ideology: the war of ideas [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report  

 2005 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Tim Swartz, MD

2004 Champion

2nd: Chris Quintanilla, PA

3rd: Ron Wuerth. VA

4th: Geoff Allbutt, ONT

5th: -

6th: -

Event History
2004    -     7

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings

Rank Name



Ideology Debut

Only seven players entered the tournament - which by BPA rules is insufficient to be accorded official tournament status for anything other than teampoints and the existing plaque. Future status is now in the hands of the membership voters and/or a vendor/sponsor.

2004 marked my first visit to the World Boardgaming Championships, and I was very impressed with every aspect of the convention. Zev Shlasinger (the publisher of Z-Man Games) had been doing a great job of introducing Ideology to those visiting the Exhibit Room, and I also had the chance to demo the game to many players the night before the tournament.


During the first round on Saturday, we ran two tables of Ideology, which included a mix of brand new players and those who had played a few times before. I was very impressed with the sportsmanship exhibited in these games. The more experienced players were patient in helping the new players grow accustomed to the rules, and even offered friendly strategic advice to them during the first few turns of the game. At the end of the first round, the top two players from each game, as well as one "wild
card" (the top scoring third place player), moved on to the second and final round.


Everyone advancing to the final round of the tournament was very excited because they knew that they would definitely be receiving a trophy (at our Ideology convention tournaments, we award small trophies to those who place 2nd - 5th in the tournament, as well as a larger plaque to the winner). In honor of this being the World Boardgaming Championships, we engraved the winning trophy with the words "WORLD CONQUEROR". Needless to say, that set the mood for the game, as each player now had some experience under his belt and no quarter was going to be asked... or given!

I randomly handed out the Ideology cards: 1) Geoff, a new player, received Capitalism; 2) Tim, who had played only one demo game the night before, received Communism; 3) Steve, an experienced player who had played in the Origins tournament, received Fascism; 4) Chris, a new player, played Imperialism; and 5) Ron, who had played two or three times before the tournament, received Islamic Fundamentalism.

The game began with the immediate development of everyone's Starting Region to Level 4... except for Tim (Communism), who was having some trouble getting the influence he needed for the first few turns of the game. The first several Independent Regions were Level 1, which might have inspired Imperialism to go out and colonize. However, Chris (Imperialism) decided to go for a more conservative strategy by spending his first several turns boosting up Great Britain all the way to a full Development Level of 6. Chris enjoyed the immediate card advantage, but soon began to regret his decision. The other players had scooped up the early Level 1 Regions and now Level 2 Regions such as Israel and South Africa were entering play, making Imperialism's Global Colonization ability all but useless.

Geoff (Capitalism) and Ron (Islamic Fundamentalism) took advantage of Communism's early influence troubles by seizing the early Independent Regions. Steve (Fascism) lost a struggle against Islamic Fundamentalism for one of the early Regions, so he decided to make Iran pay for it by sending some Fascist culture into Iran. (DESIGNER'S NOTE: Early in the game, players expect you to conflict them at the Independent Regions or even at newly acquired Controlled Regions. But when you attack someone's Starting Region, well... that's when things start to get personal!) The Islamic Fundamentalist was not pleased with this move, and returned fire by sending his culture into Germany the following turn.

Meanwhile, the Imperialist player had gotten a sudden break. Even though the Level 1 Independent Regions weren't coming out any more, France (a Level 2 Region adjacent to Great Britain and Germany) did. Thus began a struggle between Fascism and Imperialism for control of France. This is where Great Britain's developed muscle came in handy. Fascism was still only a Level 4 Region, while Great Britain was Level 6. With that much more firepower on the side of Imperialism (coupled with Fascism's struggles against Islamic Fundamentalism), France soon became a province of her majesty, the Queen of England.

Tim (Communism) had such a tough time of it in the beginning of the game that he was largely left ignored. He was therefore able to carefully manage his resources to acquire Level 2 Advancements and use them to acquire Israel. Having invested so much in the Level 2 Advancements gave Communism the extra boost it needed to seize control of South Africa as well. This was a surprising turn of events, as Communism normally tries to acquire regions that are much closer to home. Nonetheless, the Communists had suddenly lept forward in the game from last place to first place through Tim's sudden gain and immediate development of both Israel and South Africa.

This was a turning point in the game, as the other powers had developed such a mutual animosity (at least, in game terms!) that they were reluctant to work together to slow down Communism. Geoff (Capitalism) had mostly stayed to himself this game, and did not seem interested in changing course. Rather than involve himself in a messy entanglement with Russia, Geoff focused his attention on Canada, which had come up late in the game and which provided him an opportunity to gain a healthy Level 2 Region. However, the Islamic Fundamentalist player contested him for control of Canada and successfully seized control of it.

Having given up on France, Fascism decided to catch up at home by building Germany up to a Level 6 Region. But the Islamic Fundamentalists had not forgotten their old feud, and decided to pull their culture out of Germany that same turn, keeping Germany a Level 4 Region for yet another turn. This essentially put Fascism out of the running to win the game.

As the players prepared to enter what they knew could be the final turn, there was no shortage of declaration of war. Many of the players stood on the threshold of victory, and this was not to be a friendly turn! Capitalism and Islamic Fundamentalism set the mood of the turn by developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, putting them both in a position to win the game. Communism finished developing South Africa and Israel, putting him in the win position also, and still had plenty of cards left to wage war. Imperialism developed France fully, putting him in a stronger position to attempt victory as well. Fascism redeveloped Germany to a Level 6 Region, and had a few cards left over to seize whatever he could.

The Islamic Fundamentalists knew they would lose the tie-breaker for victory, so took it upon themselves to deal with the spread of Capitalism. In a move which surprised everyone (and which had never occurred before in any game I had ever seen or played), the Islamic Fundamentalists launched a nuke into the United States from nearby Canada. The Capitalists were devastated, and might have launched a retaliatory strike against Canada, but chose restraint rather than lose their dearly purchased WMD, especially because the loss of the Islamic Fundamentalist's WMD took Islamic Fundamentalism out of the win position as well.

At the same time, both the the Imperialists and the struggling Fascists tried to seize fresh territory, spending precious resources that might have been better spent waging war against the Communists, who were now the only Ideology in the win position. The Fascists succeeding in acquiring a new Region, but that was the last of their cards, and the new Region would only put the Fascists up to a Global Influence of 7. At this point, the Capitalists, Imperialists, and Islamic Fundamentalists agreed to an uneasy truce to try to take down Communism.

But Communism had seized yet another region, putting them well above the line for victory. Although the other players were able to snatch this new acquisition from him, the Communist player was able to successfully defend all of his key regions (Russia, Israel, and South Africa). The Islamic Fundamentalists planned a final Jihad attack against Russia, and this would have succeeded, but the Islamic Fundamentalist player suddenly realized that Russia was too far away now that he no longer possessed Technological Supremacy (which had been sacrificed to create the WMD). This ensured the final victory of Communism.

The game was over, with Tim (Communism) victorious, and the players immediately revealed their true sportsmanship by donning the air of friendly gamers once again. It was amazing and rewarding to watch this sudden transformation, for during the tense final moments of the game, it had truly seemed that the players had become possessed by an insatiable desire to conquer the world.

1. Communism (Tim)
2. Imperialism (Chris)
3. Islamic Fundamentalism (Ron)
4. Capitalism (Geoff)
5. Fascism (Steve)

 GM      Andrew Parks  [1st Year]  NA   NA

2004 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page