Good Afternoon, and a tired one it will still be.
Over the past weekend, I had the honor and privilege to adjudicate and assist in running the East Coast Rumble in Clark NJ. It was a complete blast, and I was glad I stayed for every match.
To be honest, the weekend started out a bit rocky. I didn’t leave until fairly late, picked up Faultie around 9:00pm, and made the 2.5 hour trip. We arrived just about as the second round of Hardcore was starting, almost 11:00pm. Drinkmachine, a fan favorite that uses a Shots for Rerolls mechanic, was well underway. Friends were there, greetings were made, and I I spent the next little while wandering the Hardcore Hall chatting with the boys from Philly, the Nova Nomads, The Baltimore Locals, SOB’s and everyone in between. I stepped in judging where needed, though it seemed to be pretty tame, and had myself a time.
There was, though, a wrinkle. The hall closed at 2:00am, and we realized halfway through round three that we weren’t going to get another one in. What was worse was that with the extremely large 49 man attendance, we were going to need at least 2 more rounds, if not 3. Hastily, and not without discussion of the ramifications, we decided that the Hardcore would resume tomorrow after the massive, main event, the PODS tournament. We knew it was going to cause contention with those who dropped after round 1 or 2, because we weren’t aware of the split days, but Hardcore had a Captiancon Ticket for first place, as well as Masters Qualifying spots for 1-4th. we really needed to finish the tournament. I really wish we could have predicted that nearly 50 people were going to show up, and that we would run over a bit longer than we were welcome. Now we know, and are making adjustments to the whole convention to make sure that something more acceptable is done next year.
That decision being done, we wrapped up hardcore and crowned the Drink Machine Champion: Chris Chambers, who made it through the whole tournament without a single reroll or a single drink! While some may find that cheating, I say its pretty damn impressive to have made it through without needing rerolls while others are just tossing them at you forever!
After catching about 4 hours of sleep, I made it back up and out in time for the 8:00 registration for the POD event. This was the largest masters qualifier, and the largest event I’ve judged yet. 96 participants signed up, 10 were on the waitlist. At the end of the day, with each of the pods having people no-show, we ended up running with 91 people. The tournament was split into 16 man tournaments to save time and energy in qualifying for masters. Each Pod would get the winner and second place, as determined by SOS, into the Masters Tournament on Sunday. The PODS event was a very close to stock standard tournament, with 2nd list optional, no D&C, and deathclocks. There were some incredible games being played over the course of the four rounds, and it was surprisingly easy to judge. Additionally, there were a TON of games being streamed and recorded. Unfortunately, that was limited to Pod 1, and I think next year we are going to make a more concerted effort to get more people from more pods online. As the dust settled, there were 12 qualifiers for Masters
Pod 1 – Gary Fortenberry (Circle) wins, Mike Ireland (Retribution) second
Pod 2 Mike Malarowski (Mercs) wins, Rob Rawlings (Khador) second.
Pod 3 Trevor Attridge (Cygnar) wins, Andrew Lericos (Trollbloods) second.
Pod 4 Jake Van Meter (Legion) wins, Michael Klinger (Cryx) second
Pod 5 Jake Hoffman (Cryx) wins, Charlie Michaelson (Retribution) second.
Pod 6 Matt Henemeyer (Cryx) Wins, Mark Smith (Protectorate) second
The handoff was a but shakey between Pods and Whos the Boss/Hardcore, but we got everything rolling. Hardcore was being streamed and filmed, but there weren’t a ton of players who wanted to keep going after the PODS. One of them, though, after winning 4 in a row to Qualify, managed to stick with it and win the Hardcore Vanquisher Title: Trevor Attridge. I don’t remember the other titles, Honestly, but there were 4 more qualifiers: Chris Turner (Convergence) , Aaron Fishkow (Circle), Harrison Hare (Khador) and Robert Shore (Khador).
While all that was happening, however, I was hanging out with some incredible people. It’d been a very long time since I was able to just drink some beers, hang out, and chat warmachine with a bunch of fellow gamers. Not having to go home and a 30 second commute to the hotel was a life saver. To cap it all off I was able to get a game in of my own, playing Rasheth’s Chain Gang against Deneghra 2. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a ton of fun. The Agonizer survived nearly two rounds of shooting at him while being used as an arc node to Sunder Spirit Gorman off the board, and I was able to clip Denny with an early cannoneer shot for 5 damage. I also missed an opportunity to trample forward and smash Denny into the dirt with a Bronzeback. Instead, I trampled over some Nyss, failed to kill all three, and took charges to the face of ol’ Tubby, slaying him.
Sunday was Masters and Speedmachine, and the hall was awash with random games as well. Speedmachine proved to be a ton of fun, and Ryan Babcock with his X2 Pain Train managed to go undefeated for the victory!
Masters was four rounds of grueling games between great players and great sports. One alternate, Jesse Harachack (Trollblods) makes it in. There were few judge calls, and everyone was respectful to the judges making them. Its not easy to put in the position where you decide a game based on a LOS ruling, or a distance measurement, and I am glad that there weren’t many of them.
Jake Van Meter advances (Scenario) over Matt Henemyer
Gary Fortenberry assassinates Richard Shore
Jake Hoffman Advances (Scenario) over Harrison Hare
Mike Klinger Advances (Scenario) over Mark Smith
Charlie Michalson Advances (Scenario) over Jesse Harachack
Rob Rawlings Advances (Scenario) over Chris Turner
Aaron Fishkow Assassinates Mike Ireland
Trevor Attrdige Advances (Scenario) over Andrew Lericos
Garry Fortenberry Assassinates Rob Rawlings
Jake Hoffman Advances (Scenario) over Aaron Fishkow
Mike Klinger Assassinates Jake Van Meter
Trevor Attrdige Advances (Scenario) over Charlie Michalson
Mike Klinger Advances (concession) over Garry Fortenberry
Trevor Attrdige Assassinates Jake Hoffman
Trevor Attridge Assassinates Mike Klinger
There were some excellent moments, and many of them were caught on some form of camera.
Of note, and I’m sure I’ll forget a bunch.
Vlad 2 survives getting drug into combat with the Prime Axiom, and the following turn a charging Uhlan rolls huge dice to kill it, and then vlad is freed up to take the zone for the win. at 2:30 left on his deathclock, I was convinced the Khador player wasn’t playing with enough urgency to beat the clock he finished with just over a minute left. Shows me.
Stryker 2 needs to get work done to win the game, and manages to kill two warders and a Bouncer to clear the zone for the win.
It happened: Kreuger 2 double Vault was dropped into Cryx, but Jake was able to pull it out with shooting and camping the flag in recon.
Again, in Recon, Trevor Attridge takes the scenario win with recon camping the flag. I thought I had heard the internet decry the flag in recon as worthless. Na. the internet can’t be wrong!
Mike Klinger managed to just whittle and whittle away at Abby 2 against the maniacal Blight Wasps that had been his doom just a day before, when he lost Pod 4 to Jake. the final attack with the Withershadow Combine was sure to have consumed her soul.
The very next round, Mike is able to make a key Crit Knockdown on a Satyxis raider making her free strike as Kreuger 2 was attempting to jump into the zone and yank all sorts of models within threat range of his heavies.
Jake was a single pip short from going to the finals when his Bane Knights charged (1) and walked (1) into a Knocked down Alexia 2 and failed to kill her. Instead, the Stormwall got to make Skarre pudding.
The final, of course, was excellent, and that should be up on chain attack and/or New Jersey Warmachine and Hordes here soon,
It was impressive to watch Trevor go some 14-0 over the weekend. Our meta has very little Cygnar left. Maybe I should break mine out to give everyone a taste!
Originally, I was worried that the game had become much, much more scenario centric, with few wins, if any, coming from assassination. It seems, though, that it might just have been my choice of scenario.
Feel free to let me know what you thought of the ECR, good and bad, so we can make it better for you next year, even if you didn’t go this year. Questions are also welcomed, and I’ll tell you anything you need or want to know about the convention!