Fuel Remains Plentiful ...
Brandon Bernard, Luke Koleszar, Curt
Collins II and James Fleckenstein check the incoming flight schedule.
Virginia Melton, one of three players
to play in all four heats, Jessica Finkeldey and John Keating
take part in the opening heat.
Max Jamelli seems enthusiastic.
Obviously this was before the Yankee lineup did their A-Rod playoff
impersonation. Mark Tardibuono and Robert Sohn are unimpressed.
Forrest Speck and Ben Gardner
await the Turn Order draw before deciding whether a Fare War
hub expansion is in the offing for them this turn or if they
will bide their time.
After several years of declining attendance, 2012 saw some
resurgence in both new players and "repeat customers,"
(players who come back for more than one heat). At least six
teams in the Team Tournament were hoping for points from Air
Baron, another recent high.
With the tournament rules facilitating timely game completions
(no Fuel Hike as the first disaster, and removing the Fuel Hike
after two hours), players are confident they'll be finished in
time for the next event on their schedule. That confidence was
put to the test in the first heat, when the preceding event ran
over by 20 minutes! We got a few games going as quickly as tables
became available, then found a spot or two in nearby venues for
the last two boards to begin. All games were completed and cleaned
up before our allotted time had expired despite the late start.
This year's finalists started in the high rent district, flush
with a banker's roll of 5. Our would-be barons began their quests
for empire in Miami, Los Angeles, D.C., Chicago, and Atlanta.
Only two players benefitted from the Government Contract. Andy
lost money on the $1 contract, losing it to Ed who broke even
at $2, then won it back at $3 to hold it for the rest of the
game. Three Local Competitors, three Recessions, one Crash and
a lone Fuel Hike were encountered. Strike went into the cup very
late, and was never seen again. The single Fuel Hike was not
an issue; nobody had to sell property to pay their tab as everyone
had sufficient cash.
Ed O'Connor started in Miami and spread quickly to Atlanta
and Houston, but suffered from too many rounds without payoffs
and semi-cold dice. He finished well behind with a total cash
and market share of $11.
38th ranked Luke Koleszar began with a marker in Pittsburgh,
jumped to Honolulu in the West, and used the profit draws from
both to eventually dominate (but never control) New York. He
finished with a combined total of $75.
Defending champ Stephane Dorais started in Charlotte, out
of the Atlanta hub. Eventually controlling both Houston and Dallas-Fort
Worth, he lost Charlotte on the last play of the game leaving
him with $103 in market share and cash.
9th ranked Andy Gardner dominated the West with control of
San Francisco, LA, and Denver, and dominance in Phoenix after
Stephane's desperation attack to lower the odds succeeded in
Tucson. If he'd drawn ahead of Michael in the turn order of the
last round, he could have won. As it was, his $291 got him only
Unranked Michael Holmquist started in Chicago, flirted with
NY, but won by adding Atlanta to his "stable" of controlled
hubs consisting of Chicago, Detroit, and D.C. With exactly $320
in market share, no debts, and $8 in cash, Michael completed
his journey where Stephane had started.
Chris Gnech checks the chits for telltale
Brail signs as the Turn Order is drawn.
GM Henry Richardson presents his finalists
to the FAA for inspection.