Galaxy [Updated October 2002]

GXY   4 prizes Swiss Elim Scheduled 
  Rnd1 Heat1  20   Rnd1 Heat2 22
  Rnd1 Heat3 14   Rnd1 Heat4 23   
   Round 2 18 Semi  Round 3 20 Final  

   Rnd1 Heat1  Rnd1 Heat4  Md 1    Rnd1 Heat2 Rnd1 Heat3 Md 2    Round 2 Round 3 Polo

Jon Shambeda, PA

2002 Champion:

2nd: David Buchholz, MI

3rd: Andy Lewis, DE

4th: Martin Sample, NH

5th: Steve Shambeda, PA

6th: Bill Place, PA

Event History
2000    James Pei     96
2001    Steve Cameron     87
2002     Jon Shambeda     75

AREA Ratings

GM: Kaarin Engelmann

Past Winners

James Pei - TX

Steve Cameron - PA

War of the Worlds 21st Century Style ...

In 2002, Galaxy was run as a Coached Event, and I am happy to say that experienced players showed a lot of patience teaching many new people the game. It can sometimes be frustrating to guide these beginners, but I firmly believe that part of the role of WBC is to cultivate new blood, and I think a Coached Event is a good way to do it.

Although fewer people played in the tournament this year, more games were played in the first round (29 versus 26). One reason for this statistic is that there were only four five-player games in the first round this year. (Last year, there were about equal numbers of four- and five-player games.) Because only 20 people (including three semi-finalists) showed up for the semi-finals, we played four five-player games and had a four-player final. (I would have advanced as many as five more alternates if they had shown up. Hint, hint!) I may need to change the time for the second round...did everyone really like 9 a.m. on Saturday better?

As usual, there were times during the tournament when players found themselves in particularly interesting circumstances. For example, once in Heat 1, Steve Cameron was left with a hand of only technology cards as the result of Raiders being played on the world he governed. In another Heat 1 game, Joseph Burch managed to draw five "10s", but they were all for worlds where he had no influence. That same game, Dan Dolan, Sr., had five "0s" in his hand. Low and behold, Dan won the game and Joseph came in last.

In Heat 2, Joel Tamburo only drew one card the entire game that was not a "0", "10", or technology card. (He didn't manage to win the game.) In another Heat 2 game, bases managed to defend themselves in more than 2/3 of the approximately 20 attacks made on them. In one particular exchange, Dan Eshelman rolled boxcars twice. In Heat 4, Luke Koleszar was Governor of the Ecup Contract, even though Luke's influence on that world had been knocked down to "0". (He made up for it with other influence and won the game.)

One of the closest games was a five-player semi-final in which the winner (Dave Buchholz-a finalist from last year) scored ten points and each of the other players scored eight. By the end of the game, Dave had acquired a hand size of 15. He accomplished this by playing the Advanced Processing Technology Card and several Raiders. In that game, Steve Shambeda (a finalist from last year), moved up from last place to second by eliminating the Divergence on the last round and forcing the four-way tie for second (which he won on the tie breaker).

As usual, the final was intense-though this year it was shorter because it consisted of only one game. Two of the four players (Dave Buccholz and Jon Shambeda) were finalists in 2001. The first world to surrender was Divergence. In the second round, Martin Sample eliminated the Erthizonians (under the influence of Dave and Jon). In the third round, Jon's influence on the Kha'Farjimmn was driven down to "0" through the handiwork of Andy Lewis. Since Andy and Dave both had significant influence showing on the Ecup Contract, Cylor, and Imperials, Martin and Jon felt compelled to work together and eliminate the Imperials.

During the last round, Martin built his hand size up to 13 and played sensors to determine where some of the secret bases were. Luck was not with him, and he gleaned no information. When Jon made a move to attack the Kha'Farjimmn Drone (1)-where he had "0" influence showing-everyone suspected that his secret base was there. Andy was determined to take out the Kha'Farjimmn, but he didn't get much assistance from Dave, who stayed out of the fray by discarding. Jon played a Drone (1) on the Cylor, where he had 5 influence points showing, but Andy brought in a Cruiser (8), which he used to try to take out the Felowi Cruiser (8). Both attack and counter-attack failed. At this point, Dave revealed his secret base on the Kha'Farjimmn-which explains the lack of cooperation on his part to take out the yellow menace - and played the garrison ship.

This move ended the game by causing the Ecup Contract to surrender. It was Martin's secret base. Unfortunately for Dave (and the rest of the players), Jon's secret base was, in fact, on the Kha'Farjimmn, and Jon took victory, with ten influence. Andy's secret base was on Felowi, which meant that he and Dave tied for second with seven. Dave had the better remaining hand, so he won the tiebreaker. Martin was fourth with five points. His secret base was the only one lost. The score in the final game (29) was less than the median for four-player games in the first round (32), despite the fact that only one secret base was eliminated in the game. (This seems to indicate that players worked together to beat on the leader.)

Now for statistics: In 25 first-round games that provided World Surrender information, the races most likely to surrender (in 75 percent of games) were the Ecup Contract and the Imperials, followed closely by the Myrmidons. Last year, the Myrmidons took the dubious honor of most likely to be absorbed. The Cylor were the safest bet during 2002, surrendering in less than half of the games. (Though the Cylor surrendered in every semi-final game, it did survive in the final.) Interestingly, the most popular choices for secret bases were the Ecup Contract and the Cylor. (Both were selected 15 times.) Slightly less popular (selected 13 times) was the choice to establish no secret base at all. In one game, none of the four players established a secret base. That game tied for the lowest winning score, but was not the lowest-scoring game. In the lowest-scoring game, all secret bases were eliminated.

This year, victory had to be determined by tiebreaker in only two first-round games - though one involved three players. Ties for lower finishes did have an effect on alternate seeding. The semi-final games had interesting scores, with ties for second through fourth in one of the four games and second through fifth in another-mentioned above. (Luckily, the ties did not affect who advanced to the final.) Generally, the rule for deciding ties was remembered this year. Note that when examining the remaining cards in a hand to break a tie, Ally cards count double (the same way cards for remaining worlds count double).

The average total game score in 2002 was slightly lower than last year for four- and five-player games (31.8 and 36, respectively), but the average winning score remained at 12. (The standard deviation for the total game score was 8.6 for four-player games and 1.8 for five-player games. For average winning score, the standard deviation was 3.1 for four-player games and 0.8 for five-player games.) For all games, the lowest total game score was 18 and the highest was 48; the lowest winning score was 7 and the highest was 16.

A special thanks to Stuart Tucker for acting as assistant GM and to the other volunteers who took on that job during the tournament. I particularly appreciate anyone who helped teach during the heats. I also appreciate Steve Shambeda's valuable feedback about rules and handouts. Thank you to everyone who took time to write down anecdotes about their games and give the GM feedback.

As a final note, there is a rule clarification for next year: Anyone who wants to reveal a secret base on a world that has already surrendered will need to use the turn's card play to discard the useless garrison ship. Thus, revealing a secret base on a surrendered world uses both Mandatory Action A2 and Optional Action B.

 GM      Kaarin Engelmann  [2nd Year]   7824 New London Dr, Springfield, VA 22153    NA  

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