BrikWars at BricksWest 2002 by Mike.

So a couple of weeks before BricksWest I get this bright idea that I'd take responsibility for setting up and running the BrikWars game.  Now of course I knew I didn't have enough time in my schedule to get a solid setup together in that timeframe, but I've never been one to let something as petty as common sense or as dreary as the laws of physics stand in my way.  The big poster-sized schedule on the wall at the convention still said "BrickWars (tentative)" (sic) for our time slot even as the game was in progress, which I'm sure was an administrative oversight somewhere (they were awfully overworked in those last few weeks) and not a reflection of someone's belief that the mere fact that my plan was both ludicrous and impossible was going to prevent me from making it happen.

Fortunately the game of BrikWars is, if anything, improved by the kind of slapdash and halfassed job I did, and the game went off without a hitch.  I was lucky to get a bunch of great players (since I was drawing from a crowd of AFOLs, the odds were heavily stacked in my favor), who constantly surprised me with inventive, totally unexpected, and occasionally ridiculous strategic maneuvers.  A great time, as far as I know, was had by all; if anyone felt otherwise I hope they're smart enough to keep their mouths shut about it.  Don't think I won't track you down.

 

LEGOLAND - next exit
In the great universal hierarchy of badass highway signs, this one's got to be right near the top.
A powerful magnet
The little magnets on the name badge were strong enough even for my stylish leather lapel!

But first, a few words about some of the neat and amazing things there were to see at BricksWest.  I'll keep it short since there are so many others who've already done a much better job covering the event than I ever could; I especially recommend Todd Thuma's BrickShelf gallery which contains the many hundreds of thousands of photographs he was snapping constantly throughout the event.  I'm surprised he even has any fingers left, he was working that poor camera so hard.

My photographs are of a pretty poor quality by comparison but that doesn't mean I want to hear any complaining.  If you click on them you can see the larger versions that I put up on BrickShelf.

To the right is a shot of Eric Harshbarger's gigantic mural of Calista Flockhart composed entirely (if you can believe it) from Modulex letter tiles.  I wish I'd thought to include some people in the shot so you could get an idea of its enormous scale, which is especially surprising since the Modulex tiles are one quarter the scale of regular Lego bricks.  The final product was thirty by fifty inches.  Eric put a page up on his site all about the mural.

Calista Flockhart, but thinner

Steve DeCraemer's unbelievable cathedral was another high point for me.  I must have come back to give it another look a dozen times over the course of the conference and each time I noticed something cool and new.  Where he got all those gray minifigs for the nave sculptures is beyond me.

When I sent out the call on Lugnet to see if anybody was going to be interested in playing BrikWars at the event, Steve was literally the only person to write back, and he was generous enough to offer this cathedral as a battleground.  I had to politely decline - the cathedral is probably ten times as big as the rest of the buildings on the battlefield combined, it would have made my efforts look feeble and pitiful by comparison.  The one condition he placed on his offer was that the cathedral would not be allowed to be damaged in any way during the course of the battle - this turned out to be ironic, since once Steve was actually in the game he was plowing through his own troops in his eagerness to destroy every building in sight.

Please don't damage the architecture

This amazing house, on display in the Legoland pavilion, was as impressive in its own way as the cathedral.  When Lego first started putting out bricks in the 'sand' colors I thought they were the ugliest things I had ever seen, but after seeing this mansion I realize that I was in fact an idiot.  These are great colors and this house has to be seen to be believed.  The saturated colors of the blue and yellow house at the other side of the field look almost garish by comparison.

I can't seem to track down exactly whose MOC this was, I'd appreciate it if someone could send me a name so I can give proper credit.

A sand castle

Steve Jackson was also called in to run a couple sessions of his Pirate Game, which was a major draw for me!  Besides my own game of course, this was the only event on the schedule that I was really dead-set on attending.  I would have to say that the Pirate Game was the single major high point of the whole convention for me.  What I mean is, that I would have to say that, if I had actually had the chance to see it!  Unfortunately it was scheduled concurrently with the BrikWars games so I ended up missing the whole thing.  What's worse, we had to compete for players.  Fortunately the BrikWars game didn't suffer from the lack of players I had been dreading so it everything turned out all right on our side of the divider.

Arr, our scurvy competitors

As I was looking forward to the convention, I often thought to myself, "it's too bad Shaun Sullivan won't be along, I would really like to see some badass Lego tanks at the convention." Fortunately Daniel Siskind showed up and fit that bill quite nicely.  In hindsight it's a good thing Shaun didn't show up, I would have been awfully nervous trying to act as referee for a player whose familiarity with the game so completely dwarfs my own.  On the other hand, I could have probably just handed the reins over to him and gone and played the Pirate Game both nights.

badass tanks

 

Enough Yap

All right, that's enough yap about all that other crap, on to the game.

A quick disclaimer: since I was trying to coach a whole swarm of newbies through their first BrikWars game, I didn't have as much time to set up good photos and take notes on the sequence of disasters as I usually prefer.  These particular players caught on real fast and I started to have more time to take photos after the first couple of rounds.  Also, my camera has taken a lot of abuse over the years and doesn't always work so well.  Most of my photos came out looking like the one at right; I had to photoshop the hell out of these things to make them legible at all.

This picture on the right, as near as I can figure, was meant to show the poor DarkTron trooper who lost his pants towards the end of the game and ended up running around in his underwear.  But you'll hear all about that in due time.

My account of events is based on my own hazy memory and a heaping helping of pictorial detective work, so it may be off in a few details.  If any of the players remember something I forgot, be sure and e-mail me at rayhawk@artcenter.edu.

vaseline focus

 

The Teams

The Warriors of Iron MountanThe DarkTron EmpireThe Qui-Gork HordeThe Acropoyptix

I set up the battle as a pretty straightforward capture-the-flag game, with each team starting out with one flag and with one extra flag at the top of a clock tower to add spice.  The first team to have two flags on the flag mounts at its base at the end of a round would be named the winner.  Each team consisted of six regular troops, a hero, a ninja, a medik, and assorted weapons and equipment.  Only the grunt troops were allowed to transport the flags (although that rule started getting bent towards the end of the game as time was running out), and ninjas were not allowed to fire guns.  Because we were playing in a limited timeframe I made the weapons two or three times as powerful as normal, in order to hasten the fatality rate.

I assembled seven teams for the game and posted the announcement on Lugnet.  These are the four we ended up using, and their associated players:

The Gray team ("The Warriors of Iron Mountain") was played by the dynamic duo of the Reverend Brendan Powell Smith and Lila Tene.

The Black team ("The DarkTron Assault Detachment") was played by the unrepentantly destructive Steve DeCraemer.  Steve ended up having to leave right before the end of the game so I got to play the DarkTrons for the last few turns.

The Green team ("The Qui-Gork Horde") was played by that sly weasel Stephen Fisher.  Stephen has also done a fine write-up for the BricksWest game on his Chumbo's Treehouse site, which includes (among other things) the timeless quote "Everyone's a winner when heroes wear garbage cans!"

The White team ("The Acropolyptix") was played by Todd Thuma.  Todd was eventually called away to other duties and Mark Rideout was happy to take his place.

 

The Players

Steve DeCraemer and some evil little girlsOur ensemble cast, minus SteveSeraphina, a young delinquent in training

I was worried that we wouldn't get any players, but it turned out my fears were unfounded.  We ended up having quite a few, although a couple drifted in and out for various reasons over the course of the two nights.

Steve DeCraemer wasn't around for the group photo at the end of the game so he gets his own photo.  That first picture on the left shows him leaning over the table as he ponders the difficult choice of which army will best support his campaign of architectural deconstruction.  At the other end of the table are two little girls who nicked my sack of Lego foliage and started putting flowers all over the battlefield while I wasn't watching.  At first I thought they were cute, but later when I saw that they had won the Blockade Runner in the raffle my opinion shifted to one of deep and abiding jealousy and hatred.  In the upper left corner you can just make out the powerful form of the mighty Matthew Gerber, the guy who took it on himself to putthe whole BricksWest thing together.  I couldn't really say what was going through his mind when this photo was taken but I'm sure the words "what was I thinking?" must have been prominently featured.

The middle photo shows the rest of us, who among other things were scared to be seen in the same photo as that psycho Steve.  The names, from left to right, are as follows: in the back row are Todd Thuma and Mark Rideout, who together commanded the never-say-die white team; in the front row are Mike Rayhawk, who thought that playing the black team for a mere two or three turns was enough to earn him a spot in the picture; Steve Fisher, whose embattled green team held off wave after wave of attacks from everybody else in the game; and the Reverend Brendan Powell Smith and Lila Tene, whose gray team spent most of the game running into things and exploring the insides of garbage cans.

On the right is a photo of my niece Sera, which happened to be on the same roll of film as all my BricksWest photos.  She wasn't involved in our capture-the-flag game but she does play a different game called Capture the Coke.  And if you notice, her hairstyle is eerily similar to Stephen Fisher's.  Coincidence?

 

Let Mortal Combat Begin

Everybody spent the first round getting familiar with the game and moving their troops into position.  The black troops had the honor of making the first attack of the game - several soldiers ganged up on the nearest phone booth.  (I'd made a rule that if any team lost their hero, they could send a trooper into a phone booth where he could spend a turn changing into a new hero, Superman-style.  Steve saw that as a threat.)  Thanks to a couple of unlucky rolls, the soldiers ended up hitting each other more often than the booth; one was killed.  At the end of the first round the score was Phone Booths: 1, DarkTron: 0.

The photo at right shows the state of the game in round two: Steve (in the red shirt) is gleefully imagining what the art museum would look like if it were hit by a tactical nuke.  Stephen (in the white shirt), ever the optimist, is already practicing his victory pose.  The white and gray armies are sending units in each others' direction, preparing for a major confrontation under the lights of the highway sign.

The black team continued making unsuccessful attacks on the phone booth; its troops were often damaged in the resulting explosions but this time none were killed.  Meanwhile, the black hero and motorcycle-riding ninja began making their way towards the art museum in order to retrieve the bazooka and missiles stashed on the top floor.

Seeing that the gray army is sending a hero and a ninja in its direction, the green team dispatches three troops to occupy the walls of the security gate before the gray units can climb them.  If they can activate and man the giant siege cannon on top of the wall they'll be able to reduce the gray base to rubble in short order.  Two other green troops are sent in the opposite direction towards the black base.  The major part of the green army remains behind as a defense force.

The gray team, seeing the green units approach, changes strategy and withdraws the troops that were heading for the white base.  As they withdraw they take inspiration from the black army's scorched-earth policy and blow up the remote control for the Giant Yellow Robot so the white team won't be able to use it against them.

Round two

The foremost of the green troopers has nearly reached the siege cannon, so the gray hero uses a Stupendous Feat to jump to the top of the wall and beat them to it.  The die roll goes poorly and the hero jumps straight into the bottom of the gun.  BONK!  He falls back down, stunned, and lands headfirst in the garbage can that sits at the bottom of the wall.  All the green troopers and even the gray ninja double over with laughter.

Don't forget to recycle!

Seeing that the white motorcycle trooper continues to approach, the gray troop with the Jumbo Gun fires off a shot but misses badly.  The white troop decides that trying to fire from the back of a moving motorcycle is too difficult, so he does the obvious thing and drives the bike straight into the jumbo-gunner.  The gray troop is killed and the bike is destroyed in the process; the white driver is momentarily stunned but survives.

The gray medik-bot is torn between rushing to aid his fallen comrade and moving to avoid the still-dangerous white biker.  He decides to err on the side of caution and runs to hide behind some large upright pieces of aluminum siding.

The gray trooper standing next to the guard rail tosses his battery kit to the ninja.  The ninja, using the hapless hero as a stepladder, begins to climb the wall.  Meanwhile the gray bike troop motors back towards the ramp in the hopes of manning the gun after the gray ninja has used the battery to activate it.

The gray team advances

The green army deduces the gray team's plan and will have none of it - after all, the siege cannon could just as easily be turned on their own base.  The green troopers atop the wall begin firing madly at the ninja's head which pokes above the top of the wall.  The troop with the smaller gun hits but doesn't do enough damage to kill the ninja or knock him off the wall.  The more heavily-armed troop misses completely.

Whack-a-ninja

At this point the gray hero stands up (in the picture he is still wearing the garbage can for a hat).  In another Stupendous Feat, he tears the garbage can from his head and leaps up in the hopes of landing in the control cockpit of the Siege Cannon.  BONK!  Unfortunately he blows the roll again, bonks his head on the underside of the gun, and lands back in the garbage can at the base of the wall.  Both the cannon and the garbage can now have clearly distinguishable hero-shaped dents.

Back into the trash

The gray ninja leaps to the top of the wall, where he is faced with a crucial decision: pull out his sword and chop the nearby green troop in two, or use the battery to activate the cannon?  The ninja activates the cannon and jumps into the control seat.  As a ninja he is not allowed to fire the weapon, but he can still aim it; he spins the turret around and whacks the green troop with the barrels of the cannon.  The green troop flies off the wall, bounces off the edge of the playing field, and lands underneath the wall unconscious, where he lies forgotten by the gray troops for many turns.

Meanwhile the gray troops left back to defend the base begin firing wildly at the fallen white biker troop before he can recover, and manage to kill him.  The gray biker troop reaches the top of the ramp and fires a shot at the remaining green troops, but misses.  The angry green troop still sitting on top of the wall shoots the gray ninja.  The ninja survives the attack but is blown out of the siege cannon and onto the ramp.

Whack!

Here's the state of the field at the end of round three.  The black team has still not succeeded in blowing up any of the phone booths, but the black ninja has abandoned his bike, scaled the wall, and reached the top floor of the art museum where he prepares to defend it until a unit arrives that can make use of the bazooka and missiles.  The white army has dispatched four troopers and their own ninja to take control of the art museum and prevent the bazooka from falling into the black team's hands.  The white hero has begun yanking spears out of their mountings at the west security gate and using Stupendous Feats to huck them at the black hero and motorcycle troop who are at this point waiting by the front door of the art museum.

Round three

In round four the black army begins to finally see some results in their quest to destroy all freestanding structures.  The first of the three phone booths collapses and the second is badly damaged.  Two black troopers making their way towards the green base have destroyed a motorcycle parked in front of a yellow shack and are making good headway against a nearby telephone pole.  The white army follows suit, blowing up a barbed-wire fence that is delaying their assault on the art museum.

Phone booth down

The two green troops who had appeared to be heading for the black base suddenly make a right turn and invade the clock tower lobby, passing easily through the metal detectors and over the security desk, thanks to the lack of security guards.  Clearly they are making a run for the clock tower flag.

To the far right we have another picture of Sera playing Capture the Coke.  The way this game is played is that Sera keeps a sneaky eye on all the adults and waits for one of them to set their Coke down somewhere.  Then, as soon as no one is watching, she dives for the unattended can.  Here, she has spotted a shiny can and is making a run for it.

Security breachTarget acquired

The black and white teams battle frantically over the next couple of rounds.  White troops manage to pull down the ladder and begin climbing the art museum's fire-escape, while the white ninja scales the wall.  In a vicious swordfight the black ninja manages to skewer the white ninja.  The black hero uses a Stupendous Feat to leap into battle with the white hero and end the constant rain of spears.  The heroes rage back and forth over a few turns, destroying one another's shields and working up a heroic sweat.  Back at the base, the black medik remembers his job and runs out to heal the black trooper who died in the first round.  Another black trooper manages to destroy the second phone booth and causes heavy damage to the third.  The black trooper who had been standing in front of the art museum dodging spears now picks up the ninja's motorcycle and heads for the abandoned minicopter.  The two black troopers who were attacking the telephone pole continue for a few rounds but eventually abandon the pole to go try and line up shots through the windows at the green troops who are climbing the clock tower stairs.

Two down, one to go

Eventually the battle between the two heroes ends when the white hero manages to brutally disembowel the black hero.  The black ninja realizes that the reinforcements for whom he had been waiting are not going to be arriving.  He tosses the bazooka out the window, hitting a white trooper on the head and knocking him out.  The white team is momentarily excited to have the bazooka delivered so conveniently to them but then realize that it is useless without the ammo.  They continue scaling the fire escape.

 

Moving into position

On the other end of the field things are progressing rapidly.  A gray trooper climbs up the inoperative body of the Giant Yellow Robot and reaches the third floor of the bombed-out parking structure, where he finds a deadly-accurate sniper rifle.  A gray trooper runs in to slaughter the green troop who lies unconscious underneath the wall, but his mission is interrupted when he is crushed to death by the falling gray hero who has failed once again to leap to the top of the wall.  BONK!  By this point the gray hero has failed so many times that the garbage can is permanently affixed to his head and his name is changed to Captain Trashcan.

The gray biker troop hops off his bike (which rolls back down to the bottom of the ramp) and aids the gray ninja in exterminating green troops remaining on the top of the wall.  The green medik sets out on his motorbike to rescue his fallen compatriots while the green ninja leaps to intercept the gray ninja.

The green troops in the clock tower, having spent a few turns climbing the stairs, realize that climbing three flights of stairs is going to take a long time and decide to abandon their quest in favor of an alternate strategy.  The green troop defending the base abandons his post to grab the motorcycle waiting in the field of posies.  The green heroine uses a Stupendous Feat to leap to the top of the clock tower.  Since she's not allowed to transport the flag, she instead swings her mighty glaive and severs the flag from its mount.  The flag falls four stories and lands on the green medik, knocking him out.

The heroine survives her second risky Feat jumping back down from the clock tower, and throws her glaive at the approaching gray ninja.  She misses, and the glaive sticks into the wall next to one of the gray troopers.  The two green troops inside the clock tower burst back out the front doors as the green biker troop picks up the flag and rides full-speed back to base.

As a side note, next to the clock tower foundation you can see the unfortunate effect of having left the battlefield alone with two unsupervised little girls and a sack of flowers.

The gray team advances

This is about where we ended the game on the first night.  At this point it seems pretty clear that the green team is all set up for the win, but as Sera can tell you in the picture at right, just because you've grabbed the Coke doesn't mean they're going to let you keep it.  In fact the game was far from over, and we had to put in an additional six hours on the following night to determine the eventual winner.

So close and yet so farNobody saw me do it

In the picture on the left you can see Stephen assessing the difficulty of moving the flag the final six inches back to base as Mark Rideout looks over his shoulder.  Mark drifted in and out of the room over the course of the night, not interested in playing but happy to act as an intermittent spectator.  It wasn't until everything started blowing up on the second night that he finally got sucked in as a replacement for Todd.

In the picture at right you can see Brendan and Lila as they recognize the direness of the situation.

Sizing up the oddsThe end of a long night

 

Sunday Night

The original plan for Sunday night was to start a fresh new game, but everyone present voted to try and finish the game from the previous night.  I had earlier declared the larger buildings indestructible because I had wanted them to still be around for the second game, but since there was to be no second game the rule was revoked.  This turned out to have climactic consequences pretty early on in Sunday's session.

As you can imagine, the green biker wasted no time in driving his bike right up the stairs and planting that flag back at the green base.  As this was taking place, we can see (in the picture at right) Steve DeCraemer contemplating his own mortality.  The fact of the matter was that he was on a tight schedule and was going to have to leave fairly quickly and was trying to figure out how to cause the maximum amount of damage before it was time for him to go.  He sends his black biker over and commandeers the minicopter, but the advantage of having gained control of the only flying unit on the field seems to bring him little joy.

At this point the white troopers were just starting to breach the walls of the top floor of the art museum and the black ninja had come under fire.  After a minute or so of quiet contemplation, Steve turns to me and asks if soldiers can set off missiles by hand.

As it turns out, the BrikWars rules are quite specific in allowing that kind of behavior, and I say so, little imagining what Steve has in mind.

A cunning plan begins to form

KA-BOOOOM!

The black ninja sets off every missile in the room and takes a desperate leap out the window.  The entire third floor of the art museum, and a large part of the second, are obliterated.  The ninja manages to land safely on the street adjacent to the museum but is crushed to death immediately thereafter by the debris of the collapsing building.  A large chunk of building flies out and crushes the cockpit of the newly-acquired minicopter as well, killing the pilot and rendering the copter useless.  On the bright side, the three white troopers climbing the fire escape cease to exist, and the body of the white ninja is tossed off into the minefield (though we forgot to check to see if it set off any mines).  The white hero used a Stupendous Feat to try and leap clear of the falling debris, but failed, and was crushed to death as a result.

As an unexpected bonus, falling chunks of art museum landed on the final remaining phone booth, damaging it badly.

Ironically, the point at which the white army was decimated coincided pretty closely with the point at which Todd was called off to other duties, so when Mark stepped in he found himself the captain of a vastly weakened force.

Kaboom!

For the next couple of rounds after that, things got real exciting and I forgot to take very many pictures.  The gray ninja leaps into the green base and chops the flag from its mount; it falls backwards into the base.  The gray ninja then executes the lone troop in the green base before being summarily beheaded by the green ninja, who also leaped over from the security gate wall.  The green medik recovers from unconsciousness and starts making for the green troopers that had died trying to hold the wall against the gray advance, but is picked off by the gray trooper with the sniper rifle who is just then moving into range.  One of the green troopers from the clock tower reaches the base and re-plants the flag.

The two gray troopers who had been left behind to defend the gray flag mobilize to aid in the assault on the green base.  Right about then, the green trooper who had fallen under the wall way back in the beginning of the game finally recovers consciousness and begins attacking them, preventing them from advancing further and at one point tricking them into shooting each other.  The gray troops are not able to put an end to him until the gray medik-bot picks up a fallen rifle and joins in the fray.

Captain Trashcan recovers consciousness and, finally pulling off a successful Stupendous Feat, grabs the bike that lies at the bottom of the ramp and guns it straight over the top of the security gate Evel Knievel-style.  He does three flips in the air and lands directly in front of the green base.  The bike is smashed to bits upon landing, but Captain Trashcan is able to leap free unscathed and cut the flag from its post once again.  This time it falls from the base to the ground below.

Mark laughs at the absurdity of it all

At the other end of the field, Mark Rideout is making the best of his situation, sending his medik around to revive as many fallen troops as he can.  He's surprisingly successful, saving two troopers and his hero.  It's slow going through the wide field of rubble, so he sends a trooper with a battery over to activate the security gate mechanisms and lower the concrete barrier.

Meanwhile Steve is now the only player in the game without a hero, and so ironically he finds himself in the position of needing to use the phone booths he fought so hard to destroy.  As the bulk of his forces head for the green base, hoping to arrive in time to make a difference, he sends one trooper into the final remaining phone booth.

Since the phone booth was so heavily damaged, we rule that the trooper only has a 25% chance of successfully changing into a hero on any given turn.  He tries for two turns, failing both times.

Pausing to regroup

While the black trooper was attempting to change costumes, the white troopers decide that they had no interest in having to deal with a second black hero and begin attacking the phone booth.  It didn't take long to collapse the already badly-damaged booth.  The black trooper inside survives the phone booth collapse, but we rule that since he had been trying to change into a hero-costume for two turns he would necessarily emerge in a half-clothed state.  Fortunately I have a spare Luke Skywalker minifig from the landspeeder set lying handy, and his legs make for perfect DarkTron underwear.

The poor pantsless trooper immediately flees, picking his way through the rubble and heading for the copter pilot, figuring that since the pilot is dead he won't mind if someone borrows his pants.  However, it only takes a few turns for the white troops to catch up with the fleeing black trooper and shoot him in the back.

A farewell to pants

Captain Trashcan attacks the green heroine, who gets no counterattack since she had lost her weapon earlier, and she barely manages to survive the blow.  One of the green troopers from the clock tower picks up the fallen flag.  Using a Stupendous Feat, the green heroine picks up the flag carrier by the scruff of the neck and tosses him back up onto the base platform, where he plants the flag once again.  Meanwhile the green ninja leaps down and chops Captain Trashcan precisely in half.  His top half lands neatly in the garbage can he wears on his head; his bottom half lands in a second garbage can that seems to appear from nowhere.  So end the heroic exploits of Captain Trashcan.

Once again, the flag is immediately knocked off its mount, this time by a well-aimed shot from the gray trooper with the sniper rifle.  The powerful explosive round had the secondary effect of killing the trooper who was still holding the flag, leaving the green team with only a single trooper remaining.  This last trooper had taken up the base's Jumbo Gun and was preparing to dish out some major damage.

Taking out the trash

The gray team had bought enough time for the black army to get troops into position.  The two black troops that had been attacking the telephone pole are now within range of the base, and a third had picked up the motorcycle and battery from next to the minicopter and is close on their heels.  The black biker is able to open the rusty chain-link fence on the following turn and heads for the green base.

Desperate maneuvers

Taking no chances, the green team sends its ninja out to stop the gray sniper from taking another shot at the flag.  The ninja is not quite fast enough to reach the sniper and kill him before he takes another shot, but he does manage to get in the way of the sniper and completely obstruct any line of fire to the flag.  The green troop with the Jumbo Gun tosses it to the ground in front of the base, choosing to grab the flag and mount it one more time rather than fire at the two black troopers approaching below (understanding that he most likely would have vaporized himself and the green heroine as well in the resulting fireball).  The green heroine grabs the fallen weapon and rushes the black biker troop with Jumbo Gun blazing.  Neither bike nor rider stand a chance against her massive assault and both are removed from existence.

The black team having already used its turn, and seeing no threat from the white and gray teams who have yet to move, it appears that success is assured and Stephen poses for a victory photo.

Premature celebration

His celebration turns out to be premature - the white hero takes advantage of all the practice he got from tossing spears earlier and chucks his golden broadsword high into the air.  The sword comes down and cleaves the green ninja's head clean off.  As the headless ninja's body slumps over, the shot opens up for the gray sniper to shoot the flag down a second time, to Stephen's great outrage.

On the following round, Stephen's heroine drops the Jumbo Gun, picks up her shield, and uses a Stupendous Feat to leap to the top of the wall and take the place of the ninja, once again blocking the sniper's shot.  Once again the green trooper picks up the flag and puts it back into its mount; this time it's shot down by a nearly-impossible shot from one of the two black troopers approaching the base.

Urbal renewal in progress

Rolling initiative for the following round, it finally ends up that the green team takes its turn last in the sequence, meaning that if they can plant the flag one more time then no other teams will get an opportunity to knock it down in time to prevent the win.  If the the last green trooper can be killed, the green army will have no units left that will be able to put the flag onto the mount.  Accordingly, the two black troops rush the base, guns blazing, but their luck finally runs out; the green trooper survives the attack, and on the green team's turn he picks up the flag, sticks it in the flag mount, does a little happy-dance, and gives the triumphant finger to the two frustrated black troopers.

Objective achieved

The huge pile of steaming corpses and twisted motorcycle wrecks that were amassed at the bottom of the green base brought a tear to even this jaded BrikWarrior's eye; such unrestrained and wanton carnage is a rare event in this dreary world.  Congratulations to Stephen Fisher, the triumphant victor, and thanks to everyone involved for playing such a great battle.

- THE END -

The bittersweet aroma of rotting flesh