Laughing at the Cold War ...
For those of you who read last year's after-action report,
I'll start off by announcing that, yes, after four years the
GM finally won a game. Of course, it wasn't an ordinary or easy
win - I won backing Nestor Aparatchik - on turn 11!
dealt the two cards that get someone out of the Sanatorium, so
I put eight points on Old Nestor. Mark Mitchell had the card
that releases all members out of the Sanatorium, so he also went
for an early win and used his card to get Nestor out on Turn
1. Unfortunately for Mark, he only had six points on Nestor,
so with seven declared I got the first wave. Nestor spent the
next two turns in the Sanatorium, only to come out to try a wave
at the Parade Phase. By turn 4 I had only gotten two waves, so
Nestor had to stay out and was immediately voted to Siberia.
Game over for me - or so I thought.
However, it quickly became obvious that no one was interested
in bringing Nestor back, so I figured my one point left on him
might be enough. I got him out once - only to be sent right back.
The second time he had a few more friends in the Politburo and
I was able to work his way back into the Industry Minister slot.
On turn 11, with control of the KGB, I purged everybody I didn't
have points on. The KGB Head and Party Chief died in the Health
Rolls, but Nestor dodged the bullet and rose back into power
at game's end, giving me the victory with a single point. Afterwards
the players unanimously voted that I am not allowed to whine
any more in the tournament report.
This year we missed last year's attendance record by one,
with several noted regulars missing from the convention. The
random seating for games worked well, though it did set up some
interesting matchups. Bob Jamelli somehow managed to control
the Party Chief through virtually a full 11 turns for a victory.
Marc Houde pulled off a quick three-wave win at a table including
Marc Neale, Bruce Reiff, John Coussis and Peter Stein (John and
Bruce insisted I sit between them so "they could beat Pete
up"). Other first round winners included Peter Pollard,
Steve Cuccaro, Ron Weurth, Jeff August, Chuck Davis, Ray Stakenas,
David Rohde, Sean McCulloch. The only two-game winner was Peter
Stein. Ahem ...
With previous tournament winners David Buchholz and Tom McCorry
running into bad luck in the heats, the door was open for a first-time
champion. Dare I hope? David Rohde won the first semi-final in
three turns, with Steve Cuccaro and Ron Weurth advancing based
on performance in the heats. Sean McCulloch won the other, with
Peter Pollard and Ray Stakenas advancing based on the new scoring
system I had devised (which seemed to work OK).
So once again the GM was on;y a spectator in the finals (Oops,
I'm not supposed to whine). David Rohde again tried for an early
win, but this time Steve Cuccaro was ready to fill the void.
Steve got waves on turns 2, 3 and 5 to claim the championship.
Once again I'd like to thank all the players for another fun
tournament (even Bruce and John). It's the people who play who
make it a great day and a half for me, regardless of the results.
I hope to see you all next year, and invite everyone else to