Always a titanic and now legendary
Father and son McNays
Harry Flawd and Tim Packwood with
All Hail the 17th champ in 18 years ... winners don't last
long in the arena.
a slight increase over last year's attendance is always welcome
news, what is most gratifying is the huge number of new players.
We had 27 people who hadn't played Titan: The Arena at
WBC before, or at least not in the last six years since I started
keeping player records from year to year. Approximately one in
every four is quite an influx.
Of the 28 qualifiers to win at least one heat, 22 reappeared
ready to battle it out. Joining them were three alternates to
round out five 5-player tables. As in many of the heats, one
semifinal table had a Head Referee card played in the first round
that actually revealed someone's secret bet. However, unlike
most of those heat games, George Galuschak managed to keep his
revealed Unicorn alive and very nearly won in doing so.
The Final table may have had the highest concentration of
former champions (three) in tournament history. Rounding out
the table were a two-time finalist and one of those aforementioned
new players. This game opened up with a first round on the longer
side, with everyone feeling things out, until Ewan finally killed
the unloved Cyclops with its zero strength card. The second round
went much more quickly as Brendan killed the Titan which also
had attracted no bets.
As usual, the third round was when the negotiations began
in earnest. Ewan was the only one with two first round bets,
and since he and Carter had supported each other's Troll and
Ranger, the other three tried to decide which of either of those
two or Ewan's Hydra (on which he also placed a third-round bet)
would die. Greg made the decision to not kill the Hydra when
he had the chance - time would tell whether this was a tactical
blunder or simple act of mercy. Thus the play got back around
to Carter who made the decision to kill her 3-point bet on Ewan's
Ranger rather than risk her Troll. This killed two secret bets
- Brendan's and Ewan's.
Ewan knew he had to garner some sympathy from the table in
order to have a chance at keeping his Hydra alive, so he revealed
his secret bet on the dead Ranger at the first opportunity. As
is the nature of the game, the rounds came and went much quicker
by this point. Carter mistakenly played a low card on the Warlock
which she later stated was intended to play on the Unicorn. This
allowed Ewan to make sure his Hydra survived again by killing
the Warlock, which had 1st and 4th-round bets by Greg, as well
as wagers by Brendan and Carter.
With four creatures left and the Hydra still in play, the
last round ended with each player taking a single turn. Cards
were low, so the others could not close the deal before Ewan
got a turn. He used the Hydra power to play two cards, and as
a result killed the Unicorn, which not only had Brendan's 1st-round
bet, but also the secret bets of Angela and Greg. If the Unicorn
had managed to survive, those eight points would have carried
Angela to victory, but alas. When the chips fell, it was Carter
who had the most points, due to having the only surviving secret
bet (on the Dragon).
In addition to the finalist trophies, I also was able to give
out six special medals themed after some of the spectator cards
in the game. For achieving 6th place by virtue of the closest
second in the Finals(13 points out of a 15-point win), the Mighty
Minotaur went to Harry Flawd. The Battling Behemoth went to the
player with the most kills in regular heat play, which this year
was Isaac Clizbe. Greg Zegalia earned the Shining Serpent for
losing 10 points on his Hydra in the last round of his heat game.
Carmen Petruzelli's win of 10 points and needing to go to tiebreakers
snagged him the Weary Warbear. Isaac Clizbe medaled again with
an 8-point last place score to win the Ardent Angel. And lastly
the Overachieving Ogre went to Dale Long for scoring 32 points
among his regular heat games.
Congratulations to Carter for winning the tournament, especially
after only having started playing the game this year. Everyone,
thank you all for making this another successful tourney, and
I'll (hopefully) see you all for our last time in Lancaster!
The Hydra table is full of lil monsters.
Greg Crowe has supplied this
event with extra trophies for years.
Titan: The Arena Junior 2014
This year we managed to attract 15 young players to fill three
full, 5-player tables on Tuesday afternoon. As was the norm for
the Juniors games in past years, the diplomacy and negotiations
flew fast and furious from beginning to end. Deals were struck,
bargains broken, hopes were dashed and plans came to fruition,
and eventually the three winners and closest two runners-up met
at the Final table to receive their trophies. But not before
one last battle!
It started with one of the longest first rounds ever. As every
single creature ended up with an open bet, none could be unanimously
targeted as the first one to be eliminated. As Kira had no less
than three bets placed, it was arguably inevitable that one of
those would take the hit. Sure enough, her ranger ended up being
the first sent off to the locker room despite the chants of "Cyclops"
from many of the players (for some reason).
The second round was also fairly long, with every surviving
creature getting another bet. The experience of these finalists
was evident in that there were no repeat bets from the same player
on the same creature in the two rounds. Everyone started to forge
their alliances, some of which would be broken before the game
was over, but one didn't even last the round. In a bold move,
David decided it was better to lose his three-point bet on Kira's
Hydra than to risk his own Dragon.
At this point only one player had two first-round bets left,
so either Sydney's Titan or Warlock were likely to be next on
the chopping block. Kira managed to get a form of revenge for
her two fallen creatures by eliminating the Titan, which, unbeknownst
to most, also voided the secret bets of both Ethan and Lucas.
As the fourth round drew to a close, Sydney had a tough choice.
Not being able to put down the Dragon which had none of her bets
on it, she instead ended the two points she had on the Cyclops.
This was worse news for Ethan and David, who each had four points
to the last round. With Lucas' 4-point bet and the three remaining
secret bets on the Unicorn, it was almost certain to survive,
which was good news for Kira, who also had a 3-pointer on it.
Even so, she still had her work cut out for her, as only one
combination of survivors would win her the game. In an amazing
display of negotiation, she got just that, and managed to get
rid of the Warlock, along with many of Ethan's and Sydney's points.
In the end, Kira squeaked out a hard-won victory. Congratulations,
Kira, and thanks to all our juniors players!
~ 1st: Kira Buehler, age 9
~ 2nd: David DeAcereto, age 12
~ 3rd: Sydney Matusiak, age 10
~ 4th: Lucas Holmquist; age 11
~ 5th: Ethan Shipley-Tang; age 9 and defending champion
~ 6th: Jack Griffith, age 10