blood amongst the kisses
A sweet aspect of John Jacoby's Circus Maximus event is
that he rewards the first driver into each turn with a Hershey's
Kiss. The candies replace the dolphins which were upturned in
the Roman Colosseum to record the number of laps run.
Best Quote of the Tournament: "But he can't attack
me from there, can he?"
Fifteen entrants qualified for the finals and when 14 arrived
to do the deed, a bloodbath was assurred. Five lights and two
mediums provided the fodder for seven heavy chariots. The Roman
SPCA was not happy about the prospects.
no one's surprise, the race started violently with the heavy
Zebra attacking the medium Blue which evaded. The heavy Bear
had more luck against the light Gold, who took seven hits to
his left wheel at the cost of one hit to the Bear's right. The
Bear then added injury to insult with a point of damage to the
Gold horses for good measure. Unity broke down when the heavy
Leopard got carried away by the feeding frenzy and attacked the
heavy White horses for four hits.
On Turn 2, Orange burned 22 of his remaining 24 endurance
when his chit was drawn first and his boxed-in chariot had no
place to move. The brakes they put on these things! The badly
damaged Gold, realizing his days were numbered and thirsting
for revenge, whipped the Bear driver to no effect. Enraged, he
repeated the whipping against the heavy Zebra drver who swerved
into an involuntary attack into the Blue horses for four hits.
The heavy Leopard took two hits out of the Pink horses and then
went after Gold's wheels. Gold took six hits on its right wheel
- those discount wheel salesmen will get ya every time - while
Leopard suffered two hits to his left wheel which cracked some
more when Leopard rolled snakeeyes for a third hit. The White
heavy did three damage to Zebra horseflesh which Zebra then repaid
in kind with four hits on Gold animals.
On Turn 3, the heavy Leopard learned that aggression does
not always pay when he took three hits to his own right wheel
while inflicting none on his Green medium target. Not deterred,
Leopard aimed at the Green horses and dropped their #4 horse
in his tracks. Thus inspired, Leopard attacked Black's team for
six hits. This was too much mayhem even for the Gods as all remaining
attacks in this turn and the next failed.
Turn 5 saw them enter the back stretch led by Yellow with
Pink, Gray, Zebra, Black and White in hot pursuit and the rest
of the field trailing still in the corner. Leopard renewed the
bloodshed with one hit on Black horseflesh. The heavy Zebra put
five points on the Pink right wheel which quickly cracked further
to six damage and then flipped from the accumulated wheel stress.
Turn 6 sees the end of the Orange endurance thanks to Gray's
whip. Leopard fells the damaged Black horse and adds two more
hits versus the White team.
Bear opens Turn 7 with one hit vs the Red horses. Brown takes
four bites out of Yellow's horses and then continues to draw
the SPCA's attention with five more hits on the Red team.
8 saw Yellow 19, Brown 20, and Gray 21 enter the second turn
with the rest of the pack falling behind. Gray lashed the Brown
horses for five endurance (reducing them to a total of six left).
Brown was jostled at 1 over the limit but managed to attack the
Gray horses for one hit.
Turn 9 saw Gray's endurance dropped twice more by Bear and
Red. The next turn Gray attacks Bear who evades against the wall
but suffers three damage to his horses on the next attack. Zebra
put an additional hit on the Orange team.
Turn 11 opens with the dropping of a Blue horse by Zebra as
White takes another horse hit courtesy of Red. The next turn
sees an attack on Red forcing him to brake, and reducing his
endurance to 2, before Zebra puts the beast out of its misery
for good. Brown loses endurance and Green takes two horse hits.
Turn 13 proves unlucky for Black who flips while straining
in the curve and takes an early exit.
Entering the last corner, Yellow (moving only 9 and out of
endurance), Brown, Gray, Bear, White and Zebra are leading with
the rest far behind. Turn 14 costs Gray his whip as Brown relieves
him of it, but nonetheless puts a hit on the Brown horses. Brown
returns the favor with one point of damage to the Grays. Turn
15 costs Zebra two horse hits and Bear one courtesy of White.
Gray's attack forces Brown to use the last of his endurance,
which he responds to by killing a Gray horse.
By this time, the speed of the race is very slow due to the
sorry condition of everyone's remaining horses, but five leaders
still remain in contention. Turn 18 finds Brown but four squares
from victory, Gray 20, Bear 24, and Zebra and White still in
the last curve. Bear needed a 6 whip to catch Brown but rolled
a 1, thus ending his chances. The Brown Heavy staggers over the
line to take first for an unprecedented back-to-back CMS championship
for Steve Katz. Zebra kills a Gray horse - and Gray's troubles
increase when he fails to cut it loose in his turn.
Turn 19 has Bear, Zebra, Gray and White limping down the backstretch.
Zebra adds four damage to Bear. Gray manages to cut loose from
his dead horse and move all of two spaces. Second is still up
for grabs with the contenders 4, 5, 7 and 18 spaces away. Turn
20 sees the Bear's chit drawn first and he limps ovber the line
for second. White passed Zebra by one space for third. Gray took
fifth, leaving Blue and Red to fight it out for 6th - a race
won by Blue's double digit endurance.
Thus ended one of the bloodiest races in CMS history. The
first five places went to heavy chariots. The only surviving
light finished 7th.
The Used Chariot Wheel Manufacturer's Guild was overjoyed.
With 27 wheel hits, the smithies would be busy tomorrow. As for
the fans, they were delirious. 83 hits on the horses had left
four of the animals dead and the emperor declared free hamburgers
for the multitude.
The final result was as follows:
||Carl Walling III
For more details on the game Circus Maximus we suggest
you visit: http://pbem.brainiac.com/circmax/
version drew a record 31 little charioteers - making it the most
popular of the juniors events at WBC. Many thanks to Kaarin Englemann
and Rebecca Hebner for taking over this difficult event. When
the dust settled, the winners were:
1st. Lissa Rennert
2nd. Matt Beach
3rd. Rebekah Broh-Kahn
4th. Jacob Hebner
5th. Nick Dalt
6th. Alex Henning
This year we had record turnout, which is both a blessing
and a curse when it comes to a Juniors tournament. We had prepared
two boards and two sets of chariot miniatures, which meant we
could accommodate only 24 of the 31 Juniors who came to play.
In order to include everyone, we asked for volunteers to play
on teams-taking turns moving the chariot and rolling dice. I
am happy to say that everyone was able to partake in chariot
mayhem (and there were only a few arguments about whether or
not a horse should be whipped or an attack should take place)!
Despite the fact there were two boards, all of the Juniors were
racing together-when the red chariot moved on one board, the
red chariot moved on the other board also, and whichever chariot
on either track crossed the finish line first was the winner,
and so on.
Initially, Frank Sinigaglio, former Circus Maximus champion
and excellent assistant GM, and I didn't pay close enough attention
to the type of chariots the Juniors had selected. This meant
that one board ended up with fast and light or medium chariots,
while the other one ended up with heavy chariots-motivated by
blood lust and attacking instead of moving. Before long, it was
evident that the Juniors who thought Circus Maximus was simply
a horse race would thoroughly trounce the ones who thought it
was roller derby. (Remember, they were all racing for the same
We paused after turn three and rearranged the chariots a bit.
Three of the heavier chariots were moved to the fast board and
vice versa. We were impressed that we had no complaints. Five-year-old
Lissa Rennert with a light chariot running at 24-even without
whipping-went from far in the lead on the fast board, to right
in the middle of a pack of caroming heavy chariots on the other
and still maintained her confidence (and managed to gain back
her lead). The change worked out well in terms of the time required
for each board each turn and keeping the packs together.
It must have gone well because the chanting of "Alpo",
"Pink" (for the Pink chariot), and "Flip"
could be heard well out into the corridor. After 4-1/2 hours,
the race had to be adjudicated, even though the Juniors had only
managed to finish 1-1/2 laps (of a 2-lap race)! Overall, we handed
out 22 medals and some miscellaneous awards, including the Alpo
Award (a bag of dog food), which went to Sarah Welker who had
her horses chewed up by attacking chariots and the Roadkill Award
(a stuffed animal with chariot marks on it), which went to Daniel
Winemiller, Patrick Crowe and Zack Dunn who were killed by being
run over on the track after their chariot flipped).
Overall, the tournament went well (only a few tears), but
everything took too long. (Even the children were starting to
fade toward the end.) Frank and I are already discussing creating
a variant that we'll use next year to expedite play, while still
allowing all of the children who sign up to participate.
A special thanks goes out to Frank Sinigaglio and Rebecca
Hebner for acting as assistant GMs and Jake Jacoby for providing
the boards, chariots, and medals.