medici [Updated August 2001]

MED  3 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
      Demo 12  Rnd1 Heat1  14
  Rnd1 Heat2 16   Rnd1 Heat3  21   Round 2  22   Round 3 23 Final

  Rnd1 Heat1  Maryland 4  Rnd1 Heat2 Maryland 3  Rnd1 Heat3 Round 2 Round 3 Maryland 2

Doug Galullo, FL

2001 Champion

2nd: Ken Gutermuth, GA

3rd: Roy Gibson, MD

4th: Brett Mingo, MD

5th: Jennifer Thomas, NY

6th: Ilan Woll, CT
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    Kevin Wojtasczyk     86
2000    Harald Henning     84
2001    Doug Galullo     95

AREA Ratings:

GM: Peter Staab

Fine porcelain! Bolts and bolts of fabric! Spices for sale!

The Medici tournament grew again this year, with a new high of 27 separate games played amongst its three heats. A total
of 134 "players" competed, including six who played in every heat. Of the 27 heat winners, 18 won in their first
heat , seven in their second and two needed all three heats to win a game.

Highlights from the preliminaries included Roy Gibson flipping four cards, including three spice, in the final turn to get both the top boat and a 20-point bonus in the spice category to come from 3rd place to win. In the second heat, Tom Dunning purchased a set of three cards including the "10" gold card unopposed for a single florin to jump out to a lead. However, Tom Agostino took control of three commodities in the second turn and Tom Dunning paid a healthy 21 florins for the "10" gold that turn to reclaim a small lead, which he then turned into a 44-florin victory -- the largest margin in the tournament. The second heat also featured the largest comeback as Arthur Field came from last place, 28 florins behind, after turn 2 in a four-player game to win by four florins. The third heat saw two participants reach the top of two different commodity groups with different results in their games. Joe Jaskiewicz used the 40 bonus points to win his game in handy fashion by 25 points, while Laurel Stokes ended up tied for second in her third heat game even with the 40 bonus points. Finally, one of the six-player games in the third heat had the unusual occurrence that three of the players purchased four different commodities
for their ships in the first round.

25 of the 27 victors appeared for the semi-final round, thus yielding five 5-player games with no alternates advancing. In the semis, it seemed that getting bonus points in the second turn was not the pathway to victory as only one of the four players to
score bonus points in the second turn eventually won their game. The margins of victory ranged from four florins to 17.

The finals saw Jennifer Thomas, Ken Gutermuth, Bret Mingo, Doug Galullo and Roy Gibson vying for the championship. In the first turn, Jennifer managed a good start on cornering the cloth commodity with three cards as Roy managed three spice. Meanwhile, Doug had a good ship total but got one of each of the five different commodities in doing so. Bret got the "10" gold card, two metal and one each of two other commodities while Ken only got four cards in the turn including two spice. After the first turn, Doug led with 51 florins, to Roy and Jennifer's 50, Brett's 46 and Ken's 35. During the second turn, Jennifer and Roy improved their control of cloth and spice respectively with cheap purchases gaining the 10-bonus level of the respective commodities. Doug began to focus on the porcelain and dye being ignored by the others. Ken concentrated on spice and porcelain as Brett fell behind. After the second round, Doug still led with 74 florins, but Roy looked good with 73, already having bonus points in the spice commodity. Jennifer with 63, Ken 58 and Brett 52 rounded out the field.

In the third round, Bret and Ken decided that their only chance was to try to discard as many cards as possible to reduce
everyone else's chances of scoring. Roy ended the turn with only two commodity cards and Brett with only four. Meanwhile,
Jennifer overpaid for a full ship of five cards. Ken and Doug got most of their commodity cards before they became too scarce and thus paid reasonable prices for their goods. Doug purchased two dye and three porcelain to gain the10-point porcelain bonus. Ken meanwhile picked up enough spice to tie Roy for spice and also tied Doug for the dye lead. Roy and Jennifer did make it to the 20-bonus level in cloth and spice respectively and Brett got the 20-point bonus in metal. When the
dust settled, Doug had held on to win with the third best ship in the last turn and his two commodity leads to finish with 100
florins. Roy and Ken tied for second at 99. Bret ended with 87 florins thanks to the second best boat in the last turn and Jennifer added 84. This was the closest game of Medici that I have seen in my three years as GM.

The German rules state that the youngest player should start the game, which usually indicates that they believe that the first player gets a slight advantage. However, we picked the starting player at random and the seating order did not seem to make much difference. The first player won eight games, the second seven, the third eight, the fourth three games (including the championship) and the fifth player seven for a faily even distribution of wins by turn order. The other thing that amazed me was that only two players came from farther back than second place after the second turn to win their game. In 18 of the 31 games where intermediate scores were recorded, the winner of the game was leading after the second turn. I've always thought
comebacks could be easily mounted in this game, but these stats refute that theory. One other note is that of 36 players who scored bonuses in the second turn, only seven managed to win.

There were a couple things that need correcting for next year's tournament. First, I have set the time for this game at an hour. However, it usually takes me 10 to 15 minutes to set up the random pairings. The games should still be able to be finished in
the hour time limit, but I could see how a game could go for an hour playing time beyond my setup time. However, there were three games this year that lasted over 90 minutes. That is unacceptable for this game. Next year, I am going to schedule games for 90 minutes inclusive of my prep time. I will give a 15-minute warning before the end of the time limit and any game not decided at this will be adjudicated. I will probably adjudicate by dealing cards to players who still need them in the last turn for three florins each. I'm not fond of this solution, so if people have other ideas, let me know NOW. I don't want to adjudicate games, but I can't have them lasting as long as they did this year. I thank all of my semi-finalists for their patience while the one long game in the third heat was completed and I thank the four finalists who waited for the fifth semi-final game to be completed. Your patience is appreciated but should not be required.

The other correction needed is a tie breaker, as we almost had a calamity in the final. I have two possibilities in mind. One would be to make the winner the player who has accumulated the most bonus points. The second tiebreaker would be to give the win to the player who was behind in the prior turn (i.e. give the victory to the player who scored the most points in the final turn). If anyone has any suggestions for other possible tiebreakers or prefers one method to the other that I have suggested, please contact me.

Finally, we used four-player games for the first time. I would like to know if players would prefer that I set up four-player games or six-player games for uneven numbers of participants in future years. Also, if you would like to use the 5-point bonus space or the 15-florin boat score for third place in six-player games (these are the two rule differences between the German and American games), please let me know this as well. I will try to base future tournaments on the wishes of the players (other than having six-player games instead of five-player games). Thank you for your opinions and I hope to see even more players next year.

 GM      Peter Staab  [3rd Year]   700 Bayridge Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15226-2112   (412) 343-5937

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