Sadly on the 15th November 2005, we lost one of our much loved original members from the Ringway Centre days, Martin "Manic" Hoare, who passed away after a long illness, aged a mere 36.
In memory of his contribution to our club, we decided to hold an annual known as The Manic Martin Memorial Trophy Tournament. The format and substance of each tournament is devised by the previous year's winner, this means it is totally different each year and full of spontaneity (Much like Martin himself).
In the intervening years, we've had some epic games from D&D Miniatures battles, Maze and Labyrinth, Necromunda, Jousting Tournaments, and epic Star Trek space battles.
2023: Joshua Wilson
A Night At The Races by Paul Stebles
Josh's triumph in this year's Manic Trophy Tournament was nothing short of an electrifying spectacle. Picture this: a night at the races, where the heart-pounding thrill of Scalextric track racing determined who would amass the bonus cash for the ultimate horse racing showdown. It was a high-stakes battle where fortunes hung in the balance.
The contestants were handed either £2500 or £3500 based on their Scalextric prowess, setting the stage for an intense night of horse racing and wagering. As the adrenaline coursed through the veins of the club members, the tension escalated with every gallop. Jack, Martin, and Steve saw their dreams crumble in the early races, while Jess and Lucas adopted a cautious, measured approach.
But it was the final race that sent shockwaves through the room. With the finish line in sight and the title up for grabs, almost everyone went all-in, including Josh, who was already poised for a place in the grand showdown. His audacious £4500 bet on 'Under the Cosh' at 10:1 odds left spectators gasping. And when the dust settled, Josh emerged as the undisputed champion, amassing a jaw-dropping £49,500.
However, the night held one final, heart-pounding twist. The grand finale took the form of a 20-lap race, a neck-and-neck duel between Josh and Jessica, who had both honed their skills tirelessly. It was a test of nerves and speed, a race where victory could slip away in an instant.
In the end, it was Josh's unwavering consistency and Jessica's unfortunate crash at the chicane that sealed the deal. With triumph in his grasp, Joshua Wilson was crowned the champion of champions in a night that will be etched in the annals of the Manic Trophy Tournament's history.
2022: Matt Homer
Wild West Bandits by David Humphrey
Matt won this years Manic Trophy tournament, with a series of Wild West themed games, including Bandito, Bang Dice & Colt Express. Dave was this years host, coming up with an excellent roundup of games, starting with a jail break, which ended with two groups tying to get into the semi-final. So there's only way to solve a tie in the Wild West, a shoot out! There was a brutal showdown in Bang Dice with Tony succumbing early on to a load of flying lead, and the Indians claiming yet more victims. Eventually Jay was taken down leaving a final with Matt, Alex, Jack, Jonas, Mohit and Paul. This time we boarded the Colt Express, to plunder its precious cargo of jewels and loot. While the group battled it out Matt cleverly took his time and gathered all the loot after each battle, and with his iron fists he claimed the treasure of any one he struck. It was a close run game with Jason coming in second, but Matt stole the show with his hoard of cash. Sticking with tradition Paul had been shot the most by players, while Alex was riddled with holes by the Sheriff. Thanks to David for an excellent show of games and Congratulations to this year's Manic Trophy Winner Matt Homer.
2021: David Humphrey
Racing & Exploration Games by Paul Stebles
Dave won the Manic Trophy this year with a round-robin of racing games, including Formula D, Snow Tails & Mississippi Queen. With each player being awarded points for their position in each of the heats. Mark came out on top with two wins, followed by both Dave and Daniel both having a win and 2nd place each. The trio entered the final together, playing the exploration game, the Trails of Tucana. It was a close run game with Dave securing the win with 115 points. Congratulations to this year's Manic Trophy Winner David Humphrey.
2020: Paul Stebles
Wingspan Board Game
Unfortunately this year due to various reasons we were not able to host a manic trophy tournament this year. So before the new year closed out the new members of Dragons Keep were able to have a game of Wingspan dedicated to Martin and raise a glass to our fallen brother to continue the tradition. Paul managed to scoop the victory over Sam by a few points with a full row of water habitat birds and a final score of 89 points. The highest score yet in the scorebook we have. Next years game will feature the entire club and we'll be back in full flow with a fun and exciting night for everyone.
2019: Hannah Philpott
Growing Games by Marco Curran
Hannah won the trophy this year with a close run battle in the Game of Life, as Marco hosting his games throughout childhood and into adult life. Starting with a speed jigsaw competition which was very tense, followed by the classic metal buzzer challenge to see who could get around the fastest with least mistakes. Leading on to a game of Mario Kart and finally the Game of Life, it was a close-run fight with Dude opting to rush to retirement with no kids and a property empire, meanwhile David was close behind having switched carerers, with Paul and Hannah both taking on an army of kids and pets. Clearly the college education paid off, it was very close but Hannah edged ahead with her wagon load of children and some great lottery wins while still in college, while Paul's cat got him fired from his first job.
2018: Marco Curran
British vs Pirates by Mark Cunningham
Marco came out on top in this mass battle of British vs Pirates. Initially two teams attacking each other which lead to some deadly exchanges and Daniel being taken out first. Shortly after a free for all was announced, and a few scurvy dogs went straight for Paul Stebles to wipe him out with boarding action. Followed closely by David Humphrey. Battle continued non stop late into the night until just Marco and George remained, and Marco dealing the final blow.
2017: Mark Cunningham
Infect the World by Paul Stebles
Paul put on a series of games themed around finding a formula for a bio weapon, transporting it in a submarine, then building the weapon, and finally infecting the world. With an escape game, followed by Captain Sonar, potion explosion and lastly Plague Inc. A few were eliminated by the escape room, failing to free themselves in time. The remaining crews, took to battle underwater, leaving two crews of four. Then the top two potion creators went through to a final elimination to infect the world with Mark victorious, but very close run with Errol.
2016: Paul Stebles
Pirate Cove by Richard Cunningham
Richard staged an epic game of Pirates cove with teams of four, each team with their own tactics, some upgraded their ships early on for combat advantage, meanwhile the winning team chose to use the early points to buy victory points, and co-ordinate attacks with their weaker ships. The tactics worked well with Emma, Jerrie, Addy and Paul reaching the final. It was a close run match with Addy taking the early lead, then realising he'd have to host threw himself off the plank, leaving Jerrie and Paul to go neck and neck. With Jerrie dressed in full pirate gear she took the lead, but one late last turn mistake left Paul just enough space to scrape the win by just 1 point. As a consolation Jerrie took the trophy home that year.
2015: Richard Cunningham
Metanauts by Paul Stebles
With Davids abrupt departure from the club this year, it fell to Paul to host the game. He created a series of balanced metanauts for his table top battle game. With two games, the top few went through to the second round, upgrading or exchanging their Metanaut for even better models, with superior weapons and defences. It was a close run battle but no one could stand up to the might of Richards firepower, as he took the day! Making Richard our second double winner.
2014: David Martin
Tri of Games by Apo Sarandidis
David came out solidly on top in the standings this year becoming the first double winner of the trophy. Securing the win with 1st place in both Apo's Zombie Survival game and Richard's Necromunda and a 2nd place finish in Dude's 2.5D Dungeon Crawl. Bridesmaid prize went to Paul Stebles who yet again finished in the runner up spot.
2013: Apo Sarandidis
Starfleet Battle Game by Simon Hibbs
Apo Sarandidis won this epic tabletop spaceship battle in a convincing manner after Tony Brotherton and Richard Cunningham both surrendered their vessels to his (in stunning displays of cowardice hitherto unseen at Hobbits Hole). Honourable mention goes to Paul Stebles who was a valiant runner up.
2012: Simon Hibbs
Knights Tournament by Andrew Wright
Andy put on a stunning game this year which involved a series of challenges such as the design your own heraldry game, Jousting and Melee combat and some Nintendo Wii based archery.
2011: Andrew Wright
Dungeon Crawl by Bel Potter
Andy won Bel's homebrew dungeon crawl
2010: Bel Potter
Necromunda Gang War by Richard Cunningham
Congratulations for 2010 went to Bel who won Richard's Necromunda Gang War game. With a knockout competition format, two teams of three people battled it out against each other in a game of reverse capture the flag. The final culminated in a three way free for all as Bel's gangers killed with precision and a last final berserker charge.
2009: Richard Cunningham
Dungeon Crawl Game by David Martin
Richard won David's epic homebrew dungeon crawl with custom photograph playing pieces. Using a playing card random system.
2008: David Martin
D&D Miniatures Arena by Mark Hamilton
David won the day in 2008 during Mark's D&D Miniatures Arena of death game.
2007: Mark Hamilton
Boardgame Eliminator by Tony Brotherton
Mark Hamilton won the innaugural event, consisting of a three elimination rounds of boardgames, in dramatic circumstances in a DICE OFF. Some of the games played were; Ticket to Ride, Citadels, Mission Red Planet with the final game being Sceptre of Zavandor.