The First of the Fast Forward History
Arising like invaders from the sea, gamers flocked to the
Britannia tournament this year in numbers not seen in
several years. The bevy of gamers made for an interesting tournament
with the mix of experience leading to some wild and wooly games.
High scores this year were very high as the balance of power
in some games was thrown off. Jim Lawler took top honors in the
preliminary rounds with an unheard of red score of 155. At more
than one point, the board was filled with red from Wales to Scotland.
But there were challengers for the red trophy with Yann Clouet
from France getting 150 and Scott Pfeiffer 144.5. Rick Kirchner
pulled in the green trophy with a score of 125.5. Ewan McNay
returned for another high score win with the Purple at 132.
The Maryland Ballroom hums to the
rise and fall of cultures in one of Britannia's
Purple was an interesting story this year. Randy Schilb's
capturing of the blue high score with Belgae that just wouldn't
quit is illustrative of the fate of many a Roman invasion this
year. More Romans washed ashore on the beaches than I've ever
seen. When Belgae scores of 8, 10 and 12 are common on the first
turn, the dice are seriously whacking the poor Romans. Anyway,
Randy's Belgae finally exited the scene around turn 12 or 13
after being elected Bretwalda twice and preparing the way for
huge Angle and Norman invasions. 140 was the final blue score.
Also enshrined in memory this year will be Barry Smith who,
even with four points for his Belgae, scored a massive 37 for
the lowest score in my memory in the tournament. Bad dice Barry?
The semi-finals this year seemed poised to bring in the usual
final with six of the seven past champions filling the ranks.
But it was anything but usual when the dust settled. Ewan McNay
barely squeaked out a knife fight on the bid against Scott Pfeiffer
and Brett Mingo. Nicholas Benedict, a newcomer to the game, won
against Jim Jordan and David Gannt. Jonathon Squibb pulled out
a purple win in a game including Duane Wagner. Finally, as the
only former champion to get into the final, Randy Schilb barely
squeezed past Jon Price.
After the close scores of the semi-finals, the final was a
bloodbath. Ewan McNay's Saxons and Brigantes swarmed over the
board turning it red from sea to sea with able help from the
Irish and Norsemen. When it appeared that red might have the
appearance of being overwhelmingly powerful, Ewan sacrificed
the Brigantes to smack at some of the forces of the northern
powers. Invasions against the Saxons proved fruitless as the
resilient farmers slipped away from the invaders and then swept
out to crush them. A superb Danish invasion yielded many green
points but then the Danes were swept back into the sea as the
Saxons grew like rabbits and fought back. You know it's an oddball
game when the Saxons score 21 points on the final turn of the
In the end, it was a lopsided victory in the wee hours of
the morning. Ewan's red came in 50% ahead of second place with
153.5, after a two-point bid. Jonathon Squibb came in second
with 100, Randy Schilb third at 92, and Nick Benedict fourth