A New Lad in the Highlands
Malcolm Smith and George Seary in
the preliminary rounds.
Lyman Moquin and Ric Manns meet in
Bidding for sides was closer than in previous years, although
English wins once again outnumbered Scot wins, especially in
the early rounds. Many of the 'usual suspects' were in attendance
to battle for the Highlands. After three preliminary rounds
and 20 games, it was four familiar players who faced off in the
Lyman Moquin cruised to an early win over Phil Rennert, trapping
and killing Edward I quickly. This was the only game that Lyman
played as the Scots, and he showed clearly that he can master
the blue blocks as well as the red, forcing the English to capitulate
by mid game.
Veteran GM Ric Manns surprisingly outbid four--time defending
champ George Seary for the privilege of 'wearing the kilts'.
Ric then played a very aggressive (dare I say, rash) strategy,
and garnered a close victory, that was not decided until the
very last card play, but nonetheless ended Seary's reign at the
This set the stage for an unfamiliar Final: Ric Manns again
bid for the Scots, Lyman Moquin bid equally for the English.
The early game saw frequent appearances by Edward I, whose major
accomplishment was limited to keeping the Scots from getting
at least eight nobles, hence denying the arrival of French Knights
(who never did appear on Scotland's shore). Then Turn 6 brought
an unpleasant nexus to the Scots; Edward, with a powerful levy
and even more powerful card draw wintered over mid-board with
The opening move by Ric's Scots on Turn 7 sent a raiding party
into vacant England, which distracted Edward's horde; The King
and Hobelar were sent South to dispatch the raiders. This required
two card plays for the English to first clear England, and then
return to the head of the large but stagnant army. The remainder
of the turn was an all out brawl, with most of the blocks from
both sides being eliminated. During the Turn 8, Ric recovered
just enough to set the stage for a 7/7 noble count for the start
of the final turn.
Battle fatigue then took it's toll on both players, as both
sides made some serious mistakes, but neither player capitalized
on any of them (to the dismay of the gathering crowd of onlookers)!
Edward was back again, equipped with a successful Herald event
to take Comyn. Scots occupied Comyn's homelands, but the English
continued their push, next taking Argyll. Seeing that the Scots
were heading for a 7/7 tie (which would be a Scots victory),
with his last card play Lyman sent what little he had left into
an all out desperate battle around Atholl, which caused three
more blocks to leave the board. The Scot reinforcements fell
just short of enough force to carry the battle, giving the English
an 8/6 win; Not the decisive outcome that either had hoped for,
but leaving both battered players looking forward to a rematch