The tournament consisted of three swiss rounds to advance the top 8 to single elimination based on record. The tie breaker was points based on how many times the country was played and the winning percentage from 2016. Each player was only allowed to play each of 8 different countries once throughout the tournament.
During the swiss rounds, play was in pods where you played all three other opponents. This helps to move the rounds along. The countries played switched around this year as players chased the points for playing a country for tie breakers. The W-L records for the countries in winning percentage order from the swiss rounds are Austria 4-1, Prussia 9-4, Britain 5-4, Ottomans 2-2, France 4-5, Spain 2-3, Russia 4-9, United States 0-2.
There were only three players who managed to be 3-0 instead of the normal five. So five 2-1 players advanced after points were considered. Therefore, losing one game isn’t as much of a killer and side selection becomes more critical, who can do the most with the least. Interestingly enough 5 of the 8 advancers had made it to the quarterfinals in 2016. So despite the luck of card draws and die rolls, there is a lot of good play needed to advance.
The results of the quarterfinals were as follows:
- Craig Melton’s Ottomans defeated Randy MacInnis’ French
- Bjorn von Knorring’s Ottomans eked out a nighttime victory over Nathan Wagner’s French because Nathan took the French
- Derek Landel’s British defeated Steve Raszewski’s French
- Brad Raszewski’s French defeated John Emory’s Russians
Bjorn’s French defeated Craig’s Spanish in one semifinal while Derek’s French defeated Brad’s Ottomans in the other to advance to the final.
The final was just a one game match again. Derek had Austria, Ottomans, and the US left, while Bjorn had Britain, Spain, and the US. I’m not sure Derek had any good choices to take since Bjorn was certain to take the British. Bjorn was once again triumphant for his fourth championship in a row. His biggest scare in the elimination rounds was Nathan as Bjorn chose to hold the French and British for the semifinal and final so had to play a lesser country.
With more countries, 12, and one less round than original, 6, for the entire tournament, players aren’t being stretched as much to know all the countries. Therefore, look to the tournament website in the coming months for details on how country selection will change.
| Andy Lewis [10th Year]