In a distant galaxy, far, far away
Little Black Guard Has a Question.
"How are you doing?" the GM asked Dan Collinson,
who as the Black Guard player in the juniors tournament was fighting
off a team of five marines that were closing in rapidly on the
cells wherein languished the captive Princess Ryan. "Hmmm,"
he answered. "The marines haven't lost a single man or battle
yet. They have lots of time chips, and I think they all know
where the princess is hidden. But, ya, know, I think I'm doing
It is players like Dan that make designing and hosting games
a real pleasure. If only the world were filled with more little
black guards like Dan Collinson.
Fortunately, Princess Ryan's Star Marines attracts
a lot of friendly, light-hearted and very good-natured gamers
like Dan. Even though his guards were so badly hammered that
the marines were able to march straight through in a clean-sweep,
he kept trying and kept fighting and did so without a whine,
a tear, a curse or a complaint. Everyone who played with him
agreed he was the unchallenged nominee for the sportsmanship
Many of the other young players also played and fought well,
including Jordan Flawd, who won the juniors' tournament, Angela
and Ashley Collinson, who placed second and fourth, respectively
(Dan's big sisters) , Alex Henning (third place) and Erica Kirchner,
a veteran marine/black guard who grabbed fifth place. Four of
the top six places went to girls. Nearly half of the players
in the junior tournament were girls and everyone who played
them noted that they were just as fierce and as determined to
win as any boy. A good example of this was shown by Alex Henning,
who kept gesturing menacingly with her long, purple-painted press-on
nails at any of her marines who did not do her bidding. Alex
led her marines into one of the biggest battles in the game's
history. Despite losing a dozen marines to the planetary defense
battery, she charged in, blew it up and then led the handful
of surviving marines into the citadel to personally free the
"adult" tournament was no less bloody. Cries of "we're
dead," and "we're deader than dead" were common,
as were "what an a-swhupping we's getting." The favorite
marine expression of the day, however, was coined by veteran
and former champ Paul Bolduc, who repeatedly remarked "we're
The "thwacking" continued unabated throughout the
day. In one game the marines lost six battles in a row. In another,
they lost three of six marines climbing up the cliffs into the
back door of the citadel --- where they were "thwacked"
royally. Jeff Riberio's team took many, many wounds in combat
only to have the survivors die in sickbay. ("Our sickbay
killed more marines than the guards!" Jeff remarked later,
noting that 16 marines who went into sick bay wound up in the
morgue). Twice the marines were reduced to do-or-die endings.
One try collapsed in complete slaughter when the starship was
destroyed along with all aboard. The other attempt also
took horrific losses, but a handful of battered marines (three,
actually) managed to crash into the citadel only to die
on the steps of the palace against a guard defense of an
unprecedented 156 points (lots and lots of reinforcement cards).
Despite these and other adversities, the marines twice managed
to save the princess in the adult tourney. One rescue, led by
Nick Henning (who came in first) was made with only one time
chip to spare. Paul Saunders (fourth place) also rescued the
princess. David Brooks (second place), Ashley Collinson (third),
Karl Henning (fifth) and Missy Katano (sixth) also fought well
and more importantly, with a smile.
As the marine motto goes "It's better that way!"