Beware the Schedule-Maker ...
GM Jeremy Billones oversees his last
set of Amun Re finalists.
Curt Collins and Eric Freeman ponder
their options in the Final.
Heat 1 of the tournament fell victim to an unexpected scheduling
conflict. Only 27 players persevered, resulting in six hard fought
tables (all but one decided by no more than two points). In contrast,
Heat 2 drew 48 players to contest ten tables. There was a delay
as two sets were retrieved from rooms; the resulting delay put
time pressure on several tables, which failed to report complete
Although 16 table winners would have been sufficient for a
semi-final, it was decided to take alternates to expand the field
to 20 to permit a 5-player Final. Six alternates appeared for
the semi-final, requiring a dice-off which yielded Mike Kaltman
as the unfortunate loser of the final tiebreaker. Although the
4-player games typically run 20 minutes shorter than the 5-player
variety, the higher stakes resulted in more careful play. One
table was placed on a 60-second per decision time limit for Rounds
4 and 5 to ensure they would finish in the allotted time. Another
group reached Round 6 in roughly 1:15, then spent 30+ minutes
to finish the last turn. Fast or slow, the semis had removed
the wheat from the chaff as all six laurelists added to prior
laurel totals in the event.
In the Final, Alex Bove was randomly chosen as first Pharaoh
for the second straight year, though he did not monopolize the
position as he had in 2008. Players were miserly with their money
early; only two provinces went for as much as ten gold, only
once did a player spend more than that on their actions, and
the largest sacrifice was four in a permanent drought. Eric Freeman
was the 15-14-10-8-6 leader at the end of the Old Kingdom with
Alex in second. The purses opened in the New Kingdom: Avaris
with three Pyramids went to Eric Freeman for 21 in Round 4, Dakhla
went to Alex for 21 in Round 5, and Memphis also went to Alex
for 15 in Round 6. Though sacrifices remained low, actions got
more expensive, with Eric spending 19 with the last action round.
Final scoring was 36-36-32-28-27, with both Eric and Alex holding
eight pyramids with no stones. Under WBC rules, the next tie
breaker is temples plus farmers. Each player had seven farmers,
but Eric had the temple in Amarna, an 8-7 edge, and with it,
the 2009 championship. Eric also had more cash at the end 23-16.
Having the most Pyramids (12-6, 52-45 five-year) remains a
more reliable path to victory than Most Cash (3-17, 30-69 five-year)
or the halftime lead (9-13, 43-58 five-year). 4-player games
were played with the same three provinces removed before the
game (Abydos, Amarna, and Kharga). Due to the removal of the
4-power-card province, the requirement for the Power Card bonus
card was reduced from 7 to 6 in those games.
There will be a new GM next year as Jeremy moves on to new
THATCHER WINS AMUN RE PBeM Spielbyweb: Greg Thatcher prevailed
over a field of 30 sharks by surviving two rounds of single elimination
play following a five-round qualifying swiss portion to take
the laurel lead in Amun Re just weeks before WBC was to begin.
Greg started the final game with an impressive 22-point old kingdom
score on turn 3. He then managed to stave off challenges despite
having the least money heading into the new kingdom to preserve
the victory. Managing to get Damanhur early to have some temple
scoring in the end proved critical as the sacrifice hit the 3-level
by game end. For full details of the tournament visit: http://home.roadrunner.com/~kwojtasz/Amun-Re/amun-re2008.html
The final standings were:
Greg Thatcher (39 points: 22 +17)
Haim Hochboim (36 points: 9 + 27)
Chris Trimmer (34 points: 13 + 21)
Aran Warszawski (33 Points: 9 + 24)
Arthur Field (31 points: 9 + 22)
Eric Freeman took 6th place laurels with the best alternate
performance in the semi-finals.