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CardShark Content - Carl Craig (9/7/2003)

Well its been a while since my last article submission, but having our 2nd child is good enough reason ¡V LOL.
For those of you who are interested, our new little Evenstar¡¦s name is Ashley and she was born on the 5th August ;-)

Right onto the article at hand I guess.
Well after a slight delay, due to some good ol¡¦ magic players (hopefully they¡¦ll pick up a real game like LotR one day aye ¡V LOL), we got kicked off at 6:15pm instead of the scheduled 5:30pm.
By this time everyone was amped and ready to go ¡V this was to be our first Towers format tournament since the release of Ents of Fangorn, so as you can imagine using cards only from sets 4, 5 and 6 still provided us with more than enough card pool for some fun.
I think the most amped to start was poor Thomas, who hadn¡¦t seen the back¡¦s of his eyelids for over a day (good ol¡¦ assignments, they do it all the time) ¡V if we¡¦d taken any longer to start his second wind might have run low and we would have ended up having to click our fingers at him at the end of every phase ;-)

13 players is what we had to work with, which is unlucky for some¡K¡K. Perhaps unlucky for Paul Quinn the store owner of Fastbreak, who had to put up with a mad crowd of LotR enthusiasts ¡V haha.

1st Round:
Some interesting pairing for the 1st round, included:
*Carl Craig (that¡¦s me) Vs Natalie Frost ¡V This was the first time we had played each other since I first taught her how to play, which was around a year ago when everyone had the ¡¥Deck Exchange¡¦ promotion running. I have to say she¡¦s come along way since then! Using a Ringbound Ranger/Easterling.Gollum burden deck ¡V all I can say is that I¡¦m lucky that my Dunland shadow side won me the game, cause after starting with a 3 burden bid and having no form of burden removal in my Ent.Unbound Hobbit deck, lets just say that the One Ring was getting so heavy, Frodo¡¦s nose would have been dragging along the ground-lol
*Thomas Nilsen Vs David Starr (Snr) ¡V Obviously I didn¡¦t get to witness any other games seeing as I was playing, but I heard that these 2 guys were so evenly matched cause their deck¡¦s were similar, both Rohan/Uruk-Hai ¡V although Thomas may have been using trackers (I know someone was), David just pulled through in this round.

2nd Round:
Some interesting pairing for the 2nd round, included:
*Carl (that¡¦s me again) Vs Paul Twomey ¡V Now I¡¦m not intentionally putting my name in there all the time, but its more for Paul¡¦s sake that this match stood out. Paul¡¦s shadow side for his deck was about to astonish me. Who here can say Isengard men?¡K. well Paul can and they can cause a lot of trouble, especially in the early game. Utilising cards such as, Agents of Orthanc, Desertion, Rohirrim Traitor, Unferth, Grima and 4 Saruman MoFF with his staff etc¡K This shadow deck could pack a lot of punch, and even threatened my FP side early in the game. I was so impressed to see someone make a Isengard man deck work, that I couldn¡¦t stop talking about it for the rest of the night. I personally just didn¡¦t expect it ¡V it came down to a timed win for me at site 7, it was a real tough game with us both having Ent.Hobbit FP decks.
*Sanela Levaja Vs Craig Maquet ¡V Now this was Sanela¡¦s first tournament, only having been to a few league night¡¦s before hand ¡V and to pull off a win in Round 2 at only 10 yrs old, makes it definitely worth a mention. Not that Craig had much more experience up his sleeve either, pity is Southron¡¦s just didn¡¦t quite pull it off for him.

Tea Break:
In between rounds 2 and 3 we had a 40min tea/dinner break, for those of us who weren¡¦t hungry ¡V we sat around talking Middle Earth, trading and watching FotR which was playing on the stores TV.
Wouldn¡¦t be real cool (or geeky, depending on how you look at it) it we all sat around speaking quenya instead of westron¡K. Um I mean English ¡V we could even talk during our games in Elvish¡K¡K hmmm na maybe that is a bit geeky ¡V ROTFL

Round 3:
Unfortunately Bryan had to leave just prior to this round, due to other commitments ¡V which meant ¡¥no more byes¡¦ we were down to 12 players from here on in.
Some interesting pairing for the 3rd round, included:
*David Starr (Snr) Vs Rob Waugh (QLD Champ) ¡V up until this point both of these guys were undefeated, so it was to be an important turning point for who ever pulled through. It was a long tight game, that nearly resulted in Rob losing due to an assignment error to Frodo ¡V thanks to David¡¦s good sportsmanship they stepped back a few steps and proceeded as the game normally would have. After a gruelling to and fro game, Rob finally made his shadow side work and swarmed for a full win. Rob was also using a pretty unique type of deck ¡V with a Gimli/Legolas with more elves for FP side and a Sauron Swarm for shadow side ¡V with a couple of Southron Commander¡¦s to deal with Ent army decks (spot 6 companion¡¦s to discard one) ¡V nasty stuff!!

Round 4:
Some interesting pairing for the 4th round, included:
*Sanela Levaja Vs Omer Inajetovic ¡V This was the battle of the Titan¡¦s¡K. well the mini-titan¡¦s at least ;-) Both of which are around 10 yrs old, both friends ¡V but it looked like Sanela liked the taste of winning.
*Myself and Rob Waugh ¡V Once again we have a turning point, at this stage both of us are undefeated, although I have a Modified win where as Rob just has straight wins. From this day on, I will make ¡¥TIME¡¦ the most important thing to remember at a tournament. I hadn¡¦t taken note of when this round started and the beeping timer had been misplaced, so when I asked how much time was left (at site 6) no-one had an answer ƒ¼ everyone else seemed to have finished so I made an important gamble to double move, thinking that if we had stayed on the same site and time was called I would have lost to more burden¡¦s, so I guess it was an all or nothing move. Unfortunately Rob would pull his third Southron Commander which really stung my Ents. Now Rob had 5 minion¡¦s for my 5 companion¡¦s, my first thought was YES! I survived, cause I had a cliff¡¦s of emyn muil in play and he had a few 1 vitality orcs I could assign to Frodo¡K.. Hmmm but what would his site 7 be? None other than Cavern Entrance ¡V so there went that idea and Frodo was overwhelmed. To make matter worse we still had 8 minutes left to play ¡V sob sob, oh well it was a really fun deck to play against ¡V Rob¡¦s saruon swarm idea came a close second in my original book after Paul¡¦s Isengard Men ;-)

Just before the next round we had cake, donuts and bun¡¦s supplied for us by Mr and Mrs Paul Quinn, thanks for that guys it was really nice of you to do that.

Round 5:
Well obviously the main pairing to mention here are the 2 finalist¡¦s. It came down to Ben Small Vs Rob Waugh.

Unfortunately I never found out what Ben was playing that night, but it was definitely worthy enough to defeat Rob¡¦s winning streak. It wasn¡¦t enough to knock the Queensland Champ off his pirch though, and gave Ben a Second placing ¡V not to mention the satisfaction of being the only one to beat Rob that whole night-LOL.

Final placings for the Day:
1st Rob Waugh
2nd Ben Small
3rd Carl Craig
4th CJ Ross
5th Natalie Frost
6th David Starr (Snr)
7th Paul Twomey
8th Thomas Nilsen
9th Sanela Levaja
10th Omer Inajetovic
11th Sherrie Quinn
12th Craig Maquet
13th Bryan Gagen

Natalie Frost also received a special award for sports person of the day. She¡¦s always got time for everyone, she¡¦s happy, easy to get along with and loves what we love ¡¥Lord of the Rings¡¦ ¡V for her continued support for the game she was presented with a hardcover Two Towers visual companion book, I¡¦m sure she¡¦ll enjoy it.

I¡¦d like to thank everyone who turned up on the day and to everyone that made this all possible.
It was a hell of a lotta fun ¡V I¡¦d have another TT block tourney before an open/std, and I¡¦d recommend this format of tournament for whoever hasn¡¦t tried it after the release of Ents of Fangorn.

Have fun guys ¡V remember that¡¦s why we love this game.
It¡¦s a great game, but the reason why its great is because its fun.

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