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The Longest Day Tournament

The Longest Day Tournament
By Justin Rodriguez
Before diving too deep into this report, we should probably acknowledge that we never actually thought anyone would DO this. Playing Flames Of War for 24-hours straight is a frankly idiotic thing to do. Our recruiting methods were mildly dishonest (Hey, want to play in our one-day tournament? It's only one day! hehheh), and we figured, at best, we'd get just one lunatic to play all eight games simply for bragging rights. Wow were we wrong.

Before the event, we had nine confirmed attendees and 9 possibles. We planned for 14 participants but had contingencies for fewer or more. When 9:30 am rolled around on the 31st, we had 20 participants ready to go. A brief scramble lead to 8 tables being set up, with one table having to be re-used occasionally after short games.

The Longest Day Tournament The Longest Day Tournament

Over the next 24 hours, a total of 20 players attended the tournament and a whopping 11 players stuck around to play all 24 hours. We designed the tournament to be drop in/drop out to make things a little easier for folks who weren’t used to, or couldn’t do all-nighters. In the end the places would be determined by total points. But as an incentive, anyone who completed at least two rounds got a keepsake coffee mug. (You know, for filling with caffeine. To get through six more rounds.)

Kevin Morris, clad in the traditional stripes of the tournament referee, tracked points, created the swiss pairings by hand with pencil and paper, and occasionally threw a flag. (Frank Yuan was penalized 5 yards in the first game for encroaching on No Man’s Land. We’re still not sure what that penalty actually meant.) Kevin kept things positive, moving smoothly and above all, fun

Players showed up from all over Southern California and one player, Eric Camba, flew in from Las Vegas, Nevada to test his Flames Of War endurance. Players ranged in age from teens to their mid-sixties, proving, without a doubt, that poor decisions can be made by anyone

The first 3 rounds went along as any other normal Flames Of War tournament would proceed. Before the tournament, we knew that a few players were hoping by Round 3 to either be far ahead or far behind, giving them the opportunity to take a few rounds off.  Sadly, the standings stayed pretty close throughout the first 12 hours, forcing some really tough decisions at 1:30 on Sunday morning. Complicating matters was the ever-present player dilemma—more coffee or more beer?

The 4th and 5th rounds continued late into the night with players fiercely vying for points supremacy. Points leader Raymond Loh had to bow out after Round 4 to go to work, opening up the race for the middle of the pack. Adam Hammer and Pete Porfido dropped out after the 5th round with Adam doing very well in the points race, but again leaving openings for battlers Steven Lawless, Malcolm Hee and Christian Sorenson.

The Longest Day Tournament

By Round 6, players were getting punchy. Igor Torgeson had taken the points lead, but was fighting to hold it. Games that finished early found their players wandering the nearly-empty convention all, fearing that sitting would lead to sleeping. Players struggled to stay awake between the matches and many jokes were cracked about who might win the Rip Van Winkle award for the first man to fall asleep during a game. Going into Round 7, Justin Rodriguez discovered the beauty of the triple-shot Americanos, Ramses Juarez took to hitting himself in the helmet, and at least one table could be heard singing Monty Python’s Camelot. The convention staff, by 5:00 am, had all heard about the lunatics pushing tiny tanks around in the ballroom, and stopped by to offer support. At that point, most players had decided having made it this far, the only thing to do was finish.

The Longest Day Tournament The Longest Day Tournament

Round 8 began at 7:30 AM with all players getting a second wind. The Convention’s Sunday attendees started to arrive in the hall, and many stopped at the Flames Of War tables to watch the delirious games.  Rounds 6 and 7 started to see unforced errors in games, but in Round 8, forgotten Command Cards and wide-open objectives lead to some crazy wins.

In the end, at 10 AM Sunday September 1st, Igor Torgeson won 1st place followed by Christian Sorenson in 2nd place and Malcolm Hee came in 3rd place. The ominous Rip Van Winkle Award was supposed to go to a player who fell asleep during a match but amazingly none of the players passed out in 24 hours; the award went to the only attendee who fell asleep during the event, Mauricio Juarez, who graciously stayed at the convention while his son, Ramses, continued to decide to play just one more game. Mauricio got some shut eye from 3:00-5:00 as his son battled on through the early morning.

The Longest Day Tournament The Longest Day Tournament

Eric Camba, who battled both sleep deprivation and food poisoning, ran away with the Favorite Opponent award.  He snowy Soviets, which one the Best Painted prize at Historicon were a player favorite again.

We need to say thank you to Battlefront Miniatures for providing incredible prize support and awards plaques, Brian from Game Ogre of West Lake Village for Prize Support, and Strategicon Conventions for allowing us to expand our tournament on the day of the event. Also, a big thank you to Kevin Morris for running the event and providing the commemorative mugs and to Igor Torgeson for creating the poster and event listing. There is much talk about this event recurring Labor Day 2020, by that time, most participants will be sufficiently recovered and ready to take on new opponents…maybe YOU?



Last Updated On Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront