Earlier this month, the Destiny community gathered at Gen Con in Indianapolis along with 80,000 other fans of card, board, and tabletop games.
Now it’s time for the Mos Eisley Gazette to get into the act, with the first of 3 articles covering the action…
Later this week, we’ll sit down with SMASH champion Sparks Nevada and ARH Grand Champ LiquidSnake, but first we’re excited to connect with this year’s youngest competitors: Darteo (11) and KingGrouber (9).
The “Sons of Destiny” and Gen Con rookies held their own across 4 events, with top cut appearances in Smash, KingGrouber’s crowd-pleasing run to the semifinals in the Grand Championships, and Darteo’s victory (with teammate ShadyBuffalo) in an abbreviated 2v2 Alliances tourney.
Getting to Know Darteo and KingGrouber
Tell us about one of your favorite Star Wars memories.
KingGrouber: We randomly picked up the first few episodes of Rebels on DVD at the beginning of COVID. The library closed and we couldn’t return it for months, but we loved sharing it as a family and quickly subscribed to Disney+ so we could could keep watching.
Darteo: I remember an early pediatrician appointment where the doctor asked about my brother’s speech development. The doctor explained that an 18 month old typically can say 30-50 words and my dad started laughing: “well, he can name more than 50 Star Wars characters so think we’re on track!”
Who is one of your favorite characters from the Star Wars universe?
Darteo: Sabine: She’s sarcastic and artistic like me!
KingGrouber: Kabe from the Mos Eisley Cantina because she’s so cute. My brother has designed lots of Destiny cards and includes Kabe and Jawa in each set so they can adventure together…
How did you get into SW Destiny?
Darteo: Our grandparents gave us each a single booster pack (Spirit of Rebellion!) back in fall of 2019. My brother invented a game with the 10 cards and two dice (R2 and the A180 blaster!) which was actually pretty fun.
For Christmas, my dad picked up the 2 player set and a booster box. COVID lockdown here in Boston meant we played a LOT of Destiny with our mom and dad in those early months. When we were ready to expand our collection, we were sad to hear that FFG had stopped making new sets, but loved the fact we could pick up some boosters on sale!
KingGrouber: We discovered ARH in spring of 2022 when we stumbled across a Dice Commando video spoiling “Rey – All the F’ing Jedi” and couldn’t believe there was a whole world of other Destiny players out there!
We signed up for the release tourney with no idea what we were doing (we downloaded an Ahsoka/Armorer deck that morning) and were blown off the table! Moordotz was super patient and kind as we fumbled around with TTS controls and needed to re-read our cards every time.
That first event showed us how amazing the community is, so we came back for a Galactic Open in the summer, found ourselves hooked on spot-glosses and with a bunch of new friends (hi Landowonka!), and we haven’t stopped since.
In today’s galaxy of TTS, kitchen tables, and local in-person play, “the meta” means lots of different things. How do you define *your* meta?
KingGrouber: Definitely the Yaddle/Luke meta! Honestly, it’s probably our kitchen table.
Darteo: I haven’t played as much on TTS recently, so feel a bit out of the loop. We’ve been working on getting local scene going again in Boston. so that’s probably my meta.
Before Gen Con, what were you looking forward to most?
Darteo: Experiencing the nerdiness! And seeing what jank would show up in the Filthy Casuals event.
KingGrouber: Meeting people like Majobasil, Duncan, LiquidSnake, and Rando Mando who we’ve played against but never met before. Plus seeing some old friends like Patrick and Tank.
What are a couple of non-Destiny highlights?
KingGrouber: Wizard Kittens! It’s a card game with super cute art. The posters caught my eye when we were walking around on Wednesday afternoon, so started at their booth for a demo on Thursday.
Darteo: I really liked the chance to demo a bunch of games – Catan Soccer, SW:Unlimited, Wizard Kittens, Shatterpoint – and hunt down some Gen Con promos: a cool new card for Flamecraft, my first Worn Wanderers pin, and even some Catan breath mints! I also loved playing some new games with Duncan between Destiny events.
What advice do you have for others considering Gen Con 2024?
KingGrouber: It was amazing and definitely worth the trip! Majo did such a great job with the events, and Jim the TANK also brought some great loot to add to the prize wall. I was glad I brought my noise-cancelling head phones… the exhibit hall is LOUD.
Darteo: Make sure you have time to swing by the post office to send home all the goodies that won’t fit in your bag. We liked getting there on Wednesday so we had time to explore and hang out with the crew for dinner.
Filthy Casuals with “On The Sensors”
Darteo: Beating my dad was probably my highlight for this first event. We were both playing partisans (my Luthen/Maarva/Nemik against his Cham/Nemik/Whills) and my Alliance Pathfinders rolled 2 ranged five times in a single round. I was happy with the way I played, winning 3 and losing to Rando’s evil genius Barriss/Thrawn/WYCWGI and a *very* close one against Stubby that would have put me in the top 4.
KingGrouber: In one of my matches with “Needa and the Hutts” (Jabba/Ziro/Needa), I was able to get out 32 resources worth of stuff: 2 Annihilators, 1 Hustling, an Armored Assault Tanks, an Arrestor Cruiser, an Imperial Start Destroyer, the Hylobons, and the Tuskens. I went 0-5 but that won me an amazing “All I Got at GenCon was this Lousy Playmat” that I used in my run to the Grand Championship semifinals on Saturday, so it all worked out…
SMASH! By Dice Commando
KingGrouber: Playing Smash was a lot of fun. As I was finishing my final Swiss match, I was worried that I would need to wait around for my brother and Dad since I knew they would make Top Cut, but I snuck in with the 8th seed at 3-2 and then almost beat Sparks Nevada!
Darteo: This was super fun because there was so much variety and a bunch of new faces. I had a good run, winning my first 4 matches in Swiss before being demolished by Sparks Nevada in my final match. That set up a quarterfinal showdown with Rando, who somehow drew Yoda, SoH Rey and SoH Kylo. I couldn’t let him have Reylo so banned Kylo, but still couldn’t get past Yoda and Rey’s big blue shield wall.
ARH Grand Championship
Darteo: This was fun and… my Pre/Linus deck did better in testing than it did in real life! I lost a close one to Sylvie and then a nailbiter to eventual champion LiquidSnake where my twin Light-Repeating Blasters both struck out instead of finishing off the Son.
KingGrouber: I’m so proud of the way I played here. When Resurgence first released, I was most excited about Yaddle. Yaddle/Luke was the first deck I built and I took it to the release tournament a couple days later. The version I brought to GenCon was pretty much the same and this time I went 4-1 in Swiss and made the semifinals! My only loss was to mill-master Rando’s crazy Barriss/Thrawn/WYCWGI deck – my shield wall wasn’t so helpful here!
The semifinals was a Yaddle-battle against the ARH Grand Championship defending champion: Norman. After the Resurgence release tourney, he named his version of Yaddle/Luke “Spoons” so we decided that mine would be “Loodle.” Playing a mirror match is really hard – now I know why my brother doesn’t like playing against Luke and Yaddle! I learned a lot from competing against Norman. He had some great overwrite options – Consular Teachings and a Quillioned Lightsaber – that I may add to my version. It would have been special to make the finals but I really love my Top 4 Vader playmat.
KingGrouber: I love Baze and Chirrut, so my dad and I ran a 3 guardian deck with Baze/Chirrut bringing a bunch of goodies (including Jar’Kai!) for Aayla/Roken/Path. We had tested this a bit beforehand and learned it can do 9 bazillion damage each round when it’s working, but weren’t ready for Rando Duncando (Vader/Zam and Dryden/5thBrother) to play 2 “No Second Chances” on Chirrut in round 1!
The four of us laughed nonstop for the entire hour we played together although that may have had something to do with the fact it was 11pm by the time we’d finished…
Darteo: This was my favorite event at GenCon! I highly recommend 2v2 for hilarious combos and commentary, and it was extra fun to win the title. PatrickPE is an evil genius when it comes to deck construction. We started out planning a mill fest with Obi/Leia and Owen/Beru/Aphra and a bazillion ID9 seeker droids, but we tested a few times on TTS and we realized we needed some more hand-attack so shifted to Owen/Beru/Daughter.
Something came up for Patrick that prevented him from playing but ShadyBuffalo arrived on the scene to pilot Obi/Leia and the rest was ShadyBufDar history. In our first match (Tseebo/Garindan and Cad/PoondaBaba), we milled both decks without losing a single character. We faced off with Majobasil/Polyfly in the 2nd match and took down Vader/Palp and Dooku/Thrawn. 2v2 matches are loooong and it was already 11pm, so we called it a night but I think we would have gone undefeated if we kept playing…
KingGrouber: Thanks so much to ARH for hosting this amazing event. It felt like a family reunion which is crazy since many of us had never met each other in-person before.
Darteo: Playing on TTS is really fun, but there’s *nothing* like in-person Destiny. We can’t wait to host our next event this weekend in Boston and especially for the chance to see everyone again at the Silver Sun extravaganza in October!
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