Persistence Pays ...
Last out of the cup again ...
The finalists do capitalist battle
That?s the primary lesson of the 2007 tournament. While 16
players advanced to the semi-finals by winning their first heat,
six had to try two or even three times to earn a win and thereby
qualify for the semis. The four-heat format allows the determined
player to flourish, and gives the cream a chance to rise to the
top. Although "win and you're in?" isn?t a lock with
the WBC rules for tiebreakers, we had no ties to break with only
22 winners qualifying for what was to be a 25 seat semi-final.
The winners' first purchases in the 22 preliminary games were
most frequently spokes in the hubs of Dallas - Fort Worth (five
times), Miami (also five times), or Los Angeles (four times).
No games had to be adjudicated this year. The tournament rules
on time limits and the Fuel Hike are very effective at keeping
the game duration to within manageable limits. (After two-and-a-half
hours, players in games that haven't finished are told to complete
the current turn order and play one more round; if they cannot
declare a winner by the end of play, the GM will be called in
to decide. The Fuel Hike calamity cannot be the first one to
go into the draw cup,
and is ignored and removed from the game if drawn after the game
has been going for two hours or more.) These changes are universally
applauded since there is always another event to attend and players
are pleased that they can count on being finished ion schedule.
In the Final, Orange jumped out to an early market share lead
via Fare Wars, taking all of DFW and two of the Houston spokes
before stopping voluntarily. Red bought up the spokes in Detroit
first, then moved into New York. Green drew a $5 Strike and
chose to wait it out before buying spokes in Chicago. Purple
concentrated on spokes in the West, acquiring Seattle and San
Diego and placing Jumbo Jets on them very early in the game.
Yellow bought up the Miami spokes before taking the last open
spoke in Houston and buying Bogota, the first foreign spoke.
Conflict began in earnest when Orange declared Fare Wars and
successfully displaced Yellow from San Antonio, causing Yellow
to lose Bogota. Green used Fare Wars to complete control of
Chicago and move into Atlanta. Yellow came back and took all
of Houston away from Orange. In the meantime, Purple purchased
all of the Denver spokes and continued to amass cash from his
Seattle and San Diego spokes, and from Jumbo profit draws.
Orange began acquiring Los Angeles and Phoenix spokes. After
a dozen or more $1 payouts, the Government Contract moved from
Yellow to Purple for
a mere five dollars. Before Purple could begin to show a profit
for his two-dollar contract, the Bid came out again and went
to Green for $6 where it stayed for the rest of the game.
After an hour, the players had experienced four Strikes, three
Crashes, and one Local Competitor and then the first Fuel Hike
hit. Everybody had enough cash to weather the first Fuel Hike,
but when it struck again two turns later, Red was forced to sell
four spokes to pay the bill. Green took advantage of this calamity
to pick up all of Detroit in Fare Wars.
Purple, with a fat stack of cash, tried to end the game by
wrapping up the west. After adding control of San Francisco,
Los Angeles and Phoenix to his existing control of Denver, he
only needed $60 in cash, but was $4 short of the $320 needed
to win. He fell one spoke short of dominance in Dallas/Fort Worth,
ending his turn.
Surviving challenges from both Orange and Yellow in the next
round, Purple now found himself $10 short of victory. He decided
to get out of Fare Wars and collect profits for a while. Although
he drew no profits of his own, others drew enough to put him
over the top. Alas, before his turn came around again, the Fuel
Hike struck once more, pushing down his cash below the winning
level again. Surviving one more attack by Orange, Purple was
able to collect enough profit by his next turn to declare victory
with $8 to spare!
For 2008, we want to continue the emphasis on 5-player games
wherever possible, improve the randomness (and speed) of seating,
and conduct the semi-finals and Finals a little earlier in the
week, when there will be fewer conflicts with other event finishes.