archaeologists dig up eight extra
The 2001 tournament consisted of a total of five lonnnng
games. The preliminary heats had three six-player games and one
seven-player table culminating in an eight-player final.
The heats were dominated by Joe Gunderson, who won half
of the four games. The other winners were Greg Palmer with a
16-point Assyrian victory, and Eric Gunderson who earned a 172-point
Egyptian win. Africa seemed to be the most successful position
this year with two firsts and two seconds. Meanwhile, Iberia
was the touch of death with a sixth place finish in every game.
The final round started off in typical fashion. There were
the usual arguments over territory, and eventual agreements.
All went well...for about three hours until a player (who will
remain nameless) discovered that he was playing with 55 tokens
instead of the required 47. After much discussion, the game had
to be completely restarted.
The second version of the final was one of the most competitive
and lowest scoring games that I have ever seen. Despite being
attacked by four other nations in an attempt to prevent his advancing
on the AST, Doug Galullo's Assyria held on for the win and his
second ACV title in three years with a final score of 4271. Rodd
Polsky's Africa placed a strong second, only 196 points behind.
The rest of the pack was very close with a mere 172 points seperating
third through seventh place.
Doug's purchase of Military and Monotheism proved to
be the keys to success. When he was attacked, the Military allowed
him to move last and thwart an attack on his cities. The Monotheism
was the game winner, though, when he was able to convert a Cretian
city to allow him to advance the last space on the AST yo claim
the victory. Special mention must go to Greg Palmer. He was
a solid second before the restart and then became the "calamity
magnet" afterwards. He continued to play without complaint
despite having his position ravaged by every possible calamity.
This tournament was one of three to offer the new Novice
Division. Unfortunately, it did not work as only one person wanted
to play so we'll go without it next year. Look for a new format
with smaller boards and shorter games in the qualifying round.
We may introduce some variants to reduce the game to five or
six hours at five player boards in hopes of attracting those
players who don't want to spend a full day (or two) qualifying
for the finals. The smallest field in the history of the event,
seems to suggest we need to make some changes.