Galaxy [Updated August 2001]

GXY   3 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
  Rnd1 Heat1  20   Demo 15  Rnd1 Heat2 21
  Rnd1 Heat3 14   Rnd1 Heat4 23   
   Round 2 9 Semi  Round 3 10 Final  

   Rnd1 Heat1  Rnd1 Heat3 Md 3   Rnd1 Heat2 Md 2  Rnd1 Heat4 Md 4  Round 2 Round 3 Belmont

Steve Cameron, PA

2001 Champion:

2nd: Kaarin Engleman, VA

3rd: David Buchholz, MI

4th: Jonathan Shambeda, PA

5th: Steve Shambeda, PA

6th: Anthony Musella, VA
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    None     -
2000    James Pei     96
2001    Steve Cameron     87

AREA Ratings:

GM: Kaarin Engelmann

War of the Worlds 21st Century Style ...

I taught many people to play Galaxy this year - ten at the demo, but many more at various other times during the convention. The opportunity to shoot at other people's ships and bases seemed to generally be a crowd pleaser. (Several of the people at the demo stayed well beyond the allotted time because they didn't want to just play a few hands - they wanted to finish their game.)

In the first round, there were 26 games played, 12 were 4-player and the other 14 were 5-player. In seven of those games, victory was decided by the tie-breaker (the value of the ships in players' final hands). In one, the tie was between three people and the other two players tied each other for last place. In another game, the three players who had secret bases saw each one surrender. The two players with no secret base tied for first. A few of the tables seemed to miss the rule for deciding ties; I'll emphasize it more next year.

The worlds most often surrendered during the tournament was Myrmidon, followed by Kha' Farjimmn. The most poplar choice for a secret base during the tournament was Felowi, and by far the least popular was Kha' Farjimmn. The average score for the 4-player games was 32.9 and the average score of the 5-player games was 37.6. However, for both 4- and 5-player games, the average score of the winner was around 12 (12.2 and 12.0).

By the way, I've noticed - whether I'm playing Galaxy in a tournament or just for fun - the scoring opportunity that people are most likely to forget about is Spoils of War. I warned people before each heat began, covered the topic extensively in the Demo, and put it in bold, italic and large type on the player's aid sheet, yet I still heard people grumbling about forgetting it. (And this year, everyone was out of luck if they had already started a new round or picked up the cards from the table.) Remember Spoils of War, y'all! (Also remember that the spoils only apply to the column with the highest ship - spoils earned at one world don't allow you to affect another world.)

Luckily for the semi-finalists, only 24 people showed up to play in the semi-finals (if all 26 table winners had been there, we would have had to resort to a quarter-final format). I had seeded all first-, second-, and third-place finishers in order. (Next year, I'll use my laptop-instead of a calculator - and the first-place finishers will not be seeded; they'll just know they got into the finals.) Things went smoothly - except that all of my blank score sheets disappeared. The participants were very good sports about it all and kept track of scores on notebook paper.

Just the participants in the final made things interesting - both Steve Shambeda and his son Jon made it. (Steve even has another son who competed in the tournament - Jed.) The format for the final was different than the other rounds -i t consisted of two games, with the winner as the person with the highest total in both games.

It started out very slow and deliberate -in fact, no one had seen a game take so long. Kaarin Engelmann had hot dice defending the Kha' Farjimmn - she fought off a battle cruiser and two cruisers. David Buchholz took the governorship of the Myrmidon and used it four times against Jon; still, Jon held on. In the last round, Steve played a Transport to improve one of Kaarin's bases on the Kha' Farjimmn, apparently to make it more of a target. Kaarin followed this move by playing a Drone on the Kha' Farjimmn and causing it to surrender (thus losing 5 points, which could be what caused her to come in 2nd in the end). In that game, it turned out that threeof the five players had the Ecup Contract as their Secret Base. As a result, the scores were very close - Steve and Jon both had 12 points, Kaarin had 11, Steve 10, and David, whose secret Base the Divergence had surrendered first, brought up last with only three points. But the Final was only half over.

It was not good news for Steve, who intended to discard a card from a surrendered world and ended up playing a Nova on this own Ecup Contract, effectively eliminating all of his own points. In the end, it came down to Kaarin who had to decide between giving the big points to Steve or to Jon. Since giving them to Steve, also gave her second place, she took it. David ended up with enough points in the second game (he actually was the high scorer in that game) to move up to third place.

A final note: As GM, I could not have done my job without the able assistance of Stuart Tucker, who actually ran two of the heats. He went way above-and-beyond the call of duty as assistant GM.

 GM      Kaarin Engelmann  [1st Year]   7824 New London Dr, Springfield, VA 22153    NA  

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