For more information on Titan see my Titan Home Page.
This is pretty much what I sent in as my WBC report.
Perennial WBC Titan player Jason Ley was killed in a car accident this fall (2016). Jason has been in the multi-player semi-finals most years since he started attending the WBC in 1997. He was in multi-player finals four times, finishing once at each of first, second, third and fourth. Jason also had success in the two-player Titan tournament and is a past champion there as well. I'm going to miss seeing him at future WBC's.
My status is also changing, at least for 2017. I have some uncertainty about whether I will be able to attend the WBC in 2017 and I won't know in time to be able to commit to running the event. I also had more trouble with the report this year and I need to make sure I can take care of it before GMing again. More likely than not, I will be attending and may end up being an assistant GM. We'll probably need to spell whoever ends up running it if they keep a similar format. While I may find running the event fun in itself, I doubt we will find someone else who does enough to be almost constantly at the event for multiple entire days. I will also be able to provide some help preparing for the event if the new GM wants.
I'd like to thank Akihisa Tabei, for once again donating old style counter sheets to the multi-player and two-player finalists.
Titan seemed to be hit a bit harder than other events from the move. After a couple of years of increased participation we had a significant drop this year. Preliminary games played dropped from 41 games played last year to 18 (11 three player and 7 four player) this year. Part of this was due to less competition for semi-final slots. Getting participation up again may be hard with Titan being out of print again. We can hope that with word about the new site getting back to people, more past participants will be willing to make a longer trip to attend again. Rich is also thinking of moving the two player tournament earlier to have less conflicts with other games. This might be something we could due for multi-player as well. But we don't want to completely overlap with the two player event and the auction is likely to be in the middle of the event, though maybe we could start the semi-finals right after the auction.
We had 16 semi-final slots available with only 24 participants, which is too many. In the end, only 14 people participated in the semi-finals. We have some ideas about what we could do next year, but nothing is set yet (as we don't have a GM). Suggestions include having a couple of play-ins directly to the finals and have only two semi-final 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 semi-final field to half the number of participants (or 16, whichever is lower) is a possibility. However once we get below 12 semi-finalists things get tricky as we don't want any two player games in the semi-finals and taking two players from a single semi-final game also has problems. Limiting the semi-finals to only people who had won at least one preliminary game is another option. In the past we have had some good players go win less and get in to the semifinals. But with the lower participation, we are more likely to get very weak players in the semi-finals and that adds a random element that participants generally don't like (once we get to the semi-finals and it's win or go home). And of course we can hope participation goes back up and we won't have a problem.
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.
I'd like to thank the winners of the semi-finals and finals for making notes on what happened in their games.
In semi 1, Bruce Rae was knocked out 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 heavily 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 4 away. This is a reasonable attack, but things didn't go Rich's way and Brian ended up winning.
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 attack 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. 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 need 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 he is noted for. Aki rolled a 1 on his first turn, but kept his angel legion in the tower in case one of the following two 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 instead. 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 ended up summoning an angel an earning an angel to end up with Ttn7 Ang Ang Lio Lio. Later Sean McCulloch trapped Aki's titan legion in a jungle and eliminated him. Tom Johnston eventually got a colossus and used it to fight a close battle against some serpents and ended up with a giant and earned angel. Later Sean teleported on Tom's legion with hydras in the swamp and ended up losing. 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.
In the final Aaron Fuegi split ogres instead of gargoyles, though did keep the gargoyles with his titan. He also messed up 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 ended up having 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 also declined to one of Aaron's legions that most likely have given him a lot of points. So while Tom got off to a great start with an early hydra. Things slowed down went 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 survivors in Tom won the first battle. 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 which would have given him 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 attacking 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.
Fin Sem Pre Opp Opp Opp Opp Opp Opp Game Name Ran Ran Ran 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Kil 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Kil Gam Gam Numbers Fuegi, Aaron 1 1 5 2 0 0 0 6 2 3 1 0 8 8 2 3 8 Finberg, David 2 2 7 1 2 0 0 3 8 11 4 0 33 32 4 1 7 13 15 Johnston, Tom 3 3 8 1 1 0 0 4 7 6 2 0 17 26 3 8 10 12 Sutton, Brian 4 4 13 1 0 0 0 2 2 3 0 0 11 8 1 5 Atwater, Rich 5 5 1 2 2 0 0 10 12 12 9 0 42 49 5 1 4 5 11 18 McCulloch, Sean 6 6 6 1 2 0 0 5 6 5 2 0 18 22 3 7 16 17 Ehlers, Julie 7 7 15 0 1 1 0 0 21 17 3 0 72 54 6 10 11 12 13 16 18 Northey, Rick 8 8 20 0 0 1 0 0 4 4 2 0 18 16 1 11 Koleszar, Steve 9 9 2 2 1 1 0 8 13 17 5 0 52 51 5 1 4 6 11 18 Tabei, Akihisa 10 10 4 2 0 0 0 6 5 8 1 0 17 22 3 9 16 17 Rae, Bruce 11 11 11 1 1 0 0 3 4 6 3 0 14 23 3 2 6 13 Hanechak, David 12 12 17 0 1 0 0 1 8 4 1 0 24 18 3 2 5 9 Pustilnik, Michael 13 13 3 2 1 0 0 3 9 10 4 0 35 39 4 9 12 14 18 Klercker, Nick 14 14 9 1 1 0 0 3 8 8 1 0 24 25 3 12 15 17 Hull, David 15 15 10 1 1 0 0 3 5 4 0 0 16 12 2 8 15 Wolff III, Bruno 16 16 12 1 1 0 0 2 6 6 3 0 19 23 3 6 10 14 Ley, Jason 17 17 14 0 1 1 0 1 8 7 1 0 26 21 2 1 14 Chepaitis, Nicolas 18 18 16 0 1 1 0 0 6 7 1 0 26 18 2 4 7 Tolentino, Eric 19 19 18 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 7 4 1 3 Miller, Derek 20 20 19 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 0 0 6 4 1 3 Carter, Todd 21 21 21 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 4 7 1 2 Needham, Randy 22 22 22 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1 0 8 9 1 7 Pointer, Caitlyn 23 23 23 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 7 4 1 3 Nagle, Brandon 24 24 24 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 4 7 1 2
After Action report for Titan 2-player
For the first time in nine years, the semifinals did not include Aaron Fuegi. Aaron lost in the first round this year, to Bruce Rae, who himself ended up in one semifinal.
In the first semifinal, Brian Sutton triumphed after a long drawn out game over Nick Klerker, where it did not appear as if any single battle made much of a difference. In the other semifinal, the first big battle was decisive in the outcome. Bruce attacked one of the two starting stacks belonging to David Hull, without knowing which of the two lords would be present. Bruce's titan stack was superior to the defending stack, but it was David's angel, not his titan. When the smoke had cleared, Bruce had two warbears with his stack plus the earned angel, a difficult recruiting task. He also had to avoid the other starting stack, and that proved to be more difficult. After a series of rolls where Bruce was unable to get away, and unable to recruit, he was in the desert when David attacked with his titan, a warlock, three rangers and a cyclops, Even without an angel to summon, the battle was quickly over.
The final was played late, in comparison to how finals have been completed in past years. But one of the participants had some local matters to attend to, and the two opponents agreed to meet on Saturday night. David had an explosive start, with sixes on five of his first eight rolls, and quickly got to two hydras in his titan stack. One early curiosity had Brian recruiting a guardian with three gargoyles when there were still cyclops available to recruit.
By the time three hours had passed, the game was put on hold, the positions were recorded and the participants agreed to pick it up the next morning. The venue was closing on Saturday night, and would not reopen the next day, so the remainder would be played out in the open gaming room.
Eventually both players had titan teleport. Once when Brian had a twelve high titan, he teleported onto an angel stack in the brush, with a defending legion of angel, four serpents and a behemoth. Brian's titan had a warlock four serpents and a behemoth with an angel to call. The result? A fourteen high titan with three angels and a serpent remaining. Another three and a half hours passed and the end of the convention placed an artificial stopping point. At the time the results were due in the registration area, the game was still going strong, and both players had a chance to win. It is unusual for any two player game to take this long, and also it would be unusual after this length of time for one player not to have a significant advantage over the other. When asked, each player claimed to have about a fifty percent opportunity to win the game. This was the best possible agreement in terms of adjudication, because it meant, rather than any other more convoluted method, the winner would then be determined by the rules for a mutual elimination, a die roll of seven dice, needing to get four or more hits to be the victor. David wielded the dice, rolled and got his four hits, and was declared the winner.
This is the first time the final has been determined without an actual winner on the board, but events conspired against us. Both players are to be commended for the show of sportsmanship at the end, and the acknowledgement that the other player had an equal chance at victory had the game continued.
David Hull was playing in his first titan tournament at WBC. He has been a force online, and now that the convention is being held at Seven Springs, we would expect him to be in attendance more frequently.