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Through the Ages (AGE) PBeM Event Reports Updated March 21, 2022.
 
 

2021 PBeM Tournament

Thirty-eight participants played 61 games in this year’s TTA PBEM tournament, which was run using CzechGames’s tournament interface for the first time. The CGE interface allowed for balanced seating in the latter rounds, automatic game creation, easy checks on tournament progress, and automated results into standings. Also new this year were a consistent format throughout all rounds (4 games each, weighted 10-6-3-1), a strict 16 players in the seeded semifinals, and new rules when players are replaced by bots.

In the heats, Mike Turian lead the way with three wins and a second, while Ryan Feathers, Jason Leggett, and Steve LeWinter each had two wins and two seconds and rounded out the top 4. Kevin Warrender set the high score with 375 culture, and finished the round with 23 tournament points, taking the 16th and final spot in the semifinals on tiebreaker over the GM, who managed to sabotage himself with all the new rules introduced in this year’s tournament.

In the semifinals, everyone faced all the other semifinalists except for those in their quartile in the heats standings. Steve LeWinter was the star of this semis, with three outright wins and a tie for 1st/2nd, and the high score of the round with 273 culture. Jason Leggett was just behind with three wins and a second. Joining them in the finals were Galen Loram, Randy Buehler, Eric Freeman, Michael Thiessen, and Mike Turian, who made it in with 20 tournament points plus tiebreaker over Sceadeau d’Tela.

Finals report by Galen:

The finals of the Through The Ages tournament featured a whole range of exciting games that somehow all turned out okay for me. In one of them, only knight tactics were played and despite desperate attempts to stay within strength range, aggression after aggression landed. I finally was lucky enough to give up my sovereignty to Randy and be a bit sheltered from attacks and safe from wars; Watt flipped an early oil which let me build up which, when combined with a Mech ag, let me stabilize and grab wonders while not being part of the wars flying left and right, and sneak out a win. Another one featured a random early printing press and Jan Zizka to get a nice culture lead early and endure some abuse later on; Mike and I had symbiotic civilizations and a big enough culture gap between us that our impacts together took him from fourth to third and me from second to first. One other game featured a nice military and Jason realizing that I was in the driver’s seat, and that playing for second was his best play - sending a military alliance my way to direct my hostilities other ways. The other game was just a “first seat doing first seat” things - the built in advantage of going first was enough to make the game go reasonably smoothly.

The CGE tournament system was a huge boon. We could see where we were relative to other games in terms of progress and everyone in the last game was sweet enough to speed up play in order to ensure that we could finish the tournament on time. Beyond that, having seat order balanced and a bit of seeding in the semis based on the heats was really great - definitely things that I hope to see in the future! Thanks to all the participants and organizer for a great tournament, and I hope to give defending my crown for a three-peat next year a try!

Congratulations to Galen Loram for winning both of his first two BPA TTA tournaments! Will anyone be able to challenge him? Next tournament will start in spring 2022.

The final standings were:

  1. Galen Loram
  2. Michael Thiessen
  3. Michael Turian
  4. Steven LeWinter
  5. Jason Leggett
  6. Eric Freeman

 

2020 PBeM Tournament

Forty-five participants played in 65 games to crown Galen Loram PBeM champion for 2020.

Controversy erupted in the very last of the 65 games of Through The Ages that it took to crown this year's PBEM winner. Ricky Boyes found himself in the unenviable position of having two different wars pointed at him as the game wound down in Age IV, and he didn't have enough strength to defend himself. He knew he would be finishing last in the game (and thus 3rd in the overall event), but that did not mean he was out of moves. Ricky had an opinion about who he wanted to see win the game, and he decided that it was Allan Jiang's fault he got knocked down to last and so he would deny all the victory points he could to AJ. Ricky fired all his military workers, weakening himself so that when the first war resolved DJ Borton would clean him out of culture and there would be none left to give to AJ when the second war resolved. As a result, DJ won the game instead of Allan. And as a result of that, Allan came up just short of defending his PBEM title from last year, with Galen Randall Loram taking the crown instead.

Should there be a rule against deliberately losing a war by as much as possible? Maybe, but there isn't right now. It's rare that true "kingmaking" scenarios like this come up in Through The Ages (and there's some well-established etiquette around Honorable Withdrawals before Age IV which covers some of the ones that do), but that's just what happened here, and in Ricky's words "2 players attacked me, I chose to give the points to the player that did not set up my vulnerability. As kingmaking situations go it's pretty justified." The GM would be interested in hearing opinions about whether a rule should be added saying that this behavior should be considered unsportsmanlike and/or illegal.

Meanwhile, congratulations go out to a relative newcomer to the Through The Ages scene. Galen started playing AGE barely a year ago and I'm pretty sure this is his very first BPA event. First event, first laurels, and they are first place laurels. Looks like there is a new shark in town!

Laurelists are:

  • Galen Loram 1st
  • Allan Jiang 2nd
  • Ricky Boyes 3rd
  • Jason Leggett 4th>
  • Michael Thiessen 5th
  • Andrew Norgren 6th

 

2019 PBeM Tournament

Allan Jiang has unified the title belts and demonstrated impressive mastery in Through The Ages. The reigning (2-time) WBC champion led the field at every stage of the annual PBEM tournament: He was the only one of the 35 runners to win all 3 of his heats. Then he was the only semifinalist to win 3 of his 4 semifinal games. Things were a little closer in the finals, where Allan's two wins (in 4 games) was equaled by Michael Thiessen and Aran Warszawski, but Aran managed only a 3rd and a 4th in his other two games and while Michael put up the same "1 2nd and 1 3rd" performance as Allan, the tiebreaker was points from the semifinal round and so Allan claimed the overall title.

Here’s is Allan’s own impression of the finals round: “The finals were an absolute slugfest, with probably the most amount of military action I've seen in any Meeple League-style group I've played in. There were about 8 successful attacks in each of my games, and in my games alone all the finalists both won and lost military battles. I heard that military was also key in two games I wasn't in: Ryan won G2 with a War over Culture and good endgame scoring, and Aran won G4 after making many attacks during the game (mostly directed at Matthew, who was the unfortunate victim of a disproportionate number of attacks in the finals). I have no idea about the other game (G7). Looping back to my games, I won G1 with good endgame scoring, Aran won G3 with military dominance throughout the game, and Michael won G5 with two late wars.

Perhaps the craziest game I was involved in was G6. I went back through the log and recorded all of the attacks afterwards because of how dramatic it was:

  1. Mike Plundered me for 3 resources
  2. Matthew launched a War over Territory on Ryan for 4 tokens
  3. Matthew continued his assault on Ryan, stealing Warfare and 4 science in a War over Technology
  4. I got revenge on Mike with a War over Technology that netted his Navigation and 5 science
  5. In the midst of my war on him, Mike declared a War over Culture on Ryan
  6. During both of those wars, Matthew Raided Ryan's 2 Bread and Circuses and looted them for 3 resources
    • *On my next turn, Civil Unrest happened, which wiped out all the culture that Ryan had since the loss of those Bread and Circuses made his population very unhappy. He then resigned during Mike's War over Culture, which led to Mike actually getting MORE culture than not resigning! I've never seen that before!
  7. I Infiltrated Mike, forcibly removing his leader Bill Gates
  8. I Warred Matthew for 12 culture
  9. I hit Mike with a War over Culture for 33 culture

Congratulations once again to Allan, and look for next year’s installment of this event to get cranked up sometime around January.

 

2018 PBeM Tournament

32 runners signed up for the first ever Through The Ages PBEM event. Everyone played 3 4-player games during the heat stage, and 16 picked up the one win that was required to advance to the playoffs. 3 games each in the semifinal stage sorted the remaining field and the cut to the top 7 was incredibly tight, with tiebreakers required to separate 7th from 8th while a pair or perennial WBC final table players (Sceadeau d’Tela and Randy Buehler) also found themselves on the outside looking in because one semifinal win was not good enough to secure a spot in the finals.

The 7 finalists were placed into 4 games each, with each other finalist appearing in exactly 2 of them, and everyone getting each starting position once. Winning a game was worth 10 points, 2nd was worth 6, 3rd 3, and last place earned just 1 point. (This is the same schedule and format that was worked out by the Meeple League and is used for each group in their leagues.) Reigning WBC champion Allan Jiang had to be the favorite going into the final round, but he was only able to win 1 of his four games outright (he also tied for first in another). Throw in a 2nd and a 4th and Allan had to settle for 2nd place laurels overall. Andreas Kroll was also able to win two, but he finished last in his other two so was only able to claim 3rd place laurels overall. Aran Warszawksi and semifinal stage winner Robb Effinger won one game each and took 4th and 5th overall. (Somehow there were two 1st place ties amongst the 7 games played in the finals, so there were 9 “wins” spread around the 7 finalists. There were no ties for any position in any other game played during the tournament!)

The first game to finish in the final round was also the most lopsided, with John Corrado claiming a 133-93-76-40 win over Haim Hoihbaum. After that John had quite a long sweat as the other results took 6 weeks to trickle in, but John also won the second game that was reported (by 17 over Allan) so he had a decent-sized lead throughout the finals. A 3rd place in his 3rd game (just 1 point out of 2nd) didn’t do John any favors, but when he won his 4th game (by 9 over Jon Senn) he took a nice lead into the clubhouse with him. 33 points is a lot of points in this format. It’s not completely unbeatable, but once all the dust finally on this event, no one was even close. John was the only one to win 3 of his 4 games, and he took the title and the 1st place laurels by fully 8 points (33-25 over Allan).

Congratulations to our 2018 champion: John Corrado!

Meanwhile, the 2019 tournament is already being planned, and it will use the new (and quite good) app that Czech games has put out on iOS, Android, and Steam. We hope to see you there!