Monday, July 31, 2006

News from Blackthorn

Check out some great reports and greater photos from Blackthorn Game Center in Dickson Tennessee.

Blackthorn News Page

Love the squirrel!

Update: My mistake, that's Chip the chipmunk!


Friday, July 28, 2006

Big Tournaments, Big Prizes

Nothing gets a gamers blood pumping like a room full of players. To that end, I am offering special prizes to TO's and players who participate in large tournaments at local stores. The original BTBP was for 15 player tournaments. The goal has been raised to 20 player events, confirmed with photos. My intention is to give the Big Prize away only a few more times, so the clock is ticking.

The Big Prize: One box of boosters for the TO, one box for the tournament winner. Promo chips and boosters for all the tournament participants (if the TO can round them up again!)

The first two TO's to send in pictures and win the Big Tournament Big Prize:

Doug's group at Matt's Passtimes in Kearney Nebraska. Not only does Doug run regular tournaments but he's also put on one of the first multi-week Clout Leagues.

Matt's Pastimes 2303 13th Ave Kearney, NE Ph: (308) 236-9668

Matt's group at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg, South Carolina. See the guy lying down, his Goblins just got crunched by some Centaurs. Sweet.
The Tangled Web 414 W. Blackstock Rd., Spartanburg, SC, 29301 Ph: (864) 574-1713

Great job guys, and thank you! Great stores and great tournament organizers make for great fun!

Update: If you are a Clout tournament organizer who can run a Big Tournament, details can be found on the Clout US forum


So close...I can smell them...

I just got the following message regarding the CLINCH Medallions...

"The container has arrived in Seattle. Phyllis will call me on Monday to provide a more precise update, and I’ll pass along the info."

SWEET! Happy dance!


Thursday, July 27, 2006

San Diego Comic-ON

What the heck happened?

We played some serious CLOUT.

2 player Starter Tournaments
2 player Constructed Tournament - CLINCH Medallions for the winners (when I get more!)
3+ player Starter Tournaments
3+ player Constructed Tournament - CLINCH Medallions for the winners
4 player Team (2-headed giant style) Constructed Tournament, with 6 player final.
5 and 6 player 'floor' games using the big range increments on the back of the Clout measuring tape.

We kept the Clout games rolling all weekend long, plus the volunteers and I played in the hotel after hours. Who won? Heck yes, I DID! According to them, I sharked 'em! My story...I was lucky. =-)

It was a great time, with some terrific games. I want to thank the volunteers, Derak, Craig, Robert, Stephen, and Lucio who really deserve the credit. Thanks guys, you guys rock AND roll.

(I also saw Seth Green and Robert Zemeckis go by while waiting in line at the Starbucks for 40 minutes. After 20, I feel you're committed to getting the #$%* coffee!)


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gen Con Events

The Gen Con schedule of events is quite modest (I was estimating need based on Clout circa last March, things have changed a bit since then.) The Constructed Stack Tournaments will both be Rally Level CLINCH event (qualifiers, essentially.) I’ll also be running additional Clout pick-up tournaments based on interest, space, and time.

8/10/2006 12:00 - Clout: Fantasy Starter Draft
8/12/2006 14:00 - Clout: Fantasy One-on-one Tournament (Constructed Stack)
8/13/2006 12:00 - Clout: Fantasy Multiplayer Tournament (Constructed Stack)
8/10/2006 16:00 - Intro to Clout: Fantasy
8/11/2006 10:00 - Intro to Clout: Fantasy

There will be additional Clout events hosted by Gap through GB-7 6pm-10pm on Friday and Saturday. *I'll get the location of these events posted ASAP*


Playing Favorites

If you go to the Clout forum, you'll find a thread where we're discussing the limited nature of Clout factions. As each expansion is a new faction, it's impractical support each one eternally, at least with our current strategy. This has really got at least a few players pretty hot!

For the details of the discussion, click the link. I just want to share a bit about me and why I think this is an issue.

I don't have a favorite faction. When I played Magic I didn't have a favorite color (I had a least favorite color...white.) Most trading games are faction oriented in some manner, and I have never chosen just one and stuck to it. In fact, regardless of the game, I don't like to play the same faction twice in a row. For me, it's about variety. The more, the better. Those that have played me at conventions know I like to change stacks after every game. Not only that, I like to go up and rebuild and retune stacks after every game session, even if I won.

I think an individual's preference regarding single faction or multi-faction play is based on personal preferances in combination with game culture. As Magic was my game of choice, and color allegience was not considered a big deal, I never developed it. My observation of L5R players, on the other hand, leads me to believe they can be fiercely loyal to thier factions. I've seen a few Clout players who have also grown attached to their faction of choice. It seems there are many who fall into this category. That's just not me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

San Diego Comic-Con Day 1

Wow. The Con is incredible. Seriously, I'm blown away by how HUGE it is!

From a work standpoint I don't have much to report. We're doing demos, I'm running intro and starter events up in the farthest, darkest room of the gaming area ( 13) On the upside, I've got Stalag 13 all weekend. My own private Clout gaming room. I might try to do something creative if the same folks keep coming for the events.

Also as usual, the players I've met have been amazing. Really, really nice people. I don't think Magic players as a whole are near as nice as people to whom Clout seems to appeal. I mean, most Clout players have or do play Magic, but the nice ones seem to like Clout as well. Maybe I'm biased, I don't know.

Sadly, I forgot my camera so no pictures. That's a bummer because there really are some pretty darned cool things I could take pictures of. Well, lots of other people will be posting pictures, so I suppose you can see that stuff if you want to.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Heffalump Traps

Right now I'm reading House at Pooh corner to my 5 year old before he goes to bed. The last chapter I read involved Pooh and Piglet falling into a pit they had dug to catch the Very Fierce Heffalump.

I sort of feel like that's happened to me. I've found myself in at the bottom of a pit I dug myself. Despite the CLINCH medallions being available at Origins, I still don't have any to ship to TO's. My liberal policy regarding prize support has the new prize chips on e-bay before a single tournament has even taken place. I haven't compiled Venture points in so long, I barely remember how to do it. (update: while stuck in the San Fran airport, I updated the VP list!) My goal of a one day turnaround on e-mail is so lost some people think my e-mail has stopped working (it hasn't- Sorry Amy!)

All this and I'm not really as swamped as people think. I'm just disorganized.

Today I leave for San Diego Comic-Con. I'm looking forward to meeting several new Venture Demo Team members, running a really aggressive tournament schedule, and generally having a good time away from all of these largely self-made issues. When I return I'm going to take a look at everything, decide how to fix each issue, and then fix them.

Things will probably stay a bit screwed up for the rest of this month, but I'm shooting to be back on track in August (in time for Gen Con Indy to challenge my solutions.)

Other things I'm working on:

A system for getting prize support to international TO's.
New tournament guidelines for CLINCH.
Two documents: one for players and another for TO's. Very short, very open ended.
A league system for conventions that Ventures can also run on their own with just a printer, a sheet of round stickers, and some prize support.
A 'catalog' of items Ventures can purchase with their points.

At the end of the Pooh chapter, Christopher Robin came and rescued them. In my story, I'll be climbing out of the pit myself...then covering it with something...perhaps a new Clout Playmat!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Tournament Score Sheet - Draft

Based on my experiences at Origins I've put together what is the perfect tournament score sheet *for me*. Everybody is different, so I expect this will be too simplistic for some TO's. Me, I like simple. Go ahead and use and copy these sheets if you like them. If you do, provide feedback! I'd like to turn a version of this into some score pads, if people like them and the demand is there.

These are both in PDF format:

Score Sheet
Score Sheet Info

The idea is that they'll work for both One-on-One and Multiplayer Tournaments. Again, if you don't think a one-size fits all sheet will work, please let me know.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


AHOY! Hidden City Games invites all scallywags, swashbucklers, able-bodied mariners and Clout fans to "get in the game" and join a randy crew of privateers at Gen Con Indy! Sail over to booth #845 to get yer photo taken and have yer ugly mug put on your own Clout chip! Then you’ll be a buccaneer in the red pirate faction with the launch of Redbeard’s Revenge, the new Clout expansion on sale first at Gen Con! Come dressed in your pirate finery or borrow our props – just be sure to get yer pirate on! Beware: Scurvy dogs and landlubbers will be keelhauled! ARRR!

(As there are no typos, you can tell I didn't write this myself! =-)


Monday, July 10, 2006

Origins - Big Tournament!

This was the 28 player Starter tournament, plus the 4 player Constructed Stack off to the side. I'm there on the left. You can see Amy, Cythia, and Gap at the end of the right hand table. You can see that everyone is seated, the tournament hadn't quite begun yet.

These were, in fact, the first CLINCH tournaments ever!

Are you ready? LET'S THROW DOWN!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Origins 2006

I can't overstate how successful Clout was at Origins this year. Where other vendors were complaining about light crowds and slow business we had our biggest weekend of of sales ever, hosted our biggest tournament ever (28 players), and were generally slammed doing demoes start to finish, all four days.

After such a successful convention, I'm expecting a flood of "my local store doesn't carry Clout, what can I do?" e-mails. While I don't have the final answer quite yet, in general the solution is to request a demo kit from me and show the store the game, and after a few demos the store will see how quickly people get into it. Clout is available through standard game distribution channels, so it's likely all the store needs to do is call their usual game supplier and ask for Clout. If not, they can contact me (adam hiddencitygames com) for info.

CLINCH launched at Origins, but it'll be a few more weeks before it can lauch everywhere else. I just don't have the metal Medallion chips yet. That said, the new prize chips are ready to go. Starting Monday, July 11th, Shrunken Heads and Helm of Leaderships will be things of the past. They will continue to be available as an option for Venture Demo Team members to purchase with points, but really they will become the standard give-away promo at conventions. We still have thousands...

Lastly, we still need volunteers for SanDiego Comic-Con, Wizard World Chicago, and Gen Con. Contact me if you'd like information on volunteering.