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Card games have always been something of a fascination to me since I was a child. They are games played so casually relaxed, but can suddenly be injected with moments of excitement when a powerful card is played that can change the tide of the game. They also provide thrilling moments when you buy booster packs and open them hoping to score a good card or trade one with a friend, both with the goal of building a better deck to go into battle with.

I had wanted to get into one for some time and whilst attending the Gamergate meet up in Birmingham I witnessed a game of Magic the Gathering being played, and it ignited my interest for getting into it. I left it in the back of my mind for a while as money was tight, and at the time I didn’t know where in my town stocked it, so I continued on with life and forgot about Magic for a time. I almost backed a Kickstarter which described itself as “Magic the Gathering with Zombies,” but then I pulled back as I realised it was a lot of money to spend on a game with nobody to play it with. So I left it be, and decided to take a trip to my local comic shop to buy something to read, and that was when I made an accidental discovery.

Just before my local comic shop is a Games Workshop, and I had walked past it many times before, never looking in the window until that day. I decided to stop in when I saw some cool looking board games in the window and went to check them out. My eyes wondered around, and I saw numerous Magic the Gathering products displayed and mentally kicked myself for not having looked here sooner. I picked up my comics and then went into Games Workshop for a look. There was more on display inside, and it felt like I had struck gold. I eventually got talking with the guy behind the counter who was more than happy to help me out with the whole thing, but I had one concern which I needed to ask him.

beginner insert
Justin’s fledgling Magic the Gathering collection

“Can I play this game on my own?” I asked, as there was nobody I knew locally who played the game and didn’t want to waste money.

“No, but we do gaming nights here every Friday,” he replied, and that was something I really needed to hear.

He gave me a few more bits of information on the whole thing and it made up my mind there and then. I dipped into my pocket and brought the following:

  • An intro deck pack
  • 100 card protectors (I like to look after my cards)
  • A deck box (seemed like a logical idea)
  • 3 Booster packs (why the hell not)

I assembled the deck as best as I could and then wished the rest of the week away so I could attend this gaming event, more excited than I thought I would be.

However, I made a few mistakes before attending the night. I was woefully underprepared and did not brush up on the rules, and as a result I got my ass kicked in the two games that I played. I managed to score only one point of damage against my opponent, and felt quite stupid as a result. I ducked out early in the end, decideding to go home and do my homework so that I could come back more prepared for the next time. I can see that this will be quite a challenge for me to get into, some of the people I encountered knew what they were doing and had obviously been at it a while. Hopefully I can reach that kind of level one day.

But for now, I must prepare.

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Justin Knight
Justin is a happily married 35 year-old games writer from Northampton, UK. He loves survival horror games, almost anything First-person Shooter-based, and pretty much everything with zombies. Being a life long gamer, he has now passed his much-loved passion down to his children.In his spare time, Justin likes to read, work out and watch movies. He is also currently writing his first book.
Justin Knight

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