My strategy for Richmond Rollapalooza was to put up one score on each table, then look at the standings, and then play whatever my lowest-ranked table was, trusting that eventually I'd have a breakthrough game and get at least high enough to qualify. This is not a customized strategy; it's basically what I use for every tournament with this qualifying format. It's hard to think of an alternate sensible one, except maybe for playing the game you're most confident, for whatever reason, you're likely to have a breakthrough on. Or skipping a game you know has got you licked. I followed the process well, especially since I found I could use the bowling alley's Wi-Fi on my iPod. What never came was my breakthrough game, though.
I had some successes, grinding my way up slowly, but I never had the breakout game on anything that I needed. Looking over the statistics I don't seem to have broken the top ten on any game, Classics or Main. In Classics --- again, my traditional strength --- I don't even come close, finishing six spaces and twenty points out of qualifying for the B Division. In the Main tournament I fare better, failing to qualify for the B Division, but only by two points. Conceivably, another fifteen minutes to play might have got me at least into the B Division. Another half-hour and a couple breakthrough games and I might have launched into the bottom of A Division.
bunny_hugger had a worse time. She finished below me in Classics. In Main, she finished one point above me, tied for the last place in B Division. The tiebreaker game? FunHouse. This was one of the games mentioned repeatedly in the tournament's advertising, and was surely meant to lure us over. It's both our favorite games. It hasn't been treating her well today; she hasn't even broken ten million points. For a game set on tournament-level hard that's not awful, but it hadn't even got her into tenth place in qualifying. Still, it is the game she likes above all others. She ... puts up a lousy tiebreaker game, something like three million points. Her competition has two even worse balls, and there's some slender cause for hope. At least, I hope. She doesn't. She's justified in this. She watches him squeeze out a multiball and take the last slot in the finals.
We try not to act too heartbroken and maybe everybody distracted by being in finals is too distracted to notice. Among other things, there was an awesome thunderstorm rolling in, one that deserves its own entry because it got all kinds of crazypants. And we putter around a little, playing some of the games that aren't in the finals for either tournament. It's hard: while there are some games free, most are reserved. And they're tempting ones too, like Surf 'n Safari, a waterpark-themed game from Data East; or Spanish Eyes, with a compellingly bizarre backglass that apparently came from an art student happening to be carrying his portfolio near the Williams offices when a guy ``with a thin moustache'' and having a cigarette asked, ``Hey ... you an artist?''. Ah, the 70s.
After a while of consoling ourselves --- we ended up playing a round of Game of Thrones with someone who's apparently a regular at Flint contests and whom we didn't know --- and hearing that the (wedding?) MWS was at was running a little bit longer yet, we gave in for the night and went home. The Betrayal game we'd brought would end up unused after all.
Trivia: On the 25th of July, 1945, Jewish representatives from camps across Western Germany issued a proclamation demanding entry to Palestine. They did so from the Munich beer hall where Hitler staged his 1923 coup attempt. Source: Year Zero: A History of 1945, Ian Buruma.
Currently Reading: The Story Of Story Book Land, Tina Skinner.