The Grinch who Stole Battle Cry
Kevin Keller and Nick Avtges
Chuck Stapp vs Bill Banks
The Powers brothers made a habit of
tormenting their elders that day. Here, Robert shows how Aidan
came by his prowess.
Alex Bell's rebels charge Tom
Avtges' yankees. Neither would make it into the elimination rounds
... Lovingly submitted by his fellow Cabbie & Mentor
story begins with our villain, one crotchety Peter Stein, waking
up in his usual ill humor in his Columbus condominium after a
long night of beating puppies and kittens at the Columbus Humane
Society. Peter kicked so many cute little puppies that his feet
were sore and it made him extra cranky this day. Nevetheless,
he got dressed and packed for his favorite vacation. After berating
a girl scout for knocking at his door, he made his way to Lancaster
to inflict additional pain on the world to make himself feel
better about his Barbie doll-less childhood.
Peter arrived at The Lancaster Host and was overjoyed to find
no young ballet dancers underfoot. Growling at the doorman as
he entered the building he quickly went to his cave. There he
put on his favorite WBC GM shirt that was two sizes too small.
The collar was too tight and it added to his foul mood. Pete
then left for a family 'throw the cats at kids' festival in New
Peter, refreshed and relaxed from his family festival visit,
proceeded to lose day after day every event he entered. During
Can't Stop he was seen throwing dice at GM Rebecca Hebner
and mumbling something about 'that damn kid' failing to realize
that she's not really a kid anymore. During the Thursday skins
game of Pro Golf (which he managed to make by beating
young Jessica Finkleday (yes, Jessica, I know but it makes for
a better story than martini's at the bar). When he lost he went
after Mark Yoshikawa while screaming "I'll get you kid and
you're little dog, too!!" while chasing him out the front
But the highlight in this tale of woe occurred Friday night.
During Liar's Dice a group of youngsters made the mistake
of playing next to Peter's table. They were laughing and having
a good time when Peter took exc eption to their mirth. He swore
that he would stop their fun. So when they started to serenade
the first losing player ushered out of the game Peter jumped
from his perch and swooped in. He stole the dice, the cups, and
the box. He even stole the roast beef sandwich from their table!
But the youngsters wouldn't let him spoil their fun and returned
to their frivolities. Peter couldn't understand why they were
still in such good humor. Grumbling, he returned to his cave
to plan his revenge on the morrow.
True to form, the sun arose on Saturday, much to Peter's disappointment,
and he stumbled into the Paradise room joining 32 other would
be generals for the Battle Cry tournament. Richard Borg,
the designer, was on hand to help with the rules and is planning
on providing new scenarios for next year's event. Check the 2014
event preview for details.
A bright light entered the room in the form of the Powers
family - dad Michael with sons Robert and Aiden in tow. Cheerful
lads - excited at the prospect of partaking of the gaming universe
and all its wonders. Peter just glowered at the little urchins
from his dark, dank corner. The GM explained the new format -
four rounds of swiss play with three wins required to progress
further. The new format seemed to be well received.
three rounds, four players remained unbeaten - defending champ
Jeff Cornett, Jim Bell, Cabbie Mike Stanley and everyone's hero,
the saintly GM, Bruce Reiff. The remaining pairings were set
and the tense final preliminary round began. Peter, already in
a foul mood, having lost to Michael Powers (remember the Powers'
family?) was playing the newly minted Sportsman of the year Peter
Eldridge - who, true to form, maintained a cheery disposition
throughout this unfortunate ordeal. Peter managed to growl and
grumble his way through the match to qualify for the single elimination
part of our program. Joining him with the four 3-0 players were
Craig Yope, Bill Banks, Nick Avtges, David Glowney and Aiden
Fractured Fairy Tales The Story of Knight
of the Round Table Aiden Powers
For those of you that don't get that reference Google "The
Rocky and Bullwinkle Show". The GM randomly drew four of
the 3-1 players to play a round of 16 game to whittle the field
to an Elite Eight. The rest were dismissed until the quarterfinals.
In this additional round of the guantlet, Banks defeated Yope
and won the right to play the GM while Glowney defeated Avtges
only to meet Jeff Cornett. That left our hero, young Aidan Powers
(did I mention that Aidan is only 11 years old!) vs. old Mike
Stanley (whom is collecting social security) setting up what
has to be the biggest age differential in the history of battle,
and the evil Peter Stein (no, we haven't forgotten about him)
vs. Jim Bell.
Bruce and Jeff quickly defeated their opponents (setting off
a rush in Las Vegas where the bookmakers were predicting a Final
pairing). Peter stole all of Jim's pieces (tossing them in his
sled) to win his game. Young squire Aiden squared off against
Mike. Aiden, in a brilliant move, knocked Mike's Geritol to the
floor to down the old warrior, but then chivalrously helped him
cross the street.
This set up young Aiden vs. behemoth Reiff and evil Peter
vs. thrice-crowned Jeff Cornett. Surely our story of good and
evil would end here at the hands of veterans Reiff and Cornett.
However. young Aidan, not at all intimidated, bravely charged
the Reiff positions and quickly dispatched the giant in true
'David & Goliath" fashion in a 5-2 rout. 11 year old
Aidan Powers had upset the GM and self-professed favorite to
advance to the Final. Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, in a
match reminiscient of Godzilla vs. King Kong with no one wanting
a winner, the evil Peter, like the Winter Warlock, had just enough
magic left to send the defending champ to the showers.
So our story finally comes full circle. The young shining
squire Aiden tries to slay the kicker of puppies, purse snatcher
of old ladies, crusher of dreams, the Grinch Peter Stein. The
protagonists agreed to play First Bull Run. Aiden wanted the
Confederates so Peter just cackled and said "I'll get you
my pretty" and took the Union with a snarl.
Undaunted, Aiden quickly attacked on his left flank and crushed
Peter's right. Dad Michael nervously paced the room like a gazelle
at a lion convention. Peter just smiled a wicked grin, waiting
to spring his trap and crush the dreams of the youngster 'cause
it will hurt more if he thinks he's winning.
Meanwhile, a passing bystander observed the gathering gallery
of spectators and inquires "Is this the Final?" with
a surprised tone. I answered "Yeah, the kid beat me in the
semis to get here". The guy says "what, are you supposed
to be good at this or something" and Cabbie minion Jeff,
without hesitation says "We used to think so..." Score
one for Jeff, Aiden and the mystery man as we all had a good
laugh at my expense.
With the left flank firmly under control and a flag lead,
Aiden charged the hill in the center to strike the final blow
against evil. His forces fired and destroyed one wicked unit
and crippled another leaving him but one piece and its flag short
of victory. One more hit and the title was his. But now it was
Peter's turn, and although he needed three flags, his characteristic
frown morphed slowly into an evil grin.
That's when it all went wrong. For while Aiden was crushing
Peter's left flank, our anti-hero had quietly moved his forces
into the center where he unleashed his evil plan. A Forced March
in the center ran all of his units to the base of the hill. He
destroyed one gallent unit and then another, leaving Aiden's
general alone in his hex. The evil Peter had one unit left with
three dice. He could either shoot at three infantry or one, lone,
general. Surely our young hero, who was holding an Assault Center
card assuring him the victory when Peter missed, could dodge
one last bullet from the worst die roller this side of Mark Yoshikawa.
<insert pleasant music>
Somewhere bunnies hop, dolphins swim, kittens purr, children
play and birds sing. But not in the Paradise room. Not that Saturday
afternoon. Not at the 2013 Battle Cry tournament. Not
vs. the Grinch. Peter had decided that he would use his three
dice versus the general needing a single saber hit. A 42% chance.
Vegas would have lost millions betting that Peter couldn't pull
out a 42% chance. 42% - Stein??? Wrap your mind around that.
The result of the roll? Calvary, infantry, and .............
a freakin' saber. I beat my head on the table, Jeff moaned, Michael
Powers cringed, and Peter unleashed his evilest laugh. Aiden?
He stuck out his hand like the little champ he is and congratulated
the Grinch on stealing his Christmas. Aiden had come up one die
short in his quest to win the title. However, he did assure us
that the hobby's future is in good hands. We can't wait to see
Aiden and his family next year. Stein? Not so much .....
Gee ... I wonder who won this semifinal?
Can you tell who is happier?
Aidan's hand is crushed by the big