monsters ravage america [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Daniel Val, Spain

2007 Champion

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Event History
1998    Dave Long     167
1999    Marvin Birnbaum     106
2000    Tom Meier       83
2001    Rebecca Hebner       68
2002    Joseph Sposito       69
2003    Marvin Birnbaum       73
2004    Nick Henning       64
2005     Marvin Birnbaum       80
2006    Nick Henning       33
2007     Daniel Val       55


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    05    100
  2.  Nick Henning       CT    06     77
  3.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    05     77
  4.  Joe Sposito        NJ    02     63
  5.  Tom Meier          VA    00     50
  6.  Steve Scott        CA    04     48
  7.  David Brooks       TN    04     32
  8.  Daniel Vale      Spain   07     30
  9.  John Koskl         NC    05     30
 10.  Matthew Beach      MD    07     27
 11.  Christina Hancock  NH    99     24
 12.  Steve Scott        PA    07     20
 13.  Steve Dickson      CA    03     18
 14.  Mike Eoppolo       DE    02     16
 15.  Dan Eshleman       NC    01     16
 16.  Joshua Garton      VA    99     16
 17.  Mike Fisher        PA    06     12
 18.  Erica Kirchner     KY    05     12
 19.  Rich Moyer         MN    04     12
 20.  Ryan Gury          NC    03     12
 21.  Seth Kirchner      KY    02     12
 22.  Abby Cocke         MD    99     12
 23.  Reiko McQuiston    TN    00     10
 24.  Dave Denton        NY    07      9
 25.  Paul Weintraub     MD    04      9
 26.  Joshua Dunn        VA    99      8
 27.  Gregory Kulp       NJ    07      6
 28.  Tito Lightburn     VA    06      6
 29.  Lauren Vessey      VA    05      6
 30.  Sue Cornett        FL    04      6
 31.  Andres Dunn        MD    03      6
 32.  Cliff Ackman       PA    06      4
 33.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    02      4
 34.  Christi Cousins    ME    01      4
 35.  Dan Hoffman        NY    99      4
 36.  Nathan Trent       VA    07      3
 37.  Erika Poniske      NC    03      3
 38.  Jeremy Weatherford IL    06      2

2007 Laurelists

Matthew Beach, MD

Steve Scott, CA

Dave Denton, NY

Greg Kulp, NJ

Nathan Trent, VA

Past Winners

Dave Long, NC

Marvin Birnbaum, NY
1999, 2003, 2005

Tom Meier, VA

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Joe Sposito, NJ

Nick Henning, CT
2004, 2006

It's taken a while for Menace to replace Ravage as the version of choice, but you got to admit, the bits are better.

Finalists and GM Mark Love ham it up with monster impressions before the big game. Sound effects are optional.

The Reign in Spain Came Mainly From This Game

The 2005 revision, MONSTERS Menace America, was played in 65% of all games. This included three of the four semi-final games, and for the first time, in the Final, as Gargantis won with the Air Force. The tournament is coached and four demo's were held. So 33% of the players were new, the same rate as in 2006, with females composing 19% of the field, including the semi-final round. Newcomer Jeremy Vipperman was passing by and coaxed into filling a board. As has happened frequently, a good player picks this game up fast, so Jeremy ended up winning, beating the GM in the process.

Which MONSTERS Won? (Are you joking?)

For the first time, Bronacle did not win a single Ravage game! For nine years, he had been the most popular, with the highest winning percentage. But players now complained about how slow he moved in the desert and mountains, as he pursues mutations, and is targeted more by opponents. The Bronacle clone in Menace, Toxicor, also went winless. The Menace version of Tomanagi had six wins, despite removing the lair that was outside New York City from the Menace revision. Those extra attacks in the large seacoast cities paid off big. The Ravage tournament rule that weakened the Navy subs, so that they are now hit on a 5 or 6, has reduced their domination, but their mobility has helped the Menace players.

Menace Winners: Tomanagi 6, Megaclaw 5, Gargantis 3 (and tournament champion)
Menace Winners controlled: Navy 6, Marines 4, Army 3, Air Force 2

Ravage Winners: Konk 3, Tomanagi 2, Ixitpla 2, Glow Wyrm 1
Ravage Winners controlled: Navy 3, Army 2, Air Force 2, Marines 1

The Four Heats

John Pack got control of the National Guard with the Guard Commander research, and got them all massed in St. Louis, only to find his control of them taken away with Cutbacks. The Menace version of the game has a maximum of 40 health for each MONSTER, except Toxicor (a Bronacle clone), who has a maximum of 30. Yet the only players who hit the Menace maximum were Chuck Halberstadt and Katie Dougherty, who both had Toxicor. But neither one of them won their game with it. Erica Kirchner nearly made the maximum, with 39 health for Tomanagi in Menace.

Jim Garvey had the most infamous MONSTER, as his Megaclaw collected an incredible 14 infamy markers before the Challenge, but lost to Erica. 2003 finalist Matthew Beach had the highest Menace scoresheet in the heats, which includes points for mutations and infamy. But the strongest MONSTER in the heats was in a Ravage game, as Steve Scott accumulated a whopping 50 health points and a 54 scoresheet with the little-used Dust Devil, and still lost! But he became the first alternate nonetheless.

Two former MONSTER champions faced off for only the third time as 2001 champ Rebecca Hebner chose to play Nick Henning, the 2004 and 2006 champ (and 1999 junior champ). But David Meyaard won that game. Brian Farrelly fired cruise missiles at his own MONSTER and succeeded in mutating himself. In the same space, Daniel Pappas attacked him with a Ravage MLRS and mutated him again. A house rule was created to speed play in 2007: putting stomp markers in Hollywood for each turn a MONSTER stayed there (although they continue making "B" movies anyway.) The 20th stomp had to occur on the map, but Marvin Birnbaum let an opponent's MONSTER get out of Hollywood with some health, so that the former Caesar could roll that health into his own MONSTER in the Challenge, as the three-time MRA champion advanced again.

The semi-finals

All winners advanced, as well as four alternates, thanks to six winners who maintained the typical 33% no-show rate. In all, six event newcomers made the semi-final: Daniel Val, Nathan Trent, Kevin Youells, Jordan Halberstadt, Chuck Halberstadt, and Dave Denton. Matthew Beach had the biggest MONSTER as his Megaclaw ate his way to 39 health and a 57 scoresheet total. He faced Nathan Trent, Jordan Halberstadt, and 2005 finalist Erica Kirchner. Matthew was down to 3 health against 7, but returned to the Final by rolling a 6-6-5. Nathan Trent's 43 scoresheet earned him 6th place overall. Dave Denton said that he wanted to try a new game at each convention, and consequently found himself in the Final by using Megaclaw to beat Chuck Halberstadt, Mary Ellen Powers, and 1998 finalist Verity Hitchings. Daniel Val won the third Menace semi-final with the least health at the Challenge. He used the flying Gargantis, with Armored Scales, Atomic Breath, and High Octane Blood to beat 2006 finalist Tito Lightburn, newcomer Kevin Youells, and Greg Kulp, a 1999 Ravage semi-finalist who last played in 2000, and attended a Menace demo for a refresher course. Greg Kulp took 5th place laurels with a 46 scoresheet.

The only Ravage semi-final board saw three-time champion Marvin Birnbaum challenged by Alex Bell, perennial alternate Steve Scott, and GM Mark Love, who won his first heat since 2003. Marvin usually plays Konk, but chose the most popular MONSTER with the highest Ravage winning percentage, Bronacle. Marvin mutated on the first turn and got Whip Tentacles, which provides three dice on attack for the duration! His opponents groaned in unision at the inevitability of another Marvin win. Always an innovator, Marvin placed all but one National Guard unit on the map at the onset. Alex Bell hilariously whistled the war themes from Star Trek and Stripes during his turns, and mutated with War Spikes. Mark used Tomanagi to grab NYC and other northeast cities, as Marvin marched Bronacle in from the Midwest. Marvin fired his own Army missiles at himself, to try to mutate, but lost 10 health instead. Steve Scott had no mutations, but swiped control of the Challenge from Mark, rolled up the starting health of Alex and then Marvin to become the first player to make the MONSTER Final four times (2000, 2004, 2006, 2007); each time advancing as an alternate.

The Final

With Ravage as the tournament default game, Steve Scott was entitled to make it the version used in the final. Daniel Val knew that version well, and Matthew Beach was a 2003 Ravage finalist, but both had been playing Menace for years. The GM nearly finished going over the differences with Dave Denton, when Steve Scott said "I don't want to win this way -- let's play Menace." He was given a handout that listed the differences in the games for Ravage players unfamiliar with Menace. Steve had never played Menace. After hearing his questions and comments in the first few turns, all of his opponents realized that they now had an advantage over Steve, and praised him for his sportsmanlike gesture.

With high roll, Dave took Megaclaw and the Marines, starting in his northern lair. Daniel took Gargantis and the Air Force, as he started in the west. Steve took Toxicor and the Army, and started at the typical lair outside New York City. Matthew took Tomanagi and the Navy, and started in the lair outside Los Angeles.

Turn 1: Dave stomped Chicago and got 11 health, as Daniel took Los Angeles with 6 health on three dice, after beating two Guards. Steve mutated and got Atomic Breath. Matthew got the OK Corral infamy with an AF base.

Turn 2: Dave stomped the Largest Ball of Twine, Daniel took San Francisco for 7 health, Steve took Philadelphia for 6 health and got 2nd Generation Research. Matt mutated at Roswell with Son of MONSTER.

Turn 3: Dave went to Royal Gorge Ridge, Daniel stomped the Vegas Strip, Steve stomped Detroit for 7 health to get to 22. Matt took Phoenix for 6 health to get to 17.

Turn 4: Dave mutated at the Nevada Test Site and got Fins & Gills. Daniel went to Salt Lake City and said "I get 1 point of health for that crap." He attacked Megaclaw with his AF cruise and played the Blonde Lure on Dave. Steve stomped the Paul Bunyan infamy.

Turn 5: Matt took San Diego for 3 health and attacked Dave with his Navy. Dave was compelled to go to the Blonde Lure and wait to get pounded. A first-year player, he misunderstood the rules, thinking he could block the Army with his Marines;( the military are one big happy family!) Daniel mutated at the Nevada Test Site and got Whip Tentacles (one extra attack on a roll of 6 in Menace.) Steve got infamy stomping Mount Rushmore.

Turn 6: Matthew disappeared off the map. Dave mutated at Roswell with the powerful "It's a Robot." Daniel mutated with High Octane Blood at the Experimental Breeder. Steve stomped the Car Henge infamy site, and attacked Megaclaw with his Army, retreating Dave.

Turn 7: Matthew reappeared with Tomanagi in the southern Atlantic Ocean lair. Dave disappeared. Daniel stomped Denver for 6 health and got Laser Fence. Steve mutated at Experimental Breeder.

Turn 8: Matt stomped a combination AF and Navy base, bringing him to 20 health and 7 infamy. Dave reappeared in his southern lair. Gargantis killed Matthew's Mech-MONSTER in one attack. Daniel then mutated at Roswell with Armor Scales adding 1 to his defense, but slowing his movement by one. Steve mutated with Scientific Analysis at the Nevada Test Site, and attacked Megaclaw with four Army units and Molecular Cannon, retreating him away from the New Orleans Challenge site (a good idea in both versions of the game.)

Turn 9: Matthew stomped Boston to reach 23 health and got Captain Colossal. Dave stomped Houston for 3 health, bringing him to 5 health and 5 infamy. Daniel used the 20th stomp at the Alamo, starting the Challenge Round. Steve swiped the Challenge, as he did in the semi-final game, at the western Challenge site near Roswell. Matthew successfully defended his MONSTER from Steve's X Fighters by rolling 6's. Steve misunderstood the rules of a military research card he played on Daniel, since the card is unique to Menace, and forcibly moved Daniel's MONSTER to a lair, making it now impossible for Steve to carry out an attack on him with his massed Army units. Daniel recognizes that Steve is unfamiliar with Menace, and offers to let Steve change the move, so that Steve can then attack him as he obviously intended. But Steve insists on letting his misplay stand. After his insisting that Menace be played instead of the more familiar Ravage, this cemented the Sportsmanship nomination from this GM.

Challenge: Steve's Toxicor now has 18 health, 4 infamy and Atomic Breath. Without taking any damage, he beats Dave's Megaclaw, who has 8 health, 5 infamy and It's a Robot. Dave settles for 4th place laurels in a game he's never played before this week. Steve rolls up Dave's starting health of 8 and now has 26 health. He attacks Matthew's Tomanagi, who has 20 health and 8 infamy. But Matthew prevails, and rolls up Steve's 26 health into the 12 he has left. Steve settles for 3rd place. laurels and the grateful repect of his fellow players for his sportsmanship. Matthew now has 38 health to face Daniel, who has 22 health, 6 infamy, Armored Scales, Whip Tentacles, and High Octane Blood. They battle back and forth. Matt is down to 5 health while Daniel has 9. Then it's Matt with 2 and Daniel with 5. Daniel rolls to win the plaque, as Gargantis becomes the first King of the MONSTERS, using MONSTERS Menace America.

Daniel Val comes from Santander, Spain, but had been working in the Washington DC area. He was lured to his first game convention by Karsten and Kaarin Engelmann, whose niece and nephew named Hebner have already collected several MRA plaques in previous adult and junior tournaments. Daniel was only able to attend for the weekend, so the 4th heat on Saturday was his only chance to play. We hope he can return in 2008 to defend his title.

 MONSTERS Menace America Junior

Thanks to inaccurate directions listed in Mapquest, the GM was driving lost in old Lancaster at the crucial starting time of the Junior tournament. Junior coordinator Kaarin Engelmann got Rebecca Hebner, Henry Pfeiffer, and Steve Quade to leave Circus Maximus and get the juniors started. Many thanks to all of them for their sacrifices. The winners of five boards played were David Rennert, Kelly Czyryca, Thomas Melton, Nathan Taylor, and Ashley Kilroy. As was the practice both in 2006 and in the first adult Ravage tournament in 1998, the winners' MONSTERS fought each other with their health after rolling up their last opponent's starting health.

17 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2007 junior tournament, but the best were:

1st: Thomas Melton

2nd: David Rennert

3rd: Nathan Taylor

4th: Ashley Kilroy

5th: Kelly Czyryca

6th: Jack Doughan

 GM      Mark Love  [9th Year]   NA    NA

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