The First of the Fast Forward History
It was a quiet week in merrie olde England. There were highs
and lows, with some scores in the 30's, and a high of 166. As
usual, red and purple came out ahead on wins. Amusingly, blue
came out at the bottom with only one win the whole week. We saw
Caledonians in Cornwall, and Jutes making crucial moves against
the Normans in the end game. In one game (that one with 166 points),
Red was the board. All of it.
The high score plaques were won by Joe Abrams (a first!) with
114 for Purple, Brett Mingo captured Green with 140.5, Jonathan
Squibb picked up Red with 166!, and your GM won Blue with the
only win at 125.
semi-finals were seeded this year using the results of the last
three years. This system worked rather well, scattering the highest
rated players among the tables rather than having luck concentrate
them. Many of the usual suspects were in the semi-finals, and
three top players, Ewan McNay, Bruce Young, and Jim Jordan, made
the final, setting up for a hotly contested game. The surprise
fourth for the final was Richard Jones, a faithful gamer who
comes from England every year to play. He scooted past two former
champions, Scott Pfeiffer and Duane Wagner, as they got involved
in a nasty knife fight that took them into second and fourth
The final, with Ewan as Red, turned out to be a fairly normal
game. A somewhat treacherous Roman invasion set the frame for
Jim and the Purple game, with dice not being a purple friend.
The Roman invasion melted away from England's shores and the
Saxons and Angles came sailing in. Neither took a very strong
position, but the Saxons made a strong statement by stabbing
at the southern Welsh. Naturally, the Welsh fought back and the
red/green contention got off to a rollicking start.
The Scots and Picts split the north in their usual style and
maintained a solid relationship for most of the rest of the game,
making the North the only peaceful place on the board. Meanwhile,
in the south, a lightning run by the Welsh to York hurt the Angles
enough that they gave no serious contention to the Saxons. This
let the Saxons continue to grow complacently while pairing with
the Irish to steadily ding the Welsh.
Then came the Danes. The Danes did a great job hammering the
Saxons and bringing the green point total back up, but in the
process they were hurt badly enough that the inevitable Saxon
counterattack knocked them down to a minor power. At this point,
although there were few Saxons, there were more of them than
anyone else and so they pulled in those crucial Bretwalda and
King points consistently.
A botched Dubliner invasion came next and was misplaced with
few strikes against the daunting Saxons. With that threat gone,
the remaining Saxons and Danes just had to set up against the
Norwegian and Norman invasions. The Norwegians took their primary
territories on turn 15, but found too many natives deciding they
were good targets on the last turn. The Normans were amazingly
successful in the face of stiff opposition and chased many Saxons
before them, but lost too many troops in the invasion to grab
the territories needed for Kingship.
In the end, Ewan's Reds triumphed with a reasonably broad
margin at 111.5 points. With a moderately successful Norman invasion,
Bruce almost pulled off second with Blue, but the final dice
roll put him into third at 102 points, to Jim's Purples 102.5.
Richard's Greens came in fourth, but managed a 98.5, which was
truly an excellent score given the competition arrayed against