history of the world with bidding

HWB   
    19-24   10-15
    18-23    9-14    
   

  Maryland III    Maryland Assembly    Garden

Harald Henning, CT

1998 Champion
2nd: James Pei, TX
3rd: Kevin Wojtaszczyk, NY
4th: Mike Destro, NJ
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    James Pei      35
1997    Bill Crenshaw      34
1998    Harald Henning      41
AREA Ratings
1    Bruce Monnin      1618
2    Timothy Greene      1601
3    Gordon Bliss      1593
4    George Young      1592
5    William Crenshaw      1571
6    Lauren Hickok      1570
7    Craig Dudley      1569
8    Kathy Stroh      1562
9    Ross Edwards      1561
10    Mark Giddings      1555

Bring on the accountants ...

History of the World w/ bidding is a variant that brings a dynamic element to this excellent game. Instead of waiting for the distribution of empire cards at the start of each Epoch, each player bids for the current empires. No longer are you dependent on the whims of other players, each player significantly gains more control over selection of his empires. By elimination of this lucky element, fate rests squarely in the hands the players. With each empire open to all players, equity is introduced.

The basic concept is that at the start of each Epoch the players secretly bid for a given empire. Empires are taken by the highest bids. Ties are broken by whoever has the higher bids for any other empire. The minimum bid is an empire's Strength Points (SP). For each claimed empire, the player's Victory Points are reduced by the amount of the empire's SP. Although a bid
of zero is permissible, the empire's SP is still deducted from the bidder's score.

Bidding brings to HWD a better, more controlled, and subtle way of playing. Players can now plan their own campaigns with their event cards. Destiny is theirs for the making. Now, players can blame no one but themselves. For a complete description of the (scanned) bidding rule from General Vol. 29-1, pg 26, please email the GM.

The tournament last year showed an encouraging sign that people were starting to appreciate the finer points of the bidding method as 41 would-be conquerors vied for the championship, over half of whom were newcomers to this event. In the first Heat, three games were played. Mike Destro bested the defending champion, Bill Crenshaw, who got off to a rocky start and was never able to recover. Hmmm, maybe there is a trend here. All past defending champions have been pounded unmercifully into the ground. Assistant GM, Joe Lux, who started this wonderful tournament four years ago, played in his first tournament game and came out the winner at his table. He won despite being a bit rusty and competing against several of last yearís finalists. The last table saw several newcomers competing against old veterans, with newcomer Harald Henning emerging the winner.

The second Heat featured five games. At table 1, Robert Navolis edged out others by following in the footsteps of the great Middle Eastern empires of Persia, Arabs, and the Ottomans. Table 2 saw the experienced play of Kevin Wojtaszczyk, who bid wisely, staying close to the leaders until the end when he vaulted into first place with the backing of the Spanish Armada. Table 3 saw another veteran, GM James Pei, whose fanatical Arab armies spread the teachings of the Prophet into a strong win. Table 4 witnessed an amazing run by another newcomer, Robert Sohn, who scored a record-breaking 86 points with Great Britain. Robert barely scraped by Keith Altizer who was sitting in the driver seat behind his Mongol hordes. I guess that's one reason why the sun never sets on the British Empire. Veteran John Weber won the last table, whose Celts scored more points than the Romans, Arabs, and the Mongols.

One observation was noted from the past and present games played. The person who bids high for the Roman Empire rarely wins. The bids this year ranged from a high of 43 to a low of 33 points. Out of a total of eight games played in two Heats, only one Roman player won (with a bid of 34). The reason may have been that Mike Destro's Roman legions were followed by waves of Arab horsemen and later, Spanish conquistadors. This just shows that over-bidding for any great empire, even the mighty Romans, is not a viable strategy. Granted, the strategy is to snowball the points again early in the following Epoch. But too many things can go wrong, including not being able to go first in the next Epoch. At the same time, everybody is targeting you as the leader and promptly sacks you.

The final was a tight game. The scores were well balanced throughout, all within a narrow range of each other. Everyone had a chance of grabbing the plaque going into the sixth Epoch. Robert Sohn made the fateful mistake of not snowballing the Mongols with any early Epoch VI empires. Even the Incas would have helped. Instead, he wound up with the Mughals. Thereafter, his fortune was doomed and he came in 6th place. Joe Lux committed another type of sinful mistake of forgetting to play his event cards correctly. His biggest error was forgetting to play the Mayans, which cost him a potential 19 points and he finished 5th. Mike Destro tried to use his Roman strategy again, but this table of finalists was not going to let him snowball his points so easily. He made a last desperate attempt with the British Empire, but came up short with a 4th place finish. Kevin Wojtaszczyk did not realized until too late that he bid incorrectly for Epoch VI. His pieces were everywhere but in China. Instead of bidding for the Ming, he bid for Portugal and settled for 33 points, when he could have had nearly 50. He finished 3rd .

James Pei looked like he might be the winner as his two Turkish empires presented a strong presence across the board. By going first with Russia, he ensured that his presence would gain him enough points for a commanding lead. Only a miracle would dethrone him. Enter Harald Henning, who had been using the low ball bidding strategy, picking up empires at a bargain and still managing to score respectfully. He still refused to bid high in Epoch VII, and so got stuck with Germany with the minimum bid. Not resigned to his bad choice, he displayed an amazing determination by methodically attacking all potential high scoring places. Leading his fanatical stosstruppen, Harald blasted his way to victory, winning every single battle. He shattered another record, scoring 53 points with Germany, barely edging out James for the championship.

 GM      James Pei  [3rd Year]   6406 Avery Island, Austin, TX 78727
    pzhannibal@aol.com   (512) 249-7006

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