Debut Wood ...
John Weber and Dave Bohnenberger give
it a spin.
Maly has his blocks in a row.
The bane of the new block game:
putting on the labels.
At least its not counter clipping.
Turnout for the first Sekigahara tournament was encouraging
and earned a spot in the Century with its impressive debut. It
was all done on Monday, from demo to Final. Thanks to Lyman Moquin
and Greg Schmittgens for their able assistance as AGM's.
We played three swiss rounds, and all who won their third round
took home an 'honor prize' (in most cases a copy of the game)
regardless of their early-round performance. The top four advanced
to a semifinal. Three of the semifinalists had run the table,
while the fourth had lost one match by a single point.
semifinals were decided by the elimination of a protagonist:
Rob Winslow won his as Tokugawa, while Daniel Hoffman did his
as Ishida. In the Final, both played the side they had won previously,
Rob making a bid of two for Tokugawa.
Daniel's Ishida forces had first move and used it to onboard
three Kobayakawa blocks and consolidate a northern army. Rob's
Tokugawa responded by advancing on both northern castles. Next
Ishida assembled his Kyoto army and chased the Kiyosu force down
The second week featured sieges at both of Ishida's semi-abandoned
northern castles and a battle in Takeda where Ishida's northern
force was confronted by an army out of Kanazawa. In the game's
first turning point, Tokugawa played four Maeda cards to deploy
his whole force and completely eliminate the Ishida stack. Ishida
lost his northern army, but he used his excess cards to recruit
four Mori blocks into Osaka, and at the same time gained control
of the western castles.
The third week brought success in both of Tokugawa's northern
sieges, and an Ishida strike on Kanazawa -- this time from the
west. Like the first battle, it was a surprise Tokugawa victory,
fueled by three loyalty challenges, two of which were successful.
Ishida had now lost ten blocks, while Tokugawa only three.
The fourth week brought a Tokugawa strike against the remnants
of Ishida's force that attacked Kanazawa. Tokugawa deployed three
cavalry, all with special attacks, for another victory. To this
point, Tokugawa had dominated the game. Ishida had more cards
but few troops. His only chance might be to eliminate Tokugawa,
so he took his best shot. He threw a 6-block army down the Nakasendo
against Tokugawa Ieyasu's 7 blocks. Though both sides knew he
was there, Rob conspicuously held Tokugawa back from early deployment.
Tokugawa had played all four challenge cards, which Ishida understood
to mean that no deployment could be challenged -- he was thus
free to deploy to the full extent of his cards. Ishida won this
battle, but Tokugawa himself escaped the trap.
By the end of the week, Tokugawa was safe in Ueda castle, and
a major group of Tokugawa reinforcements had landed in Kiyosu
and led to renewed fighting on the Tokaido highway.
Tokugawa launched a three-pronged offensive as week 5 began,
advancing from Kanazawa, Ueda (with Tokugawa himself) and Kiyosu.
The first battle joined was a failure, however, when Ishida refuted
the Kiyosu force. The second battle was more successful, when
eight blocks (including Tokugawa) defeated an Ishida force of
seven at Gifu castle by an impact score of 27-22. At just four
losses to three, this was not a decisive result.
Ishida rallied all the armies he could gather to strike back
on Tokugawa's army, and won the second conflict with a double
cavalry deployment, knocking three more blocks off the Tokugawa
stack. Tokugawa himself was now very exposed, one of just two
remaining units in the eight-block force that had once attacked
To save Tokugawa, Rob needed to win initiative as week 6 began.
Tokugawa generally has an edge in initiative, but this case was
different. Dan still had an Ishida loyalty challenge card, whereas
all the Tokugawa loyalty challenges had been played in combat.
Winning initiative, Ishida seized first move and pounced on Tokugawa's
fleeing stack. With the elimination of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the game
The match had been exceptionally well played, especially for
a debut event. Tokugawa's early dominance in battles near Kanazawa
was balanced by Ishida's later success on the Tokaido and Nakasendo
highways. Dan showed resilience in weathering Tokugawa's early
victories and turning the tide.
Dan is also notable for winning four of his five games by eliminating
Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the whole tournament, Ishida Mitsunari was
killed 16 times, Tokugawa Ieyasu 15. Most games were decided
by instant wins.
Tom Drueding and Nick Pei have got
their blocks together.
GM and designer supported the event
with cool extra prizes.