Northern Invasion Continues
Conestoga 3 is abuzz with rail
games as the first heat gets underway.
Second heat action allowed 12
to qualify for the Semi-Finals Saturday evening.
Finalists (left to right): Paquet,
Kersten, Moffit, and Sasseville.
As in the prior two years, the tournament had a sizable turnout
of about 40 gamers, including six French Canadians who drove
13 hours from Quebec to Lancaster just to play in this tourney.
The first heat on Friday afternoon saw seven games played, most
taking the full three hours alloted with players carefully plotting
their moves in this gamer's game. Given the Advanced rating of
the tournament, there were no bankruptcies in the heat, which
saw play of not only the standard Rust Belt map, but two Germany
and one England map as well. Later that evening, several players
tried one of the new maps from the Steam Brothers, map 'R'
The second heat at 9 AM Saturday saw five games contested,
two of which were played on the tricky Germany map. One of the
games on the German maps claimed the first bankruptcy of the
tournament, on Turn 4. Two of the players won both of their heat
games, Charlie Kersten and 'gandpapa' Mario Veillette. They were
looking invincible going into the semi-finals late that evening
and 'grandpapa' took a nap to rest up. Several others took the
opportunity to try another new Steam Brothers map, map 'N', in
the break between the heat and the semi-final at 6 that night.
The semi-final saw three Rust Belt map games played and the
competition was brutal with one player going bankrupt on Turn
5. Last year's champion, Pierre Paquet, emerged victorious as
did fellow Steam Brother Martin Sasseville. Charlie Kersten enjoyed
his third straight win and Craig Moffitt entered the Final with
the highest second place seed from the semi-final round. Charlie
Hickok, Alex Bove and Mike Holmquist were the top alternates.
Sunday morning saw Pierre, Martin, Charlie and Craig begin
the Final with an audience of about ten spectators. Play was
cutthroat from the very beginning, with both Martin and Charlie
connecting Evansville to Cincinnati through Indianapolis! Pierre
placed track from Evansville to Chicago through Terra Haute and
Craig built from Cincinnati to Detroit, urbanizing Toledo with
the purple New City. The second turn, Martin extended his track
westward from Evansville to St. Louis. Charlie abandoned the
Evansville - Cincinnati slugfest, placing track from Duluth to
Minneapolis, heading toward LaCrosse and Chicago. Pierre urbanized
Milwaukee, placing three track out of Chicago, effectively locking
up the city. Craig continued north from Detroit to Toronto.
By the fifth turn, Charlie was clearly in trouble, with three
disconnected networks, one in the central map, one in the Northwest
and the last in the Southwest. All of Pierre's track lay in the
western half of the map and all of Craig's in the east. Martin
built a strategic disconnected network, urbanizing Cleveland
and building south to Wheeling and then north to Pittsburgh,
denying Craig the Lake Erie loop.
On Turn 7, disaster struck for Charlie. Unable to extend his
Uncompleted Track Sections from Green Bay toward Rock island
and from Des Moines toward Rock Island, he lost both Track Ownership
markers and entered bankruptcy. On Turn 8, Martin was able to
secure the Urbanization Action, urbanize Rock Island and claim
both of Craig's former track as his own. That was the margin
of victory, with Martin besting fellow French Canadian and defending
champion, Pierre. Craig came in a close third. Charlie Kersten
was voted the Sportsmanship award for his positive attitude during
this hard fought game. My thanks to all participants and my special
congratulations to the two Steam Brothers for sweeping first
and second place in the Age of Steam tournament at the
World Boardgaming Championships. See you next year!