With or Without Rancor ...
As this was my first year GM'ing Acquire, I'd like
to thank all participants who put up with my inexperience (especially
Chuck Nail, Bruce Reiff and Steve Shambeda, gentlemen all). Using
WBC official rules rather than local house rules can throw everyone
off, including yours truly. I'm glad I had a sheet highlighting
specific rules to pass out before the tournament and even more
pleased that people read it.
We had 45 people participate early Sunday morning in one of
the last tournaments of the week. Players were primarily seated
in three sets of 4-player games with points assigned for finishing
places. The best 16 point totals advanced to the semi's with
only those winners advancing to the finals.
This year's final had a turn 2 takeover when Jason caused
a three-tile Imperial to consume a two-tile Luxor benefiting
himself and defending champion, Justin. Things calmed down on
the board with hotels starting on the outskirts at 3A, 4A; 9A,
10A; 3I, 4I; 12C, 12D; 3G, 3H and Luxor reforming at 11E,11F.
Jason and Justin with their extra cash bought a wide variety
of stock, battling each other on several fronts. Bruce judiciously
saved his cash until the board became more settled, then chose
a single hotel chain to battle Justin and a second chain to battle
Jason. Arthur bought the early lead in Imperial then looked for
bargains when they could be had.
The game ended with only Festival and Imperial still on the
Board. Justin had first in Festival and tied with Jason for first
in Imperial. This gave Justin his third Acquire championship
in four years, an enviable achievement for any game player.
It is impossible to say if any one point in any one game was
decisive, but all players (and the GM) were surprised when Jason
failed to trade for the last Imperial share after he brokered
a merger. This allowed Bruce to gather the share and induce the
tie for Imperial.
This year's final was beset with squabbles over the version
of the game to be played. Difficulties with later rounds were
not that people left (to get a ride home or whatever) but that
participants left without telling the GM they were unable to
continue. This miscommunication caused delays in forming the
next rounds. While every group has personality conflicts, what
brings us together is our love of games, challenge, adversity
and victory. Through gaming we are able to challenge ourselves
to become better by playing the best. Our losses teach us how
to handle adversity. Victory gives us pride and hopefully humility.
We draw together from all areas and occupations to play games
in the melting pot that is WBC. This childhood activity should
never become so serious that it would cause anyone to lose sight
of the human being sitting across the table. We are all trying
to win. If you lose, shake your opponent's hand, congratulate
them and vow to do better next year. While some frayed tempers
were displayed on Sunday I was glad to see those involved apologize
via the net afterwards.