Space. Something something frontier. These are the ramblings of a game master who ran Gaia Project as a trial event.
We had exactly 64 unique entrants, over two heats, in a “3” hour time slot. We went over that time slot on roughly half the tables, so will have to increase the time slot to 4 hours next year.
I was able to compile stats about the factions at this tournament, and for the heats, some interesting numbers emerged.
These numbers reflect games being played on the base map only. They do not include semis or finals. Also, you may notice a faction that isn’t included in your game. You see, players were asked to record scores, seating order, and factions down on a score sheet, and one person recorded their name in the name spot and in the faction spot, so my stats will be a bit off.
Factions, pick/win percentage.
- Terrans (1-6-3-2) : 54% / 8%
- Ambas (5-2-4-0) : 50% / 45%
- Itars (4-1-2-3) : 45% / 40%
- Xenos (2-2-3-2) : 41% / 22%
- Geodens (1-1-1-6) : 41% / 11%
- Taklon (4-1-3-0) : 36% / 50%
- Ivits (1-2-1-3) : 32% / 14%
- H. Hallas (1-4-1-1) : 32% / 14%
- Nevlas (2-1-1) : 18% / 50%
- Firaks (0-1-1-0) : 9% / 0%
- Gleens (0-1-0-1) : 9% / 0%
- Bescods (0-0-1-0) : 5% / 0%
- Lantids (0-0-1-0) : 5% / 0%
- “Mike” (1-0-0-0) : 5% / 100%
Brown factions were taken 91% of the time, split between Ambas (50%) and Taklon (41%). Taklons had a slightly higher win rate (50%) vs Ambas (45%).
The only other faction to pull down a 50% win rate were Nevlas, but they were only played 4 times.
Terrans, which was picked the most, only had a win percentage of 9%. They were picked 12 times and had a record of 1-6-3-2. Good faction if you wanted to come in second, though. H. Hallas was also good for second most of the time.
The heats saw only three double winners. Sceadeau D’Tela, David Cederquist, and Sam Wolff. The semifinals, which ran at the same time as the Terraforming Mars semifinals, only saw 12 winners (out of 20) show up, so the tables were set up as four 3 player tables. Each of the double winners had their own table, along with Daniel Farrow IV, who had a win and the closest second.
The semifinals had people talking, as it was a format almost none of the competitors were used to. Boards were set up randomly, factions were selected randomly (4 total factions, 3 player games), and then the players would bid end game victory points to pick a seat. Once a seat was picked, a faction was chosen, and bidding would continue to the next seat in order.
There was a small bit of grumbling, as people weren’t used to playing in this manner. Nowhere in the rules does it suggest this as the way to set up the game. These rules were used to get people outside of their comfort zones – to get races to the table that people undervalue/don’t usually play with, forcing improvisation and rewarding overall mastery of the game.
It also had the side effect of adding 30 minutes to the setup of the game as people were staring at everything before making their determination of how many extra points a race would score. Ah well. Can’t win them all.
Each table had its own feel to the bids. Lowest bids were the David Platnik, Sceadeau D’Tela, Veronica Garcia. That table bid 4 points for first, 1 point for second. The highest was the table that had a 25 point bid followed by an 18 point bid. The 25 point bidder did take it down.
The final table, using seed: 275368427 ( http://gaia-project.hol.es/?s=275368427&p=4&m=3&b=0)
The races selected, at random: Geodens, Ambas, H. Halla, Xenos.
The four finalists were Jason Leggett, Randy Williams, Sceadeau D’Tela, and Andrew Martin. The random bidding order was Jason, Andrew, Sceadeau, Randy. The method for the bidding was the first player bids as many end game points as they want for their choice of race, going first. After all players bid (with rebidding allowed, but not able to come back in after a pass), the player who bid the most writes down their bid and takes the race of their choice. Then, starting over, the bidding continues, this time for second seat and choice of race.
In this fashion, the bids were:
- Jason: 18 points, choose Ambas. Said he would have bid 28.
- Andrew: 13 points, Xenos.
- The third bid Sceadeau bid 0, Randy bid 1, and Sceadeau beat a hasty retreat, not interested in spending any points for his choice of race. Randy picked H. Halla.
- Sceadeau happily scooped up Geodens for 0.
The game saw Xenos go wide, while H. Halla and Ambas both built up. The Geodens were stuck a bit at the beginning, choosing to be on tile 1 and had H. Halla sitting beside him. It became a race to get the orange planet on tile 4, which the Geodens did, and then built up to their planetary institute, and then used the dig tile (privilege for going first) to dig on the red planet, giving them their first of many 3 point science bumps.
Space battles ensued. Power was gained. Points were lost. Planets were sniped, power was converted to satellites. Overall, we did Gaia things.
In the end, the Geodens came down with the win, winning even before bids were subtracted from the final scores.
- Sceadeau, 1st: Geodens, 174 points
- Jason, 2nd: Ambas, 161-18 bid points, 143
- Andrew Martin 3rd: Xenos, 140-13 = 127 points
- Randy 4th: 128-1, 127 points
The tiebreaker rules state the person who spent more on their seat wins ties, so Andrew pipped Randy for the 4th seat. Overall, I believe the tournament was fun, and I’m hoping I get to run it again next year.