monsters ravage america 

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

David Brooks, TN

2008 Champion

Offsite Links



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
2008     David Brooks       77 

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    05    100
  2.  Nick Henning       CT    08     83
  3.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    05     77
  4.  Joe Sposito        NJ    02     63
  5.  David Brooks       TN    08     62
  6.  Tom Meier          VA    00     50
  7.  Steve Scott        CA    04     48
  8.  Daniel Val       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.  Alex Bell          MD    08     18
 14.  Steve Dickson      CA    03     18
 15.  Mike Eoppolo       DE    02     16
 16.  Dan Eshleman       NC    01     16
 17.  Joshua Garton      VA    99     16
 18.  Jason Levine       NY    08     12
 19.  Mike Fisher        PA    06     12
 20.  Erica Kirchner     KY    05     12
 21.  Rich Moyer         MN    04     12
 22.  Ryan Gury          NC    03     12
 23.  Seth Kirchner      KY    02     12
 24.  Abby Cocke         MD    99     12
 25.  Reiko McQuiston    TN    00     10
 26.  David Pack         CO    08      9
 27.  Dave Denton        NY    07      9
 28.  Paul Weintraub     MD    04      9
 29.  Joshua Dunn        VA    99      8
 30.  Gregory Kulp       NJ    07      6
 31.  Tito Lightburn     VA    06      6
 32.  Lauren Vessey      VA    05      6
 33.  Sue Cornett        FL    04      6
 34.  Andres Dunn        MD    03      6
 35.  Cliff Ackman       PA    06      4
 36.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    02      4
 37.  Christi Cousins    ME    01      4
 38.  Dan Hoffman        NY    99      4
 39.  Matt Morgal        MD    08      3
 40.  Nathan Trent       VA    07      3
 41.  Erika Poniske      NC    03      3
 42.  Jeremy Weatherford IL    06      2

2008 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists: 0

Alex Bell, MD

Jason Levine, NY

David Pack, CO

Nick Henning, CT

Matthew Morgal, MD

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

Daniel Val, Spain

Dave Brooks, TN

No, its not Trick or Treat ... just GM Mark Love's monster prizes giveaway.

The campy Monsters Ravage America game trends to draw a younger crowd.

Ten Year Monster Stomp

MONSTERS Ravage America (MRA) celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2008. It had broken the convention attendance record in 1998 (topped only by Titan the Arena that same year.) The game is coached, but demos were also available for three of the four heats, which included strategy tips. This has always been a good choice for a pickup game for an open time slot, and scheduling times were coordinated with Eric Freeman's group. Attendance rose 40%, as a whopping 32 of the 77 players (or 42%) were new to the adult tournament in 2008. 23% of the players were female, who won 19% of the games played. International players included Nick Page from Toronto, Ontario, and Haim Hochboim from Rehovot, Israel.

Well over 400 different people have played this game or MONSTERS Menace America (2005) since MRA was introduced by co-designer Ben Knight at the 1998 Avaloncon. While 61% of the 2008 games used the Ravage version, half of the semi-finals were Ravage games, and Ravage was restored as the Final for its 10-year anniversary.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, supper from Andy Nelson's BBQ was provided to the surprised folks who ran the game auction, where a shrink-wrap copy of Ravage had been sold for $80. Prizes from Halloween stores and MONSTER-themed DVDs were provided to anyone who won a game in the tournament. The gamemaster lent a Mad MONSTER Party (1969) DVD to the Host, which played it on the big screen at the pool on Friday night. A hat with a bunch of eyeballs hanging from it was offered to the first player who won Menace with Zorb (the eyeball MONSTER), if they promised to wear it at the convention. Codoley Kerry claimed the hat, but swapped it for the low-budget Blood Car (2007), a dvd about a time when gas is $36 per gallon, where a guy invents a car that runs on human blood. (He was still laughing about it after watching it on the television in the room next to the Host 's Good Spirits bar.) David Pack, who taught Menace for the Junior tournament, claimed the eyeball hat.

Return of the Mutants!

In 2007 the MONSTERS that can choose two mutations and keep the best one (usually the best one for the fight at the end) were both SHUT OUT: Bronacle in Ravage and Toxicor in Menace had not won a single game. But in 2008, these two MONSTERS came back with a vengeance! Josh Githens set the standard, winning with Bronacle at the Wed. Late Knight Fight with what was the highest Ravage scoresheet in the entire tournament, with 50. Toxicor won 33% of the Menace games while Bronacle tied Tomagagi to take 23% of the Ravage games:

Menace Winners: Toxicor 6, Zorb 4, Megaclaw 3, Konk 3, Tomanagi 2, Gargantis 0
Ravage Winners: Bronacle 3, Tomanagi 3 (champion), Frothomir 2, Ixitpla 2, Konk 2, Glow Wyrm 1, Swamp Lasher 0, Dust Devil 0.

Today's Army: Ravage, not Menace

Players controlling the Army excelled in Ravage but did poorly in Menace. Despite instituting house rules and map overlays provided since 2005 to weaken the Ravage Navy and strengthen the Ravage Marines, the Marines still suffered.

Menace Winners controlled: Navy 7, Air Force 7, Marines 3, Army 1
Ravage Winners controlled: Army 6, Air Force 4, Navy 2, Marines 1

The 10 Ravage winners included two players new to the tournament, Josh Detamore 21, and Danielle Zack 15, who brought Stef Speck to roll her dice. Two-time champion Nick Henning may have nine years Ravage experience, but he's still 21. At 18, Alex Bell added to the Youth for Ravage group. Other Ravage winners: Paul Bolduc, David Brooks, Francis Spencer, Steve Packwood, and Paul Weintraub. Three-time champion Marvin Birnbaum became the father of a newborn baby five days before the convention, and did not play, being lured back to his lair, after appearing at the Host Tuesday night. The GM told David Brooks prior to his Heat 2 win that he had a premonition that David was going to win the championship; (he'd taken 2nd in a narrow loss to Rebecca Hebner in 2001.)

David Pack, 16, became the top seed in the tournament by winning Menace with both Toxicor and Zorb. After first-time player Carol Haney attended a Menace demo, she reluctantly helped fill a Ravage board. She praised David Pack for taking her under his wing and helping her learn that version. The gamemaster, Mark Love, had never won a Menace game in its four years at this convention, but had the highest scoresheet in the entire tournament in 2008, with 54 points using the infamy-happy Megaclaw. Menace winners who were new to this convention were: Jason Levine, Kerry Codoley, Lexi Shea, Kimberly Gregson,, Matthew Morgal, William Sparks, and James Sparks Sr. Returning Menace winners included: Dave Denton, Joanna Melton, Mike Gibson, Rod Davidson, Katie Dougherty, and Greg Kulp.

The Semi-finals

Thanks to the convention's new advancement rules that allowed a five-player option, all 25 winners could have advanced. But there were six no-shows, so Mary Ellen Powers advanced as the only alternate. She had the three highest alternate scores, which included the 2nd and 3rd highest scoresheets in the entire tournament, despite losing those games. She played Menace against 2007 finalist Dave Denton and Matthew Morgal, but they all fell to Jason Levine, who used Konk to accumulate significantly more health with 36. In the other Menace semi-final, David Pack stomped both New York City and Los Angeles, but only got 8 health for both combined. None of the MONSTERS got much health, and Lexi Shea had 11 infamy markers, but she, Joanna Melton, and Rod Davidson all fell to David Pack's Toxicor.

In the first Ravage semi-final, GM Mark Love once again could not resist the health-rich northeast, and drew the attention of all three of his opponents' militaries, who beat him to a pulp! Francis Spencer had decent health points, and Danielle Zack got a lot of infamy markers, but Alex Bell's Frothomir had 31 health and 2 infamy, which was enough to send him to the Final. The other Ravage Final was a close game where all players had good health at the end. Paul Weintraub had the same experience as Mark, drawing lots of military attention for hanging around the northeast, (which has 60% of the health points on the map.) He was in a rematch with Nick Henning, who won the plaque in their 2004 Final. If this were a Euro-game, Nick would have clearly won, with the highest scoresheet of 45. But in this game, accumulating health, infamy, and mutations is how you try to build the strongest MONSTER. You still have to fight to the finish! 2001 finalist David Brooks smartly got control of the Challenge, something that was recommended to everyone who attended the demos. David rolled up the starting health of the two Paul's: Weintraub and Bolduc, and became strong enough to overcome Nick and return to the Final.

The Final

Ravage remained the default game and three of the semi-final winners thoroughly understood it. Jason Levine (who really wanted some Andy Nelson BBQ), was a first-time Menace player in 2008, so he was given a quick run-through of the differences. Ravage was actually a Coached game before Menace was published in 2005. All four militaries are needed for game balance, so the GM was dragging first-time players in to fill boards. (The new player, usually a wargamer, typically won those games.) David Pack had to catch a flight, so there was constant pressure to keep the game moving fast.

Starting positions:
David Brooks of Tennessee, Tomanagi the Carnosaur & Army, Lair #4, the Bermuda Triangle.
David Pack of Colorado, Glow Wyrm & Marines, rolled doubles, Lair #6, Luray Caverns.
Jason Levine of New York, Bronacle of the Depths & Air Force, Lair #4, Great Lakes.
Alex Bell of Maryland, Konk the Great Ape & Navy, Lair #6, Adirondack Mountains.

The GM silently observed that this was going to be a bloody match, with all four MONSTERS starting the game just outside the health-rich northeast, which meant that all four militaries would also concentrate there. Despite that, everyone managed to stomp something good within several turns. David Brooks' Tomanagi stomped Boston but was then retreated. David Pack's Glow Wyrm sat to metamorphose so he could fly at 5, and then stomped Chicago. Ravage has a goal site for an extra die of health, which was not part of Menace. Jason Levine, unfamiliar with this difference, walked Bronacle past his goal and then backtracked to stomp it, wasting a turn. Alex Bell used Konk to stomp both New York City and Philadelphia. This drew the attention of Jason's Air Force, who pressured him to disappear off the map. After mutating with Gamma Goo at Three Mile Island, David had Tomanagi disappear as well.

By mid-game, David Pack's $5 billion attempt for military research succeeded and he became Guard Commander, allowing him to now move the eight National Guard units. He beat down Jason's Bronacle to 6 health with seven Marines and one Guard, prompting him to disappear. Alex had Konk reappear out west, and stomped Los Angeles, and sent his military after David Pack, who responded, "You will pay dearly for that!" David Brooks brought Tomanagi back in Lair #6 at the St. Lawrence River. Glow Wyrm mutated and got Beserk, which provides an extra attack in the first round of combat in the Ravage version (as opposed to five extra attacks in Menace.) Jason brought Bronacle back in Lair # 2, Great Salt Lake, near three mutation sites. Alex stomped his own base to get San Diego, and picked up Fusion Cells from military research.

The shape of the game changed dramatically, as David Brooks picked up Cutbacks from military research. All information is public in MONSTERS, including any diplomacy. David Brooks made a deal with David Pack: he would NOT use Cutbacks to eliminate David Pack's Guard Commander card, as long as the National Guard units were not used against him, for the remainder of the game. David Brooks had made a similar non-aggression pact in the 2001 Final, but his opponent later broke the deal and attacked him, when David's strength surpassed that of Rebecca Hebner. The 2008 deal made a lot of sense for both Davids. It became the first deal in the history of the tournament to contribute heavily to the outcome of the game.

As the endgame approached, Pack used the Guard with his Marines to attack Bell's Konk in Baja, causing him to disappear. David's Tomanagi reappeared in the Gulf of Mexico and waded into Tampa. He picked up Laser Mines from research and put them in Phoenix. Pack's Glow Wyrm disappeared, as did Levine's Bronacle. Bell's Konk reappeared in Albany and he got Mecha-Monster through research. Pack's military beat Konk down to 2 health. Levine pulled the Blonde Lure, which became the turning point of the game. He placed it on Pack's lair #6 which required him to reappear there and face a large military force. The young Pack sharply used the Chopper Lift as part of his military move, which precedes combat resolution, to move his own MONSTER away from the military. But this only delayed the inevitable. Since Pack was using his Guard against Levine and Bell, he made himself a target. Levine attacked him with Anti-matter, Super Colossal Guy and three Air Force units, sending him to Hollywood.

The Davids Pact drew Bell's attention to Brooks, attacking Tomanagi with three Navy cruise missiles, with the chance to inflict 12 damage. Brooks failed to knock any of them down! Bell then rolled 1-2-1, which meant ZERO hits, AND he mutated Brooks TWICE! gifting Brooks with War Spikes (do 4 damage instead of 3) and High Octane Blood (attack first in the Challenge.) There was silence for a second, since Brooks had 25 health, while Bell and Levine each had 6, and Pack was in Hollywood with zero. Bell extended his hand to shake Brooks', saying, "THAT was AWESOME!!!!" The outcome of the game was now academic.

Pack rolled to break out of Hollywood and got a 2: too little. This was the first time in the 10-year history of the tournament that a finalist was in Hollywood and unable to participate in the Challenge. (Disappeared MONSTERS always participate anyway.) He ran to catch his plane. Bell observed, "I have NO infamy. Oh, that's NOT a good thing!" Brooks controlled the Challenge and quickly dispatched Konk, then Bronacle, then Super Colossal Guy. He rolled three 6's to knock out Mecha-Monster. He had lost to Rebecca Hebner by the outcome of a single die in 2001. But now, seven years later, he won handily with the gentleman's agreement. David Brooks donned the king's crown and red velvet robe the GM provided for the 10-year anniversary. Alex Bell's two toys from ravaged bases gave him 2nd place, breaking the tie with Jason.

Alex Bell (left) won this game to advance.

Finalists assemble for the Monster Mash.

GM Mark Love provides lots of monster prizes for the kids.

Mark does monster impressions for his little monsters.

 MONSTERS Menace America Junior

19 little monsters, aged 12 or under, played in the 2008 junior tournament, but the best critters were:

1st: David Rennert (improving from 2nd last year)

2nd: Matt Leader

3rd: Brian Pappas

4th: Joseph Mansfield

5th: Brian Sherwood

6th: Thomas Melton

 GM      Mark Love  [10th Year]   NA    NA

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