Attendance jumped to 54 players from 37 in 2017, including 28 that hadn't played a year ago. We had 17 games, with 99 player starts, which may mean a 6th place sand plaque in 2019!
Results of a player poll (40 responses) determined the following:
- 67.5% of players (27 of 40) enjoyed the new rule of one Minor Empire in each stack of Greater Events, 7 would prefer a full shuffle, and 6 were indifferent. This means we will continue with one Minor Empire in each stack. We can also note that anecdotally most of the finalists did not like the one-Minor-Empire rule, due to the predictability of later epochs – so noted and we will continue to examine this going forward.
- most players have not yet seen the new Z-Man edition of History of the World, only 12 of 40 were interested in allowing the new version if a full table agreed. For the time being, it will not yet be part of the tournament until more players are familiar and the GM is able to answer questions effectively.
Some other interesting notes gleaned from the data:
- two 5-player winners suffered the Khmers, and only one winner managed surviving the Hsiung Nu.
- only two winners play the Romans, and only one played the Mongols. Surprisingly, none played Britain this year!
- yet four winners had the Inca/Aztec empire, and seven started with Sumeria – were they a key?
- winners all had at least one preeminence chip, showing you've likely got to lead at some point to win.
- in 17 games, Rome was not drawn 5 times, slightly higher than 3 on average, and no one got to invade with Britain in 4 games.
Five full games of six players and one game of five gave us a big start of 35, nearly as many as all of 2017. Many familiar faces, yet also a dozen new contenders who hadn’t tried their luck in 2017. Four winners also had won a heat game last year, showing it can’t all be lucky dice?
Game 1 of 13 Heat games
Former back-to-back champion Mark Smith reasserted his prowess after a disappointing third place in the 2017 Final (well, disappointing for him, with such consistent success). Mark started slowly with Indus and Carthage, but catapulted into the lead with a back-to-back Sassanids/Goths, which earned him preeminence in Epochs IV, V and VI despite a weaker Holy Roman Empire/IncaAztec/US finish. With three chips to Greg Crowe's two, their 186 to 190 respective ending scores were increased to 198 each, Mark with 12, Greg with 8 – right on average! The tiebreaker of lower total empire strength fell to Mark at 51 to Greg's 63. Mark Smith 198, Greg Crowe 198, Harald Henning 183, Kevin Youells 169, Paul Risner 141, Jeff Miller 134.
Game 2 of 13 Heat games
Joe Collinson once more won his first heat game, proving his status as a perennial threat. Joe outdistanced an otherwise pack separated by only 6 points, having started in mediocrity with Sumeria/Assyria, and scoring only 3 points with the Hsiung Nu! He then powered into the Byzantines/Mongols/Portugal before closing with the US and grabbing the last two chits. Joe Collinson 194, Gary Roberts 178, Roberto Fournier 174, Paul McCarthy 173, Dan Morris 173, Steve Scarangella 172.
Game 3 of 13 Heat games
Ed O’Connor, the first of the new blood to top a table, did so with efficiency. Ed began his conquest with the Minoans/Greeks/Sassanids, then stormed into the lead with the Arabs, staying in front with Holy Roman Empire/Inca-Aztec for three chips, finishing with Germany. David Hewitt almost upset the apple cart with Japan in Epoch VII to finish in the lead, but Ed's 15 bonus moved him past David with 4. Ed O’Connor 195, David Hewitt 189, Jon Anderson 165, Rob Davidson 156, Chris Godfrey 152, Norman Stewart 142.
Game 4 of 13 Heat games
Greg Romano didn’t want to miss out on the semifinals this year (he was the alternate on the bubble in 2017 despite a 93.8% second place), and so took matters into his own hands. He reigned supreme in one of the lower scoring games. Greg started with Shang/Carthage/Celts/Arabs/HRE, staying in the middle of the pack, until taking the lead with Ming Dynasty and keeping it with Germany + Japan. Greg Romano 188, Patti Swift 179, Virginia Harley 175, Shane McBee 170, Craig Yope 159, Nathan Barhorst 157.
Game 5 of 13 Heat games
Kevin Breza also won his first heat game in 2017 fashion, coming from third place in Epoch VI to finish in the lead. Kevin started his campaign with Sumeria/Vedic City States/Maurya, gaining some steam with the Byzantines/HRE/Ottoman Turks in the mid-game, closing with a Russia + Japan combo score of 55. Kevin Breza 192, Alex Anderson 182, Chris Trimmer 179, Missy Youells 170, Ty Hansen 169, Mark Geary 148.
Game 6 of 13 Heat games
Jon Hagmaier won what would be his first of three games in a row! We’ll never know if it could’ve been four, but for a plane he had to catch to England… Jon destroyed the competition with the largest margin of victory (48). Other than Sumeria, Jon scooped the next four preeminence chips with Assyria/Sassanids/Khmers/Vikings, while finishing with Mughals and Germany. The game did not have the Romans, Arabs, Huns or Mongols, which may have meant players had a difficult time chasing the leader, as is known to happen in 5-player games occasionally. Jon Hagmaier 225, Fred Hansen 177, Christina Harley 175, Jason Arvey 174, Gregory Breza 158.
Five more games of six players and two five player boards meant 40 players in Heat 2, including 15 new entrants not having competed in 2017.
Game 7 of 13 Heat games
I punched my own ticket to the semifinals on the shoulders of 4 preeminence chips in the final 4 epochs. Starting with the Aryans, I then drew into Persia, and coupled it with Macedonia for solid presence throughout the globe. From there, the Guptas/Sung/Inca-Aztec and good ol' USA earned me enough to stay in the lead, finishing with 16 in bonus points. Ty Hansen 207, Rejean Tremblay 189, Gary Roberts 186, Kevin Youells 184, Ted Drozd 180, John Skiba 173.
Game 8 of 13 Heat games
Whoever is party to a game my father wins may be subject to penalties in future years, how dare he! Fred turned in a solid performance starting well with Sumeria/Chou/Han Dynasties followed by Goths and Chola. He then got Spain + Safavids, which meant a first-turn Russia put him in the lead at 192. A four point globe at the end just edged Harald, who had amassed three chips in Epochs I, III and IV totaling 14. Fred Hansen 196, Harald Henning 193, Shane McBee 180, Rex Lehmann 178, Jim Lawler 174, Dan Morris 160.
Game 9 of 13 Heat games
Ron Clement, another new face, won a table against two former champions. Ron began well with Indus Valley, Chou Dynasty and Maurya, followed by more middle-road empires of the Tang, Vikings and Mughals. He powered France into the lead and like many others, claimed victory in that final epoch. Ron Clement 195, Roberto Fourneir 180, Charles Drozd 167, Christina Harley 163, Mark Smith 157, Nathan Barhorst 146.
Game 10 of 13 Heat games
Jon Hagmaier won his second game, this time a six-player board. Here he stayed consistent, keeping in the pack with Sumeria/Scythian/Macedonians/Guptas, before blazing into the lead and three straight globes with the Seljuk Turks + Fujiwara/Inca-Aztec/Netherlands. Jon Hagmaier 208, Chris Bauch 190, Mark Visocnik 184, Ales Nesenjuk 173, Steve Scarangella 158, Craig Yope 155.
Game 11 of 13 Heat games
In the game that took the longest (over 6 hours), James Pei wore the other combatants out as he marched to victory. In the only game where the eventual winner played the Romans, James began like many other winners with Sumeria followed by Chou, though he also won preeminence with Sumeria. He then stayed strong with Huns/HRE, before taking back the lead with Portugal, and maintaining it with Germany for the win. James Pei 190, Virginia Harley 178, Seth Gregor 166, Chris Godfrey 164, Phil Rodriques 163, Jennifer Visocnik 163.
Game 12 of 13 Heat games
Jon Anderson punched his ticket to the semis with a crushing third epoch. After starting simply with Shang/Assyria, Jon rode a huge 39 point Macedonia to his first of five straight preeminence chits, including one for the Khmers, followed by Chola/Mughals/USA. Jon Anderson 209, Rachel Harley 187, Patti Swift 181, Geoffrey Heintzelman 172, Alex Anderson 160.
Game 13 of 13 Heat games
Jeff Miller had the second highest margin of victory (41) in his second heat victory. Similar to Jon in game 12, Jeff rode a monster Epoch III score of 40 to five straight preeminence markers, after starting with Egypt/Chou. Jeff rolled with the Romans, and somehow got the Byzantines next, than Vikings/Mughals/Germany. Jeff Miller 216, Steven Spisak 175, Wade Campbell 171, Paul McCarthy 171, Daniel Overland 164.
Three full games of six players, winners of each board advancing and once again using the percentage of the winner’s score to determine the other three seats. 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! Yet we did need two alternates, and Ted Drozd as the 36 place (20th alternate) filled the last seat as many ahead of him did not attend.
Ron Clement followed-up his heat win with an impressive 27-point win at his semifinal table, his dominance such that no others advanced from this table. Ron weathered early empires of Indus Valley/Carthage/Sassanids, gained ground with the Byzantines/Chola, and marched to victory with a Spain/Russia double for two globes and the win. Ron Clement 200, Patti Swift 173, Mark Smith 170, Shane McBee 167, Greg Romano 163, Jeff Miller 155.
Jon made it three wins in a row, earning him a seat in the Final before he headed to the airport... Jon started with Sumeria, and scored a chit for Carthage + Phoenecia as well as Celts. He dipped back with the Goths/Vikings, and didn't score a chit despite Spain, yet Netherlands was enough to end the game in front, in addition to 3 globes summing to 13, which outpaced David Hewitt's USA with two chits totaling 10. Jon Hagmaier 196, David Hewitt 188, Kevin Breza 184, Ted Drozd 177, Fred Hansen 172, Joe Collinson 170.
Virginia Harley squeaked out a 2-point win over a table that would advance four to the Finals (due to a winner not attending). Virginia started quietly with the Minoans, followed by Persians/Sassanids. She rolled poorly with the Arabs only scoring 19, and continued in the pack with Franks/Timurid Emirates. But France in the final Epoch with Weaponry/Reallocation raked in a 51 point turn, and the preeminence chip (5) needed for victory. Unlike the 2013 Finals, Harald's two chips (9) were not enough to take back the top spot from Virginia, which coincidentally also had Jon Anderson and myself at both tables. Virginia Harley 181, Harald Henning 179, Ty Hansen 175, Jon Anderson 170, Ed O’Connor 169, Alex Anderson 164.
We came come close to having five from a single board advance, due to a winner dropping out, which would not have seemed right. Yet as it didn't happen, and winners should usually participate, we will not reassess the ranking system as yet.
Newcomers in the final Ron Clement and David Hewitt, joined once-upon-a-time 2013 finalists, Harald Henning, Virginia Harley, Jon Anderson and Ty Hansen.
Could Harald once more take home the top prize, or would someone else win their first “HWD” title?
Though many winners started with Sumeria this year, none rose in the Final. Thus Jon's Egypt, supported by the Hittites controlled the Middle East and North Africa for the top score and first globe. David's Minoans scored a simple 5 heading to the Middle East and forting up Crete. With no Sumeria, Ty's Indus Valley held full control of India, with a presence in the Middle East for a Kingdom of Canaanites. Ron's Babylonians were trapped in the Middle East despite a Pestilence that had no impact. Virginia's Shang Dynasty controlled China, while Harald's Aryans did well with free access into Middle East, China and India (no Sumeria). Scores at the end of Epoch I were Jon Anderson 14, Ty Hansen 7, Virginia Harley 7, Ron Clement 6, David Hewitt 5, and Harald Henning 4.
Ron started the second wave with Assyria claiming North Africa control. Ty played the Chou with Phoenician support and Engineering to a 20 point epoch and the lead/globe. Virginia with a Population Explosioned Vedic City States did not claim dominance in neither India nor Middle East, curse those dice!, while Harald led the Greek City States with a Jewish Revolt. Jon's top Epoch I score was punished with the Scythians as he tried a Famine with little impact. Finally David played Persia and Siegecraft to sack 5 capitals as players through two epochs had been building lots of forts! (no Carthage). Scores after Epoch II were Ty Hansen 27, Jon Anderson 25, Ron Clement 24, David Hewitt 24, Harald Henning 18, and Virginia Harley 16.
Ron once again started, bringing the Celts down from the North. With Macedonia, David took Alexander the Great to China, rather than India as his former Persians remained dominant in that area, which was enough to jump in front for a globe. Harald pushed the Han Dynasty into India with Mayan minor empire support. Jon was given the Hsiung Nu as he still had board presence and the Kingdom of Kush joined him. Virginia drew herself the Romans along with Julius Caesar and a Civil War but was still not enough to overtake David. Ty got sassy with the Sassanids yet fell into second (no Maurya). After Epoch III scores were David Hewitt 64, Ty Hansen 52, Harald Henning 46, Jon Anderson 42, Virginia Harley 41, and Ron Clement 41.
Harald tried hard to grab the lead, playing both Barbarians and Civil Service with the Guptas. Ron followed with the Goths, using some Expert Forest troops and Barbarians, as he was consistently going early, players saw him as a viable dumping spot for the earliest, yet weaker, empires and he could not muster sustained northeastern board presence. Ty used Weaponry with the Huns and had some migrants to North America. After capturing dominance in Northern and Southern Europe he forts up Danubia and Dalmatia, but there are no Byzantines, and those troops stay entrenched through the end of the game. Jon played the T'ang Dynasty, with Disaster and Kingdom Tiahuanaco. Virginia got the Arabs despite her Roman strength, with the Anglo Saxons in tow and Engineering, her rolling continued to include many 1s. Though stuck with the Khmers, David played Civil War and Plague which helped him remain in the lead for a second preeminence marker (no Byzantines). After Epoch IV, scores were David Hewitt 84, Harald Henning 78, Ty Hansen 76, Jon Anderson 66, Virginia Harley 64, and Ron Clement 63.
Jon uses Allies and another Disaster with the Franks, while Ron once more moves early with the Vikings, so desperate that they are on a Jihad and have Astronomy. David has been beat on, but his Chola with Kingdom Mali and Crusades, maintains a presence nearly everywhere for a third preeminence chip. Ty has more migrants to Australia, with a Population Explosion on Sung Dynasty and solid presence throughout the map. Virginia has migrants to Africa, and the Seljuk Turks Treachery into China while dominating the Middle East. Harald organizes Gheghis Khan with Astronomy, but it is not enough to take the lead (no Holy Roman Empire).After Epoch V scores were David Hewitt 113, Harald Henning 109, Ty Hansen 104, Jon Anderson 103, Virginia Harley 86, and Ron Clement 81.
Jon starts again with Weaponry and the Ming, scoring 30. Harald has the Timurid Emirates that are not helped a lot by Black Death, but bolstered by remaining Mongols for a score of 35 and the lead/chip. Ron is unlucky getting the Incas/Aztecs on the final draw, instead of Spain, scoring 20 with Elite Troops. Ty is lucky with the Ottoman Turks, using Treachery into Crete to wipe out David in Southern Europe, scoring 35. Virginia plays Portugal with Reallocation and earns 33 points. David finishes the penultimate epoch with the Mughals + Safavids and Expert Troops Straits collecting 29 points (no Spain). After Epoch VI, scores were Harald Henning 144, David Hewitt 142, Ty Hansen 139, Jon Anderson 133, Virginia Harley 119, and Ron Clement 101.
Virginia began the final round with Russia, using Siegecraft and Population Explosion to grab a solid 49 points. Ty's Netherlands score is helped by an absence of Manchu as well as Reallocation and Civil War to score 48 and seize the lead. Ron's France scores a respectable 46, which is perhaps bitter sweet after a disappointing campaign. Jon drew himself Great Britain, stating 'I could do worse', with Queen Victoria and Civil Service, he manages only 44, which doesn't quite put him in contention. David has Ulysses S. Grant and Elite Troops, but a lack of presence in Europe limits his score to 32. David's 3 chits will not be enough against either Ty or Harald, who closes with Germany, card play is missing though he certainly played two and is limited to 40 points, which prove not enough (no Manchu Dynasty)
Ty Hansen 187, Harald Henning 184, Jon Anderson 177, David Hewitt 174, Virginia Harley 168, and Ron Clement 147.
David three for 14, Ty two for 9, Jon one for 4 and Harald one for 3.
Ty Hansen 196, David Hewitt 188, Harald Henning 187, Jon Anderson 181, Virginia Harley 168, and Ron Clement 147.
As always, Thank you to all the players – we hope you enjoyed playing and hope to see you back in 2019. A Thousand Thanks to our two assistant GMs, Craig Yope and Nathan Barhorst; their help, counsel and support are much appreciated and critical for a smooth and successful event.
Note: Optional Rule will continue in all games for the 2019 tournament. Each player will receive one Minor Empire, one and only one, in their Greater Event card set of three. Feedback will continue to be collected and is welcome.