SAD Mechwarrior Wins UK Nationals
From our special ‘oily’ correspondent Five members of the Swindon Mechwarrior community stormed Birmingham on Saturday for the 2004 UK Mechwarrior National Championships, sponsored by Hobbygames. Colin provided expert assistance for the second year running as one of the excellent judging panel. The rest scooped a bucket load of prizes, including the big one with Phil Clare becoming the UK National Champion and winning a trip to the States in September to compete in the World Nationals event out there.The day proved a long and gruelling one for all the participants. The Clare family left Calne at 7.00 in the morning and returned after Midnight . The qualifying rounds consisted of 4 rounds of the standard 450 point game played back to back with no breaks – Mechwarriors are meant to take on sustenance intravenously apparently. The qualifying rounds started in a strange way for the Swindon players with Tom facing off against his father Phil and Joe taking on Peter, and they say travel broadens the mind. Colin was present to assure us it was all randomly arranged. After those 4 rounds, the top 16 were to go on to the next phase while the rest turned to games of Solaris.

The first phase proved successful for all the Swindon contingent since as well as the LE prizes for taking part they each got additional prizes as follows:

1. Phil was top ranked Spirit Cats player
2. Peter was top ranked Liao player
3. Tom (10) was the top U14 player
4. Joe (8) won a prize for finishing 28 th after a particularly hard fought draw in his last game

Phil and Peter moved into the last 16, with Swindon already “on the map” with Peter at this stage being in pole position in the tournament. Joe and Tom played in the Solaris and had time for a bit of trading and then another game of MW between themselves using their new LE prizes. The last 16 phase consisted of 3 more rounds after an extraordinary generous break of 20 minutes. After that, the top two players played off for 1 st and 2 nd and the next two for 3 rd and 4 th.

In the final, Phil was facing off against a particularly effective Liao 2xTarge, 2x Arrow IV plus 3xATV army which had put paid to Peter’s chances in the last 16 (the more suspicious of you might expect to see this army turning up soon in Swindon tournaments … ). Phil held his nerve and his concentration as the effects of the long day were felt by his opponent as he boldly charged Arnis with one of his Targes. As the aficionados amongst you will realise the successful charge only did one damage to Arnis (agility) but two to the Targe, closely followed by two more on the ammo explosion from the heat effects! Arnis succumbed to the other Targe’s ranged attacks but not before Phils VTOLs had finished off the first Targe and the Arrow IVs. A chess like end game then followed with the SC VTOLs and Hoverbikes dancing around the remaining Targe, nipping at it like a pack of hyenas around a lion, but all the time keeping the expensive VTOLs out of the Targe’s 12 “ range.

So at 10.00 o’clock after 11 hours and 8 rounds of gaming Phil became the top player in the UK and his lads celebrated his success by texting his wife with the good news that he had won an expense paid trip for one to the USA in September.

Many congratulations to Phil and I’m sure we all look forward to playing the UK Champion in the gaming suites at Spot On or the Jokers soon and giving him our wish list for carry outs from the States later in the year – make sure you take a big suitcase Phil!