I don't blog so this about my experience at Worlds ( it may go on for a bit, sorry guys). (audience comments) - (jeez, wall of text. Better grab a beer, in for some eye strain)
(I will mention very few people by name because I can't remember everyone I met and don't want to leave anyone out)
Quite a few of the UK players know who I am, but for those who don't, I've travelled to 4/5 Regionals a year, 2 UK Nationals, Europeans and Netherlands Nationals and I have won 2 Regionals and a few store. I consider myself a good player as I can general finish in top 1/3, but at the bottom of that area. I wanted to do Worlds at least once and that chance came this year when I won a Regional at my FLGS in Liverpool (JustPlay Games, by Moorfields Station, great shop, friendly, helpful, everything you want from games store. Advert over) with a god roll, last possible shot on the last turn to kill a MC80L.
I was feeling nervous before travelling as even though I played in many tourneys, my fleet was a bit experimental tactical speaking and this is the Worlds full of National Champs, Current and Ex-Worlds winners, experienced vassal players from the forums, etc. I felt I was out of my league and also I was travelling alone. Would there be anyone hangout with. Well landed in Roseville on Tuesday after long trip over, glad I was playing Day1B.
Day1A. counting Raddus', (Admiral I would be using and boy was it a lot) then wandered around from table to table looking at fleets, some good, some interesting and some strong archetypes (Sloane, Avenger, you all know the ones), recognising faces I'd seem on stream like JJ. I started to relax then, it was just another tournament, then across the room I was it. It can't be. There was a moustache adorning the top lip of a black haired man wearing a t-shirt with Steel Squadron emblazoned on it. Was it a clone of Freddie Mercury? a 1970s porn star? No, it was @BiggsIRL. For those who have never seen a photo of Matthew, he does look like Biggs. I went over, cautiously asking if he was Biggs. He said yes. I relaxed, chatted to other players, was generally being social. Well to cut a long story short (Too Late?), chatted, made friends, went out to a bar with bunch of players. Introduced to some other guys there. Names passed around, "I'm A", "I'm B", "I'm C". Am asked if I'm on the forums and my name there. Tell them "Jimble but I don't post must, you?". I'm X", "I'm Y", "I'm Z". My brain goes "what?". All heavy forum posters. It was great to put a person to the name. Chilled, prepared for next day. Slept.
Day1B (this days report will be shorter, honest guv, maybe). Bad start to the day, my cigarette lighter is out of fuel. Stress. Went to the Armada Breakfast. Made my order and waitress asked "And how would you like your eggs?". "Fried please". She then rattles off descriptions like I supposed to know what they mean. I looked at her. "It's 7.30am, I haven't had a wake up cig, none of the 20 other people smoke or have a lighter, my body thinks it's 1.30pm and you need to be told how to cook an egg. Fried woman, fried!" is what I thought. Types explained, I get breakfast with fried eggs. Find garage and buy lighter. Have cigarette. Destress. All is right with the world (just a phrase, not the truth). Get to Radisson, register and scope out fleets. Spot one fleet that piques my interest. MC75, corvette, flotilla, some YT2400. I know I saw it on a stream, think it was Canadian. I remembered it as I thought it might be interesting to see what would happen if it met my fleet. While waiting made a new friend, Brian, in chatting taked about my tactics then the draw happens.
Not going be game by game report (good, now hurry up), will let my opponents do that if they wish. I played against, in this order, Brian! (he is not on forums), @SkyCake, @CaribbeanNinja and @Roquax. They were all great games and fascinating in different ways. I made one or two mistakes per game that could have given me a higher win or lesser loss, but don't regret the results as I may not have played the next opponent. I went 7-4, 9-2, 4-7, 10-1, 30pts total. 3rd on the day. 5th/6th overall. 98% so pleased 2% gutted. Afterwards socialising, drinking, made new Armada buddies from all around the world. Life is great.
Day 2. Got up, had lunch, watched the final, got drunk. For more information look at forums.
Day X. I will start with I know bare basics of X-Wing. There was a team of British X-Wing players who are friendly rivals with my FLGS and I know them to give a nod and say "Hi". I think 7 came over to play, don't quote me. Anyway, none of our store players could get ticket to come, so I was going to give my support on their behalf. One of the team is European Champ and was able to bring his 18 year old son who is apparently quite good. To understand what happens next, you need to understand the dynamic of the group. Bad analogy, they are like The Fast & Furious of X-Wing. By that I mean Vin Diesel is about family and that isn't just by blood. Rasta is the same with less explosions. He is the heart of group and to him a stranger is a friend he hasn't met (cliche, but true). I can't describe how welcoming he is. Any way, one by one they lose a match that knocks them out till on Rasta's son is left. After a tense match, Simeon wins and makes Top16. He says to the he won't go on stream unless it's the final. Wins next match, now Top8. He now has to go on stream and has no choice. After every match he played from the start of the he picked up more supporters, everyone is impressed with his play. All I can say at this point is if you an X-Wing player as well as Armada, watch Top8 to Final. If you are only an Armada player, watch Top8 to Final. You get some of the emotion from the stream. What you don't get is nearly everyone in the place was rooting for him and can't explain how emotional it was for everyone there. He's a star. This day was worth coming over for alone. (nice story, what's it got to do with Armada)
Basically, had great time, met cool new friends, did so much better than expected, got emotional at the end. Want to come back again.
All done (finally, though Armada might be alive again after the time it took to read this)
Whatever the issues with the game are, this community, judges and anyone involved with Armada are a bunch of really great people and I am proud to be part of it