Virgin Territory ...
In the Shadow of the Emperor is a brand new strategic
Euro loosely modeling Germany in the late middle ages. Several
aristocratic families seek to acquire the crown of the Emperor,
but the decision lies in the hands of seven electors. The players
use their aristocrats, knights, and cities to influence the electors
and to win the game. Rio Grande Games sponsored this new WBC
event to coincide with the game's release in the U.S. It is a
difficult game suited to the player who enjoys the heavier Euros.
It was scheduled for early in the week, and considering it was
a new game and finished by Thursday, it is not suprising that
only 20 players participated.
Tuesday kicked off with a demo and the first heat. The second
and last heat was Wednesday. All winners would advance to the
semifinals, and the Finals immediately followed. The Tuesday
heat had three 4-player games and one 3-player table. Arthur
Field, Tom Lynch, Evan Tannheimer, and David Platnick won their
games and advanced. The second heat had three tables. Keith Layton,
Kevin Walsh, and John Haba and Scott Smith (tied for first in
their game) all won and advanced.
That created two 4-player tables in the semifinal. Arthur
Field edged John Haba, Evan Tannheimer, and David Platnick at
one, There was a good deal of table talk in this game, and I
wondered if the game would make the time limit, but the players
got to it after a gentle warning. Tom Lynch beat Kevin Walsh,
Scott Smith, and Keith Layton at the other table. I advanced
two players from each table to the Final, and so John Haba, Kevin
Walsh, Arthur Field, and John Haba played one more game for the
title. Game play was furious with the emperor seat changing hands
almost every turn. In the end, Arthur Field edged Tom Lynch 33-28
for the victory.