Last week saw seven armies pit against each other in a spooky conquest to see who can out trick each other. Today, two surviving armies meet head to head on the battlefield as they fight for the crown and the glory. Five judges have stepped up to the plate to watch over this event.
On October 21, the Trick or Treat Trials kicked off with its first round of trick or treating. Seven armies, consisting of Army of Club Penguin, Elite Guardians, Help Force, Penguins of Madagascar, Special Weapons and Tactics and Templars, all joined in by logging onto the same sever in a free-for-all battle spanning across two rooms. Due to the nature of the tournament rules, it required the judges to stay on their toes as they anticipated chaotic battling.
Going into the Grand Finals, the Army of Club Penguin and Help Force will be partaking in a regular, competitive battle; no more tricks. With some old faces returning to judge this anticipated battle, Club Penguin Armies reached out to the judges on their expectations for the Grand Finals.
Could you introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of your background in armies and expertise in the field of judging?
Fwapo: Hello! I am Fwapo, I am from Special Weapons (SWAT) [and] I’ve been a agent for happily one to two years. Two months ago, I applied for Judge in Training and I got accepted. I started pushing through and happily made it alive. Two months may seem short for practice but I believe I have the knowledge to be a great judge and make it through this amazing Trick or Treat Trials battle.
Sweater: I’m Sweater. I’ve been in the community for a little over ten years now with time away every now and then. I’ve led various successful armies and judged plenty of tense battles, so I’m no stranger to close battles. Army wise, I’m currently leading the People’s Imperial Confederation and have previously led the Fire Warriors and Special Weapons and Tactics. I judged my first battle in 2020 for Club Penguin Online Army League and have been judging on and off since, including two Legends Cups and plenty of war battles.
What do you think is the key factor in deciding the winner of a battle?
Fwapo: For me, it all depends on creativity and consistency. In my point of view, I see the army that is creative and consistent with their max size can definitely be a winner but a loss doesn’t mean weakness, it’s quite the opposite, it gives energy, more persistence, for the army to push through and hopefully win tournaments in the near future.
Sweater: I think we can all agree size is the “main” factor in battle, but for something like this upcoming Grand Finals, you’d expect size to be similar. In such cases, I primarily look for unique formations or who can utilize their size better (i.e. covering, look bigger).
What are your expectations for the Grand Finals of the Trick or Treat Trials?
Fwapo: I believe it’s going to be Help Force (HF). I have seen the army with its creativity and way of thinking [as a] whole. Army of Club Penguin (ACP) is also amazing but, in perspective, I see HF more creative and takes decisions more thoughtfully, while ACP just needs that win and that trophy to get it home. It’s not bad to think like that but I see HF getting this one.
Shpec: Honestly, it could go either way. Both ACP and HF have shown themselves to be powerhouses with a great sense for battles. Unless either army is performing poorly, this could go either way. Size would be an important factor in this battle though, considering the relatively equal level of both armies.
Spotty: I expect it to be a close battle given the two finalists, however I will be surprised if we see an overtime room.
Sweater: To be honest, I haven’t kept up with either army all that much recently but that just makes me more excited going into this. I have no real expectations except that both armies will likely be phenomenal! Best of luck to them both tonight.
After seeing the results of the first round, what has been your thoughts on the Trick or Treat Trials?
Shpec: Great. I loved the trick rooms and the fun goofiness the challenges brought to the battles, and also how they affected the results of the rooms in addition to the generic battles.
Spotty: It’s interesting to see how armies react to sudden tasks within a battle. It specifically tests their leadership skills, demonstrating to the community which army can adapt successfully the fastest. However, I think that every army should’ve been required to participate in at least one trick room, otherwise it ends up being just a normal tournament.
What are your thoughts on the different strategies that were implemented in the first round by the Army of Club Penguin and Help Force that propelled them to the Grand Finals?
Shpec: HF went for a safe strategy of just going for the treat rooms, depending purely on their battle capabilities, which saw them get an automatic win in two rooms. I’d have tried out a trick room at least once, just for fun, but to each their own. ACP on the other hand went for the trick rooms each time. They had it tougher, facing off against the equally powerful Elite Guardians (EGCP) and they tied each time, but this had its own effect of relying on the challenges for victory which made it more interesting. Both armies chose extremely different strategies, but in the end, since they’re in the Grand Finals, it paid off.
Spotty: I personally felt it was a shame that HF took the easy way to the Grand Finals as their skills were not tested due to having two out of three rooms alone. Whereas ACP tested their skills in all three rooms, proving why they should be in the Grand Finals.
The community continues to state its love for good old fashion bracket-style tournaments. As a Head Judge, what kind of tournaments do you like the best?
Spotty: I personally prefer bracket tournaments. I wasn’t much of a fan of the group tournament earlier in the year as it didn’t seem to have much hype, and it was more difficult for small-medium armies to progress if they were grouped with solely major armies. If the community ever expanded, I would like to see the return of major armies-only and small-medium armies-only tournaments.
All judges seem to agree that this battle could be a close one. In lieu of the Fright or Fight tournament, the Trick or Treat Trials could very well see an equally matched battle that will go down in history. When creating this tournament, the administrators did not intend for it to replace the Fright tournament moving forward. So, with this one of a kind trophy on the line, who will take it home?