Family Affair ...
Defending champ Nick Henning prevails
again despite Derek Miller's best efforts.
in the land of the hobbits? Long a Juniors room event, the game
graduated with many of its players to the older set.
Defending champion Nick Henning claimed to have only just
learned to play "Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation"
(LRC) the day before winning the first tournament. It would seem
he is now a true and converted fan of this Reiner Knizia gem.
This year Nick arrived with his sister Alex in tow. He also brought
a custom made laser engraved wooden board complete with character
pieces replaced by shot glasses. The game set came in a custom
engraved box titled "Lord of the Rings: The SHOTfrontation."
We'll leave it to the reader's imagination to resolve the intended
use of this version.
As it turns out, Alex Henning is no slouch at the game either.
She bested her brother in the Swiss rounds on her way to an unbeaten
record and the top seed in the 8-player elimination round. It
seems the Hennings play the game for more than fun ... rent money
Family, it turns out, is a common theme in this tournament.
The turnout this year included three Meltons, two Rennerts, two
Beaches and the aforementioned Hennings. In the junior bracket,
the Powers clan arrived with four (count em!) entrants, and I
think there's two more waiting in the wings. The Metzger clan
straddled the brackets with a junior as well as a senior entrant.
Clearly LRC is excellent family fare, as well as a great tournament
Speaking of suitability to tournament play, your humble GM
made a few changes to the structure of the tournament which speeded
play and made for a better tournament for all. New this year
was a Swiss Eimination structure. This ensured all players four
rounds of play before elimination. In addition, the GM allowed
himself the ability to place slower players on clocks at the
halfway mark in the round. This ensured every round finished
on or ahead of time, with very little player down time - a marked
improvement over 2010. The GM also offered separate brackets
during Swiss play for those players interested in playing the
deluxe rules. But the biggest improvement was having the senior
event relocated out of the junior room. Thanks to the Convention
Director for securing us appropriate space.
What wasn't new this year was the tournament results. In the
junior bracket, there was a repeat champion. Andrew Doughan bested
friend and teammate Adam Wojtaszczyk in the fourth round of a
SE tournament. Andrew dominated the field and remained unbeaten
in eight games during the past two years.
In the senior bracket, it looked as though things might be
different this year when Alex Henning schooled her brother in
the Swiss rounds. However, last year's runner-up, David Rennert
dispatched Alex +5, +4 in the semi-finals for a return trip to
the Final. Interestingly, Rennert had a scare in the quarter-final
round, besting Nick Page only by a coin flip after a tied round.
Meanwhile, in the other bracket defending champ Nick Henning
was also tested in the semi-finals, losing the first game to
Rob Flowers, -4 only to rally for a convincing +6 win and a return
match with Rennert. Unfortunately for David, the results were
the same. Henning bested Rennert +4, -2 and retained his crown.
The coda to this tale is the annual grudge match between junior
and senior bracket champs for all the marbles and all the bragging
rights. With two repeat champs this was a rematch, pitting age
and guile versus youth and enthusiasm. Nick was a sportsman,
and agreed to play Andrew with the deluxe rules. Sadly for the
GM and proud father, the results were again the same. Once again,
age and guile had their way. Youth will have to wait another
year. Oh, and if anyone wants to beat Nick Henning at this game,
I suggest they ask his sister how it's done.
Lord of the Rings; The Confrontation Junior
The juniors have been playing this game for years now at WBC
and many of them look forward to the event as the highlight of
their week in the junior room. This year was no exception with
16 hobbits from the 12 and under set trying their hand to win
the coveted junior plaque. Andrew Doughan became a repeat Juniors
champion with his second straight title over the citizens of
the Shire. Adam Wojtaszczyk, another recipient of strong gaming
genes, took second followed by Matthew Roizin-Prior, Mandy Mossman,
Aiden Powers and Theo Crescenzi.
Where are the talking trees?
GM and proud papa with the champ.