A Good Start
Manifest Destiny's debut was a resounding success!
Winners were evenly distributed among the starting positions,
with Louisiana having five wins, Virginia and Mexico four, and
Pennsylvania and Quebec three each.
Harald Henning, Brett Mingo, David Nicholson and Ted Simmons
won their respective semifinals and advanced to the Final with
Pete Pollard, the closest runner-up.
In the Final, peace reigned supreme throughout Era 1 as players
filled the board while avoiding confrontation. Era 2 was a different
story. Mexico (David), aided by Trading Post, went on a rampage
in the Southwest, gobbling up numerous territories, several of
which had previously belonged to Virginia. Virginia (Pete) retaliated
with IRS, severely depleting the cash Mexico had gained and cashed
Tobacco. Pennsylvania (Brett) amassed cities and used Edison
to complete Electricity. Quebec (Harald) had the early lead after
cashing Hudson's Bay Company and Fulton and dodged Civil War
from Pennsylvania, who hit Mexico instead. Louisiana (Ted) bided
his time, positioning himself for secondary payouts.
Virginia pulled into a brief lead in Era 3 when he completed
Rock 'n Roll. Mexico bought Computers but got hit with the Depression
in the Southwest and never recovered. Pennsylvania had 11 cities
at one point, leading to substantial cash late once he completed
Urban Renaissance. Louisiana maximized his position, but taking
five turns to complete Think Tank cost him. Quebec finished the
steps for e-Commerce in the penultimate turn, but used Louisiana's
leaders to buy Safety Net and Airplanes instead of Computers.
In the last expansion phase, Mexico used his priority turn
order marker and went after Oil. Pennsylvania and Louisiana split
up Gold and it looked like Pennsylvania would be swimming in
cash once he cashed his cards. Quebec moved last, took some Oil,
and wisely used his turn order priority token to play cards second.
In the last card play phase, Mexico cashed Oil Crisis, helping
himself and Quebec. Quebec cashed a second Oil card before Virginia,
moving third, played Cold War, which deprived Pennsylvania of
his foreign markets and their valuable gold payouts (and which
left Pennsylvania short of the cash needed to win).
When the dust settled (ever notice how much dust there is
in these reports?), Quebec bought Computers and Television, claimed
e-Commerce and finished with 31 VPs and $15 and gave Harald the
game (literally, since the winner got to keep the game). Louisiana
snuck into second with 30 VPs and $60, narrowly edging Pennsylvania
(30 VPs and $40 cash) and Virginia (29 VPs). Mexico never recovered
from the three bad cards played on him and slipped to fifth with