A Titanic Struggle of Champions
Akihisa Tabei, Aaron Fuegi and
Robert Masso roll buckets of dice.
David des Jardins (center) watches
the finalists battling for wood.
This year there were a total 32 games played. 25 of these
(including the semis and Final) were 4-player games and the other
seven were 3-player games. This works out to 121 game seats,
compared to 156 last year and 138 the year before. This is not
a big enough drop that I want to change the format. The current
system seems to be working pretty well and I am anticipating
the pending release of the Valley Games edition to boost interest
Steve Koleszar has a reputation in the Titan community
of being Mister nice guy. This year he let me know that he wanted
to try more seriously to do well and there wasn't going to be
any more Mister nice guy. Later while fighting a final titan
on titan battle in a preliminary match against Bruce Rae, Bruce
forgot to enter his titan onto the board and Steve neglected
to remind him of that until it was time to eliminate units that
didn't enter. Both Steve and Bruce went on to make the semi-finals
and Steve had some good chances in his, but didn't make the Final.
Bruce was not alone in making that faux pax. Mark Smith followed
suit in another preliminary game. While you might do this intentionally
to reduce the points your opponent will receive when you are
hopeless, these two cases were inadvertent. Players seem especially
prone to accidentally leaving titans out of battles. My supposition
is they put the titan aside while setting up everything else,
planning to come back to placing the titan safely later and then
forgetting this last step. Other units don't typically get that
kind of consideration. My suggestion is that when doing this,
leave the titan counter on the battleboard map rather than off
to the side, as it will be more noticeable there. Hopefully this
topic won't occur next year.
Two of the semi-final games had upset final titan on titan
battles. In the first, Akihisa Tabei had attacked Bob Masso with
a significant edge. But Bob took a chance with a giant hoping
that Akihisa wouldn't kill it with16 50/50 dice so that he would
get two strikes with it against Akihisa's 12-die titan and then
be able to throw his second giant giving him almost an average
kill. This was a long shot, but things went his way and Bob advanced.
In the second, David desJardins had a significant edge over
Joe Harrison. David kept his titan back while most of the rest
of the material in the battle was eliminated. Then he closed
his fresh titan on Joe's heavily wounded titan. Both were 12-die
titans and Joe's had nine hits on it already. Fortunately for
Joe, David didn't roll three hits on his first strike and Joe
was able to get a total of 12 after getting two strikes with
his titan. This made the result a mutual. David rolled low on
the roll off and Joe advanced.
The last two players standing in the Final were Bob Masso
and Jason Ley. Jason had done well in the preliminary rounds
and had finished with the top seed. However Bob was doing well
with a colossus in his titan stack. But before he could get a
second colossus, which probably would have sealed the victory
for him, Jason was able to catch him with a very unusual stack.
Jason attacked with an archangel and three angels and summoned
a fourth angel during the battle. Bob had a 7-die titan, colossus,
two dragons, unicorn and warlock. While Bob had more meat in
his stack, his titan was vulnerable and he needed to play to
preserve pieces or Jason would be able to finish him off before
he could recover from the battle. Jason did end up engaging the
titan and killing it to win this battle and the tournament.
I received a comment regarding active players giving advice
during a battle in which they were not directly involved. The
comment was that since the other active players are not fighting
the battle they should not be giving advice to the participants.
My response is that since other players can be significantly
affected by the outcome of the battle, they have a legitimate
interest in it and should be able to protect that interest by
giving advice. The only exception is if the person being given
the advice asks the giver to stop. I can certainly see gaming
groups agreeing not to do this for various reasons, but not all
groups see things that way. At the WBC I prefer to not impose
restrictions on the multi-player aspects of Titan that
are not included in the rules (except for very extreme things,
such as pre-planned collusion). Especially since players
that don't like the multi-player aspects of Titan have
the chance to play in the two-player event where they don't come
in to play.
David Platnick was kind enough to leave a copy of the Valley
Games edition of Titan out at the Titan base camp throughout
the tournament. He obtained the copy at Origins for doing well
at a Titan tournament sponsored by Valley Games. Hopefully
by next summer the game will be released, and that should spur
more interest in the game. The unit counts are the same, so using
the old or new sets next year will be fine. While I haven't seen
the final version of the rules for the new edition, the intent
seems to be to leave them alone and only make changes for clarity.
So I am not expecting any rules changes next year.