That’s a wrap on Gen Con Indy 2023. The “best four days in gaming” in North America, not least of which due to an amazing, loyal SWD community, have come to a close, at least for this year. I am already planning for 2024, but I’ll save that hype for another day.
For today, I want to focus on what’s been achieved – a feat perhaps thought inconceivable back in 2020. Players showed up in force to play Star Wars Destiny, even more so than at Gen Con 2022! Below is a year over year comparison (I hope you like my chart, echo7). Notably, we grew from 3 events in 2022 to 5 events in 2023 and managed to entertain 51 unique players across all 5 events. Having leveled up my TO capabilities from hosting Gen Con events in 2022, I believed I could handle the increased player count and logistics this year, especially with more than a little help from my OTS crew (looking at you, polyfly) and a handful of others in the community.
One thing I have learned about myself is I very much enjoy putting on events for the community. Folks asked numerous times how many events I was personally playing in. People seemed to be surprised when I responded – only 2 of the 5 events: the ARH casual and ARH 2v2 events.
The thing is, I get just as much joy out of hosting as I do playing. For the more competitive events, my purpose is to run a good show – a smooth operation. It’s vital that people experience a well-oiled machine with tournament integrity. After all, to host events during the best four days in gaming means you’ve got to bring your A-game. And what better way to look the part and get a hold on the massive scale of Lucas Oil Stadium (connected to the Indianapolis Convention Center) than with a utility cart / dolly to lug equipment around. I should name the thing for how important it became. Shoutout to my wife for that gift.
And there, right smack in the middle of the orange section of Lucas Oil is where all the dice were rolled. After Gen Con 2022, one thing I knew for sure was the Stadium would be home to our events again. The main convention center is great – game demos, cosplay, vendors, sales, food, playtesting, and all the wonderful things you can imagine that are associated with a massive gaming convention.
However, one thing I would not recommend the main convention center hall tables for (because yes, it’s an option), is running events. And besides, Lucas Oil has personality and atmosphere, and lots of elbow room.
Before I move on to share more details and photos of the events themselves, because let’s be honest that’s the real reason you chose to click this article, I just want to say one more thing. My journey with Star Wars Destiny began post-fateful announcement back in 2020. I loved the game, enjoyed cultivating a close-knit subset of the community within On the Sensors, had fun putting out the odd YouTube video, but little did I know I’d eventually have the opportunity to join the continuation committee and be part of something even bigger. To be invited to help lead Destiny into its next era and expand my role in the already rich history of this game is something I do not take lightly.
The weight and sense of responsibility I feel to that opportunity does not escape me to this day. That’s why I didn’t play in all of the Gen Con events, so I can give the community the undivided attention they deserve. And I owe it as well to my fellow admins who put in countless hours to keep this ship afloat from design to production to OP – to ensure their hard work is realized on the biggest stage. And most importantly, I want to put on a good show – for the fans who continue to show up and believe, at their core, that SWD is very much alive and well.
Alright – enough with the philosophizing and romanticizing – let’s talk Destiny at Gen Con 2023!
The casual event clocked in at 17 players and had one hell of a prize wall – most of which was won simply by participating or via the famed wheel of names. The purpose of the casual event, and why I specifically wanted this event to kick everything off, was to play good old fashioned, lighthearted Destiny and have fun. Players were discouraged from bringing competitive decks.
Nonetheless, we did have a healthy 5 rounds of SWISS (but no top cut), and a winner was determined. Tournament results can be found HERE.
Here’s a quick video of the event in action.
Elrathion took down the event and won himself this snazzy 3D printed droid courtesy of polyfly.
However, voted winner of the JANKIEST deck at the event was TurkeyClubSamich. Here’s a video of him being awarded the Tank’s Jankyard Trophy!
And winner of the worst performing deck was small but mighty Mateo of Casero clan fame. He took home a custom Tank’s Jankyard playmat! Mateo definitely understood the assignment. But don’t let that 0-5 record fool you. Mateo would go on to make top cut in the ARH Grand Champs! More on that later…
SMASH! by Dice Commando
To say the SMASH! event was a smashing good time would be an understatement. Originally 32 signed up (the only event to sell out), though naturally there are always drops. The final count was 27 players.
The format this year was identical to how I ran the event at Gen Con 2022 (with some logistical enhancements that I’ll explain shortly): opponents are paired, each player gets 3 selector cards randomly, each player chooses 1, each player bans one from their opponent, then players SMASH together what’s left.
Big shoutout to JimtheTank for lending his SMASH kit, as well as providing the entire event with tokens (after all, we did say all materials would be provided). And of course, major shoutout to SparksNevada and his daughter, Jenna, for lending their SMASH kit as well and also helping me setup that morning.
With all 3 of our kits, we were ready to rock. To ensure we didn’t cross-pollinate kits and also made the selection and clean up process streamlined for players between rounds, we pre-defined where each table would source their half-decks. So, if you were paired at tables 1-5, that was your pod, and you drew from the section labeled 1-5, and so on.
I also need to recognize Casero and polyfly for helping me run the event. At the beginning of each round, we each facilitated a pod to ensure the selector card distribution process went smoothly. Those guys were definitely the gravy to my biscuits.
Prizes this year included playmats for top 8 as well as an event champion playmat, and of course sleeves, promos, etc. Shoutout to Andrew at Dice Commando for working with me on the playmat prizes, and of course for being at the helm of one of the most beloved formats in all of SWD.
It was a long day but finally we had a finals match between Casero and SparksNevada. Sparks won match 1. Casero won match 2.
And would you believe it, SMASH expert himself, the man with more reps than any other living human, SparksNevada, ultimately took down match 3 to win the finals, and the event overall.
With FFG’s Star Wars: Unlimited drawing in large crowds to demo their upcoming game, I can’t say I am surprised that our SWD FFG event drew in a massive 28 players (no top cut). It was wonderful meeting what I like to call “legacy” SWD players – the ones who for one reason or another did not stick around to check out the ARH-era but who simultaneously really admire what we’ve been doing. One player, Tyler F., told me he really appreciated the opportunity to dust off an old deck and give it the tournament glory it deserved but never had a chance to realize. In fact, numerous players that day said things to this effect. Decks have been sleeved up and ready – locked in the time capsule that is FFG Standard – just waiting for their moment to shine.
Like the others, this event had quite the prize wall. Shoutout to wife of Atomisk who took it upon herself to make the layout quite aesthetically pleasing!
Unsurprisingly, this event had lots of Reylo and Palpatine running around, but it was ultimately the temporary truce of light and dark that made its way to the finals in a mirror match.
Norman and RandoMando faced off but ultimately Norman took home the win.
Side note – if you thought “surely RandoMando took his helmet off when chilling at the Airbnb, grabbing food, or hanging with closer friends….surely…surely!” – you’d be dead wrong. We don’t have the Mines of Mandalore here in the U.S., so there’s no repenting for removing one’s helmet. Rando kept it on the entire weekend.
ARH Grand Champs
In my mind, the story of this particular event was whether Norman could pull off the win. After all, he was the Gen Con 2022 Death Star Open (i.e. Worlds 2022) winner. Could he defend his title? Or would perhaps another, a Canadian, swoop in for a chance to conquer the US Grand Champs? The field of 17 was set. Only the dice would tell.
The US Grand Champs event had an amazing prize wall. Many thanks to Sarah for producing such a beautiful prize kit that the community of each country, mind you, has an opportunity to leverage (looking at you Canada and Brazil; UK already had theirs!)
Many players were representing their clans! We had Team Dice Commando, Scum & Destiny, Entourage Gaming and OTS in the house!
The finals came down to Norman and LiquidSnake. Ultimately, LiquidSnake took it down to become US Grand Champ. He may be the only player in all of Destiny to have a chance at becoming a dual-country champion.
Here’s the meta breakdown. Look for more in-depth analysis, interviews, deck techs, etc. in the coming weeks from Mos Eisley Gazette writer, Casero.
What better way to end the weekend of Destiny at Gen Con 2023 than with the Alliances format, aka 2v2! If you know, you know. If you don’t know, you have got to give this format a try. It’s an absolute riot.
We had 20 players / 10 teams sign up for the event. Notably, we had 4 totally new players join the field. Nathan & Jake showed up with homemade sticker sheets, old FFG dice, and print and play ARH cards. Having never tried ARH Standard before did not put these dudes off. They were ready to rock and roll. Unfortunately, their sticker paper was transparent and the images from the old FFG dice were bleeding through. Fortunately, we had plenty of spare decks to lend them!
Additionally, we had Ed & Isaac from TwoPointsGaming show up “off the street” ready to play some Destiny. We were happy to lend them decks as well, and with that, the field was set.
2v2 can be quite a strategic mind game, so rounds can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. For that reason, we only played 2 rounds.
And here I present to you, team ShadyBuffDar of ShadyBuffalo and Darwin ilk – your Gen Con 2023 2v2 champions!
If you made it this far – thank you. I wanted this article to be more about the “feeling” and atmosphere of Gen Con 2023 than anything else. As mentioned above, Casero will be doing more in-depth analyses and discussions with the various event winners. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, thanks so much for tuning in. And most importantly, thank you for being part of the community.
For more Gen Con 2023 coverage, head over to the OTS YouTube page.
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