Evolution of the German Imports
Twelve finalists from previous years (including four champions),
and twelve first-time entries were among the 38 who entered this
year's event. Attendance increased by more than 50 percent over
its level of the last two years, with the two evening heats each
drawing nearly twice as many entrants as the morning heat.
Among the five games played (20 entrants) in the first heat
on Wednesday evening - defending champion Mark Love was defeated
by two-time former champ Verity Hitchings. Newlywed Ken Gutermuth
edged out Verity's mother Katherine and Kaarin Engleman by using
his "5" marker to force and win an extra battle against
one of Kaarin's equal strength species. Francis Spencer defeated
two-time former champion Carolyn DeMarco and Ken's bride Debbie
Gutermuth. Mike Pacheco, and Rebecca Hebner were the winners
at the other two tables.
Eleven turned out for the second heat on Thursday morning,
including four who had also played in the first heat, forcing
the playing of a three-player game. Francis won for the second
time (defeating Carolyn again), and Duane Wagner won his game.
At the three-player game, Michael Mahady persevered and won a
low-scoring game against Gary Noe and former champ Tom DeMarco
that featured an asteroid strike that eliminated all of the nine
species on the board on the third turn and then another near-miss
on the fifth (and last) turn that eliminated another seven species,
allowing only two species to survive to the end of the game.
For the third heat on Friday evening there were again 20 entrants,
including nine who were playing for the second or third time.
Peter Staab tied with Sarah Bockmiller, but was named the winner
due to the new tiebreaker rules. Robert Eastman won his game
and the Quote of the Tournament award: "There can be only
one Big Bird." (referring to an Archaeopteryx - Dodo battle).
Carolyn and Gary won their games, and Tom stopped Francis's quest
for a third win at the fifth board.
Nine of the eleven different game winners showed up for the
semi-final on Saturday afternoon. Sarah, Skip Maloney, and Marc
Houde were the three highest ranked runner-ups (percentage of
the board's total score) present for the start of the semi-final
and so they advanced to fill out three full boards. At one table
Robert defeated Carolyn, Skip, and Michael M. Tom beat Verity,
Francis, and Marc at the second table, while Sarah barely scored
more than Rebecca and Peter and used the tiebreaker rule to defeat
Gary in a very tight finish (all four players scored within a
nine point span) at the third table.
Sarah, Robert, and Tom were joined in the final by Gary, who
had the best second-place finish in the semi-final. On the first
turn Gary was able to keep both of his species alive while the
others each lost one, scoring ten to their three apiece. Turn
2 saw Gary getting strength increases and good environment disks
to allow him to score 21 points for three species while Sarah
and Tom could only manage to score one species for four points
each. The others each tried on turn 3 to eliminate the colors
that favored Gary's species, but through a combination of unintentionally
interfering with each other's plans and fortunate disk draws
on Gary's part, he scored four species for 42 Points. Turn 3
also saw the first double advance, meaning the endgame was near.
During the final two turns Gary continued to dominate, although
everyone else was finally able to achieve double-digit scores.
At game end, with five points added to Sarah and Robert's score
for not using their "5" marker, Gary had a very comfortable
victory at 121 points. Tom finished second with 52 points, Robert
placed third with 37 points, and Sarah had 22 points.
Thanks to all of the contenders for helping to make the 2003
Tyranno Ex tournament a success! Please forward any comments,
questions, or suggestions for the 2004 tournament to me at the
Finalists (from left to right):
Sarah Bockmiller, Gary Noe, Tom DeMarco and Robert Eastman.