blood amongst the kisses
A sweet aspect of John Jacoby's Circus Maximus event is
that he rewards the first driver into each turn with a Hershey's
Kiss. The candies replace the dolphins which were upturned in
the Roman Colosseum to record the number of laps run.
Best Quote of the Tournament: "There is no honor among
heavies ... and precious little among mediums and lights either".
crowded field of 16 in the final meant that there was a preponderance
of heavies (11) in the race. In the second turn, Brown was trapped
behnd a solid wall of chariots and was forced to sideslip and
burn his endurance while advancing only two spaces, in effect
losing a turn. There were wounded zebra, white, purple and yellow
horses as well as a totally dead camel, and carts with spokes
missing (green 5, black 1, gold 4) by the end of turn 3.
By the fifth turn the leopard (2), purple (5), yellow (2),
gator (4) and blue (1) horses took more damage. Blue (3) and
zebra (4) wheels took more hits. Even worse for brown, his driver
modifier went down due to a critical hit wound. Things looked
bleak for brown.
Turn 6 was eventful when yellow pulled the lion driver (16th)
from her chariot on a roll of 2 on the Critical Hits table. The
zebra chariot took 6 wheel damage and flipped (15th). Green flipped
and began an endurance contest to see how long a driver could
survive while being dragged. The leopard, purple and black horses
were slowed by hits. The unmarked tiger chariot had a nine-space
lead on a limping blue as the field started to strong out.
By turn 9, the tigers of defending champion Tom Saal had a
17-space lead on blue who, in turn, was 18 ahead of the rest
of the field. The leopard and purple heavies, slowed by damage,
lay in wait for the leaders to lap them. The rhinos, followed
by blue, seeing the tigers over half a lap ahead, withdrew for
14th and 13th place.
then things got ugly! Brown attacked gold's wheels and
sustained two damage to his own while flipping gold with four
wheel damage (12th). Green (what was left of him) finally succombed
from being dragged (11th) while the gators took down a bear horse.
By turn 11, the tigers, with a speed of 21, have a 40 length
lead over yellow, but leopard and purple lie in wait just before
the last curve. On turn 13 the tigers make a tactical error that
was to cost him dearly. He moved to the outer wall instead of
remaining in the 24 lane. The leopard chariot pulled in front
and breaked his remaining speed. Purple then pulled alongside
and attempted to lash the driver into the wall. For the next
three turns this trio moved one space with the tigers and purple
exchanging lashing attacks hoping to swerve the other. Each lost
and recovered a whip in this exchange.
While the leader was being thus entertained, the white horses
took four more hits, Blue died (10th), and Brown pulled up on
the wall just outside the 8 lane with Yellow trailing by two.
On turn 17, Brown went through the 8 lane at nine over. Yellow,
attempting to catch Brown, went through the 12 lane, six over.
He flipped and was on his way to body surfing to the finish line.
The Bears lashed both the Camels and the gators and ran both
out of endurance. The Camels thus flip when their chit is drawn,
being 1 over the limit with 0 endurance.
Turn 19 decides the race. Purple's lashing of his horses is
not enough to catch either Yellow or Brown. Purple withdrew (9th).
Brown, having never whipped his horses for more than two, whips
them again for two spaces and finishes three spaces ahead of
Yellow whose horses pull him across the finish line in second
with one hit remaining on his abused body.
Two more horses had to die before 3rd thru 6th places are
The race proved the value of persistence. Brown raced for
15 years before taking home wood. He lost a turn by being blocked
on the second turn. Two other drivers, well ahead of him, withdrew
because the Tiger chariot was so far ahead and he lost a driver
modifier early in the race. Like the famous race between the
tortoise and the hare, this one didn't go to the swift.
Next year Circus Maximus will cut back to just three
heats with up to five races per heat in an attempt to thin the
number of chariots per race and thus create faster races. This
will allow a Friday final.
Ben Hvr Junior
Ok ... so it isn't Circus Maximus. Close enuff ...
chariot racing has returned to the World Boardgaming Championships
Junior room this year in the form of Pete Perla's BEN HVR. Speedier
turns and conflict resolution made it an ideal Junior Event for
23 charioteers driving their ponies to glory.
No worries that the event is lacking player interaction. Cameron
Graff was early Road Kill. Kaleigh Jaeger won a special Vicious
Charioteer award for her talent in lashing other drivers into
losing control and flipping their chariots. She narrowed the
field by one-third-taking out Hannah Navolis and Heather Lange-yet
still failed to overtake first-time attendee Anna Marion, who
ended up finishing second in the tournament.
BEN HVR is all about managing your horses' endurance. Brian
Pappas threw that admonition to the wind. He stayed at speed
7 (losing one endurance chip per turn) until Lap 4 when he was
out of endurance and flipped while trying to Reign In. His fellow
charioteers "helped" him out by smashing him flat on
the track. In the same race, Jacob Hebner headed to the inside
early and kept his lead throughout the game.
Lissa Rennert clearly has a way with chariots-she won the
last Circus Maximus Junior event, despite being one of
the youngest players there, following up by making it to the
BEN HVR final this year. In that final, she consistently sped
through curves over the safe speed, despite the risk. She just
kept Waving at the Crowd (and her fellow charioteers).
When asked if she wanted to slow down for a curve, she looked
quizzical and said, "Why? I always roll 5 or 6." She
was right until almost the last when she failed, giving Daniel
Long the chance to take the win. Anna Marion hit the wall early
in the final, losing most of her endurance, despite slowing down
to gain it back, she managed to take second. Other finalists
3rd: Lissa Rennert
4th: Jacob Hebner
5th: David Pack
6th: Callie Hood
A special thanks to Pete Perla who lent his expertise to children
at one table in the preliminary round. Additional thanks go to
Jesse Sinigaglio and Kathy Stroh who acted as assistants. Without
such individuals willing to sacrifice their time, we would all
lose the opportunity to bring talented young gamers into the