Behind the Pyramids
One of six preliminary games
underway. Efforts will be made to schedule this event in a quieter
venue in the future.
The leftmost player's shirt
seems appropriate for an Advanced Civilization tournament:
"Real men play Board Games" indeed!
Excellent tournament! At least, that is my conclusion after
wrapping up the post convention requirements as a GM. We had
terrific participation at the tournament, and for the first time
in many years we had three games in both heats (8,8,7 and 7,6,6)
for a total of 42 positions played in the heats with eight players
participating in both rounds. Adding the Final makes 50 positions
A post tournament review of all the games played shows that
Assyria (a/o Asia) was the nation most favored to be civilized
in our recreation of ancient history. The average final position
for Assyria (a/o Asia) was 2.142 followed by Africa at 4.143
and Babylon at 4.286. The nation least favored to be civilized
was Egypt with an average final position of 4.857.
As we have over the past few years, the rank of each player
in the tournament was determined by their score as a percentage
of the leaders score. This year there were no optional rules
available to the players, since in the past, players have opted
not to play with them anyway. There was also no kicker used as
a tie breaker, since as one player so eloquently stated "points
.To provide a summary of the Final, I asked the participants
to provide their own viewpoints. I would also like to express
my appreciation for the extra effort put forth by Shantanu Saha
for the excellent job of keeping a detailed record of city counts,
calamities and scores throughout the Final.
BABYLON: Greg Kulp. The fate of Babylon was decided in the
late stone-age. A flood and epidemic in 2500 BC followed by treachery
and epidemic in 2000 BC resulted in an early downfall of the
IBERIA: Joe Lux. I got hit with Superstition and Barbarian
Hordes in 2500 BC. That same turn I bought metal working and
architecture. Metal working got rid of the barbarians and I used
architecture to good effect as the game progressed to build six
wilderness cities. My intent was to use the wilderness cities
to absorb the effects of the piracy calamity and then give out
the secondary effects of that card to the game leaders. Architecture
was a big help to Iberia allowing him to reach nine cities three
times in the game, more times than any other player.
ASSYRIA: Kevin Youells. During mid-game, Crete was scheming
to launch an unprovoked attack on one of my cities. After some
discussion, Crete agreed to cease and desist in exchange for
a "favorable trade"·. My wise and tricky ambassadors
were quick to advise me, their mighty and powerful ruler, they
had never agreed to "when"· that trade was to
occur. The last words the people of Assyria heard their ruler
mutter was "2 stone for 1 sheep"·
AFRICA: Justin Nordstrom. I played Africa twice on consecutive
days. This time, Africa was the early recipient of famine followed
by the second and third civil war. My nation languished during
the mid-game. The only saving grace for Africa was the early
purchase of engineering and mining. That meant the even sub-par
card draws allowed me to make some minor gains. This helped Africa
tread water for a turn or two or three, but by the end game I
was floundering. The few cards I drew were often calamities and
combined with poor decisions in trading, things were made worse.
I noticed that players with few cities, the weaker or unlucky
players, were picking up all their cards, but often the cards
were calamities. Overall though, a real "learning experience"·.
CRETE: Doug Galullo. In 2500 BC, I reluctantly occupied the
Nile delta as a recipient of the Egypt civil war. I graciously
moved the units out of way of the Egyptian towards the Babylon
border. Unfortunately Babylon was not receptive to having Crete
peace keeping forces on the border between Egypt and Babylon.
The uneasy relationship with Babylon coupled with famine and
epidemic eventually led to the demise of these troops.
EGYPT: Joe Gundersen. I initiated friendly relations with
my neighbors Africa and Babylon from the outset and as the game
progressed worked hard at keeping those good relationships. The
game started off well for me and I easily reached eight cities
by 2500 BC when I got hit by the first civil war in 2500 BC and
things didnâ·t look so good. Fortunately, Crete
was agreeable to moving his newly gained troops out of Egypt
so there was very little conflict as I reoccupied the Nile delta.
I was the primary recipient of slave revolt in 2000 BC and 800
BC but thanks to the high agricultural values of the cities that
I reduced, the impact was negligible. I made a few good decisions
in the game that greatly helped my position. I learned engineering
in 2000 BC the turn before I was the primary recipient of flood
in 1600 BC and it also helped mitigate the effects of flooding
in 400 BC. I saw that Iberia was successful using architecture,
so I decided to buy architecture in 1600 BC, which helped me
reach and maintain eight cities for four turns in the mid-game.
I bought medicine in 800 BC the turn before I was the primary
recipient of epidemic in 650 BC and it also helped reduce the
secondary effects of the ever present epidemics thereafter. I
also bought mining in 800 BC which allowed me to control the
market on gems in 650 BC and acquire law and enlightenment. In
500 BC, I was the primary recipient of civil war for a second
time, but with having earthquake the same turn and the two protection
cards of music and drama & poetry, the effects of civil war
were minimal. Late in the game Iberia, Illyria, and Crete had
military so there was a lot of conflict on the map. Luckily my
cities were not available to be attacked so most of their efforts
were concentrated on the cities of other players near the Aegean
Sea. This allowed me to purchase a large number of advances on
the last turn and finish the game with a good number of cities
for the win.
As a final comment, here is what I am considering for next
year; expanding the player guidance for the tournament, adding
additional guidance on player etiquette, and purchasing and displaying
civilization advances. I am also considering adding an evening
session for a preliminary heat and/or adding a five-player sprint
games heat while adding a new tie breaker.