Certainly Not a Block Game ...
The Attika tournament in Lancaster was eerily similar
to the first event at Hunt Valley. Last year, there were 55
players slugging it out and this year there were 54 competitors.
As I was setting up the kiosk, a player remarked that the others
had to do something about my picture being there too many times.
(GM, winning last year) I told him I agreed and that I'd let
him GM next year but I'd like to keep my picture in the winner's
As happened last year, we had exactly 16 winners. And just
like 2004, your freindly neighborhood GM was the only player
to win in both heats. Other heat winners included Tom DeMarco,
Bruce Reiff, Mark Delano, David Gagne, Ted Simmons, Phillip Burgin-Young,
Luke Koleszar, Alan Kaiser, Bob Titran, Rod Spade, Jim Castonguay,
Daniel Broh-Kahn, Nate Hoam, Eugene Lin and Fred Minard. Could
it be deja vu' all over again with yours truly winning his own
event? Alas, it was not to be. The semi-finals produced Nate
Hoam, Jim Castonguay, Eugene Lin and Bruce Reiff to battle it
out for the Wood.
Right from the get go, Bruce and Jim were at odds. As Bruce
built his first buildings, Jim remarked that's where he wanted
to go. Jim then built right next to Bruce. The next few turns
they went back and forth about who was in who's area. Meanwhile,
Nate and Eugene (who only had a few games under his belt) tried
to fly under the radar. Soon Nate was in a great position to
win. Armed with an amphore, four cards and ready to possibly
connect for the win on his next turn, Nate looked ready. To
my surprise, Eugene then did not block Nate's way. But I was
pretty sure Bruce or Jim would do it. But, still muttering under
their breath about how they had interfered with each other, to
my surprise, neither one blocked Nate. Now, after analyzing
the game, it was estimated that even if Nate had four of the
same cards, he had at least an 80% chance of winning.
I about fell out of my chair when Nate drew three cards instead
of going for the win. I thought to myself that Nate had blown
his chance at his first ever WBC wood. Then came the bigger
shock. None of the other players blocked Nate again! Six chances
to keep Nate from winning and nobody stepped up. Nate now armed
with what amounted to a guaranteed win, picked up what was to
be his first of three century event first place plaques for the
Next year, I will be handing off the GM duties to a fellow
Cabbie and stepping down to assistant GM. We are discussing
the possibility of making it strictly 2-player games next year.
I think there is more luck in the two-player game, but many
players expressed frustration with other players not blocking
wins when they were in a good position to do so. My fear is
that going from 4-player games to 2-player games will require
more sets than are available so if this happens you better bring
a copy if you want to play. If you have an opinion, feel free
to e-mail me with your opinions. And thanks to all the players
who made GMing Attika a real pleasure the last two years.