Lost Cities Debut
One of the most diverse groups I have ever seen at a gaming
event descended on Hunt Valley to take place in the first Lost
Cities tournament. The participants included young and old,
husbands and wives (or pairs of significant others), and players
from around the globe, all of whom built their expeditions in
the hopes of becoming the WBC's first Lost Cities champion.
For those of you who have never picked up Lost Cities
before, my 48 players and I have one question: Why not? This
is a wonderful two-player game from RioGrande Games and Kosmos.
Players build expeditions in suits of five different colored
cards, constantly making difficult choices, the hardest of which
is that their opponent may benefit from their discard. Reiner
Knizia created this gem, and it is perfect for all ages, couples,
and just about everyone else.
During the first round, I was able to divide the participants,
and also offer the first of two prizes to the player who had
the highest negative score (which is not a good thing in Lost
Cities): GolfMania from Fantasy Flight Games. Matt
Oliviere took the honors with 38 for the round, and proudly
left the tournament with a smile and the game in hand.
After the completion of three rounds we had a dilemma. Six
finalists had emerged from the pack, but with no real good formula
in this two-player single elimination event for a bye. So I had
them do the sensible thing. They drew lots!
At this point my personal odds-on favorite was Anthony Rubbo,
who is known in the German strategy game circles for his hard
work interpreting rules, as well as his superior gaming abilities.
It appeared that Anthony would beat eventual champion Daniel
Broh-Kahn, but he lost his lead in the last game round (each
individual game is composed of three rounds) and found himself
back at RioGrande's demo table with the mighty Jay Tummelson.
I was very proud when we reached the finals, and found that
I had a gender-balanced Championship round. Laurel Stokes had
capitalized on new life in round 1, surviving when her opponent
forfeited. She rode that luck all the way to the Championship
(with significant skill I must add), and found herself in the
finals with Daniel Broh-Kahn, who was the last person to show
up at the tournament (not even having registered yet, which he
took care of quickly).
Unfortunately for Laurel, Daniel played a masterful first
round and took a 51-point lead. Despite her best efforts, the
gap was closed only to 27 points. I crowned Daniel the champion,
and handed him the championship prize I brought, Rosenkoenig
from Kosmos, which (along with Lost Cities) is part of
Kosmos' wonderful series of two player games. Congratulations
to Daniel Broh-Kahn and all of the participants that made this
event a success!