age of renaissance [updated August 2000]

   18-24    10-16        17-23

    Worthington    Garden     Maryland 1-2

Ewan McNay, CT

1999-2000 Champion

2nd: Harald Henning, CT

3rd: Jeff Mullet, OH

4th: Jim Jordan, MD

5th: Tom Taaffe, VA

6th: Olin Hentz, CT
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    Mike May       30
1997    George Sauer      106
1998    Mark Giddings      124
1999    Ewan McNay     115
2000    Ewan McNay      81
AREA Ratings
 1    Ewan McNay      5710
 2    Harald Henning      5543
 3    William Crenshaw      5483
 4    Nicholas Anner      5440
 5    Thomas Taaffe      5386
 6    George Sauer III      5360
 7    Marvin Birnbaum      5351
 8    James Pei      5340
 9    Mark Giddings      5326
10    James Jordan      5322

Alas, poor Hamburg!

Robert Seulowitz ponders a move during the Semi-Finals.

The 2000 tournament will probably go down in WBC history as the year that all tables saw a winner other than Hamburg! The London position, meanwhile, had but one win! Will this mean an increase in bids next year? This year's highest bid was a '7', a far cry from the double-digit bids of years past. However, the average bid was up from last year, at 2.2, with many players opting for the 3 to 4 bid range and '0' bids losing favor.

Victories, by position:                                        

* Barcelona: 9
* Paris: 7
* Venice: 5
* Genoa: 4
* London: 1
* Hamburg: 0

In all, five of 26 games were played with only five players (no Hamburg).

Victories, by bid:

* 0 - 4 winners
* 1 - 1 winner
* 2 - 4 winners
* 3 - 12 winners
* 4 - 4 winners
* 6 - 1 winner

Winning bids thus tended to be higher than the 2.2 average.

Last-place position, by bid:                                                   Lauren Hickok (right) prepares her forces in the opening Heat.

NA - 3 (multiple chaos, etc.)
* 0 - 5 losers
* 1 - 7 losers
* 2 - 5 losers
* 3 - 3 losers
* 5 - 3 losers

Thus, more than half of all last-place finishers bid less than 2.

Some heated game action:

* Tony Bovo's Paris is the only position with Cathedral, but Ed Wrobel's low-profile Venice nudges by Ted Simmons' much-less-miserable Barcelona.
* Scott Marcotte's Barcelona is the only one with Holy Indulgence on Turn 3 and never looks back. Meanwhile, Eric Eshleman's Venice reaches 900 Misery but somehow comes roaring back to challenge Rob Seulowitz's London, Steve Simmons' Genoa and Rob Flowers' Hamburg.
* Olin Hentz's Barcelona bids a conservative -12 on the final turn to make sure he can cash in his two Spice and one Silk for
over $500.
* Ewan McNay's Genoa plays War on Turn 1, loses his capital, never recaptures it, but goes on to be the only buyer of Cathedral, then of Ocean Navigation, and swamps the competition.

And finally, a 1st-person narration of the Sunday Final by the Genoese winner, Ewan McNay:

Venice (bid 5): Jim Jordan
Barcelona (bid 5): Olin Hentz
Genoa (bid 4): Ewan McNay
London (bid 3): Jeff Mullett
Paris (bid 3): Tom Taaffe
Hamburg (bid 1): Harald Henning

Perhaps the best-played game of AoR, in terms of skill, that I've ever been a part of--six extremely good players, at least five of whom could plausibly be called the leader right to the end.

After a quiet (but long--negotiations started intensely and early with Hamburg asking for Bordeaux!) opening move, Turn 2 saw a Venetian-backed Civil War wrack Genoa to ensure that the Venetian merchants would have first crack at the riches of the Near East. The Spanish merchants, meanwhile, forgot to spend time working on their shipping and were left paddling in the Western Med. This turn also saw a British incursion into Lubeck expelled by Parisian forces, at the invitation of Hamburg-- Paris would go on to take Milan also, and specialize in Stone. The first of two rebellions broke out in Marseilles.

Both Genoa and London sprang ahead on Turn 3, as Walter's aid was sought by the Genoese in getting a lock on the Black Sea, and the Crusaders of London brought the British into the Far East in one fell swoop. At this stage, Genoa had something like 16 cities, and the income from them enabled a lead in advances that was to last until the end of the game. Indeed, the rest of Genoa's game was a story of relatively few tokens bid, poor dice rolled, but enough leaders and small payoffs to keep a nose
ahead in the Advance column - and a sufficiently small board presence to be not worth attacking (in my opinion, anyway!). The leaders were really key - I had Ibn Majid, Walter, Henry, Oldenburg, de las Casas and maybe others. In particular, I think that Henry came out (protected) while my city income was still high, and the purchase of Institutional Research was another key factor in allowing my relatively low income to stretch. Paris opines that the play of all three Civics leaders in the protected box was a key element separating players early on.

While Barcelona fell slowly from contention, perhaps, with a plague depriving him of several payouts at a key moment, a slow Venetian start was kicked into high gear by a $160 Ivory payout - allowing them to get to the New World first, as well as the Far East, and gain a strong position in Spice, Gold and Metal. Paris rampaged through Central Europe, and at one stage looked unstoppable, with a huge empire and money pouring in - an $80 cloth payout after taking Tunis, and rewards from sponsorship of both Columbus and (I think) Newton that same turn. London had several silk payouts, but - along with Paris - was getting ever more miserable. The British had pioneered religious warfare, with first Holy Indulgence and then Cathedral, and followed that by a Papal ban on Religion, making themselves a huge target but also suffering from Religious Strife and loss of a War to Barcelona, as well as a second plague in the British Isles - although the remaining defenders proved extremely stout, fighting off several incursions by Genoese and Spanish forces against all odds. Hamburg meanwhile had been collecting vast numbers of cards - shortages in timber every turn, it seemed - but had relatively little board position despite a violent attack on grain provinces just after they had been taken by Genoa :-). Still, while having fairly low income and few leaders until late, and keeping quiet in the contention over leadership, a check on Advances purchased revealed that the Hamburgers' position was actually very strong.

As the endgame approached, Genoa had a small reserve of cash (from leader patronage) which multiplied itself through Interest and Profit, while both Paris and Hamburg owned Renaissance and Venice had perhaps the best board position in commodities to come. The usual flurry of violent cards saw Pirates raid the Venetian colony in S. America as well as their grain in Seville - this after Genoa had taken all of the Parisian grain, only to have some of it taken in turn by others. The import of grain was revealed when a Famine occurred - and the misery from that sent Paris out of contention. However, the threat of Pirate attacks
on their grain had persuaded London's agitators to turn their attentions from Genoa to Venice, and that Civil War knocked down the Venetians also. As the final cash payouts were tallied, a slender lead in Advance values gave the advantage to Genoa over Hamburg. And we could all go home.

 GM     Designer Jared Scarborough [5th year]   1 Scarborough Rd, Payson, IL 62360-9743   NA

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