Perennial WBC Titan player Jason Ley was tragically killed in a car accident this fall.
Jason had been in the semifinals most years since he started attending Avaloncon/WBC in 1997. He made the Final four times, winning in 2008
and finishing second, third and fourth on the other occasions. He also had success in the Titan Two tournament and is a past
champion there as well. We will miss him.
My status is also changing, at least for 2017. I have some uncertainty about whether I will be able to attend next year and
I won't know in time to commit to the event. I also had more trouble with the report this year and I need to make sure I can handle
it assuming that responsibility again. More likely than not, I will be attending and may assist the new GM. We’ll probably
need to spell whoever runs it if they keep a similar format. While I have found running the event fun in itself, I doubt we will
find someone else who cares for it enough to be almost constantly at the event for multiple days. I will be able to provide some
help preparing for the event if that is desired. I'd like to thank Akihisa Tabei, for once again donating old style
counter sheets to the multi-player and 2-player finalists.
Titan was hit harder than other events by the venue change. After rebounding in 2015 we had a significant attendance drop this year to a record low. Preliminary games decreased drastically from 41 to 18 (11 3-player and seven 4-player) this year. Part of this was due to less competition for semifinal slots. Getting participation up again may be hard with the game being out of print again. We can only hope that word about the new site attracts more past participants willing to make the trip to attend again. Rich Atwater is also thinking of moving the 2-player tournament earlier to have less conflicts with other games. This might be something to consider for the multi-player version as well. But we don't want to completely overlap with the 2-player event and the auction is likely to be in the middle of the event, though maybe we could start the semifinals right after the auction.
The event traditionally has 16 semifinal slots available, but with only 24 participants, this is too many. As it was, only 14 people participated in the semifinals which is two more than convention rules allow (50% advancement ceiling). We have some ideas about what we could do next year, but nothing is set yet (since we don't have a GM). Suggestions include having a couple of play-ins directly to the Final and have only two semifinal games. However, this would make those spots very coveted and would reduce some of the flexibility to play in other tournaments if you do well in a couple of early preliminary games. Limiting the semifinal field to half the number of participants (or 16, whichever is lower) is more than a possibility - it is a convention rule. However, once we get below 12 semifinalists things get tricky as we don't want 2-player games in the semifinals and taking two players from a single semifinal game also has problems. Limiting the semifinals to only people who had won at least one preliminary game is another option. In the past we have had some good players go winless and reach the semifinals. But with lower participation, we are more likely to get very weak players in the semifinals and that adds a random element that participants generally don't like once we get to the elimination rounds and it becomes win or go home. Of course, we can hope participation rebounds and we won't have a problem, but prayers aren’t always answered.
Reduced field or not, we did have a tournament this year. In one of the preliminary games Sean McCulloch had a
tough decision on whether or not to defend in a jungle with Ttn6 Beh Beh Cyc Cyc Cyc Ran versus Akihisa Tabei's Ttn8
Wlo Ran Ran Ran Ran Ran. Sean decided to run for it, but Aki rolled a 6 and caught him in less favorable terrain and
won. Just for the fun of it, they fought the other battle and Sean was able to reinforce with a serpent and won.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda …I'd like to thank the winners of the playoffs for providing the following notes on their games.
In semi #1, Bruce Rae was eliminated first when a warlock legion forced him to attack with Ttn6 Ogr Ogr Ogr Cen Cen against
Rich Atwater's Ang Lio Gar Gar Cen Cen in a brush on Turn 3. Rich was being heavily out recruited when he was encouraged to attack
with Ttn7 Wlo Wlo Ran Ran Gor Gor against Brian Sutton's Ttn6 Wlo Min Ran Gor Lio Lio in the mountains by the threat of
another legion four away. This is a reasonable attack, but things didn't go his way and Brian advanced.
In semi #2 David Finberg made a dumb split that blocked trailing legions that needed to be able to run.
Fortunately for him, it ended up blocking and costing him a green legion (Cyc Cyc Gar Gar) that had potential
instead of his titan legion which could have happened on a different roll. At one point David didn't attack
Ttn Cyc Cyc Cyc Cen Cen with Ang Wbe Ran Tro Tro Tro in a plains, because at the time David didn't know if the
legion had a titan or an angel. After Rick Northey was eliminated, Steve Koleszar attacked with Ser Beh Beh Cyc Gua
Gor Gor with a summoned Ang against Gua Cyc Beh Gor Gor Gor Gor in a tower and lost. Steve then resigned because it
gave David teleportation and an archangel and Steve had little hope.
In semi #3 Michael Pustilnik moved his titan legion in front of one of Aaron Fuegi's legions. While contemplating the move,
there was some discussion, but Mike felt he was forced to make the move. Aaron rolled a 4+ to reach Mike's titan and eliminate
him while earning 300+ points. However, on the same turn Aaron also made an attack with his titan legion that didn't go so well,
leaving it 4 high. David Hanechak only needed a 3 or higher to kill him, but didn't and Aaron got away.
Later Aaron eliminated David and got titan teleportation. Julie Ehlers eventually got two giants in
a legion, but not with her titan. She eventually resigned though, because
she only had two significant legions and Aaron had over 900 points and was going to soon have her down to just one legion that was going to have
to move every turn and would eventually be caught in poor terrain.
In semi #4 Akihisa Tabei played the aggressive style game for which he is noted. Aki rolled a 1 on his first turn,
but kept his angel legion in the tower in case one of the following players rolled a 6 and wanted a warlock in his tower.
Nick Klercker followed with a 4 and had the option of taking a troll in the marsh next to Aki's tower, since Aki didn't
move there, but given Aki's reputation, he decided to take an ogre in the hills. However, he got stuff shortly afterwards
and Aki attacked with Ttn6 Lio Lio Lio Gar Gar versus Ttn6 Tro Ogr Ogr Ogr Gar Gar in a brush. Aki charged in with his
titan and summoned an angel and earned an angel to end up with Ttn7 Ang Ang Lio Lio. Later, Sean McCulloch trapped Aki's
titan legion in a jungle to eliminate him. Tom Johnston eventually got a colossus and used it to fight a close battle against
some serpents, getting a giant and earned angel. Later Sean teleported on Tom's legion with hydras in the swamp and lost.
With the serpents gone and Tom threatening to get better he thought it was better than waiting for another 6 with Tom
in more favorable terrain and not having improved his legion.
Aaron Fuegi split ogres in the Final instead of gargoyles, though he did keep the gargoyles with his titan.
He also erred in his first battle, so things didn't start too well for him. Tom Johnston made a poor split in
front of Aaron's tower and eventually had to give Aaron some points. Then Tom chose not to attack David Finberg
with Ttn Hyd Hyd Ran Tro versus Ttn Cyc Cyc Cyc Ran Ran which could have been painful. But then he also
declined to attack one of Aaron's legions that most likely would have given him a lot of points. So, Tom
got off to a great start with an early hydra. Things slowed down when he went to the outer ring to get
a second hydra. He got stuck behind Aaron's ranger legion with a second ranger legion in a tower to finish
off the survivors as Tom won the first battle. However, the game got away from Tom as he was stuck for
several turns while Aaron earned a lot of points with other ranger legions. Brian Sutton and David were
eliminated. Late in the game Aaron came close to losing when he attacked Gri Gri Ran Tro with Uni Uni Uni Uni
and summoned Ang. Tom came within one hit of winning the battle and earning titan teleportation. On his next
turn he rolled a 6 which would have given him an excellent chance to eliminate Aaron for the win if he had had
titan teleportation. Instead, Tom eventually attacked Aaron in a tower, but lost to end up in second. The final
battle was Ttn9 Hyd Hyd Hyd Hyd Hyd versus Ttn19 Wlo
Gor Ang Ser Ser Ser which was pretty hopeless.
Sean McCulloch, Tom Johnston and Akihisa Tabei
Steve Koleszar, Dave Finberg and Richard Northey
|GM Bruno Wolff and his four finalists.