newly enlightened ...
Usual suspects Jeff Mullet, Tedd Mulally,
Chris Trimmer and Mark Smith enlighten newcomer Sean Bryan.
John Corrado, defending champ Doug
Galullo, Doug Mercer, Greg Crowe and Deb Anderson contest a rare
The event finally stopped its steady decline in attendance
as a result of the change to Pre-Con in 2010 and actually reversed
that trend this year with its first back-to-back increase in
12 years. Three Enlightenment mini-con style heats were held
with the best two scores summed to determine the winner. The
times were Saturday 11 AM, Saturday 6 PM and Sunday 9 AM. This
allowed players interested in other pre-cons to make at least
one heat and also gave the option to just come for that weekend
instead of the long haul which is the entire WBC week.
The first heat was marred by a setup error. Failing to check
the deck in advance, one game started with more than the 29 cards
required for Deck 1. Some people got Deck 1 cards when they should
have gotten Deck 2 cards and vice verse, but there was no remedy
for that. The moral of the story is to 'count the cards' before
beginning a long game. This in itself would not have been noteworthy
if it did not follow an adjustment where the table had a double
deck!! Yes, since AOR is out of print and people may start borrowing
from a second set, or auctioning sets off with some defects,
it is possible. But when the GM walks by and says 'That deck
looks too big, are you sure it is only Deck 1?' you would expect
someone to count the cards. Nope, they continued on oblivious
to the fact that they had 70 odd Epoch 1 cards. It was only after
the fourth Stone card came out that they called the GM to fix
it. The decision to restart the game was telling since an hour
had been wasted.
Coincidentally, the table I was playing at was also penalized
for late play, because I was literally away from the table 30
minutes fixing these other problems. The slow play penalty has
been the subject of much discussion. It can cost a winning player
dearly in the overall rankings. Yet it serves an important purpose
in tournament play where the heats are fixed times. It keeps
the players motivated to finish in a reasonable time! This is
a strong contributor to the possibility of attending other pre-con
The Enlightenment Style itself has a downside. Those who don't
do well in either of the first two rounds do not have much incentive
to show for the third round which greatly reduces the final round
seats. However, that is true for all swiss style events as losses
take their toll and send people off to other pursuits. It is
an inherent problem of running events where so many other gaming
It seems like Venice is having a hard time of late. The boost
from an Era 1 Cloth/Wine played favorably does little to offset
the weakness of small, desirable dominations. People are trending
toward Genoa over Venice because some smart negotiations can
give Genoa numerous secondary payouts and a great income base.
The trending towards 5-player games has left Hamburg woefully
underplayed, and when an inexperienced player is saddled with
Hamburg in the rare 6-player contest, the game can deteriorate
rapidly, especially for Paris.
Hopefully, the upward attendance trend will continue and Enlightenment
will be around for many years to come. But for now, we survive
for another year. See you in 2012!!
Jason Levine, Kurt Miller and John
Panagotopulos plot strategy as Kurt revisits the last Avalon
Hill game for which he did the art.
Nick Henning keeps an eye on his dad
and Jason Levine, but Harald takes his first WBC Age of Renaissance