Acquiring Civilization ...
Roderick Lee, Jeff Cornett and Tom
deMarco in a Preliminary round contest.
E&T was voted Legacy status this
year after ten years of consistent performance.
Membership voting returned Reiner Kniza's tile placing masterpiece
Euphrat & Tigris to the convention as a Trial event
for the second straight year. A demonstration session and the
Saturday start option helped attendance pick up slightly, however
support from fans of the game will again be required for 2009.
The tournament used a rules variant to balance the advantage
of the first two players. Instead of their normal two actions,
the first two players received only one action for the first
turn only. For the elimination rounds, the higher seeded player
was offered the choice of playing first or third. The distribution
of wins for four-player games was three wins (19%), five wins
(31%), five wins (31%), and three wins (19%) for players moving
first through fourth, respectively. Overall, the change was well
received and will remain in place next year.
Eleven winners plus the best second place result from the
preliminary heats rounded out three semi-final tables. In the
first semi-final, perennial finalist Rob Kilroy edged out prior
champion Matt Calkins despite being stuck with one action as
the second player. Top qualifier Derk Solko started with two
actions as the third player, but finished last. In the second
semi-final, Janet Otteg also chose the dual actions as the third
player, but finished last. Instead, GM Craig Moffitt beat defending
champion Aaron Fuegi. Two-time champion Jeff Cornett won the
last semi-final as the third player. Alfred Smith finished second
and advanced to the Final over Aaron and Matt on the strength
of his "percent of composite score" tiebreaker.
Turn order preferences for the Final were similar to earlier
rounds. Jeff had first choice and selected third player. Craig
(1st), Rob (2nd), and Albert (4th) rounded out the championship
table. Craig and Rob used their only first round action to start
kingdoms with their black leader in the southwest and eastern
parts of the board. Instead of starting new kingdoms, Jeff used
his two actions to drop his Green and Blue leaders into Craig's
and Rob's. Albert was content to setup by himself in the unoccupied
Despite the tension, the next three rounds proceeded without
conflict. Craig immediately baited a conflict with Albert by
placing his green leader on the northwestern corner treasure,
but Albert ignored him and expanded towards the center. Rob sought
to regain control of the blue in his kingdom by placing his blue
leader in the northeast corner treasure and expanding down on
the 3/4 of monument river spaces. Jeff further mixed it up with
Rob by dropping his red leader into the eastern kingdom, while
building 3/4 of a green monument with his lonely green leader.
Action heated up in the fifth round with our first monuments,
conflicts, and catastrophes. Rob merged to attack Jeff's farmer
and build a Blue/Black monument on the river. Jeff countered
by using a catastrophe on Rob's farmer's only Temple and winning
an external conflict between their Kings to gain full control
of the monument. In the south, Jeff finished the Green/Blue monument
he was planning and scored several green points. Control of the
blue half of this monument shifted rapidly as the players used
catastrophes and internal conflicts.
The first major merger between the starting kingdoms saw Craig
win conflicts against Albert with his Farmer and Kings and briefly
had full control of the southern kingdom. This conflict also
dislodged Jeff's Trader from the monument to briefly give Craig
control of both colors. Albert returned his King to the board
with an internal conflict against Jeff's to claim part of the
eastern monument. Meanwhile, Rob struggled to find a strong home
for his leaders.
The endgame was marked by a pivotal struggle among the large
red kingdoms. Since no red monument was built, the players still
needed red points for a balanced score. First, instead of risking
a defeat that would have given Jeff five reds, Rob repositioned
his last leader on the board into the corner. Craig moved his
Priest into the south and maneuvered his Trader to break up some
of Jeff's support. However, it was Albert who scored the bonanza
of red points by having enough Temples in his hand to defeat
against Jeff's Priest. Afterwards, Jeff merged the southern and
western kingdoms. Albert won the red conflict again, this time
by one tile. In the end, Albert was victorious with a score of
8-8-16-18; Jeff was second with 7-8-8-9 (6 red plus a treasure),
Craig finished third with 7-7-9-10 (four red plus three treasures),
and Rob had 5-6-6-6.
Next year, pending event status, the 1/1/2/2 action rules
variant will be kept. In retrospect, the "percent of composite
score" tiebreaker used was cumbersome to calculate and non-intuitive.
The "margin of victory" tiebreaker will be used instead
next year, easily calculated as the number of hypothetical treasures
needed to pass the winner's score. For example, if the winner
has 9-9-9-9 then 8-9-10-12 would win with one additional treasure
and 6-7-8-17 would need six. The GM
would like to thank everyone for their votes and participation
and looks forward to more next year.