2019 - Innovation’s first year as a Century event! Whoo. With attendance up 25% over last year, we should maintain century status for next year as well! Huzzah!
Again, we used the 3rd edition, and again, between half and two-thirds of games were played on that edition - although, we did have one second-edition game played this year (the least-preferred edition, due to a couple of accidental functional changes to a couple of the cards in the printing) - so please, bring your game to the event, or we may have to start turning people away.
The new format of pods->SE worked reasonably well, despite my own scattered-brained execution of it. Thanks to the players for bearing with me - hopefully I’ll manage to creating pairings/a bracket smoothly one year. One issue that did come up was that the sudden-death timed “adjudication” method seems particularly punishing in close games that have reached age 10 - that, combined with other criticisms against it make me very inclined to change it for next year. If you have any thoughts about a better system, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Thanks again to AGMs Chris Kizer and Andy Latto for helping do timekeeping on games that required it. In addition, we had 5 games in round 1 that needed adjudication, which is just too many, so I should probably also give even more time for round 1 - it’s often the slowest round, as players do more shuffling and shake off the rust.
We played 101 games of Innovation this year! Win breakdown by type - 74 wins on Achievements, 8 by score, 2 Globalization (both from the same pod!), 1 Empiricism and 1 Bio-Engineering. We also had a record 15 unknown/unrecorded/lost scoresheets victories. I will work on making the score sheet clearer to report with next year :).
The finals this year was Eric Meader against me, Robb Effinger. Many thanks to Chris Kizer for taking notes during the final, and allowing me to focus on the game! Yet another reason Chris should win AGM of the year (and another reason to attend the game he actually GMs, Star Wars Rebellion).
Eric started with Tools, and Robb with The Wheel, so Robb started the game rolling. Eric drew twice, setting up his tool shop. Robb Wheeled once, and then played Masonry. Eric ran tools into Optics, and used Optics to spot some paper. Robb’s Masonry built an early Monument, and also brought down some archery, which was used (?). Eric continued using Optics to find Machinery, then Alchemy, all unfortunately lacking coins, and so Eric is forced to give Robb his only 3 points. Robb ran Domestication twice, melding Pottery and Medicine (?), Eric Optics into Engineering, covering Optics, and then decides to “share” Alchemy with Robb - giving him 2 cards to his 1. Neither experiment explodes, so both players get a 4 on board, and Robb gets enough points to achieve the 1 on his next turn, which he does. Robb is up 2-0.
On his second action, Robb continues to use the Wheel. Eric uses Paper to splay his blues, and gets a 4, then a second 4. Robb adds Clothing to his tableaux, and uses the Leaves to run Anatomy, returning Eric’s Engineering. Eric, sensing he’s behind, experiments more with Alchemy - he gains Invention and 4 points on the first experiment, but explodes on the second. Robb’s Anatomy forces the return of those 4 points and Invention, however, and then Robb uses Pottery to preserve a mere 1 point. Eric continues experimenting... And unfortunately explodes again, and then Eric decides that just drawing a 4 is a safer action. Robb uses Pottery to gain another point, and then achieves the 2 as his second action.
Eric once again runs Alchemy, gaining Enterprise and 4 points, and then draws a 4 with his second action... However, Robb’s Anatomy cuts away those gains, and Pottery preserves 2 points. Eric draws two more 4s, Robb Pots two more 2s. Eric runs Alchemy, twice, emptying the 4 deck, and melding Colonialism and Invention while scoring 8 more points. Robb draws a five, and then Anatomy’s away Invention. Eric spends two actions drawing 4s. Robb runs anatomy, and achieves the 3. Eric goes digging for a solution, and draws two more 4s. Robb runs Pottery twice. Eric now Alchemy’s into the 5 deck, and finds Astronomy... Which he uses to find Emancipation. Robb achieves the 4 and uses Pottery to score 2 more points. Eric continues to gaze into the heavens for a solution - Astronomy finds the Metric System and then Industrialization, and whiffs at finding a Blue/Green on the second attempt. Robb uses Pottery twice more. Eric tries Astronomy at the last, but misses on his first attempt, and only finds Encyclopedia on his second. Robb melds the Pirate Code and achieves the 5, for his 6th achievement, and 3rd Innovation plaque. Eric earns second place, and Geoff Pounder, back at WBC this year, lost to Robb in the semis and finished third… but this year second and third also gets wood, so he too achieved his third piece of wood with “Innovation” written on it. Congrats everyone, and thanks for coming out and making the tournament a success!