Five full games of six players and one game of five gave us the same start of 35 as 2018, numbers continue to be strong. Many familiar faces, yet also fifteen new contenders who hadn’t joined us the past two years. Second year in a row four winners also had won a heat game last year, indicating skill matters, or they may have magic rabbit feet.
Mr. Consistent - Joe Collinson won his first heat game, third year running. Joe triumphed over 3 former finalists, and one future finalist, beginning meekly with the Aryans and Chou, then staying in the middle-of-the pack with Macedonians/Huns/Holy Roman Empire, finishing strong with a Portugal/France combo for the win. Joe Collinson 198, Nathan Barhorst 187, Gregory Breza 175, Roberto Fournier 173, Kevin Youells 172, Virginia Harley 167.
Greg Romano also won his first heat game in back-to-back years. Greg began in China with Shang/Chou, moving further west with Sassanids/Byzantines/Holy Roman Empire and two chits with his European empires. He fell back into third with the Timurids, allowing him an opportunity to draw his own fate – Britain! – which meant no one would challenge him in the end. Greg Romano 195, Ed O'Connor 184, Peter Eldridge 182, Patti Swift 171, Chris Frey 170 (68), Ty Hansen 170 (71) (ties are broken by lower total empire strength).
The one 5-player game had three epochs tied with no preeminence chit awarded. Jeff Miller began with Sumeria/Greek City States, followed by early empires Celts/Goths. After a disappointing Chola ended in last, Jeff climbed to a one point second place with a strong Spain, holding enough board presence to win with the US. Jeff Miller 180, Paul McCarthy 169, Patricia Harley 163, Alan Gates 155, David Anderson 155.
Game 4 of 12 Heat games
Curt 'Attila' Fyock collected preeminence four times en route to victory. Curt began tied in first with Egypt/Carthaginians, followed by dominating with Romans/Arabs/Seljuk Turks/IncaAztecs and four chits, holding off a late surge of others with the US – his 19 in chits put him ahead of two players that finished play ahead of him. Interesting note: no Hsiung-Nu, no Kmers, no Chola, some of the weakest empires. Curt Fyock 199, Fred Hansen 192, Jeff King 186, Rachel Harley 174, Jon Anderson 156, Andrew Menard 153.
Game 5 of 12 Heat games
Kevin Breza is also a constant, winning his first heat game for the third year in a row. Kevin started quietly with the Shang, blazing to the front with Persia/Maurya/Huns and three chits, then falling back into second with Vikings/IncaAztecs, before a monster final Epoch with France and Japanese minor empire. Kevin Breza 203, Gary Roberts 180, Joseph LeMay 178, Christina Harley 166, Garrett Ciminia 153, Erika Anderson 143.
Game 6 of 12 Heat games
Tom Thornsen emerged victorious as three players all tied at the end of Epoch VII... Amazingly a fourth player ended at 188 after chits, which then differentiated their placement by total empire strength. Tom crept along with Aryans/Greek City States/Celts, and moved up with Arabs/Seljuk Turks, before earning the decisive preeminence chit in the sixth epoch with the Timurid Emirates. The US left Tom tied in first – alas Craig and Steve had not won an epoch, and Erik's 3 chit was no match for Tom's 6! (though just imagine if they had been swapped – two tied at 191). Tom Thornsen 194, Craig Yope 188 (53), Steve Scarangella 188 (58), Erik Assadourian 188 (61), Matt Clark 179, Mitchell Ledford 178.
Five more games of six players and one five player board totaled 35 players in Heat 2, including 8 new entrants not having competed in 2018.
Game 7 of 12 Heat games
From 8 women in a field of 57, Jennifer Visocnik emerged as the only female winner. Jen started in Southern Europe with the Minoans/Greek City States, got saddled with the Hsiung-Nu, powered up with Arabs/Mongols for a chit, staying in front with Inca/Aztecs, before holding on to tie for the lead after playing Good Old USA. Jen's 9 in preeminence were enough to beat Duane's 4 in the end. Jennifer Visocnik 195, Duane Wagner 190, Mark Smith 187, Ted Drozd 181, Rex Lehmann 168, Erin Weir 152.
Game 8 of 12 Heat games
In the closest game of the tournament, Chris Godfrey edged Raphael Philibert-Larivee. One player dropped before Epoch VII. While the game is blocked for 6 hours, which should be enough, players should know games may run longer and be prepared to stay. Chris began quietly with the Shang/Greek City States/Maurya, stayed in the middle-of-the-pack with Byzantines/Franks/Spain, and then seized the lead with the Manchu. Despite Raphael's 3 chits totaling 12, Chris's 6 bonus at the end locked up the win. Chris Godfrey 189, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 186, David Hewitt 173, John Stevens 171, Sam Edelston 169.
Game 9 of 12 Heat games
Gary Roberts won at a table with two former champions, starting with Babylon/Greek City States, before suffering the Hsiung-Nu/Guptas/Seljuk Turks. Yet closing with Spain/Britain should make many a player happy and Gary translated it into a lead no other player could catch as four different players had won an Epoch. Gary Roberts 190, Patti Swift 183, Akim Munro 181, Ed O'Connor 172, Lee Waters 167, Craig Yope 158.
Game 10 of 12 Heat games
Jeff Miller won his second game, this time a six-player board and with the highest tournament score. Jeff stumbled out of the gate with the Aryans, then miraculously went on to win the next five epochs with Persia/Sassanids/Guptas/Vikings/Mongols, closing in second with Good Old USA – but his chits totaled 22 and a win. Jeff Miller 215, Steve Scarangella 205, Fred Hansen 185 (62), Evan Walter 185 (70), Michael Mullins 170, Alex Nesenjuk 147.
Game 11 of 12 Heat games
Paul McCarthy punched his ticket to the semifinals with the third highest score of 2019. Paul had back-to-back first and second epochs with the Aryans/Assyrians, spreading out with Romans/Arabs, staying in second place with Mughals/IncaAztecs, catapulting into the lead with France. Paul held off Roberto's 3 chits summing to 14, with a 6 of his own. Paul McCarthy 207, Roberto Fournier 202, Harald Henning 184, Marc Visocnik 182, Brian Stuck 161, Rick Harvey 152.
Game 12 of 12 Heat games
Newcomer Keith Onderko accumulated the second highest score of the year at a five-player table that saw all the power empires get played. Keith started his conquest with Babylonians/Vedic City States, next championing the Romans/Arabs, leading the Franks to a monster 47 point turn, staying in front with Mughals/Germany. Keith Onderko 208, Nathan Barhorst 188, David Anderson 183, Dan Overland 165, Chris Frey 155.
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 Finals 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! We once more needed two alternates, though this year they were #19 and #20, rather than last year's #36 sneak-in.
Kevin Breza matched his heat win with a close win at his semifinal table, where chits decided the game. Kevin trailed most of the way with Babylon/Vedic City States/Han Dynasty/Huns/Franks, pushing up towards the lead with Spain, and grabbing epoch VII preeminence with France. Kevin's six bonus points outpaced Duane's nine. Kevin Breza 186, Duane Wagner 182, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 176, Greg Romano 172, Fred Hansen 170, Paul McCarthy 156.
Former GM Craig Yope showed he isn't just a punching bag (four sixth-place finishes in 3 years), winning his semifinal by double-digits. Craig developed his empire in the East with Indus/Vedic City States, moving to Europe with Macedonia/Goths/Vikings and two chits, closing in sequence with Spain/Russia and a third preeminence chit. Craig Yope 191, Patti Swift 180, Roberto Fournier 175, Curt Fyock 167, Jennifer Visocnik 165, Keith Onderko 162.
Joe Collinson returned to the Finals with such a convincing win that no other seat at his table would advance. Joe trailed early with Indus/Vedic City States/Macedonia, rising in the ranks with Guptas/Franks, standing in second with the Ottomans and blazing to the finish with a 58 point Britain. Special note: Mark Smith won two epochs (II and III) and placed second despite an empire strength of just 40 (Egypt/Carthage/Hsiung-Nu/Kmers/Chola/IncaAztecs/Netherlands). Joe Collinson 201, Mark Smith 176, Gary Roberts 174, Jeff Miller 171, Chris Godfrey 167, Steve Scarangella 164.
All new finalists compared to a year ago, including two former champions. As former History of the World GM Craig Yope was competing, he also took notes and we've included his thoughts below.
Roberto kicked things off with Sumeria, nipping into India. Kevin's Egypt claimed dominance in Southern Europe and Northern Africa, with Middle East presence. Patti controlled India and the Cannanites gave her Indus Valley presence in the Middle East. Joe managed dominance of the Middle East with Babylon. Craig's Shang Dynasty control China – forting up with a Population Explosion, and his Hittites are enough for dominance in the Middle East and preeminence of Epoch I. Raphael's Aryans managed to get into China, India and the Middle East with the help of Allies. There will be no need of treachery on Crete... (no Minoans)
Yope commentary: After the initial round of drawing empires, Roberto went first with Sumeria. No cards were played, and his expansion was the usual eastern movement. But it ended with a curious final placement in the Lower Indus.
Kevin was next with Egypt. Expansion into Nubia and the Levant secured a monument. Dominance in Southern Europe and North Africa propels him to an early lead.
No Minoans brings us to Patti and her Indus Valley. The purple menace spreads across the Indian subcontinent for total control and gains a presence in the Middle East thanks to the Canaanites.
Joe’s Babylonians head north to secure him dominance in the Middle East. Easy and bloodless but it did put him in a precarious position as it relates to the still unplayed Hittites minor empire.
Which set the stage for Craig’s Shang Dynasty. But before that happened, the Hittites were unleashed upon Joe’s unsuspecting Babylonians. Zagros fell and then the choice was between Sumerian and Babylonian capitals. Babylon was the victim giving dominance in the Middle East. A Shang population explosion allowed fortifications to be built in the capital and in Si-Kyang. There’s a new leader in town
Raphael finishes the first epoch festivities with the Aryans utilizing some help from the Allies card.
Dominance in India included taking the Indus Valley capital. Forts there and in the Tarim Basin sprung up with an eye towards permanent presence.
Craig Yope 12, Roberto Fournier 9 (4), Kevin Breza 9 (5), Patti Swift 8, Joe Collinson 6 (4), Raphael Philibert-Larivee 6 (5).
Joe starts with Assyria, after a Pestilence sweeps the land, heading to Southern Europe and Northern Africa with Astronomy. Patti dominates China with the Chou Dynasty, while migrating to Australia. Raphael starts a Civil War in Southern Europe, while his Vedic City States dominate both India and China. Kevin's Barbarian horde out of Tibet fails, while his Greek City States dominate Southern Europe, and use Treachery to also dominate the Middle East, earning preeminence. Craig caused a Disaster, takes the Carthaginians into Southern Europe. Roberto's Persians were Elite Troops, gaining presence everywhere except Northern Africa, while dominating the Middle East, fortifying with Engineering. (no Scythians)
Yope: The start of the second epoch sees Joe’s Assyrians play a Pestilence that ended up being more like the sniffles. After taking the Hittites capital Astronomy of the Eastern Med does allow him to sail to Libya and Crete for needed presence. But tough rolling in the Middle East stops him from clearing out the Sumerian capital.
Patti added Migrants in Australia to her list of minions. The main thrust of her Chou Dynasty was to sack the Shang capital on the way to dominance of China.
Before Raphael’s Vedic City States gets rolling, a Civil War erupts in the heart of the Assyrian empire ultimately robbing Joe of his only capital. Also, at this time, the Etruscans flocked to Raphael’s banner gaining him some much needed presence to the west. The Vedic then turn east to dominate India and China, their march culminating with the taking of the Chou capital.
Kevin’s Greeks were preceded by an unsuccessful Barbarian horde emanating from Tibet. Treachery cleared Joe from Crete and eventually the Greeks occupied the empty streets of Assur on their way to Zagros. Another monument was raised to celebrate his greatness!
Lacking the rise of the Scythians, Craig brought forth the Carthaginians. Prior to Carthage’s expansion, Disaster rocked Kevin’s two capitals. Carthage was able to move unobstructed into the Iberian Peninsula, Western Gaul, and the Southern Apennines in route to dominance in Southern Europe and a monument.
Finally, after a long wait, Roberto got to play Persia. Elite Troops and Engineering were put into play but the “eliteness” didn’t last for long. He does enough to get presence in China, India, and Southern Europe to go with his dominance of the Middle East. It’s a good turn but not enough to catch Kevin for the second preeminence marker.
Kevin Breza 30, Roberto Fournier 26, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 24, Craig Yope 23, Patti Swift 21, Joe Collinson 18.
Joe starts again with the Celts managing dominance in Northern Europe and presence in Southern Europe, sending migrants to North America and a Disaster towards his opponents. Raphael marched the Macedonians with Siegecraft to dominate the East, including presence in SE Asia. Craig's Han Dynasty also have Siegecraft, but manage only dominance in China, after a Plague. Patti calls for Barbarian help, stuck with the Hsiung-Nu. Roberto takes the lead after a Mayan minor empire, and Romans with Weaponry that dominate most areas. Kevin's Sassanids dominate India and Middle East after a Famine and a new Kush kingdom. (no Maurya)
Yope: An issue in the drawing of empires caused a redo halfway through the process. After the dust settled, some interesting keeps and sticks muddied the waters of the early midgame.
After grumbling about the fact that his first choice was much better than what he ended up with, Joe played a Disaster upon Carthage and Persepolis. North America migrants arose in the interior to join his cause. That set the scene for the Celts who promptly went to the English Isles for a permanent vacation.
Raphael’s Macedonians used Siegecraft to clean Kevin’s Greek presence out of Southern Europe. They then turned east to cross Eurasia on his way to dominance of China.
With Maurya failing to coalesce Craig’s Han Dynasty is up next. A less than virulent Plague does little to clear the work ahead of the Siegecrafting Han. Marching down the backside of the Great Wall Craig clears out Patti and Raphael’s cities and eventual leads to taking the Mithila from the Vedic.
Somehow fifth place Patti ended up with the dreaded Hsiung-Nu. With almost no pieces on the board she tried to use a Barbarian card to supplement her presence. Once again, the hordes were stymied from the outset. She then bludgeoned her way across the Great Wall to grab the Han capital and China presence.
Which brings us to the curious case of how the hell did Roberto get the Romans? After just having been the Persians? The investigation is ongoing. Such was the power exuding from his current position that the Mayans threw in with him. Now came the Weaponry enhanced Legions to sweep all before them.
Since Roberto already had dominance in the Middle East he went west to secure Southern Europe before circling around to clean up in North Africa. Then it was a thrust up through Northern Europe as he followed the path of the Macedonians all the way to dominance of China. A 36-point turn to jump into the lead.
Proper consultation in the empire draw phase singled out Kevin as the perfect target of the Sassanids. The Kush kingdom joined his ranks as Famine weakly appeared in the Middle East. The Sumerian capital of Ur finally falls as Kevin does major damage to Roberto’s position in the Middle East. Dominance is also gained in India at the expense of multiple player’s presence in the region.
Roberto Fournier 62, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 54, Kevin Breza 49, Craig Yope 43, Patti Swift 33, Joe Collinson 29.
Raphael kicks off the epoch with the Guptas, adding SE Asia control to India/China dominance with Astronomy. Though not starting, Joe sends Migrants to Africa, gaining little synergy with the Goths, who make it to India. Craig marches the Huns to China/India dominance, causing a second Disaster and adding a kingdom Tiahuanaco. Kevin dominates China with the T'ang Dynasty, minor empire Anglo Saxons giving him presence in Northern Europe. Patti launches a Leader/Jihad with the Arabs, managing only dominance in Northern Africa and Southern Europe. Roberto keeps his lead despite Expert Mountain Khmers, scoring presence everywhere but Northern Europe, entrenching with Engineering. (no Byzantines)
Yope: Entering the fourth epoch Roberto was clearly the target of all the table’s angst and energy. But it was second place Raphael who started the festivities as the Guptas. Astronomy in the South China Sea gave him another avenue for expansion into China which he promptly utilized while also gaining control of Southeast Asia.
Joe was next with the Goths. Word from the Dark Continent filters north of the rise of a powerful group of migrants. The Goths push south through the Balkans on their way to Persepolis and India.
Craig’s Huns were joined in its glorious cause by the Kingdom of Tiahuanaco. But before Attila raged across the Steppe, the gods of the underworld smote the extravagance of the Roman Empire. Raphael took the brunt of the Huns attacks as Craig pushed for dominance of China and India.
The hoped-for Byzantines failed to appear which brought us to Kevin’s Tang. Joining the fun was the Anglo-Saxons to gain him some much needed presence in the West. The Tang were able to eventually dominate China and to add some presence in Southeast Asia.
Patti was finally able to unleash her pent-up frustration with the Arabs sporting the power of a Jihading Leader. Such power is hard to harness with the Jihad fervor being lost early and the leader dying not long after that. North Africa and Southern Europe are brought under her dominance after much bloodshed. A 20 point turn only heightens the frustration in the land of Purple.
Roberto has been relegated to going last with the Khmer. The limited options presented by the small empire strength is partially offset by his use of Expert Mountain troops to storm into Szechuan on his way to the Tang capital of Chang-An. The play of Engineering hopefully will help him to solidify his gains. There was still enough Yellow presence on the board for Roberto to collect his second straight preeminence marker! The situation was becoming unbearable.
Roberto Fournier 85, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 79, Kevin Breza 72, Craig Yope 67, Patti Swift 53, Joe Collinson 49.
Craig plays an unsupported Franks first, dominating Southern Europe. Patti takes a Viking to North America, with a Crusade and kingdom in Mali. Roberto still has solid board presence as his unsupported Chola dominate India and have presence everywhere but Europe and Middle East. Kevin works with a vulnerable Sung Dynasty, dominating China/India/SE Asia, with Treachery helping to insure conquest. Raphael chooses the Seljuk Turks to receive Weaponry, falling short with only dominance of India/SE Asia. Joe climbs out of the caboose with minor empire Fujiwara controlling Nippon, and Expert Forrest Mongols that dominate China/Middle East. (no Holy Roman Empire)
Yope: With the field spread out along the score track there was a serious amount of discussion as to who should end up with which empire. The various board presence and tough order of appearance for certain empires, made picking the “victim” for the passing of an empire excruciating. Hoping for certain empires to come out to do the dirty work of cleaning out other players makes for great drama.
In what seemed to be the theme of the History of the World event, Roberto was forced to pass an empire to Craig. This time it was the Franks. In return Craig made it his mission to remove the last vestiges of Yellow presence in Southern Europe. Dominance of Southern Europe and Eurasia highlight this lackluster turn.
Patti then had the privilege of playing the Vikings. Before that though the Kingdom of Mali and Crusaders entered the fray. The Crusades were able to clear Roberto out of the Middle East which was hailed by all at the table. Unfortunately, a tactical oversight cost a couple of Viking units in a frontal attack across the straights into a fortified Baltic Seaboard before she landed in the Lower Rhine and hit it from the West.
No Holy Roman Empire meant it was time for Roberto’s Chola. With little board presence left and few units at his disposal, Roberto concentrated on dominance of India. Three capitals in play helped buoy his score and kept him in the lead.
Kevin’s Sung Dynasty is highly successfully in China, Southeast Asia, and India (aided by Treachery in the Ganges Delta). Dominance in the East more than makes up for nothing in Europe and rockets him up the standings by 30 points.
The highly Weaponized Seljuk Turks controlled by Raphael were able to wrest back dominance of India and Southeast Asia on their way to sacking the Sung capital of Kaifeng. That quietly put him into third place and in a prime striking position moving forward.
Now was the time for Joe to capitalize with his Mongol hordes. The Fujiwara minor empire was first to go seizing Honshu and fortifying Hokkaido. Expert Forest Troops are a key component of the push down through China into Southeast Asia and India. Control of Nippon to go along with dominance of the Middle East, China, Northern Europe, and North America help fuel a 38-point turn. A much-needed infusion of scoring to get him back into contention.
Roberto Fournier 108, Kevin Breza 102, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 101, Craig Yope 91, Joe Collinson 87, Patti Swift 75.
Craig once more leads off with the Ming Dynasty, using Civil Service in an effort to control China and force other players to work back in. Raphael also uses Civil Service with the Timurid Emirates but fails to dominate in any area, only scoring 18. For climbing out of the cellar, Joe is rewarded with IncaAztecs – with only one epoch to go and three event cards, Joe uses Leader for Montezuma and domination of the Americas. Patti follows a Black Death with minor empire Safavids, marching the Ottoman Turks towards India but not quite making it. Kevin manages presence everywhere except SE Asia with Spain, a Leader and Weaponry, including India domination. Roberto closes the penultimate epoch with the Mughals, a Disaster and kingdom Thai. (no Portugal)
Yope: Another interesting round of empire draws sees Patti keeps in hopes of digging herself out of the last place hole that she inhabits. Three chit Roberto gets stuck with what is hopefully the Mughals and Craig is once again in a quandary as to which of the other top contenders gets what he pulled. Raphael lost this round.
All this led to Craig beginning the epoch with the Ming Dynasty. Civil Service coins helped the Ming to a very profitable turn of five monuments bring the top subtotal to 10 points and total control of China bringing the overall turn score to 36 points. A brief return to leader status looked better than it was.
The Timurid Emirates was Raphael’s prize for having been the Seljuk Turks to previous epoch. Even the addition of coins from Civil Service wasn’t enough to overcome the hard sledding associated with a dedicated push into China. An 18-point turn put a serious dent in his championship hopes.
Next was the interesting case of Joe ending up the Aztec/Incas. The Mongol board presence in China had been annihilated by the Ming earlier in the turn. Even with that being the case the three capitals coupled with six areas of dominance or control sparked a 40-point turn. A temporary tie for first with Craig.
The stage was set for Patti to do big things. The Black Death made an appearance, with lackluster results. She rolled out the Safavids to compliment her Ottoman Turks. The Safavids helped her regain dominance in the Middle East but failed to gain presence in India. While the Ottomans regain her dominance of Southern Europe it’s a costly endeavor that robs her of a chance to dominate Northern Europe or move east to get into China or India. A 30-point turn closes the gap but leaves one wanting more. Will it be enough to position her for a strong final turn?
Kevin throws down the gauntlet by bringing out Leader and Weaponry for Spain. Good choices all over the board gets him dominance in India and presence everywhere except Southeast Asia. 12 points on the top highlighted by five cities and five monuments runs the turn total to 37 points.
Roberto finishes up with the Mughals that he richly deserved. But first Disaster strikes Kevin in multiple locations to cut down on his stash of monuments. Then the Kingdom of Thai rallies to the men of mustard. The Mughals concentrate on India, but they do get him back into China. It’s enough to stay close to Kevin but not enough to deny him his second preeminence marker.
Kevin Breza 139, Roberto Fournier 129, Craig Yope 127 (9), Joe Collinson 127 (4), Raphael Philibert-Larivee 119, Patti Swift 105.
Raphael's Russia is first, including Japanese minor empire and Leader, but control of Nippon and domination of Northern Europe, China and SE Asia will not be enough. Joe too goes early, but Reallocation and Naval Power will not help the Manchu much, and China, N America, S America, Nippon, and S Africa dominance will not score high enough to take the lead. Epoch VI leader Roberto uses Reallocation and Expert Troops Straights with the Netherlands, and will have to rely on previous chits, gaining dominance in only India and N America. Patti champions France, including Reallocation, but European dominance and even control of Australia will fall short. Craig is given USA, even with Weaponry and Leader, cannot contend. Kevin finishes with Germany, who lead a Jewish Revolt and Allies, having presence nearly everywhere to maintain the lead – which should mean victory? (No Britain)
Yope: Patti has first pick and gives to Roberto. Raphael gives to Kevin- it better be the United States. Joe pulls and seriously agonizes over the choice. He finally decides to keep it. Craig draws and gives it to Raphael. Roberto then picks and ends up sending it over to Patti. Finally, it is Kevin with the choice between the last two cards to then give one to Craig.
Raphael is first to play as the Russians. Japan is the last minor empire to come out and it’s able to gain control of Nippon. With China and Nippon secured, Russia turns its eyes upon the lush lands of Northern Europe. The destruction only ends after dominance is gained by marching all the way to Albion. 11 points up top leads the way to a respectable 43-point turn.
Joe shows his choice of the Manchu and the hopes of a naval power by keeping back Reallocation and Naval Power. The few coins help with thrusts into Nippon, China, and finally the move into Southeast Asia. That work and a good board presence produced a 44-point turn. That moves him into a nice position to maybe get his first preeminence marker of the game.
Now we find out that Roberto was stuck with runt of the last epoch. Netherlands at least has Reallocation to make good those precious five units available for expansion. Amazingly, he was quite successfully without using up those coins. Which then set the stage for some major Dutch entrenchment. Whoever ended up being the United States would have to deal with a heavily fortified Deep South. And Germany would have to face forts in The Hague. A 35 point turn placed Roberto seven points back of Joe, but he still had three preeminence markers yet to be revealed.
Patti reveals the other half of the trade with Roberto when she shows that she has France. The play of Reallocation allows her to gather a handful of precious replacements for the turn. Enduring board presence in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe allowed her to concentrate in dominating Northern Europe and China. Judicious use of other units gained presence in India and Nippon. And those wayward Migrants were finally put to good use in controlling Australia. Four capitals and seven monuments propelled the structures area of the score sheet to 17 points! A bottom section of 38 points brought the total turn score to 55.
With three powers left in the queue but only two players yet to go things were about to get interesting. When Britain was asked for and didn’t show, that left Craig to reveal the United States. Weaponry and Leader were put into play but that didn’t make things easy by a long shot. Remember that Dutch fort in the Deep South? Decision time for Craig. Hit it straight on with the idea of getting across the continent in two moves or go the long way across the northern route using three units. With the power of a plus one and three dice, the need for points on the other side of the Pacific made the southern route the way to go. Multiple lost units and a dead leader proved otherwise by the time the Pacific Seaboard was reached. Isolated landings in Asia are but a mere pittance to what could have been. The typical “kick in the plums” that only the United States can apply when playing History of the World.
That sets the scene for Kevin’s Germany to make a final push for glory. With a Jewish Revolt brewing in Palestine and a few Allies coming along for the ride, Germany proceed to dominate Northern Europe, regain presence in Southern Europe, and take Moscow as he crosses Eurasia to step into China. A pedestrian 35-point turn is more than enough to maintain the lead and gain a third preeminence marker.
Editor Note- Craig Yope here (your humble assistant GM and finals commentary author)! It wasn’t until later, after all the dust had settled, that I came to the realization that Kevin made the biggest choice of the game in the last epoch’s draw empires phase. He was the last to choose a card. At that point he wasn’t picking for himself but for me. He chose the United States and the rest is history - the other card that was there for the picking was Britain! Oh, what a cruel mistress Fate can be. The damage I could have done with a Leader and Weaponry. But that’s the beauty of History of the World. And I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Game End: Kevin Breza 174, Joe Collinson 171, Roberto Fournier 164, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 162, Patti Swift 160, Craig Yope 152.
Preeminence chits: Kevin three for 14, Roberto three for 11 and Craig one for 4.
Final Scores: Kevin Breza 188, Roberto Fournier 175, Joe Collinson 171, Raphael Philibert-Larivee 162, Patti Swift 160, Craig Yope 156.
Congratulations to a new Champion!
A spread of 32 from first-to-worst was slightly below the average of 35.6 for the year. Kevin's 188 final score was the third-lowest of the tournament, only a handful of games won below 190 the past few years.
Many, Many 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 2020 tournament. Each player will receive one Minor Empire, one and only one, in their Greater Event card set of three.