Victory Medal Design Unveiled
The 2015-2017 Victory Medals have been purchased and delivered in time for this weekend's Armistice Day Fits Tournament. The new design is a throwback, identical to the popular medals awarded in the 2001-2006 era.
The Victory Medal is the highest honor the Indy Squadron can bestow, and can only be earned by winning the championship event held every November. For 27 years the character of the award has remained unchanged; an engraved gold medallion hung below a pure red ribbon.
Our Bardach representative offered three different styles for this year's award. This year's “golden eagle” design was chosen because the medallion is a true gold color rather than bronze or copper. The golden eagle design was also popular and well received among Indy Squadron competitors when it was first introduced in the early 2000's.
This may also be our last opportunity to get this design. Bardach had only four examples left in stock and they have no plans to acquire any more.
So one medal was engraved for Stephen, who had yet to receive his medal from 2014 when he tied as co-champion with Rick. The other three were engraved in advance for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 squadron champions.
2015 Armistice Day Fits Tournament details:
DATE: Saturday, November 21, 2015
TIME: 1:00 pm Eastern time
VENUE: Saltire Games, 11723 Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis IN
Six Confirmed for ADFT 2015
Here is a quick, just-for-fun odds list of the player expected to vie for the 2015 squadron title.
If you are attending this year's event but are not ranked below, please let us know so we can calculate your odds and add you to this list!
You'll notice that this year's odds list includes a new factor, the Frame Of Mind (FoM) ranking. The FoM ranking gauges a players involvement in the game, his level of mental preparation, his recent gaming frequency, and his overall intellectual effort. The illustrious staff of ISD regards this facet of the rankings highly.
Some may object, “Well, I haven't had time lately to really think about Dawn Patrol and that's not my fault.” This may be entirely true. Nevertheless, it is also why your FoM ranking is frighteningly low. Mental effort, focus and recent gaming experience are considered vital to a championship event.
Yes, it is possible to simply grab your dice, show up and pull off a miracle win. But history has shown it to be rare. The winners are usually drawn from the ranks of those who mentally prepare for the game in advance, not merely the day of the championship. Desire and mental preparation count for a lot.
And now for an overview of the entire field.
As of this writing (Tuesday afternoon), every confirmed attendee has either won multiple titles in either Red Baron Fight or the Armistice Day Tournament. So we anticipate a modest but very deep field.
Interesting observations include...
- Every player knows what it takes to win at this level. There are no wide-eyed rookies who can be easily dismissed.
- The internal motivation of each player is interesting to review. Who is overdue for a win? Who wants it the worst?
- Every player in this year's event respects the Victory Medal, knows its history and understands what it means to the Indy Squadron. There are no one-hit-wonders in the field.
- Without additional entries, a three-on-three game will reward the team that can inflict the first casualty of any kind. Even if it's not an outright kill, the departure of just one player will have a major impact on the game.
And now, for the odds that you've all been waiting for...
Why: Rick is the defending champion and has been a hot commodity in both Red Baron Fight and Armistice Day for at least three years running. We once joked that he was the best player for a mission and the best player for a campaign, but the worst player for a tournament. Not so any more. He is the odds-on favorite by a wide margin.
Stephen Dale Skinner
Why: It may surprise you to learn that Stephen Dale finished either 2nd or 3rd in three of his last four Armistice Day tourneys, in addition to an outright win RBF XXV. He is a distant second to Rick after missing last year's event and our recent September gaming session, and his FoM suffers accordingly. Still, he remains a strong performer and is highly motivated to win his first squadron title after 13 attempts. If Rick can't pull it off, Stephen Dale may be the best money on the table.
Why: On the positive side, Dory has carefully structured her personal calendar to accommodate this year's Armistice Day tourney. Don't underestimate that fact. This means her head is in the game. This pulls her FoM out of the cellar despite her lack of recent gaming experience. On the down side, she is nearly 20 years removed from her last title and has finished mid-pack in recent events. If she shows up prepared and gets her edge back, watch out for some fireworks.
Why: Ethan hasn't won a major tournament since 2012 and his FoM, while higher than some, is as low now as it has been in his career. Now for the positives. He has shown his ability to win both RBF and Armistice Day. He developed consistency as a player over recent years. And he's due for some luck. If Ethan decides to get his game on, he is capable of pulling off a surprise and can be a tough man to beat. He's done this before, and his squadron and RBF titles were no fluke.
Why: Kevin's return in 2014 after a long layoff garnered a distant 5th place finish. Once again, he is out of practice and must leverage his status as a former champion to gain eligibility for this year's event. The reason he is still in the pack, rather than being listed with odds far below everyone else, is due to his FoM rating. As of Tuesday morning he had already stated his intent to participate. He made it abundantly clear that he intends to show up ready to compete for a title. Sometimes the raw numbers don't tell the whole story. It's hard to beat a two-time champ who sets his mind to winning, and Kevin is bent on winning this tournament.
Good luck to everyone at the 27th annual Armistice Day Fits Tournament! And remember, game creator Mike Carr sends his best wishes for a memorable event. See you there!