Arrgh Matey ... Get Aboard for
lots of Plunder
Matthew Backo of Gaithersburg, MD is the new world champion
at Blackbeard. Matthew won in less than four hours Sunday
morning with Howell Davis, the cunning leader and duelist. Matthew
had 800 Net Worth, most of which came from ransoming a hostage
he captured aboard a Caribbean prize ship.
DeWayne Curry of South Charleston, WV, took second with 700
Net Worth. Let me take this opportunity to again thank DeWayne
for agreeing on Wednesday to be an AGM in this tournament and
contributing to this write-up. DeWayne had his pirate, de Lusan,
in port with 1700 in booty, but fearful of becoming the world's
most notorious pirate, he ended-up waiting two turns too long
to sell it.
In that time, Ed Majesky - a veteran brigand from Illinois
- lost his second pirate, Christopher Condent, which ended the
game. Condent, sailing in the Indian Ocean, fell under attack
for being the most notorious pirate. Although able to avoid the
initial attempt at Interception, the next card in the Action
Deck produced an Automatic Interception.
"I went down in flames," Ed said. "Shot and
Ed's other pirate had been Blackbeard himself but the crew
mutinied before Teach could make his name. Known for activating
two pirates simultaneously, Majesky rode this strategy past an
early draw--where both of his ships sank in the same storm fifteen
minutes into the game--and into the final.
With 40 Net Worth, Michael Coomes, a black heart from Ohio,
took third. Because of the random turn order, there is always
the chance someone will suffer a scarcity of turns, and this
was the case here. Michael would prefer to remember his tough
semi-final game against long-time and consistently-tough cutthroats,
John Emory and Raymond Hall. This game produced a situation I
had never seen before: Michael's first pirate reached 90 Notoriety
in a three-masted rigger before one of John's
King's Commissioners did enough combat damage to cause a successful
mutiny on board. Michael's second pirate assumed control in the
middle of the battle but John had to call off the attack because
Raymond had more Net Worth. With a new lease on life, Michael's
second pirate returned to port, repaired the boat, and went back
to work raiding the Moorish coast, quickly
earning enough to put him back in the lead. By then, Raymond's
pirate had been chased around the horn of Africa and into the
Atlantic, but when the crew came down with scurvy there was nothing
Ray or John could do to stave off defeat. The other semi-finalists
who found riches in the first round were Carl Sykes, Tim Greene,
Tom Wojke, David Weintten, Matt Fagan and Alan Arvold.
For the Sportsman award I nominated Stephen Munchak because
he exhibited the attitude and behavior every GM hopes to see
from the people in their event at the WBC. Stephen brought a
copy of his game, used it, accepted someone who never played
before at his table and helped them along in a game where that's
not much fun. Afterwards, when he saw I didn't know what to do
with the thirteen people remaining for the second round, he volunteered
to drop out and round the field.
My apologies to the semi-finalists; I had no idea when I picked
my time-slot, space and table requirements that we would end-up
in the same room as Slapshot. My apologies also to anyone who
didn't participate in the tournament because of the format or
timing. I should have found a way to make it more clear that
when the program read "three four-hour rounds"
starting at 5 p.m. that the final was scheduled for Sunday morning.
Congratulations to Matthew and the other finalists and thanks
to all 28 participants in the Blackbeard 2000 tournament
for making the event an enjoyable one for everyone involved.
For those of you who have never played Blackbeard, the
object is to
generate 100 points of Notoriety, which is extremely difficult,
or possess the most Net Worth when someone else loses their second
pirate. The game demands the player to take deadly risks that
will most likely result in the need for recovery time expressed
in turns, which themselves are determined at random rather than
doled out in order as in most games. Even recovering has its
dangers as players are free to attack each other in duels. Players
in the lead are not only hunted as in most
games but can do some hunting themselves. It really does give
you a sense of the pirate's life. Anyone who has any suggestions
about how the Blackbeard tournament might work better next year
should feel free to send me an E-mail.