Titan for the socially challenged
This year's tournament had 34 entrants. What's wrong with
that? It's not of the power of 2! This small factor lead to three
byes in the later rounds. Now that the convention is over and
I can think straight, I realize that if just two games had served
as a preliminary elimination round we could have brought the
pairings down to a nice 32. Next year, we'll know better.
play available Tuesday night worked out well again this year.
The flexibility allowed entrants to maximize playtime, which
is always good. Establishing cut-off times for the rounds kept
the pairings ladder balanced. Even though I did not have to adjudicate
any games, the added structure allowed combatants to better plan
their schedules. Using a floating pairings system allowed the
games to flow. This system allows any player reaching a particular
round to play any other player reaching that
round. But the real credit to having this tournament work is
the goodwill of all players involved. Even when they're trying
to KILL one another (figuratively).
Most first round games were played Tuesday night with the
others starting first thing Wednesday. Every Titan player
knows games can last from 15 minutes to (May the Dice-Gods forbid)
15 hours. Most games this year were between one and two hours
with a few approaching four hours.
This year's finalists came down to the Wicked Warlock of the
West, Dave Des Jardins versus the man whose physical presence
is Titanic, Dan Strock. Given the history of these two gamers
and their play this year being consistently good, I foresaw the
finale to be a clash of Titans. (heh, heh get it? Titans? Ahem,
well) I stopped in the Valley ballroom expecting to see a board
arrayed with legions of multiple colors strategically placed
to force battle at a moments notice. Instead, Dan approaches
me with arms raised in victory.
Seven turns. Dan rolled two sixes in his first three rolls
grabbing two warlocks and pinned Dave's Titan stack. Rather than
go Titan versus Titan, Dan brought his angel/2cyclops/2 gargoyles/2
centaurs to dispatch Dave's Titan/2trolls/2ogres/gargoyle in
the marsh. No rangers were grown. This was like watching Attack
of the Clones. All the hype, all the history and when you see
it you say, "What happened? Where's the epic story?
Where's the insight to make people better players? How am
I supposed to write a tournament synopsis on seven turns!? Dan
looks at me, "Just spell my name right."