Too Much Dominion ...
burst on the scene as a well kept secret two years ago but had
trouble drawing opposite this year's hit Dominion. .
An economic game with a war theme
and Euro bits makes Imperial unique and a refreshing change
of pace that many find attractive.
WBC 2009 saw the third annual Imperial tournament.
For the second year in a row, Imperial was a Century event.
And like the previous year, the "Advanced" setup rules
were in effect as the default. Players were allowed to use the
"Basic" setup at any table where all players approved,
but this year none chose this option.
The first heat began at 11 am Wednesday, right after the demo
session. Unlike the previous year, the GM did the demo well enough
that most of the players learning the game actually stayed to
play in the heat. This helped bring the total number of players
in the first heat to 23, spread over five tables.
Due to conflicts with the incredibly popular Dominion and Atlantic
Storm tournaments, turnout was not so good for the second
heat. Only 14 players were mustered, eight of whom were die-hards
who had played in the previous heat. The only positive was that
since only three tables were needed for Imperial, we all
managed to fit in the ballroom.
Unlike the previous year, turnout for the semi-final heat
was very good, with 12 players competing on three tables. However,
despite repeated verbal and written explanation, there were some
disappointing misunderstandings over the tournament structure
and advancement qualifications, leaving the GM to doubt his communication
skills. The other surprise was the absence of two-time champion
Patrick Maloney. Patrick, in part due to his helpful nature and
free advice, finished no higher than third in either of his preliminary
heats and thus was ineligible to advance. However, he was not
alone as virtually all the eventual laurelists were new to the
The winners of those three semi-final games: Rob Seulowitz,
Blair Morgen, and Michael Wojke, all advanced to the Final along
with top runner-up Jean-Francois Gagne. "JF" introduced
an extremely aggressive style of play, and all players needed
to adjust. Imperial is a game that allows players many
options, and it has been very interesting to see the strategies
evolve over the last three years.
The Final began with Blair controlling Britain, France and
Italy, Michael controlling Germany, and JF controlling Austria/Hungary
and Russia. Rob opted to begin play with no flags. At one point,
Blair controlled as many as four nations. This strategy paid
off, and after a long and contentious game, Blair was victorious.
Rob took second place, and Michael was awarded the third-place
Mike Wojke and Blair Morgen contemplate
profits from world events in the Final ...
... while Rob Seulowitz and Jean-Francois
Gagne take mirth in their solutions.