Greg Thatcher is a fast learner. With a only a few Taj
Mahal games under his belt he was able to fend off the 2001
TJM champion to become the reigning champion. He needed a little
luck to get that far. Due to a miscommunication between myself
and a first round winner I needed to find someone to fill out
the second round board. Eric and Greg both readily agreed. Because
they had both finished 4th in their last game it came down to
a toss of (how fitting) a Euro.
never looked back. He won his next three games using a combination
of the elephant strategy and a palace or two in the right place.
Lest you think that the Elephants are the main key to winning
take heart from Joe Nemet and Susan Dyer who had only one bonus
commodity tile each in their wins.
For awhile the Final became a two man race for the first half
of the game. Dan Henry and Tom Dunning were tied at 16 points;
Tom keeping apace using the +2 princess card as Dan was taking
resource tiles. Tom was able to keep the princess card for the
third through the eighth visits, but a spurt of resource tiles
in the seventh and eighth visits put Dan Henry in the lead by
six pts. Dan then scored a couple of points and dropped in the
11th visit to gear up for the elephant battle sure to come in
the final visit. This move enabled all the players to close the
gap a little. Greg had chosen his cards carefully and made his
move as he won the next two of three elephant tiles. Unfortunately
for Dan, Greg had more cards to win the battle for the last tile
as Dan had to drop after his two card play of double elephants.
Not enough to take it from Greg. The nine points Greg scored
put him in the lead by four. (43-39)
Anne Norton got a late start in the game as she only had 11
pts by the ninth visit. But an elaborate palace connection came
to fruition as she scored 19 points in the last two visits to
tie Tom for third. It came down to a tie breaker of cards in
the last scoring round which gave Tom third place having four
cards to Anne's three.
There were some grumblings from players who wanted five-player
games. These games are a little tougher for the newbie. My obvious
preference was for the four-player version. We were down in attendance
from 46 to 36, so if you did not play because of that please
let me know about it. You can reach me at the address below.
Thanks to all the players that did participate in the tourney,
I had a blast running it.