To Infinity and Beyond!
Anni Foasberg and Patrick Shea
Chris Entwistle and Charley Hickok
Phil Entwistle and Craig Reece
Daniel Farrow, Patrick Shea
and Tom McCorry
Déjà vu All Over Again!
With the release of the new Fantasy Flight Games edition, both
the old AH edition and the Classic Game of the FFG edition were
offered for heat games. However, players were nearly unanimous
in their preference for the good old AH version -- both in terms
of artwork and game rules. So for the next year, the AH version
will be the standard version in use for this tournament, but
if a FFG version is brought, full AH rules will be used (purchases
with an IOU count against the "buy 1/sell 1" limit
and demands will not pay out on Factory Goods -- the only difference
will be a new navigation circle in Colony World system.)
The 2013 tournament started on Monday. 39 players participated
in ten games to get the tournament off to a strong start. In
memorable contests, Bill Crenshaw found three relics (Shield,
Switch Switch and Yellow Drive) in the first five turns to get
off to a flying start, earning an easy victory to advance. In
the slower lane, Christopher Ellis won his qualifying game by
never upgrading from a lowly Scout ship. The other Heat 1 winners
were Charlie Hickok, Bob Woodson, Vassili Kyrkos, Steve Koleszar,
Keith Corbino, Ewan McNay, Rich Meyer and Jeff Kahan.
Wednesday, the tournament returned to the vast, cold expanses
of Ballroom B (with no other games taking place yet, it was really
cold! BRRRR!) Defending champ, Eric Wrobel, appeared, hobbling
in on crutches earned in a rough soccer game. Would the injury
affect his performance? Not at all! He cruised to an easy win.
Apparently strong ankles are not a prerequisite for victory.
In another game, Philip Shea received a commission to push his
score to $2050, enough to win, but since the winner must declare
victory on their turn, Philip lost and had to settle for 1st
alternate status. (But as cruel fate would have it, exactly 20
winners appeared for the semifinals, so no alternates were admitted.)
The GM, Richard Irving, admits it is occasionally better to be
lucky than good. Finding not only the only system to sell his
cargo, but an Open Port as well -- allowing both goods to be
cashed in and buy two more plus a shield all in one turn. Later
he had a "bad" roll of 1-1-1 that occurred when he
only had to travel 2 MP up to his newly built space port. Timing
is everything! The other winners in the heat were Chris Entwistle,
Wade Fowble, Bill Navolis, Patrick Shea, Ewan McNay (his second
win) and Luke Koleszar.
The third heat, held on Friday, was held in Conestoga 3, a new
location for this event which hosted six games involving 24 players.
One of the games featured a variant, called Green Taters. Roderick
Lee won that game by finding a Red Drive, Blue Drive (included
in this variant) and Shield, which powered him to an easy victory.
The other heat winners were Wade Fowble and Christopher Ellis
(gaining their second wins), Joe Delaney, Kevin Wojtaszczyk and
The highlight of the semifinals was a WBC first visit from the
designer of the game, Richard Hamblen. All those present applauded
the designer of their favorite game and gave him three rousing
In the semifinal games themselves, Steve Koleszar unfortunately
had a memorable bit of bad luck when he rolled the maximum 6-6-6
with his Transport, only to be stopped at Shuttlestop Navigation
Circle after moving all of two dots. Ouch! This equivalent of
a galactic flat tire allowed Richard Irving to slip into the
Final along with former champions: Bill Crenshaw**, Kathy Stroh**,
Luke Koleszar* and defending champ Eric Wrobel***, possibly the
best resume of any Final in the tournament's history. ( * = times
won the MoV tournament.)
Like the 10's-2's poker hand was made famous by Doyle Brunson,
the roll 3-3-3 will likely become famous as the "Bill Crenshaw
roll" as he opened the game by choosing to explore the Cloud.
But he rolled those dice sending him uselessly away from his
intended route, where he would have found a Relic Yellow Drive,
as Bill tirelessly reminded his fellow finalists throughout the
game. That valuable relic was snatched up by Richard, who used
it to forge an early lead. The turning point came when Eric,
swooped into Water World, home of the Qossuth, and bought two
Psychotic Sculptures at Richard's newly built spaceport, leaving
Irving with nothing to buy there and several wasted turns reloading
his ship. That gave Eric a lead he would never relinquish, to
repeat as our champion, limp not withstanding. Déjà
vu all over again! Will anyone stop the Wrobel juggernaut? We
will see in 2014!
Eric wrobel, Gary Dickson, Nicola
Bradford and Roderick Lee
GM Richard Irving and his fellow finalists.