A successful move to Middle Earth
Jason Levine and Andy Latto square
off in the Middle Earth pre-con. A good pre-con event is one
which will draw a good field without sacrificing too much of
its normal WBC following so when War of the Ring actually
grew during pre-con we knew we chose wisely.
Larry Lingle whose proclivity for
plastic toys is well known (Queen's Gambit champ) was
a natural for War of the Ring, but Pete Pollard? I guess
even Squad Leaders like plastic soldiers. Us boys and our toys
... but how do you read that microscopic type on the cards?
The move to Pre-Con status was very successful. Participation
levels increased to 26 from the 2006 levels of 21 run during
WBC proper. A strong field of players came back with some serious
ideas for bidding using the previous years bidding rules. This
led to quicker games in the heats and a general lack of adjudication
requirements. The downside is many of the games became very
one-dimensional as people found the Shadow player dominated with
about half of the wins, mostly by military victory.
The field narrowed for the semi-finals to two strong shadow
players, Kevin Wojtaszczyk and Andy Latto, both 3-0, and two
strong all around players George Young 3-0 and Christopher Yaure
2-1. Kevin and George both advanced to a Tuesday Final that
took about an hour and a half.
Kevin's strategy was to bid high (to 15) for the SP and
try a military blitz. The semi-final had an abundance
of muster rolls to start the game which had Sauron's armies flooding
all reaches of Middle Earth. FP raced as quickly as they
could, but through some lucky die rolls, the sieges fell quick
and there was no stopping the red hordes. In the
Final Kevin tried a similar approach but found probability can
be tricky. He had been playing without assigning any
eyes in the hunt for the military blitz. In all the other
games, one or two eyes always showed up on the roll... but in
the Final... 0 eyes. Three turns straight!
This made for many more musters and army moves, pushing the blitz
to speeds never seen, but the FP could have ran as fast as they
wanted. As luck would have it, the George did not
benefit, rolling only 5 character/will of the wests in the
first three turns. So with their hampered movement
and Sauron's quick mobilization, the FP didn't survive the onslaught
for long, and Sauron was victorious in dominating Middle Earth.
In 2008 we hope to run War of the Ring as the Middle
Earth Pre-Con again. The expansion version may be the default
next year in the semi's and Final, with it optional in the opening
rounds. New bidding rules are also being considered
so corruption wins can stay a viable victory path and the game
doesn't reduce down to who can race the fastest based on their
action die rolls. We also hope to find a way to get
four preliminary rounds in before selecting the final four, as
we again had an abundance of 2-1 players, and no one who lost
Round 1 advanced. More info on the details will follow in the
pre-event write-ups in the spring.