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Author Topic: Gemp Draft Details  (Read 1054 times)

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February 18, 2020, 08:39:03 AM
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Phallen Cassidy

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Gemp Draft Details
« on: February 18, 2020, 08:39:03 AM »
There are often questions about the Draft leagues, and here I hope to answer them all in excruciating detail. To draft your cards in Gemp you need to head back to where you signed up for the league; the "Join league" button will be replaced with "Go to draft," which you'll click to draft your cards. For anyone whose question is not answered by that, read on.


Decipher's Draft
First, a bit of history.

For the Decipher drafts, players assembled in groups (ideally 8 players per group) and brought their own format-legal copy of Frodo, The One Ring, and 9 sites. They would then receive a special draft pack containing 14 Free Peoples cards and 14 Shadow cards, which formed the base of the deck. The cards in the draft packs are selected from an endless loop of cards called "runs." 7 cards are taken from each of the two 30-card runs for the Free Peoples and 14 cards are taken from the 60-card run for the Shadow side of 60 cards. Each run is a loop, repeating itself after the last card. Essentially, each pack "starts" with a random card in each run and gives you the next cards from that point. Between the Free Peoples runs was a random rare from the base set -- Fellowship of the Ring for a Fellowship block draft and The Two Towers for a Towers block draft.

Afterwards, all players received the same set of 3 booster packs in one of 4 configurations: 3 packs from the first set; 2 from the first and 1 from the second or third; or 1 from the first, second, and third. Each pack contains 11 cards: 1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 7 common. Each player opens a pack from the same set, selects a card, and passes the remaining cards to the player next to them (to the left for the first and third pack opened, to the right for the second). This process is repeated until all 11 cards have been picked and starts again with the next booster pack until all 3 booster packs have been emptied.

At the end of the draft, each player will have 62 new cards: 29 from the draft pack and 33 from booster packs. But because packs contain a mix of Free Peoples cards, Shadow cards, and sites, there are more ways to come up short of a legal 60 deck than not. So for those tournaments, decks were allowed to have as few as 20/20 cards. Players who somehow avoided drafting enough Free Peoples or Shadow cards to build a 40-card deck automatically forfeit all their games. Along with the low deck size, players were allowed to reshuffle their discard piles once per game after running out of cards. In addition, the number of cards by a certain title was not limited to 4. If you started with 2 copies of Boromir, Son of Denethor and drafted 3 more, you could put all 5 of them in your deck. Players kept whatever cards they drafted at the end of the tournament, plus the top places got some booster packs.


Gemp's Draft
The beginning of the draft is the same as Decipher's, each player is given 28 cards from a Free Peoples run and a Shadow run, plus a random rare. Given Decipher's track record with the distribution of some packs, if anything Gemp is truer to the original intent here. It turns out that Decipher's draft pulled 7 cards from each Free Peoples run -- currently Gemp pulls 14 cards out of one of the runs at random instead. When this is fixed or we decide to keep the error, I'll update this message. But for a mix of technical and practical reasons, the runs are the only things done the same way. For starters, Gemp maintains that decks must be 30/30, forbids shuffling the discard pile to form a new draw deck, and keeps the 4-card restriction of regular games. Everyone starts with the same Frodo and The Ruling Ring and drafts their sites after the rest of their cards rather than picking them in advance. And perhaps the most important difference is that Gemp's draft is a solo draft, not a simultaneous draft.

Instead of drafting 33 mixed cards, each player will draft 31 Free Peoples cards, 31 Shadow cards, and 9 sites (in that order); 1 choice of rare from the block, then 10 cards from the first set, 10 cards from the second, and 10 cards from the third. Rather than choosing from a pack containing 1 rare card, 3 uncommon cards, and 7 common cards, players choose from a selection of cards with the same rarity. There's a 1/10 chance of seeing rares, 3/10 chance of uncommons, and 6/10 chance of commons. 10 cards of drafted per set, so on average players will have a deck composition similar to that of packs (drafting 6 packs rather than 3).

The number of choices in a selection also depends on rarity, with a choice between 5 for rares, 7 for uncommons, and 10 for commons. Think of it this way: in the physical draft, if you're choosing to draft a common card it must be a better fit for your deck than the uncommons or rares in that pack. Likewise for the rares and uncommons, you'd choose that card only if it has a good chance of helping your deck. So if you wind up with 8 common cards and 2 uncommon cards in a given set, it's true that you didn't get any rares. But it's also true you didn't get any bad rares, and instead likely ended up with very good commons and uncommons. In a physical draft where your pack contains Mordor Enraged, it's likely you'd make a similar choice. Alternatively, if the person next to you decides Bow of the Galadhrim is a risky pick and passes there's no reason you can't end up with two rares.

After drafting your Free Peoples cards from sets 1, 2, and 3, you'll draft your Shadow cards in the same order. Finally, you'll pick sites. Going from site 1 to 9, you'll have a selection of 3 sites of the same number to pick between for your deck (obviously, you'll only have one choice for Fellowship block's site 5). You now have 101 cards: 45 Free Peoples, 45 Shadow, 9 sites, a starter Frodo, and The Ruling Ring.

Some things here could be changed. For example, the quality of cards doesn't decrease as more cards are chosen: nobody needs to end up with filler cards like Lightfootedness. The number of choices may need to be pared down to closer emulate the real life draft, but in the end the solo draft can be essentially identical to the physical draft.

Now that you understand the process, here are the runs that form the basis of the draft pack (and therefore, your deck). Each run has sections of cards that go well together with splash cards dividing the sections. You'll also see that utility cards are "wrapped" in the character that uses them, so for example you'll never start with Ranger's Sword without Aragorn, King in Exile (though you may start with Aragorn and not get Ranger's Sword). Remember that you get a 14-card stretch of one Free Peoples run and the Shadow run, which amounts to just under half of the possible Free Peoples cards and a quarter of the possible Shadow cards.

Fellowship Block
Ring-bearer: Frodo, Son of Drogo

30-card Free Peoples runs:
Hobbit Intuition - Pippin, Mr. Took - Gimli, Dwarf of Erebor - Aragorn, King in Exile - Ranger's Sword - Aragorn, King in Exile - Sam, Son of Hamfast - There and Back Again - Merry, Horticulturalist - Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith - Gandalf, The Grey Wizard - Trust Me as You Once Did - Mysterious Wizard - Gandalf, The Grey Wizard - Sam, Proper Poet - Hobbit Sword - Merry, From O'er the Brandywine - Legolas, Son of Thranduil - Aragorn, King in Exile - Ranger's Sword - Aragorn, King in Exile - Pippin, Mr. Took - Hobbit Stealth - Merry, Horticulturalist - Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood - Gandalf, The Grey Wizard - Trust Me as You Once Did - Intimidate - Gandalf, The Grey Wizard - Sam, Proper Poet

Their Halls of Stone - Dwarf Guard - Dwarven Axe - Farin, Dwarven Emissary - Cleaving Blow - Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race - Boromir, Son of Denethor - Sentinels of Numenor - Boromir, Son of Denethor - Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood - Defiance - Haldir, Elf of the Golden Wood - Border Defenses - Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood - Boromir, Son of Denethor - Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race - Cleaving Blow - Fror, Gimli's Kinsman - Dwarven Axe - Dwarf Guard - Delving - Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race - Boromir, Son of Denethor - Arwen, Elven Rider - Defiance - Haldir, Elf of the Golden Wood - Hosts of the Last Alliance - Arwen, Elven Rider - Boromir, Son of Denethor - Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race

60-card Shadow run:
Orc Pillager - Orc Scouting Band - Orc Scout - Orc Assassin - Orc Assassin - Orc Scout - Orc Scouting Band - Orc Pillager - Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul - Goblin Flankers - Goblin Scavengers - Goblin Reinforcements - Goblin Wallcrawler - Goblin Pursuer - Goblin Pursuer - Goblin Wallcrawler - Goblin Reinforcements - Goblin Scavengers - Goblin Flankers - Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur - Uruk-hai Raiding Party - Uruk Shaman - Uruk Soldier - Uruk Savage - Uruk Brood - Uruk Savage - Uruk Soldier - Uruk Shaman - Uruk-hai Raiding Party - Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul - Orc Veteran - Orc Hunters - Orc Scouting Band - Orc Soldier - Orc Soldier - Orc Scouting Band - Orc Hunters - Orc Veteran - Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur - Goblin Patrol Troop - Moria Archer Troop - Goblin Runner - Goblin Marksman - Goblin Bowman - Goblin Bowman - Goblin Marksman - Goblin Runner - Moria Archer Troop - Goblin Patrol Troop - Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul - Isengard Retainer - Isengard Servant - Isengard Shaman - Isengard Worker - Saruman, Servant of the Eye - Isengard Worker - Isengard Shaman - Isengard Servant - Isengard Retainer - Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur


Towers Block
Ring-bearer: Frodo, Tired Traveller

30-card Free Peoples runs:
Gandalf, The White Wizard - Under the Living Earth - Long I Fell - Mithrandir, Mithrandir! - Long I Fell - Under the Living Earth - Gandalf, The White Wizard - Aragorn, Heir of Elendil - Defend It and Hope - Boromir's Gauntlets - Defend It and Hope - Aragorn, Heir of Elendil - Haldir, Emissary of the Galadhrim - Supporting Fire - Lorien Guardian - Lorien Swordsman - Supporting Fire - Haldir, Emissary of the Galadhrim - Legolas, Elven Comrade - Valor - Flashing Steel - Valor - Legolas, Elven Comrade - Faramir, Son of Denethor - War and Valor - Boromir's Gauntlets - New Errand - Ranger of Ithilien - War and Valor - Faramir, Son of Denethor

Eomer, Sister-son of Theoden - Heavy Chain - Guma, Plains Farmer - Fight for the Villagers - Fight for the Villagers - Hlafwine, Village Farmhand - Horse of Rohan - Eomer, Sister-son of Theoden - Eowyn, Lady of Rohan - Rider's Mount - Elite Rider - Work for the Sword - Elite Rider - Rider's Mount - Eowyn, Lady of Rohan - Gimli, Unbidden Guest - Courtesy of My Hall - Best Company - Alliance Reforged - Best Company - Courtesy of My Hall - Gimli, Unbidden Guest - Merry, Learned Guide - Warmed Up a Bit - Knocked on the Head - Pippin, Woolly-footed Rascal - Merry, Learned Guide - Knocked on the Head - Warmed Up a Bit - Pippin, Woolly-footed Rascal

60-card Shadow run:
Southron Bowman - Desert Spearman - Desert Warrior - Easterling Infantry - Easterling Guard - Easterling Axeman - Easterling Lieutenant - Southron Wanderer - Easterling Lieutenant - Easterling Axeman - Easterling Guard - Easterling Infantry - Desert Warrior - Desert Spearman - Southron Bowman - Orthanc Warrior - Uruk Rear Guard - Uruk Defender - Uruk-hai Patrol - Uruk-hai Marauder - Uruk Besieger - Uruk Stormer - Attack on Helm's Deep - Uruk Stormer - Uruk Besieger - Uruk-hai Marauder - Uruk-hai Patrol - Uruk Defender - Uruk Rear Guard - Orthanc Warrior - Band of Wild Men - Dunlending Savage - Dunlending Robber - Hillman Tribe - Dunlending Brigand - Dunlending Ransacker - Dunlending Madman - Hillman Band - Dunlending Madman - Dunlending Ransacker - Dunlending Brigand - Hillman Tribe - Dunlending Robber - Dunlending Savage - Band of Wild Men - Uruk-hai Raiding Party - Uruk Chaser - Uruk Runner - Uruk Plains Runner - Uruk Foot Soldier - Uruk Pursuer - Unferth, Grima's Bodyguard - Grima, Son of Galmod - Unferth, Grima's Bodyguard - Uruk Pursuer - Uruk Foot Soldier - Uruk Plains Runner - Uruk Runner - Uruk Chaser - Uruk-hai Raiding Party

I'll probably format this better and rearrange things slightly. Anything I've missed, or other outstanding questions?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2022, 08:35:24 PM by Phallen Cassidy »

March 18, 2020, 02:02:59 PM
Reply #1

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Gemp Draft Details
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 02:02:59 PM »
Hobbit Draft info to go here, when I get around to writing it

March 18, 2020, 02:08:01 PM
Reply #2

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Gemp Draft Details
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 02:08:01 PM »
I feel like I should reserve a third post as well, though frankly I'm not really sure what I'd use it for.

October 04, 2022, 03:08:33 AM
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TelTura

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Re: Gemp Draft Details
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 03:08:33 AM »
Were these wheel runs designed by fans, or were they sussed out from actual packs?
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October 04, 2022, 08:16:48 PM
Reply #4

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Gemp Draft Details
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2022, 08:16:48 PM »
They didn't come from me so I can't say with certainty. I would be shocked to hear that they didn't come from Decipher though. It's possible that they were from Decipher's online platform, but I have always been under the impression that they are the original printed runs.

Oh look, dmaz has a video opening up a FotR draft pack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iw2ki88e8o
While the runs themselves lined up, you're not given 14 cards of one Free Peoples run -- you're given 7 cards from both runs, with the random rare inserted between them. I'll edit the first post with this info. Gemp's draft should probably change to reflect this as well.