Acquiring Civilization ...
The Euphrat & Tigris (E&T) event drew 66 entrants,
exactly the same as in 2001. The 2002 tournament used essentially
the same format as last year: Players were only guaranteed to
advance to the semifinals if the player won the heat game he/she
played in, whether that game was in heat 1, 2 or 3. This year,
a player whose best finishes were a 2nd and a 3rd advanced to
the semifinals. All games played in the tournament were four-player
finalists from last year: Aaron Fuegi (2001 champion), Luke Moffitt
and Jeff Cornett made the semi-finals. However, only Cornett
advanced to play in the final with Luke's brother Craig Moffitt.
In contrast to last year when the final was the shortest game
of the tournament, this year's was by far the longest game of
the event. Also, unlike in 2001 when no monuments were built
in the final, five were built this time, the most monuments built
in any game in the tournament.
Relatively early in the game, the board was reduced to three
treasures and it looked like this year's final might be as quick
as last year's. However, instead, the constant threat of the
game being ended raised the tension and level of play for all
the finalists. Many rounds passed like this with different kingdoms
forming and reforming from the sides with no one able (or wanting)
to force a conflict that would take the last treasure. The game
became very tactical, but players also built monuments for immediate
scoring thinking the game would end any second. Jeff Cornett
as the fourth player finally prevailed with a score of 10-10-10-16
over Craig Moffitt 8-9-9-9 (1st player), Eric Freeman 8-8-9-10
(2nd player) and Sandy Wible 8-8-10-14 (3rd player).
Key to Jeff's victory was his ability to strengthen his weakest
color, black. Late in the game, Jeff seized an opening to place
his black leader into an empire containing two black monuments.
He then was able to use these two towers for two turns to generate
four more black pieces until the game ended. Adding one wild
card, that gave him ten black, matching his two lowest other
colors, a perfect time, from his point of view, for the game
This year, players going first won eight games, players going
second won seven, players going third and fourth won six each.
The slight advantage in having an earlier player turn is the
reason that player order continues to be used in the E&T
tournament to break ties
The GM would also like to thank his assistant GMs: Stuart
Hendrickson, Frank Hamrick and Peter Staab for assisting him
in running the E&T tournament this year and Craig Moffitt,
Eric Freeman, Sandy Wible and Jeff Cornett for their help in
preparing the description of the final.