Always a Titanic Struggle ...
This year 60 players played in 49 preliminary games of four
players each. While not back to the record level of the final
Avaloncon, it was an increase in the number of players, number
of games and the average number of preliminary games each entrant
played in, over last year. The number of informal (just for fun)
games I noticed, also seemed to be higher than in the past.
This year the champion (Rich Atwater) made what is probably
the most impressive semifinal comeback at the WBC. He began his
semifinal game by going last from tower 1 and then recruiting
only a centuar in his first two turns. He came back to a mutual
win with Jeff Cornett and advanced to the final game because
of his higher seed from preliminary play.
Previous champion Kevin Quirk returned this year after not
being able to attend for several years. Kevin ended up finishing
third in the final. Hopefully we will see Kevin again next year.
For the second time since I have been running the event, one
of the semifinal games ran over the allotted eight and a half
hours. The only other time this happened, the last two remaining
players were in a titan on titan battle and we were able to use
the half hour left before the final to finish the battle. This
year there were three players left. One player was likely to
win, one had some chance to win and the third needed some very
good fortune. We ended up resolving the game using blitz play.
This did not sit well with anyone.
For next year, I will write up some rules for using a Chess
clock for semifinal or final games that are running especially
long. I was thinking of setting time checkpoints at say four,
five and six hours into a game; at which point if there were
still a certain number of players than a clock would be used
for the rest of the game. Rather than use total time, there would
just be limits on the time used for each turn to make sure the
game kept moving. This should almost always prevent the need
I will also need to make some notes on how the adjudication
should go. In particular I would like to see a rough estimate
of each player's chances made, and then a die rolled to determine
the winner. I think this is a better fit with Titan than
determining who is the favorite and awarding them the win. This
method also shouldn't encourage players to play differently near
the time limit unless they have very small chances to win.
David des Jardins took notes (as a spectator) of the finals
and I have a preliminary draft (minus battle details) available
on the web, along with details on players exact finishes. See: