The Member's Choice ...
The inaugural Sword of Rome tournament which was selected
by the membership as the most requested new event had 36 people
playing 13 games over a space of three days. I was very lucky
to have a great group of players. All my rulings were accepted
with no whining of any kind and the two tables that ran over
the time limit adjudicated themselves. I was bracing for the
worst and got the best. A special thank you to Stuart Tucker
for getting this rookie GM out of a tight spot in the semifinals.
Of the 16 players that qualified only 13 appeared for the encore.
Since only one alternate could be found, I was left with either
13 or 14 gamers, both of which would not work. At this point,
Stuart graciously stepped aside and let me run three tables of
four-player games, which while not perfect, was better than the
To alleviate concerns about play balance, players bid support
to determine the order in which they picked their power to play.
The average bid was only 0.88, with a high bid of four. The
Romans were the most popular choice, followed by the Greeks,
Gauls, and Etruscan/Samnites. Of the 13 games played, the Etruscan/Samnites
won four times and the Greeks, Gauls, and Romans split the remaining
nine equally. None of the optional rules from the 1.2 version
of the living rules were used iand the average game took around
five hours to complete. The GM asks all players that participated
in the tournament to give their feedback on the format. I am
thinking about eliminating the bidding given the low average
bid and going to a two-heat format, to allow more players a chance
to play, with the four best players advancing to a Final. The
heat format would also allow me to give out prizes for best Roman,
Greek, Gallic and Etruscan/Samnite players.
The tournament produced some amazing results from Mark Hinkle's
semifinal win via a first turn automatic victory (the first that
the GM has ever seen or heard of) to the other end of the spectrum
where Fred Schater's Gauls did not win a single battle in his
semifinal loss. The tournament also saw three invasions of Africa
with one of them being successful in knocking Carthage out of
the game. Stuart Tucker and John Wetherell both scored 12 victory
points to tie for highest score, while four players finished
the game with zero victory points.