Sardak Norr Rules ...
Chris Bennett and Peter Walsh
Robert Buccheri and James Griffith.
Twilight Imperium 2013 was again a great experience
both to play in and to GM. We had enough players for seven 4-player
qualifying games over two days of play. These qualifying rounds
were capped at four hours to keep things moving. I believe this
is the best method for qualifying heats, balancing the time commitment
of a long game with the ability to play in more than one round
to earn one of eight seats at the Final table. The turnout declined
slightly to a new low. We had a healthy mix of new faces and
return players even though the tournament was reclassified as
an (A) Advanced event. Six of the finalists were return players
from prior years, with two newcomers gained entry to the Final
table as well.
After consulting with the finalists, it was decided to reuse
the WBC 2012 Final map, a three-galaxy layout designed so that
all players are no more than four spaces away from any other
player's home system. This map provides plenty of room for players
to establish themselves, but requires a strong commitment to
protecting your home system due to its proximity to opponents.
The objectives were randomized and play started at 10 am.
The eight finalists and their chosen races were: Pete Walsh -
Muaat, 2011 champ Michael Buccheri - L1z1x Mindnet, Matt O'Connor
- Yssaril, Will Kenyon - Saar, Rob Olsson - Sardak Norr, Bernie
Frick - Winnu , Frank Morehouse - Sol, and defending Champion
Peter Putnam - Xxcha.
The Final is an untimed event, and this year went about ten
hours. The objectives proved to be a challenging combination
and the players struggled early to qualify for them, adding to
the overall length of the game. On the Final turn, there were
three players (Kenyon, Walsh and O'Connor) all within striking
distance of the win. The last turn was a wild affair with most
of the table joining forces to keep Matt and his Yssaril from
gaining one more point to win. The gloves came off and all players
were looking for any opportunity to gain the edge, striking at
any system that opened a possible path to victory. The three
leaders all looked strong briefly during the turn only to have
the other competitors rein them back in before they could claim
victory. In the end, it was Rob Olsson, quietly sitting a distant
three points away from victory who took full advantage of the
weakened leaders; waiting till all other players had passed to
qualify for a very difficult 3-point victory objective. An excellent
come- from-behind victory, masterfully executed!
The scores were: Olsson 10, O'Connor 9, Walsh 8, Putnam 8,
Kenyon 8, Frick 7, Buccheri 7, and Morehouse 7. All ties were
ranked according to the official tie-break rules. Each year the
level of play continues to rise, and 2013 was no exception. Qualifying
rounds were no cakewalk, even for returning veterans and the
Final was a brutal affair with all players demonstrating an extremely
high level of competence. I hope to see this trend continue and
look forward to seeing some of the old veterans knocked out in
The finalists battle for the