What to Expect at a Flesh and Blood Skirmish
What is a Skirmish?
Skirmish is the next step up from your local game store’s weekly Armories. They’re usually held two to three times each year and are the only LGS level events to have Blitz other than Armories.
Blitz is usually the main format people talk about for Skirmish, but each season also comes with events for draft or sealed as well. These format options make these events a prime time to appreciate some formats that are often forgotten about in the shadow of Classic Constructed.
One thing that makes a Skirmish a great next step after attending an Armory is that it’s still using the same casual rules enforcement level. This is focused more on getting people to enjoy the game and understand the rules than handing out penalties to try to even out any advantage gained. Though, you should always attempt to be a good opponent and don’t rules shark to gain an unfair advantage.
What Kind of Player is a Skirmish For?
Firstly, Skirmishes are fun for anyone who plays Flesh and Blood. Though I think they can be particularly suited for two groups of players in particular. First is new players. Skirmishes are a great way to test out competitive events above the Armory level. They also run formats with shorter games. I find this leads to a lot less mental fatigue. If you play an aggressive deck, it allows more time to talk between rounds as well. Looping back to rules enforcement, this style is a lot more forgiving to those that are still getting the hang of some of the trickier rules.
Another great thing for new players is the ability to play draft or sealed. These formats aren’t swayed by someone’s ability to buy pricy game pieces. You also get to take more cards home to add to your collection.
The other kind of players that Skirmishes are for are the Blitz fans, like me. This is the main event that Blitz players get, and it’s always an exciting time. Besides Skirmishes, the only other non-invite events for Blitz are Battle Hardeneds and side events at larger events. Blitz players are always looking for an event to play their favorite piles.
So, How Are the Events Structured?
Skirmish Season is typically a three-week period. In this time there’ll be events around the world each weekend, with the Blitz events contributing LL points to the winning heroes of each event.
The event structure is pretty standard for FAB. The event has an amount of Swiss rounds determined by how many players attend the event, and then a cut to the top four or eight players to play two or three rounds more to determine a winner. (For the recommended number of rounds, see Tournament Rules and Policy Appendix B.) I’ve found that most often there are four or five rounds followed by a cut to the top eight players.
Rounds last 30 min for each format. For sealed and draft events, deck construction will typically be 30 minutes.
How Much Does it Cost to Attend a Skirmish?
A thing LSS does to help out its player base is set a maximum that LGS’s can charge for each event type. While pricing is always able to change at the discretion of LSS, the maxes have been reasonable. As of the Season 8 retailer news article, the max entry cost for Blitz Skirmishes is $20 USD. If you go to a sealed Skirmish, this increases to $40 USD to account for the six packs that are included in sealed entry. Draft isn’t a choice this season, but it’s usually set at $30 USD when it’s offered. The maximum prices for all regions of the world are available in the official retailer news announcement on the FABTCG site each season.
Prizing is also a thing to take into consideration when thinking about price. Skirmishes have lower prizing than something like a ProQuest or a Road to Nationals, but the prizes are still desirable. In past seasons it has included a cold foil of young, cold foil , and cold foils of the young heroes from Monarch and Tales of Aria. A copy of the promo that goes to first place is also raffled off to someone who played the event some seasons. The prize this season is one cold foil for the winner, and two raffled off to random participants. Participation prizing is also very common at Skirmishes. Most often this is in the form of extended art copies of cards associated with a recent set.
Let’s Talk About Atmosphere
Skirmishes are some of my favorite events. They’re bigger than an Armory typically, but there’s not enough on the line for people to sweat really hard. At a Blitz Skirmish you’ll definitely see a fair share of, , and , but you’re also likely to run into a few , , and .
Everyone’s personal experience is going to be a mix of their community and personal perception. That being said, in my experience, Skirmishes are the best time in FAB without a ton of travel.
The All in All
At the end of the day, a Skirmish is a great event. They offer a chance to get together with people and play the game at a more competitive level. At the same time, they are a chill environment where you can just love the game and play what you enjoy. If you choose to go to a Skirmish this season or any other, good luck and have a great time.