monsters ravage america [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report  

   2005 Status: pending 2005 GM commitment  

Nick Henning, CT

2004 Champion

2nd: Steve Scott, CA

3rd: Rich Moyer, MN

4th: Paul Weintraub, MD

5th: Sue Cornett, FL

6th: David Brooks, FL

Event History
1998    Dave Long     167
1999    Marvin Birnbaum     106
2000    Tom Meier       83
2001    Rebecca Hebner       68
2002    Joseph Sposito       69
2003    Marvin Birnbaum       73
2004    Nick Henning       64


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 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Marvin Birnbaum

NY

03
70
 2. Rebecca Hebner

CO

02
68
 3. Joe Sposito

NJ

02
63
 4.  Nick Henning

CT

04
54
 5. Tom Meier

VA

00
50
 6. Steve Scott

CA

04
48
 7. David Brooks

TN

04
32
 8. Christina Hancock

NH

99
24
 9. Steve Dickson

CA

03
18
10. Mike Eoppolo

DE

02
16
11. Dan Eshleman

NC

01
16
12. Joshua Garton

VA

99
16
13.  Rich Moyer

MN

04
12
14. Ryan Gury

NC

03
12
15. Seth Kirchner

KY

02
12
16. John Koski

MD

01
12
17. Abby Cocke

MD

99
12
18. Reiko McQuiston

TN

00
10
19.  Paul Weintraub

MD

04
  9
20. Matthew Beach

MD

03
  9
21. Joshua Dunn

VA

99
  8
22.  Sue Cornett

FL

04
  6
23. Andres Dunn

MD

03
  6
24. Christi Cousins

ME

01
  4
25. Dan Hoffman

NY

99
  4
26. Kevin Wojtaszczyk

NY

02
  4
27. Erika Poniske

NC

03
  3

Past Winners

Dave Long - NC
1998

Marvin Birnbaum - NY
1999, 2003

Tom Meier - VA
2000

Rebecca Hebner - CO
2001

Joe Sposito - NJ
2002
 


Youth Will Be Served; Come Over to the Dark Side Young Henning ...


In 2004 Bronacle of the Depths emerged as the top choice of the eight MONSTERS since 1998, with the best winning percentage, too. To top it off, he won his second championship, (with a little help from the human cslling the shots.) Bronacle's special power allows him to select two Mutation cards when he mutates, and keep one. That improves his chances of getting one of the six mutations that can be used in the game-end MONSTER Challenge battles against other MONSTERS. Those mutations can dramatically improve the chance of winning, especially for a weak MONSTER. Increasingly, Bronacle opponents were using their military units to block his access to mutation sites.

In the 4th heat, 15-year-old Erica Kirchner of KY disappeared from the map, thereby protecting her 28 health as she attacked the other three MONSTERS with Defense Satellites. Erica sent two of them to Hollywood with zero health. 17-year-old Ohioian Brendan Coomes' Tomanagi was stuck in Hollywood when the MONSTER Challenge began, so his MONSTER could not participate. So who won? Brendan Coomes! He still had Mecha-MONSTER from his own successful military research, and ran the table. It was the first report ever that someone still won a game while their own MONSTER was stuck in Hollywood. Ironically, he also defeated Mike Lam of CA, who was the first player ever to win with any military MONSTER, in 2000. This game was designed for the MONSTERs to win, which they have in 97% of the 233 games from 1999-2004:

With perfect balance, each MONSTER should win 25% of games played. Ironically, the designers thought that Tomanagi, Dust Devil and Konk had better chances of winning, so their starting health is 10 while the other five MONSTERS start with 12 health. It now looks like Bronacle should start with 10 and Konk and Ixitpla should start with 12! Dread Swamp Lasher is rarely chosen because itís hard to benefit from its power, being so far from mutation sites. The close proximity of all starting lairs causes players to avoid choosing Lasher, as well as Dust Devil and Ixitpla. If the players controlling them are about to be trounced by the military, disappearing does little to help them escape. The more popular choices have lairs spread out all over the map, making disappearing helpful if needed. Tomanagi's extra attack in the first combat round in a sea space has always made her second in popularity, since nearly all of the cities that payoff with 2 or more dice of health are in sea spaces.

Military. In 2004, the the Navy players continued their dominance, winning 36%, while the Air Force, which won 38% in 2003, dropped to 18%. The Marine players finally gained respectability, winning 24% of games played in 2004, although they still lag for the last six years. Some players effectively used the Marines for repeated all-out attacks, as they were designed to be used. With perfect balance, each military should win 25% of games played over time. The cumulative results 1999-2004: Navy 76 wins or 32%, Air Force 70 wins or 30%, Army 51 wins or 22%, Marines 37 wins or 16%.

Family Friendly. The game was classified as Coached in 2003, meaning novices could still learn the game and play immediately. In 2004, 33% of players were under age 18, 53% were 18-49 and 11% were over 50, with 3% unknown. Fewer junior-aged players participated, as they had a MRA junior tournament. 20% of the heat players were females.

The Four Heats. 15-year-old Victor Hogen of Louisiana had the biggest kick-butt MONSTER in 2004, with a scoresheet total of 57. Glenn McMaster of Ontario, Canada had the healthiest MONSTER, with 42 health for Bronacle of the Depths. Ironically, Bronacle has two lairs located in Canada, including one at the north side of Lake Ontario. Heat 1 found former champions Joe Sposito of NJ (2002) and Rebecca Hebner of CO (2001) at the same board. Both 16-year-olds had played in the 2000 final. But Paul Weintraub of MD emerged as the winner, after just learning how to play. Ironically, Paul was the gamemaster for Wrasslin' the first year Joe attended the convention with a one-day pass, where Joe crushed future MRA gamemaster Mark Love in WRS Round 2. 2004 also saw the Return of the Queen, assistant GM Christina Hancock of NH, after a 3-year absence, who brought good things to light by engineering a victory over her father's teammate. She was a finalist in MRA in 1999, and in its first year in 1998.

The rules question that designer Ben Knight found to be the most hilarious finally happened in 2004 - Californian Steve Scott fired the Rogue Nuke at his own MONSTER. Why? Joe Sposito had a commanding lead in health and the game was nearly over. Steve had Bronacle, and a successful Rogue Nuke attack will MUTATE the MONSTER! Since Bronacle picks two mutations and keeps one, Steve was gambling that the value of the mutation's possible use in the MONSTER Challenge could exceed the value of the damage incurred, since he could roll low on damage. Did it pay off? No! Joe Sposito went on to win, but only after reserving a deadly fear of Mecha-MONSTER, who knocked 36 health off Joe's Glow Wyrm before falling.

Young Kelly Czyryca came to the WBC with a one-day pass with his grandfather, Ernie. As neither had played MRA before, the GM let them play together at his own board with Paul Bolduc, who helped teach it. Most of the game was spent sending the military after Mark Love, who was gobbling up the big eastern cities. Kelly never had many health points, so he was ignored. But Kelly had Ixitpla and paid close attention to its power - getting two extra attacks for each infamy marker. When Mark attacked him in the MONSTER Challenge, Kelly had three dice for Whip Tentacles, one extra die for Bezerk, and 14 available attacks from seven infamy markers. Kelly could roll 18 dice, and there is no return fire for a defeated military or MONSTER! So another young novice won, not from blind luck, but from smart play.

Check for Alternate Status! In 2003, 20 winners (a record 78%) showed up for the 16 semi-final slots, which resulted in four being turned away (those who played multiple heats before winning.) So in 2004, to ensure himself a spot after losing, 2002 champion Joe Sposito of NJ won two subsequent heats - which also made him the top seed. But 2004 had a high no-show rate, as only 12 of 22 winners (54%) appeared, in part due to chronic Werewolf sleep deprivation. Despite being ranked 44th, Steve Scott of CA became the WBC poster man for Checking-for-Alternate-Status, as the ONLY player who showed up to check. The GM found the highest non-winner, Erika Poniske of MD, in the hall, and semi-finalist David Brooks of TN called his room to get his wife, Reiko, who had a top score. Rebecca Hebner of CO had passed up the final of Circus Maximus in order to win the MRA championship in 2001. In 2004 she just had to know. She bypassed the MRA semi-final (her team game!) for the CMS final, where she failed to place.

Adults Dominate Semi-finals. The adults have taken charge of the advanced MRA rounds! Between 1998 and 2002 over half of players advancing were under age 18, even though adults dominated attendance. But ten of the 16 semi-finalists were 18 or over in 2003, and that rose to 14 in 2004. Nick Henning of CT took second in 2002 when Joe Sposito won the crown in the final, but Nick prevailed in their semi-final rematch, also beating Joshua Dunn and Derek Landel of NJ. In a year of irony, Steve Scott advanced to the finals, winning a close one over Reiko Brooks, Tracy Graf and Mark Love for all the unlikely WBC alternates. Defending champion Marvin Birnbaum had a semi-final rematch with Erika Poniske as well as two other Marylanders, Paul Weintraub and Scott Fenn.

The final. Rich Moyer took the Air Force and defending champion, Konk, and started in Lair 2, Mt. Whitney, near the west coast. Steve Scott took the Navy and the Glow Wyrm, whom he just won with, and started in Lair 1, Lebman Caves in the west. Paul Weintraub took the Marines and also stuck with his semi-final winner, Fírothomir, starting in Lair 4 at Manitoba near Winnepeg, Canada. Nick Henning was left with the Army, which gave him first MONSTER choice. He took his semi-final winner and player favorite, Bronacle, and got a great roll to be the only player in the health-rich northeast, at Lair 5 Lake Ontario, just outside the biggest prize on the map, New York City.

Rich stomped San Francisco on the first turn, and in the process, picked up an extra attack infamy marker for hitting the Golden Gate Bridge, and stomped Steve's Navy base at Alameda. Paul picked up infamy for the Paul Bunyan and Big Blue statue. Nick went to Three Mile Island and mutated, keeping Atomic Breath, which adds 1 to all attack die rolls. As he did in the semi-final, Nick took on the persona of his MONSTER, speaking in a broken English monotone. Paul responded with his own dialect, which was more of a cave man style. They both kept this dialogue throughout. Nick's Bronacle was constantly surrounded by the military, but he steadily and aggressively stomped what he could. Nick succeeded at military research, picking up Super Colossal Guy, Fusion Cells, and got control of the National Guard with the Guard Commander. Rich's Konk was forced to come to the Blonde Lure, but there were no military units waiting at all. It was done to prevent Konk from stomping Los Angeles.

The GM provided patriotic-themed dogtags, necklaces, buttons and candy throughout the event. With 2004 being a presidential election year, it seemed appropriate that Paul placed the 20th footprint at Little Rock, Arkansas to start the Challenge round. The honeymoon ended with Nick stealing the election - I mean - Challenge, by sending Bronacle to Niagra Falls. He then attacked his biggest opponent, Rich, with his National Guard and Army, knocking 7 off his health. Nick had Bronacle fight Paul's Frothomir first, who had 8 health and two infamy. Bronacle won with three rolls, leaving Paul Weintraub with 4th place. Bronacle was on a roll, all right. He never missed once, knocking off Steve's Glow Wyrm, who had 17 health, one infamy and War Spikes. He finished, appropriately by knocking off defending champ Konk, who had 18 health and Armor Scales. Separated by a single scoresheet point, Rich Moyer took 3rd, while Steve Scott reclaimed 2nd place, which he had also held in 2000.

Now what is wrong with this picture? In 1999 and in 2003 Marvin Birnbaum defeated three teenagers in the finals. 2004 was the first time that three adults even made the final. But now, the sole teenager, at 17, beats the three adults! The land is turning INSIDE OUT...and being overun by MONSTERS!!! Nick had previously won the very first MRA junior championship in 1999, winning a copy of the game as a prize. He finished second in 2002 in the adult tourney. To add to the irony of 2004, the MRA GM, who was a former Gangster champion, recruited several adult Gangster players to play MRA in 2003, to reclaim the title for the adults. So who won the 2004 Gangster plaque? Nick Henning! As a consolation to the adults, Nick will be 18 next year and old enough to vote, so the adults can claim him as one of their own. But this year, the teens rule again, and we are proud of the new King of the Giant MONSTERS!



 MONSTERS Ravage America Junior

16 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2004 junior tournament, but a pair of kids from Colorado flew several thousand miles to be proved the best. The top six were:

1st: Jacob Hebner

2nd: David Pack

3rd: Michael Schoose

4th: Conal Jaeger

5th: Daniel Pappas

6th: Tim De Marco

16 little MONSTERS traveled from all over the continent to play in the 2004 junior tournament for players aged 12 or under. Jacob Hebner of Colorado set several MRA Junior tournament records. He became the only junior to ever play in the MRA Junior Final for three consecutive years, and became the only player ever to win a second MRA Junior Championship. He had won in 2002, and did so again in 2004.

The winner from each board in the first round advanced to the final, except Michael Schoose was an alterate for first-round winner Daniel Pappas, who had a time conflict. David Pack, age 12, also repeated as a finalist, and chose the Marines. He took the MONSTER that won the junior title in 2003, the Dust Devil, and started in Lair #4, the Painted Desert in Arizona. Michael Schoose, age 11, took the Air Force and played Frothomir of the Ice, who started in Lair #2 in Alberta, Canada, which also let him stomp the snack city, Calgary, for 1 point of health. Conal Jaeger set an MRA Junior tournament record for being the youngest player to ever make the final, at age 9. He took the Navy and the Glow Wyrm, who started in Lair #2, the Lewis and Clark Cavern in Montana. 2002 MRA Junior champion Jacob Hebner, age 12, was left with the Army, so with the first choice of MONSTER he took the 2003 adult champion, Konk the Great Ape.

David stomped Los Angeles on the first turn but only got 6 health on its three dice. Conal wisely let Glow Wyrm sit for a turn to metamorphose, so its movement would increase from crawling at 3 to flying five grid spaces. Just as he did in 2003, David became an early leader. He mutated and got Armor Scales, raising his defense from 3 to 4. His $5 billion military research paid off, giving him Mecha-MONSTER. He sent his Marines after Konk and smacked him with eight damage. The other players also went after Konk, prompting him to disappear on Jacob's turn. A rule that even most adults don't know came into play. A MONSTER's health is restored to half his starting health if it is less than that when he disappears. With Konk's health down to 3 from his original 8, disappearing brought him back to 5.

Michael mutated and got Bezerk, and his military research gave him the Chopper Lift. After stomping San Francisco, David had Dust Devil disappear. The military knocked Conal's Glow Wyrm down to zero health, sending him to Hollywood to make B movies. Jacob picked up the Guard Commander military research, allowing him to move and attack with the National Guard. He had Konk reappear in his #6 Lair in the Adirondack Mountains, stomping Albany, NY in the process. David picked up the second military MONSTER, Super Colossal Guy, who attacked Jacob's Konk, along with the Marines David deployed in the east. The weakened Konk was sent to Hollywood, where he could review scripts with Glow Wyrm. Conal's Glow Wyrmí's second roll in Hollywood got him to half his starting health, so he escaped. He landed in the already-stomped Los Angeles. Jacob rolled high and escaped from Hollywood immediately.

The military budget that allows purchases on each turn creates constant uncertainty about where those builds will be made, or which MONSTERS will be pursued. Diplomacy is, at best, good only for short term deals. The two stronger MONSTERS, David and Michael, made a brief semi-truce with each other. David picked up the Atomic Breath mutation, which adds 1 to all attack die rolls. He then sent a large force of Marines after Conal's Glow Wyrm in Mexicala. Michael's Frothomir had been heading east. He stomped New York City and got 17 health points from it's 4-dice payoff. Conal got the Blonde Lure military research, and forced Frothomir to go to her, but there was no welcoming party of military! David couldn't get his Marines or Mecha-MONSTER there in time. So David sent them when he could, and forced Frothomir to retreat.

Jacob made Konk reappear, climb the Sears Tower, and stomp Chicago for its two dice of health, plus one more die for being his MONSTER's goal. Conal took the 20th city to start the Challenge round, but David stole it on his turn. David attacked Conal with his military, and then chose him for the first MONSTER Challenge battle. David had two extra attacks from infamy, two good mutations and 18 health. Conal had one infamy and had amassed 30 health, despite having been to Hollywood! The mutations were paying off for David, but he had some bad dice rolls and Conal won, but only after being reduced to 6. Adding David's starting health of 18, Conal took 24 to fight Michael, who had 25 health and Bezerk. An extremely close battle ensued, with Michael emerging as the winner with a single point of health remaining! Adding Conal's 24, he took 25 against Jacob's 34 health, and one infamy attack. But Jacob could roll three dice instead of two because of his Whip Tentacles mutation, and that was enough to maintain his lead.

The score sheets determine the other placements. David Pack got 2nd place with a score of 39, Conal Jaeger took 3rd with 32, Michael Schoose 4th with 27. First round winner Daniel Pappas got 5th and Tim DeMarco's first round score gave him 6th place. Ironically, Jacob Hebner and David Pack live about one hour from each other in Colorado, and traveled to Hunt Valley Maryland to take one-two in the juniors. As they are both 12 and too old for juniors next year, the adults are forewarned that they are both ready to kick adult butt!

 GM      Mark Love  [6th Year]   9890 Wahingtonian Blvd #705, Gaithersburg, MD 20878-5351
    emailpal@iwon.com    (NA)

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