Goes-to-show-you: show up if you’re an alternate and fate may punch your ticket to glory!
Though this will not be as thorough as superstar former GM Craig Yope would report in the past, below does include the sequence of the winning players’ empires in most cases, as well as final scores. We will ask all to complete players sheets more carefully next year, as it greatly helps in the after-action report writing (my memory isn’t what it used to be)…
Heat 1 saw four full games of six players. With a field of 24, we had a bit of a ‘family affair’ with two Harleys, two Hansens and two Youells, while two Jons, two Gregs, two Jeffs and two Christinas meant most shared a name in one way or another…
In the first game, former champion Joe Collinson proved why he is a threat every year as behind the charming smile is an expert general. Joe’s presence remaining from Sumeria/Persia/Celts/Byzantine/Mongol in the first five epochs was enough to catapult an Inca-Aztec/Germany finish into the lead, securing the final three preeminence chits and victory. Final scores were Joe Collinson 208, Bruce Blumentritt 184, Chris Godfrey 175, Christina Harley 172, Daniel Overland 162, and Craig Yope 141.
In game 2 of the first heat, Kevin Breza emerged victorious at a table with two former event champions, including returning double-champion Mark Smith. Kevin may have started mediocre with Indus/GreekCityStates, but then powered into the Roman Empire, and rode that wave with the Tang/Sung/IncaAztec/US as leader of the final four epochs. Kevin ended with 211 followed by Greg Romano 198, Mark Smith 193, Kurt Kramer 175, Kevin Youells 166, and Greg Crowe 166.
In the third game, Shane McBee proved his mettle in the lowest scoring game of the tournament. The story ends there, as incomplete score sheets prevent a better picture. Shane finished with 185 followed by Steve Scarangella 175, Jon Hagmaier 170, Rachel Harley 162, Ty Hansen 155, and Christina Hancock 154.
The Last Heat one game saw Jeff Miller reign supreme in another lower scoring game. Jeff saw a fairly balanced empire slate of Egypt/VedicCityStates/Maurya/Arabs/Franks/Mughals/US. Similar to other heat games, scoring the final two preeminence chits helped claim the win. Jeff ended with a score of 186 followed by Missy Youells 177, Jef Halberstadt 174, Paul McCarthy 172, Fred Hansen 150, and Jon Anderson 148.
In Heat 2, 25 players left us with five games of five players with a crop of new players capturing areas, despite the late start time of 8pm! We will see if we can return to a 6pm start in 2018, as we were lucky to conclude by 1:30 am with 5-player boards.
In our first game of heat 2 Mathieu Lague-Gomez edged out a two point victory with the preeminence markers deciding the outcome. After starting with Babylon, Mathieu took the third epoch with a back-to-back Persia/Celts, and the sixth and seventh epochs with Goths/Mongols/Mughals/Germany allowing his 13 in chits to keep him in front. Bruce’s Indus+Hittites/VedicCityStates/Han and dominant Byzantine/HolyRoman while closing with Inca-Aztec/France wasn’t quite enough despite having 13 in chits as well! Mathieu Lague-Gomez 194, Bruce Blumentritt 192, Ty Hansen 175, Christina Hancock 171, and John Stevens 140 rounded out the first game of heat 2.
In the next game, Jon Hagmaier won a close one-point victory over Raphael Philibert-Larivee in the closest game from top to bottom, only 11 points separating first-to-worst. Jon secured the final two epochs with Inca-Aztec and US after Babylon/GreekCityStates whereas Raphael was preeminent with Sumeria and the Franks. With Jon at 199 and Raphael at 196 when the dust settled, the chits decided it as 7 for Jon was enough to hold off Raphael’s 9. Final Scores were Jon 206, Raphael 205, Gary Roberts 202, Fred Hansen 196, and Rachel Harley 195.
In the third game of heat 2, Mark Smith showed why he has won the event twice in a row in dramatic fashion with a one-point win. Mark rose to preeminence in the second and third epochs, Sumeria/Persia/Maurya/Khmer, and returned to preeminence in the fifth HolyRoman+Fujiwara and sixth Inca-Aztec while finishing with Germany. Though Chris Greenfield ended with 213 and a preeminence chit of his own for the Manchu, Mark’s 16 total chits slid him into the winner’s circle. Mark finished with 217 followed by Chris Greenfield 216, Akim Munro 205, Ted Drozd 184, and Craig Yope 167
Another former champ, Harald Henning, scored the highest score of the tournament en route to victory in heat 2. Harald’s steamroll started with Shang+Hittites/Scythian/Sassanid for three preeminence markers followed by a Khmer/Sung/Timurid slow down and then closing strong with Britain and a fourth time in the lead, this time to stay. Harald ended with 223 followed by, Christina Harley 215, Chris Godfrey 190, Lee Waters 163, and Jennifer Visocnik 161.
In the final heat game, Mike Schulze reigned supreme in a game with no Romans, Mongols or Britain. Mike started in the East as Shang/VedicCityStates followed by strength in the middle Macedonia/Arabs/Franks and finishing with Portugal/Netherlands, not leading until the close of epoch seven. Mike score of 206 led Jon Anderson 194, Nathan Barhorst 190, Edward Prem 187, and Steve Scarangella 166.
In the semifinals, three full games of six players would advance the winners of each board as well as three others using the percentage of the winner’s score. Some may grumble that a ‘close 3rd’ isn’t better than a 2nd. One can appreciate that stance, much as one can argue scores of 200, 199, 198 are ‘better’ than a result of 200, 150, 125. In short, no perfect system, other than win your game!
The first semifinal saw Harald make it two wins in a row, besting his table by 18 points. Harald weathered Babylonia/Chou/Macedonia/Byzantines before turning on the jets with Mongols/Portugal and coasting through US. Harald’s 206, bested Jon Hagmaier 188, Jon Anderson 180, Gary Roberts 180, Joe Collinson 173, and Christina Harley 157.
In the second semifinal, Raphael emerged triumphant despite suffering both the Hsiung-nu and Khmers. This is the first we’ve seen the Hsiung-nu on the winner’s tableu. Starting with Sumeria, Raphael got to his first preeminence with Persia+Phoenicia, and again with Hsiung-nu, what?!what?! He dipped with Khmers/HolyRoman/Mughals but got a third chip with the Manchu to lead him to a seat in the Finals. Raphael’s score of 187, was followed by Steve Scarangella 175, Rachel Harley 169, Mathieu Lague-Gomez 167, Mike Schultz 166, and Chris Greenfield 157.
In the final semifinal, two-time defending champion Mark Smith booked his ticket to a third straight final allowing a chance to Three-peat! After trailing following Sumeria/Sythians/Maurya/Tang, Mark kept climbing with Franks/Spain and ending with a one-point lead as Netherlands. His single preeminence chit of four matched runner-up Akim Munro’s single chit of four, as close as it gets. Mark ended with 188, followed by Akim Munro 187, Jeff Miller 181, Bruce Blumentritt 172, Fred Hansen 171, and Kevin Breza 165.
And then we were down to six. Newcomers in the final Jeff Miller, Raphael Philibert-Larivee and Akim Munro, a Quebec Contingent joined seasoned finalists, Steve Scarangella, two-time champion and A.R.E.A. leader Harald Henning, and two-time defending champion Mark J. Smith. Could anyone unseat the reigning hegemon?! Would it be the hardened veteran that had scored over 200 in both previous games or one of the long-shots, including an alternate who placed second in his semi-final…?
In Epoch I, Harald’s Sumeria scored a simple 8, followed by Akim’s Egypt, Raphael’s Minoans+Hittites, Steve’s Babylon, Jeff’s Shang and Mark’s Aryans. Only the Hittite Minor Empire was played in the first epoch, as perhaps all were holding their fire. Scores at the end of Epoch I were Raphael 10, Harald 8, Akim 7, Jeff 5, Mark 5, and Steve 4.
For Epoch II, Mark followed his Aryans with Assyria and Population Explosion for 25 empire points and the lead. Harald played Allies and Engineering with the Chou for 14, Jeff played Allies and Phoenicia with Vedic City States for 18, Steve worked Greek City States with Etruscans for 16, Raphael suffered the Scythians using a Civil War for 16 points, and Akim used a Population Explosion with Carthaginia for 16. At the end of Epoch II, Mark was in the lead at 30, followed by Raphael 26, Jeff 23, Akim 23, Harald 22, and Steve 20.
In Epoch III, Harald got to go first with Macedoia, Siegecraft and Expert Troops to score 30. Raphael used Maurya, Kingdom Kush and a second Civil War for 30, Akim played the Mayans with Han Dynasty for 18, Mark was saddled with the Hsiung-nu but used Treachery, placing all 5 armies for 12, Steve romped with the Romans for 28 and an African Migrant sidebar, while Jeff played the Sassanids and barely got to Europe with Barbarians to score 15. Raphael moved into the lead with 56, followed by Harald 52, Steve 48, Mark 42, Akim 41, and Jeff 38.
At the start of Epoch IV there was a collective sigh at the table as Steve, formerly of Rome, reveals Guptas!, Double Turn – engaged!! Steve went on to score 33 for the turn while Harald’s Goths strike a Disaster while scoring 25, Jeff’s Huns support a Jewish Revolt and score 21, Mark’s Byzantines have Justinian I as their Leader and score 25, Akim’s Arabs along with Anglo-Saxons and Kingdom Tiahuanaco score 27 and Raphael suffered the Khmers with Migrants North America for 17. The table also noted that Akim continued to roll well, defending against all comers. This epoch saw Steve in the lead with 81, then Harald 77, Raphael 73, Akim 68, Mark 67, and Jeff 59.
In Epoch V, Raphael re-engages a Double Turn of his own beginning with the Franks led by Charlemagne and Astronomy scoring 31. Harald’s Holy Roman Empire with Astronomy scores 26, Steve is punished as the leader and his Chola score 19, Mark’s Sung Dynasty with Kingdom Mali and Civil Service score 23, Akim’s Seljuk Turks declare a Jihad after Pestilence in Dalmatia clears some space and scores 41, and caboose Jeff gets some help as the Mongols with Barbarians after a Famine and scores 23. Akim jumps into the lead at 109 followed by Raphael 104, Harald 103, Steve 100, Mark 90, and Jeff 82
Steve kicks off Epoch VI with the Ming and scores 21, Raphael is the Timurid Emirates with Kingdom Thai and Minor Empire Safavids for 38, Harald’s Ottoman Turks led by Mehmed II following a Civil War score 36, Mark’s Portugal with Reallocation and Siegecraft garner 34, Jeff’s Spain with Civil Service after a Civil War score 35 and Akim’s Mughals back up a Crusade with Elite Forest Troops and 37 points. Akim maintains the lead with 146 followed by Raphael 142, Harald 139, Mark 124, Steve 121, and Jeff 117.
Jeff started the final Epoch with Russia, including Ivan the Terrible and Reallocation, for 37 points. Harald followed with the Manchu Dynasty also with Reallocation and Weaponry scoring 39, Raphael led an unsupported Netherlands for 36, Steve guided France to 45, Mark powered up Britain with Naval Power and Queen Victoria for the highest single empire score of the Final at 57 and Akim closed with Germany led by Wilhelm II and Expert Troops Mountains for 43. After the dust settled, scores were Akim 189, Mark 181, Raphael 178, Harald 178, Steve 166, and Jeff 154. Akim had three preeminence chits for 13, Raphael two for 10, Mark one for 3 and Steve one for 3. The final scores were Akim 202, Raphael 188, Mark 184, Harald178, Steve 169, and Jeff 154.
Thank you to all the players. We hope you enjoyed playing and look forward to seeing you back in 2018.
A Big Thank You to two assistant GMs, Craig Yope and Nathan Barhorst for their help, counsel and support which was much appreciated.
Note: an Optional Rule will likely be implemented in all games for the 2018 tournament. Each player will receive one Minor Empire, one and only one, in their Greater Event card set of three. Feedback on this proposed rule change is welcome.