To the Strongest
These words were spoken by Alexander the Great on his deathbed
to Perdiccas, when asked who would succeed Alexander upon his
death. 23 years later in 301 BC, although many of Alexander's
marshals had tried and many had died in the attempt to assume
Alexander's mantle, the strongest had not emerged. Instead, Alexander's
empire was divided among the remaining warlords and stayed divided
for over 250 years until Rome brought a unity of sorts.
the fourth consecutive year, would be Diadochoi (Successors)
came to Hunt Valley, Maryland to test their mettle against other
Successors to determine who was the strongest, at least in Avalon
Hill's excellent game SUCCESSORS. Out of a potential field
of 39 contestants, 17 eventually stepped forward to begin the
funeral games. The player who traveled the farthest was Nick
Frydas (otherwise known as the Satrap of Syria) from Athens,
Greece, a fitting reminder of the historical context of the game.
The gamemaster baton was transferred from Jeff Paull to John
B. Firer. Jeff had done an outstanding job for the last three
years and when given the opportunity to pursue other interests,
he passed leadership on to John and his able assistants, Doug
Cooley and Jim Gutt.
This year, the 2nd Edition rules developed by Mark Simonitch
and John Firer were used. Optional rules were limited to Inconclusive
Battle, Asia Minor Fleet, and Cilicia. In addition, the Tournament
now consisted of two qualification rounds followed by a final
championship round of the four top-ranked players. Players were
assigned randomly for the first round but assigned by ranking
for the second round. The top four contestants advanced to a
final, championship round.
The struggle began with four tables of four players on Tuesday
evening at 1800 hours (Nick Frydas arrived late and joined during
the second round). By the second round on Monday morning at 1000
hours, only a lucky thirteen players decided to continue the
contest. Thanks to the bottom ranking five players agreeing to
an impromptu 5-player match, the top eight players were allowed
to play four-player games. Otherwise it would have eventually
come down to one 4-player game and three 3-player games, something
no one really desired. Hats off to these valiant five contestants.
By 1600 that afternoon, the four strongest players, Craig Melton,
Jim Gutt, Robert Seulowitz, and Michael Day emerged to begin
the final round. Finally, after almost seven hours of diplomacy,
combat, unrest, and exhaustion, the Sunburst Faction of Robert
Seulowitz (Perdiccas, Craterus, and Eumenes) wrested the championship
from the other worthy factions by proclaiming his ward Alexander
the IV as King of Macedon and Lord of Asia at the beginning of
Turn 5. Michael Day of the Horse Faction (Antipater, Leonnatus,
and Cassander) came in a close second. The Asp Faction (Antigonus,
Demetrius, Peithon, and Seleucus) of past two-time champion Jim
Gutt emerged third, with Craig Melton's Lion Faction (Ptolemy
and Lysimachus) taking fourth.
Of the eight games played and won, three (37.5%) were won
at the beginning of Turn 5 with Alexander IV coming to the throne.
Heracles came to the throne at the beginning of Turn 4 twice
(25%), to end the game. Especially noteworthy was the fact that
two games (25%) ended in legitimacy wins during Turns 3 and 4,
both obtained by Craig Melton. Jim Gutt's Automatic Victory during
Turn 2 was both the shortest road to victory and the rarest (12.5%).
Alexander's Body was buried in six of the eight games (75% of
the time), with the most popular resting-place being Babylon
(66.5%) and Pella and Sardis tying in popularity at 16.5% each.
While there was only one death due to Salvation at the 11th
Hour (Lysimachus on Turn 1), ten generals died in battle. Lysimachus
earned notoriety by dying three times. Antigonus and Peithon
each died twice, with Craterus, Ptolemy, and Antipater dying
but once during the eight games. The majority of the generals
died during Turn 2, with Turn 3 being the second best "day
to die". It was impossible to ascertain the turn of death
for one general due to faulty record keeping.
Other interesting statistics include the following:
Eumenes arrived in 100% of the games, with average arrival time
being 1.5 turns
Seleucus arrived in 62.5% of the games, with average arrival
time being 1.2 turns
The Silver Shields arrived in 75% of the games, with average
arrival time being 1.3 turns. They turned traitor to their paymaster
twice, or 33.3% of the time.
The Indian Elephant Corps arrived in 50% of the games, with
average arrival time being 2.5 turns.
Seven generals were condemned by their peers, with Perdiccas
leading the pack having been selected 37.5% of the time, followed
by Lysimachus and Craterus tied at 25%, and Antipater at 12.5%
of the time.
In general, the use of the 2nd Edition rules was well received
by the tournament participants, as was the new Swiss format.
While for the most part the tournament was successful, there
are some issues that should be looked at for possible change
next year including:
Expanding the time per round from five to six hours due to the
expanded playtime caused by the 2nd Edition rules.
Distributing participants in the first round by AREA standings
or other measures of ability
Randomly placing participants in the second round to avoid handicapping
the first round leaders.
Eliminating the Inconclusive Battle optional rule from tournament
Using the optional Salvation at the 11th Hour rules.
Eliminate or reduce tournament points for a Legitimacy win.
Revise the tie breaking formula to be more in line with the
2nd Edition Rules.
Avoid scheduling against HANNIBAL. NOTE: The GM specifically
asked to have SUCCESSORS not scheduled against this event.
While Round 1 did not conflict with HRC (except its mulligan
round), subsequent SUCCESSOR rounds were in direct conflict
with HRC. This may be impossible to do, as a result of
2nd Edition Rules: http://members.aol.com/elgrognard/successors/successors.htm
CONSIMWORLD Successors Discussion Folder: http://talk.consimworld.com:8082/WebX.firstname.lastname@example.orgOiO3^3@.ee6c38c