monsters ravage america [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

   2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment  

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

2005 Champion

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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
2005     Marvin Birnbaum       80


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    05    100
  2.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    05     77
  3.  Joe Sposito        NJ    02     63
  4.  Nick Henning       CT    05     57
  5.  Tom Meier          VA    00     50
  6.  Steve Scott        CA    04     48
  7.  David Brooks       TN    04     32
  8.  John Koskl         NC    05     30
  9.  Christina Hancock  NH    99     24
 10.  Steve Dickson      CA    03     18
 11.  Mike Eoppolo       DE    02     16
 12.  Dan Eshleman       NC    01     16
 13.  Joshua Garton      VA    99     16
 14.  Erica Kirchner     KY    05     12
 15.  Rich Moyer         MN    04     12
 16.  Ryan Gury          NC    03     12
 17.  Seth Kirchner      KY    02     12
 18.  Abby Cocke         MD    99     12
 19.  Reiko McQuiston    TN    00     10
 20.  Paul Weintraub     MD    04      9
 21.  Matthew Beach      MD    03      9
 22.  Joshua Dunn        VA    99      8
 23.  Lauren vessey      VA    05      6
 24.  Sue Cornett        FL    04      6
 25.  Andres Dunn        MD    03      6
 26.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    02      4
 27.  Christi Cousins    ME    01      4
 28.  Dan Hoffman        NY    99      4
 29.  Erika Poniske      NC    03      3

2005 Laurelists

John Koskl, NC

Erica Kirchner, KY

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Lauren Vessey, VA

Dan Pappas, MD

Past Winners

Dave Long, NC

Marvin Birnbaum, NY
1999, 2003

Tom Meier, VA

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Joe Sposito, NJ

Nick Henning, CT

Return of MONSTERS Menaces Lancaster!
Marvin Ravages Again - Kings Konk for Trilogy!

MONSTERS Ravage America (1998) was republished as MONSTERS Menace America in 2005 by Avalon Hill through Hasbro's Wizard's of the Coast. J.C. Connors and Ben Knight are the credited designers for both versions. Ravage was the default game at WBC but Menace was encouraged as a substitute. Ben Knight taught the game at three demos, and as a Coached game, it could be learned at one of the four Preliminary heats. Menace was chosen for 56% of the games, including two of the four semifinal games.

MONSTERS has always been a quick pickup game: 39% of the 64 players in 2004 were first-time players. The move to Lancaster, PA and the republication increased both numbers: 44 or 55% of the 80 players were first-timers. But they were not all from Pennsylvania. Seven new players were from Indiana, other newbies were from all over: MD, NJ, NY, IL, VA, NC, SC, CT, MA, GA, and FL. The regulars from CA, CO, and KY were there as well. Linda Cox, the brand manager for Avalon Hill at Wizards of the Coast, made a surprise appearance on Friday. She saw the demo, the bumper sticker, "So many MONSTERS, so little time", and a heat where Menace players outnumbered Ravage players.

The convention's efforts for family friendliness resulted in a record high of 20% of all players also having a relative playing MRA-MMA. David and Callie Hood and David and Jonathan Fox each won separate games of Menace. The tournament continued to appeal to all ages: 28% of players were under age 18, 53% were 18-49, 9% over 50, and 10% unknown. The move to Lancaster, PA doubled the number of players aged 18-29, a group that had been largely absent previously. Female participation dropped from 22% of the 2004 players to the 10% convention overall average in 2005, largely because men dominated the overall increase. But the ladies continued to excel - they played 20% of all games through repeat play and by winning. Half of the top six places that garner Laurels were taken by females, and two teenage girls made the Final for the first time since 1998. There was a surge in repeat plays: Seven players played in three of the 4 heats, and 17 players played in two heats. For the first time, the GM could only play once.

Ravage vs. Menace. Ravage is more of a war game, with terrain effects and more options on how to deploy the military. Menace is more of a family game, but retains the mechanic that virtually everything that happens is the result of player choices. Menace sets up instantly, has practically no terrain effects, and the new components make it easier to learn. Virtually all of the rules questions during the tournament were about Ravage, not Menace. Stomping infamy sites in Menace provides two extra attacks, instead of onefor Ravage. Menace gives an extra attack for stomping bases, while Ravage gives nothing for stand alone bases. This makes infamy a more powerful way to win in Menace.

Six of the 16 (38%) mutations can be used when the MONSTERS fight each other in the Ravage game-ending Challenge, whereas nine of 16 (56%) are useable in the Menace Challenge. There is NO Brain Rot mutation in Menace to slow MONSTERS. Some Menace mutations have the same name as in Ravage, but different effects. The damage inflicted by the military was weakened in Menace, but military research cards can be automatically obtained in lieu of deploying units. In Ravage, there is only a 33% chance of obtaining military research, by expending a flexible military budget. Ravage requires the high roller to choose the military first, whereas Menace allows high roller first choice of MONSTER. Ravage players roll dice and choose from six numbered lairs to start the MONSTER. Menace players choose any of three lairs as a starting point. Flying MONSTERS in Menace can fly over military units - they cannot be blocked. Gargantis starts flying but only moves three; others move four.

House rules were used in Ravage to try to balance the military better, using changes made in Menace. The Navy sub defense was reduced, allowing them to be hit on a roll of 5-6 instead of only 6. The Air Force fighter speed was reduced from 7 to 6. Full color cards were provided to lay over the southwest coast, to bolster the Marines, who consistently lost too many Ravage bases the last six years. The El Toro Marine base was moved to the east of Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms, and the 1-die city of Riverside was removed from the map. No changes were made to Ravage's Army. Units could be removed from the board and repurchased and deployed in a future budget. Menace was played with the rules as written.

Overall results. Separate scoresheets were used for Ravage and Menace. The players used the military more effectively than ever in 2005. 10% of Ravage players, on average, had been sent to Hollywood with zero health from 1999-2004. It catapulted to 20% in 2005. 7.4% of Menace players were sent there too. There were 19 Menace games and 15 Ravage games, including the advanced rounds. So a change in one or two games could significantly change the percentages below, due to the small sample sizes.

MONSTERS chosen for play in 2005:
: Megaclaw (a more powerful version of Ixitpla) 23%, Toxicor (a clone of Bronacle) 21%, Tomanagi 20%, Gargantis (a flying unit that can't be blocked) 13%, Konk (with an advantage against fighters) 12%, Zorb (the giant eyeball) 11%.
Ravage: Bronacle of the Depths 22%, Tomanagi the Carnosaur 20%, Glow Wyrm 17%, Frothomir of the Ice 13%, Ixitpla the Snake 10%, Konk the Great Ape 10%, 3%, Dread Swamp Lasher 5%, Dust Devil 3%.

MONSTERS winning percentage for games played in 2005:
: Zorb 67%, Tomanagi 26%, Toxicor 21%, Megaclaw 18%, Gargantis 14%, Konk 10%.
Ravage: Konk 50%, Dust Devil 50%, Tomanagi 42%, Ixitpla 33%, Dread Swamp Lasher 33%, Bronacle 15%, Glow Wyrm 10%, Frothomir 0%.

Winning percentage - military controlled by winning MONSTER player in 2005:
(19 games): Marines 6 won (32%), Army 5 (26%), Navy 4 (21%), Air Force 4 (21%).
Ravage (15 games): Navy 6 won (40%), Marines 4 (27%), Air Force 3 (20%), Army 2 (13%).

First Round Heat Themes. Heat 1 at 11 PM Wed. was the Late Knight Creature Feature, Heat 2 at Thurs. 4 PM was the After School Special MONSTER Matinee, Heat 3 at 1 PM Fri. was Breakfast With Werewolves, and Heat 4 Sat 9 PM was the Field of Knightmares Memorial.

The Boardgame Players Association Academy of MONSTER Awards:
Best Actor in a B MONSTER Movie: Victor Hogen (a Californian, no less) made four B MONSTER Movies. As the biggest MONSTER in 2004, studios were hot to sign him to a multi-film contract in 2005.
Best Actress: Rebecca Hebner made a B movie during the Final.
Best Supporting Actor: James Kramer made three B movies.
Best Supporting Actress: Katie Dougherty made a junior B movie.
Best Cinematographer: Rob Flowers, who saw three opponents sent to Hollywood, but one of them won anyway.
Best Sound (tie): Alex Bell (Konk, Dread Swamp Lasher), Chad Gormley (Megaclaw, Toxicor), Jacob Hebner (Frothomir, Megaclaw).
Best Sound Editing: John Koski, for demanding that the singing stuffed gorilla be banished from the tournament final.
Best Costume Design: Tim DeMarco, who had a purple cast on his leg while playing the purple Toxicor.
Best Art Direction: Don Greenwood, for the perfectly-fitting oval tables.
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Bolduc, who used the Chopper Lift to move his own Tomanagi past blocking military units to get to a Challenge Site, "only to lose 15 health to a 5-health Swamp Lasher, to set up a total humiliation vs. Glow Wyrm." Paul advanced later anyway.
Best Screenplay, Adaptation: When Tim DeMarco was running away with the game and disappeared off the map, Frank Mestre placed military units on top of Toxicor's three lairs, for a welcoming party.
Best Short: Callie Hood, age 9, of Hickory, NC, the youngest adult winner, beating three men in Menace using Zorb.
Best Foreign Language Film: Roy Gibson, for his impeccable British accent.
Best Makeup: Ric Manns, for agreeing to play a semifinal at a make-up time, so two qualifiers would be able to play in another event at the regularly scheduled semifinal time.
Life Achievement Award: In Heat 3, Mike Garton played Menace while his son Joshua played Ravage. Both were sent to Hollywood, but Joshua went on to win his game anyway.
Best Animated Feature: Henry Pfeiffer, age 12, controlling Tomanagi in MRA, "Inexplicably and voraciously assaulted NYC while defended by a Rogue Nuke, 2 Tows, 1 Harrier, 1 sub, 1 hornet and 2 guardsmen (to which he was immune because of Kinda Friendly) - and survived!"
Technical Achievement Award: Jessica Greenwood, first Greenwood to play since records were kept in 1999.
Scientific and Engineering Award: Joshua Githens, for proving the theory that anyone from South Carolina can sit down and win this game the first time they play it.
Best Editing: Steve Scott, who could still add scoresheets at 2 AM Sunday morning, and calculated in his head the mathematical probabilities that more than 16 first-game winners could show up for the semifinal.
Best Director: Carolyn DeMarco, as all three of her opponents were sent to Hollywood in the game she won, the first time she ever played in the tournament (after the gamemaster begged her to fill a board as the 4th player.) One of the vanquished was the former two-time champion, who went on to win the tournament anyway. Another one had the biggest MONSTER in 2004 and the other had a lot of previous experience.
Best Picture: Ric Manns, Bill Beswick, Scott Bowling, Charles Stucker, whose entire game production was personally coached by Ben Knight, one of the designers.
Best Special Effects: Ric Manns' most mutated MONSTER, Toxicor - with Beserk, Son of a MONSTER, Armored Scales, and Whip Tentacles, for a scoresheet mutation value of 26 points.
Best Score (tie): Jonathan Fox's Toxicor (Menace), scoresheet total 75. Rebecca Hebner's Tomanagi (Ravage), scoresheet total of 39. She also had the high score in a semifinal game, same MONSTER and score.
Humanitarian Award: Keith Hunsinger, for posing for a photo at the memorial table with his daughter.
Best Documentary, Short: Elaine Burkey, Jack Doughan, Philip Entwhistle, and Sebastian Dunn, for the true story of the 2005 Junior MONSTERS Menace America Final game.
Best Documentary: Marvin Birnbaum, Jon Koski, Erica Kirchner, and Rebecca Hebner, for the true story of the 2005 Final game, the closest MONSTERS Ravage America Final ever played.

In case you lost at everything at WBC. A memorial was set up at a table in the last heat on Saturday night, to remind players who had not won plaques or advanced that there are worse things that can happen in life besides losing a board game - like losing a loved one or good friend. It cited game players and some other folks who passed on over the years: "In Memoriam of: Karen Hunsinger, Harold Siegelman, Ed Okimoto, John Grant, Robert Destro, Malcolm Robinson, Joe "Tex" Wetherall, Robert Sacks, Earl Anderson, Gjergj and Anton Gjoni, and the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which crashed in nearby Shanksville, PA September 11, 2001. (The crash site is about 165 miles west of Lancaster.)

Semifinals. There were 24 first-game winners, two second-game winners, and three third-try winners. 48% of heat winners were no-shows for the Sunday semi-final. That left one slot available for an alternate, which Steve Scott of San Diego took for the second consecutive year. Of the 16 semifinalists, six or 38% were former MRA finalists and 50% were under 18 years old. Four or 25% were new to the tournament: Michael Fox, Ric Manns, David Meyaard, and Terry Zack. Two Menace and two Ravage games were played. Five of the eight Menace semifinalists had tournament experience in Ravage in earlier years.

One of the semifinals was played at 11 PM Saturday to accommodate schedules, by agreement of all four players. That game was a Menace barnburner. 16-year-old Erica Kirchner, who has played in these tournaments since she was 11, used Zorb to beat Michael Fox, Ric Manns, and edged defending champion Nick Henning, who had Whip Tentacles and It's a Robot. The other Menace semifinal saw John Koski use Tomanagi to beat Zack Terry, Daniel Pappas (who took 6th place in the tournament), and Lauren Vessey (5th place.) Lauren had Megaclaw with 23 health, nne extra infamy attacks, and she controlled the Challenge. Daniel's mutations and five infamy knocked her down for John.

In the first Ravage semifinal, Rebecca Hebner demonstrated the importance of controlling the MONSTER Challenge, enabling her to choose her opponents and roll up their starting health into what she had at the end of each fight. Alex Bell, David Meyaard, and Steve Scott each had one good mutation to affect combat results, while Rebecca had none. She prevailed with that game mechanic and good dice rolling. The other Ravage semi was a hard-fought game with aggressive militaries that slowed play because of constant disappearing and one player sent to Hollywood twice. Two-time champion Marvin Birnbaum returned to the Final, using Konk, two infamy and Armor Scales to beat Paul Bolduc, 1999 finalist Joshua Garton, and Victor Hogen.

The Final. The semifinal winners unanimously chose Ravagel. For the first time, two former champions were facing off in a MONSTER finale. Marvin Birnbaum of New Jersey was playing for a third championship, having won in 1999 and 2003. Rebecca Hebner of Colorado had won in 2001 and had played in the 2000 Final when she was 12. One of the players she beat in 2001, John Koski of North Carolina, was back again, after missing the tournament for two years. A player Rebecca beat in the junior tournament in 2000, Erica Kirchner of Kentucky, now 16, was the 4th finalist. Rebecca thought it would look better to the BPA if Marvin won again, proving that a lot of skill was required. Marvin said he had been teased by other adults for winning a tournament that three teenagers had won. He thought that a win by Rebecca would legitimize those previous wins by teens, and validate his own prior victories. All four players had played in this tournament going back five or six years. Marvin, the 2002 Caesar, was designated as The Target before the game began. But it did not exactly work out that way at first.

Marvin rolled high and chose the Air Force, John took the Navy, Erica took the Marines, while Rebecca got the Army. Marvin chose Konk and rolled to start in Lair #5, Great Smoky Mountain. John took Glow Wyrm and started in #5, Mammoth Cave, stomping Louisville in the process. Erica took Tomanagi and started in the northwest Lair #1, Cascadia Basin. With three MONSTERS now threatening the health-rich northeast, a few military units were placed in the west, while all other available units poured into the northeast. Marvin's Konk stomped Chicago on the first turn, getting three dice of health as Konk achieved his Goal of climbing the Sears Tower. John's Glow Wyrm sat for a turn, metamorphosing to fly at 5. Erica's Tomanagi leveled San Francisco. Rebecca's Bronacle was blocked from New York and headed towards nearby Pittsburgh. Marvin then stomped St. Louis and mangled the Arch. John went south, razing Atlanta. Erica's pursuit of Los Angeles was delayed, as blocking units were enough to retreat her.

Despite the players announced pre-game intention to target Marvin, their actual play responded to what was happening on the map. 20 military units surrounded Rebecca as she threatened New York City, which she had taken on the first turn of the 2001 Final she'd won. Rebecca now sent her MONSTER to mutate at 3-Mile Island. Using Bronacle's power, she chose Atomic Breath, which adds 1 to all dice rolls for the rest of the game. This was exactly what Marvin had done when he won in 2003, before he stomped New York. But in that game, two of his opponents had disappeared from the northeast and reappeared in the west. The military then poured into the west, with three MONSTERS out there. Marvin's 2003 opponents had merely guarded the northeast cities, not daring to come out and attack him - and he disappeared immediately after he took New York. Now two years later, there were a lot more units to guard the cities. So Marvin sent six F-22 Air Force fighters to attack Rebecca's Bronacle just outside NYC. He inflicted 10 damage, reducing her to 4 health. In contrast to his aggressive pursuit of New York in 2003, Marvin cautiously sent Konk south, stomping Memphis and gaining infamy for grabbing Elvis' guitar and smashing Graceland. John flew Glow Wyrm up to Norfolk, destroying his own Navy base along with Langley AFB. He was now glowing outside the big northeast cities.

Erica gave up on Los Angeles and disappeared off the map. She attacked Rebecca with 6 AV-8 Marine Harriers, dropping Bronacle to zero health and selling him to Hollywood moguls to make B movies. There was only one other MRA tournament Final where any MONSTER was ever sent to Hollywood. Ironically, in 2001 Rebecca sent John and her other two opponents to Hollywood before she won the plaque. She had also sent Erica to Hollywood to sit out the MONSTER Challenge in the 2000 Junior first round. Rebecca rolled to get out of Hollywood, but was stuck there signing autographs. Marvin remained cautious and sent Konk west, stomping Dallas. John stomped DC/Baltimore and gained infamy for biting a giant chunk out of the Washington Monument. Erica reappeared at Tomanagi's #5 Lair at the Gulf Stream, with 13 military units nearby. But five units were The Few, The Proud - her own Marines, whom she sent after Glow Wyrm. They knocked off 12 of John's health and retreated him. Marvin exclaimed, "That's huge!"

Rebecca broke out of Hollywood and boldly chose to land in Los Angeles instead of disappearing. Meeting her were two Navy subs and a Marine. She nearly won, but a sub held out and retreated her. Marvin sent Konk further west, picking up the Atomic Recovery mutation. John ran south, stomping Mobile and Elgin AFB. Erica again rolled low and Tomanagi was retreated by a single blocking unit. Marvin observed, "Tomanagi's no good unless she has the Navy." Don Chappell announced, with authority, "Anybody with the MARINES can win with ANY MONSTER! That's HOW I GOT HERE. Oh wait, I'm not playing in the Fnal." Rebecca's brother, Jacob, a 2-time Junior MRA champion, stopped by to see how she was doing, only to find that he could have played in the semifinal himself, since he had a higher score than the only alternate to advance. So potentially there could have been two Hebners in the final. Marvin had Konk disappear off the map, which he later regretted, since it cost him at least a turn of stomping. A stuffed gorilla doll started singing Wham's "Love Machine"again. John bellowed, "That gorilla is banished from the table!" As Brian Pappas took him away, Don Chappell observed, "The ape has left the building!"

John sent Glow Wyrm west to Wichita, and Erica was retreated by a blocking unit again. Rebecca mutated at Roswell, choosing Armor Scales, and stomping Holloman AFB at the same time. Konk reappeared at Mt. Whitney, getting infamy for knocking down the Giant Redwoods. Glow Wyrm beat a National Guard and stomped Denver. Erica finally ended her streak of bad luck as Tomanagi stomped Boston. Rebecca beat a blocking unit and moved next to Los Angeles. At this point, Marvin's Konk was the perceived leader by a large margin. John, Rebecca, and Erica banded together and tried to use the Chopper Lift to bring Konk to where they had mobilized their militaries. But it was an illegal move, since the card can only bring a MONSTER to an open space with no units. Rebecca announced, "I'm not gonna win!" and the three allies made a deal to level the playing field and reduce Marvin's advantage. Their militaries moved and John was given a clear path to get to a mutation site. More units moved and yielded Philadelphia to Erica, who got three dice of health, since it's Tomanagi's Goal. The militaries also got out of Rebecca's way and she stomped Los Angeles. Marvin protested, "I can't believe you sold out the American people!" As Rebecca picked up eight health for stomping Los Angeles, John observed, "It's like the Rodney King beating." Marvin realized that he'd forgotten to use his Radiation Field to deter the military attacks that Konk took from each player, but it was too late. "It cost me nine damage ­ my own damn fault."

The MONSTER Challenge. The Allies could not pull off their plan and at the same time prevent Marvin from getting to a Challenge site. Rebecca was too weak to fight in the Challenge without the health from Los Angeles, so she took the 20th city, starting the Challenge Round. Stealing control of the MONSTER Challenge by going to Mt. St. Helen's, Marvin could now maximize his chance to win. Konk had 21 health and three infamy, so Marvin took on John's Glow Wyrm, who had 21 health, two infamy and Hi Octane Blood, which let John attack first in Ravage. Konk was hit five times, knocking him down to six health before winning. Rolling Glow Wyrm's starting health into that gave Konk 27 to face Erica's Tomanagi and her 26 health and two infamy. Konk took five more hits and won again. Marvin now had 38 health to face Rebecca's Bronacle, who had 16 health, Armor Scales to raise her defense, and Atomic Breath to add 1 to each attack die roll. The mathematical effect of those mutations paid off, along with good dice rolling. As the battle went back and forth, Konk took 12 hits for 36 damage, leaving him with only two points of health. He had only hit Bronacle five times, but that knocked her down to one point. Marvin was now in exactly the same spot where Rebecca was when she won the title in 2001. If he didn't roll high enough to win, he would likely lose on her next roll. He rolled two dice - one of them was a 5 - winning Marvin Birnbaum his third championship, each one with Konk the Great Ape. It was a barnburner or maybe it should now be known as a Birnbaumer.

The scoresheet scores determined the other places. From the semifinals, 5th place went to Lauren Vessey, 21, of Virginia. 6th place went to Daniel Pappas, 13, of Maryland. All three of Marvin's final opponents had scores of 28! The tiebreaking factor was toys for stomping bases (called trophies in Menace), less number of times sent to Hollywood. John Koski had stomped fivebases, including one of his own, so he took second. Rebecca had three toys but she'd been sent to Hollywood, reducing her to two. Erica also had two toys - another tie! The next tiebreaker was health points. Erica had 26 to Rebecca's 16, so Erica Kirchner claimed third and Rebecca dropped to fourth.

Epilogue. Steve Scott waxed poetically, "In the roll of a single die, Rebecca went from 1st to 4th place." With the strong mutations she picked up, Rebecca might have won had she disappeared from the northeast in the face of so many military units, and avoided Hollywood. Or she could have become The Target anyway. John also took a big hit, and the mutation he drew wasn't usable to improve the odds in the Challenge fight. Ironically, Erica knocked both of these opponents down with good rolling and use of her Marines. But she rolled badly with Tomanagi when trying to get past single blocking units ­ and that MONSTER's power gave her an extra die in all those seacoast battles! Just one average roll might have changed the entire focus of the game.

Marvin played a conservative game and moved away from the northeast, while John moved toward it, Rebecca stayed too long, and Erica was held literally at bay. Marvin immediately recognized the skill of his opponents and the danger that their forces posed. Ironically, Marvin, John and Rebecca started in the east and ended in the west, while Erica started in the west and ended in the east. Controlling the MONSTER Challenge, and rolling up the losers' beginning health into his own became the most decisive factor that won Marvin the game, as it did in the Junior tournament. Had his opponents used units to block him from getting to the Challenge site, instead of attacking him, there might have been a different outcome or maybe not. As film director Peter Jackson prepares to release the third major version of King Kong in December 2005, Marvin Birnbaum completed his own trilogy of MONSTER movies, starring Konk the Great Ape as King of the Giant MONSTERS.

 MONSTERS Ravage America Junior

17 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2005 junior tournament, but the best were:

1st: Elaine Burkey

2nd: Jack Doughan

3rd: Philip Entwistle

4th: Sebastian Dunn

5th: Zack Terry

6th: Andrew Wilson

The convention's move from Hunt Valley, MD did not dissuade seven juniors who played in the 2004 MONSTERS Ravage America Junior tournament from trying its republication as MONSTERS Menace America in Lancaster, PA in 2005. 59% of the 17 players were new. Six were from MD, four from PA, three from NJ, and one each from CA, IN, SC, and VA. Menace was taught and one 5-player game used the National Guard. Each of four games had one or two players with experience in Ravage and some owned or knew how to play Menace. 12-year-old Henry Pfeiffer had played in 3 Ravage heats at the Prezcon convention in Charlottesville in February 2005, and he played in both Ravage and Menace in the 2005 adult WBC. Zack Terry, 12, beat the game master in Menace in the adult tournament, and played in the semifinal.

Ravage (1998) says it's for ages 10 and older, while Menace says 12 and up. Since 1999, most Ravage junior finalists have been 11 or 12 - only one 9-year-old had ever made the final. But all this changed in 2005, as two 10-year-olds and two 8-year-olds advanced to the Final. None of them had ever played in the Ravage tournament before. Two first-round games were won using Zorb with the Army or Navy, one with Megaclaw/Marines, and one with Toxicor/Marines.

Philip Entwhistle, 10, of Millersville, PA started the Final with Toxicor and the Marines, and stomped New York City on Turn 1. Elaine Burkey, 10, of Meadville, PA had Zorb and the Army. Asked "Where would you like your little eyeball of doom to go?", she flattened Los Angeles. Jack Doughan, 8, of Wayne, PA, had Megaclaw and the Air Force, and got three extra attacks for stomping Paul Bunyan's statue. Sebastian Dunn, 8, of Annapolis, MD, had Tomanagi and the Navy, and got two extra attacks for destroying the OK Corral. After six turns, there was only military units deployed on the map. The players collected military research cards. Philip got Mecha MONSTER while Sebastian got Captain Colossal. Philip took a commanding lead after stomping New York. He got control of all National Guard units with the Guard Commander card, plus the X-fighters, the Chopper Lift, and Cutbacks, which he used to eliminate Sebastian's Anti-Mutagen. When Philip raised Toxicor to the maximum 40 health, his opponents were disheartened. The GM asked all the adults in the room if any of them had won a plaque in 2005, and they ALL said NO! The juniors were reminded that most attendees lose at most of the tournaments they enter, and to just try to have fun. They were reminded that mutations and getting control of the MONSTER Challenge were the best ways to improve their own chances.

Sebastian got control of the Challenge and had his Tomanagi attack Megaclaw. Jack's MONSTER got beaten down to three health but won the battle. He rolled Tomanagi's starting 14 health into that and attacked Zorb with 17 health. But Elaine had the powerful Son of MONSTER mutation and six extra infamy attacks, and won the battle. She rolled the 17 health into what she had left and took on Philip's Toxicor, who had a commanding 36 health and two extra attacks. It was a close match but Elaine prevailed and Zorb became Queen of the Giant MONSTERS in the first WBC Menace tournament.

Thanks to Kathy Stroh, Barry Schutt, Cheryl Burkey, Jim Doughan, Tara Greenwood, and defending Junior MRA champion Jacob Hebner for helping as assistant gamemasters. Thanks to Kaarin Englemann, the new Junior Coordinator, who got these folks to help, and to Brian Sutton and David des Jardins for their generous financial contributions to the junior program.

 GM      Mark Love  [7th Year]   NA    (NA)

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