Still titanic ...
Brian Sutton, Peter Gathman and Randy
Brady Achterberg, Peg Meacham, Chris
Kizer and Ed Rothenheber
While in recent years things had seemed pretty calm as the time for preliminary games had come to a close, this year there seemed to be more pressure to keep or earn semifinal slots. The extra pressure seemed to increase participation of players trying to keep from being pushed out of/or move into the top 16. Last year only eight games were started on Thursday, while this year the number was 17. There were 14 3-player games and 27 4-player games—a pretty significant increase over 2014's participation.
For next year, my tentative plan is to run the same schedule. In the future I don't see us moving later because with the potential length of Titan games, having the Final on Sunday is too likely to conflict with travel plans. If things change with the auction, we
would have the option to shift earlier, but I suspect that wouldn't help the overall WBC schedule.
As seems to have become custom, Akihisa Tabei again donated old style counter sheets to give to all of the players in the two Titan event finals. I'd like to thank all of the semifinal winners for providing the descriptions of their games used below.
Semifinal 1 was a hard fight by all. Brady Achterberg was eliminated when he attacked Kevin Hillock's angel stack, and Brady's warlocks didn't do well. This weakened Kevin's position and resulted in Jon Bluett being able to catch and eliminate Kevin's titan. The game then went a long time without any significant battles, with both players jockeying for position. Jon finally found an opening, but still it took several more hours to bring the game to a conclusion, with Jon finally defeating Isaac Fuegi. While Isaac is Aaron Fuegi's nephew, he hasn't played that much Titan. This was his first tournament, and his play noticeably improved over the course of the event and he ultimately finished eighth overall. It was not bad for his first outing.
In Semifinal 2, David des Jardins became the first player eliminated when his attack on Dan Strock's angel stack went south. David attacked with a Ttn6 Wlo Wlo Cyc Cyc Tro with Ang to call. Dan's stack, which was trapped in the hills, consisted of Ang Ogr Ogr Ogr Min Tro. The battle started with the warlocks range striking the angel and missing. Then the angel closed with one of the warlocks and killed it in one blow. But the warlock hit with all five of its dice in return. Eventually the battle ended up as a mutual. Much later, Akihisa Tabei's titan teleported onto Jason Ley's titan. Jason's titan was eliminated, but at the end his unicorn needed to get three hits on Aki's titan for a mutual. The unicorn only got two, so the game continued. And to make matters even worse, Jason's titan only needed to get three hits on eight dice to kill Aki's colossus and it too only got two hits. Aki ended the battle with Ttn16 Arc Col. However, Dan was able to catch him three turns later in a desert with Ang Gor Ser Ser Ser Ser Ser to secure the win.
In Semifinal 3, Ed Rothenheber was the first player out; withdrawing when things did not go well. Art Wines then split his angel stack into Ang Ran and Tro Tro Ogr Ogr Cen, which eventually became Ang Ran Ran Ran Cyc Cyc Cyc and Tro Tro Tro Ran Ran Ran Ran and trapped David Finberg's titan stack on the bottom. David rolled 1s two turns in a row and was unable to escape. This left Art at 293 points. Rich Atwater then rolled a 6, which allowed him to threaten Art's titan. Art did a split and run to escape. A few turns later Rich attacked seven rangers in the marsh with Ttn6 Beh Beh Tro Tro Gor Ran and Ang to call. On Turn 3 of the battle Rich tried to kill all of the remaining rangers to avoid a reinforcement, but failed. Art then recruited a troll and rolled three hits each, with a ranger and the troll, on Rich's titan to end the game.
In Semifinal 4, everyone had warlocks in their titan stacks by the end of Turn 2. Michael Pustilnik misjudged the strength of Aaron Fuegi's angel stack and allowed Aaron to do a seven on seven attack on Michael's angel stack that went very well, giving him a commanding position. Aaron had both good board position and a lead in points. Michael's titan stack was trapped behind some tough stacks, but he rolled two 1s to
get into a tower. Things didn't go so well for Julie Ehlers, who was pared down to just her titan stack. The game ended quickly when Julie attacked Michael's Ang Cyc Gar stack and lost, when after Michael's angel overflew Julie's line, it was able to kill her titan. This was followed by Aaron attacking Bob Masso, Ttn9 Wlo Cyc Ran Ran Ran Ran and Ang to call versus Ttn7 Wlo Min Lio Lio Ran Ran in the mountains. Aaron rolled very poorly and ended up mutualling with Bob. Aaron won the roll off to take
second. This left Michael the winner.
In the Final, Jon Bluett eliminated Dan Strock, but this let Art Wines start chasing down some smaller stacks. Several turns later Art rolled a 6 which let him tower teleport and control most of the board. He was then able to get points, giving him titan teleport and an archangel. A few turns after that he was able to catch Jon's titan stack on the bottom. Jon felt the battle was hopeless, so he left his titan off in order to minimize the number of points Art received for eliminating him. Art was able to catch Michael Pustilnik's titan in the brush while it still had only one hydra. Art got hot with a gargoyle and a cyclops to kill a griffon with only one swing each. This allowed the archangel to be summoned and the archangel killed Michael's titan in two swings, giving Art his second Titan shield.