The First of the Fast Forward History
It was not a quiet week on the British Isles. It was another
great tournament with lots of good solid play and many more even
games, including the final. The high scores were off this year
as the competitors showed that they had learned from last year's
astronomical high scores and whacked away with great gusto at
anyone with a high score.
for all the smackings, the Roman's didn't wash on the beach as
badly as last year . While there were some long lived Romano-British.
one has to admit that Roman-British lasting until turn 13 or
14 is just a bit disturbing.
Ewan McNay returned to capture another Purple high score plaque
with 123.5 points. 59 point Romans and 31 point Scots will make
a difference. Tim Kniker took the Best Green plaque with a score
of 114.5. Tim's troops just did well all across the board, including
10 points for the Jutes! In a curious twist, Tim's score was
not the highest of the green scores though. Mark Smith came in
second with green with 123.5 points...he was second to the massive
blue score of 132 for Neil Whyman. But the 132 yielded to a Best
Blue of 135 for John Emory whose Picts alone pulled in 45 points,
including 17 at the end. The high red score went to yours truly
with a purely lucky score of 130.5.
The semi-finals included lots of past champions, four of whom
ended stuck in the same game. Whew, what a game that was! It
definitely felt like a final to have Pfeiffer, Gannt, Mingo and
Jordan going after each other tooth and nail. Anyway, the final
included two former champions, David Gannt and Ewan McNay, one
former finalist, Nick Benedict, and Mark Smith. Naturally enough,
to give it all away, Mark Smith won the game, but not without
a fight! David played green, Ewan red, Nick blue, and Mark purple.
To quote from Ewan, "The big story of the game was that
mountains were no place to hide." Time and again rolls
that would normally have gone to armies holed up in the mountains
went sour. It rather looked like artillery had made an early
entrance into the British Isles. Ewan was a primary sufferer
in the mountains, losing two armies each in battles in the Orknies,
Hebrides and Galloway, each to three stacks, while his armies
inflicted no casualties.
Otherwise, the final looked like a fairly normal game. The
end proved quite interesting though. The Saxons actually managed
to pull off a double defense and stack high against Mark Smith's
Norwegians in York, it being quite obvious that Mark was winning
at that point (although he didn't believe it.) After fending
off the Norwegians, the Saxons headed south to take on the Normans.
Nick's Norman dice were very hot though and they rolled up the
Saxons like a cheap suit.
Nonetheless, the game came down to Nick winning on a roll
to tie for second, but then losing the roll that would have won
the game. And at the last it was nice and tight with Mark's purple
scoring 106, Nick's blue taking second with 104 and winning the
dice off battle against Ewan's red 104 while David's green came
last with a still respectable score of 96. All in all, a finely
played close game that came down to the final turn.
On choosing colors for next year, well, I really liked the
high die roll selecting their color first, so that practice will
continue. Also, officially, the final will be random color draw.
The winner should be able to play any color well. Each of these
tournament rules worked well this year and I'd like to see them
A note on the prizes for next year's tournament. Normally,
the winner of the Britannia tournament has their name
enscribed on the silver Britannia plaque. In addition
to this, by virtue of an anonymous donation by a member of the
Britannia community, the winner will also receive a signed,
framed print of the Battle of Hastings. Naturally, the usual
awards for "Best" color will be given for the top scoring
winners in each color in the heats preceding the semi-finals.
The Maryland Ballroom hums to the
rise and fall of cultures in one of Britannia's four heats.