Flexibility Pays ...
Last out of the cup again ... Joanna
Melton and Pat Mirk survey the damage.
An end game situation takes shape
... It must be almost time for Fare Wars.
"Flexibility" was the theme of this year's tournament.
With a new schedule, and shifting room assignments for the heats,
Air Baron players had to be flexible to keep their flights
in the air in more ways than one.
One of the objectives for this year's event was to finish
earlier, so semi-finalists and finalists didn't have to choose
between ABN and "plaque rounds" of other events. Holding
the first round on Tuesday night instead of the traditional Wednesday
start was one way to help that happen.
In the course of the four Heats played over four days, the
winners in each game started their "empires" in LAX
five times, Denver three times, two each for JFK, Miami, ORD,
SFO, and Phoenix, and once each for Atlanta, Washington, and
Houston. The winners played with Blue most often (seven times)
and Yellow only once.
By the time the semi-final round began Friday evening, 21
players had won games over four Heats. For the 25-seat Semi,
we had twenty of the Heat winners, three players with copies
of the game, and the two players with the highest non-winning
finishes of those present for the start of the Semi event. All
five of the Semi winners showed for the Saturday morning Final,
so no alternates were needed.
In the Final, a banker's roll of 3 started everyone off with
a fair amount of cash ($4 to $8). Orange won the one-dollar Contract
with a $3 bid, only to lose it to Blue on Round 2 (also for $3)
before showing a profit. The Bid for Contract then went to the
bottom of the draw cup where it stayed for seven rounds, until
Orange won the $3 Contract with a $9 bid on Round 9. Alas, he
barely broke even before the Bid reemerged in Round 12 and went
back to Blue for $16.
In the early rounds, everyone seemed to be employing a "butterfly"strategy
-- buying one spoke in several hubs in an effort to maximize
profit opportunities. Red was the first player to declare Fare
Wars, taking the plunge in Round 5. Round 7 saw Yellow take out
the first loan and immediately draw $31 in profits, just before
Recession struck in Round 8.
By Round 10, Blue had three Jumbo Jets in Chicago with all
four domestic and both foreign spokes, a single spoke each in
Atlanta and DCA, and a good stack of cash. That stack was greatly
improved when another player drew Frankfurt, giving Blue a $40
payout. In Round 11, the only Jumbo Profit marker of the game
was drawn, benefitting four of the five players. On Round 12,
Blue won the $4 Contract, successfully defended Chicago from
a Fare Wars encroachment, and collected another $40 for Frankfurt.
On Round 13, Blue drew no calamities and declared victory with
$170 market share and $161 cash.
Debbie actually gets to play games
between taking photos!
High rent capitalists at work in the