history of the world   

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Nathan Barhorst, IL

2014 Champion

Event History
1993    Ben Grimes     53
1994    Gordon Bliss    102
1995    Tim Johnson    105
1996    Keith Levy    102
1997    Bruce Monnin   108
1998    Greg Crowe     72
1999    Jonas Borra     68
2000    Robert Destro     70
2001    Harald Henning     56
2002    Rolinda Collinson     52
2003    Mike Backstrom     49
2004    Haim Hochboim     55
2005     Mark Pitcavage     42
2006    Craig Yope     44
2007     Gregory Kulp     39
2008    Jeff King     32 
2009     Henry Dove     45
2010    Jeff King     50
2011    Kevin Youells     46
2012    Joe Collinson     47
2013    Harald Henning     46
2014    Nathan Barhorst     42

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Harald Henning     CT    13    196
  2.  Jeff King          OH    10    124
  3.  Joe Collinson      MD    12    108
  4.  Kevin Youells      FL    13    102
  5.  Rolinda Collinson  MD    05     90
  6.  Jonas Borra        NY    02     84
  7.  Nathan Barhorst    MI    14     80
  8.  Henry Dove         MD    11     80
  9.  Gregory Kulp       NJ    11     74
 10.  Mike Backstrom     MN    03     68
 11.  Christina Hancock  NH    14     60
 12.  Haim Hochboim      il    04     60
 13.  Robert Destro      NJ    00     60
 14.  Dominic Duchesne   qc    12     54
 15.  Mark Pitcavage     OH    05     50
 16.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    01     48
 17.  Craig Yope         MI    06     40
 18.  Ty Hansen          DC    14     38
 19.  Mark Smith         KY    10     36
 20.  Jamie Tang         MD    06     36
 21.  Peter Busch        OH    04     36
 22.  Tony Cadden        MD    00     36
 23.  Bob Aarhus         NC    99     36
 24.  Jennifer Visocnik  IL    14     34
 25.  Greg Crowe         MD    12     32
 26.  Virginia Harley    VA    13     30
 27.  Patrick Gorman     PA    09     30
 28.  TJ Halberstadt     IN    08     24
 29.  Malinda Kyrkos     NY    01     24
 30.  Graeme Dandy       au    00     24
 31.  Joe Burch          MD    99     24
 32.  Terry Coleman      CA    04     23
 33.  Bill Boynton       ME    05     20
 34.  Mike Horn          FL    14     18
 35.  John Elliott       MD    10     18
 36.  Paul Bean          MA    00     18
 37.  Chris Hancock      NH    99     18
 38.  Eric Kleist        MD    08     16
 39.  Michael Mullins    MD    07     16
 40.  Jon Anderson       PA    13     15
 41.  Lee Waters         MD    12     15
 42.  Bill Beswick       IN    09     15
 43.  Duane Wagner       NJ    06     14
 44.  Scott A. Smith     PA    10     12
 45.  James D. Long      PA    07     12
 46.  Rachel Power       MI    04     12
 47.  Andrew Kutzy       NY    02     12
 48.  Michael Pacheco    CA    99     12
 49.  Nick Pei           CA    12     10
 50.  Matthew Beach      MD    09     10
 51.  Evan Davis         IN    05     10
 52.  Richard Beyma      MD    08      8
 53.  Chris Trimmer      TX    06      8
 54.  Carl Adamec        NY    14      6
 55.  Keith Altizer      FL    04      6
 56.  Richard Fox        IL    02      6
 57.  Ivan Lawson        MD    01      6
 58.  Paul McCarthy      NY    00      6
 59.  John Rinko         VA    99      6
 60.  Ray Bergeron       NY    11      5
 61.  Scott Bowling      IN    05      5
 62.  Aran Warszawski    il    08      4
 63.  Rachel Harley      VA    07      4

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Christina Hancock, OH
2nd

Jennifer Visocnik, IL
3rd

Mike Horn, FL
4th

Ty Hansen, DC
5th

Carl Adamec, NY
6th

Past Winners

Gordon Bliss, MA
1994

Keith Levy, MD
1996

Bruce Monnin, OH
1997

Greg Crowe, MD
1998

Jonas Borra, NY
1999

Robert Destro, NJ
2000

Harald Henning, CT
2001, 2013

Rolinda Collinson, MD
2002

Mike Backstrom, MN
2003

Haim Hochboim, Israel
2004

Mark Pitcavage, OH
2005

Craig Yope, MI
2006

Gregory Kulp, NJ
2007

Jeff King, ME
2008, 2010

Kevin Youells, PA
2011

Joe Collinson, MD
2012

Nathan Barhorst, MI
2014
     

Jeff Miller, Wayne Morrison, Joe Collinson and Carl Adamec

Illustrator Kurt Miller and GM Yope tend to business.

The Tides of History ...

Another Emperor Crowned ...

For the 17th time in 18 years, we crowned another first-time champ. The absent Harald Henning remained the only multiple winner.

Heat #1 -

The long, grueling climb to the top of the History of the World heap began with 30 hardy souls on Tuesday evening. It was a fortunate number allowing 6-player games all around. Depending on the players, games can be done relatively quickly, as was seen at one table which ended in five hours. Or it can take awhile, which happened when another game was still going nearly three hours later.

Game #1 - The early game play is characterized by a careful balancing of power as all players hang close to the lead. Jon Anderson's Fertile Crescent pairing of Babylonia/Assyria grabs a tight lead after two epochs. The Persians non-appearance helped to keep things even. The third epoch sees Ron Glass's Maurya (seen at right) build upon earlier Sumerian/Chou Dynasty work to take the lead. Then the fourth epoch draws result in then second Roberto Fournier getting the Khmer while leader Glass gets the Goths. At this point, two players came to the fore. Mike Horn's mid-game trio of Rome/Arabs/Franks was ultimately more powerful than Christina Hancock's Macedonia/Huns/Sung Dynasty grouping. Horn built a sufficient lead to allow him to coast to victory by pulling the last three pre-eminence markers.

Game #2 - Virginia Harley captures the first epoch lead on the back of early Sumerian control of the Middle East. The second epoch success of Greg Wilson's Persians (with Phoenician help) leads to a back to back empire sticking of the Hsuing-Nu and Khmers. Michael Mullins' rise to power comes from the might of Rome and the Byzantines and helps him to maintain the lead through the sixth epoch. Marc Visocnik closes down on the lead at the end of the fourth epoch on the basis of the first three Chinese empires coupled with an early scoring opportunity with the Guptas. But then the assigment of the Chola and the Incas/Aztecs causes him to fade from contention. The eventual winner, Nathan Barhorst, lays the groundwork of victory with the Macedonians and the Goths, but pours it on with a three-pronged finish of Mongols/Spain/Britain.

Game #3 - Joe Collinson's Minoan/Hittites coalition was able to match the might of the colorful Jennifer Visocnik's Sumerians and deny her the first epoch pre-eminence marker. Wayne Morrison's early power block of Egypt/Assyria gets help from the Phoenicians to shoot ahead at the end of the second epoch. Joe Collinson and Jeff Miller use the Macedonians and the Romans respectively to reel in the leader after three epochs. Morrison pulled three of the final four pre-eminence markers awarded during the game by maintaining presence across the globe despite a less than stellar batch of midgame empires. A very tight end game score was then blown wide open by the inclusion of his four markers. This game was a good example of the need to knock down the leaders' presence every chance you get while still pursuing your own expansion. By allowing his continued accumulation of pre-eminence markers, they paid for it in the end.

Game #4 - Early game leaders Dan Overland (Indus Valley/Hittites) and Ty Hansen (Shang Dynasty/Assyria/Phoenicians) benefit from minor empire help to take the first two pre-eminence markers. Ed O'Connor leads through midgame after his Persians/Mayans/Sassanids set him up with good map presence. Add to that the lack of three main Mediterranean powers from the early rounds - Egypt, Carthage, Rome - and you have a real power vacuum in the west. Then O'Connor gets the Goths and is in a perfect position to exploit this situation. Raymond Bergeron surges into the lead late in the game based not on powerful empires but because of presence and dominance provided by kingdoms, migrants, barbarians, and civil wars.

Game #5 - Dan Morris's Sumerian/Canaanites control the Middle East and the first epoch pre-eminence marker. Kurt Miller uses Egypt/Assyria along with help from the Phoenicians and Etruscans to jump out to a slim lead over Frank McNally's Persians by the end of the second epoch. Nick Pei's Roman expansion gives him dominance in the Middle East, India, and Southern Europe and it sets up an ongoing presence that allows him to retain the lead for four epochs. As mentioned earlier, McNally starts a midgame charge with Persia but that is wiped out and further hindered by getting the Hsiung-Nu. It is revived by the Arabs and Mongols, but he is then rewarded with the Incas/Aztecs. Craig Yope's end game push of Byzantines/Vikings/Portugal/Manchu Dynasty is matched by Morris's Huns/Holy Roman Empire/Ottoman Turks/France to cause a seventh epoch tie. The victory goes to Pei though when his four pre-eminence markers are revealed.

Heat #2 -

The second heat is a time of redemption as more than half of the 27 players are returnees from the first heat. Usually this heat brings in more new players plus those who are back from licking their wounds after the first heat. Normally the earlier winners take a break and play something else, but Wayne Morrison is the exception that comes back for some more of the same. The aforementioned field of 27 cause three of the five games to be 5-player affairs. This can make for some very different play as more empires fail to appear and card draw dynamics can be very skewed.

Game #1 - Mark Visocnik uses the Egypt/Hittites pairing to become the early target for abuse. John Van De Graaf pounds the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean with the double barrel action of the Greeks and the Phoenicians. This is nicely complemented by the presence of his first epoch Minoans. Paul McCarthy's Romans then slide him into a slim lead at the end of the third epoch. Jim Stanard sandwiches the Hsiung-Nu between the Persians and the Arabs to catch up and tie McCarthy for the lead at the end of four turns while Visocnik and Van De Graaf lurk close behind. Stanard then supplements those forces with the troops of the Holy Roman Empire and the Timurid Emirates to maintain the lead for the next two epochs. McCarthy's 42-point Netherlands turn was enough to return the earlier favor and tie Stanard's United States for the seventh epoch lead. But even if McCarthy had pulled the last pre-eminence marker, it wouldn't have been enough to overtake Stanard.

Game #2 - Ted Drozd's Egyptians expand unopposed and gain him the early lead. Mark Smith's Babylon/Hittites alliance is further bolstered by the addition of Assyria early in epoch 2. A Persian/Rome combo pushes Virginia Harley to a sizable lead after three epochs. So just as the Hsiung-Nu brought leader Smith back to the pack in Turn 3, the Khmers are the booby prize for Harley in the fourth. The late game rise of Jeff Miller is based on the mid rounds of Macedonia and the Arabs with continuing efforts by the Sung Dynasty, the Timurid Emirates, and finally the Netherlands. Too much back biting and infighting among the many veterans at the table allowed Miller to hold the lead for the last three rounds and allowed him to gain precious pre-eminence markers. That was the difference in an otherwise close contest.

Game #3 - Winton Lemoine gets an early lift from the Indus Valley/Hittites combo, but it inevitably leads to him getting the Scythians in epoch 2. Dan Overland's Minoans/Greek City States/Macedonians beginning triumvirate powers him to the top for epochs 2 and 3 and leaves him looking good when no Romans enter the game. But even prior to his Macedonian expansion, the tearing down of his Mediterranean dominance was taking place. A continuous assault from Lemoine's Scythians, Joe Collinson's Carthaginians/Phoenicians, Ron Glass' Romans, and Lemoine's Celts end up ravaging Overland's prior holdings. The second half of the game belongs to Collinson after his Arabs/Seljuk Turks combo set him up to weather the Incas/Aztecs and the United States in the last two epochs. He cruised to victory and padded his score by taking the last four pre-eminence markers.

Game #4 - Chris Trimmer rides the Sumerians and Hittites out of the gate and follows up with the Greek City States to take an early lead while claiming the first two pre-eminence markers. Roberto Fournier and Christina Hancock close the gap by the end of the second epoch with Fournier using the Persians/Phoenicians while Hancock adds Chou Dynasty to her earlier Egyptian empire. Fournier is the player who gets Hsiung-Nued after all his hard work while Trimmer ends up with the Sassanids who go last in the epoch. Meanwhile Hancock adds to her worldwide presence with a good Maurya turn that gets her the third epoch lead. Ed O'Connor's Macedonians and Jon Anderson's Romans help each to climb back into the game. At this point things get a bit murky. A scoring mistake goes unnoticed and Trimmer continues along to win pre-eminence markers for epochs 4 through 6. But the lead narrows prior to the start of the last epoch, with all players falling within a 5-points radius. This set the stage for someone to have a good enough last turn to offset Trimmers' five pre-eminence markers. Fournier was that someone. He was working off of the previous three turns that included the Huns, the Seljuk Turks (Fujiwara), and Spain. He added on a France that netted him 62 points, the last pre-eminence marker, and the overall win despite Trimmers' 22 bonus points.

Game #5 - After a tied first epoch between Christina Harley's Sumerians and Craig Yope's Babylonian/Hittites, John Stevens' bludgeoned his way to the top of epoch 2 with the Persians. Harley's Macedonians go first in the third epoch and benefit from the absence of the Greek City States. With presence across the world and various monuments to her glory, Harley powers her way to a 45-point turn. But such greatness is fleeting as Jennifer Visocnik's Romans lay waste to all standing before them and their enduring presence is the groundwork for a 52-point Gupta that follows. That is enough to give her a 20-point buffer for the next three epochs. Stevens' stacks an impressive trio of the Mongols/Portugal/Manchu Dynasty to finally pass Visocnik in the last epoch. But Visocnik take the win with her three pre-eminence markers outdoing Stevens' two.

Semifinals -

Nine of the ten heat winners persevered for another go in the semifinals and the other nine slots were filled by the highest ranking alternates as per the listed procedure. It pays to understand the advancement system as two of the alternates from outside the original top 18 on the list made it to the Final. They appeared, got the empty slots, and made the most of them.

Game #1 - Jennifer Visocnik flies out of the gate working the Sumerians with Canaanites along for the ride. Jon Anderson is right behind her with a balanced Shang Dynasty/Hittites duo. Next Nathan Barhorst comes along with an early scoring combo of Assyrians/Etruscans for 27 points to take the second round lead. Anderson remains strong in the second epoch with a Vedic City States empire that builds upon the absence of the Chou Dynasty. Everyone experiences tough times in the third epoch except for Visocnik's Romans. Her 38 points allows her to surge back into the lead while Barhorst gets properly shafted with the Hsiung-Nu and Anderson "the Roman-giver" stoically watches as his presence crumbles until little is left when his Sassanids sally forth. Visocnik sails through the next three epochs retaining a lead that is based on the remnants of the earlier Persian and Roman expansion. A struggling Huns turn following the decimation of his Macedonians surely dooms Nick Pei to a fate that not even a final three of the Mongols, Portugal, and France can escape. A similar situation befell Jeff Miller as his Celts/Byzantines midgame combo was too disastrous for a closing trio of the Seljuk Turks/Spain/Manchu Dynasty to fix. Barhorst was lurking in the weeds after a poor Vikings turn, but charged back with the Ottoman Turks and a 64-point Britain turn. His 14 point lead after the end of the seventh epoch was enough to negate the five pre-eminence markers that Visocnik collected along the way. The win went to Barhorst based on his lower total empire strength for the game.

Game #2 - Ty Hansen works the full Monty in the first epoch by pairing both minors with the Indus Valley. Michael Mullins adds Carthaginians to his earlier Egyptians to seemingly take the second epoch lead, but Mark Smith trumps that with a Persian rampage to take the marker by a point. That kind of showing earned him the honor of receiving the dreaded Hsiung-Nu. Hansen uses crack Macedonian mountain troops to great effect to regain the lead while Raymond Bergeron's Romans use Naval Power to Jihad themselves into second place. Unfortunately, that kind of success is always cruelly rewarded. In this case, he (and not Hansen) earned the Khmers. Hansen was rewarded with the Huns and another pre-eminence marker, though Mullins kept him close with a good Goths turn. Epoch 5 sees Bergeron double dip on his holdings as he scores again early in the turn, right on the heels of the Khmers. The move allows him to tie Hansen and deny him a marker. Once again Bergeron gets the shaft - Incas/Aztecs - while Hansen gets the goods - Ottoman Turks. So in a world where no Arabs and no Mongols exist, the Ottoman Turks do the work necessary to keep Hansen in the lead. Mullins' Spain once again brings him just shy of the lead and a much needed pre-eminence marker. As the seventh epoch dawns, Bergeron's Russia is nowhere near strong enough to make up for the hit he took in the sixth. Mullins' was poised for a final push to greatness but was passed the United States and ended up a distant third despite a respectable 43 points. Mike Horn came charging to the fore with a 57-point Britain turn that edged Hansen's Netherlands by one point. Hansen's four pre-eminence markers win him the game but Horn's late game surge earns him the last seat at the Final.

Game #3 - No Sumerians means that Joe Collinson's Egypt/Canaanites power block expands unopposed across the known world for an early lead. John Stevens' stays in touch with that lead by bringing forth a Babylonian/Hittites combo. Carl Adamec's Assyrians pummel Stevens' holdings in such a way that once his Greek City States appear there is little left to add. Collinson's Scythians receive help from Phoenician allies allowing him to maintain the lead. This is possible after a particularly weak Persian turn fails to dominate the epoch. The usual "Hsuing-Nuing" of the leader brings Collinson back to the pack while the Macedonians are the springboard for Christina Hancock's vault into the lead. A very nice Roman turn propels Wayne Morrison out of the cellar and into contention. Ted Drozd uses Maurya to capitalize upon earlier Persian conquests and moves into second place. A very interesting card draw play out at the start of the fourth epoch sees Drozd getting the Khmers which then allows Hancock to get the Arabs. Collinson's so-so Byzantines are followed by a dismal Vikings turn that torpedoes his chances of returning to the Final. Stevens' Guptas are a distant memory by the time his Seljuk Turks arise which leads to a weak scoring turn. Drozd's Khmers/Franks pairing is a death sentence when one has no board presence. Wayne Morrison turns out consistent turns of low 30's from the third epoch on to include a nice double dip on the Mongols and the Ming Dynasty that netted him 45 points on Turn 6. But even getting France in the last epoch wasn't enough once most of his units were wiped from the map. Adamec made a late game charge with solid midgame turns of the Huns, the Sung Dynasty, and the Timurid Emirates. But he really capped things off with a 66-point Britain which took the lead by one point and the last pre-eminence marker. Hancock finished second in last epoch but won the game with the extra 17 points from pre-eminence markers. Adamec was also able to advance with his strong showing.

Final -

After a day of relative rest, the six cheery finalists convened in the far reaches of the Kinderhook dungeon to hack and slash their way to world domination. The mix of contenders includes a trio of preliminary game winners - Nathan Barhorst and Mike Horn in the first heat and Jennifer Visocnik in the second. Nathan also won his semifinal game. Ty (aka: Mr. Fort) Hansen only played one heat but did well enough to be a top 18 alternate and then went on to win his semifinal. As mentioned earlier, Christina Hancock made it into the semis as the 15th alternate after one winner and six other alternates didn't show. She took the second chance and ran to victory in the semis. Jennifer Visocnik became the top non-winner in the Final based on tying Nathan in the semifinals and losing on the total empire strength tiebreaker. The last finalist is Carl Adamec who also got into the semis because other qualifiers didn't show. He came in second to his fellow "second-chancer" Christina in those semifinals and was rewarded wih a seat at the Final and a chance to win it all.

Epoch 1 -

Christina - Sumerian stays in the Middle East and fortifies its capital.

Egypt fails to rise.

Nathan - The Minoans expand into Western Anatolia and Libya.

Carl - The Indus Valley sends their troops not into the Middle East but south across the sub continent to Ceylon.

Jennifer - Babylonia moves east into Zagros and gains an ally to the west in the Canaanites.

Mike - The Shang Dynasty flows southeast across China.

Ty - The Aryans take Persia along with their Hittite allies and then fort up in the Tarim Basin.

At this point Christina has a slim lead with everyone still within three points. Ty started a fort heavy strategy that would greatly influence play.

Christina - 8 Ty - 7 Nathan - 6 Carl - 5 Jennifer - 5 Mike - 5

Epoch 2 -

Carl - The Assyrians campaign down the Fertile Crescent and get some treacherous help to sack the Sumerian capital. They then loop back through Zagros to take out the Hittites capital.

Mike - The Chou Dynasty runs south to the Malayan Peninsula and then uses Astronomy to gain use of the South China Sea to return to the Chinese coast. In related news, his shipment of arms is not helpful enough as the Jewish Revolt is ruthlessly suppressed.

Ty - The Vedic City States goes south along the western coast of India and then......builds many forts!!!

The Greek City States continue to bicker among themselves and fail to coalesce in a united force.

Christina - The Scythians go northeast to cross the Great Wall attacking into the various Chinese capitals. The Phoenicians eschew the nautical life and choose to attack inland to take the Assyrian capital. Affiliated migrants appear in Australia.

Nathan - Carthage expands eastward across the empty Egyptian sands to eventually ransack the Phoenicians capital and dominate the Middle East.

Jennifer - Persian weaponry in the hands of a growing population fuels their gains into India, across much of the Middle East, by ship to Libya, and finally through Carthage into Southern Iberia.

Jennifer rides the Persian juggernaut to a slight lead over Nathan while Carl moves into a solid third. Christina got jammed with the Scythians and her Sumerians were ground to dust long before she got to go again, so she was lucky to have some help from Phoenicians to regain some western presence. Mike is stuck in the far east and Ty does what Ty does best- fortify!

Jennifer - 27 Nathan - 25 Carl - 22 Ty - 19 Mike - 16 Christina - 14

Epoch 3 -

Christina - The Celts take over Eastern Europe and then shoot south through the empty Balkans to break down those Cretan walls. Minotaur burgers anyone?

Again the Greeks are unable to get things together. So no Macedonians.

Nathan - Maurya dominates northern India and then moves east to dominate Southeast Asia. They then turn north to also dominate China. Interesting trade talks with the Mayans and the Kush kingdom develop into a worldwide alliance.

Carl - Reports of natural disasters in Persia and Carthage filter in during a time of civil war in the Mauryan Empire. The Han Dynasty drives south through China and crosses into SE Asia for dominance. The Emperor then orders fortifications to be built along the full length of the Great Wall as a second line of defense.

Jennifer - The Hsiung-Nu support a less than successful civil uprising in the southern half of the Han Dynasty and only succeeds in reducing one fort in their failed attempt to cross the Wall.

Mike - Famine opens an access point in the Middle East for the Roman conquest into North Africa and then east along the spice roads to the Hindu Kush. Other legions wielding superior weapons move north into Western Gaul.

Ty - The "Sassy" Sassanids move northwest through Anatolia to reach the Danube while leaving a trail of forts behind them as they go.

Nathan now becomes the leader with Jennifer hanging onto second after being Hsuing-Nued. Christina and Carl aren't too far behind along with Mike who finally got some western presence with an adequate Roman turn. And Mr. Fort is still lurking, just 11 points off the lead.

The next card draw leads to a bit of drama as Carl shoots himself in the foot by misreading his pulled card and keeps the Khmers thinking that he had the Huns. Unfortunately, that had already been drawn and kept by Mike just before him.

Nathan - 48 Jennifer - 45 Christina - 42 Carl - 41 Mike - 40 Ty - 37

Epoch 4 -

Nathan - Migrants appear in Africa around the time that the Guptas emerge to expand across central India into the Middle East. An adventurous naval expedition sails the Bay of Bengal to take possession of Sumatra.

With no Goths coming forth, the world is saved from ever having to deal with pale teenagers sporting bad makeup and drab fashion.

Mike - Barbarians charging down from the Tibet Plateau fail miserably in their attempt to take China. Meanwhile, the Huns race across the Russian steppe to dominate Europe. They then turn east to burst into China and fight all the way to SE Asian dominance.

Christina - More barbarians are in the offing, but this time they attack out of the Alps. They succeed in clearing only the Central Europe mining region. The Byzantines advance north to claim the open territory and then turn south. Amphibious operations to take Levant prove difficult but eventually fruitful. The final act of their time is to grease the right palms for a way within the walls of Rome.

Jennifer - The T'ang Dynasty moves to the coast and sets sail to SE Asia and India for dominance and presence respectively.

Ty - In the north, Anglo-Saxon ships take to the sea and claim a fortified Ireland. Gee, really? Meanwhile, back in the Middle East, an Arab Jihad drives west across North Africa to establish a Moorish stronghold in Southern Iberia. Unfortunately, a loss of fervor seriously curtails the carnage that was had.

Carl - Wayward Khmer pilgrims establish a kingdom in the Southern Andes. The main Khmer empire fails in its attempts to expand into Szechuan and the Malayan Peninsula.

With no Goths attacking his Roman holdings Mike is able to use his Huns in other ways, namely to return to China and get into SE Asia. Jennifer is able to do things with the T'ang that the Hsuing-Nu couldn't. Nathan stays close with a smartly played Guptas turn. Ty's Arabs are a bit underwhelming at a time when he could have used more and Christina takes a beating as the Byzantines trying to get back into the Middle East by sea. Her decision to go that route was probably influenced by forts in Anatolia courtesy of Ty. I knew we would get back to that again. Carl's self-"Khmering" is a real blow to any chances he may have in the game.

Mike - 76 Jennifer - 70 Nathan - 69 Ty - 64 Christina - 63 Carl - 54

Epoch 5 -

Mike - Good Hygiene in Central Europe helps the inhabitants to avoid the Plague. Frankish troops push east to Danubia, down into the Balkans, and are finally stopped in the foothills of Eastern Anatolia (Can you say "sassy" forts?).

Ty - Viking siege machines batter their way into Northern Gaul to establish dominance of Northern Europe while a sizeable contingent sails to North America.

Nathan - With a fervor of their own, the Crusaders crush the Arab remnants in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Floods in Central China and volcanoes in Crete take out certain cultural landmarks. The Holy Roman knights encounter great difficulties in trying to dominate Europe.

Carl - Elite Chola armies make all before them tremble in fear as they win every battle they enter. As a result, dominance of India and SE Asia is theirs.

Christina - The Sung Dynasty unleashes expert troops in forest fighting to secure dominance in SE Asia and gain some presence in India. At the same time they protect their northern flanks by signing a mutual support treaty with the Fujiwara Empire.

Jennifer - The Seljuk Turks debut new weapons in their powerful thrust across Northern India, into SE Asia, and then up into China. Some dissension in the ruling council was observed as certain units were diverted to dominate the Middle East.

The world was spared the marauding destruction of the Mongols hordes.

Mike was able to maintain the lead by going early in the epoch and banking points based on his scattered presence coupled with the European and SE Asian dominance. Nathan, Christina, Jennifer, and Ty were all bunched together within four points and just six points back of Mike. Carl rebounded with a good Chola turn.

Ironic (or maybe quite shrewd) that Mr. Fort was the one who pulled out a Siegecraft card and started knocking down every wall in sight. We shall see.

Mike - 105 Nathan - 99 Christina - 97 Jennifer - 96 Ty - 95 Carl - 80

Epoch 6 -

No Ming Dynasty to churn the Chinese pot. Or stir the wok. Whatever works.

Ty - The Timurid Emirates is helped in its advances by civil war in the eastern half of the Frankish Empire. But the domesticated ancestors of the Seljuk Turks still have some fight in them though and they stymie Timurid attacks into China and the Middle East. Maybe they should just build forts?

Mike - A wave of pestilence was less than virulent in India. From the other side of the globe come wild stories of shining walled cities built high in the mountains of far away lands.

Nathan - Strong Ottoman leadership puts an emphasis on siege technology, but the untimely early demise of Mehmed II slows the advance of the Turkish troops. Nevertheless, dominance of North Africa, the Middle East, and all of Europe is the final verdict.

Christina - The Portuguese roll out their vaunted naval prowess to dominate China and Southern Europe. Further incursions into India, Africa, and South America are part of a well orchestrated "cultural exchange" program. You say exchange, I say exploit. Eh, semantics.

Jennifer - Spanish conquistadors move into Western Gaul and Western Iberia. Naval expeditionary forces drop into North America, South America, and Africa to stake a claim for the crown. Heavy troop concentrations following great leadership end up dominating China and the Middle East. Seeing which way the wind was blown, the kingdom of Thai jumps on the Espana bandwagon.

Carl - Stellar Mughal leadership spends his rupees on mountain training for his troops. This allows them to force their way through the Irrawaddy area into China and out onto the Eurasian steppe.

Mike has finally been cut down to size after leading the last two epochs and only pulls 18 points this turn. Nathan's 40-point Ottoman turn puts him in the lead but Jennifer is right there with her 41-point Spain along with Christina and her 36 point Portugal. Ty's Timurids weren't quite enough to keep pace and it was early in the turn meaning he lost a certain amount of board presence in the interim. Carl's Mughals were fine, but it he may just be too far back to mount one of his patented late game charges.

Nathan - 139 Jennifer - 137 Christina - 133 Ty - 124 Mike - 123 Carl - 108

Epoch 7 -

The card draw was an agonizing process as it always seems to be in the seventh epoch of a tight game. Carl pulled and kept (Netherlands). Mike was next and kept also (Manchu). After that was Ty, who drew Russia and didn't like his options. He wasn't going to keep it and didn't want any of the leaders to score early. He gave it to the leader that it helped the least - Christina. Next came Christina and boy did she have a tough choice. Eventually she gave to Jennifer (US). Who picked and gave to Nathan (Germany). Finally, he pulled and handed to Ty (France).

Christina - Russian naval resources are stripped via reallocation to power their land campaigns. The elite military cadre is quickly killed off as the army struggles to dominate Northern Europe. All hopes of eternal glory die at the gates of Broussa in Western Anatolia.

Mike - The Manchu Dynasty is a powerhouse of leadership and weaponry that goes straight west to achieve Northern European dominance. After this surprising turn of events, the focus shifts back to more immediate concerns - presence in Nippon and a crushing attack into China for dominance there.

Carl - The Emperor of Japan enters into an alliance with the Netherlands and takes Korea and the Manchurian Plain. Closer to home, the Dutch work hard to gain dominance of Northern Europe. Eventually they send amphibious forces into Western Anatolia and colonists to North America.

Ty - France fires up under the grand leadership of Napoleon and the naval power of Villeneuve to dominate Northern Europe, North America, and Nippon. Presence in South America, SE Asia, and Australia add to the worldwide expansion. Finally, while trying to push into Asia on the Korea Peninsula, Napoleon meets his demise.

The sun sets on a game in which the British Empire never takes part.

Jennifer - The United States fights its way across a highly populated North America to then drop into the Manchurian Plain for presence and a monument. From there they shifted to grabbing dominance in SE Asia and India.

Nathan - Germany recruits some minor allies in Zimbabwe to lock up African dominance. More importantly, the Netherlands and France fall to the Kaiser while expeditionary forces seize Patagonia and the Malayan Peninsula. Then a serious power move is made against the North American East Coast to gain dominance there. The last move fails when an attempt is made to take out the Spanish capital in the Pyrenees.

Nathan ends the seventh epoch in the lead to gain the last pre-eminence marker. After all the wrangling, Christina is two points ahead of Jennifer. Ty straggles in ten points behind them with Mike and Carl a good eight to ten points beyond that.

Once the pre-eminence markers are revealed, Mike jumps ahead of Ty. In an interesting flip, Jennifer's one marker is two points larger than Christina's sole chit. But because of a lower total empire strength Christina is still the second place finisher by tiebreaker. Nathan pads his lead and wins this year's HWD crown going away.

Nathan - 183+13 = 196; Christina - 179+3 = 182 (57); Jennifer - 177+5 = 182 (64) ; Mike - 160+10 = 170; Ty -167; Carl - 158

GM Craig Yope (at right) with his six finalist conquerors.
 GM     Craig Yope [3rd Year]  NA
   craigyope@comcast.net   NA 

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