expedition to wood ...
Wayne Schmittberger (left) of
GAMES magazine shows his expertise in games goes beyond publishing
by advancing to the Final of the Lost Cities tournament.
Paul Weintraub (left) opposes
Sean McCulloch in the semi-finals. Paul would lose this match
and have to settle for fourth place laurels.
Sean McCulloch (left) was the
only laurelist to repeat and his experience won out over Wayne
Schmittberger in the sixth and final elimination round.
Lost Cities 2K6 generally followed the format of last year
with two significant differences: Friday's heat was moved from
the afternoon to the late evening against Liar's Dice,
and a new MESE tiebreaker rule was in effect. You may judge
if either made a difference in your tournament. The handful
of attendees at the demo exploded two hours later into a 68
player jail break at the first heat—a record for a heat in the Modern Era (that
would be my era). In the second heat, 25 reinforcements arrived
to join 29 players returnees. The third heat on Friday night
had a much lower number of new players (18) in relation to the
invasion of weekend players that occurred during the afternoon
heat last year. Despite the lure of Liar's Dice, 28 players
did return on Friday night, of which only eight had played in
both of the previous Heats. On Saturday afternoon, the last heat
brought in 14 new players and a robust 34 returning players.
Three of whom—Jeri Freedman, Robbie Mitchell and Kelsey Lee,
played in every Heat. Wayne Schmittberger of GAMES magazine, Sam Atabaki and Rebecca Hebner won all three Heats in which they
played. Of 108 games played during the Heats, the field produced
one tie game, resolved by a fourth hand—same as last year.
Regarding the 2006 MESE tiebreaker, three players with a loss
in their first Heat, but two wins in subsequent Heats were denied
a qualified advance over the eight players with one win who completed
the bracket of 32, because their win had occurred in their first
Rounds 2 through 6 commenced Sunday morning. Of the 32 qualifiers,
nine answered the siren's song of the advanced rounds of other
tournaments, allowing slots for four of the high alternates,
four other Lost Cities entrants who had braved the dawn to be
counted, and—what do you know—the GM, to fill out the bracket.
(Yesss, I had a 1st Heat that I played in, win, so back off!!)
Beginning the semi-finals, the final four—David Meyaard, Wayne
Schmittberger, Sean McCulloch and Paul Weintraub, voted unanimously
to have a Consolation Round to determine the third place finisher,
because, this year, Lost Cities awarded three plaques.
Wayne and Sean played in the Final, while Paul and David vied
for third. The two games were noteworthy for striking similarities
beyond being simultaneous. No expeditions scored the bonus. The
individual hand scores were: David 17-46-78 vs. Paul 63-12-9,
and Sean 19-40-54 vs. Wayne 56-12-(-15). In the second hand of
both games, EACH player successfully completed a Red expedition
with investment cards!! The eventual winners, Sean and David,
trailed as they began the third hand by -9 and -12 respectively.
In the last hand of the Final, both players started Green expeditions
with Wayne garnering a straight score of 10 points while Sean
played all three handshakes and earned only six more points for
his effort. Wayne's Waterloo was his three handshake commitment
to Red. He had started the last hand with three Red cards, received
a fourth early on from Sean, but did not draw another Red for
the remainder of the hand, while Sean proceeded to score in Red
as well as Yellow, Blue and White. David prevailed over Paul
for third place.
Once again, my thanks to all who played, and who expressed
their enjoyment of the experience, win or lose. I am grateful
to Kaarin Englemann and Keith Levy, who regularly loaned extra
copies of the game from the WBC Youth Division, as we had more
players than games in several heats. Other players also helped
in this endeavor with their games. Remember, next year, replace
one pair of socks in the suitcase with the game cards in a Ziploc
bag—you don't have to bring the box. Results have been
sent to AREA. Farewell until WBC 2007.
The always jovial and helpful
Keith Levy instructs some new Explorers.
GM Levy stands out in a crowd
with his festive purple hat as the pied piper of WBC.
Lost Cities Junior
12 little explorers contested the Juniors version led by Ben
gardner who made off with the wood. He was followed closely by
his sister April whom he beat in the Final - thus earning him
sibling bragging rights for a whole year. Apparently they play
a little Lost Cities in the Gardner household.