Always a titanic and now legendary
GM Greg Crowe with his five finalists.
As if plaques and wood weren't enough.
What's next? Tin cups?
All Hail the 16th champ in 17 years ... winners don't last
long in the arena.
the record attendance of this year's convention, our event declined
somewhat from last year's triple digit field. This may have been
due to the elimination of a fourth heat of another event, causing
our late-night Thursday heat to be less popular than usual. But
we still had fun with a very respectable field. The introduction
of a new medal to the lineup also seemed to get people fired
up with new intensity.
Of the 24 qualifiers who won at least one heat, 20 soldiered
on ready to compete in the semifinals, which consisted of five
4-player games. The competition was tight, with the closest thing
to a rout being a runner-up score just two points behind first.
There was a three-way tie in one game and two others were deadlocked
at 14 points. I actually had to look at the tiebreaker within
the games to determine who got sixth place laurels, which was
The Final lineup was diverse - a former champion, a frequent
contender who had been denied in the last round three of the
past four years, a one-time finalist and a pair of newcomers
to laurels land. The first round progressed with minimal bloodshed,
as the Troll went off to the locker room with no backers. Though
two players, Doug and Greg, were backing two creatures each,
the second to get scrubbed was Devon's Ranger, who also took
one of Greg's wagers with it. Third to go was Brendan's Dragon,
along with another one of Devon's bets.
Up until this point, Doug was making all of the kills, which
might help explain why his two first-round bets were still on
the table. And despite 2003 champ Brendan taking over control
of the Hydra, Devon had a tough choice between killing it and
the highest bet she still had on the table -- Doug's Cyclops.
So, Devon had the onerous task of removing all of Brendan's points
from the game, leaving Doug and Greg each with their two first-round
bets still alive. In the last round, the 10 strength cards came
out on the Titan, the Unicorn, and the Cyclops, making the demise
of Greg's Warlock a near certainty.
In the end, with two first-round bets and a successful secret
bet on the third surviving creature, Doug quite handily won.
Devon was left pondering what it takes to win this thing as she
rose in the rankings to #4 without ever having the event. Congratulations
Doug, and to all the finalists for a well-fought game!
In addition to the trophy cups for the finalists, I was happy
to give out six medals for various achievements, each named after
one of the spectators in the game. The Mighty Minotaur went to
the player who placed sixth in the tournament, and Mike Coomes
earned this due to being the closest in the three semifinal games
that had to go to tie-breakers. This echoed four years ago when
Mike's son Brendan won the inaugural Minotaur medal. Rob Brode
killed six creatures in his qualifying games to claim the Battling
Behemoth medal, meaning the kills were spread out more evenly
than in past years. In the last heat Alyssa Morgen lost nine
points on the last creature to die in a preliminary game, earning
her the Shining Serpent medal. The lowest first-place score in
a preliminary game, 10 points over a 9-point second, held up
from the first heat, earning Eric Freeman the Weary Warbear medal.
The Ardent Angel medal went to Josh Detamore for his highest
last-place score of nine points, in a hotly contested game with
a three-way tie for second place. And new this year was the Overachieving
Ogre, which went to Rob Brode for earning a total of 35 points
in his three heat games. Congratulations to all of our medal
GM Greg Crowe instructs the
next class of arena combatants.
Greg presents Ethan with his
Titan: The Arena Junior
The Junior's tournament this year was again a lively example
of how diplomacy and negotiations can be a big part of the game.
Many of the five highest-placing players that advanced to the
Final table had familiar last names, but they were actually younger
siblings of past Junior's finalists.
The first two rounds of the Final saw the elimination of two
creatures -- the Cyclops and the Warlock-- that had no bets on
them. Of course, this couldn't last, and since Donte was unable
to get support for his Titan, unfortunately that creature was
next to go. The negotiations started getting tense, and since
the Hydra's power got neutralized due to Mandy and Aidan being
tied for backership, both players were hindered in the efforts
to keep it in play, and it sadly was the next victim.
In the last round, each of the players had one creature that
they knew must survive if he or she was going to win. It looked
like Sarah's and Aidan's apples were both in the same two baskets
-- the Dragon and the Unicorn, while Mandy needed her Ranger
to stick around, and Donte had to keep his Troll in the game.
Ethan had three-point bets on all but the Dragon, so would be
okay as long as his secret bet on the Troll stayed valid. After
several rounds of card-play and discussion, the Dragon ended
up going by the wayside, allowing Ethan to dominate.
Congratulations and well done to all of the finalists! Enjoy
your trophies, and I hope to see all of you next year either
back in the Juniors event or graduating to the adult version.
Final standings: Ethan Shipley Tang, Sarah Morgen, Mandy Mossman,
Donte Saccenti, Aidan McNay, Linsey Saccenti.