Nathan Barhorst, Malinda Kyrkos, Kathrun
Jon Anderson and Kevin Youells in preliminary heat action.
Hands across the Med—Rex Lehmann
and Christina Harley move their people simultaneously—who needs
to take turns?
Roberto Fournier meets the challenge
of 2013 champ Shantanu Saha.
Craig Yope and York Dobyns
the rise of civilizations.
2014 was a year of experimentation. We moved a heat from into
the Pre-Con for the first time, and had 34 players attend on
Sunday. We also scheduled the games to end one turn early, to
better fit into the allotted eight-hour time frame. The results
can only be viewed as successful, as we raised attendance for
the second straight year and posted our second highest turnout
ever. We will keep the Sunday heat going forward.
A total of eight games were played throughout the heats. Assyria
was the powerhouse with three wins posted by Paul Sampson, Trella
Bromley, and Kevin Youells. Thrace was led to victory twice,
by Christina Harley and Herb Sparks. Illyria (Jim Savarik), Babylon
(Tedd Mulally), and Africa (Roberto Fournier) tasted victory
once each. Surprisingly, Crete, Iberia, and Egypt were all kept
out of the victory column. Herb won a squeaker in his game, finishing
ahead of Jenn Visocnik by a mere four points and Nathan Barhorst
came in three points behind her. This proved to be important
Notably absent from the winners circle was defending champion
Shantanu Saha. Even though he did not have the audacity to wear
his Centurion shirt to the event, Shantanu clearly had a huge
target on his back as he finished fourth twice. Past winners
had a very rough time in the early heat, as both Christina Harley
and Kevin Youells were soundly defeated on Sunday and forced
to rely on the second heat for their return to the Final.
Paul Sampson and Jim Savarick bowed out of the Final, allowing
alternates Jenn Visocnik and Nathan Barhorse to advance in their
stead. Jim did arrive for the game after positions were chosen
and the game begun. In a fine display of sportsmanship, Nathan
repeatedly offered to allow Jim to take over his position to
no avail.Positions were selected by a random draw with trading
allowed. As (bad) luck would have it, Christina Harley pulled
Crete for the second straight year, but she was able to trade
it for Iberia this time. When all of the negotiating was done,
we had the following board configuration: Africa--Jenn Visocnik,
Iberia--Christina Harley, Illyria--Trella Bromley, Thrace--Herb
Sparks, Crete--Tedd Mulally, Assyria--Roberto Fournier, Babylon--Nathan
Barhorst, and Egypt--Kevin Youells.
The early game was marked by aggressive play. In her opinion,
the Thracians were too expansionistic, so Iberia attacked and
killed Thracian units in Lower Germany on Turn 5. The next turn,
Babylon blocked an Egyptian city that was being built in Siwa.
While this may not seem vital, it disrupted the trade card order
enough that it caused Egypt to draw eight calamities over the
next three turns. Things then settled into the normal ebb-and-flow
as the game progressed.
pivotal moment occurred very early, as Illyria persuaded Africa
to allow her to keep a city in Syracuse. This shrewd piece of
negotiation allowed Illyria to build to eight cities on Turns
8 and 9, and to maintain nine cities for Turns 10 through 12.
By contrast, the Africans were never able to top six cities during
that time period.
As the end drew near, Illyria had built a 200-point lead over
Crete, with Babylon and Egypt, more than 300 behind. Clearly,
this could not be allowed, and a concerted effort was made to
try to stop the leader. Crete, Africa, Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon
all sent troops to the Illyrian shores in a valiant attempt to
massacre as many yellow units as they could catch. Despite moving
last, Illyria could not stop that many invaders, and was only
able to support six cities after combat, taking a bump on the
AST as a result.
The last turn came with three real contenders left in the
running. Advance point totals were Illyria at 1780, Crete 1750,
and Babylon 1550. Iberia was only one AST space away from ending
the game, so there was some discussion of attacking the fifth
place Iberians in an attempt to extend the game. Nevertheless,
in contrast to the previous turn, there were no mass invasions,
as only Africa tried to sack an Iberian city, while Egypt sailed
over to sack one from Crete. Sensing that she had a strong chance
if the game ended, Illyria sent troops to disrupt the African
attack, likely costing Africa her chance at the sand plaque as
After a light calamity round, cards were bought, points were
tallied, and we had a female champion for only the second time
as Trella Bromley persevered to score a 96-point victory.
1) Trella Bromley--Illyria 3982
2) Nathan Barhorst--Babylon 3896
3) Tedd Mulally--Crete 3869
4) Christina Harley--Iberia 3537
5) Roberto Fournier--Assyria 3371
6) Kevin Youells--Egypt 3089
7) Jenn Visocnik--Africa 3042
8) Herb Sparks--Thrace 2500
GM Kevin Youells with his battle-tested
finalists. WBC tournaments are more than just a test of skill.
Endurance and demeanor adds an element lacking in on-line gaming
and few events require more endurance than muliple rounds of
By Email 2014
The 2014 Advanced Civilization PBeM tournament has
drawn to its conclusion, and Mads Lunau has again risen to the
top, defeating 37 other combatants to claim his second title
in the three years that we have run this event. There were 11
games played (ten preliminary games plus a Final). Of those games,
Africa and Babylon were dominant with four wins each, Thrace
had two, and Illyria one. Thrace has now won all three years
of the email tournament., as well as the 2010 and 2013 WBC titles.
In tournament competition, I normally see Thrace get selected
by the player choosing sixth. Given the recent track record of
this country, I would be surprised if Thrace isn't grabbed sooner
in the future.
For the longest time, it appeared as though the only competition
would be between Jonas Lundgvist (Babylon) and Javier de la Fuente.
They both took very different paths to success, as Jonas was
the beneficiary of an early Civil War in Iberia. When the next
turn rolled around, instead of consolidating his units and reducing
the newly acquired cities as calamity damage, he went on the
attack, soon occupying much of the rear areas of the Iberian
empire. Turn order and calamities worked against Iberia's plan
to reclaim his territory, and as a consequence, Jonas had two
extra cities and several units tucked away where aggressive neighbors
couldn't reach them. The Babylonian colony lived until Turn 16,
and was instrumental in the lengthy Babylonian lead. In the end,
Iconoclasts and Montotheistic neighbors caught up to Babylon,
and caused an AST bump on the last turn, dropping Jonas to three
cities. Javier, on the other hand, negotiated strong borders
and non-aggression pacts with many other players, so he was generally
left alone, and reaped the rewards of peace. He got stuck with
a bad calamity draw, however, on the last turn, and was unable
to make any purchases, leaving the door open for Mads.
Thrace spent much of the game in the middle of the pack, trying
his best to look unassuming and non-threatening. Mads had a phenomenal
last round of trading, and turned in six spice, four grain, and
a pair of dye (348 points) to purchase Mathematics, Theology,
and Philosophy to add 720(!) to his total, catapulting him into
the lead as the game ended - which is, after all, the best time
to be in the lead.
Overall, it was a great tournament with a truly international
flavor. The top six places represented five nations: Denmark,
Spain, U.S., Canada and Sweden. Keep an eye on the BPA newsletters
for the announcement of the next email tournament, projected
for March 2015. Details on this, and past events can be found
1) Mads Lunau Thrace 4438
2) Javier de la Fuente Egypt 4276
3) Kevin Youells Africa 4058
4) Dan Morris Iberia 3914
5) Kevin Worth Asia 3876
6) Jonas Lundgvist Babylon 3653
7) Rob Kircher Illyria 3640
8) Jon Anderson Assyria 2842