Rebounding Civilizations ...
Roberto Fournier, Tammy Wyatts,
York Dobyns and Joe Delaney use a rare map.
Rex Lehman, Christina Harley,
Rachael Day, Kevin Youells and William Kendrick
Wayne Saunders, Jon Anderson
and Doug Galullo
Elisa Hoeger, Bill Banks, Trella
Bromley and Jennifer Visocnik
2013 was a watershed year for ACV. Kinderhook added
enhanced lighting, air conditioning, and a fan, so the room was
much more comfortable than in the past. It was also much fuller.
Whether it was caused by additional exposure from the PBeM tournament,
or the general increase in attendance at the con, or the GM's
sterling reputation (ahem), our event grew 50%. This turnout
was the highest in 21 years, and the second largest ACV tournament
32 appeared for the first heat. This very pleasant surprise
yielded four full 8-player games. The day's winners were Christina
Harley (Thrace), Steve Spisak (Assyria), Ron Clement (Assyria),
and defending champion Doug Galullo (Iberia). Ron posted the
highest score of the day, as he put up 4664 en route to a 558
point win in one of the three preliminary games that went to
completion. The highlight was listening to Nathan Barhorst (designer
of our PBeM tourmnament website) whining about being beaten by
a 13-year old girl. Good job, Rachael!
Day 2 drew ten new players and 12 others braving their second
heat in an 8-player and two 7-player contests. In order to keep
a uniform playing field, Crete was removed from the 7-player
games. This seems to have been a boon for Illyria which won both
of the 7-player games. Board winners were Shantanu Saha and Kevin
Youells (Illyria), and Seve Spisak (Babylon) who took his second
heat of the week. Without question, Russ Harley committed the
cruelest move of the heats. After a string of bad calamities,
Jenn Visocnik was knocked backwards on the AST after Russ hit
her with both secondary effects of Iconoclasm and Heresy.
With Steve winning two games, there was an additional space
open in the Final, with York Dobyns and Jeff Cornett advancing
based on the closest runnerup scores. The mark to make the Final
was 96.62% of the winners score, as York was only 11 points behind
in his game, and Jeff trailed by 143.
We use two different methods for selecting countries at WBC.
In the heats we draw cards for order of nation selection. If
you reach the Final, a much more Stoic philosophy is taken, and
it is expected that you are qualified to play any country, so
we draw chits, then allow trading. Some years there is no movement
whatsoever, but this year it resembled a bazaar with all sorts
of changes going on. Babylon, Egypt, Iberia, and Thrace all changed
hands, and there may have been more that were missed. Once all
of the pre-game maneuvering was done, we ended up with Jeff (Africa),
Kevin (Iberia), Steve (Illyria), Doug (Thrace), Christina (Crete),
Ron (Assyria), York (Babylon), and Shantanu (Egypt).
As the game began, familiar borders were reached, and common
deals were made. The exception to this was the discussion between
Thrace and Crete. Since Crete moved to Asia Minor first, Thrace
grabbed several typically Cretan areas in the Balkans, then complained
when Crete wouldn't give up Troy. This led to Thrace declaring
"war for the rest of the game" on Crete. The war failed
to lead to any actual attacks, though. Thrace later declared
"war" on Iberia, then Assyria as well, with similar
results. This prompted one player to comment: "Just wait
a turn, he'll be mad at someone else" about the Thracian
Egypt was seemingly knocked out early, as he had become the
victim of both famine and flood on Turn 6, followed by earthquakes
during the next two turns. As the first round of purchases came
in, Iberia jumped out to a small lead. This was, of course, held
against him and he was punished by secondaries from that point
forward. As the game progressed Assyria and Thrace traded the
lead back and forth. Thrace bought Monotheism to expand his kingdom
while Assyria went with Military to "protect" himself.
Full fledged fighting broke out in Round 15 as Thrace was dropped
to six cities during movement and was bumped on the AST by the
Assyrian who was not swayed by the Thracian offers of deals and
Meanwhile, Egypt was quietly building his comeback. With Mining
and Coinage, he was able to increase his civilization card purchases,
buy trade cards from the "9" stack for five straight
turns, and work his way into a close second place by the penultimate
the end, Assyria and Thrace continued their battles, Africa and
Iberia pounced on the Illyrian, and Egypt was left alone. As
the trade cards were turned in, Egypt was able to acquire Clothmaking,
Philosophy, Monotheism, and Theology for an amazing 755 points
of advances. This was more than enough to clinch the victory
for Shantanu. This victory was especially sweet, as he has been
in nearly every Advanced Civilization Final since the Avaloncon
days. It could not have gone to a more deserving person, and
we are happy to add him to the ranks of ACV champions.
Congratulations to Shantanu on his breakthrough win, and thank
you to everyone who turned out this year. Possible changes for
next year include ending the heat games at the 1500 point space
on the AST. See you next August!
The BPA also offers a pbem tournament for Advanced Civ.
The next one will begin in March, 2014. Full details are available
1) Shantanu Saha Egypt 4482
2) Doug Galullo Thrace 4414
3) Ron Clement Babylon 4323
4) Kevin Youells Iberia 4001
5) Christina Harley Crete 3906
6) Steve Spisak Illyria 3362
7) Jeff Cornett Africa 3060
8) York Dobyns Babylon 2394
1) Jenn Visocnik demonstrates her poor city building skills.
The Egyptians reduced this shortly afterwards.
Play By Email 2013
Is there a new powerhouse nation? When ACV players speak of
the traditionally strong countries, they think of Babylon, Egypt,
or Assyria. But Thrace? Never! It is considered a dog, and taken
with the seventh or eighth pick. However, that perception may
be changing as players using Thrace have won four of the last
five BPA Championships - Greg Kulp at WBC 2010, Mads Lunau in
2012 PBeM, Doug Galullo at WBC 2012, and now Kevin Youells in
28 new and returning players made up the 2013 tournament so
there were eight 7-player games in the preliminary rounds. Each
player participated in two concurrent games, and the winners
of each game advanced to the Final. Greg Kulp won both preliminary
games with Babylon and Egypt. His double win allowed for the
top runner-up to advance, which admitted Jon Anderson. Also advancing
with wins were Shantanu Saha, defending champion Mads Lunau,
James Gundy, Kevin Worth, Kevin Youells, and Romain Jacques.
Five of these worthies were repeating finalists from the previous
Egypt led the way with three wins, while Illyria(!) and Babylon
garnered two wins each, and Africa won the remaining game.
The Final was unique from the start, as Jon Anderson opted for
Asia instead of Creten with the last selection. The Asians and
Assyrians did not make room for each other, opting to fight on
Turn 2, as they each lost a unit in Cappadocia. This continued
in the next round, dooming these two civilizations to also-ran
status from the very beginning. Their war continued throughout
the game. The Assyrians were driven off the continent, and forced
to create a new homeland between Iberia and Illyria after being
the beneficiary of Civil War. While this was going on, Illyria
and Thrace raced to occupy the empty Cretan territories, and
both benefited from the extra space and city sites. Babylon and
Asia built a strong border and game-long agreement. Africa, Egypt,
and Iberia all claimed their due with little conflict.
Five different players held the lead at various points in the
game. Africa led for the first four turns, until Iberia made
his move. The Iberians were in the lead for Turns 5 and 6, until
struck by the first Civil War. Illyria took over on Turn 7, followed
by a Thracian push to lead Turn 8. From there, the lead bounced
back and forth between Iberia (Turns 9 and 12), Egypt (Turns
11, 13, and 14), and finally Thrace, who pulled away in the last
Why did certain civilizations prosper, while others declined?
Obviously, Asia and Assyria were done in by their unending jihad.
Once the Civil War came into play, things got more complicated.
Assyria was the beneficiary of three Civil Wars, two from Iberia,
and one from Illyria. Once the Assyrians arrived, they did not
go away, which created a scarcity of farmland and city sites
in the west, constricting Iberian growth. Iberia eventually ended
the game with nine cities, but it was due to holdings in the
Middle East, Crete, and Egypt. In addition to not leaving Germany,
Assyria fought Illyria, killing several units and seizing Rome
at one point. Eventually Illyria was attacked by Africa and Asia,
guaranteeing him a place in the lower floors of the standings.
Babylon had a card problem - he drew the most calamities. At
one point he had eight cities, only drew six cards due to empty
stacks, and four of them were calamities!
Thrace had been languishing far back in the point totals through
the mid-game, until becoming the only Mining owner. This pulled
him back into third, when he was attacked by Asia and Egypt.
After buying Military, Thrace pushed back against Egypt, who
was eventually driven completely off the Mediterranean coast
by combined attacks from Africa, Iberia, and Thrace. Turn 15
was pivotal, as only Thrace, Asia, and Illyria advanced on the
AST. This was enough to give Thrace an advantage and a lead that
he would not relinquish.
In the end, the top two laurelists from the prior year fought
for the championship again. This year Kevin got his revenge on
Mads and held on to enough of his 300-point lead in the last
turn to claim the prize.
The ending positions were:
1) Thrace Kevin Youells 4583
2) Egypt Mads Lunau 4360
3) Iberia Kevin Worth 4192
4) Africa James Gundy 3935
5) Illyria Romain Jacques 3681
6) Babylon Greg Kulp 3653
7) Asia Jon Anderson 3502
8) Assyria Shantanu Saha 2125
Meanwhile, the 2014 PBeM tournament rages on. We have 38 players
enrolled and are making good progress, as the games are all currently
in Rounds 12 or 13. It is too early to project the winners, but
the Final will probably host a mix of seasoned veterans and some
new blood. Sign-ups for the next event will begin in January.
Follow along at http://bpa-civ.rol-play.com/