The Tides of History ...
The History of the World tournament
this year saw the introduction of the new Hasbro/Avalon-Hill
edition of the game as the default version to be used in the
tournament. While play of the Avalon Hill version was still available
as a choice in the first round and the semi-finals, the announcement
was made in advance that the finals would be played using the
newer game. We had 52 players participate - a slight decline
from the 56 of last year. Still, I think a respectable turnout
for a game of this vintage that trequires a six-hour per round
optional rules were used for either version of the game given
my experience in previous tournaments that if players are allowed
to choose which ones to play they opt to use none and take five
minutes doing so.
The first round saw the players choosing
to play five boards of six players each of the older edition
and four boards (two of six players and a pair of five-players)
of the newer version. With an attendance of 52 and my preference
for making the first round count, I reduced the semi-final field
to 18 from the traditional 36. The semi-finals consisted of two
boards of the old and one of the new editions of the game. After
six hours the finalists were Rolinda Collinson, Andrew Kutzy,
Richard Fox, Harald Henning (the defending champion), Kevin Youells,
and Jonas Borra (the 1999 champion). Jonas advanced as the top
ranked alternate present at the start as another qualifier left
to play in another final. We then paused briefly for food, to
move the final out of the Maryland room and began the last round.
In Epoch 1, the only empires passed
were between Rolinda who passed the Scythians to Harald, who
was forced to pass the Shang back to her. Jonas played the Sumerians,
along with the Hittites and Engineering. Kevin played Egypt with
no events. Richard played the Minoans and no events. Andrew played
Babylonia with no events. Rolinda played the Shang along with
the Canaanites event. Harald closed out the epoch with the Aryans
and no events. The score at the end of Epoch 1 was Jonas 12,
Kevin and Rolinda 8, Harald 6, Richard 5 and Andrew 4.
Jonas went first in Epoch 2 with Assyria
that he drew going last in the empire assignment phase and played
the Phoenicians as an event. Richard played next with the Chou,
a keeper, and Engineering. Playing third was Rolinda with the
Vedic City States, another keeper, and Population Explosion.
The Greek City States played by Andrew who drew first and kept,
were next aided by Barbarians played out of Tibet. Kevin played
Carthage, which he received from Harald, along with Famine (Middle
East) and Civil War (China) events. Harald closed out the epoch
with the Persians, passed from Kevin who chose not to pass them
to Jonas, the leader after Epoch 1. Weapons and the play of Etruscan
kingdom events augmented the Persians. The end of Epoch 2 saw
the score stand at: Harald 36, Jonas 28, Kevin 25, and Richard,
Rolinda and Andrew tied at 20. Rolinda's position seemed especially
dire having been wiped entirely off the board.
Epoch 3 began with Kevin playing the
Celts, forced pass from Harald drawing last, along with a Kingdom
in Kush and Migrants (Australia). Andrew played the Mauryas,
passed from Jonas, with the Mayas event. The Han played by Richard,
who drew first and kept, went next along with a Disaster to reduce
the number of monuments. Harald, who had the Hsiung-Nu passed
to him by Andrew, also played a Civil War (North Africa) and
further reduced the monuments with another Disaster. Rolinda
drew and kept the Romans aided by Jihad and Migrants (North America).
Jonas ended Epoch 3 with the Sassanids, received from Kevin,
and another Disaster. Points kept Harald in the lead with 62,
Kevin next with 52, Andrew had 48 and Jonas, Rolinda and Richard
tied with 39. Despite only scoring 19 points with Romans, the
tide was starting to turn in Rolinda's favor.
Epoch 4 opened with the first four players
passing drawn empires: Jonas passing the T'ang to Richard who
passed the Arabs to Rolinda who sent the Byzantines to Andrew
who passed the Guptas to Jonas. Kevin drew and kept the Huns
and Harald, drawing last, got the Khmers. Jonas' Guptas played
Treachery in the Irrawady to clear a path to China. Kevin played
Anglo-Saxons and Weapons along with his Huns. Andrew's Byzantines
had Expert Troops (Mountains) and Weapons. In addition to the
T'ang, Richard played a kingdom Tiahuanaco and Elite Troops.
Rolinda's Arabs also possessed Weapons and Civil Service. Harald
played last with the Khmers and a Civil War (Southern Europe).
Harald still led in points with 83, Rolinda and Andrew were tied
with 73, and Kevin had 72, Jonas 63 and Richard 58.
To start Epoch 5, Richard drew and kept
the Holy Roman Empire, Jonas drew Seljuk Turks and passed to
Harald, Kevin sent the Vikings to Jonas, Andrew kept the Franks,
Rolinda passed the Sung to Kevin, and Harald was forced to pass
the Chola to Rolinda. Andrew's Franks played Disaster and Astronomy
(E Mediterranean) in order to get to the Middle East. Jonas playing
the Vikings also had the Fujiwara minor empire. Richard's Holy
Roman Empire used Expert Troops (Straits) and a Plague (starting
in Eastern Anatolia). Rolinda's Chola played next along with
Crusades. Kevin's Sung played Population Explosion. Harlad's
Seljuk Turks, playing last, used a kingdom in Mali and Elite
Troops. Rolinda moved into the lead with 111, Harald next at
103, Andrew 101, Kevin 94, Jonas 85 and Richard 79.
The only Empire passing in Epoch 6 was
between Kevin and Andrew, as Kevin sent the Timurid Emirates
to Andrew and received Portugal in return. Richard played first
with Ming who had a Leader and the first of his two Reallocation
cards. Andrew's Timurid Emirates were next with a Leader and
Expert Troops (Forest). Harald's Inca/Aztec played with no events.
Rolinda played her Ottoman Turks along with a kingdom Thailand
and the Safavid minor Empire. Kevin's Portugal with Naval Power
and Reallocation left a string of Forts through Southern and
Northern Europe. Jonas played Spain with Black Death (India and
Middle East) and Treachery. Points after Epoch 6 stood at: Rolinda
158, Harald 130, Jonas 121, Kevin 120, Andrew 116 and Richard
Epoch 7 empire allocation saw Richard
draw and keep the Manchu Dynasty, Andrew passed France to Kevin,
Kevin passed Germany to Rolinda, Jonas passed Netherlands to
Harald, Harald passed Britain to Andrew and Rolinda was forced
to pass Russia to Jonas. Jonas' Russia played a kingdom in Zimbabwe
and Siegecraft (there were lots of forts by this time). Richard's
Manchu Dynasty played the second of his Reallocation cards (two
late Chinese empires are not what you want to draw when you have
Reallocation cards). Harald's Netherlands played Weapons and
a Leader (great in combat, there just aren't that many of them).
Kevin's France had Siegecraft (again those ever popular forts).
Andrew played Britain and Reallocation (that's the combination
people want). Rolinda ended with Germany playing Japan as a minor
empire (I thought the game ended with WWI, not WWII). The others
urged Rolinda to pass since she already had enough points to
win, but she replied that she had not sat through a six-hour
game not to finish it. Final points stood at: Rolinda 212, Harald
177 (wins tie-breaker fewer total armies), Jonas 177, Kevin 166,
Andrew 154 and Richard 142.
Congratulations to our winner, Rolinda
Collinson, and the other finalists who participated in our 12-hour
History of the World marathon. Next year I think starting the
semi-finals at 9AM and the finals at 6PM to give a three-hour
break in between may be in order. I also hope that players will
not perceive that this is a four-hour game and dropout at the
four-hour mark to make another tournament. This is a five/six
hour game and the two people who dropped out of a game in progress
to play in another event were the one sour note sounded this
year. Thanks to everybody who played and I hope to see you all
and more next year.