Rover Beware ...
Jeff Jackson, Brian Smith, Sue Lanham
and Trella Bromley
2008 champ Eve Secunda and Norm Newton
Sam Packwood, Ron Secunda, Paul Van
Bloem and Len Scensny
GM Secunda and his finalists.
This year's tournament was quite exciting. For one thing,
the number of players who won two of the preliminary heats was
the highest since I have been GM. Congratulations to Brian Conlon,
Paul Van Bloem, John Henry, Donna Balkan, and Sue Lanham for
being double winners. Also, one player in the Final got close
enough to victory to taste it twice, only to have it disappear
holdings for the Final players when all properties had been purchased
Brian Conlon: AT&SF, CMS, TP&P, CB&Q, SOU, IC.
Brian Smith: PA, NYNH&H, B&M, UP, RF&P, SLSF, T&P.
Jeff Jackson: NYC, SP, L&N, C&NW, NP.
Donna Balkan: B&O, WP, D&RGW, CRI&P, GN, ACL, GM&O.
Sue Lanham: C&O, SAL, MP, N&W.
One player in the Final went bankrupt. Sue's future looked
bleak early on when, sitting in Seattle, she rolled San Diego
as a destination, while the AT&SF, UP, and SP had already
been purchased. From there, things didn't get much better. Surprisingly,
it was Brian Conlon, not Sue, who first had to auction railroads.
The first was the IC to Jeff for 15K, and then his SOU to Brian
Smith for 29K. Sue had to auction her MP off to Brian Smith for
$27.5K, and her downward spiral continued. She auctioned off
her N&W to Jeff for $12K, her SAL to Donna for $10K, and
her last railroad, the C&O, to Brian Conlon for $10K.
Jeff was the first player to announce $150K. He subsequently
found himself in Chicago with $213.5K, but then had to travel
to two hostile destinations, Boston and Des Moines. At this time,
Jeff's only competition (cash-wise) was Brian Smith, who announced
$150K. Jeff's next destination after Des Moines was New York
City. After reaching New York with plenty of cash on hand, he
declared for his home city of Charlotte. Unfortunately, whereas
he needed a 10 to win the game, he only rolled a 6, and retreated
northward, where he was rovered near Albany anyway by Brian Smith,
who had rolled a 16! Now, Brian Smith had $221K, but was on his
way to a hostile Detroit. Jeff proceeded to his alternate destination,
San Antonio, and had $201.5K upon arriving. His next destination
was Boston, and Brian Smith, fearing Jeff would again be in a
position to return to Charlotte, began an epic journey through
several regions on an assortment of owned and unfriendly railroads
to stay nearby. Meanwhile, Donna announced over $150K, and Brian
Conlon had arrived in Los Angeles and announced with $175K. Eventually,
neither Jeff nor Brian Smith could declare for home, and they
both had to head to destinations out west, Jeff to Los Angeles,
and Brian to Spokane (with $266.5K) on board.
At this point, Jeff, with way over $200K, rolled for his next
destination and, as fate would have it, rolled SW. He chose SE,
then unbelievably rolled his home city! Brian Smith, with nothing
to lose at this point, declared for his home in Dallas. Brian
Conlon amazingly rolled an 18 on his way to hostile Cleveland,
and then proceeded to Fort Worth, where he arrived with $203K.
Jeff had been moving along his SP toward Charlotte, and was finally
just 10 spaces from his home city (again), when Brian Conlon
declared for his home city, Chicago. He needed a 13 to arrive,
and rolled a 14, to win the game. Talk about coming from behind!
For those of us who had a less than stellar tournament, there's
always next year. Me? I bought new dice. It was that or sacrifice
The finalists lineup with their winnings.