Omens of Caesar ...
Deal Me a Championship
Once again, Hannibal was hosted in the pre-convention
slot as the Omens mini-con. This format has allowed this event
to continue to thrive, while giving players more time for other
favorites during the full WBC event hours. Though some people
have been unable to attend due to this time slot, attendance
has now risen three years in a row under this format and the
players continue to greatly favor continuance in the pre-con
slot. The GM is on record as being willing to yield the pre-con
slot to any other appoved GM wanting it, but hasn't yet heard
of any takers.
format was changed slightly from last year: five rounds of Swiss
play, dropping the medal round, except if necessary among two
undefeated players for the wood. Our attendance was bolstered
not only by two extra players (46), but we also played more games
(94 in all), so the ongoing competition with the new game auction
had only a minimal effect. We had ten newcomers joining 36 veterans
(including four past champions, and two WAM champions, (each
past champion losing once in the first day). Second edition (web)
rules were allowed if both players agreed, otherwise First edition
(what's in the box, as clarified by official AH errata) was the
default. The room continued to be populated by a good number
of players who had never seen the second edition. Most players
opted to play first edition rather than to switch gears from
game to game. We expect to play Second Edition as the default
at Winter Activation Meeting in January 2005.
The first two rounds witnessed a 25-18 advantage in wins by
Carthage which increased in Round 3 (13-7). This 38-25 Carthaginian
advantage was announced at the start of day two, but tournament
newbies continued to bid for the side in their comfort zone (usually
Rome). Rome turned the tide in Round 4 (13-5), but fell behind
again in Round 5 (6-7). For the whole turnament, Carthage won
50 games to Rome's 44. Among the top players, it is well-known
by now that Carthage has the advantage and therefore deserves
some sort of bid. By the end of the tournament, the top seven
players had piled up records of 17-2 as Carthage, and 12-4 as
Rome. The bottom 18 players had a combined record of 6-13 as
Carthage, and 6-33 as Rome. The middle 21 players scored an equal
number of wins with each side, though they tended to play Carthage
more than 50 percent of the time.
the Round 5 game between the two remaining undefeated players,
Chris Byrd and Doug White, the bid went up to 2 for Carthage,
with Byrd accepting the role of Rome and two extra PC markers.
White chose to park Hannibal in Gallia Cisalpinia for most of
the game. Syracuse remained neutral for the whole game, but Philip
joined Carthage on Turn 5 and remained loyal. White's Carthage
seemed to have the upper hand when in Turn 7 a Messenger was
intercepted and Mago managed to defeated Scipio Africanus, though
without delivering the kill shot. On Turn 8, Hannibal was subjected
to numerous giant battles against Africanus and was finally driven
out of Cisalpinia. Byrd, fearing a potential Syracuse alliance,
went on the offensive on Turn 9 to increase the province count,
winning the game 11-7. Chris became this tournament's ninth first-time
champion (there has never been a two-time winner), demoting defending
champion Keith Wixson - his opposition in last year's final)
to second place.
This year, total wins were the first factor in determining
tournament rank, followed by tournament points (a strength-of-schedule
system of points, which awards 10 points for wins, 12 points
for byes, 1 point for each win by a player you played during
the tournament, and 0.4 point for each round bypassed by an opponent
you played during the tournament). As this tournament has six
prizes, one of the 4-1 players did not win a prize, based on
having played opponents who did the worst during the tournament.
The tie between players with equal tournament points was usually
broken by head-to-head record or by accumulated tournament points
of players they had beaten.
Special thanks are owed to assistant GM, Jim Heenehan, who
this year provided the hand-painted tropies for the special awards
for Best Carthaginian, Best Roman, Best Sack, and "Pack
It In"--and covered while the GM stole away to the WBC Auction
for a few minutes in Round 5. Based on the stories revealed in
the game record sheets, I,'ve created a few extra Honorable Mentions
as well (see below).
Rankings after five swiss rounds (W-L record and side propensity)
tourney pts., awards:
1. Chris Byrd (5-0, 3xCW, 2xRW), 64.4 pts., Newest in our long
list of first-time Champions
2. Keith Wixson (4-1, 4xCW, 1xRL), 58 pts., Best Carthaginian
3. Doug White (4-1, 3xCW, 1xCL), 55.8 pts.
4. Henry Rice (4-1, 3xRW, 1xCL), 52.8 pts., Best Roman Award
5. Doug Mercer (4-1, 3xCW, 1xRL), 52.4 pts.
6. James Pei (4-1, 3xRW, 1xRL), 52.4 pts.
7. Tim Hall (4-1, 2xRW, 1xRL), 52 pts.
8. Roderick Lee (3-2, 2xCW, 1xCL), 47 pts.
9. Jim Heenehan (3-2, 3xCW, 1xCL), 45.4 pts.
10. Michael Mitchell (3-2, 2xCW, 2xCL), 44.8 pts.
11. Glenn McMaster (3-2, 2xCW, 1xCL), 44.2 pts.
12. Randall MacInnis (3-2, 2xRW, 1xRL), 43.8 pts.
13. Jim Eliason (3-2, 2xRW, 2xCL), 42.4 pts.
14. Pat Mirk (2-2+1 bye, 2xRW, 1xRL), 41.4 pts.
15. Bill Banks (3-2, 3xCW, 1xCL), 41 pts.
16. Brian Mountford (3-2, all Roman), 40.8 pts.
17. Thomas Richardson (3-2, 2xRW, 2xCL), 39 pts., Best Sack of
Enemy Capital Award
18. Ken Samuel (3-2, 3xCW, 1xCL), 38.6 pts.
19. Bill Morse (3-1, 3xRW, 1xCL), 37.4 pts.
20. David Dockter (2-2, 1xRW, 1xRL), 32 pts.
21. Ahmet Ilpars (2-2, 1xRW, 1xRL), 31 pts., Hannibal Ad Portas
22. Derek Landel (2-3, 2xRW, 2xRL), 29.8 pts.
23. Pete Reese (2-1, all Roman), 29 pts.
24. Ray Freeman (2-3, 1xCW, 2xCL), 29 pts., Quickest Resignation
25. Jim Fardette (2-2, 1xRW, 1xRL), 28 pts.
26. Stuart Tucker (2-3, 2xCW, 1xRL), 27.8 pts.
27. Terry Coleman (2-2, all Carthaginian), 25.6 pts.
28. Hank Burkhalter (2-3, 1xCW, 2xCL), 22 pts.
29. Paul Gaberson (1-4, 1xRW, 3xRL), 25 pts.
30. Eugene Lin (1-4, 1xCW, 3xRL), 22.8 pts.
31. Scott Moll (1-4, 1xCW, 2xCL), 22.4 pts.
32. Matthew Bacho (1-2, all Roman), 19 pts.
33. Ed Rothenheber (1-2, 1xRW, 1xRL), 19 pts., Most Demoralized
Sack Honorable Mention
34. Michael Ussery (0-2+1 bye, all roman), 18 pts.
35. Rob Seulowitz (1-2, 1xCW, 1xCL), 17.8 pts.
36. Peter Stein (1-2, 1xCW, 1xCL), 16.4 pts.
37. Tim Miller (1-3, all Roman), 15.8 pts.
38. Henry Richardson (1-3, 1xRW, 3xCL), 15.8 pts.
39. Charles Hickok (1-2, all Roman), 15.6 pts.
40. Ewan McNay (1-0, Carthaginian), 12 pts.
41. Jim Doughan (1-1, all Carthaginian), 12 pts.
42. Jared Scarborough (0-4, two of each), 9 pts., John "Pack
It In" Memorial Award
43. William Lentz (0-3, 2xRL), 7 pts.
44. Peter Card (0-3, 2xRL), 7 pts.
45. Bruno Sinigaglio (0-2, all Roman), 6 pts.
46. Chris Hancock (0-1, Roman), 3 pts.
Notes on Awards and Honorable Mentions:
Quickest Resignation: For knowing when to give up. Jim Eliason
exited in 40 minutes in Round 2, but it was Ray Freeman who saw
the writing on the wall after only 15 minutes in his Round 4
game, having witnessed Hannibal losing 4 CUs in the Alps and
then dying by the hands of Bill Morse's Publius C. Scipio.
Most Demoralizing Sack: For being subjected to an early
improbable defeat. Ed Rothenheber, having already played two
Top Ten players during the day, probably thought he'd have an
easier time of it in Round 3 against a tournament rookie. Alas,
Thomas Richardson utilized the Treachery Within the City card
to sack Carthage on Turn 3, despite Ed's efforts to enact a Truce.
After 38 minutes into Round 3, Ed was not to be seen again in
Hannibal Ad Portas: For coming oh so close to sacking
Rome. Ahmet Ilpars' Hannibal already had achieved two siege points
against Rome and had driven off Scipio Africanus' attacks twice,
but Patrick Mirk's Africanus finally killed Hannibal on his third
try in turn 6, going on to defeat Ilpars by a 10-8 province count,
and costing him the Best Sack award.
Best Sack of Enemy Capital Award. (And, no, New Carthage
doesn't count, no matter how many times James Pei takes it.)
Tournament rookie Thomas Richardson managed to sack Carthage
not once, but twice, both times early in the game.
The John "Pack It In" Memorial Award: "I
Came, I Saw, ... got pummeled, and returned for more." This
award goes to the player that faced the most abysmal defeats
and took it all smiling, returning to game again. Jared Scarborough,
our only entrant this year to go without victory in four tries,
managed in Round 1 as the Roman to lose Italy (including Capua),
resigning upon the death of Africanus. In Round 2, his resignation
as Carthage came even quicker when Marcellus seized Africa, while
his Hannibal could not drive Paulus off of Mutina. In Round 3,
his Romans managed to kill Hannibal on Turn 7, but he still lost
the 9-9 province count at game end. Proving himself a good sport
and a glutton for punishment, Jared showed up on day two for
Round 4 as Carthage, managing to kill off Hannibal on Turn 2.
He kept the province count tied through the first seven turns,
but, by the middle of Turn 9, with the province count 11-7 against
him, Jared graciously resigned to give Henry Richardson his only
win of the tournament. We, the players, salute you, Jared. We
will remember your story with a smile.