What a strange couple of weeks we’ve had recently, I hope everyone is staying safe and during this difficult period. With the lockdown in place the shop has had to close up for the time being but we’ve been finding other ways to keep everyone in touch. Our Facebook page is still a hub for players to chat and keep up with everyone but we have also made a Discord server for everyone to chat, marange meetings online and play games together. He is a link for anyone who hasn't already join - https://discord.gg/nMhRCNs
The IQ Staff have been keeping up with everyone as well as jumping into some pastimes during the lockdown. James and the war gamers have been posting updates to painting and crafting projects on our facebook page as well as our Discord page. We’ve seen some awesome projects making progress, from Orks to Chaos to Space Marines. It's great to see the community continuing to work on some amazing models and painting combinations despite the current situation. We’d love to see what builds and painting you’ve done during this time, why not post it on our Facebook page or on our Discord.
The Magic community has also been adapting to the changes and we have tried a few tournaments using Magic Arena to get players together to play. We held a Wednesday standard format event this week with 25 players logging on to play together in a fun swiss tournament. Other than a slight server issue towards the end the event was a great success with lots of players having a great time playing Magic again with friends. This was followed up with a Thursday Historic format event which also saw a whole host of players log on to play. With both events running (mostly) smoothly we are looking at running more weekly online events for Magic and more. We also had our first FNM @ Home event with players posting screenshots of the Arena event to get some codes for cool card backs, some inventive ways of proving it was a ligitimate screenshot for their account (Tommy Hogan wins for his entry!) and 8 players also grouped up to play a standard tournament together. It was Sean Hothersall who came out on top and as it was a paid tournament earned some nice store credit for when we reopen.
The Final Fantasy TCG players also have been experimenting this week with online play and on Thursday organised a tournament together to see how manageable it would be. Brad one of our regular FFTCG players ran event and had some thoughts on how it went:
“With our test local now finished, it’s time to reflect! We managed to run an 8-player bracket with 3 rounds of swiss with players competing online primarily using OCTGN, backed up by discord to manage communications. Dan went on to take 1st place with his favourite IX deck featuring a host of new, powerful cards. The plays from all players were a joy to watch and for the most part we had no issues. As this was a test format, we were able to be more lenient with the rules.
Unfortunately we did have the issue of stability from two players. One player, John was unable to maintain a consistent connection during the tournament and decided to drop. This was a hidden blessing, as we were paired together for the final round, allowing us both instead to commentate! Our 2nd round also had to almost entirely be replayed due to a connection issue as well, prolonging the tournament. These issues will need to be discussed and evaluated properly if this is to progress from a casual tournament to a truly competitive one.
Aside from this however the experience was overwhelmingly positive, we had an active chat contribution on the stream and most importantly, we got to slam some awesome new cards.
On to the next!”
A link to the decks played during the event can be found here - https://ffdecks.com/tournament/ff-fite-sesh-weekly-1/6380865720418304
Another event has been set up for next Saturday if players wanted to join in - https://www.facebook.com/events/1298097087062602/
The Yu-Gi-Oh community had a bit of an startling piece of information drop this week with the new April 1st forbidden and limited list we revealed, with some interesting changes. SPYRAL decks were hit hard with SPYRAL Master Plan being banned (no more magicians Souls tricks!) as well as numerous Tuner monsters being banned, to stop Crystron Halqifibrax from being used too much for some nasty combos. This also meant more synchro shenanigans such as Trishula and T.G Hyper Librarian bit getting limited, as well as the two card combo pieces Danger Jackalope and Tsuchinoko both getting limited to one also. We did see some cards come back too, Zoodiac Drident came back to one (at the cost of Barrage being limited!) and a few cards went back to unlimited such as deep sea diva and pot of avarice. The full list can be found here - https://www.yugioh-card.com/en/limited/index.html
We also ran our first Yu-Gi-Oh online battle on Saturday using the Dueling Book software and Discord. After a few minor hiccups getting the first round started, 13 players logged on to play some games together, chat and hang out again. We saw dino decks, true draco, and even an exodia deck played (with all the cards available to you on DB you can litrally play whatever I suppose!) After three rounds and some close games Aiden Wray was our winner going 3-0 to take first place. It was great to see so many of the locals coming together to play and catch up despite the lock down and great to have one last event before the ban list and Master Rule 5 come into play.
We hope everyone continues to stay safe during this tough time and we will continue to provide updates and help the community however we can. If you want to support the shop we add a series of vouchers to the online store so folks can pick up some voucher to spend once we are able to open the shop back up and/or post items out to people.
We appreciate the support everyone has given us during this time and a big thank you to the whole community :)
Stephen & The IQ Team