As GenCon approached last week and the hype for Ashes started to build, Brian called me with an idea he had discussed with the guys at the office: How about doing an Ashes tournament on Sunday at the con?

In the future, we'll have official GenCon event tournaments (read below for some notes about Ashes competitive play in general), but it was too late for that. Nonetheless it was becoming clear that people were going to love Ashes and that there would be hundreds of new players at the con already well-versed in the gameplay by Sunday.

We decided on a 32-person single-elimination tournament and had make-shift sign-ups at the booth. It was very spur-of-the-moment and we just took names on a piece of paper. By the end of the first day of sign-ups, we had over 50 names!

Organizing the tournamentfirst round

When Sunday rolled around Bob, Brian, some volunteers, and I worked hard to put the tournament together and help it run as smoothly as possible. Bob was the rules overlord and timekeeper. And he wasn't about to take any crap. Each player used a single deck throughout the tournament, with deckbuilding allowed.

We had no trouble filling out the 32-slot bracket and everyone had a blast. Each competitor took home a beautiful Ashes playmat (we'll have more of these available in the future) and the grand prize was a copy of all seven playmats (one for each Phoenixborn).

Final 4

We were delighted to see five out of seven Phoenixborn make the round of eight. The promo-Phoenixborn, Dimona, only had one entrant, and the only base deck missing from the elite eight was Noah.

In the finals two new but competitive players faced off as a customized Maeoni faced a customized Coal for the championship. Maeoni ended up winning!

finalists
(Above: The finalists (winner on left), standing with Ashes designer Isaac Vega.)

We hope everyone involved had a great experience and is enjoying their playmats. We feel the tournament was a great success and served as the perfect climax to the convention. We also learned a lot about adjustments that will need to be in place for tournaments in order to create the perfect environment for competitive play.

The Future of Competitive Play for Ashes

I can't wait for Ashes to hit local stores so that scenes can crop up around the world. At Plaid Hat Games we're leaving no stone unturned in finding ways to support this game and its players! Here's some of what to look out for in the coming months:

  • Our online card browser, deck builder, and match logger, which will let you build and share decks, post comments, and even log your matches and earn rewards for doing so.
  • Tournament rules, guidelines, and helpers available here at PlaidHatGames.com.
  • Events and demos as your local game store run by the Plaid Hat Corps, maybe with some special rewards.
  • A searchable database for stores to find Plaid Hat Corps members who want to help stores run demos.
  • More support for our local stores, now with the muscle of F2Z Entertainment to help us show the love.
  • A steady stream of expansions, with the first pair of new Phoenixborn arriving ASAP!

I can't wait to see this game blossom and grow not just as a product but as a community! Stay tuned to PlaidHatGames.com to be the first to be a part of it!

The Winner's Deckbuild and Dice Pool

Phoenixborn: Maeoni
Dice Pool: 5x Charm, 4x Natural, 1x Illusion

Decklist:
3x Summon Silver Snake
3x Summon Gilder
3x Molten Gold
3x Transfer
3x Call Upon The Realms
3x Golden Veil
2x Hypnotize
2x Open Memories
2x Refresh
3x Sympathy Pain
2x Seal
1x Fade Away