Starvation strategy ...
Beth Zhao, Richard Shay and Lyman
Moquin play on Board #2 in a packed Maretta room.
At Board #11: Sean Vessey, Meghan
Friedmann, Donna Harrington and Jeff Cierniak.
This was the first year for Stone Age as a trial event
with 124 people attending, 76 in the first heat alone. The
other two heats had an average attendance of 60.
The scores varied significantly from game to game, even for experienced
players. The highest score was 235, with second place in
the same game at 203. The lowest scoring winner was 137,
and the average winning score was 170.
For the semi-finals, nine of the 16 players had won two games,
with three of the remaining four as alternates who had at least
won in the first heat entered. No alternates were needed
for the Final.
In the Final, the standard three first moves were taken - farmer,
tools, hut - with the fourth taking a green background card with
seven food, which is not bad for one resource. For the
rest of the game, people were mostly buying cards which triggered
the end game. Each person had an average of eight cards
and five huts by game's end.
The winner, who happened to be the first player at the start
of the game, rapidly built up people. Although he chose
the farm as his first round pick, he was able to use the people
hut for Turns 2 through 5 as no one else would take it. He soon
had nine people and used a starvation strategy for three turns.
He eventually built up to five farms and stopped starving his
people. Most of these farms, however, were from items for
dice cards, which also helped him for points due to 5 farm multipliers
from cards he bought. The x3 building multiplier was not
a significant factor in the game, even though it was bought in
the second turn.
The winner only won by seven points, not necessarily a ringing
endorsement for the starvation strategy, which usually failed
to win during the heats. A total of ten rounds were played
during the Final with ending scores of: 145, 138, 127, and 103.
Sincere thanks to Assistant GM Steven Quade for help in getting
everyone sitted quickly. I borrowed his index card method
that he uses in St. Petersburg, which was very useful.
Hopefully, I can have a quarter-final next year with some tweaking
of tiebreakers for advancement into the playoffs.
Board #13 occupies Kathy Stroh, Eric
Freeman and Alfred Smith.
GM Rodney Bacigliao oversees his finalists.