Acquiring Assets Between the Shell
The Acquire tournament began on Thursday morning in
a strange new world for your GM. In all my years of coming to
Avaloncon (which is every one of them) I had never set foot in
the ASL room (except for the Sunday morning After Action meetings
that were held there the first couple of years). As a longtime
GM, I don't pay much attention to what Don sends us until the
seven-hour drive to Baltimore (just kidding Don, your stuff goes
right to the top!) So one of the guys in the car asks where Acquire
will be held. I told him probably the Valley or Maryland
rooms. He, being a first time attendee, proceeded to look up
the room and promptly informed me that no, it was in the Hunt
Ballroom. I, of course, snickered and told him to look again.
He did, and to my shock, we were indeed going to be in the Hunt
Ballroom with the venerable ASLers.
With a little trepidation I went into the room and found ASL
being set up in the front of the room. I quickly went to the
back to set up. Perry Cocke, the ASL GM came back and
introduced himself and told me if I needed anything to let him
know. Gee ... ASLers ARE nice guys! From that point everything
went smoothly and if it wasn't for that 'tink, tink, tink' of
the dice in the glasses we never would have known we were playing
in the Hunt Ballroom. In fact, it was pleasantly quiet, as opposed
to the other event I run!
Anyway, 41 would-be hotel owners found their way down to the
bowels of the Marriott and the gaming began. We used Reiff's
patented playing card method to randomize the three rounds. I
heard no complaints.
After the first three rounds, 16 semi-finalists were left
standing. The semis set up as follows: Semi #1 Cliff Ackman,
Steve Shambeda, Carl Walling and Tamara McGraw. Semi #2
Forrest Pafenburg, Rob Flowers, Dave Gantt and Reiko McQuiston.
Semi #3 Justin Childs, Gary Moss, James Wicht and Cathy
Kratz. Semi #4 David Brooks, Casey Adams, David Platnick
and Chuck Goodwin.
In the 4th Semi, David Brooks squeaked a $1500 victory out
over Chuck to advance. In the 2nd, Rob Flowers had a close game
as only $8000 separated first and last. In the 1st semi, Steve
Shambeda had a comfortable victory while running up a semi-final
high total of $54,900. The closest semi was the 3rd where 16th
(and last) qualifier, 1998 champ Justin Childs beat defending
champ Gary Moss by a mere $1200. The first merger was a close
one and propelled Gary and Justin to the lead. Gary had the initial
advantage with more money, but Justin held Tower and started
it again to merge and exchange shares with Imperial. Justin was
able to then come back in the end game with interests in three
of the four remaining companies to Gary's two.
Justin proved that seedings don't mean anything in the finals
as he ran roughshod on the other finalists with $54,300. Rob
Flowers was second with $33,700, Steve Shambeda third with $30,900
and David Brooks took 4th with $28,700. Justin used Imperial
at 40+ to really widen his margin of victory. It seemed that
everyone else just couldn't get going. Justin said of his victory
'I look forward to returning next year to play with the best
group of players in the world. Hopefully, I can draw the winning
tiles again." Well said -- although wasted because Diplomacy
doesn't start till Friday.