Acquiring Civilization ...
In an event where relatively few finalists
manage to return to the medal round, Rob Kilroy (right) makes
it two in a row, but fails again to take it all.
Daniel Eppolito and Brad Sherwood
failed in their bid to prevent Aaron Fuegi from being the first
Eight winners posted for the semi-finals after two preliminary
heats, resulting in two semi-final games. Three alternates also
posted, but unfortunately the round had to start before a late-coming
qualifier could fill the third game. In the first semi-final,
Aaron quickly grabbed three treasures to advance with returning
laurelist Rob Kilroy. The second semi-final saw Daniel Epillito
and Brad Sherwood advance, defeating defending champion Jeff
Cornett in the process.
In the Final, Aaron, played the Archer dynasty and placed
his King and Farmer in the east at the junction of the rivers.
Daniel started in the southwest and immediately challenged Aaron
for the central treasure. Brad, also looking to mix it up early,
played his Farmer in the northeast corner. Rob employed a more
peaceful approach and opening with a standard King and Trader
to the northwest.
Aaron was determined to claim the first treasure and used
a very early catastrophe against Daniel. However, Daniel returned
the favor with another catastrophe and Aaron instead built a
blue/green monument on the river. Rob soon used catastrophes
of his own and took partial control of the monument and relocated
three of his leaders east. During the mid-game, Aaron reestablished
his board position and was able to win several key external conflicts
against Rob to regain the lead. When the tile-bag was exhausted
the game ended and the final score was Aaron 10-10-11-11 (one
treasure), Daniel 7-7-7-13 (two treasures), Rob 6-6-6-10 (one
treasure), and Brad 4-4-5-6 (one treasure).
This year, players moving first won four games each, those
moving second won six times, those moving third won only once,
while players moving fourth won four times. Only three games
ended from treasures compared to twelve (from an empty tile bag.
Winners captured an average of 2.33 treasures per game or 35%
of the total, up from last year. However, monument builders
were well represented as a solid 1/3 of winners claimed only
Several changes are in-store for next year, pending event
status. First, we will use a variant where the first two players
receive only one action instead of two for the first turn only.
This will mitigate the advantage of the first players. Second,
the tournament will be run in a single weekend evening where
entrants can play up to three games. Based on those results,
four finalists will play one additional deciding game. This
will allow participants more opportunities to play, avoid a semi-final
round where non-winners might advance, and take advantage of
the 90-minute playtime.