expedition to wood ...
As 60 adversaries were shoe-horned into a cramped Salon A,
everyone nervously eyeballed the competition. Five of the top
seven Laurelist expedition leaders in this year's jungle were
in the field With a loud bang, the starter's pistol sounded and
the adventurers were off.
The tournament started out with four-player league rounds
followed by quick single elimination rounds until resolution.
As expected, those that advanced liked the new format, those
that did not found fault with it. The continuous tournament format
offered some lucky soul the chance to sleep soundly Saturday
night with wood a mere three hours away. The other poor saps
would have up to three hours less time to harvest wood or go
home with nothing but splinters. The new fast and furious format
assured everyone of finishing in time to participate in the late
night crowd pleaser - Slapshot. Fair warning of an adjudication
process involving 10 second turns enforced by random card selection
by the GM was relayed to all at the opening. Fortunately, no
adjudications were needed as most players realized Lost Cities
is most enjoyable as a fast playing card game.
The opening league and Sweet Sixteen rounds took down most
of the favorites in the usual snares and pitfalls of card play.
Noted front-runners surviving to the Elite Eight included top-ranked
Jared Scarborough and the #7 Laurelist, the aptly named Laurel
Stokes. The Elite Eight matched the following opponents. Sean
McCulloch drew the feared Jared match. Sean, awestruck by Jared's
reputation, somehow snatches defeat out of the jaws of victory.
Leading comfortably, Sean decides to slow down the end of the
game allowing Jared to score 30 points on the last card played.
Jared advances with a 1-1 record and a +2 scoring differential.
David Brooks faced off with Laurel. Laurel quickly points out
a short-cut through quicksand to the gullible David. Laurel advances
with a 2-0 record and a mammoth +66 scoring differential. Renowned
wargamer Peter Reese was matched up with the disarming Rebecca
Hebner. Pete may know something about card driven wargames; however,
he is baffled by 16 year old Rebecca's euro card play as she
advances with a 1-1 record and a +11 scoring differential. Eric
Brosius, the Princes of Florence GM, faced his fifth-place
finisher, Nathaniel Hoam. Although no bad blood spilled from
the previous night's event, Nathaniel still overcomes a close
first game loss with a resounding second game victory and advances
with a 1-1 record and a +31 scoring differential.
Rebecca Hebner vanquishes CDW-ace
Peter Reese in the Quarter Finals.
Onto the Final Four: Nathaniel Hoam, making his first WBC
appearance after twenty plus years of Midwestern corn feeding,
looked every bit a Rookie of the Year candidate as he mowed down
opponent after opponent. Nate didn't even bother to read Jared
Scarborough's nametag as he blew by him with a 2-0 record and
a +54 point scoring differential. Meanwhile, Rebecca Hebner battled
the ever present and tenacious Laurel Stokes. Rebecca, vaguely
remembering how it feels atop the awards podium from her Grand
Slam performance as a 13-year old gets a whiff of past glory,
squeaking by Laurel with a 1-1 record and a +6 scoring differential.
The final was set with Rebecca Hebner giving up several inches,
if not feet, to the towering Nathaniel Hoam. Nate goes first
in game 1, leading off with a blue investment, a blue 2 and a
yellow investment. Rebecca counters with a green investment,
a green investment, and a green 2. Both players play very well
the first game with some of the highest scores seen in the tournament.
Nate starts four expeditions that total 90 points. Rebecca starts
three expeditions, capturing one 20 point bonus, that total 99
points. Game 1 goes to Rebecca with a +9 scoring differential.
Game 2 starts with Rebecca leading off with a white investment,
a white 3 and a green investment. Nate follows up with a green
investment, a red investment and blue investment. Unbeknownst
to Nate, his fate was sealed with the red investment card he
played. Nate goes on to score negative 24 points in red as Rebecca
holds most of the red cards throughout the game. Nate starts
four expeditions that total 6 points. Rebecca starts four expeditions
that total 20 points. Game 2 goes to Rebecca with a +14 scoring
differential. Rebecca wins with a 2-0 record and a +23 scoring
differential. Welcome back to the winner's circle, Rebecca! That
fifth plaque has been a while in the making - it's been three
years since she terrorized WBC as a 14-yr old Grand Slam winner.
A big thank you goes out to the kindly participant who brought
back a beverage for the weary GM. Without such refreshment, I
doubt I could have accurately recorded the flurry of moves in
the final two games. This is the kind of oil that keeps the GM
machines running. I witnessed several instances of good sportsmanship.
Bud Sauer, one of my assistant GM's, chose not to play in order
to allow two slightly late-comers the opportunity to play. I
also appreciate participants willing to play against whatever
opponents they are matched against, despite some unusual mannerisms.
Don't shed any tears for our also ran, Natey Boy. Later that
evening Nate would flex his muscles and beat Lost Battialion's
Becky at an arm-wrestling match during the Slapshot tournament.
Some say he threw sand in her eyes as the match began Overall,
I had fun running this event, I hope the participants enjoyed