Origins 2017 Recap

Another Origins Game Fair has come and gone, and with it, the first ever Star Wars: Destiny tournament at the convention. While FFG wasn’t “officially” at Origins, the good folks from Cascade Games out of Portland, Oregon, lead by Steve Cameron, ran several Destiny events for them over the five-day event, including Learn-to-Plays and a sealed pack tournament. My wife, Kim, and I spent all five days at Origins, checking out new tabletop games, playing old favorites, and, of course, playing Star Wars: Destiny and talking with The Chance Cube fans and listeners. 

Star Wars: Destiny at Origins

While Fantasy Flight couldn’t make it to Origins in any official capacity, that didn’t stop the buzz about Star Wars: Destiny. They contacted Cascade Games to run events for their games, including Destiny, complete with official prize support.

Also, anyone who saw our Chance Cube buttons or “The Chance Cube” printed on our admittance badges expressed interest in the game, our podcast, or Star Wars in general. We were more than happy to talk shop with fellow gamers and Star Wars fans over the long weekend. Special thanks to those who took the time to speak with us, whether about Destiny, The Chance Cube, or both!

New Players, New Community Members

Each day of Origins, Cascade Games held several Learn-to-Play events. These were geared toward teaching the game to people who may not have heard of it, people who have heard of the game but couldn’t get any product, or players who just don’t have a good local Destiny scene. The players were taught mainly by Zach Gay, who did a wonderful job of explaining the rules and teaching the mechanics. Each day, the events were filling up, whether they were in the morning or at night.

The news from those events is positive, as the vast majority of new players, after learning the game, went immediately to the booth counter to purchase more booster packs. Without fail, everyone I spoke with liked the game, and looked forward to continued play and upcoming sets.

A Worthy Experiment

There was also a tournament being run by Cascade Games, but it wasn’t a typical Constructed Deck affair. The format was Sealed Deck, with each player getting 6 booster packs and their choice of the Kylo (AW11) or Rey (AW38) starter, with which they would create a tournament-legal 30-card deck. We received our boosters first and were allowed to open them to see what cards and dice we would be adding to the starter set. Based on what we received, we then chose the starter set that best complimented our boosters. Any players that went 3-0 during the rounds played from Wednesday through Saturday were entered into the Finals, played on Sunday.

My wife and I competed on Wednesday. Unfortunately, she didn’t open another character, so she played the Kylo starter with just eKylo/FO Trooper. I was lucky enough to get Unkar Plutt (SR21) and add him to the Kylo starter for a full 30-point team. Out of 18 total players that first day, I ended up going 3-0 and advancing to the Finals. My wins came against Victor (who was brand-new to the game, but played very well) piloting Finn/Rebel Commando, Chad playing eRey/Finn, and Brandon with eRey/Baze. All of the games were close affairs with no runaway victories. Sadly, Kim went 1-2 and was cut from the tournament.

Along with Unkar, other notable pulls from my boosters were Rise Again (SR76), which saved Kylo in one game, Lightsaber Throw (SR72), and Force Push (SR54). I was not nearly as lucky as some others at the table, one of whom pulled 3(!) Legendaries from his 6 boosters, and another who pulled a Force Speed (SR55)!

The format was a lot of fun, even if there was an abundance of Kylo and Rey decks, but that was to be expected. There were only a few people who couldn’t field a full 30-card deck with their booster pulls (they were stuck at 29 cards), but they were able to randomly select enough Neutral Gray cards to fill their decks. This meant a slight chance of some decks having three copies of a Gray card, but it was a small price to pay to have everyone with 30-card decks.

The Finals

On Sunday, the 8 of us who went 3-0 in the preliminaries met at 2:00 for one last round of games. The format was the same, with 6 boosters and a fresh starter set, but with an interesting twist: no Faction restrictions! That meant that Rey could fight alongside Unkar Plutt, Rebel Commandos (SR28) could team up with Stormtroopers, and a Tusken Raider (AW22) could benefit from Second Chance (AW137).

Originally, the finals were to be 3-5 rounds of Swiss, depending on qualifiers, but due to time restraints, had to be changed to 3 rounds of single-elimination. This time, I was not as lucky and ended up 1-1. My team consisted of eKylo/Royal Guard/FO Trooper. Other notable inclusions in my deck were Overkill (SR33), A180 Blaster (SR32), and C-3PO (SR30). I won the first game against Josh, who was running Kylo/FO Trooper/Luminara. I was able to use the Royal Guard (SR12) to soak up quite a bit of damage, which was helpful against Luminara (SR36), who kept beefing up the Stormtroopers attacks by 3.

My second game, I lost against Lon piloting eKylo/FO Trooper/Death Trooper. This was a very close game, coming down to a difference of 3 damage. I don’t wish to disparage my opponent, but I attribute this loss to a severe mental mistake on my part. I had rolled in Kylo plus Mind Probe (AW60), getting Specials on both Kylo dice and 2-Discard on the probe. Lon was down to 2 cards in hand and I jumped the gun, resolving my 2-Discard before Kylo’s Specials, with a potential 4 damage getting discarded. In any case, I misplayed, which may or may not have had an impact, and lost the game.

The final two ended up being Lon and Zach (not the event organizer), who was running the same deck I was, eKylo/Royal Guard/FO Trooper. Due to time, they decided to split the winnings and walked out with 2 each of the full-art Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker promo cards. All participants in the finals also received an official Kylo Ren playmat. Players in the first round of the finals were given the option of splitting 2 Vader promos or playing for both, and the second round players were given 2 Vader and 2 Luke promos to split or play for.

Final Thoughts

We both had loads of fun at Origins playing Star Wars: Destiny, and we agreed that the tournament format, though untested, worked out very well. We would like to see this become an alternative store event going forward, maybe geared toward newer players or those who don’t have extensive collections like some of us have.

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