The 2017-2018 PBEM Tzolkin tournament is completed. Like last year, we had twenty-eight players, which worked out to give us all four player games. Unlike last year, we introduced on new rule, which was that in the semifinal and final games, some handicaps were applied to help address perceived player order imbalances. The first player’s score was reduced by 5 points and the fourth player raised by 2 points. This was in lieu of bidding, which would have been very difficult to implement in the online format. The adjustments only changed one result (switching two players between 3rd and 4th places), so the impact was pretty minimal this time.
Strategies that max out the Resource and Architecture tracks are still very popular and successful. The next most successful strategy was Theology . (Indeed, four of the five semifinal/final games were won with a Theology strategy.) We also saw a number of players using just the Resources track, or Resources combined with Theology. We only had one Agriculture win, and no wins that avoided technology entirely.
There were no perfect records this year, but Keith emerged from with the highest ranking with 5 wins and one second place. The players going into the final were David Borton, Gordon Rodgers, Keith Dent, and newcomer to the tournament, Allan Jiang.
For the final, all players started out a decent amount of corn (9+). David had a little less “stuff”, but 1 level in Architecture, while Allan started with fewer resources, but had 1 step each on the brown and green temples.
The starting monuments were:
- 2 per building/monument
- 4 per corn tile
- 4 per monument
- 4 per green building
- 4 per blue building
- 9/20/33/33 for reaching level 3 techs
Gordon started off, placing all three workers on Uxmal. Over the first quarter of the game, he gained two additional workers and climbed two steps on the Resources track. David got one worker and also gained two steps on the Resources track, with the help of some buildings. Keith acquired all the levels in Resources and 1 building. Allan got two workers and gathered resources, and was the only one to get a bonus on Food Day (a single stone).
In the second quarter of the game, Gordon started using Tikal 5 (2 temple levels for 1 resource), hitting it four times. David got another worker along with 1 level each in Resources and Architecture. Keith snagged all three of his remaining workers. Allan studied all three levels of Theology, grabbed three skulls (Theology level 4 and Yaxchilan 5) and claimed three spaces on Chichen Itza. In the mid-game scoring, Gordon led with 21 temple points and Allan was just behind with 18 points.
In the third quarter, Gordon hit Tikal 5 once more and got a farm building. David got his last Architecture level, built four buildings in same turn, and a bit later got the Technology monument. Keith ran up all three levels of Architecture, eventually building eight (!) buildings and the monument (2/bldg&monument). Allan got more skulls and claimed two higher spaces on Chichen Itza. On Food Day, both Allan and Gordon got decent amounts of resources, including a skull.
In the last quarter, Gordon used his skull to snag the top Chichen Itza spot, and hit Tikal 5 one more time, also getting a couple of blue buildings to push up in temples a bit more. David got two more buildings, the monument for four per blue building, all three levels in Agriculture (to pump up his earlier monument) and hit level 4 of Architecture a couple of times. Keith bought two monuments (4/monument and 4/green), one more building, and managed to get one skull out. Allan bought the 4/corn monument, got two more skulls on Chichen Itza, and even managed to get a couple more skulls for points.
At temple scoring, Allan was now in the lead with 37 points, while Gordon had 31, and the others much less. Keith dominated the monument scoring with 70 points, David had 50, while Allan had 24. Allan also had over 10 points in leftover resources. But the biggest scores came during the game, where Allan had gotten 7 of the 9 skull placements for over 50 points, along with all the temple scoring that brought on. In the end, he had gotten 136 points with his Theology strategy, while Keith’s Resources/Architecture/Monuments got 110. David and Gordon were much further back with David getting a slight edge with his two monuments over Gordon’s temple scoring.
- Allan Jiang
- Keith Dent
- David Borton
- Gordon Rodgers
- Ben Scholl
- Blair Morgen
Thanks for playing! Let me know if you want to play again next year.