tikal  

Updated 11/21/2010

 2010 WBC Report  

 2011 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Harald Henning, CT

2010 Champion

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Event History
2000    Jason O'Donnell     95
2001    Kevin Garber     80
2002    Brian Jones     72
2003    Barbara Flaxington     53
2004    Harald Henning     77
2005    Davyd Field     75
2006    Davyd Field     45
2007    Harald Henning     56
2008    Eric Freeman     42
2009    Jack Jaeger     41
2010    Harald Henning     43

Euro Quest Event History
2003     Arthur Field     23
2004     Phil Rennert     16
 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1. Arthur Field        SC    09    124
  2. Davyd Field         CA    08    101
  3. Harald Henning      CT    10     80
  4. Barbara Flaxington  NJ    09     66
  5. Jack Jaeger         VA    09     64
  6. Kevin Garber        VA    02     52
  7. Eric Freeman        PA    08     47
  8. Daniel Broh-Kahn    MD    10     46
  9. Brian Jones         MD    02     40
 10. Jason O'Donnell     OH    00     30
 11. James Hopkin        CA    02     24
 12. Phil Rennert        MD    04     20
 13. Jason Ley           WA    07     18
 14. Rob Kilroy          PA    00     18
 15. Greg Thatcher       CA    10     13
 16. Pierre Paquet       qc    07     12
 17. Valerie Putman      OH    05     12
 18. David Wenstrup      SC    03     12
 19. Eric Haas           MD    03     12
 20. Marvin Birnbaum     NJ    00     12
 21. Robert Flowers      MD    09     11
 22. Chris Terrel        VA    05     10
 23. John Kerr           VA    03      9
 24. Steve Cameron       PA    00      9
 25. Kevin Broh-Kahn     MD    10      8
 26. Charlie Mitchell    VA    08      8
 27. William Duke        MD    03      8
 28. Bill Zurn           CA    10      6
 29. Virginia Colin      VA    09      6
 30. Rodney Davidson     AZ    04      6
 31. Jonathan Fox        IL    04      6
 32. David Fair          MD    03      6
 33. John Wetherell      PA    00      6
 34. James Carvin        PA    03      4
 35. Craig Moffit        NJ    06      3
 36. Tim Kelley          SC    04      3
 37. Mario Lanza         PA    03      3
 38. Mike Backstrom      MN    00      3
 39. Jeff Finkeldey      OH    10      2
 40. Marc-Andre Imbeault qc    08      2
 41. Don Bone            au    03      2

2010 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists:

Daniel Broh-Kahn, MD
2nd

Kevin Broh-Kahn, MD
3rd

Bill Zurn, CA
4th

Greg Thatcher, CA
5th

Jeff Finkeldey, OH
6th

Past Winners

Jason O'Donnell, OH
2000

Kevin Garber, VA
2001

Brian Jones, MD
2002

Barb Flaxington, NJ
2003

Harald Henning, CT
2004, 2007, 2010

Davyd Field, CA
2005-06

Eric Freeman, PA
2008

Jack Jaeger, VA
2009
   

Still Short of the Mark ...

Tikal celebrated its 11th anniversary as a WBC event, and based on the turnout, it shows no signs of abating with an attendance that has stabilized in the 40's ... Or does it? With 15 unique first round games, it seems as if we had 60 people, but we have not seen 50 in a while and the numbers are a far cry from its initial popularity. Maybe there are just too many other choices these days. Still, this report will be broken down into four distinct areas: Demonstration, Initial Heats and Scheduling, semi-finals, and Final.

Demo: Let us start with the Demonstration activity, scheduled just before the first heat on Thursday. Based on the GM's previous experience, he had limited expectations, looking for a turnout of perhaps two or three newbies. Imagine his pleasant surprise when over a dozen people attended, all eager to learn the nuances of this fascinating strategy game. Hopefully, some of them will now buy this great game! Tikal, like many Euros, is easy to learn, but of course, difficult to master.

It comes with four player cheat sheets, which shows everything a player can do on a simple 3 by 4.5 inch card. No language skills are required, as there are no words whatsoever on the player card or the map. In a nutshell, a player places a tile, and then allocates ten action points in his or her turn as he sees fit on the map board. Scoring is also simple: In a scoring round, and there are four of them in the game, each player receives the usual 10 action points, without the tile placement, and then they score. The last scoring round is done in reverse score order, meaning whoever is in last place at the scoring round gets to go first in the next scoring round, often an advantage.

The monkey wrench in Tikal 2010, like previous years, is that the bidding rules of the game were used, in which players bid on the tile they choose to place, some tiles having more perceived value to one player than another. Bidding provides a bit more strategy to the game, and also prevents the ubiquitous whining about poor tile selection. Bidding also allows a player to go last in one round, and then first in the next, allowing them, in effect, 20 action points in a row.

Initial Heats and Scheduling There were three heats scheduled for the game, set for different times and days. With this flexible scheduling format, anyone who truly wanted to play a game could get in a heat some point during the always busy WBC week. Social Tikal should be a 90-minute game, and the GM scheduled two hours for each of the heats and the semis. With very few exceptions, all games were, or could have been, finished in under two hours. The Thursday heat had seven games, Friday five, and the Saturday heat had just three games, indicative of the dungeonesque location of the heat. Thursday's heat potentially was a disaster, with eight players appearing with no games. Let this be your call, people, that even four-player tournaments need players to bring their games! Fortunately Mark Smith, a perennial Tikal participant, was able to secure an additional game and the GM used his second game. Be forewarned, not all GMs are equipped with an endless supply of games!

Heats were scored on cards, with each individual disclosing his or her finish place, ratio to the winner, and reserve pieces for a tiebreaker. This information would be needed to move on to the semis.

The semi-finals: With 15 individual heat winners and the GM, dare I hope for a scheduling miracle in the semi-finals on Saturday morning? Alas, no - as has been the norm lately, only 12 qualifiers posted for the semi-final at 11 am. Since Tikal works best as a 4-player game, it was agreed that three winners would advance with the best runner-up, providing a single, 4-player Final.

During the semis, the GM did an aggressive job moving the four scoring rounds along, with two games finishing in under two hours and the third game ten minutes later. Bill Zurn clobbered everyone at his table, scoring a 108 to a pair of 96s, with an 80 in fourth place. Winning a semi-final by such a margin is always quite an accomplishment. Even more convincing was the win submitted by Kevin Broh-Kahn, who racked up a most impressive 124 to 105-104-93, and incredible 19-point margin of victory. The third table was much closer, with Daniel Broh-Kahn scoring only 98, followed closely by Harald Henning with 96, Greg Thatcher at 92 and Finkeldey at 88. Since that table was the closet of the three semi-finalists, it made sense to award Greg fifth place laurels and Jeff sixth.

At the beginning of the Final, the GM was surprised to observe very passive bidding, which led to a respectable initial scoring round. As a result, scoring after the first round was extremely close, with each player within two points of the leader. A narrative of the Final will not do as much justice as a simple scoring chart, as shown below.

 Final Notes

Harald

Daniel

Kevin

Bill

Total

 First Volcano

11

9

10

10

40

Second Volcano

18

21

23

25

87

Third Volcano

37

30

28

28

123

Fourth Volcano

43

38

32

36

149

Score Tally

109

98

93

99

399

Final Score Tally

110

107

100

94

411

Bids Over/Under

+1

+9

+7

-5

+12

The chart reveals some critical information about how the game would end. Normally, one would expect a player's score to increase in each of the four scoring rounds, as each player uncovers more monuments (possibly capping them) or discovers more treasure. Harald scored the most points in the first round, but only barely. In the second round, Harold scored the least, and appeared in trouble. But by the third volcano, Harold's scoring machine had kicked into gear, scoring an astonishing 37 points, more than twice his number after the second volcano. Some inter-family rivalry had hurt Kevin and Daniel, as father and son battled it out for a monument at the edge of the board.

By the time the Broh-Kahn clan had reached a détente, it was too late. Although they were able to start a comeback, with impressive scoring rounds after the third volcano, it wasn't enough. Daniel scored eight more points more in the last round than in the third, as did Bill... but it wasn't enough. Harald easily scored the most points in the last two rounds, and the impact of those rounds had already robbedthe Broh-Kahns of any chance for victory. Harald Henning, no newcomer to this group, had scored his second Tikal championship.

One might also note the judicious use of victory points as defined by the over/under for bids, and the points spent on bids were clearly justified as the final score proves. So the moral of bidding is: Spend the VPs you need in bidding to get the tiles you need! Daniel was cheap, with a +9 over-under, and so was Kevin, at +7. Bill bid way too much, at -5, a surprise considering how well he did in the semis. But Harald showed the way, bidding almost exactly what he needed to get the tiles and Turn Order he needed to win. All in all, Tikal 2010 can be judged another success, based on both the number of players and the quality of the competition. We'll see you again at Tikal in 2011!

 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn [7th Year]   17 Seven Springs Court, Phoenix, MD 21131
    Daribuck@Verizon.net   410-615-9044

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