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Author Topic: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area  (Read 2733 times)

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Forge!!!

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Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« on: April 12, 2012, 12:07:47 pm »
0

http://fairgamestore.com/event-calendar/

It's a nice place in Downer's Grove, unfortunately I couldn't find anything more than this, I'm intrigued by the whole first place person gets to go to regionals though. (I've always wanted to go to regionals)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 05:28:37 pm by theory »
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dondon151

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Re: Tournament April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 12:38:21 pm »
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It's probably the regional qualifier.

I really want to go, but I have plans for the entire day that I've committed to.
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Re: Tournament April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 10:33:42 am »
+2

it is indeed the regional qualifier.  here is the RGG release on the tournament.

i added it to the qualifier list on the Tournament section of the FAQ.

key details -
  • Downer's Grove, IL on April 21
  • 3 round tournament - 3 games round 1, 3 games round 2, 1 game final
  • winner advances to US finals and receives Rio Grande Treasure Chest(?)
  • 2nd and 3rd place receive gift cards to Fair Game
  • free pack of promo cards for all participants
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 01:51:00 pm by greatexpectations »
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Forge!!!

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Re: Tournament April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 11:16:58 am »
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Ooh wow thanks for that info, looks exciting.
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dondon151

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Re: Tournament April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 01:14:14 pm »
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I find it odd that the final round is determined by a single game, though.
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Re: Tournament April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 01:38:47 pm »
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I find it odd that the final round is determined by a single game, though.

The individual cons and retailers running the game seem to have control over the local format.  Kinda sucky.
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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2012, 07:29:30 pm »
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Want to join badly, but I already booked a ticket for a flight back home after graduation :-[

Is it acceptable if I'm lucky enough to be the winner but give up my spot for the second place ? I just want to see how far I can go, so ...
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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 03:45:38 am »
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I really doubt if anyone would mind, you should come.
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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 08:24:21 pm »
+3

Came in 2nd! I think Dondon151 came in first, but I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure. Here's a bit of a re-cap (apologies that the games themselves aren't it too much depth, I don't have the greatest memory and I know you'll be getting probably a very detailed re-cap later):

So the tournament was laid out as an all day thing, 7 games capped at 35 minutes each. 3 games were in the first round, the top 9 advanced from there. Then there were three more games, then one final game from the top 3 to determine the victor. We only ended up having 8 people total though, so the first three games were just for fun. We probably could have just skipped the first three games and saved a lot of time, but hey, more dominion is better than less dominion, right?

First game of first round:
Important cards: umm...masquerade, militia, chapel...a very engine-y game. Oh, torturers.

I decided to not go for torturers and see what happened, the result was not very good. I tried to build an engine but it failed pretty miserably, and i kept having to pass engine components to the left cause I would get militia'd, discard down to three, and have the guy play a masquerade every time. I kept forgetting about the masquerade. Oh well. Picked up a province for fun at some point in time, ended up in third by a wide margin.

Second game of first round:
Important cards: Witch, witch.

My terrible play landed me with the other two people who ended up in third, and neither of them were very good. I picked up a moat with my first play but didn't really end up needing it cause no one bought a witch/swindler till like the tenth turn (besides me of course). Actually got a few witches, one of my opponents probably ended with about 25 terminals and 2 festivals, and I coasted to an easy victory.

Third game of first round:
Important cards: Minion, Tribute I guess?, Thief, Saboteur

Because the game didn't mean anything, I decided to just fool around this game, not try my hardest, and hoped my poor scores would put me with easier opponents in the second round. I bought 2 Tributes (a card I never, ever buy), a Wishing well, and just some money. Person who I am assuming is Dondon151 went with the Minion strategy, and the third guy just kind of went big money/lab, I think. I was expecting this to be an easy victory for Minions, but he kept passing on provinces over and over in lieu of more engine cards, while us two bought provinces. He's going to come in here and defend himself by saying that he was too far behind at this point to play straight Minions, but I think that's silly. He would have won if he did. Anyways, instead he bought Throne Rooms, thieves, and saboteurs. He got rid of a hell of a lot of our money, and one province from the other guy. I lost a duchy as well. In the end, he came in third, and despite by complete and utter lack of strategy, I managed to come in second. I was worried this would not be enough to put me in with the worst people next round.


Food break!

We had a half hour for lunch, and the guys who run the store suggested this Mexican place a block down, which turned out to be a great decision, especially given my love of Mexican food. I noticed on the board (menu, whatever) that quesadillas seemed overpriced compared to the rest of the items. Normally quesadillas might be 2 or 3 money, but these were 5s. I figured there must be a reason for this, so I got a chicken one and some delicious mexican bottled coke. I brought it back to the store and commenced to feel really awkward as I was the only one who chose to eat at the store. Sauce dribbled down my face as random customers looked at me strangely. Anyways, despite this, the quesadilla was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, with really good shredded chicken and a great red sauce. If you are ever in downtown Downers Grove (which is an awesome place), go to Alfredo's, cause it was freaking delicious. One of the highlights of the tournament. Speaking of which...


First game of round 2:
Important cards: Governor, Militia

I was happy to see that my failed sucking had still managed to place me at the worst table. I was also happy to see Governor (my favorite card) on the board along with Militia. My two opponents had no idea how to play governors, so I bought 8 of them and got a very easy blowout victory.

Second game of round 2:
Important cards: Masquerade, Courtyard

The mechanic of the second round that I thoroughly enjoyed was that we played with the same 10 cards, except that each player got to take out one card and put in another (we only had Intrigue and base). I took out Militias and put in Adventurers, hoping to just use the same strategy as last game. Dondon, however, took out Governors and messed that all up. I think what happened in this game was pretty simple: All 3 of us went pretty much big money, I went Masq/Big Money, my opponent went Courtyard/Big Money, and Dondon went Masq/Courtyard/Big Money. Masquerade and Courtyard seem to me to go very well together, and he won the game while I came in second.

Third game of round 2:
Important cards: Bridge, Village, Courtyard, Shanty Town, Chapel

There wasn't anything too remarkable on the board when I got to pick a card to put up there. My two opponents were both very solid players in that they knew how many terminals to get, which cards were good, etc. I guessed that they weren't too great at engine-building, however, so I went and put villages in the game. This turned out to be a really great idea, as I don't really even remember what my opponents did (some variant of big money/Chapel I believe) but they didn't really touch villages, bridges, or courtyards, and I was able to get almost all of them. They took a big lead as I built up my deck and I realize now that 8 bridges is way too many when there's only one village and your card draw is Courtyard, but what are you going to do. I was getting worried for a while, but my last two turns I bought 1 province each as well as 4 and then 5 duchies to win the game and put me in the finals.

Final (and only) game of final round:

Cards: Nobles, Harem, Jester, Remodel, Fortune Teller, Great Hall, Hamlet, Menagerie, Village, some other apparently unimportant one cause I can't remember it

The obvious strategy here is Hamlet/Menagerie, which is always fun to play. Add in all the different ways you can get money and VP and it's a no-brainer. My first thought with Remodel was "I mean, I can kind of trash, but what the heck am I going to turn my coppers into?" You can tell from this that I did not win this game (also from the fact I said I came in second). Person who I am assuming is Dondon bought a Remodel with their first turn and turned his estates into menageries and his coppers into Hamlets. I realized how dumb I was and that I had essentially already lost around turn 5. He played what Menagerie is supposed to be, drawing his hand every time and getting 3 double provinces turns, and I played Hamlet/Menagerie's sad cousin no one mentions. Thankfully, the sad cousin is still better than not knowing about the combo at all, and was plenty enough to beat the third person's strategy of buying a lot of random cards. I'm perfectly happy with second place, and congrats to assumedly Dondon, who was clearly the best player there. Six hours of Dominion is a hell of a lot.

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dondon151

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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 11:51:00 pm »
+3

“Assumedly dondon” is indeed me :)

Brief overview of the tournament format

For those of you who don’t want to dig up the thread containing the link to RGG’s website, here’s a rundown of the tournament format. All games played were 3-player games, no more, no less, and all games except for the final round game had a time limit of 35 minutes. Forge!!! covered this pretty succinctly.

First round games
Each player plays 3 games with predetermined sets from Base and Intrigue. The top 9 players, ranked by number of 1st place wins, then by total number of points, go onto the second round. 2nd place rankings do not count (i.e., getting 2nd place is functionally as bad as getting 3rd place). As it just so happened, there were only 8 participants in this qualifier, so everyone got a free pass to the 2nd round. I just took this opportunity to get to know the other players and fool around a bit. Because we were short 1 player, the tournament organizer stood in as a player to allow for 3 games to go on simultaneously.

Second round games
Each player plays 3 games. The 1st of the 3 games is a predetermined set from Base and Intrigue, with Governor to round out the kingdom. For the 2nd of the 3 games, each player, in turn order, removes a card from the kingdom and replaces it with another one of their choice from Base or Intrigue (kind of like veto mode, but not really). For the last of the 3 games, the players are shuffled to different tables, and repeat the veto process. The top 3 players, ranked by number of wins, then by total number of points, advance to the final round.

Final round game
The 3 finalists play 1 game using a predetermined set from Base, Intrigue, and Cornucopia. 1st place is declared winner of the tournament and gets all the glory that goes with it, etc.

Other stuff
Turn order is decided randomly. Kind of like drawing numbers from a hat, except replace the hat with a table and replace the numbers with face-down Copper / Curse / Estate cards.

First round: game 1
Bridge, Chapel, Council Room, Mining Village, Market, Masquerade, Militia, Pawn, Torturer, Village

We were able to peruse these kingdoms upon arrival, prior to actually starting the tournament, and this set jumped out to me as having the most interesting somewhat-diverging strategies. Village-Torturer is strong, and players who can fire off a Torturer chain first would be at an advantage. The first decision that I had to make was how to build the engine: Chapel trashes quickly, but Masquerade is a hard counter to a single play of Torturer and doesn’t result in tempo loss. I opened Masquerade / Silver; my opponents opened with Chapel. Forge!!! was one of my opponents this round, so hopefully he can chime in with his thoughts. I recall that he was terribly unlucky and couldn't reach $5 for awhile.

Sadly, I’ve not much experience with Torturer, as my IRL play group has Torturer banned and I don’t play on Iso. I handled opponent Torturer attacks well, but by the time I got my own engine going, the Curses were nearly gone, and shortly afterwards, repeated plays of Council Room – Militia started to hurt. My deck was in relatively good condition, with no Curses, but it was a little too large to draw reliably with 3 Torturers and a Council Room, so I had to settle for 2nd in this match.

First round: game 2
Baron, Festival, Ironworks, Moat, Moneylender, Smithy, Swindler, Trading Post, Upgrade, Witch

Upon skimming this kingdom, I debated whether it would be worth focusing on playing defensive with Trading Post and Upgrade or playing offensive with Swindler and Witch. From my experience, 3-player games tend to have some sort of equilibrium where a defensive player wins against 2 attackers and an offensive player wins against 2 defenders.

My opponents in this round were the tournament organizer and a player who looked like she wasn’t really familiar with the game (from here on referred to as Kristi) – she was picking up Coppers with her extra buys and greening really early on Duchies and Estates. The tournament organizer seemed to be playing in more of an obstructive manner (i.e., a lot of Swindlers) instead of playing to win, which helped me out a lot in the end. I opened Moneylender / Silver, picking up an Upgrade with my first $5, fully intending to play defensively, but neither opponent actually picked up a Witch. On my next 2 $5s, I picked up a couple of Witches, picked up some Golds, and steamrolled to victory. I think I had something like 7 or 8 Provinces by the end of the game, and I had to buy Gold when I would normally prefer Duchy in order to end the game on Provinces. Due to this, I got a huge score in this game (51 points IIRC) whereas other players scored in a much more reasonable range, as expected from a Witch game.

First round: game 3
Bureaucrat, Laboratory, Minion, Saboteur, Spy, Thief, Throne Room, Tribute, Wishing Well, Woodcutter

I had a hunch that this was going to be a race for the Minions, because when compared to the previous 2 games, this kingdom was rather lackluster. No trashing makes a Minion strategy difficult to get running consistently, and more opponents competing for a Minion split makes a pure Minion strategy downright unfeasible. Regardless, I buckled down and hammered the Minions, while my opponents (one of whom was Forge!!!) chose to ignore them entirely.

Unfortunately, my deck was not coming along at a good speed, and I was nervous by the fact that once my engine was up and running, my opponents had already split ~6 of the provinces, and I wasn’t able to do double-Province turns to catch up. After that, I hammered the Labs and Throne Rooms, and picked up a couple of Thieves and a Saboteur to effectively pin my opponents. I picked up a few of the Provinces and Duchies while thrashing their decks, and by the time 1 Province was left in the supply, neither of them had enough treasures to reliably draw $8 for the last Province.

I was confident that this game was mine, because from that point on, my opponents’ decks could only get worse… until the tournament organizer announced that there were only 3 minutes remaining for the round. Each of my turns took over a minute to play, and I was afraid that there wouldn’t be another chance to get some more points. I bought the last Province and came in 3rd place for this one, but it was really close: 33 – 31 – 30. One more turn, or another Sab hit on a Province, and I probably would have come out on top.

In retrospect, this strategy would have been a lot more decisive if I had forgone a few Minions for Labs in order to secure the pin. It's hard to match up Throne Rooms with the desired actions when you repeatedly force yourself to play with 4-card hands.

Intermission

Most of the players took this opportunity to grab lunch, but I wasn’t feeling hungry and wanted to peruse the kingdom for the next game. I chatted strategy with a player named Matthew (I forgot his Iso username; sorry Matt!) and a few others, among them a really amicable guy named Miles, Forge!!!, and the tournament organizer (whose name was Michael).

Second round: game 1
Cellar, Courtyard, Shanty Town, Steward, Conspirator, Militia, Feast, Scout, Mine, Governor

Governor rears its head in this first game, which was a predetermined set. It didn’t seem like many of the players were aware of the Governor engine, so my plan was just that – except a Governor engine is harder to do when your opponents split the Governors. Nevertheless, I dove into the game with Governor / Cellar on a 5/2 split, hoping to cycle more quickly to Governors, gaining Gold, which would allow me to buy more Governors. I picked up a Steward along the way to act like a poor man’s Chapel, but it ultimately was only used twice to trash cards, and I found that a Militia was more useful instead because it was pretty difficult to line up my Governors with my Golds.

In the end, I wasn’t too keen on trying to go for the Governor mega-turn, since I was falling behind and I would risk not being to catch up due to running out of remodeling targets for my Golds. I get a double-Province turn with Governor, get a Province-Duchy turn the same way, and pick up another Duchy and another Province. During the game, I had realized, after picking up the last Governor in the supply, that we had accidentally left the randomizer card in the kingdom, which meant that there were 11 Governors split between all of us. When I drew the errant Governor, I took it out of my deck and replaced it with a Duchy, which would have been my next preferred $5 had I not been able to get Governors. Turned out that this made the difference, as I scraped a 33-30 victory over Matt, who came in 2nd place (I don’t remember who my other opponent was this round). Though, if you think about it, having that extra Governor likely would have put me up even more…

Second round: game 2
Cellar, Courtyard, Shanty Town, Steward, Masquerade, Feast, Conspirator, Adventurer, Market, Mine

Forge!!!, Miles, and I drew cards to determine our turn order, and to my chagrin, I drew last. Forge!!! drew 1st in the turn order and vetoed Militia, replacing it with the relatively useless Adventurer to facilitate a Governor strategy. IIRC I think Miles actually vetoed Governor and replaced it with Market, but I would have vetoed Governor anyway because it confers a huge first player advantage. I knocked out Scout and replaced it with Masquerade; BM Masquerade with Courtyard was actually in a game that I practiced the previous night with my IRL play group, and I was very comfortable with the strategy, even though there is still a small first player advantage. I opened Masquerade / Silver, serendipitously drew $6 on turn 3 for a Gold, picked up a couple more Golds and a Courtyard, and won by a comfortable margin.

Second round: game 3
Cellar, Courtyard, Chapel, Shanty Town, Steward, Workshop, Militia, Laboratory, Market, Festival

For this round, I was matched against Kristi and Matt. I drew second in the turn order; Matt first, and Kristi last. Seeing fantastic potential for a Conspirator engine, Matt brought Chapel into the game. I, too, saw the same thing, and selected Workshop. Come Kristi’s turn, she decided that she didn’t like Conspirator because it was a card that she wasn’t familiar with, and vetoed it… I’m not entirely sure what she picked, but I think it was Lab.

Matt and I, our hopes dashed, nevertheless stuck with our original plan and opened with Chapel. Matt drew $5 and picked up Festival; I got $4 and opted for Militia instead, hoping to hurt a couple of opponent Chapel hands. Kristi opened with Militia as well, but since she didn’t open Chapel, I mostly ignored her for the rest of the match. Between rounds, someone had given her some instruction on her playstyle and decision-making, and she showed a significant improvement compared to our previous match (if you get a chance to read this, your improvement was markedly astounding).

Matt trashed most of his deck down and seemed to be going for a Festival-Courtyard draw engine, which is extremely suspect at best because Courtyard is only a net +1 card and Festival is a net -1 card. I instead hammered the Markets, grabbing 5 of them, then picked up 3 Golds and a handful of Labs. At this point, I had exactly $16 in my deck and could reliably play my Militia every turn, leaving my opponents permanently with 3-card hands. 3 double-Province and 3 single-Province turns later, I emptied the Province pile with 9 of the 12 Provinces for a convincing rout.

Final round game
Secret Chamber, Village, Fortune Teller, Hamlet, Great Hall, Jester, Nobles, Menagerie, Harem, Remodel

After the results tallied from the previous games, it was Forge!!!, a guy named Brian, and me in the tournament final. At this point I had developed somewhat of a reputation as that guy, in no small part due to those 2 games that I played with Kristi where I won by a huge margin. I admitted to Forge!!! that because I didn’t own Cornucopia and didn’t play on Iso, I had never actually played a real match with Cornucopia cards before. It didn’t seem like Brian had any experience with Cornucopia, and he confirmed that after the game.

At first glance, this kingdom really strongly favors Hamlet-Menagerie, especially due to the presence of Remodel, and with both Village and Nobles, one can also integrate a draw engine. So I do exactly that. I open Remodel / Silver, turn my Estates into Menageries, buy a couple of Silvers, Hamlets, and Villages, and start buying Nobles and a Jester with my decent money density. I had a slight bit of good luck being able to convert all of my Estates to Menageries with my first 3 Remodel plays. Quite soon I was able to draw my whole deck, bought some more money, got a second Jester by hitting Forge!!!’s Jester with my Jester, and managed to get exactly $16 in my deck (in no small part due to an extra Copper that Forge!!!’s Jester gave me). I got 3 double-Province turns, grab another Province, and empty the Province pile by using Remodel on a Province. Brian wasn’t aware of the Hamlet-Menagerie interaction and really didn’t have a coherent strategy, and Forge!!! forgot about Remodel’s utility in this kingdom, and his engine got up and running much later than mine.

Unfortunately, my turns took absolutely forever. My apologies to Forge!!! and Brian, and kudos to both of you for your patience.

Final thoughts

I had to come all the way down from my university to attend this tournament, which entailed approximately 2+ hours of commuting in either direction due to the train schedule being completely uncooperative on weekends. The outcome aside, I really enjoyed the tournament; the participants were all extremely amicable and patient people, the venue was pleasant, and the tournament organizer was very patient with my (probably annoying) constant questions and requests.

Congratulations to Forge!!! for getting 2nd place; he was a solid player and definitely deserved a high placing.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 12:19:31 pm by dondon151 »
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Forge!!!

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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 12:49:09 am »
+2

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dondon151

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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 12:52:16 am »
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lol, you can blame this forum for that...
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Forge!!!

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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 12:56:38 am »
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I plan to =P

Anyways, well done, will be hoping you do well at nationals. (Nationals in Chicago and worlds in Indy? Really? This may be the first time ever the midwest was considered the middle of the world) I could tell in things like not counting when I get up to 16 gold in my deck or not ever really recognizing I should base how many bridges I have on how many villages minus courtyards I have that you clearly just have one solid skill level above me.
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Kirian

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Re: Dominion Regional Qualifier, April 21st in Chicagoland Area
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 04:19:00 pm »
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(Nationals in Chicago and worlds in Indy? Really? This may be the first time ever the midwest was considered the middle of the world)

Origins:  Columbus
GenCon:  Indianapolis, originally Wisconsin
Gathering of Friends:  Niagara Falls, originally Columbus
TSR:  Founded in Wisconsin
Mayfair:  Chicago
RGG:  Started in Chicago (when Jay left Mayfair)


Congrats to dondon!
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