Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Labyrinth: We are the Champions!

So the games have come and gone...
Tis sad but true.
But the events themselves brought smiles to the faces of all involved!
Well at least I was smiling because it turned out to be an action packed day of 'work'.

The board game blitz was four rounds of intense game play.
Players warmed up with a brusque 5k run around the Kingston city limits and a quick swim to race the Kingston ferry across to Wolf Island. Once we had dried off we para glided from 10,000 feet down to city hall where the 2012 ceremonial torch was set ablaze. Streaking through the streets (some minus a few articles of clothing) we fought off scores of dozens of thousands of dangerous ninja in order to at last enter the store's battle arena. Once safely there the gamers changed into their tournament uniforms. The super heroes of the gaming community all gathered in one location...the stage was set for a clash between titans.

We had visitors from both Toronto and Ottawa as well as many of the most famous Kingston locals.
The fighting was fierce, taunts and gaming insults were hurled about and then in short order the games began. Two Minotaur staff slipped in to trade punches with the other gamers, Gaming Guru Michael White and yours truly. After a few savage exchanges from round one and two the lunch break settled upon the eye of a hurricane.

The gamers stalked off to hunt their hamburgers and sandwiches before returning revitalized to do battle once more!

There was no flashy score board to let players know what had transpired in the first half but the reality was that after the first two round there were still many people vying for the leadership position. BUT! There was already a pair of leaders to catch up to.

The scores after the break stood with Esther Guttman at 14 Points tied with...well me. =D
Next came Jeffrey right on our heels at 13 with Shawn and Patrick tailing close behind at 12.
Marc was behind the pair at 11 squeaking ahead of the tie between Calvin and Adam B who sat comfortably at 10.
Randy was at 9, Robert at 8 with our 2nd place sitter Michael tied at 7 with Katrina.
Dallas held onto a one point advantage at 5 over the 3way tie at the rear of the pack Awesome Abi, David, and Stephen all sitting at 4 points.

Everyone knew that it was still any ones match despite the 10 point spread from 1st to last. The final 2hour game was worth 10 points and would be a crucial moment to decide the ultimate champion.

Round 3 started with a vengeance and as the dust settled I found myself sitting facing Esther across a board of Ticket to Ride Europe. The two leaders locked in an epic stare-off! We both knew what it meant... (Subconsciously anyways)
Only one of us would be the victor in this round and the other would slip back amongst the pack to jostle for position.
I watched her like a hawk... carefully analyzing her seasoned calls of 'I'll take those two cards' or 'I'll claim this route.' It became obvious that she was one serious TtoR player!!
Helen Baumander, who had not entered the blitz but observed the round, commented from ringside that "Esther never loses at Ticket to Ride...not ever." It proved to hold true as she just crushed the table. Dismayed by the defeat I did not even manage to secure 2nd place.

Going into the final round it was a spread out pack now.

Esther sat at 19 points.
Shawn 17 Patrick 17
Jeffrey 16 Henry 16
Calvin 13 Marc 13
Randy 11 Michael 11 Katrina 11
Robert 9 David 9 Stephen 9
Dallas 6
Abi 5

For those sitting at 13 they would have to win their match and Esther would need to place last in whatever table she played at. Esther settled in for a game of Peurto Rico and Patrick chose to confront her head to head. Shawn and Jeffrey, both within striking distance of 1st place chose their battle arena of Power Grid and I opted for Princes of Florence.

Hopes remained high that someone, or preferably a couple of people, might place ahead of Esther to give that chance for a tournament win but the game was over 1st out of the 4 games with Esther quickly having secured first place. Since her final score was a 29 it was announced then and there that the winner and ultimate champion of the Blitz was incontestable. Everyone now was simply playing for runner up positions.

Overall Esther placed 1st in 3 of her matches and the round she didn't win she placed second.
A mere one point shy of a perfect score of 30!!
Well done Esther, you deserve a round of applause for your cunning wins and with the support of your friends you have secured a spot to Fan Expo in Toronto!
Here's hoping you have similar results against another crowd of gamers in the big T-dot.

Included here are two photos, one of the majority of the players involved (some had to leave early) and the final 4 winners holding their gift certificates or showcasing their championship crown.

Here are the final scores.
(PS. I've probably misspelt a ton of your last names. Which I'll say in my defense is due to everyone's scribbly handwriting on their player sheets. But secretly it's so you'll post all outraged to the blog which will make me feel like folks are reading this =P )

Esther Guttman: 29 (winner)
Patrick McInalle: 25 (1st runner up)
Jeffrey McCarthy: 24 (2nd runner up)
Calvin Chan: 23 (3rd runner up)
Marc Lanctot: 21
Henry McCulloch: 20
David Edwards: 19
Shawn Keown: 19
Adam B. : 19
Stephen Hamel: 19
Randy Scott: 15
Michael White: 15
Katrina Sauve: 13
Robert Armstrong: 11
Abi The Awesome “A”: 9
Dallas Dyck: 8

But enough of the blitz!
On to cribbage!!

We had a great turnout again for our February cribbage tournament and I never posted the pics of the winners as promised.
I case my wily readers thought I'd forgotten.
Really though my reader base consists of a large number of cats checking to see if their lawl pictures made it to the blog -_-

The winner was Kyle and the 1st runner up was Tim seen below holding their winnings!

With continued turnouts of a dozen or more players you will need to get signed up fast if you intend to play. I know the sign up sheet last time was completely full and we have about a dozen spots left for the next coming cribbage tournament at the end of this month on March 31st.

As always it will be 10 dollars to enter and you will gather at the store at 7pm!
7 matches will determine the winner and the money entered by the players will be pooled towards gift certificates for the top players.

Here's hoping to see you out here on the 31st and as always I'll keep everyone updated on new and exciting things to come at the store. That's all for now play safe everyone and as always...

I'm Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Labyrinth: The Blitz Extended + The Game Exchange

So you're hunting high and low for clues to the blitz...
It's been months since it was announced in store...
A whole DAY (two now) since a blog post was made about it...
And you still need to know more about every possible aspect of the tournament!
The phones have been ringing off the hook and our crack crew of Blitz experts cant keep up with the flow of questions coming in.

The blitz outline is as follows.

16 Games have been selected and are going to be in pools or rounds. During the first round players will be randomly assigned to one of 6games.Those 6 initial games are:

Dominion Intrigue
Race for the Galaxy
San Juan
Seven Wonders

These games are slated to run for an hour and based off player's results will determine who gets to pick what for the subsequent round. Round 2 is a 2hour slot and the first place finishers will all roll off to see who gets first pick.
In order they will assign themselves to a game one by one and once all of them has picked the process will be repeated with all the 2nd place finishers from round one.
In this way players will be more likely to get a chance to pick a game they are familiar with.

Round 2 will feature:

Cities and Knights
Pillars of Earth
Small World Underground

There will then be a one hour break for lunch before the 3rd round starts up.
The games featured in this round are 1 hour games and are:

Through the Desert
Ticket to Ride Europe
Saint Petersburg
Kingdom Builder

The 4th and final round will contain the most challenging games all of which are slated for 2hours long. Once all the 4th round matches are done the total combined scores from each game will determine who the winner of the blitz is!

4th Round games are:

Power Grid
Puerto Rico
Princes of Florence
Factory Manager

Game Exchange

In addition to the blitz we will also have a game table for selling and buying games that will run from Friday, March 23rd to Sunday, March 25th.Bring in and sell off your used games. Buy games brought in by others. Three days only!Consignment terms will apply but you will set your own price. Minotaur will take 10% commission, you get the other 90%. Please bring in a price list with any games that submitted.People can start bringing in games anytime between now and the end of the event, but will not be put out for sale until March 23rd. Any and all games and game accessories are welcome!

This has been the Labyrinth and I`m Henry McCulloch. Game on!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Labyrinth: Holy Badass Blitz Batman!

So February kinda just flew by like a 747!
*makes vwooshing sounds as he runs around the store pretending to be a big jumbo jet*

And now March is well underway!
There's a lot happening over the next few weeks so lets try to cover it all asap to make up for lost time!
First of all the biggest breaking news at the store is the upcoming Board Game Blitz!!
In the past the blitz has taken place at King Con but this year it will be happening right at Minotaur on Saturday the 24th of March. We have a sign-up sheet at the store as well as a list of the games that will featured in the different rounds.

Now if you've competed in some of the previous blitz's then you're a hardened gaming vet and you know what to expect but some of you newcomers must be thinking...
"Wait what exactly is this blitz you speak of and why do I want to play in it??"

Here's the breakdown for you!
I'm no math wiz by any means... but if e=mc² then the blitz is proven, through raw science, to be ridiculously fun on a rising scale of infinite awesomeness.
Picture the store as a gladiatorial arena if you will....Where gladiators (IE: you the players) are pitted against all sorts of diabolical challenges (aka: different types of games) In order to play everyone must put in a share of pure gold coins to enter themselves as an official challenger! (lets call that 10 bucks in current day cash) It pays for your exciting chance to dual to the death* all day long.

*please note we most likely WILL NOT force customers to actually play until they die from mental or physical exhaustion but we also cannot 100% rule it out as a possible outcome. After all shit sometimes gets pretty real at the blitz!

So really what's on the line, more than anything else... is gamer pride.
The winner of this tournament gets to unequivocally claim the title of 'The bestest gamer of alllll time in Kingston for the year 2012'.
In addition to being able to brag and boast their impressive title to all fellow gamers it means they will receive a shiny crown to mark their status as an elite tournament champion.
We encourage that this deluxe plastic crown should be worn at all times until the next blitz the following year to alert viewers of your immense gaming prowess.
The winner will also receive a free ticket and a fully expense paid trip to FanExpo in Toronto to play in the Championship Tournament of the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz.

I feel that this main prize for the tournament winner, while impressive, pales before the social status as a gaming guru that the individual will hold.

The Where: At the store! 165 Princess St.
The When: Saturday March 24th
The Cost: 10$ per person!
The Time: 10am-6pm

The ROUNDS: In total there will be four rounds making up the blitz.

1st round 1hour:
Games - Condottiere, Dominion Intrigue, Quarriors, Race for The Galaxy, San Juan, Seven Wonders.

2nd round 2hours:
Games- Cities and Knights, Endeavor, Tikal, Pillars of the Earth, Small World Underground, Tempus

1hour Lunch Break

3rd round 1hour:
Games- Kingdom Builder, Saint Petersburg, Samurai, Through the Desert, Thurn & Taxis, Ticket to Ride Europe.

4th round 2hours:
Games- Agricola, Caylus, Factory Manager, Power Grid, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico

For more details on the tournament breakdown, rules, payment, proper attire, training regimes, arrival plans, and power point scenarios hunt for the elusive Justine Scala. =P

Well in other news...Did i have anything major other than the blitz to report?
Umm Cribbage tourney!!
It'll be on the 31st of March.
Same format as the last three still 10$ entry fee 7games long from 7pm till late.
Sign-up sheet for that will also be at the store.
Ummm anything else?
Think that's all folks!
As always,

This has been the Labyrinth and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!