Scott Hardie | September 6, 2019
Happy rockiversary! Rock Block re-started five years ago today. It's been great fun; I'm so glad that the game came back and that so many other people are enjoying it too.

To celebrate today's occasion, I'm pleased to announce a big fall tournament based on Starship's "We Built This City." If you're like me, you'll hear that song in your head every time you see those four words, so enjoy the earworm!

The format is all about collecting by winning, similar to this summer's Woodstock tournament. This time, you're the mayor of your own fledgling rockopolis, and you need to add famous businesses and landmarks from rock & roll history to fill out your town, like Hotel California, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Blueberry Hill, and more. Many more, in fact: There are one hundred locations to collect, triple the number in Woodstock.

Why so many, when Woodstock's endgame dragged on for weeks? Because the distribution works differently this time. Every tournament concert will offer up a location that either the challenger or the defender needs in order to grow their city. That doesn't mean that if you win, you'll definitely get a location that you need, since it might be your opponent who needed it. But there won't be totally wasted concerts either, where neither player needs the location. (It is possible that you'll get two simultaneous concerts with the same reward and win one of them, rendering the other unnecessary,) The further behind you fall in your collecting compared to your opponent, the more likely the concert will be to benefit you instead of them, since the random selection is naturally more likely to choose a place from your larger set of needed locations than their smaller set.

The prize is bigger this time, to reflect the scale of the challenge: Besides the gift card, the winner will get 100 ranks of new artists, which could go a long way towards filling in your collection. The winner will also get one of my favorite games, a fun little Japanese city-building competition, which partially inspired the tournament. (Starship gets the rest of the credit for inspiration. That song may be reviled but damn it's catchy.)

As with Woodstock, every hour, the site will spawn another random tournament concert, if there's a pair of players not already playing each other. Thus, it will take overnight to spawn all of the first wave of concerts.

I can't wait to see how this tournament plays out in the coming weeks. Let's rock!

Matthew Preston | September 6, 2019
Woo-Hoo! Looking forward to it!

Chris Lemler | September 6, 2019
I hear this song at my job every once in awhile. Looking forward to it

Scott Hardie | January 19, 2020
Now that all of the locations have been revealed, here are some additional locations that I considered using, if anyone's curious:

Fritz's Corner (Local H)
Cannibal Café (SNFU)
Cold Harbor (The Outlaws)
Star Hotel (Cold Chisel)
Gladstone Pier (Redgum)
Somebody Else's Parking Lot In Sebastopol (The Extra Glenns)
Maryland Bridge (John K. Samson)
Marrakesh Night Market (Loreena McKennitt)
The Old Lucky Diamond Motel (Vince Gill)
Lonely Avenue (Ray Charles)
Train in Vain (The Clash)
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Pearl Jam)
Mystery Train (Elvis Presley)
Some Bar by the Harbor (Barry Manilow)

Did I miss any other good ones?

Scott Hardie | January 25, 2020
It's over! There were rushes and lulls along the way where the tournament sped up and slowed down, but the slowest week of all must have been this final one, with three players (Chris Lemler, Steve West, and me) tied at 99 out of 100 locations and being very cautious about each next move. Eventually, a concert timed out and gave me that final 100th location and my first tournament victory.* I'm ecstatic but also kind of exhausted since this was such a marathon of Rock Block. :-)

Steve pulled ahead to an early lead, then Chris and I caught up to him. Then Steve went on another tear, collecting over 90 locations while the rest of us were only halfway done. At that point I got aggressive, forfeiting every concert that didn't help me get ahead and didn't help anyone get ahead of me. Apparently that strategy paid off because it allowed me to catch up to Steve, but it also boosted Chris a little and contributed to the three-way showdown at the end, which really could have gone to any of the three of us; it was a nail-biter. Chris and Steve, you played very hard, and either of you would have been a deserving winner.

I'm tremendously impressed with how well everyone played. This was a tough competition, but for me a satisfying one no matter the outcome. I hope you're happy with your performance in the tournament.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how well the tournament went. I don't know when we'll have another, but I look forward to it already. In the meantime, I'm going to rest my Rock Block muscles a little bit. The city of Green Destiny can find a new mayor. :-P

Prizes will be issued later this weekend. Chris and Steve, since you tied for second place, you'll both get the second-place prize.

*I won one minor tournament in the original Rock Block, a live competition at GooCon that was played in an afternoon. I consider "We Built This City" to be my first "true" tournament victory in either version of the game.

Steve West | January 25, 2020
Nice comeback. Congrats.


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