There Can be Only One
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.
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.
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
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
Game 2: Keith Wixson, Perdiccas & Leonatus (Crowned
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
naval superiority allowed him tremendous freedom of
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.
Game 3: Doug Smith, Perdiccas & Ptolemy
(23 VP, Turn
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.
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
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.
Semifinal: Ross Jones, Perdiccas & Peithon
(Crowned Alex IV)
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.
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!
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
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
Finalists: (Left to Right) Ross Jones,
Phil Rodrigues, Doug “Obi Wan” Smith, Ahmet Ilpars
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
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
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
4 Loyal, 4 Royal
6 Loyal, 2 Royal
6 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields
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
5 Loyal, 4 Royal
6 Loyal, 2 Royal
7 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields
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.
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.
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.
regency ended in failure, and the game moved to the final
A Champion Falls and Another Rises
Start of Turn 5
6 Loyal, 2 Royal
6 Loyal, 2 Royal
8 Loyal, 2 Royal, 2 Silver Shields
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
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
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
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.
Doug Smith, Leonatus & Ptolemy
(18 VP, 4 L)
Ross Jones, Antigonus & Craterus
(15 VP, 0 L)
Phil Rodrigues, Antipater & Lysimachus
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
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
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
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!
2nd Edition Rules: http://members.aol.com/elgrognard/successors/successors.htm
CONSIMWORLD Successors Discussion Folder: http://talk.consimworld.com:8082/WebX.firstname.lastname@example.orgOiO3^3@.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*
*Entered Tournament during Round 3 to enable a full complement
of 4-player tables