The importance of Centurion

This is just going to be a nostalgic trip for me looking through my old Swedish Centurion magazines and remembering the good times in the mid 90s.

Centurion was a Swedish CCG magazine focusing mainly on Magic that ran 10 numbers from July 1995 to August 1997 (the numbers 1-3 I have never read but as far as I know they did not feature much Magic). The magazine was created by a Swedish translator and Magic/roleplaying legend Olle Sahlin. Olle later received the lifetime achievement award from the Swedish Magic Association (well deserved!, a Swedish video available here). I have only met Olle once I think and that was at GP Stockholm, I remember him being really into FBB stuff and we traded some cards.

I think these magazines are one of the two biggest reasons I loved Magic so much back in the 90s. The other one being a guy back on Åland who ordered booster boxes, arranged tournaments and organized all the trips to PTQs/GPs so thank you "BRIAN" Phil). Every time one of these magazines arrived in my post box I usually spent a day with it. I started getting into #mtg #mtgdraft on IRC around 1998 so these were my primary source of information. This is more of a picture essay than some in depth reviews of the magazines, if you want that visit Landgraf's blog.

This magazine cover is for me the most recognizable ever. If you visited me 1995-1996 you would for sure see this cover laying close to me. The other certain things were Magic cards laying around and that my Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory? CD was playing. 

Without this article I am fairly certain I wouldn't be playing Old School. I was fascinated by all the Schools of Magic but The Deck/Weissman School in particular. I tried building my own five color control decks (without power of course) but with a Library of Alexandria. I tried different versions, experimented with different cards, different number of copies of cards. Needless to say, I was happy when I finished The Deck with power 9 in 2012.

All these magazines featured a large prize guide for the cards, I used this price guide mostly as a check list for which cards I owned and didn't own. I was really into collecting complete sets back then and I wish I had kept them. All the "expensive" cards were sold in 2004 before moving to Gothenburg for university studies and sadly a lot of the cheap cards have been thrown or given away.

Lately there has been some discussions on the Internet who created the Turbo Stasis deck, this article explains the origins of the deck. So, it seems it was collaboration between Esa Ristisuo, Tommi Hovi and Tapani Utriainen. I didn't care who created this deck, I just loved playing the deck. And here is Olle Sahlin asking after FBB cards in his own magazine!

There was some debate (not really) on Åland who was best; Olle Råde or Tommi Hovi. Åland is a strange place, everyone speaks Swedish and generally connect better with Swedes except when it's time for some international Ice hockey tournament when suddenly everyone is a Finn. When I started playing Magic back in 2010-2011 I got to know Olle Råde from a Scars of Mirrodin prerelease and playing standard FNM. It's kind of weird to play Magic with one of the absolutely best players in the world from back when you played in the 90s. I had Olle sign this at the Gothcon gaming convention 2012 (probably at the same time as n00bcon was running and I hadn't even learned about Old school yet).

I didn't think much about this ad for this CCG back in Centurion 10 apart from that I was in love with Gillian Anderson. I think every nerd in the 90s had a crush on either Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny or both. I love X-files so much I insisted that our Old School team should be named X-files even though it has nothing to do with Magic. But fun fact, the first episode X-files aired one month after the release of Alpha, so a lot of people were into both Magic and X-files.

This letter to the editor is funny, he is complaining about the entry fee to play at Swedish gaming conventions. This could have been in 2020, people are still complaining about this. My take on this is that I gladly pay the fee to support these awesome gaming conventions (even if I do not play much myself at every convention). I'm really happy that we have these gaming conventions were people can play Magic, boardgames, role-playing games, do cosplay or just hang out. 

Even if I had Internet back then it's good to get an updated banned- and restriction list for all the formats. I'm pretty sure I prefer "Alice" without Homelands and Thawing Glaciers and Zuran Orb not banned.

A in depth article of counterfeit cards. Back then I don't really think counterfeit cards were much of a problem but nowadays with all the price spikes this is a real issue. For more information about this subject I recommend MG's articles on the subject.

Some decks from Pro Tour Paris 1997. I had this signed by Kenneth Mossberg and Martin Jordö (do not know how I am gonna get Mike Longs signature). I do not understand how Kenneth Mossbergs deck actually won any matches at all but maybe he charmed his opponents to death with his insane stories. Not sure if Mossberg plays much Magic nowadays but hopefully, he will continue with his color commenting and sharing Olle Råde stories on some Old school stream.

I have to end with the cover for the last Centurion issue and as you can see it is well read through the years and I pick them up to re-read every now and then.

So this was all for now, next time it might be some more lockdown decks, or a tourney report from Summer derby or something else. We will see.


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