D&D Miniatures08/15/2008


Thursday's Gen Con Highlights!
D&D Miniatures at the Best Four Days in Gaming



The big DDM event for Thursday was the Grinder (aka Constructed Champion Qualifier). It's the last chance for competitors to win a seat in the Constructed Championship. Numerous local qualifiers extended Championship invitations to the top two competitors. At Gen Con, each of the two Grinder events give invites to the top four finishers.

Because invitations are extended to players based not only on local events around the world but also on both Classic and Standard rating, it might seem that most of the top players would already have an invitation. With the transition of the game from the original DDM Skirmish Rules to the new DDM Battle Rules and the new rating systems, however, many excellent players had not yet received an invitation. Strong warbands and competitors showed up for the first of these two last-chance qualifiers.

Grinder (Championship Qualifier)

The Grinder started at 10 a.m. with 32 people and ran for six rounds (one undefeated player remains after five rounds, and one more round is played after that). After the sixth and last round, 13 players remained. For those concerned about their rating, Grinders are a big opportunity for improvement. The warbands of the top two players are listed below. They played each other on round 5 (which Brad Shugg won, but then Bradley Allen beat his final-round opponent to place second).

Brad Shugg: Evermelt map, Eternal Blade, Oni x 3, Merchant Guard (MG) x 3, Goblin Runner (GoRu) x 2, 9 activations.

Bradley Allen: Jungle Temple map, Hobgoblin Marshall, Tomebound Arcanist, Thrall of Blackrazor, Oni, MG x 2, GoRu x 2, Prisoner x 2, 10 activations.

1. Brad Shugg 18 55.5556 OMW
2. Allen Bradley 15 72.2222
3. Martin Simard 15 59.4444
4. Martin Kurr 12 67.7778

Check the Gencon forum reports for details of the standings.

Final standings of the top four players are shown at right. The numbers in the second column are their point scores, with three points per win.

Player Profiles

Most of these players are active on the forums and in past Championships, so they are well known already. Each day, we will profile a few of them to introduce them to the larger player community. Some of the questions are a bit silly, but they reveal a little more about the character of these competitors.

Kevin Cleveland (aka Kevizoid)

Kevin Cleveland

When did you start playing Skirmish/Battle?
Harbinger

What are your big DDM wins?
#9 Constructed Championship 2005
#12 Limited Championship 2005
Top 8 Constructed Championship 2006
Top 8 Constructed Championship 2007
#2 Limited Championship 2008
?? Constructed Championship 2008

Where do you play?
Southern California.

What are you doing to build community?
Keeping first generation players more energized and playing more (against the likes of Jason Lioi, Robert Hatch, Sven Myrin, and Dwayne and Darien Stupack, among others), and recruiting friends to play.

What other games do you play?
World of Warcraft, since the first game.

What do you do in the real world?
Student with interests in writing.

What’s your dream job?
Gaming-related writing.

What do you want to see in the game?
DDM Oracle rocks! More prize support would be cool.

Joel Barnabe (aka Kezghan)

Joel Barnabe

When did you start Skirmish/Battle?
War of the Dragon Queen Pre-release.

What are your big DDM wins?
First place at two Constructed Championship Qualifiers and one Limited Qualifier (making a total of three, for the math-challenged). Joel first played at the Constructed Championship in 2007. He kicked my behind in the 2007 Championship, and afterward -- as he recounts it -- in my bitterness, I tried to steal both his miniatures and cards.

Where do you play?
Vancouver, Canada at CR Toys and Craving for a Game.

What are you doing to build community?
Yahoo website for players in the city with active discussion of events. Introduction of the game to new players at league nights. Plans to use Yahoo Group van_ddm-league to more actively discuss activity at league nights and get more lurkers on his list into the stores for games.

What other games do you play?
D&D, with plans to play more 4th Edition this fall.

What do you do in the real world?
Bus driver

What do you want to see in the game?
Continue the momentum that DDM Oracle is building with crisp rules interpretations. Would like to see the best-looking pieces have better skirmish utility. That makes it more fun to play and easier to recruit players. Looking forward to the freelance-designed restat sets.

Why should your opponents fear you?
Strong team cooperation, play on VASSAL a lot.

Michael Pozsgay

Michael Pozsgay

When did you start Skirmish/Battle?
Played Chainmail before skirmish and played Skirmish from the start (Harbinger).

What are your big DDM wins?
Bunch of Qualifier placements and wins
Top 8 Constructed Championship 2007
Top 8 Limited Championship 2008

Where do you play?
Chicago at Pastimes for premier events.

What are you doing to build community?
Sam Santos, Pozsgay, and others work to recruit new people for a potential league night, but it is challenging with distance and traffic issues. Pozsgay has done store demos for potential recruits that he knows will be interested. Maintaining energy in the core group of players to make sure they stay playing. Member or tester with multiple Teams. Play online with VASSAL.

What other games do you play?
Chess and boardgames.

What do you do in the real world?
Attends university.

What’s your dream job?
International General Manager of Baseball, possibly in Japan.

Why should your opponents fear you?
Analytical approach to the game.

What do you want to see in the game?
DDM Oracle allows a more crisp understanding of very specific parts of the game and allows for future development to flow into the rules and be supported more easily. More prize support. Mike would like to see professional reporting for DDM major events and match logs of the main or key matches. He would like the return of the top 4 for qualifier invites and for the Championship cut to be top 8.

Keith Tatroe (Not Kevin)

Keith Tatroe

When did you start Skirmish/Battle?
AfterHarbinger was released, before Dragoneye.

What are your big DDM wins?
Top 8 Constructed Championship 2006
Second Limited Championship 2007

Where do you play?
Longmont, CO at Stonebridge Games and Denver, CO at Valhalla’s Game Center.

What are you doing to build community?
Running demos at stores, using Yahoo group (DnD_Minis_Colorado) and Hordelings.com (search groups for Colorado). Actively talking to roleplayers at the stores to see if any are interested in DDM Battle rules.

What other games do you play?
DM of a D&D 4E bi-weekly game plust lots of board games.

What do you do in the real world?
Environmental Safety Data Analyst in the Oil and Gas industry.

What do you want to see in the game?
Like the direction and approach used by DDM Oracle to deliver consistent rules to players.

George Estill (aka estillg)

George Estill

When did you start Skirmish/Battle?
At the end of Archfiends.

What are your big DDM wins?
First place in both Constructed and Limited Championship Qualifiers.

Where do you play?
Richmond, VA at One-Eyed Jacks.

What are you doing to build community?
Regularly attends Thursday night league and makes demo warbands that are always available for new players. Co-founder of Team Amish which helps keep interest and energy up for not just team members but all they contact. Team members have meetups at other game stores to help local groups at those locations reach critical mass. During these drop-ins, team members talk about upcoming competitive play events and where and when events are held.

What other games do you play?
Warhammer Fantasy (tabletop miniatures and RPG).

What do you do in the real world?
Head of CAD department at a civil engineering firm.

What’s your dream job?
Travel writer.

What do you want to see in the game?
Likes the link between DDM Battle game and the RPG. With closer similarity between the two systems, more RPGers may become DDM Battle guys, too. Likes that there is more community involvement to help make the game better. The release of beta versions of revised stats so the community can help spot issues before release is great.

Why should your opponents fear you?
George has the ability to rapidly evaluate the changing situations that happen in DDM. He also feels that having a strong team encourages lots of practice and play but also enables team members to combine their work and do lots of testing. Even though team members want to win, they see that just having fun with the game and seeing that their opponent has fun, too, are equally important.

Drow Demonbinder

Here's a nice shot of the Drow Demonbinder (better than the one I shot in the exhibit hall), along with its stat card.

What’s Up for Friday?

Another Championship Qualifier is scheduled for Friday, giving players one last chance to win an invitation to the championship. I will conduct more player interviews. Friday is also the DDM Seminar, scheduled from 8 to 10 pm. It promises to hold a pile of interesting information about what is coming for DDM.

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