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Duel2 :: View topic - Manager's FTF Journal (Winter 2014)
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ArchMaster Poster
ArchMaster Poster

Joined: Jul 12, 2002
Posts: 4138
Location: Omaha

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Another year, another FTF. FTF LII in fact. (I kept reading it as FTF LHI whenever I would see a sign) Arrived Thursday afternoon and made my way to the hotel. Grimm and TGG were already there, but not many other people. The flight was a rough ride it was really bumpy--but I had just escaped a mini-snowstorm from Omaha, so I was thankful for that.

After some catching up,I went to dinner with RSI and TUM and TMM to some burger place. It was pretty good--a gourmet burger place that seemed to be on the level of a Red Robin type place. TUM and TMM (and me) were dead tired from the travel day, so after we got back at 9:30, everyone was already beat. (To be fair, it was 11:30 TUM's time and 10:30 mine)We get back and to my surprise, TGG is already in lying in bed. He told me that Otis and Grimm went to be early so he headed up too. (Either that or they snuck out later and went to party without him)
Was about 10:30 when I finally went to bed had a big day up ahead with a lot to do.

Woke up about 8:30 and was all ready to go. After having breakfast with TGG, we went back to the room and I got to work. Even though I had prepared my roster in advance, I was a slacker (out of town the 2 weekends before the FtF) and was unable to send in my strategies yet, so I had to fill them all out there. I also needed to do Rookies and Bloodgames and the usual Friday stuff.

We went to lunch somewhere (Jimmy Johns from Grimm and TGG) and I grabbed Sushi and then went back up. RSI was just starting to arrive. No roll-ups yet so we staked out our table and continued to work. Strategies were going pretty fast (thank goodness no Mail-In so only one strat). I brought a bunch of RU's with me that I never sent in from the Mail-In, so I went to work on Rookies. I also brought a crap master roll-up with me, but I still thought it was too good so I needed to find an even worse one.

I submitted the Rookies I sent in and then scribbled out some Bloodgames. They didn't have roll-ups yet by the time my Crap Master sheets were due so I ended up giving the one I brought which wasn't all that bad. I ended up grabbing Mannequin's, which I thought was ok. There were was terrible one, one "ok" one, and 3 that were crappy but maybe I could do something with them. (You can see the Crapmaster results in the crap master D2 forums) I was not happy Consortium drew my roll-up, because well, he's good at making crappy warriors runnable and I was privately thinking he was probably going to win because my team sheet was only moderately awful.

Roll-ups were finally ready. TGG grabbed the "holy grail" sheet and I think Grimm had the double-21 sheet that is usually nearby it. I know it's not really the holy grail sheet by today's standards, but that's the name. I bought 20, I thought they were actually pretty good overall. I submitted about 12 of them, I could have done more, but I was a little burned out, I can always save them for the Mail-In. Got my Bloodgames back and they weren't that good but runnable so I was going to give that a try. I probably should have rolled them up again.

We had a nice dinner with Chief, Anarchist, Marma Duke, TGG and Grimm at the Brazilian Steak House. We went last year but I was still suffering from the food poisoning thing so I wasn't able to appreciate it. But this time was awesome!

Two of my crap masters came back little damage so that wasn't a good sign. I was just going to have to make the best of it. It was close to midnight when I finally left the convention room, I was one of the last to leave.

Pretty much slept through the night, TGG set the alarm for 7:00 it was hard to wake up, even though I was excited to get my stuff. Grabbed Turn 1 and went for the free hotel breakfast. For those of you who don't know, this was a big tourney for me. I was going on a TC drought of 2+ years and was waiting for this prize to come back around before really going for it again. I've been sitting on a couple of "big guns" for awhile now, and was going to bring out my biggest for this one. Not only that, leadership of the BOB was at stake for the manager who won the most TCs. As the Grand High Moose, I didn't want to give up my crown that easily.

Round 1 was out and it was a pretty much typical round 1. I realize I forgot to enter the defending LU stylemaster in Weird Head Boy in Primus and all of my other (totally maxxed) warriors in Primus that weren' Bonnie got crushed. I think one of them even lost to a Basher. There was an error in Bloodgames that caused half of the teams to not get input, Sandy asked for opinions and the room agreed to wait until Lee got there so that everyone could run.

Other than that, it was a pretty normal Saturday. Sandy was going at a pace of 1.5 to 2 hours between turns. Upper tourneys would go fast, things would grind when it got down to Apprentices/Rookies. I only had one Apprentice, so I used the extra time to try and concentrate on Rookies a little. I was getting lots of kills early on, I only aimed for vitals in basic twice in the first two rounds and both of them ended up being kills. Warriors started to get eliminated in Round 4. In Round 5, I had two undefeateds killed (and had killed around 2 more), two of my crap masters were out and things were starting to look grimm. (no pun intended) Bonnie had an input error (on my part) that caused a loss vs. Drat, which would end up costing her a deep run.

As a side note, one thing I made sure to do this FtF was eat appropriately every few hours and made sure to keep my blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing, I definitely feel it helped my mental focus and prevented that "FtF fatigue" you get from going to the FtFs and sitting in a room all day only eating a couple of big meals twice. For some reason, the water they put in the FtF was horrible (tasted like spoiled lemons) so I didn't do a great job at hydrating.

We had a dinner break around 6 (went to Smash Burger) and then came back to do the overnight turn. Things were running very smoothly. You could actually go bed before 10:00 if you wanted to. I don't know who stayed up for the overnight turn but it wasn't worth it to wait until 11:00 in order to get a good night's sleep.

Overall, I thought I was doing ok. I was still doing decently in the classes I thought I was strong in, and bad in the classes I wasn't doing well in. My Adepts Stud, Superior Snotling, had gotten hit a couple of times, but hadn't really been in danger yet, which was nice. I was in 4th place in the Crap Master competition as well.

Since we went to bed and didn't do the overnight turn, we had to get up at 7:30 AM to do our turns. Quick breakfast and we were back at it. Things were going so smoothly, we thought we might be out of here by the afternoon and have lots of time to watch football.

RSI ran a little slower today though, I think in order to make sure everyone had time. (Things did crash a couple of times which slowed things down) At this point my warriors were dropping like flies, round 8 was particularly disastrous to me in Rookies and Challengers, two classes I had big numbers in. By Round 10 it was looking pretty bad for me in all but Primus (no chance) and Adepts. The first football game started and the run-offs were still going on.

TC's started to get run during the afternoon. I don't remember the order, but here's how I remember things going down:

Primus: For awhile, it looked like TMM was in trouble. He did have 4 of the last 7, but only 1 of the Top 3. (Frankenberry, R is for Repugnant, Bonnie) Frankenberry was unproven and Bob, Eternal, one of TMM's big FtF Guns was on the bubble. Chief Illiniwek's Reaper was also in the fray. In the end though, TMM was able to pull it out, but it wasn't without drama as TUM was able to maneuver himself into the final TC chair as well. I still consider that a victory for TUM as well.

Contenders: Chief Illiniwek's Soulsnare found himself up against 6 TMM warriors in the Contenders Run-Offs. In the end, he was able to overcome all of them, except one--Dirty Zealot. While not winning may seem hollow for Chief, it is very good for all future Contenders hopefuls to get Dirty Zealot finally out of there. DZ could have won Contenders numerous times now but TMM has always been able to control the match-ups and keep him in Contenders. That said, if this tourney is any indication, TMM is in good shape in this class for awhile.

Eligibles: A very competitive class with a lot of different warriors/styles/managers in there. (7 different managers out of 8 TVs?) 2 of them wwere Wastes. Perennial Contender Three Blind Weiss looked like it might be his turn to take it, but OAB's Snake Oil Salesman beat him twice to end it.

ADM: What was supposed to be a routine TC win for Pepp, turned dramatic in Round 9 when Oops Sweater handed him a 2nd loss of the tourney. A class where there was supposed to be a heavy favorite was now suddenly busted wide open. I remember looking at the TV list and being totally unsure who was going to win in Round 10. Still, Pepp kept fighting and gritting it out until
he finally found himself in the TC fight against Mr. Animal's Exquisite Corpse (proxied by Scrag/Chuck). During the finals, Mannequin, (who in hindsight was a little to eager to read the TC fight),
unzips his jacket to reveal the "PEPP, I hate you this much!" shirt which was now apart of DM lore. It was totally hilarious and one of the most classic FTF moments. The shirt might have
paid off because Exquisite Corpse was able to pull off the upset, thanks to his defense and endurance.

Freshmen: This class was an absolute beast. It seemed every time I had a fight with one of the non-scum in this class, my opponent would get a train at the end and looked like they were busting. For awhile, it looked like Marma Duke's Slasher, Come Get Some was going to do it--but he probably matched up against the one other TV he couldn't beat twice in a row in Rounds 14 and 15. In the end, it was TMM's AB, Bob the Inhaler, who beat OAB's Striker to win it all. Poor OAB adds another Freshmen Runner-Up to his collection.

Challengers: We actually had a fairly large suck off the last time so I wasn't sure who the favorites were this time. Plus I thought there might be a chance we see some +10 skill prize usage
in this clas as well. Jabber Hogan totally dominated this class, I'm not sure he was ever seriously threatened, he looked great every time I saw him. He's definitely paid his dues in this class
before, he's been around forever. TUM comes away with the winner and a little bit of redemption for ADM.

Champs: Ice King (member of the Whirling family?) comes away with the TC here looking pretty impressive all the way. TMM talked a little to me earlier about him having disappointing performances before, so it's good to see him fulfill some potential with the win here. Assur is the hard luck runner up, his Lunger looked pretty good though.

Adepts: It was smooth sailing for Superior Snotling until Round 12 when Assur gave me a mini-heart attack. His Striker actually hit Snotling enough to put him away in Round 13, and then his
Lunger hit Snotling again in round 14 and knocked him down, although Snotling was able to rubber sand up right away. I was a little worried about the TC fight with Snotling facing the Striker who beat him earlier, but the 2nd time it went the way most Strikers/Fist Aimers do. The 2+ year drought is finally over! Knowing I had this warrior in my back pocket when I wasn't TC'ing was tough, and I'm not sure how much longer I could have waited--but I'm glad that it worked out the way that it did. The TC performance also allows me to retain my dictatorship of BOB at least for awhile.

Initiates: I didn't pay much attention to this class, so imagine my surprise to see a Parry Strike make the finals! Proxied no less! Nomad's PS made a great run, but he couldn't overcome the Anarchist's ST in the end. Sandy did a good job in the proxy seat representing Nomad.

Apprentices: Floyd over OAB in a battle of Strikers at the end. Didn't follow this tourney too closely as I sent only one Apprentice, but it doesn't look like anything dramatic happened.

Rookies: A lot of warriors from Storm Lord, Assur, and League Arcane folks at the later rounds it seems like. Amazingly, it was Floyd's TP that won it all! (Beating a Lunger) Considering the
number of AB's that were around at the end of the tourney that was an amazing feat! 2nd TP' in a row to win a FtF Rookies, a task I thought would be nearly impossible in this day and age.

Bloodgames: I believe Grimm, TGG, and the Anarchist were victorious in the Mail-In Bloodgames. Who came out in the MI Bloodgames? Maybe OAB, Floyd, and TMM?

Crap Master: In a dramatic finish, my warrior Manny was the last crap master standing at 7-2, but he needed to win twice to win the contest for me and no Crap Master had ever TV'd before. It looked nearly impossible, but Howling Wolf guessed the wrong style for this warrior in Round 10, allowing him to TV, and Destitute Noble perhaps took Manny a little lightly in Round 11 (opting to not change his strategy) allowing me to just edge out the Consortium for the win! While I'm not sure I want to be people's inspiration to run crappy warriors, I'm proud to win nonetheless. Sadly, My Crap Master was also my furthest advancing rookie, maybe next time I'm submitting the holy grail team RU sheet, let people make godling Lungers that will go like 2-3 in Rookies.

Grudges: Overall, BOB defeated the World 6-3 with a balanced attack. Manny the Crap Master sealed the win for the BOB team.

Overall, there was good representation in the TC fights, almost half of the attendees who went got to sit on the chair, and the TCs were relatively evenly distributed. (Though TMM still was the big winner with 4) I definitely had a good time, ending my TC drought, even if the rest of the tourney was somewhat of a disappointment. Let's hope I don't go another two years without a TC. It was good to see all of the new and old faces, including a lot of the people who are regularly in Chatzy!
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Advanced Master Poster
Advanced Master Poster

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 370
Location: the BIG apple

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Great write up Manager !!

I just want to give Destitute Noble his just props as it was his warrior that won the Rookies TC.
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