Fallen At The First Hurdle Again

This week I took part in the “March Madness SR Tournament” that was organised on the Star Realms Fan Created Community Page and run by Ben Jochum and helped by Nathan Jochum.

Apparently March Madness is something to do with the sport basketball in the US. Not exactly a very big sport in the UK. And we definitely don't have college teams for the sport like they do in the US. This of course is where some-one in the UK will comment “oh contrear Darren, we do have college basketball over here, and it is very popular”. Which would basically mean it has a middle of the night spot on one of Rupert Murdochs pay to view sports channels (also popularly known as Sky Sports) straight after a Monday Night RAW rerun.

I find this whole college sports thing the U.S. has fasinating. We naturally in the UK play football (the real football that actually involves teams from around the world in its World Cup, not that big commercial break that is broken up with minor moments of people slamming into each other like sumo wrestlers in body armour that is called football in the US). Football is our passion here. We follow our clubs whether they be Premier League goliaths, or non league minnows like Wisbech Town Football Club. This is what we get passionate about, followed by cricket and rugby. But even so there is none of this college sports phenonum here in the UK. And to me it seems odd, the nearest I can come to understanding it, is to equate it to supporting your local non league football team from which ever town you happen to live in.

Anyway the rules of this tournament were simple, sign up saying which college basketball team you were representing, your current level in the app. Umm college basketball team? As I've pointed out they don't exist over here (probably, if they do they are more elusive than the Lock Ness Monster, or a Tory Cabinet Minister without their hands in the pockets of bankers and big business). I did point this out and asked if I could represent my football team (Liverpool for the record) instead. This was politely rejected. However (and I do apologise I can't remember their name) it was pointed out that there was Liverpool in the US and that their local basketball team was Syracuse. So I went with that suggestion as the team I would represent.

The rules for the actual games were single game, single elimination, “for fun”, and Gambit expansion optional.

The tournament was being limited to 68 players, and the winner of this “for fun” tournament would have their team's logo displayed for the cover photo for the site for about a week.

The draw for the first round was made on Tuesday, it was Syracuse vs Ohio State. JoeC was representing Ohio State in this tournament. JoeC and I started with a our opening moves first thing Wednesday morning (UK time). However the majority of the games turns took place between 3:30am (GMT) and 7:30am (GMT) this morning. So yes you read that right I was playing this match at stupid o clock, and have little naps between plays!

I was pretty happy with the way the game was going. I was whittling down JoeC's authority, getting a good mix of ships and bases that were working. I felt I was in a good position. As the screen capture shows above. JoeC was down to 8 authority, I had a healthy 26 authority and an outpost camped to remove the sting from JoeC's next attack. Adding up the attack on my drawn cards I had 14 points to attack with on my next go. Enough to remove an outpost if one was played and the final 8 authority. Surely I was looking at my first tournament win here?

I left the app and awaited for the alert to say it was my go. I had a little snooze, woke up and checked the app. I'd lost! WTF how? It hadn't sunk in, I had left the game in a good position. What had gone wrong?

Feeling sick as a parrot I went into the app and pressed the replay last turn button. JoeC Hit me for 28 points of damage, but not before using the Blob Destroyer he played to knock out my outpost. That enabled the full 28 points to be delivered in one massive knock out blow. That Blob Destroyer allowed JoeC to snatch the win. Without it I'd have been left with 2 authority and the win.

Once more like an also ran horse at the Grand National I had fallen at the first hurdle. But JoeC played really well, and deserved that win. Star Realms is just full of these sort of moments. The “I was stearing defeat in the eyes, and managed to steal the win, against the odds stories”. You have to love a game that just gives you consistently those sort of moments.
To the victor JoeC I wish you all the best in the next rounds, and hope to see your team win. And a big thanks to Ben and Nathan for organising this tournament. My short lived stay in the tournament was a hoot. Roll on this weeks casual tournament, hopefully I will do better and get through the first round.


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