Evolution of the German Imports
There were nine former finalists and six newcomers among the
26 entrants in this year's tournament. Even though thirty different
tournaments started at the same time, nine people attended the
first heat - a good turnout. At the first board, Peter Staab
outlasted Matt Evinger and Michael Mahady in a close game where
the last place score was only seven points short of the first
place score. At the second board, Katherine Hitchings trailed
for the first two turns before powering up and outscoring Brian
Kirchner and David Platnick on turns 3 through 5. That enabled
her to win after all of the remaining creatures died out on turn
6 to end the game. At the third board, Tom DeMarco was able to
win in his match against Edward Kendrick and Victor F. Hogan.
people attended the H14 second heat. Robert Eastman piled up
an incredible 140 points in his victory over Rebecca Hebner and
Wendy DeMarco. Charles Davis kept a small lead for most of the
game in his win over Duane Wagner, Victor, and Ben Knight. Tom
got his second win in his match against Skip Maloney, Ted Simmons,
and Roy Gibson. And Thomas Stokes, Francis Spencer, and Jeff
Finkeldey were able to engineer a three-way tie to deny two-time
returning champ Verity Hitchings her first try towards a three-peat.
Four entrants from previous heats and four new players signed
up at the F19 third heat. Edward's Dodo (Raphus Cucullatus) was
able to emerge victorious in two battles against stronger opposing
creatures to help him triumph over Kaarin Englemann, Thomas Saal,
and Katherine in a short, four-turn game. At the other table,
Mark Love faced down former champs Tom and Verity, along with
Bruce Allen. Trailing Verity coming into the last turn, Mark
was able to keep anyone else from spending their '5' marker to
cause an extra battle to eliminate one of his high-scoring creatures
by claiming the privilege first and then declining to make that
extra battle, thereby securing the win for himself and denying
Verity advancement to the next round.
After a fifteen minute delay waiting for the hotel to recover
from a power outage, nine of the eleven heat winners set up three
tables for the S9 semifinal. Jeff was able to do it alone this
time as he beat Katherine and Robert in a very low-scoring game.
Charles was able to pull to a 33 point lead on turn 3, and then
hold off a late surge by Francis and Peter to win at his table.
Mark was able to to recover from a slow start and outscore Tom
and Edward on turns 3 through 6 to win in spite of each of them
having a creature with a strength of '6' (who get a hit with
every die they roll). Tom had the best second-place finish (percentage
of table's points), and became the fourth finalist.
In the final, once again Mark started out slow to lull his
opponents. Then he unleashed his power scoring on turns 3 and
4 to push to a 7-point lead over Charles. Tom used his '5' marker
on the last turn to change the environment and weaken Mark's
and Charles's creatures so that they failed to survive the turn
(and score). But though Jeff scored 18 and Tom 21 points on the
last turn, it wasn't enough. With the +5 points from not using
his '5' marker, Mark's final total was 60 points, giving him
the championship. Jeff was able to get within 4 points to finish
second with 56. Charles was able to hold onto third place with
52, and Tom finished fourth with 50 points.
Mark has been a strong contender in this tournament, finishing
fourth in 1999 and sixth in 2000 in his only two previous tournament
appearances. This is Jeff's eighth time in the tournament; he
made the semifinals in '97 and '98, and finished second in '99.
Charles made it to the finals for the first time this year, in
his third try. Tom has won the championship three times, and
competed in the finals six times.
For next year, I am thinking about a couple of changes. There
will be tie-breaker rules. First, a tied player who has their
'5' marker will beat one without. Second, the tied player who
scores the most points on the last turn will win the tie. Third,
the tied player with the single creature that scores the most
points will win. Finally, tied players will sit the dice on the
chairs and roll themselves on the floor. Whoever performs the
best rolls, wins. Or maybe something else. I am also thinking
about the possibilities of changing the tournament to an 'A'
or 'C' classification. If you have any ideas, let me know. I
look forward to seeing all of you again next year. Thanks for
making this the best boardgaming convention around!