Since the last issue of Pyramid, went to the printer, we've crowned two World Champions at the summer's biggest game conventions. The AADA World Championships were held in July at Origins '95 in Philadelphia, PA. Things were a little chaotic, as Soldiers & Swords, the miniatures company that was supposed to sponsor and run the tournament, announced the week before Origins that they were going out of business.
Long-time friends of SJ Games (and proprietors of Modern Myth Publishers, of GURPS I.S.T. Kingston fame) Laird Popkin and Juliette Hartel jumped in at the last minute to run things. They provide this report:
The qualifying round was on Thursday. Eighteen contenders showed up to duel it out on the highway. Cars that strayed across the median had to deal with oncoming traffic played by Mark DeVries, defending world champion.
The Friday semi-finals featured nine competitors: Daniel Shaw, M. J. Daniels, Michael D. Vernon, Timothy Linden, Christopher Pearson, Mike Piacsek, Daniel Harting, Timothy Oister and one of last year's finalists, Adam Riggs. The arena was L-shaped, and the duellists were divided up into two teams, red and purple. Mike Piacsek was the "most toasted but still survived" at the end of the combat. Winners were determined by kill points, with a point bonus for killing members of the opposing team. Adam Riggs earned four kill points, Daniel Harting took three kill points, Christopher Pearson scored one kill point, and M.J. Daniels and Timothy Oister advanced tied at zero kill points.
The arena for the finals was an L-shape with ramps leading into an enclosed arena. Once a car made it over the ramps there was no escape back to safe territory.
Mark DeVries came to defend his championship. As in the semi-finals, the players were divided into two teams. The red team was Adam, Christopher and M.J. The purple team was Mark, Daniel and Tim.
Highlights of the action follow:
A play-by-play of the final round with video is available on the IO web
site. Check out
to see it in action. The semi-final event is up there, too.
On a personal note, we'd like to thank Mark and Adam for all of their help. Their contributions helped make the tournament run smoothly. Thank yous also go to Steve Jackson Games for sending us materials overnight so that we had something with which to run the tournament. We hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did.
It was just a few weeks later that the AADA World Racing Championships were held at GenCon '95 in Milwaukee, WI. Another last-minute replacement for the S&S crew, Milwaukee native Jacob Abrams, agreed to run the event with the help of Florida's Daniel Sloan, who brought an upscaled 3-D track and miniatures for everybody to use. Jacob files this report:
Round one was a figure-eight in the Brewer's Cellar, one of Milwaukee's premiere arenas. Using pregenerated compacts or pickups, the contestants tried to navigate the narrow tunnels of the Cellar. The far tunnels at either end would prove to be the most difficult challenge, because they were a mere carlength wide. As it turned out, that dangerous spot was also the finish line. With the unholy attention of Steve Jackson looming over their shoulders, one of the players began a series of unrecoverable and worsening fishtails, culminating in the spinout that took out yet another racer. The flaming wrecks blocked the passage, and Steve left with a grim look of satisfaction at the sacrificial offering. Officer Glen Taylor then proceeded to wreck his first car of the weekend, losing a tire to debris and flipping, but still advancing. This would prove to be a bloody weekend.
Round 2 was played on the Sloan National Speedway, a small but difficult track a quarter-mile long. To worsen the situation, cars were racing in both directions. Accustomed to larger tracks, our speed demons raced about the track at speeds of up to 240 mph. Everything went well for a few seconds, but the combination of the switchback and the omega turns proved to be the undoing of more than a few racers. One contestant began a deadly spinout that put him in a hill, spilling debris (and his body) about the raceway. Sure, it was fun to drive over the corpse, but the neighboring obstacles are hell on the slicks. Angered at being denied the title of "First Guy To Lose Control," Taylor flipped his car, rolling a cigarette as his sprint rolled down the track. Miraculously, he survived yet another roll, and still advanced. This unfortunately started a trend. In the next second, five more of the racers lost control. Anyone who survived their roll or spin ended up advancing.
Round 3 was very similar, but with a practice run on the track from the day before under their belts, our racers were determined to crash at much higher speeds than before. Only two of the racers had EWPs with boosters, a few had nitrous, and we even had two guys with MGs. It didn't matter, though - the outcome was the same. Andy Deckowitz rolled his car in the 3rd second of the race, putting himself in the running for the "Best Death" award. The next second, Pat Abram set the track speed record at 245 mph. The second after that, he set the track record for fastest spinout. He looked good for "Best Death" as well. Reigning Champion Mike Garrity soon followed; he had successfully navigated the switchback, and almost made it out of the omega when his front tire hit a curb coming out of the turn too wide. Bye-bye, Mike. With three out of seven drivers out of the running, the remaining drivers became a little more cautious. Only a little, mind, you. Stormin' Norman McMullen putted around the track at a stately 162.5 while Dan Sloan raced up to 207.5. Taylor and the youngblood on the circuit, Chris Groesbeck, both kept to a moderate 175. Surprisingly, Sloan managed to keep his shiny side up at those high speeds. Not surprisingly, Taylor proceeded to lose control of his third car of the weekend, spinning out right off the racetrack and into a concession stand, killing dozens. Taylor was unharmed. Chris was right behind Taylor and watched him lose it. Taylor's bad luck was contagious, though, because Chris began a series of control rolls that left all of the racers slack-jawed. He fishtailed right and left and right again, setting himself up for exiting the omega turn. How such a youth could keep it together when hardened veterans had died was truly a sight to behold - Rookie of the Year goes to Chris Groesbeck. It was at this point that Chris' real plan began to appear. With cries of, "My brother! You killed my brother!" over the comlink, he steeled himself for the crash. Norm was still puttin' along at 162.5 and was drifting aside for the customary passby when a look of shock and realization crossed his face. With a combined speed of over 300 mph, there was little to do but mop up the grey matter. Stunned, Dan Sloan slowed his car and rode into the winner's circle. McMullen's clone was given his second-place position. We laid the third-place wreath and "Best Death" beer can on Groesbeck's grave. Many of us suspect that we may not have seen the last of this hot driver.
Sloan's sprint car, the Slow Starter: Streamlined sprint, Hvy. chassis, 4 solid slicks, 300 CID engine w/BP, TH, VP Turbo and supercharger, 5-gal. HD gas tank, active suspension, heavy-duty shocks and brakes, ABS, overdrive, spoiler, airdam, no-paint windows, 80 pts. of FP armor.
And that's it! Later!