My first Fireside Gathering

Last weekend I went to a local Fireside Gathering in Amsterdam, to compete with other Hearthstone players. It was a very long and awesome day, which made me realise several things about the game, my decks and Hearthstone players.

The players
I was not sure what kind of crowd I could expect, but it turned out to be a fairly mixed company of players. Except for girls: with only 3 female out of the 40 people competing, they were very under represented at this gathering. The ages varied from 16 to about 40 and there was even a 12 year old competing in the competition, who knew way more about Hearthstone than I did.

I had the most fun when playing Lumi (check out her Twitch channel over here). Sitting opposite of your opponent brings out a whole other aspect to the game and Lumi made very good use of it by trying to read my thoughts and game plan out loud. Our round game down to a 1-1 matchpoint, at which we had to play our deciding match Druid versus my Mage.

My decks
I create all my own decks, because that is a big part of the fun I get out of Hearthstone. This is why the casters in the video could not really figure out my decktype, because there isn’t one. You can qualify it as a fatigue Mage and my Shaman probably fits the Totem deck type, but there are always a few cards that are out of place.

This has one advantage: no one knows what I am going to play. I noticed that everyone I was playing was focussing on what deck type I had and trying to anticipate my moves. This was often nearly impossible for them, because I threw weird cards on the board. Especially when I played my Djinni of Zephyrs, opponents became pretty nervous.


However, creative decks have a (probably even bigger) downside: they are often not very competitive. My Mage deck you saw in the video, just does not compete very well against the proven pro-decks. Another downside is my lack of knowledge of other decks. I honestly had no idea what a tempo-Mage was up until this weekend. When I had the 12 year old kid explaining it to me, when I realized I have some reading-up to do.

The game
Most of all this Fireside gathering made me realise how great this game is. Before this weekend I thought I would probably never experience an accessible LAN-party and that for the atmosphere of a game café I had to travel to China. Instead Blizzard has succeeded in making a game that makes it incredibly easy to organize an event and play their game together. Not only that, Blizzard actively encourages people to come together to play Hearthstone and after last weekend I can only recommend any Hearthstone player to grab a chair and sit down by the hearth at a Fireside meetup.

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