Bring on the accountants ...
There were 22 entrants in the HWB tournament, down one from
last year. In the first heat there were two 6-player games. Bob
Destro, the 2000 runner-up just beat out his closest competitor,
Harald Henning, 129 to 127 in one game and Matt Mason won the
second with 123 points.
In the second heat 13 entrants necessitatied three games.
In the 5-player game, Jeff Mullet edged defending champ Kevin
Wotjaszyk 120 to 118. Ewan McNay won easily in his game and Tim
Tow, playing in his second heat, convincingly
won his second chance.
The five winners advanced to the final along with Harald who
edged Kevin as first alternate by the tie-breaker rules. In the
final, Jeff got off to an early lead but Ewan soon passed him
with his double score of Persians followed by Celts. His lead
held with the T'ang as Epoch IV ended but Jeff only trailed by
two (53 to 51) with Tim at 44. Meanwhile, Harald and Bob, with
big empires from Epochs IV and III, the Arabs and Romans, trailed
at 37 and 25 respectively with good board positions. Ewan was,
unfortunately for him, still the obvious leader (also read as
target), however. In Epoch V Harald moved ahead 72 to 71 over
Ewan as his Holy Romans benefited from his Arab holdings. Ewan
had an excellent turn with the Mongols, though, and was ready
for another big score bounce. The scores ranged now from 72
to 49 for Matt. Jeff bid high to take the Ming from Ewan who
still scored well with the Timurids, keeping him the perceived
leader. Bob was thus able to make deals with Tim and Harald to
spare his Chola capitol in exchange for attacking Ewan. Harald
had an unlucky turn with Spain and Bob came out of 5th place
to a strong second with the Mughals, helped by a perfect Timurid
civil war in China. So, going into Epoch 7 Ewan led Bob by 13
but Bob had a better board position and the minor empire of Japan.
Bob spent big for Russia and won by 21 points as Ewan couldn't
catch him with France. Harald was third with Britain and Tim
4th with Netherlands.
For those who play "normal" HWD, I recommend you
give the bidding game a try. It may seem intimidating at first
but you can do well with low bids the first two epochs while
you get the hang of it. You can then start to plan your world
conquest with the more powerful later empires!