wargaming Euro style
Atilla,, the last Euro of the convention, was held
downstairs in the wargame room at 9 on Sunday. Sunday is get
away day, but 20 gamers overcame the morning blues for one last
shot at wood.. Four decided that they did not want to advance
as they were leaving shortly so we went with five boards of 4,
with one board not advancing. So, sixteen would-be conquerors
spread Huns across the European continent, sowing havoc and jostling
for tribal leadership with the four winners advancing to a final
round of conflict. Matt Calkins overcame quality competition
on the final board to pull out the victory.
In few games does the theme (bloody barbarism) conflict more
with the presentation (cute meeples) and mechanic ('investing'
in tribes for periodic payouts). Atilla is bloody in name
only. The final included Kathy Stroh, Greg Thatcher, Davyd Field,
and Matt Calkins.
The participants were relaxed and tossed jokes after a long
week of gaming. Some tribes sprinted forward while others seemed
to question their decision to leave the steppes in the first
place. Matt followed his play-your-junk-until-second-round strategy
and as a result ended up trailing the pack. In the second turn
he made it all back, however, deploying a tile early when a good
opportunity presented itself.
This tournament saw two philosophies on how to play cards
in a conflict. "Internationalists" boost their favorite
tribes, hoping to preserve their point value. "Isolationists"
use conflicts to cycle unwanted cards out of their hands and
never bother to reinforce their favorite tribes - often they
do their favorite tribes harm by adding to the strength of their
enemies. (The eventual winner was a strict isolationist.)
The pack split decisively in the third turn. Matt ended the
round on his terms, using a double-play tile to force three conflicts,
but couldn't prevent Davyd from having an excellent round as
well. Davyd was strong in the Red, Black, and Green tribes, all
Their lead in several tribes was paper-thin, however, and
vulnerable to well-played attacks from Kathy and Greg. Both stole
the Blue tribe from Matt, who had invested his 2-step tile there
and scored handsomely on the previous turn. Greg stole Black
from Davyd with a last-minute 2-step placement of his own. Matt
did everything he could to stay ahead of Davyd in Red, the most
important tribe in which the two leaders went head-to-head.
Matt tried to end the game by playing the last two Red tribesmen
onto the board. Nowhere could they be placed without starting
a conflict, so he put them together, hoping they'd be more likely
to survive the battle that way. Only if the Red migrants survived
on the board (leaving the Red pool empty) would the game finish.
By a single card, the Red tribe survived the battle, and Matt
succeeded in ending the game in his favor.
All in all Attila was a fun and inviting get-away morning
game. We need more short Sunday morning games and it is hoped
that it will return next year. (Thanks to Matt Calkins for providing
a winners' eye view of the final.)