successors [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report    

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Doug Smith, PA

2006 Champion

Offsite links:

 

 

Event History
1998    Doug Smith      32
1999    Jim Gutt     16
2000    Jim Gutt     16
2001     Robert Seulowitz     17
2002     Robert Seulowitz      16
2003      Doug Smith      18
2004      Henry Rice      17
2005      Ross Jones      18
2006      Doug Smith      24

PBeM Event History
2004    Rob Mull      24

 Laurels

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Doug Smith          PA    06     91
  2.  Jim Gutt            AZ    04     91
  3.  Rob Seulowitz       NY    05     77
  4.  Ross Jones          SC    06     70
  5.  Henry Rice          NM    04     60
  6.  Rob Mull            CO    04     50
  7.  Ahmet Ilpars      Turkey  06     39
  8.  Tim Miller          GA    03     30
  9.  Michael Day         AZ    01     30
 10.  Keith Wixson        NJ    06     23
 11.  Stefan MeCay        TX    04     20
 12.  Phil Rodrigues      VA    06     19
 13.  Mark Hinkle         NH    04     18
 14.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    03     18
 15.  Francis Czawlytko   MD    04     15
 16.  Craig Melton        VA    03     12
 17.  Jim Doughan         PA    00     12
 18.  Matt Ellison        OH    04     10
 19.  Nick Firer          WI    00     10
 20.  Chris Storzillo     NJ    05      6
 21.  J. R. Tracy         NY    00      6
 22.  Dennis Mason        ME    99      6
 23.  Risto Marjomaa    Finland 04      5
 24.  Peter Card          UK    00      4
 25.  Tom Constantine     ME    06      4
 26.  Michael Mitchell    GA    99      3
 27.  Brian Mountford     NY    00      2

2006 Laurelists

Ross Jones, SC
2nd

Phil Rodrigues, VA
3rd

Ahmet Ilpars, Turkey
4th

Keith Wixson, NJ
5th

Tom Constantine, ME
6th


Past Winners

Doug Smith, PA
1998, 2003, 2006

Jim Gutt, AZ
1999-2000

Robert Seulowitz, NY
2001-2002

Henry Rice, NM
2004

Ross Jones, SC
2005


 Defending champ Ross Jones (left) listens to Phil Rodriguez as Jim Miller and Ahmet Ilpars proceed with their turn.

 In a crowded year for CDWs, Successors returned to the Century with its largest field since its debut nine years ago.

There Can be Only One

JR Tracy,
Our Sponsor
Rob Seulowitz,
GM
After a near-death experience, SUCCESSORS returned with a vengeance in 2006, with a total of 24 Players signing up – the most since its inaugural year in 1998!

Special thanks for the preservation of the event goes to our Sponsor, JR Tracy, who was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation signed by all 24 players.

Doug Smith was crowned Champion of Champions after winning what may well have been the best played Final game in the event’s history (and I say that despite the obvious deficiency that I was not one of the players!).

Gifts and Prizes

In addition to the official 1st place plaque provided by the BPA, a number of other prizes were awarded. Ahmet Ilpars provided a copy of Plutarch’s Life of Alexander the Great to be presented to the winner (sadly, the book is in Turkish, but he promises to translate it himself on demand).

A total of 12 free T-Shirts were distributed, bearing the best cover art at WBC and the slogan “We Are All Champions.” Most of these went to new players and people who signed up to learn the game. Special custom counters were given to one player in each round who brought copy of the game. And lastly, the GM provided commemorative framed lithographs to all four Finalists.

What Was New for 2006?

General consensus was that the rules changes made for Tournament play had a positive effect on the game, specifically the change to 27.5 awarding 0 Legitimacy for burial of Alexander in Babylon, Ecbatana or Susa. For purposes of clarity and completeness, this was restated at the start of the event to mean that Alexander’s body must be on the WEST MAPBOARD to earn any Legitimacy from his burial, even the default burial at the start of Turn 4.

The change to restore the original wording of the “Salvation in the 11th Hour” card was well received, but the card failed to kill a single General in 8 games!

Although a new advancement and ranking system was employed, no objections were raised. More on that below.

Lastly, the most important change was the addition of a “coached game” as a teaching tool – since a 1 hour demo is simply inefficient for a game that has a different focus with each turn. Logistical problems limited the number of these games, but interest was high and people interested in learning were given the opportunity to observe past Champions closely, and they got a free T-Shirt out of the deal, too.

Results from Qualifying Rounds

Games played on Wednesday morning had a strict time limit, so two were adjudicated at the end of turn 3 on the basis of most VP and Legitimacy combined.

Game 1: Dan Dolan, Perdiccas & Peithon (Crowned Heracles)—Dan Dolan dragged the body all the way to Pella on Turn 2 (the only player to do so this year), but JR Tracy defended the city with an army of equal size – if Anitpater bested Perdiccas, JR would seize the body and win on his next cardplay! Sadly for our patron, Dan won the battle by a single pip, but he had to forfeit his Championship status to do so, ending his turn with only 15 Legitimacy – 3 short of the instant win. Dan’s only VP were for Babylonia – had he lost that province, he would have regained his 3L for Champion and won! Instead, the game went to a third turn, during which he held only 5 VP but, combined with his 15 Legitimacy, that was enough to keep the lead. This game featured ¾ of Team X plus event Sponsor JR, the latter finishing in Last Place after wagering all on Antipater’s goal-line defense. Way to go, Team X!

Text Box: Craig Melton, moments before the tragic death of Antipater in Game 2.

Game 2: Keith Wixson, Perdiccas & Leonatus (Crowned Alex IV)Craig Melton’s Antipater died ignominiously at the hands of the Illyrians in the first battle of this game, but he came back strong to mount a serious challenge for the lead. The lead changed hands several times as Craig’s naval superiority allowed him tremendous freedom of movement. Ross Jones actually “leant” Keith Wixson Phoenicia to give him enough sea power to challenge Craig over Rhodes – Keith needed to roll 11 or better on both the sea and land battles, and made it! Stopped short of the VP victory, Craig finished in second place in the closest qualifying game played this year.

Text Box: Doug Smith practicing his Jedi Mind Tricks on Ahmet.
Game 3: Doug Smith, Perdiccas & Ptolemy (23 VP, Turn 4)—Doug first reached 23 VP on Turn 3 and fought off a continuous stream of challenges until sealing the deal on Turn 4.

Game 4: Ahmet Ilpars, Antipater & Craterus (27 VP, Turn 4)—Ahmet surprised many of the returning players with a new focus on strategy over aggression, and the result was this stunning win in which he and Ross Jones combined for 47 of the 73 possible VP.

Text Box: Ahmet Ilpars, imagining himself as the Satrap of Capodocia

Game 5: Phil Rodrigues (Time Expired)—Sadly, I have no notes on this game, which is too bad as one of the players was Peter Card, who invariably provides a bon mot or two worth recording. Phil is another player who demonstrated consistent improvement – he and Ross Jones both played in a total of 4 games this year.

Game 6: Rob Seulowitz, Lysimachus & Ptolemy (Time Expired)—Lysimachus was given the Silver Shields on Turn 1, and when Olympias and Thessalonice joined him in Pella (vacated by Antipater who had relocated to Athens), he commanded the largest army on the map with a promise of 2 additional Macedonians each turn in reinforcements. A close game in terms of VP, this game had to be called on time. Frank McNally, Rob Mull and Rob Dwyer had all played extremely well, and I look forward to seeing them again next year.

Text Box: A Duel in the Syrian Sun between Ross (yellow) and Rob (blue).

Semifinal: Ross Jones, Perdiccas & Peithon (Crowned Alex IV)

I had hoped for two tables in the Semifinal round, but as only 5 qualified players were available, I had to give the 3rd ranked winner a bye leaving Ross Jones, Phil Rodriguez, newcomer Tom Constantine and myself to play for the 4 th seat.

Phil threw off his mild-mannered Clark Kent disguise almost immediately, playing a very aggressive game, striking early and often to great effect. As he attacked Tom’s holdings in the West, I took Lysimachus East to join up with Craterus in order to hold off a Westward migration of the body. After tense negotiations, Ross agreed to bury the body in Damascus on Turn 2, but that only prolonged our Syrian Stand-off. For now I had Heracles and Ross had Alex IV, and that didn’t bode well for long term chumminess.

But as we sat in the Syrian sun (cue the Ennio Morricone score), Phil continued to pick up real estate in the West like a robber baron. Only a concerted effort kept Phil from taking control of Macedonia for an unchallengeable position – at one point, each of the four spaces in Macedonia was controlled by a different color!

Finally, after deciding that Heracles would have to swim with the pisces, I made my move at the end of Turn 3, sending Lysimachus through the Armenian frontier in hopes that I could out-flank Ross.

I started Turn 4 with 2 Major Campaign cards and “ Loot Treasure City” – so there was nothing for it but to try to merge my two Generals on Babylon and hope to win a big early battle. Sadly, Perdiccas was more than a match for his old comrades, and I was expelled from the ancient capital with dispatch.

Without me to harass him, Ross was able to take enough VP in Asia Minor to eclipse Phil’s score, crowning Alex IV at the end of the Turn with a narrow lead.

As it turned out, one of the Players who had been given a bye for the Final was not able to play, so Phil earned the seat on the basis of his strong second place finish in the Semifinal.

Finalists: (Left to Right) Ross Jones, Phil Rodrigues, Doug “Obi Wan” Smith, Ahmet Ilpars

Final—Opening Moves

The random deal created the following spread:

Ahmet Ilpars: Perdiccas & Peithon

Ross Jones: Antigonus & Craterus

Phil Rodrigues: Antipater & Lysimachus

Doug Smith: Leonatus & Ptolemy

Ahmet drew Eumenes on Turn 1, to give him a very strong starting position.

Ross drew Seleucus, to pose a serious threat to Ahmet if he chose to move the body West.

Doug quickly lit out for Rhdoes, deciding that his best options lay in sea power.

Phil drew the Silver Shields, around which he began building a massive collection of Macedonians.

Where Is the Real Ahmet Ilpars and What Have You Done with Him?

Again showing surprising restraint, Ahmet played a cautious turn 2, trying to sneak the body through Capodocia rather than confront Ross’ warlords – humiliatingly, Perdiccas was repelled by the lowly Capodocians. Ahmet eventually buried the body back in Babylon and sucked up the 0 Legitimacy gain!

Pokey old Craterus, meanwhile, made his way East, only to find that his Anti-Elephant devices were apparently made by Cretin Liars. Crater-face retired from the field and licked his wounds in the Dispersed box, plotting revenge.

Doug came within a single movement point of a takeout win: Had the body moved 1 space closer to Ptolemy, he had the “Treachery” card which, combined with his complete command of the sea, could have put the body in Pella in one move without risk of a battle to get the 18 L win. Instead, Ptolemy was compelled to attack Antipater in Athens to protect his naval dominance, forcing him to forfeit his Champion status, and losing the battle, to boot!

The Ptolemean Regency

Start of Turn 3

VP

L

Macedonians

Ahmet Ilpars

13

9

4 Loyal, 4 Royal

Ross Jones

11

3

6 Loyal, 2 Royal

Phil Rodrigues

12

5

6 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields

Doug Smith

14

3

6 Loyal

Doug started turn 3 as a SUCCESSOR, the Usurper, and the guardian of Heracles – an extremely awkward situation.

By keeping to the islands, Doug was able to nurse a slight VP edge, reclaiming “Largest Fleet” on his last cardplay of turn 3 when he took Cyprus. But Ross took out Judea on his last play, to put Doug 1 point behind Ahmet and condemn Heracles to the Day Care Center in the Sky.

The Turning Point

Start of Turn 4

VP

L

Macedonians

Ahmet Ilpars

13

9

5 Loyal, 4 Royal

Ross Jones

9

3

6 Loyal, 2 Royal

Phil Rodrigues

10

5

7 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields

Doug Smith

15

6

6 Loyal

Although Doug was still the Usurper, Ahmet now had Alex IV and Phil III, a protected flank and complete control of the game.

Ross acted decisively, attacking Perdiccas on the first round with a massive army lead by Antigonus. With a 23 to 19 edge and better commander, Ross was in the favored position, but the result was a tie, bouncing Antigonus back to Syria and yielding the initiative to Ahmet.

Text Box: The Alexander Ragtime Band reunion tour turns sour
Text Box: Craterus calls his shot.  Perdiccas seems unimpressed.

Doug had brought Leonatus up from Egypt to keep pressure on the southern flank, and Ahmet bit, attacking him in a 24 to 14 battle that wiped Leonatus off the map, but left the heart of Ahmet’s army on enemy turf.

Ross seized the opportunity, cut off any possibility of evasion and attacked again with Antigonus, this time at nearly even numbers, 21 to 23. Both players rolled low, so that Antigonus’ 4 command rating carried the day.

Ahmet brought out Eumenes with his reserves, sending the boy with a Minor general further East and out of harm’s way. Eumenes was defeated in Mesopotamia, but the delaying tactic prevented Ross from reaching Alex IV before the end of the turn.

Another regency ended in failure, and the game moved to the final turn.

A Champion Falls and Another Rises

Start of Turn 5

VP

L

Macedonians

Ahmet Ilpars

7

8

6 Loyal, 2 Royal

Ross Jones

13

0

6 Loyal, 2 Royal

Phil Rodrigues

12

5

8 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields

Doug Smith

15

4

5 Loyal

Ahmet’s dispersed armies returned on turn 5 determined to evict Ross from Mesopotamia. Eumenes instantly sent Antigonus packing, but found crusty old Craterus too tough to swallow. Losing a narrow 19 to 21 battle by 2 pips, Ahmet was finished. He had played a careful, cunning, steady game, but the dice can wreck the best of plans.

Declining to make any “Kingmaker” plays, Ahmet retired his remaining generals to Ecbatana and Susa, and spent his remaining cards trying to rescue Phil III, who had wandered into the camp of the Usii (comically, Amhet lost two expeditions, including Peithon, and failed to get Phil back!).

Now it was down to the three remaining players to grab whatever territory they could for the final VP count. Ross had uncontested control of the east, but Seleucus was poorly equipped, and Craterus moves slower than Ralph Gleaton when the barkeep brings the check. Phil had Europe, but his best general and the bulk of his armies were in Asia Minor. Doug had Egypt and the islands, but had only a 1 pt lead on Fleet strength over Phil.

On his list cardplay, Doug landed Leonatus in Greece to knock out one space, depriving Phil of 5 VP and putting himself in the lead. Ross, on the other hand, needed 1 space to reclaim Phrygia – this would have given him the rare 3 VP bonus for “King of Asia” and the game. Phil couldn’t defend both fronts, and failed the movement dr needed to get Cassander to Greece with sufficient time and men to drive off Leonatus.

Doug had weathered the storms and emerged with his third career victory in what was the closest and best played Final I’d seen in many years. Last year’s victor, Ross Jones, finished in second by 3 VP, Phil a close third.

Final Results

1st Place:
Doug Smith, Leonatus & Ptolemy
(18 VP, 4 L)

2nd Place:
Ross Jones, Antigonus & Craterus
(15 VP, 0 L)

3rd Place:
Phil Rodrigues, Antipater & Lysimachus
(13 VP, 5 L)

4th Place:
Ahmet Ilpars, Perdiccas & Peithon
(7 VP, 4 L)

Doug achieved this victory despite never winning a single battle (in 5 tries) and burning more troops on besieging Rhodes than others received in reinforcements in the game! Phil had a near perfect 5-0-1 battle record (three of which wins were against Independents). Neither Ahmet nor Phil ever gave up their Champion status.

Quote of the week

A clearly hung-over Ross Jones, at 9 AM Friday morning, before the start of the Final: “When we sit down, the other three will be at their best. I’m only going to get better.”

Next Year

My top priority for next year will be –as it was this year - getting new players into the game.

This year’s attempts at coached games were only partially successful – the problem with doing it during the event time is that it forces people to give up the opportunity to play in other events.

Next year I will schedule the coached games for 1PM on Tuesday, outside of regular event times. I’d love to get two such games going, and all players who participate will receive prizes of some kind. That way, anyone who learns the game through the coached session will have an immediate opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in an open heat!

If you are interested in participating in or helping to run a coached game at next year’s WBC, please contact me ASAP and I’ll get on the list.

Likewise, players looking for ftf opportunities who are in or near NYC should contact me to set up an introductory game.

I will be creating a mailing list to support the event, and I hope people will join in and keep the conversation going doing the “off season.”

Also, I was concerned about the system used to rank winners – I was determined to prevent anyone in a Semifinal game from being able to “play for second place.” Although the controversy I expected over this never emerged, I will continue to refine the ranking system to make sure that it rewards the best played games, not simply the largest or luckiest leads.

Lastly, there has been talk of starting another on-line tournament, which I might be persuaded to do if I can get 16 interested parties.

SUCCESSSORS remains the highlight of my WBC experience, and I found that to be true of watching the final this year – it was an exciting game to watch, and I couldn’t have chosen a more congenial group of players to spend the day with. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this event not only possible, but necessary!

 

Important Links:
2nd Edition Rules: http://members.aol.com/elgrognard/successors/successors.htm
CONSIMWORLD Successors Discussion Folder: http://talk.consimworld.com:8082/WebX.cgi?14@214.jirfaqbOiO3^3@.ee6c38c


Successors PBeM Tournament:

The tournament began in December 2001 with 24 players vetted by the BPA for participation. There were three qualifying rounds and the top four ranking players moved up to a final round. Round 1 ended by 7/14/02 and at that point, eight participants decided to drop from the tournament. The remaining 16 participants finished Round 2 by 4/15/03 where another two participants dropped from the tournament. Mauro Faina joined the tournament at this point strictly to help meet the goal of having all tables four player games. He was joined by John Firer who had previously dropped in order to have four tables of four for Round 3. Round 3 ended by 7/1/03 with Rob Mull, Henry Rice, Jim Gutt and Stefan Mecay advancing to the final round.

What is particularly noteworthy in regards to the finalists is that Henry Rice was the only player advancing to the finals who came in first place in all three qualifying rounds. The finals ended on 8/23/04 with Rob Mull grabbing the wood as the number one finisher. Rice, Mecay, and Gutt followed him in that order. All four players in the Final Round should be justly proud of themselves for their overall performances throughout the tournament. Just getting to the finals was quite an achievement.

Successors BPA PBeM Final Standings

1. Mull, Rob
2. Rice, Henry
3. Mecay, Stefan
4. Gutt, Jim
5. Ellison, Matt
6. Marjomaa, Risto
7. Pei, James
8. Young, George
9. Shipley, Rich
10. Frydas, Nick
11. Melnick, Wayne
12. Wixson, Keith
13. Barrett, Paul
14. Knight, Mickel
15. Faina, Mauro*
Dropped 10

*Entered Tournament during Round 3 to enable a full complement of 4-player tables

 GM      Robert Seulowitz [1st year]    26 Downer Ave, Scarsdale, NY 10583  
    rseulow@optonline.net   NA

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