Four heats ... still no dice
Ewan McNay vs UK's Ed Kendrick and
Norway's Haakon Monsen - just one of many international pairings
Brandon Bernard and Kevin Wojtaszczyk
- likely art thief candidates if ever I saw one.
The change to four heats - each run by a different veteran
GM (Greg Crowe of Titan: The Arena, Ivan Lawson of Lost
Cities, & Tom DeMarco of Adel Verpflichtet) -
boosted attendance by nearly two thirds over 2013 levels, but
the additional heats failed to impress the Century requirements.
Each heat attracted between 15-29 participants. The downside?
Only one person has won the event when there've been exactly
58 entrants the GM (John Pack of Gangsters)
a trend not broken this year as he won for the fourth time -
three times ina field of 58. The good news is that he's never
won when his lucky number 58 was not in play, so we just need
to bring a few more friends next year!
newcomers went on to win a game or two after a brief intro. This
is impressive when one considers that there are roughly 371,000
permutations for each move in a 5-player game! Just a bit more
advanced than rock-paper-scissors...
The Heat 3 banter centered on Greg Crowe's paltry exhibit
as he repeatedly exhibited the same three items ad nauseam turn
after turn after turn and so on, etc., etc.... "Have you
been to the castle lately?" "It's new; it's fresh;
it's avant-garde." "Critics give the exhibit five thumbs
down." "It's so stale it reminds me of an exhibit I
saw in 1468."
Four players qualified for the semifinals with a perfect score:
Jeff Cornett, Tamara Houde, Tim Packwood and Peter Staab. All
but three of the 16 who qualified by earning 8 or more points
claimed their semifinal spots. The two 7-point alternates made
it with 9 and 8 spaces respectively: Paul Gaberson and Kevin
The first semifinal wins went to Greg Crowe (7 spaces ahead/2nd
largest set), Kevin Wojtazczyk (5/smallest), and John Pack (13/smallest).
Those in second (4 points) were: Tom DeMarco, David Meyaard,
& Tim Packwood. The second semifinal round saw closer wins
by Tom DeMarco (2/largest), Ivan Lawson (1/largest), and Scott
Saccenti (5/largest). In second place: John Pack, Peter Staab,
& Greg Crowe.
The three players with both a win and a second place (9 points)
qualified for the Final as did Kevin with a win and a third-place
finish (8 points). The last golden ticket went to Scott Saccenti
with a win and a 4th place finish (7 points) by virtue of finishing
six places over the line (narrowly besting Peter Staab with four
spaces and David Meyaard with 0 spaces, each with a second and
third place finish).
Winner's View: I started the Final with a set, so I
headed straight for the Castle. So did everyone else - just in
time for our first Detectives Convention. We all agreed the WBC
was a better convention. The second turn was more productive
as we had a guest speaker to send to jail. I stayed at the Castle
(despite protests from some of the staff) building a lead by
catching thieves and exhibiting until the 3/2 space just shy
of the first corner (at which point my lovely ABCE had been reduced
At that point I spent four turns in the Auctionhouse, acquiring
B, D, large check, and another B respectively. Zero wasted turns!
By that point, the other players had caught me (with one in my
space and the other three in the 4/2 zone ahead of me). Two successive
detectives filled the remaining jail cells (something I feel
is a pre-requisite for a dash to the finish line) and brought
me to the middle of the pack as we passed the first 2/1 dead
The next move proved decisive. During the foregoing detective
period, Greg's chances were virtually eliminated as he lost many
items and his second thief. Scott had also lost both thieves.
The situation was ideal for a sprint, with one exception. I realized
my set (ABBCDE) would never sustain me against thieves through
the finish. The group was also bunched close enough (except for
Greg who was still back on the last 3/2 of the first edge) that
I was willing to give detectives spaces (something I'm usually
loathe to do). So despite four players at the Castle, one of
whom was thief-less and almost certain to be a detective, I pulled
out a thief - hoping to score a single item. However, Tom, Kevin,
and Scott all exhibited. With a set of nine, I began my sprint.
The next turn I lost an item to Tom (who also robbed Scott),
but gained four spaces to take the lead. Then came another crucial
juncture as all five players returned to the Castle for the first
time since the opening move. I took the dare and had four detectives
guard my exhibit.
On the next move, I leap-frogged the last 2/1 space and initiated
the endgame. One more exhibit to move four past the line. I was
robbed both of those last turns, so I finished with seven cards
(1775). Kevin exhibited fearlessly right along with me to finish
just one space short of the line (three of four cards, 1905).
Scott, in third, had the second largest set (9 of 11, 1650) and
just passed the second corner to finish nine spaces out. Tom
had the largest set (10 of 10, 1468) but finished on the corner
space for fourth. Greg felt lucky to get near the second corner
after being thief-less and exhibit-less on the first edge (0
Interestingly, I played a thief just once during the game.
But it was decisive. Ultimately, I think the triple-theft along
with my realization that the timing was perfect for a sprint
led to victory. I'd like to thank the Thieves Guild, my wife
Sharee (whose many sprinting victories have schooled me repeatedly),
the exactly 58 entrants, and my daughter Mirth (who kicked my
butt in Adel as soon as I got home to teach me some much
By Email 2014
Christopher Yaure proved that close enough isn't just for horseshoes,
hand grenades, and nuclear war - it counts in Adel Verpflichtet
too. Chris qualified for the semifinals on tie-breakers (the
highest of those with 17 points including two wins). He then
moved into the Final as the only finalist without a win - using
the second tie-break as the best second-place finisher with three
spaces (having a set of ten cards). In a fitting finish, he then
prevailed in a tie for first place with Tom DeMarco with the
largest set (a one-card margin  over Suzanne Tuch's 11 card
set). Congratulations to Chris for winning by the narrowest possible
The game started off with cautious players - lots of detectives
and very few thieves in the castle. Meanwhile, in the Auctionhouse,
thieves were plentiful as were small checks. The first Auctionhouse
pile emptied before players reached the first corner. Sharee
Pack reached the first 2/1 space first through heavy attrition
of her set. Then the game paused while players again returned
to detective conventions with a rare thief as a guest speaker.
Meanwhile, the Auctionhouse drained to a total of four cards
while the checks switched hands (though, in the end, four players
each had just one check remaining once the 2/1 roadblock was
breached). As a result, the contest took many turns more than
a typical game.
At that point, Sharee was still in the lead, but the entire field
was within three spaces. She paused to use a detective to finally
fill all five jail cells. Then Sharee, Bob Hamel, and Tom sprinted
for the finish while Suzanne and Chris (with the largest two
sets respectively) used detectives to make up the distance. Bob
and Tom with the larger sets in the second-tier crowd moved ahead
reaching the second 2/1 space. As they did so, Sharee turned
bandit to pick up two items, gave Suzanne and Chris the detective-earned
spaces they were seeking, and brought her set into a close third
Chris took that opportunity to hit the Auctionhouse one more
time where he picked up the card that put his set ahead of Suzanne.
Bob pushed forward into the 5/3 endgame space while Tom followed
to the final space of the 2/1 zone. That set up the last turn.
Tom continued his sprint, sending him five spaces forward and
ending the game. Bob, inexplicably, selected a detective -- worth
2-3 spaces at most (and likely to give the players with bigger
sets much greater advancement). Chris, Suzanne, and Sharee each
played a thief -- which added to their sets but kept them in
the same relative order. With the dining-table line crossed,
the last exhibits come out -- giving Chris eight spaces (just
enough to catch Tom and win by tie-breakers) and Suzanne four
It's interesting to note here how that crucial last turn might
have fared with some different moves:
· Bob Exhibits: He earns the five spaces while Tom gets
three. Bob finishes one space ahead of Chris and his massive
· Chris Exhibits: Chris earns five to finish one space
shy of the line. Tom gets three to finish one over. Chris' set
is hammered by thieves. Suzanne and Sharee get the first and
second place exhibits. Suzanne finishes two over the line and
· Chris plays Detective: Tom gets five. Suzanne and Sharee
get the first and second place exhibits. Tom wins.
· Chris and Suzanne Exhibit: The game doesn't end; Sharee
has the biggest set; Bob is just one space short of the line.
· Tom Thieves or plays Detective: Game lasts another turn.
Of course, Tom knew he didn't want another turn to allow the
players with biggest sets more time to recover.
As you can see, most of the players still had a chance on the
last move. But Chris navigated the puzzle to score the win! His
only one of the event. Timing is everything.
The tournament will begin on January 3rd this coming year with
the hope that we can finish before the World Boardgaming Championships!
Check out all the details of the tournament at http://www.gameaholics.com/adv_tournament.htm.