We’ve got a tournament recap and strategy debrief from the first, second, and third place winners of the Clan Iron Man Tournament; The first, second, and third-place winners in the tournament. The tournament was run Iron Man style for 45 minutes. Each round reset wounds, simo-kills resulted in both players stepping out.
====Tied for 3rd Place - Warlord Eggman - 65 kills====
This was a great tourney, but forty-five minutes of straight fighting is pretty arduous. Initially I started the tourney with Florentine, getting as many kills as I could. I got pretty gassed early on so I switched my strategy to more of a defense mode. Basically I was waiting for people to over extend so I could kill them. About half way through the tourney I switched to downspear and short sword. This was giving me the range while limiting my movement and giving me time to rest. Lazy fighting doesn't equal lots of kills though. Because of this I felt I was pretty far behind near the end of the forty-five minutes. Each Warlord was trying to hold their own pits and basically farming kills, which was a good strategy, so I decided to join their lines to kill their streaks. In the end I switched back to Florentine and tied with Sain in third place. As I stated this was a great tourney and I had a great time. I would have done things a little differently if I had a better grasp of my positioning. Thank you Warlord Sports for putting on a great tourney with the best prizes I have seen at an Amtgard event.
====Tied for 3rd Place - Warlord Sain of Wheel - 65 kills====
My initial thoughts on the Iron Man tournament at Clan was that given the amount of cash on the line there was going to be a lot of cheating. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the great shot taking. At first my plan was to go into Florentine and just move though the lines as fast as I could. Upon further thought I decided to go with Sword and Board as it offered more protection, especially against stabs, while only reducing my offence by marginal amount. The first few minutes of the tournament went well, or so I was thinking. Unfortunately by about 5 minutes in I had only slain four or five bad guys. Once I recognized that this pace would not do and making it through the tournament with the fewest deaths was not the goal, I rebooted and went into throwing as many high percentage 1 or 2 shot kills as possible. I eventually got into a good rhythm of killing four, five or six guys then I realized I was taking too long with fights because I was tired, so I would just die and go catch my breath in the dead line. This is a generalization of my fights. There were times someone better just beat me. At the 30 minute mark I was so exhausted that I thought I was going to puke and I figured that there was no chance I was going to place so I spent the last fifteen minutes of the tournament just trying to break people’s streaks. In retrospect, it’s nearly impossible to gauge accurately your standings while in the middle of this kind of tournament. Next time I do an Iron Man (of which this was my second) I will just put my head down and grind until the whistle. Also there are definitely weapon combos that seem inherently more efficient during this type of activity. I saw several down spears and they seemed to be doing very well against everyone but a decent shieldman. I saw very few Florentine fights, Eggman being the notable exception. I wonder if this is because everyone had the same thought process as I did or were there various other reasons. In any case, Eggman was the only Florentine fighter to do very well that I can recall. I really want to thank Brennon and Warlord Sports for this tournament. They put a lot of cash on the barrelhead for this and I for one really appreciate it.
====2nd Place - Sir Monkey of Asura - 73 kills====
I am personally fond of iron man tournaments. They are a great way to see how well you match up with everyone in the tournament. When I first heard the Iron Man tournament at clan was going to have multiple rings I was very disappointed. One ring allows time to rack up kills then manipulate the clock so that the better fighters don't have a chance to catch up. After fighting in the multiple ring iron man, I really had to fight smarter and not think about how many times I died but push myself to get quick clean kills. Once I died I rushed over, turned in the person's name that killed me, and looked for the shorter line that people were headed for. If too many people were going for that line I went for the line that was about to be the shortest. Anatole, Atog and Eggman were my biggest competition I felt. I wanted to keep them from getting kills but it wasn't a 100% guarantee that I could end their streak. I only jumped in their lines when I saw them getting multiple kills. In the end I think my worst enemy was the heat and having to wait in line to report who killed me. The biggest help towards the end was smart fighting and keeping people from slowing down my fights.
====1st Place - Sir Anatole of Wheel - 78 kills====
First, I'd like to thank Warlord Sports for hosting a great tourney and issuing all the prizes on their own dime. What WLS is doing for the game of Amtgard right now is really tremendous. Hats off to them.
For those not in attendance, the tourney was held in ironman format with six pits. The objective was to kill the most people in forty-five minutes. My strategy going in had several key components I'd like to think helped me win. These were: style, energy conservation, and consistency.
Style: I feel like the two dominant style choices for an Iron Man tourney are sword & board and sword & down spear. I'm not much of a down spear fighter so I went (of course) with my bread and butter, sword and board. This gave me a few advantages. First and most obvious, passive defense. In order to kill lots of folks I had to stay alive. This meant the defense the shield innately provides would allow me some leeway if I managed to flub a shot or come up against someone prone to throwing in aggressive flurries.
Energy Conservation: I do a lot of cardio/conditioning work on my own and without the pressure of a time limit - not to mentioning being in a fast paced fight scenario, it comes in really handy for endurance. However, when the clock is your enemy as much as (if not more than) the guy in front of you, you might hold your breath, tense up, throw shots really hard and burn out your muscles, etc... A combination of these negatives, combined with the potential of an adrenaline dump would mean utter defeat. So I adopted a counter-striking strategy to augment my energy conservation. This meant I could study my opponent and let them make the first move. I didn't have to worry about finding my openings, pushing into range, or showing my opponents a particularly effective shot in my repertoire with the chance of them blocking it and starting a prolonged exchange. My opponents did all this for me. All I had to do was take advantage of what they gave me and capitalize. This conserved my energy level as well as allowed me to memorize people (which helped immensely because I often had to fight the same folks multiple times in multiple pits), thus decreasing the effort it would take to kill them later on. I will admit counter-striking felt like a bit of a gamble, as the clock ticked down and some of the fights I had were against cautious, veteran fighters who I spent more time against than I probably should've. Ultimately it worked, but the disparity between myself and second place, Monkey, was a mere three kills (78 - 75). Talk about by the skin of my teeth!
Consistency: I think this was my biggest key to success and it comes in two parts. First, I knew going into the tournament that I would not win all fights. I was going to lose and I accepted that. This provided me the mental clarity to accept when I lost and move on, putting all focus towards my next fight. Consistency and clarity of mind is very important. Becoming bogged down mentally because someone one-shotted you or made you look like an idiot makes you dwell on the negatives of your ability rather than engaging the positives. Second, instead of trying to dominate one pit for as long as I could, I decided to set a goal of at least three - four kills from every pit I entered. This would mean, instead of focusing on racking up an ungodly amount of kills in one place, I could move around and pick up at least a few kills everywhere. I had an inkling that over the course of the tourney, this would prevent burnout and those kills would add up at the end. Talking to other fighters, many said they experienced a slump in the middle of the tournament, making them most effective at the start and finish. I think this might be because of some fighters focused too much on putting together an impressive streak rather than accumulating a body of kills.
Again, thanks to WLS for putting on such a bitchin' shindig! I look forward to it next year and for hopefully many years to come. Also thanks to all participants, this was a very clean tournament with a lot of really good attitudes.