Bug Problems ... Where's the Raid?
Attendance declined again for a second year with only 13 entrants
showing up to do battle and dropping the event from the Century.
Since everyone liked last years protocols they remained in effect
for this year.
Round 1 consisted of three four-player boards with two bug/trooper
teammates to a side with basic rules only. Last years champ Steve
Dickson was granted a first round bye and designated AGM. My
partner for the first round (and soon to be crowned 2000 champion)
was newcomer Jason Levine. Jason had never played the game before
but jumped in with two feet.
Unlike last year, my fellow trooper and I were able to escape
the bug onslaught in Round 1 by exiting the board and advancing
to the second round. This, however, was the exception to the
rule as the bug players on the other two boards were able to
make a smorgasbord out of their trooper foes thereby advancing
as well. Troopers 1, Bugs 2.
Round 2 consisted of myself and Jason now playing the Bugs
in Battle #8 "Night Attack" against Troopers Nick Kramer
and Dan Dolan, Jr., (5th place last year). The second board boasted
past champion and bug expert Steve Dickson against Troopers Dan
Dolan, Sr., Matt Mason (no relation to the Major) playing Battle#9
"Last Stand." As in last year's tournament, battles
were randomly generated by a die roll and all rules were in effect.
Our battle was quick and bloody. The troopers were decimated
by my arachnid partner's nearly flawless combat rolls and saves.
Not to mention a flawed tactical strategy of digging in as well
as an inability to clear jammed weapons. Steve's battle was more
tense than ours. Although Dan and Matt made quick and excellent
use of their tactical fighter support, their eventual loss
can probably be attributed to a failure to recognize that warriors
cannot take out Chain Guns. Had they concentrated more on the
BIG bugs and disregarded the warriors early on, they might have
been able to save these invaluable weapons and eventually turn
the tide of the battle. In any case, Steve is a tough and skilled
opponent who will quickly capitalize on any mistake with fatal
consequences. In a nutshell you cannot make a mistake when you
are sitting across from Steve Dickson and expect to survive.
Like father like son ... they same the same about Panzer Gary
over in the TRC battles.
Tally after Round 2: Bugs 4, Troopers 1
With only three players left standing; myself, Steve and Jason
sat down for the anticipated last battle. Battle 3 "Scrambled
Bug Eggs" was randomly selected which coincidentally was
the Plaque battle last year as well. A high die roll determined
side as well as team or solo. Bugs for me. Bugs for Steve and
Troopers for Jason (solo). Steve and Steve with Bugs against
newcomer Jason. How could we lose? Well, the answer to this is
very simple, a well placed Nuke in the egg nest. Hence, scrambled
bug eggs. What an upset. A first time player to the game beats
myself and the 1999 Champ playing the troopers who so far were
down 4-1. Who would have thunk it? Though there might be some
disagreement with my next statement, stay tuned for the explanation.
I think it is good that a newcomer can walk in to a tournament
with no knowledge of the game and walk away with the wood. Why
you ask? Simple. This person will be back. He knows he has an
actual chance to win something unlike some other tournaments
where the same players dominate year after year. This is in no
way meant to besmirch the skill and tenacity of experienced champions
but we need to keep up interest and as much as people like to
play I don't know anybody who doesn't like to win. Where there
is hope of victory there is invigorated interest.
Since this was a 2 prize event, myself and Steve would now
play head to head for the consolation prize. Battle 8 "Night
Attack" was generated again except this time I would be
on the receiving end. Sides were again randomly determined with
Steve taking the bugs. Hoping not to make the same mistakes my
counterparts made in Round 2, I mixed up my strategy. Steve,
however proved too strong an adversary with the bug horde at
his disposal and, as they say, the rest is history. But in retrospect,
it was better that way. Had I won my own tournament, I would
probably be playing solitaire next year.
Final Tally: Bugs 5, Troopers 2
See you next year. Newcomers welcome. As this year proves, show
up if you have time and It just might be worth your while.