history of the world [Updated August 2000]

   18-24    18-24  

    Maryland 3    Maryland 4   Maryland 1-2

Robert Destro, NJ

2000 Champion

2nd: Tony Cadden, MD

3rd: Graeme Dandy, Australia

4th: Paul Bean, MA

5th: Allen Kaplan, NJ

6th: Paul McCarthy, NY 
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
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
AREA Ratings
 1    George Young      5353
 2    Bruce Monnin      5316
 3    Craig Dudley      5266
 4    Paul McCarthy      5246
 5    Timothy Greene      5231
 6    James Pei      5209
 7    Robert Destro      5208
 8    Michael Fisher      5203
 9    Harald Henning      5196
10    William Crenshaw      5174

The Tides of History ...

71 people showed up for the first round of the tournament, a slight increase over last year; however, one of the 71 didn't get past the "I'm not pre-registered and I lost my badge, but my badge number is-" stage, so 70 players were seated. This year's tournament had a number of lessons taught, starting with:

LESSON 1 - IF YOU DON'T BRING A GAME, THERE'S NO GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO PLAY: Only 10 of the 70 people brought the game to the event; even when I added my personal copy (brought for just such an emergency), there was only room for 66 players. Just before I had to select six of the "walk-up" players for removal from the tournament, a twelfth board was found, so everybody could be seated. However, potential 2001 players should take note.
Round One was relatively uneventful once it started; the biggest items of note were a board where the winner still had units from Babylonia (Epoch I), Assyria (II), Maurya (III), and Goths (IV) on the board at the end of the game, and all but Maurya controlled cities as well, and a board where the "play the Romans, wear the target for the rest of the game" theory was shown not to be as true as it sounds when the Romans player is then dealt the Guptas. Two of the boards managed to last over seven hours, which is not really a good thing for a round that starts at 6 PM; one of them was due to a player signing up at the last second, being assigned a board, and then saying "I've never actually played this before; is that a problem?" despite the program
clearly stating this is an "experienced players only" event. (Because of the many different Events, HOTW is a hard game to teach in a tournament.) As there were 12 boards, the top three from each board automatically qualified for the second round, with any no-shows being replaced by fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishers. Which brings me to:

LESSON 2 - DO NOT ASSUME THAT A LAST-PLACE FINISH IN THE FIRST ROUND MEANS YOU ARE OUT OF THE TOURNAMENT: Only 31 people showed up for the semi-final round on Friday night. 26 of the 36 automatic qualifiers, three fourth-place finishers, and two fifth-place finishers, including the #19 alternate, played. Once again, there was a problem with a lack of boards (see Lesson 1); next year, it will be made quite clear that failure to bring a copy of the game means that you are not guaranteed a spot, even if you qualify for the semi-finals. Because only 31 players showed up, five of the six boards had five players, which gave me a chance to analyze the main differences between five-player and six-player games. The main problem with five players is that there's more chance of a player getting the last turn in an Epoch and the first in the next Epoch (Third Reich players know how much a "flip-flop" can affect the game); one player had two such turns and won easily. However, there is one advantage; the game runs much faster.

Three first-round winners (Paul Bean, Allen Kaplan, Paul McCarthy) proved their initial wins were no fluke by winning their semi-finals as well; they were joined in the final by Graeme Dandy (a first-round second place), Tony Cadden (a third place), and Robert Destro (one of the two fifth-place finishers to get in as alternates). In Epoch 3, Tony Cadden's Romans managed to win every battle but one (with a little help from the +1 Weaponry event), and he opened up a lead, as well as wearing the target hat. However, when Paul McCarthy's T'ang Dynasty tried to take Chekiang (with a fort) from the Romans, he managed to remove one of the two armies, but then lost eight of his own in an unsuccessful attempt to finish the job (including rolling
6 twice, only for Tony to come up with a modified 7 each time). The odds against this happening are about 250-1. Tony's Epoch 4 strategy was to play the Anglo-Saxons minor empire, followed by the Southern Iberia Kingdom. Just one problem:

LESSON 3 - DO NOT FORGET TO PLAY YOUR EVENTS! Tony realized in the middle of his turn that he had set his two events aside and forgot to play them. After that, he lost his touch with the dice, losing four armies in an Epoch 5 attack by his Sung Dynasty into Nile Delta. His Romans held discipline when Graeme Dandy's Mongols lost five armies trying to capture Wei River (with three dice against two each time), but his attempts to warn the other players that Dandy (with a Mongols-Ming Dynasty "double turn") and Robert Destro were the ones to beat went unnoticed as they did manage to pass Tony by the end of Epoch 6. When Tony turned over Russia for Epoch 7 and added two snake-eyes rolls in his combat rolls, and then Robert played both Netherlands and Japan for 59 points, the race was for second place (which Tony managed to hold onto). Afterwards, Tony said that his not playing the two Epoch 4 events probably cost him the game.

And note for 2001: just because you don't automatically qualify for the semi-final round doesn't mean you shouldn't show up; this year's winner was the #16 alternate. There are many temptations at WBC that conspire to prevent qualifiers from advancing as scheduled.

 GM      Don Del Grande  [2nd Year]   142 Eliseo Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904-1339
    del_grande@netvista.net   NA

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