monsters ravage america [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

  2007 Status: pending December Membership Vote

Nick Henning, CT

2006 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
2006    Nick Henning       33


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    05    100
  2.  Nick Henning       CT    06     77
  3.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    05     77
  4.  Joe Sposito        NJ    02     63
  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.  Mike Fisher        PA    06     12
 15.  Erica Kirchner     KY    05     12
 16.  Rich Moyer         MN    04     12
 17.  Ryan Gury          NC    03     12
 18.  Seth Kirchner      KY    02     12
 19.  Abby Cocke         MD    99     12
 20.  Reiko McQuiston    TN    00     10
 21.  Paul Weintraub     MD    04      9
 22.  Matthew Beach      MD    03      9
 23.  Steve Scott        PA    06      8
 24.  Joshua Dunn        VA    99      8
 25.  Tito Lightburn     VA    06      6
 26.  Lauren Vessey      VA    05      6
 27.  Sue Cornett        FL    04      6
 28.  Andres Dunn        MD    03      6
 29.  Cliff Ackman       PA    06      4
 30.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    02      4
 31.  Christi Cousins    ME    01      4
 32.  Dan Hoffman        NY    99      4
 33.  Erika Poniske      NC    03      3
 34.  Jeremy Weatherford IL    06      2

2006 Laurelists

Mike Fisher, PA

Steve Scott, CA

Tito Lightburn, VA

Cliff Ackman, PA

Jeremy Weatherford, IL

Past Winners

Dave Long, NC

Marvin Birnbaum, NY
1999, 2003, 2005

Tom Meier, VA

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Joe Sposito, NJ

Nick Henning, CT
2004, 2006

 GM Mark Love (right) sans Great Ape costume of years past plays in the Mulligan Round to provide an even multiple of four 4-player games.

 Finalists (clockwise from lower left) Mike Fisher, Tito Lightburn, Nick Henning and Steve Scott battle the monsters and each other for the wood.

Return of MONSTERS Menaces Lancaster!
God Acts in Mysterious Ways

MONSTERS Ravage America (1998) remained the default game at WBC but MONSTERS Menace America (2005) was an allowed substitute. Ravage was chosen for 56% of the games, including both of the semi-final games, and the Final.

The opportunities to play in 2006 were cut in half, as the four heats available since 1998 were changed to a Friday mulligan round and then continuous play Saturday. In 2006, the BPA prohibited GMs from running Swiss Elimination with Heats. The BPA's new MESE rules advanced someone who won in their first try over someone who lost the first try, but won two subsequent heats. The GM refused to penalize the most dedicated players that way. Consequently, attendance plunged from a resurgent 80 in 2005 to 33 in 2006. With 63% of players typically attending the former Wed-Thur heats, attendance would have been about 90 otherwise. This would likely have resulted in several first-heat winners being turned away, along with all second-try, third-try and fourth-try winners, since using a 5-player option was also prohibited. Four subsequent-try winners had to be turned away in 2003, and three-time champion Marvin Birnbaum only advanced then as the last second-try alternate - and won the plaque. He and other former finalists were unable to play at all in 2006.

As one of only eight Century-level events rated C (Coached, any novice can play), 33% of the players were first-timers, despite the limited chances to play. 15% of players had a relative playing in another MRA-MMA game. The tournament continued to appeal to all ages: 23% of players were under age 18, 48% were 18-49, and a record 23% were over 50, with 6% unknown. Female participation held at 20% but only Joanna Melton among the ladies won a game.

MONSTERS chosen for play in 2006:
Menace: Tomanagi 25%, Megaclaw (a more powerful version of Ixitpla) 25%, Toxicor (a clone of Bronacle) 19%, Konk (with an advantage against fighters) 13%, Zorb (the giant eyeball) 13%, Gargantis (a flying unit that can't be blocked) 6%.
Ravage: Bronacle of the Depths 25%, Tomanagi the Carnosaur 22%, Glow Wyrm 19%, Dust Devil 13%, Konk the Great Ape 9%, Frothomir of the Ice 6%, Ixitpla the Snake 6%, Dread Swamp Lasher 0%.

MONSTERS winning percentage for games played in 2006:
Toxicor 67%, Zorb 50%, Tomanagi 25%, Megaclaw 0%, Gargantis 0%, Konk 0%.
Ravage: Bronacle 38%, Glow Wyrm 33%, Konk 33%, Dust Devil 25%, Tomanagi 14%, Ixitpla 0%, Dread Swamp Lasher 0%, Frothomir 0%.

Winning percentage - military controlled by winning MONSTER player in 2006:
Menace (4 games): Marines player won 2, Navy 1, Air Force 1, Army 0.
Ravage (8 games): Navy player won 3, Marines 2, Army 2, Air Force 1.

The Boardgame Players Association Academy of MONSTER Awards:
Best Actor in a B MONSTER Movie: Wooley Farrow made two B MONSTER Movies in the same game, yet advanced to the semi-finals anyway.
Best Director: Mike Fisher, as two of his opponents were sent to Hollywood in the game he won, his first recorded tournament.
Best Special Effects: 12-year-old Andrew Wilson, who had the most mutated MONSTER, Dust Devil - with Whip Tentacles, Atomic Breath, and War Spike for a Ravage scoresheet mutation value of 19 points.
Best Score: Joanna Melton's Zorb (Menace), scoresheet total 52. Steve Scott's Glow Wyrm (Ravage), scoresheet total of 43.
Best Documentary: Nick Henning, Mike Fisher, Steve Scott, and Tito Lightburn, for the true story of the 2006 Final, the most effective use ever of all militaries in one Final.

In Memoriam. A memorial page was placed on the kiosk, listing WBC players and other folks who passed on over the years, plus the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, PA September 11, 2001, about 165 miles west of Lancaster. Added manually during the tournament was E. Henry Richardson III, who had previously played in the MONSTERS Ravage America. His father and brother were at the WBC, and reported that Henry had passed away two years ago, at the age of 20, of unknown cause.

Semi-finals - an act of God? You would think that the change from a Sunday semi-final to Continuous Play on Saturday would eliminate the no-show rate, which has ranged between 18% and 41% over the years. Players leaving the convention on Saturday, or early travel home on Sunday, were the usual reasons for no-shows. The 18% low rate in 2003 forced the GM to turn away, for the only time, players who had not won in their first try, as the newly created tiebreaker after Most Wins. Among those turned away in 2003 was 11-year-old Wooley Farrow, whose father had paid for an extra night's stay, thinking he was guaranteed to advance. Needless to say, they were very upset, and the GM offered to reimburse them. That situation prompted the MRA GM to e-mail the entire BPA Board in Feb 2006, pressuring them, without avail, to allow him to use Swiss Elimination with Heats, which was still listed as an available option.

The Farrows returned for the first time in 2006 and Wooley looked like he'd grown a foot. He played twice but he did not win. The diminished attendance resulted in an 8-player semi-final, with the top two at each board going to the Final. There were nine winners, but something happened to eliminate 33% of them, that can best be called a Mysterious Act of God. Two winners were leaving the convention to attend a Catholic Saturday mass that substitutes for their Sunday obligation. One other winner, who also had to leave, is a minister, who was wearing his collar during the game. Sharee Pack was willing to advance as an alternate, but had promised to be an assistant GM for Junior War at Sea, if she was needed, which conflicted. No other assistant showed up. So the whole situation, that had created a fight with the BPA Board, had finally come full circle. Wooley Farrow advanced as the next available alternate! The GM and Wooley's dad were laughing uncontrollably, at the sheer irony of the situation. God himself was the reason that Wooley would not be turned away again ­ he was owed a semi-final!

This was the first MRA semi-final with no females playing. Wooley Farrow played in an aggressive military battle along with Cliff Ackman, but they were both eliminated, as Steve Scott won the semi-final, and Mike Fisher advanced as an alternate. The other semi-final was played rapidly, eliminating Jeremy Weatherford and alternate Joe Delaney, as Nick Henning won and Tito Lightburn advanced. Jeremy and Tito were Menace players, who were given a rundown on the differences in the Ravage game before they played the semi-final. Cliff Ackman's score gave him fifth place in the tournament, while Jeremy Weatherford took sixth place.

The Final: In 2006, Nick Henning of Connecticut and Steve Scott of California both joined Marvin Birnbaum and Rebecca Hebner as the only players who ever made the MRA Final three different times. Tito Lightburn became the first Menace player to ever make the MRA Final. He had recently played in a close 5-player Menace Final at the Feb, 2006 PrezCon in Charlottesville, VA. Mike Fisher was another in a long line of first-time players who made it all the way to the Final. This was the first MRA Final where none of the players was under the age of 18. At 19, Nick still had "teen" at the end. But Nick had won the first MRA junior plaque in 1999, and then won the adult plaque in 2004, with Steve Scott taking second . Steve had also taken second in 2000.

Steve took the Air Force and started Tomanagi at Lair #2 (instead of #6), the California Current. He took Los Angeles on the first turn and got 16 health points. Mike took the Navy and started the Dust Devil at Lair #2 (instead of #3), Death Valley, where he stomped his Goal at the Hoover Dam. Tito took the Army and the Glow Wyrm, starting at Lair #1 (instead of #5), Lebman Caves. He sat to metamorphose so he could fly at 5, and got Armor Scales at a mutation site. Nick got the Marines and Bronacle, and rolled snake-eyes, so he started at Lair #1, Crater Lake, and stomped Seattle. So a rare Final began with no player even close to the health-rich northeast.

Having become the primary target in the crowded west, Steve had Tomangi disappear, but soon found himself blocked by Navy units when he reappeared in Lair #4, the Bermuda Triangle. His military quickly acquired Defense Satellites and the Chopper Lift. Mike picked up Whip Tentacles and Atomic Breath for Dust Devil, and stomped his own naval base to get San Francisco. Tito immunized his Glow Wyrm from the National Guard with the Kinda Friendly mutation. His two opponents all hit him with their military units, sending him to Hollywood. Seeing the despondent look on Nick's face, Ashley Collinson (who last played in 2002) said, "Why don't you do what you did last time and stomp everything in sight?" Nick: "It wouldn't work, because I'm losing." His Bronacle was surrounded and falling behind fast, so he disappeared and later reappeared in his #4 Lair, Great Lakes. Mike laughingly asked him, "Don't you trust the Navy to protect it (the northeast)?

Unlike a two-player wargame, in MRA, three other players move their military before you get your next move. Thus, Steve began what became the MONSTER anthem of the Final. He looked at the board, saw himself surrounded once again, and said, "This sucks big time!" He had Tomanagi disappear again, showing up later in Lair #3, near New Orleans. Tito was delighted to find that his Stablizer Ray removes ALL mutations in Ravage, since he was used to it taking away only one in Menace. He was urged to use it on Mike's Dust Devil, who was clearly the leader now with 25 health and 2 infamy. As Dusty was blocked from another mutation site, Mike sighed, "This sucks! You gotta fight for your right to mutate."

Tito realized that his Radiation Field allowed his Glow Wyrm to get to the National Engineering Lab mutation site, because it slowed the military's access to him. Nick's Bronacle stomped Omaha, and was then immediately surrounded by all three opponents' military. Four Marine Tows and two Air Force fighters sat on Dust Devil's #4 Lair, the Painted Desert. Steve's Tomanagi stomped Dallas, while his military got the Cutbacks research. He then got the Hi Octane Blood mutation. Nick announced, "I'd like a mutation store for MONSTERS." Four of his Marines then attacked Dust Devil. After killing all of them fast, Mike said, "They bravely gave their lives for their country." Nick responded, "What's great about them is you can buy them back quickly for either coast." Looking at Tito, he said, "What we really need to do is to stabilize that guy (Mike's Dust Devil.)" Mike replied, "That's what my psychiatrist said." Nick whined, "Next time he won't even be there ­ that's what Dust Devil does." Mike replied, "I appear and 'poof', I disappear."

Nick attacked Glow Wyrm and announced "Glow Wyrm got sent to hell again ­ I mean Hollywood." He picked up Super Colossal Guy, the Rogue Nuke, and the Blonde Lure from selling him and leftover cash. The game was instantly turning to Nick's favor. True to his word, Dust Devil disappeared after stomping Phoenix and reappeared in Lair #1, Black Rock Desert, where he was surrounded by the Air Force. Steve sent Tomangi to Roswell to mutate, where he met two Navy units and a National Guard. Sensing the turn in the game, Tito picked up Fusion Cells and sent his Army after Bronacle, as Nick pleaded, "Oh, don't do that! Bronacle is your friend!"

Still charmed, Mike picked up the Guard Commander, and observed, "I find it amazing that no one has even attempted to attack the northeast (which was now primarily defended by the Navy and his own newly-acquired National Guard, to which Tito was immune.) Nick sent Bronacle to attack Chicago, which was guarded. He won and got eight health. Navy missiles sent Tomanagi to Hollywood. Dust Devil once again beat down attacking Air Force units, and then he disappeared. Deciding how to leave Hollywood, Steve said, "I'm between a rock and a hard place." Nick responded, "The hard place is Dust Devil!" Mike had sent Dusty up to the already stomped Seattle, saying to Tito, "You've been chasing me with that Stabilizer Ray the whole game." Tito responded, "We didn't think you'd be crazy enough to go all the way up there!"

Steve disappeared and attacked the others. Nick played the Blonde Lure on Dust Devil, as 12 units combined to knock him down from 17 health to 6. He then fired the Rogue Nuke at Glow Wyrm, giving him Bezerk in the process. Steve later described how the last turns of the game unfolded:
"1. Nick moved Super Collosal Guy to a Challenge Site to start the MONSTER challenge, only to learn that was not allowed.
2. Tomanagi (me) knocked Glow Worm out of the game and second place by sending him to Hollywood, putting me in second place temporarily. 
3. Dust Devil stomped San Diego for five health and passed me for second by one health point.
I love this game."

It was the first Final ever where any of the players was in Hollywood for the Challenge. The northeast stood untouched the entire game. The military dominated the game, keeping the players out of there, and constantly on the run. Nick Henning won his second plaque as the popular Bronacle of the Depths (AKA Toxicor in Menace) became King of the Giant MONSTERS.

 MONSTERS Ravage America Junior

24 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2006 junior tournament, but the best were:

1st: Logan Ziegenfus

2nd: Zack Dunn

3rd: Aurora Pack

4th: David Bennet

5th: Annie Frattalli

 GM      Mark Love  [8th Year]   NA    (NA)

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