Introducing Your New ROC NY State Champion: Me

Posted September 8th, 2020 by Joe Pangrazio

So, Sunday September 6th, Western NY Gaming in Hamburg held the 2020 ROC NY state championship. Everyone was masked up with plenty of sanitizer to go around and all the space you could ask for. I'm not going to have a lot of play by play because a) I'm not as good as Emily and b) I'm usually so focused on the match at hand that I instantly forget anything before it. But I'll do my best.

First up, my team!

Well, that's my main force. Here's my build sheet.

Look at that snazzy new build sheet, all typed up and GLORIOUS!


There were fourteen players, as we all mourned the absence of Team Canada. We did four rounds of swiss followed by a top four cut.

First round was against a lovely newer player by the name of Carlos. He's a good dude and if you journey out to WNY Gaming, you'll probably see him. He had a quirky Injustice League team with two Ultra Humanites, Shade, the common JLU Joker, two Cheetahs (one equipped the Earth X symbiote and the other equipped the Remaker Ring) and common Lex Luthor. It's definitely a different team with some teeth. Unfortunately for him, I won map choice and put him on a fairly wide open map that allowed me to target most of his team with Punisher War Machine (while remaining in stealth with Coulson and Sharon Carter). It was a solid first round though, as we all know the first round is for practice.

Second round, I had to play Ricky Kirk and his scientist team. Neither of us were particularly happy with this match up because we rode out together and have been playtesting these teams against each other for the past two months. So, Ricky did his best (and broke out a few different tricks) but it ended the way most of our play test sessions have: Pun-Machine reigning in victory. If you want to see Ricky's team in action, you can watch this video.

Third round was against Gonzo. Which is really tough, because he was always my favorite Muppet when I was younger. Who doesn't love a blue weirdo that shoots himself out of a cannon? Anyway, he had an incredibly interesting team (which he usually does). It was colossal Iceman (on Retaliation), Duke Thomas, three SR JLU Atoms, JLU Micron, and 028 Q at 50 points. Duke Thomas is a sneaky character that I've faced before and always forget the strength of. Gonzo moved up his entire squad (except Iceman and Duke) to a normally safe location. However, I was able to get a running shot off while boosting Pun-Machine's range to a 10 and was able to target one Atom with Energy Explosion. This is important, because this Atom was adjacent to both Micron and Q. The attack roll succeeded and if all three miss their Super Senses, the majority of his attackers would be KO'd. The Atom failed his Super Senses but both Micron and Q hit theirs. So I just KO'd poor Atom (after knocking him back off of Elevated). 

What followed was a brutal Atom pile along with Micron retaliation that KO'd Pun-Machine as well as his cyborg Punisher replacement (the only time all day it happened and I think only the...2nd time it's happened since I've played the team)? We then had a back and forth with me missing a lot of needed attacks and him chipping away at me. However, I ended up getting Q and another Atom as well as a Hail Mary attack from Sharon Carter to KO Iceman left the score at 185-180. Pun-Machine picks up his third win in the closest match of the day.

Fourth round was against Wes Steiner, running double Captain Marvel SR and chase Widow. He also had a Bolt bystander and the Earth X symbiote (on one of the Marvels). I don't remember a lot of this match (except for Chewie eating my pit crew and I, in turn, KO-ing the non-symbiote Marvel as soon as possible). It came down to Steve and Pun-Machine getting lucky against Shape Change to KO the other Marvel before Pun-Machine ran down chase widow.

Undefeated, I went into top 4 cut. And who did I play in the first round of single elimination? Wes, again! Sidebar, this is why I dislike top cuts in such a small field. I do feel like they are more necessary in a tournament such as this, but it's not fun for most people to turn around and face the exact same team.

Again we played on the ROC Political Rally map (which I played on every match except against Ricky in Swiss, where he won and put me on Hedge Maze). This time Wes went into the elevated rooms, which was a reasonable gambit. It cut down on my lines of fire, as well as his. But he had the advantage of being able to Hypersonic with Marvels. Unfortunately, he kept sending Intiates through, which I was then able to Outwit the Shape Change and attack with Precision Strike from Coulson, or Outwit both Shape Change and Super Senses once Steve was pinged onto Outwit. I also was able to continue attacking his Widow and Marvels with Gardener, thanks to his hindering markers. With Widow KO'd and both Marvels either on their last click or second to last click, he managed to clear my pit crew (even taking out Ultra Chase Peggy). But in the end, Becky Barnes (with a big close combat expert attack) and Pun-Machine were too much and I went to the finals.

The Finals: Ricky and I met again. And for, possibly the first time in all our matches with these teams, I won map. Ricky made the only gambit he could and went into the same rooms that Wes had. But where he had the advantage was that he had SR Cho Hulk and Atom, who could destroy all the blocking he wants to position Atom for a big swing on Pun-Machine. Unfortunatley, Atom's 12 attack could not hit Pun-Machine's 21. And from there, our match played out like it usually does, with Ricky getting Coulson and Sharon and me taking his team.


Now, onto the sappy part. As some of you know, we lost a member of the community a few months ago. Bill Barrett was a Syracuse player and because of where I live, we went to a lot of the same events. We hadn't been around each other a lot, but we knew each other well enough to joke around and enjoy seeing each other. Bill loved running multiple Gardeners (and man were they a pain in the ass to deal with). So, when I built this team, I talked to another friend about putting Gardener on it, with Bill in mind. I would have loved to actually been able to use one of Bill's Gardeners, but that's another discussion for another day.

Unbeknownst to me, Bill's birthday was September 6th. And if Bill was with us, I'm sure he would have been there and probably playing Gardener. So, I'm glad I was able to win that tournament on his birthday with one of his favorite pieces.

Stay safe out there folks. And take care of each other. It's just a ride and all we have are each other. 


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