Looking Cool Matters!
John Rinko and Joanna Melton check
out Godzilla's relatives.
Finalists gather around GM Mark Love.
Although this game is Coached, for the first time since the
GM took over from designer Ben Knight in 1999, no demos were
held in 2010 but attendance rose anyway 21%. There were Halloween-type
prizes for winners of any game. While it was not required to
advance, 27% of the players played more than one heat, a reason
to attend this national convention. 28 games were played with
112 player starts, including the semi-finals and Final. 64% of
games played used the 2005 MONSTERS Menace America edition, while
36% used the 1998 MONSTERS Ravage America edition. Ravage was
the default version, but a switch to either a semi-finalists
vote or making Menace the default is destined for 2011.
Ravage continued using house rules established in 2005, to
incorporate some improvements made in Menace: weakening the Navy
sub defense by 1, reducing the Air Force fighter range by 1,
and adding a southern California overlay map to strengthen the
Marines bases (a copy of which was made available to players
by the GM.) A 9-point handicap was added to Ravage scoresheets
to determine alternates, since the Menace version has more opportunities
to collect extra attacks from infamy markers, and has more mutations
that affect the Challenge battles.
Get the mutations that can be used in the MONSTER Challenge!
Toxicor (the Menace clone of Bronacle) won 37% of the Menace
games, while Bronacle won 44% of the Ravage games. The four Ravage
MONSTERS, whose lairs are concentrated in one region, did not
win a single game. The western Gargantis in Menace suffered the
same fate. The players controlling the Army, with its stronger
defense, won 42% of the Menace games and 44% of the Ravage games!
The Marines did the worst, (partly due to an absence of Dolan
players in 2010.)
Menace won by: Toxicor 7, Tomanagi 5, Zorb 4 (champion), Megaclaw
2, Konk 1, Gargantis 0
Ravage won by: Bronacle 4, Glow Wyrm 2, Konk 2, Tomanagi 1,
Ixitpla 0, Frothomir 0, Dread Swamp Lasher 0, Dust Devil 0.
Menace winners controlled: Army 8, Air Force 6, Navy 4, Marines
Ravage winners controlled: Army 4, Air Force 2, Navy 2, Marines
MON-STAR of the Silver Screen: For many years 10% of players'
MONSTERS were consistently sent to Hollywood with zero health,
(there trying to break out again.) In 2010 14% of Ravage players
were sent to Hollywood. It's been rare to see anyone sent to
Hollywood in the Menace version, but 8% went there in 2010. Players
received a MON-STAR of the Silver Screen certificate for the
dishonor, with their handprint on the back.
Frothomir may not have won a game, but he was the second biggest
Ravage MONSTER in the tournament, controlled by 16-year-old Andrew
Wilson of New Jersey. Thomas Agostino of Munich, Germany had
the biggest Ravage MONSTER. As the top alternate, Rebecca Melton's
Tomanagi was the biggest Menace MONSTER. The youngest winner
was 9-year-old Aidan Czyryca with Megaclaw. 14-year-old Jordan
Luce had the best score for a first time player, lured in to
fill the last board. But she lost to Brandon Beltz, and couldn't
stay Sunday to play as an alternate. Matt Geary won his game
despite getting only 4 health points for stomping New York City.
He formed an alliance with Zorb, but 13-year-old Anna Rinko's
Navy beat Zorb down to 1 health. Anna went on to win in another
heat, but didn't attend the semi-final.
Matthew Morgal became the top seed, as the only player who
won two heat games, one of Ravage and one of Menace. 2010 brought
a 45% no-show rate for the semi-finals, the highest ever recorded.
Only 12 of the 22 different winners appeared for the second round
which made the four alternates very happy, since one ended up
taking 6th place and the other advanced all the way to the Final.
So who became the First Family of MONSTERS in 2010? Joanna
Melton and son Thomas both won heat games, and daughter Rebecca
advanced as the top alternate. William Sparks won a heat and
had to call his father, James Sparks, back to the ballroom for
the last alternate spot, after one of the winners disappeared.
Joanna Melton was reported as the winner of her semi-final and
her whole family left, expecting she'd be in the Final. But in
the Menace version, the written rules require that both military
MONSTERS must be attacked last in the MONSTER Challenge. But
Joanna had beaten the two military MONSTERS, and rolled up their
starting health, before attacking William Sparks' MONSTER. She
agreed to restart the Challenge from before that error, and then
lost to William. For her honesty and willingness to correct the
mistake, and for her gracious acceptance of defeat, Joanna Melton
was nominated for the Sportsmanship Award. (Also recognized is
David Pack, who played as a non-contender in the Junior's tournament,
to keep the game balanced, and taught the game to adult novices,
who then proceeded to beat him. He had taught the game to most
of the juniors, when he last attended the WBC two years ago.)
Matthew Morgal and Brooks Beyma also lost to William Sparks,
with Brooks Beyma taking 6th place in the tournament.
The Sparks indeed became the First Family of MONSTERS, as
the last alternate, James Sparks, joined his son in the Final,
by defeating David Anderson, Thomas Melton, and assistant GM,
Verity Hitchings, (who finished 5th in the tournament, for two
team points.) Matthew Beach advanced to the Final for the fourth
time, defeating Matt Fagan, Rebecca Melton, and Paul Bolduc.
The fourth semi-final game was going to have four former Ravage
champions at the same board, but #3 seed in 2010 and two-time
Ravage junior champion Jacob Hebner was still awake at 4:00 AM...
and fast asleep at 9:00 AM. But this was still the first time
in tournament history that three former champions were in the
same game, as they all wanted to play at the only Ravage semi-final
board. Heat winner Brendan Coomes took on three-time winner Marvin
Birnbaum, two-time winner Nick Henning, and 2008 champ David
Brooks. David beat Rebecca Hebner in their 2010 heat game, the
first time they faced off since Rebecca beat David by the roll
of a single die in the 2001 final challenge. Brendan Coomes was
left to deal with the daunting task of defeating three former
champions, and they sent him to Hollywood with zero health three
times. He sat out the MONSTER Challenge there. Nick Henning's
Tomanagi got control of the Challenge at Mount St. Helen's, whose
blue sea color gives that female MONSTER an extra attack in her
first round of any combat! That, plus Nick's 25 health and 1
extra infamy attack, was enough to defeat the 14 health of Marvin
Birnbaum's Bronacle. Nick even rolled up some health, which was
needed to edge David Brooks' Glow Wyrm's 24 health and 1 infamy
to send Nick to his third Final.
The Final Game
Ravage was still the default game in 2010, but only because the
GM didn't change the Preview Page in time. Nick Henning found
himself in the same position that Steve Scott did in 2007. He
could require his opponents to play Ravage, which Nick had only
been playing. Nick had even played Menace in a semi-final several
years earlier, and lost. Since 2005, all of the MONSTERS players
have been very accommodating, to fill boards of both versions.
Nick said, "This will probably cost me the game", but
agreed to play Menace. The GM provided him with a sheet summarizing
the differences in the two versions, with aspects of Menace frequently
overlooked by Ravage players.
So the Final involved a 2-time Ravage champion now playing
Menace, a four-time finalist, and the first MONSTER Final with
two relatives, a father and son. All four were given new baseball
caps, with the military branch that they chose to play in the
Final (and three of them also had dog tags.) They also got souvenir
programs from the most recent Veteran's Day service at General
John J. Pershing's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
The starting positions:
Matthew Beach, Toxicor with the Marines
Nick Henning, Zorb with the Air Force
James Sparks, (the dad), Tomanagi with the Army
William Sparks (the son), Gargantis with the Navy
Turns 1-2: Toxicor stomps New York City. Zorb mutates
at the Nevada Test Site, getting Iron Stomach. Tomanagi stomps
San Diego, defeating the Marines there. Gargantis stomps Los
Turn 3: Toxicor is retreated from Boston when he attacked
it. Zorb stomps San Francisco, getting six health. Tomanagi stomps
Phoenix. Gargantis mutates at Nevada Test Site, gets Atomic Recovery.
Turn 4: Toxicor stomps Boston, adds seven health. Nick's
Zorb stomps Portland and attacks Toxicor with his Air Force.
Tomanagi mutates at Roswell, gets Laser Beam Eyes. Gargantis
mutates at Experimental Breeder, gets War Spikes.
Turn 5: Toxicor defeats four military and stomps Baltimore/Washington
and his own base, gains 12 health, but is limited by the written
rules to Toxicor's maximum 30 health. (All other MONSTERS' maximum
is 40.) Zorb stomps Seattle and now has 22 health. Nick's Air
Force attacks Gargantis, but mutates him, giving him Atomic Breath.
Tomanagi stomps Denver and now has 16 health. Gargantis stomps
the infamy space at Mount Rushmore.
Turn 6: Matthew's Toxicor mutates at Three Mile Island,
gets High Octane Blood. He sends his Marines next to the flying
Gargantis, who cannot be blocked. Zorb stomps Vancouver. Nick
explains, "I don't like Canada." Tomanagi mutates at
the Experimental Breeder Reactor, getting Beserk. He chooses
military research and gets a military MONSTER, Captain Colossal.
Gargantis stomps another infamy, at Royal Gorge, and his military
takes the Molecular Cannon.
Turn 7: Matthew's Toxicor disappears from the growing
military, and he attacks Tomanagi with six Marine units and his
Stabilizer Ray, removing the mutations. Two units survive and
retreat this female MONSTER. Zorb disappears. Tomanagi disappears
with nine health, restoring her to 11. Gargantis mutates at Roswell,
getting It's a Robot.
Turn 8: Matthew pours five Marine units into the VLA
Radio Telescope infamy space. Nick's Zorb, now wearing a white
cape for fun, appears in his Florida lair. James' Tomanagi appears
in the south Atlantic Ocean lair. Gargantis stomps the Alamo
infamy space and the base there.
Turn 9: Toxicor mutates at the Breeder Reactor, getting
Son of MONSTER. Following a previous attack on Toxicor, Nick
sends his Air Force towards the southeast, after a military cooperation
deal with James collapsed. James' Tomanagi stomps Atlanta and
his Army attacks Toxicor, sending him to Hollywood. Gargantis
Turn 10: Toxicor rolls to get out of Hollywood, but
is stuck with four health. Zorb chases the Blonde Lure and is
forced to remain in Florida. Tomanagi stomps Nashville.
Turn 11: Toxicor breaks out of Hollywood, goes to the
already-stomped Los Angeles. Zorb stomps Tampa. Tomangi tries
to get to Pittsburgh, but is stopped by Nick's Laser Fence. William's
Gargantis stomps Austin for the 20th stomp, and his Navy units
attacks his dad's Tomanagi.
Turn 12: Matthew's Toxicor steals the Challenge control
by getting to the southwest Challenge Site. His Marine units
attack Gargantis and Tomanagi.
MONSTER Challenge: Matthew's Toxicor has Atomic Breath (extra
attack in the first round of combat), five health and no extra
attacks from infamy. He attacks and loses to William's Gargantis,
who has It's a Robot, War Spikes, nine health and 1 extra attack.
The win adds Matthew's five health with no losses, so Garagantis
chooses to attack his dad James' Tomanagi. The big carnosaur
has 16 health, no mutations and two extra infamy attacks. Gargantis,
who won the only previous Menace Final, prevails, but his health
was knocked down to two. Adding Tomanagi's starting 16 gives
him 18 to face Nick's Zorb. The big eyeball has 16 health, no
mutations, and five extra infamy attacks. Nick uses the method
of champions... rolling 4's, 5's and 6's to inflict damage. Gargantis
misses in the second round of combat, and Nick Henning joins
Marvin Birnbaum with his third MONSTERS plaque. It's Zorb's first
Nick Henning had spent the week wearing a 4-foot stuffed snake
draped over his body, which he'd gotten for his heat win over
the GM. There is no Zorb clone in the Ravage version of the game.
So why did Nick, now a 3-time MONSTERS champion, choose Zorb
(the All Seeing Eye) for the Final? "Just because I thought
he looked cool."
GM Mark Love gets a helping hand from
Dave Pack overseeing the monsters.
The next wave of monsters wait in
the Minors ready to challenge the Henning dynasty.
MONSTERS Menace America Junior
15 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2010 junior
tournament, but the best critters were:
1st: Thomas Melton
2nd: Taylor Rish
3rd: Andrew Doughan
4th: Abigail Elliott
5th: Ben Loeb
6th: Mirth Pack
A few little MONSTERS did not make the 2010 junior tournament
(notably Werewolf players), because it began at the crack of
9:00 AM Saturday. But 15 juniors did attend and many already
knew how to play. Most of them had been taught both the rules
and strategy two years ago by David Pack. Now 18, David filled
one of the 2010 junior boards as a non-contender, who could not
participate in the MONSTER Challenge. The game is poorly balanced
if nobody operates the 4th military; David practically ran a
clinic in this game against experienced juniors.
The four winners of Round 1:
Thomas Melton with Zorb and the Marines
Andrew Doughan with Toxicor and the Navy
Taylor Rish with Megaclaw and the Air Force
Abigail Elliott with Gargantis and the Navy.
Their Junior final game may be the first MONSTERS junior final
with no 12 year-olds:
Thomas Melton, age 11, took Zorb and the Navy.
Taylor Rish, age 11, took Megaclaw and the Army.
Andrew Doughan, age 10, took Toxicor and the Air Force.
Abigail Elliott, age 7 (that is not a misprint), took Gargantis
and the Marines.
Zorb stomped Los Angeles, Megaclaw stomped the Paul Bunyon
infamy, Toxicor mutated at the Breeder Reactor, getting Whip
Tentacles, and Gargantis stomped the Vegas Strip infamy space.
Zorb stomped San Francisco, Megaclaw mutated, Gargantis stomped
the Corn Palace infamy, and Toxicor mutated at Roswellm getting
Winged Horror. Zorb mutated at the Nevada Test Site, getting
It's a Robot, Megaclaw stomped Old Faithful. As the game proceeded,
Gargantis was sent to Hollywood, Toxicor was out in the open,
and Zorb stomped Seattle. Taylor's Megaclaw stole the MONSTER
Challenge in the northwest. Abigail's Gargantis was stuck in
Hollywood, signing autographs. Taylor's Megaclaw had two health
and nine extra attacks from infamy. He fought Andrew's Toxicor
first, beat him, and rolled up his starting 14 health. He then
took on Thomas' Zorb, who had 30 health, one infamy, It's a Robot,
and Son of MONSTER. That was too much to take on, and Thomas
Melton emerged as the 2010 Junior Champion!
For his service in taking his game time to thoroughly teach
Menace to the juniors, filling a junior board as a non-contender
to make it viable, and teaching both Menace and Ravage to adults
and taking them under his wing during the games, which he lost,
David Pack was nominated for the Sportsmanship award.