do my absolute best to continue the growth of a healthy and happy community around it!
Thank you to Fernanda and Dave for not only helping my vision come to life but also make it a beautiful work of art. Thank you to Bob for making sure that every cards that I design actually works, and for being by my side through the ups and downs of its development. Thank you to Joe for creating the tools the community needed and being such a great supporter along the way. Thank you to Julius for helping us keep on top of playtesting. Thank you to our playtesters who are willing to play the game even when it isn't polished and are willing to put it through the testing it needs to become great. Thank you to Brian for engaging with the community and making sure they are taken care of. Thank you to Jonathan for making sure that our wording is on point. Thank you to Bistro for helping me give a voice to these characters. Thank you to Colby for taking a chance on me and believing enough in the game to sign it. Thank you to my family for supporting me though all this and always being willing to listen to my crazy ideas. Thank you to Rodney for doing an amazing job at teaching people how to play, for being a great friend and supporter, and making time to come to the event. Thank you to the Main Action Podcast and all the other content creators out there who help keep the community active! Thank you to Team Covenant for being willing to support the game and host such an amazing event for its fans. And Ashes fans thank you most of all for allowing me to have the luxury of doing what I love. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you! I cannot say that enough!
I will keep trying to make all of you proud!