circus minimus [Updated August 2001]

CMN   Trial Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
  Demo 14  Rnd1 Heat1 18 
  Demo 9  Rnd1 Heat2 14  Rnd1 Heat3 18    Rnd1 Heat4 16  Round 2 20
  Round 3 Final 15

  Salon B

Steve Shambeda, PA

2001 Champion

2nd: Greg Berry, VA

3rd: Andrew Fedin, PA

4th: Bill Navolis, PA

5th: Chris Nensley, VA

6th: Mike Hazel, SC
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    None     -
2000    None     -
2001    Steve Shambeda     38

AREA Ratings:

GM: Joel Tamburo

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 good gaming!

For more details, see

 GM      Joel Tamburo  [1st Year]   8814 W. 85th St, Apt 1W, Jusrtice, IL 60458   NA

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