through the ages 

Updated 11/22/2010

2010 WBC Report  

   2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Randy Buehler, WA

2010 Champion

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Event History
2008    Jason Ley     39
2009    Raphael Lehrer     32
2010     Randy Buehler     38
 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Joel Lytle         NY    10     54
  2.  Raphael Lehrer     CA    09     52
  3.  Randy Buehler      WA    10     50
  4.  Jason Ley          WA    09     48
  5.  Rob Flowers        MD    10     26
  6.  David Metzger      NY    08     24
  7.  Alan Sudy          VA    10     20
  8.  Eric Brosius       MA    08     16
  9.  Bll Herbst         NY    10     15
 10.  Joe Lux            NJ    09     12
 11.  David des Jardins  CA    08      8
 12.  Mike Rogozinski    NY    10      5
 13.  Rich Atwater       WA    09      4
 14.  Aran Warszawski    is    08      4

2010 Laurelists                                               Repeating Laurelists 

Joel Lytle, NY
2nd

Alan Sudy, VA
3rd

Bill Herbst, NY
4th

Rob Flowers, MD
5th

Mike Rogozinski, NY
6th

Past Champions

Jason Ley, WA
2008

Raphael Lehrer, CA
2009

Randy Buehler, WA
2010

Civilizations evolve in the Wheatland room during the Pre-Con.

Even our photographer gets to play for a change.

Newton Nabs Napoleon

Attendence rose this year to 38 players, with 25 of them playing in both heats - making this the biggest year yet for Through the Ages in terms of games played. The highest scorer in the heats was newcomer Randy Buehler with 295 points, and the closest game saw Rich Atwater defeating Michael Rogozinski by a tiebreaker in the second heat - though both had already won their first heat games. 22 tables in the heats produced 17 winners thanks to five double winners (Rich Atwater, Randy Buehler, Rob Flowers, Joel Lytle, and AJ Sudy) and 12 single winners (Dominic Duchesne, Kaarin Engelmann, Debbie Gutermuth, Bill Herbst, Bruce Hodgkins, Kelly Krieble, Sean McCullins, Michael Rogozinski, Chris Skuce, Brian Stone, Tom Vickery, Phil Yaure). With only 12 slots in the semi-final, several lower ranked winners did not appear for the semi-finals, and only one person (Kaarin) had to be turned away. With the average playing time dropping rapidly as experience is gained, next year it should be feasible to have 4-player semi-finals as well as a 4­player Final.

The semi-final consisted of four 3-player games leading to a 4-player Final. The closest game saw Herbst upset Flowers (2009 finalist and a double winner) by a single point - playing Caesar/Columbus/Robespierre/Einstein to Rob's Moses/Napoleon/Sid Meier. The most crushing win was Sudy defeating Yaure and Skuce 236-150-105 with a Hammurabi/Columbus/Cook/Gates strategy in what appears to be a relatively peaceful game. The two other matches saw Lytle beat Atwater and Hodgkins 176-146-101 and Buehler prevailing over Rogozinski and Stone 109-102-97. Notably, of the seven finalists we've had over the past two years, only two made the semi-finals (Flowers and Lytle) and only Joel made the Final.

Randy started the Final with the Hanging Gardens and Columbus - Columbus came out at the beginning of Age I, and Randy passed up Moses and Aristotle to grab him. Joel started as Caesar, AJ with Homer and the Pyramids, and Bill with Alexander the Great and the Great Wall. In Age I, Randy was left without iron, but had an early alchemy and was able to peacefully upgrade his government to a monarchy. At the end of Age I the game looked relatively balanced with Joel and Randy having a strength lead while Bill appeared to have brewing science (+2) and stone (+3) bottlenecks: while he had iron and printing press in hand, a pair of problems can be a challenge.

Napoleon was the first card in Age II, and Bill fumbled as he attempted to solve his science bottleneck by drafting Universitas Carolinas, without realizing that it would take many turns before he could build it due to his stone situation. He also had to pass up Napoeleon in order to do that, which would have given him some breathing room militarily. As Turn 9 began, Joel also passed Napoleon (a move he later regretted after pulling the Claasic Army), so it fell to AJ. Randy followed up with a power move, drafting and immediately building St Peter's Basilica, essentially solving happiness issues for good. Bill chose Joan of Arc, which prevented attacks on him but still left him vulnerable to the event deck, and had to pass up constitutional monarchy to do it, so in Turn 10 Joel grabbed it. AJ's Napoleon strategy was off to a frustrating start as he had a handful of aggressions and wars, but no tactics card, and Bill was able to pick up a cheap Robespierre at one action.

In Turn 11 Joel reinvigorated the arms race by forming a classic army, bringing his strength to 21 (while everyone else's was less than 10. The others did their best to catch up as they ended the turn between 10 and 15 strength. Bill rejected AJ's offer of scientific cooperation but accepted Randy's offer of an international trade agreement; Randy chose Newton - a loser in last year's statistics - but proved his value by using it to stretch out his monarchy while waiting for an Age III government. In Turn 12 Joel sent a spy over to AJ, who returned with valuable knowledge on how to change your government without a revolution. AJ drafted and built the Eiffel Tower, but was still unable to draw a tactics card, while Bill, in a strong move, jettisoned Joan of Arc to play Robespierre and had a popular uprising that swept away the despot and birthed the republic. But it was too little too late, as in the final turn of Age II Joel plundered him, which was the beginning of the end for Bill. AJ offered Joel scientific cooperation, which was accepted this time , and used it to peacefully transition to the republic - and finally drew a tactics card - Napoleonic army.

At the end of the age, Joel had extended his dominant strength position (26 vs. 10-15) by completing the Transcontinental Railroad. AJ led the group on culture and resource production but was actually losing one food/turn. Randy was the only one who was positive on food production and whose population was not discontent, and also led the group in science production, followed closely by Joel.

As Age III began Randy solved his strength gap with Joel by building a second conquistador army to reach 24 strength. Bill built a defensive army, but it only pushed him to 12 strength and he had to destroy a farm to do it, leaving him negative on food production. Turn 15 saw AJ build his Napoleonic army (albeit with obsolete cavalry) and drafted an air force, passing up the chance to grab computers. Randy saw a window of opportunity closing and grabbed it - raiding AJ, taking all of his alchemy equipment, and melting it down for scrap metal, and in an incredible move, drafts oil, plays it along with architecture and journalism, and built two journalists and one oil rig - and still found time to draft fundamentalism, while Bill solved his food problem with mechanized agriculture. Turn 16 saw Joel and AJ enter a military pact to try to counter Randy's leading position, which brings Joel's strength to 30 and AJ's to 29 (once he modernized his army).

In Turn 17, AJ declared jihad on Bill, which caused Bill to use the "honorable withdrawal" rule to dissolve his empire at the start of his turn before the war actually took place. This rule is an essential balancing mechanism to disincent players from declaring war against a player in a hopeless position - and trumps the general WBC rule of not leaving a game partway through. Before Bill resigned, Randy was able to get in one more aggression - getting enough stone to let him build computers and multimedia.

The arms race continued in Turn 18 as Joel and AJ both built air forces taking their strength to 46 each. Each drafted an Age III wonder - First Space Flight for Joel and Fast Food Chains for AJ. Randy, for his part, played Sid Meier to bolster his culture production and became a fundamentalist state. On Turn 19, the penultimate turn, Joel, seeing that Napoleon was about to die, declared a war over culture with AJ and picked up Einstein, while Randy picked up his wonder (Internet). At the end of Age III, all three players were between 70 and 75 culture.

The final turn was a scoring bonanza as usual. Joel's won the war with a 12-point swing vs. AJ, played an armed intervention against him for another 7-point swing, and Einsten's leadership helped him outrace the Soviets for the first space flight (and another 32 points). AJ completed fast food chains for a cool 20 and colonized the Historic II territory for another 11 points by sacrificing his entire army - a decision that cost him significant points in the event scoring. Meanwhile, Randy took a page from Al Gore's playbook and invented the internet for 34 points.

The scores going into the final events were Randy 165, Joel 150, and AJ 108. The event scorings are shown as follows:

 Event

Seeded by

Randy

Joel

Alan
 Government

Joel

20

21

18
 Population

Joel

14

14

0
 Competition

Randy

16

10

0
 Technology

Randy

28

16

4
 Agriculture

Alan

4

6

6
 Total  

82

67

28


The final scores were Randy 247, Joel 217, and AJ 136.

For those who like statistics, I present the following awards:

Most popular leaders: Einstein 23 (out of 27 games), Aristotle 20, Newton 19. Honorable mention to Columbus 11 as the most popular Age I leaders.
Least popular leaders: Bach 1, Ghengis 3, Friedrich 4. Dishonorable mentions to Alexander 7 and Gates/Tesla 5 as the least popular leaders of Age A and III.
Winning leaders (by percentage): Bach 1/1, Sid Meier/Randolph 11/14, Columbus 7/11, Newton 9/19.
Losing leaders: Bill Gates/Tesla 0/5, Friedrich 0/4, Ghandi 1/7, Churchill 1/7, Joan of Arc 1/6, Homer 2/10.

Most popular wonders: Pyramids 20, Hanging Gardens 19, Transcontinental Railroad 15. Honorable mention to St. Peter's 11 and Fast Food Chains 14 as the most popular Age I/III wonders.
Least popular wonders: Hollywood 0, Kremlin 2, Eiffel Tower 4. Dishonorable mentions to Colossus 8, Taj Mahal 4, and Great Wall 4 as the least popular Age A/I wonders.
Winning wonders (by percentage): Internet (4/5), First Space Flight (7/12), and Universitas Carolina (4/7). Honorable mentions to Hanging Gardens (9/19) and Transcontinental Railroad (8/15) as the best Age A/II wonders.
Losing wonders: Eiffel Tower (0/4), Taj Mahal (1/4), and Library of Alexandria (4/14). Dishonorable mention to Fast Food Chains as the worst Age III wonder (6/14) - not including the unplayed Hollywood.

Most popular governments: Constitutional Monarchy 42 (nearly 2x/game!), Republic 19, Monarchy 19.
Least popular governments: Communism 1, Theocracy 1, Fundamentalism 4.
Most effective governments (by percentage): Communism (1/1), Constitutional Monarchy (22/42), Monarchy (5/19).
Least effective governments: Theocracy (0/1), Republic (4/19), Democracy (2/10).

I would like to thank Assistant GMs Jason Ley, Tom McCorry, and Michael Rogozinski for their help.

2008 champion Jason Ley battles Jason Levine and Rob Flowers.

GM Raphael Lehrer records the Final with his trusty Mac.
 GM      Raphael Lehrer (3rd Year)  891 Altaire Walk, Palo Alto, CA 94303 
    Raphael@lehrerconsulting.com   240-460-7650

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