Ben Hur ... scene 3
Circus Minimus, which was released by The Gamers in
2000, is a fast playing game of Roman chariot racing. While the
subject is the same as Circus Maximus, it is a completely
different game. Due to the lateness of The Gamers acquisition
of a vendor booth in 2000, it was not run that year. This year,
therefore, marked the inaugural appearance of Circus Minimus
at WBC, as a vendor sponsored Trial.
Attendance was excellent,
with 38 people participating. This included Dean Essig (the designer)
and Rick Barber of Civil War game design and graphics fame. All
in all, nine games were played across four heats and the final.
Heat one saw two six-player races. These races set the tone
for the rest of the tournament, as the players wasted no time
inflicting mayhem on each other to the degree that the game was
nicknamed "Rollerball in the Ancient World". In the
first of these races, Scott Cornett won the race, as his virtually
destroyed (eight damage out of a limit of 10) chariot staggered
across the line. Anthony Musella, the only other living charioteer,
finished second, and won the purse for most kills. The difference
between turning in this game versus Circus Maximus (plus
the players pre-game use of sabotage on each other) was evident,
as three chariots flipped in the first corner. The second race
was also a bloodbath, this time with only one chariot finishing.
John Keating was the leader, but his chariot flipped in the final
turn. He still could have won, but the fact that his driver was
already badly injured (four injuries out of six allowed) meant
that he died before his team could have dragged him across the
finish line. Barry Smith was the only one who finished with a
Chariot. He took first while Bob Myers crossed the line on foot,
and took the purse for most kills.
Heat two saw three six player races. The mayhem level definitely
equaled that of the first heat. In one of the races, Stephen
Campbell hijacked Dean Essig's chariot right at the end, and
rode it to victory. Hoyt Burass was dragged by his team (chariot
flip) across the line to finish second, while Dean (the designer)
crossed on foot for third.
After two more fun and exciting heats, it was time for the
final. And what a final it was!
The winner of the race
and the event was Steve Shambeder. Steve's win was no small accomplishment.
With a badly damaged chariot, Steve survived two flip rolls by
rolling a '6' each time. '6' was the only die roll that would
allow survival. Then, after that, he won the game by rolling
another '6' for his hard whip attempt, giving him enough speed
to come in one space ahead of Greg Berry, who finished second
by one space as he was dragged across the line by his team following
a chariot flip. Andrew Fedin finished third, and wins my unofficial
award for the gamest player. Andrew played in every round, usually
being killed by his ruthless fellow racers. But perseverance
paid off as he managed to qualify and take third place.
Overall, the event was a blast. People would come in, play
the game, and in many cases went to the vendor area and bought
it from The Gamers, who sold out of it. Because I think that
the attendance will be enough to warrant inclusion in the Century
for next year, planning for that event is already underway.
Let me close by thanking all of the players who helped make
the event the great time that it was. They not only displayed
a great attitude, but also put up with their occasionally befuddled
GM. Special thanks here to Andrew Fedin, who on his own initiative
stuck around through all of the heats, and helped a lot with
the smooth running of things. Until next year, thank you and
For more details, see http://members.home.net/joel1239/home