successors [Updated August 2001]

SUC  2 prizes Experienced Swiss Elim Continuous 
  18     Round 2 10  Round 3 16 Final

    Round 2 Polo  Round 3 Tack

Robert Seulowitz, NY

2001 Champion

2nd: Michael Day, AZ

3rd: Jim Gutt, AZ

4th: Craig Melton, VA

5th: Ross Jones, SC

6th: John Firer, WI
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    Doug Smith      32
1999    Jim Gutt     16
2000    Jim Gutt     16
2001     Robert Seulowitz     17

AREA Ratings:

GM: John Firer

To the Strongest

These words were spoken by Alexander the Great on his deathbed to Perdiccas, when asked who would succeed Alexander upon his death. 23 years later in 301 BC, although many of Alexander's marshals had tried and many had died in the attempt to assume Alexander's mantle, the strongest had not emerged. Instead, Alexander's empire was divided among the remaining warlords and stayed divided for over 250 years until Rome brought a unity of sorts.

For the fourth consecutive year, would be Diadochoi (Successors) came to Hunt Valley, Maryland to test their mettle against other Successors to determine who was the strongest, at least in Avalon Hill's excellent game SUCCESSORS. Out of a potential field of 39 contestants, 17 eventually stepped forward to begin the funeral games. The player who traveled the farthest was Nick Frydas (otherwise known as the Satrap of Syria) from Athens, Greece, a fitting reminder of the historical context of the game. The gamemaster baton was transferred from Jeff Paull to John B. Firer. Jeff had done an outstanding job for the last three years and when given the opportunity to pursue other interests, he passed leadership on to John and his able assistants, Doug Cooley and Jim Gutt.

This year, the 2nd Edition rules developed by Mark Simonitch and John Firer were used. Optional rules were limited to Inconclusive Battle, Asia Minor Fleet, and Cilicia. In addition, the Tournament now consisted of two qualification rounds followed by a final championship round of the four top-ranked players. Players were assigned randomly for the first round but assigned by ranking for the second round. The top four contestants advanced to a final, championship round.

The struggle began with four tables of four players on Tuesday evening at 1800 hours (Nick Frydas arrived late and joined during the second round). By the second round on Monday morning at 1000 hours, only a lucky thirteen players decided to continue the contest. Thanks to the bottom ranking five players agreeing to an impromptu 5-player match, the top eight players were allowed to play four-player games. Otherwise it would have eventually come down to one 4-player game and three 3-player games, something no one really desired. Hats off to these valiant five contestants. By 1600 that afternoon, the four strongest players, Craig Melton, Jim Gutt, Robert Seulowitz, and Michael Day emerged to begin the final round. Finally, after almost seven hours of diplomacy, combat, unrest, and exhaustion, the Sunburst Faction of Robert Seulowitz (Perdiccas, Craterus, and Eumenes) wrested the championship from the other worthy factions by proclaiming his ward Alexander the IV as King of Macedon and Lord of Asia at the beginning of Turn 5. Michael Day of the Horse Faction (Antipater, Leonnatus, and Cassander) came in a close second. The Asp Faction (Antigonus, Demetrius, Peithon, and Seleucus) of past two-time champion Jim Gutt emerged third, with Craig Melton's Lion Faction (Ptolemy and Lysimachus) taking fourth.

Of the eight games played and won, three (37.5%) were won at the beginning of Turn 5 with Alexander IV coming to the throne. Heracles came to the throne at the beginning of Turn 4 twice (25%), to end the game. Especially noteworthy was the fact that two games (25%) ended in legitimacy wins during Turns 3 and 4, both obtained by Craig Melton. Jim Gutt's Automatic Victory during Turn 2 was both the shortest road to victory and the rarest (12.5%). Alexander's Body was buried in six of the eight games (75% of the time), with the most popular resting-place being Babylon (66.5%) and Pella and Sardis tying in popularity at 16.5% each.

While there was only one death due to Salvation at the 11th Hour (Lysimachus on Turn 1), ten generals died in battle. Lysimachus earned notoriety by dying three times. Antigonus and Peithon each died twice, with Craterus, Ptolemy, and Antipater dying but once during the eight games. The majority of the generals died during Turn 2, with Turn 3 being the second best "day to die". It was impossible to ascertain the turn of death for one general due to faulty record keeping.

Other interesting statistics include the following:
Eumenes arrived in 100% of the games, with average arrival time being 1.5 turns
Seleucus arrived in 62.5% of the games, with average arrival time being 1.2 turns
The Silver Shields arrived in 75% of the games, with average arrival time being 1.3 turns. They turned traitor to their paymaster twice, or 33.3% of the time.
The Indian Elephant Corps arrived in 50% of the games, with average arrival time being 2.5 turns.
Seven generals were condemned by their peers, with Perdiccas leading the pack having been selected 37.5% of the time, followed by Lysimachus and Craterus tied at 25%, and Antipater at 12.5% of the time.

In general, the use of the 2nd Edition rules was well received by the tournament participants, as was the new Swiss format. While for the most part the tournament was successful, there are some issues that should be looked at for possible change next year including:
Expanding the time per round from five to six hours due to the expanded playtime caused by the 2nd Edition rules.
Distributing participants in the first round by AREA standings or other measures of ability
Randomly placing participants in the second round to avoid handicapping the first round leaders.
Eliminating the Inconclusive Battle optional rule from tournament play
Using the optional Salvation at the 11th Hour rules.
Eliminate or reduce tournament points for a Legitimacy win.
Revise the tie breaking formula to be more in line with the 2nd Edition Rules.
Avoid scheduling against HANNIBAL. NOTE: The GM specifically asked to have SUCCESSORS not scheduled against this event. While Round 1 did not conflict with HRC (except its mulligan round), subsequent SUCCESSOR rounds were in direct conflict with HRC. This may be impossible to do, as a result of scheduling imperatives.

Important Links:
2nd Edition Rules:
CONSIMWORLD Successors Discussion Folder:^3@.ee6c38c

 GM      John Firer  [1st Year]   7655 N. Berwyn Ave, Glendale, WI 53209   (414) 247-1506

2001 Preview Page
View the Icon Key