Always a titanic struggle ...
Jim Bell, Cally Perry and Ben Gardner
place their bets at one of the three qualifying heats.
GM Greg Crowe is another of the dedicated
WBC GMs who has invested in customized table markers for his
The Con's record attendance didn't translate to higher attendance
at Titan: The Arena this year. In the three preliminary
heats we had only 26 games, seven less than last year. Not only
did we have 25 fewer unique players, but the number of people
who played more than one heat also dropped. Hopefully next year's
economy will have improved to the point where we get numbers
like in 2008.
The new tiebreaker seemed to work just fine. All told there
were four ties for first place, and seven for second or lower
places, and everyone seemed to accept the outcomes without any
objections. At all of the games accurate and complete betting
and creature elimination history were kept, making it easy to
determine the winners of all the ties. Let me take this opportunity
to thank my players for being willing to keep track of this vital
Anyway, 20 qualifiers and three alternates partook in the
semi-final round with two seats going begging (again, it pays
to show up). There was no shortage of interesting results at
this level. In one game a secret bet on the Hydra was exposed
during the second round, yet it managed to live through the entire
game. At another table, there was no less than a 4-way tie for
first, which gave Rebecca Hebner the consolation of at least
getting 6th-place Laurels for coming in second on the tiebreaker.
It should also be noted that, with the GM playing at the Final
table (for the first time in seven years of GMing), Rebecca H.
also volunteered to fill in as assistant GM, and referee at the
Final. She made it clear that no shenanigans would be tolerated,
and highly encouraged interesting and entertaining table talk.
Also notable was the presence of another Rebecca - Melton - recently
graduated from the WBC Juniors who had rolled her three straight
Junior TTA titles into a seat at the big Final table without
breaking a sweat. Welcome to the bigs.
The 5-player Final started fairly idyllically, with each player
only making one first round bet (in addition to their secret
bet), and one of the un-bet-upon creatures - the Hydra - being
eliminated. The second-round elimination of the Dragon also left
all first-round bets intact, though Greg Z.'s second-round bet
became the first casualty. With the elimination of Evan's Unicorn
(and the accompanying bets of both Gregs), things started to
get a little dicey. It was an unusual game with almost all of
the powers that manipulate the playing area gone, and both powers
that affect other players' hands remaining. Rebecca M.'s Ranger
was next to go, eliminating her chances of victory. In the last
round, if any of the remaining creatures save the Warlock died,
Devin would have won, and his plays seemed to indicate he knew
it on some level. Unfortunately, Evan and Greg C. both had nothing
on the Warlock, and conspired to kill it. Evan had to hope that
Greg C.'s secret bet was already dead, as he was one point ahead
of Evan on the table. As it turned out, Greg C.'s secret bet
was on the surviving Titan, allowing him to squeak out a win.
Thanks to everyone who came out to play this year, and hope
to see even more of you next year, and more ofte
Virginia Melton, making her first
appearance in the adult tournament, goes all the way to the Final
after three straight years of Junior wins.
GM Greg Crowe holds off a pack of
young challengers in the Final to strike a blow for the Baby
The Arena Junior
In the Juniors event 15 kids reported for mayhem in the ring
this year, with Gregory Breza winning. The other finalists were:
2nd: Katie Breza (something tells me they play some Titan
Arena in the Breza household).
3rd: Matthew Roizin-Prior
4th: Brian Sherwood
5th: Jeremy Rice
6th: Thomas Melton
The Juniors played three games in the first round. The three
first-round winners and the two runner-ups who scored closest
to their table's winning score went on to play a 5-player Final.
Two of the first-round games resulted in ties for first place,
so both pairs of winners - Katie Breza, Brian Sherwood, Matthew
Roizen-Prior, and Jeremy Rice - joined Gregory Breza, who won
his first-round game without the need for a tiebreaker.
The play of the Final was interesting, with all creatures
having a first-round bet. Finally, after much negotiation, Katie's
Dragon was eliminated. In the second round, Katie decided to
support Brian's Ranger, while Matthew threw in with Katie's Warlock.
This set up a sort-of-three-way alliance while Gregory and Jeremy
decided to consolidate their hold on their own creatures. This
made Jeremy's Unicorn vulnerable, and it ended up perishing second.
In the third round, both Jeremy and Gregory saw the value in
betting on other player's creatures, while Katie seized backership
of the Ranger, although she was unable to use its power very
often. The Titan, which had only Matthew's first-round bet, was
the next to fall.
Brian's bet on the Warlock meant that all but one player had
a visible bet on it, which would make it hard to kill. Further,
Matthew's second bet in a row on Gregory's Troll further weakened
that early three-player alliance. Since he was one of two players
with two first round bets left, Brian found himself with suddenly
fewer friends at the table, and his vulnerable Cyclops went next.
In the final round, the triumvirate of Katie, Brian, and Matthew
returned, and although they couldn't kill the Troll, they managed
to kill the Hydra, which was the other of Gregory's first-round
bets, as well as Jeremy's only remaining points. However, Gregory
had enough points to tie his sister for first, and because he
had more points bet on the last creature to die than her, he
won the tiebreaker.
Congratulations to Gregory Breza, and good luck to everyone