So here I am a day removed from Spring Fling. I’m super happy to have the day off work today so I can get these thoughts written down. First let me say I had an absolute amazing time and would highly encourage all of you to attempt to attend D.C area events in the future. Not only did I have a great tournament experience, but the real highlight was getting to hang out with a bunch of awesome people.
So the TL;DR of this is I went 5*-1 with All day Fangtooth fishermen. I placed 4th out of 64 and won best in guild as well! I’ll give some game highlights, but I’m really here to provide more of a holistic Spring Fling experience versus batreping.
Glennwood Morris, Steven Knott, and myself left out from Raleigh and arrived in Ashburn around maybe 6:30 or so? Stevan Meisoll joined up with us on his own a little later. Bill Anderson, who ran a pretty excellent event btw, was gracious enough to invite us out to dinner with his family Friday night. It was great to pick each other’s brains and swap some stories.
After dinner Glenwood and I got in a practice game in the Hotel Lobby. Mike Klein and his friend Rich showed up to get in some reps. Rich has the most beautiful beard you will ever see. We chatted for a bit, met the Chicago boys, then went to bed.
Hotel came with breakfast so we hung out with the Chicago crew and Klein for a little bit. Got to the venue and I ran into my buddy Chris Schlegel (#hype). The GBZ dungeon crew was representing and I got to catch up with a lot of my Carolina buddies as well. Filled out my Roster and headed into the games!
Day 1 of the tournament.
My basic strategy involved more or less standard fish play, but with Fangtooth splashed in. Fangtooth is reasonable enough in Shark because he can tarpit the enemy long enough to allow the team to score 3 goals. Fangtooth is actually legit in Corsair as a momentous assistant for the Captain due to solid KD/Damage/Crowd Control. Yeah he bleeds momentum sometimes, but a lot of times folks don’t even bother attacking him at all. Fangers is fun, and has some really nice highlight moments, but if I am going to be 100% honest with you it was mostly a “style points” decision. He and I work together well, but I don’t advocate for his wide spread adoption.
Aside from my weird taste in tech, I had another plan of action in mind. This one may be more applicable to many of you reading: If you end up being matched against an opponent you perceive as better than you – it’s your job as the underdog to engineer situations which promote and allow you to execute high variance plays. In other words – take reasonable risks, play your outs, and hope they pay off. If you play conservative against a superior opponent they will beat you on strategy. But if you toss in some spice… hey maybe you get a little lucky. It is a dice game after all. I am not a competitive player. In fact I don’t even get to play that many games compared to my locals. Plus this was my first big event in a LONG time so I knew I had to adopt this strategy.
Round 1 – Fish Mirror to start the day. I did not know my opponent, but did check him out quickly on Longshanks. He seemed newer so I figured he would play Shark. He did and I dropped Corsair. I played cagey with the ball while he chased after it as best he could. The beefy bros scored 4 take outs and we sank a goal somewhere as well. Fangtooth 12-8.
Round 2 – Paired up against Josh White, who at the time of writing, is the #1 ranked Engineers player in North America. This is the matchup I was drastically afraid of. I hate playing engineers because I feel like both my captains are bad drops. Josh is an incredible opponent to boot. Time to ~*Engage Variance*~. I figured Corsair would be a slow painful loss, so I dropped shark into Ballista. I believe I received here, so got my 2 semi-automatic goals. The highlight of this game was Greyscales wants to charge Collossus, but is a bit our of range. He WDTG into Hoist for a 1″ Spring board, charges Collossus, hits Ball’s Gone, but cant quite pass to Sakana. Kicks to space next to a box and nails a perfect scatter for Sakana to pick up the ball. Hoist comes in to try to tackle Sakana in cover, but doesn’t hit it. Sakana counter attacks and dodges out of his Melee then makes an easy goal run to win 12-8. Fangtooth did an excellent job managing Ballista.
Round 3 – Paired up against my fellow North Carolinian John Stokes in the 2-0 bracket. John, as of writing, is the #1 Hunters player in America. I didn’t go 100% variance here because Hunters are a matchup I feel Corsair can be ok in. There are a lot of soft targets to chew on. John did a wacky Fahad opening gambit but forgot Sakana had poised so it didn’t work. Unfortunately, he totally nullified Corsair’s turn one 6 influence with a Theoron Pin/Hide behind a box move. I felt pretty in control of this game for turns 1 and 2, but somewhere it started to go wrong. I think he just managed Corsair very well. Unfortunately I dropped this one 7-12, but Fangtooth still won with a Jaecar takeout.
Actually this match was streamed. Here is the video of me losing! Yay!
Round 4 – Welp 2-1. In the middle of the pack now I suppose. Thankfully got matched up against Andrew Curtin’s Brewers. Andrew was a super friendly local guy who made me feel very welcome. I feel pretty good about that matchup with Shark. He also mentioned pre-game he didn’t have a lot of Fish experience, so I felt fairly confident I could take this one. Highlights: Turn 1 Shark Goal, Turn 2 Shark goal and Net. He kills Shark, gets the ball on Mash, and moves up the field. He super shots and is in tap in range. However rather than shoot the goal decides to kick the ball into space into my empty left hand side. Seemed ok at the time because I likely would have had an easy snap back. But I think he forgot Shark was going to come back soon? I also pulled the +2/+2 MOV card, so the game ended with another Shark goal as he hit the field. Shark may have scored all three goals, but Fangtooth was still the MVP. He got to unleash for a longer jog and knock down 3 brewers!
And that was it! 3-1 on the day! Nooooot a bad day considering my only loss was to John who was still 4-0. We also got to see this Pride Spoiler!
After that we went out to eat at a little burger joint. Got to talk to Schlegel some more and the guy, James, who was running the stream. After dinner we hung out and I got to watch some Aristeia which seems like a great game. Unfortunately we did not get to play “Who should we eat”. No stabbing for me. Bed time!
Ate breakfast, packed up, checked out. Usual stuff. Arrived at the tournament venue. There were a lot of really strong players in the 3-1 Bracket so I was feeling a bit uneasy. Eventually got over my stress and got the day rolling.
Round 5* – THE VALUE ROUND. I was matched up against my internet buddy and STW podcaster Pat Van Value (#hype). As of writing Pat is the #1 ranked brewer in North America. Even though I was fully prepared to lose the round; I was stoked to get to play against someone from far away who I knew was a world class player. I got to give him a special set of Foil Game Plan Cards with the Carolina Guild Ball logo on the back.
So again, due to high level opponent, I had to employ the variance strategy. I dropped Shark into esters. The terrain was just right for a Sakana Kick-off, which oddly enough, the Chicago guys say they don’t ever see anyone really try. Sakana got his turn 1 kick off goal. Then Pat kindly parked the ball on 5+/1 Friday. Ugh. Well, Shark Weasles his way back there and starts trying to Tackle the Ball. Turn 2 I won initiative with Lone Striker. The hope was to go up 8-0 then find some points somewhere. Shark rolled 4 times to try and hit that tackle Friday, but ultimately did not succeed. Thankfully, however, Shark did manage to stay alive long enough to try again in turn 3. Esters sang defense on Friday to put her up to a 6+/1… Crap. Well it’s not like I am going to get any points via take out here so might as well go for it. I decide Shark is going to throw 4 attempts at hitting 3 6s for a tackle. If I can get one I should score. Thankfully Greyscales was assisting this time and I was bonus timing to boot. Hit it on the 2nd try and scored!
From there I tried to mitigate into the 4th turn and find a final goal. I triangulated my strikers nicely to prevent the ball from being killed in space, but eventually started dropping players. My clock was really low and I was almost certainly going to lose. Then… the round was called. We tied 8-8 and I learned in the event of a tie the kickoff player wins… I won but felt so incredibly dirty about it. I apologized profusely. Pat, while obviously bummed about it, told me not to worry. He said I didn’t do anything wrong, but the round start should have been more clearly announced and warned of impending end. I wholeheartedly agree. Especially considering My clock had just run out and pat still had a few minutes. Ugh.I Still feel bad, but I guess you take the W? Pat is seriously the most graceful dude under adversity ever. I gave him a big hug.
Round 6 – Final Boss. I was still a little bummed to “win” the way I did versus Pat, but I decided to make the best of it. I was in the running for best in Guild so I really wanted to close it out with a win. I was matched against Mike Everett’s Hunters. He only brought Theron so despite my loss earlier I felt like I should drop Corsair, Grind 2 kills, then pop 2 goals. Highlights here were Theron getting mobbed, Sakana missing a goal, and Jaecar getting BLASTED out of the water by unleashed Fangtooth for 11 damage. End game I played game plan hoping to win the race. Had I won, I would have likely scored with Greyscales or Sakana first activation. Unfortunately the race tied and I lost the roll. Oddly, he passed the ball from Theron to Chaska near my goal. Corsair activates. He pushes Hearne and Egret out of the way. Walks. Hits rough seas on Chaska. Legendary Passes to Sakana. Sakana takes a snapshot to close the game 12-3. The score doesn’t really tell the tale here because I was about to be clocked and was totally out of steam. Great match by Mike. Fangtooth MVP.
That was it and that was all. As mentioned went 5*-1 and got 4th place. I won Best in Guild for Fish and a Rookie Jac model! Obviously playing FANGTOOTH for actual rookie league, but since I didn’t quite podium I think I am going to use Jac as a little Trophy.
We had a last supper at a little hole in the wall pizza place. I think I am going to take it easy on the tournaments for a bit. Still don’t really feel like much of a competitor. I’d rather organize. By the way if you live/can travel to the Carolinas we are looking to do a team tournament this summer. I might be the person who runs it. We’ll see.
Overall, fantastic event. Bill ran a great show. Everyone was wonderful. Thanks to Glenwood, Steven and Stevan for coming with it. Thanks to Alex, Pat, Mike, Rich, and Chris for hanging out with me a ton. It was really great to finally meet these mystery internet people. And thank you for reading my Ramblings! Extreme special thanks to my boy, MVP, Fangtooth. GIT UM buddy!
Until Next time,