Eighth Consecutive Year of Decline
Kevin Sudy, John Boyd, Mark
Smith and Derel Landel (clockwise from left front) in a preliminary
Top-ranked Bill Crenshaw (left)
wins both his preliminary heat games but finishes sixth in the
The transfer of the helm for Age of Renaissance went
relatively smoothly this year. We missed some of our seasoned
veterans (Ken/Eric) this year, but the numbers remained respectable
with eight tables of 5- or 6- player games aided by several new
players. Nevertheless, the events steady decline continued with
the eighth stratight year of declining attendance. The Enlightenment
mini-con actually passed it in total players this year for the
first time, although it passed it games played long ago. The
many official (and unofficial) assistant GMs helped keep the
event on track when the demo ran a little long. Nevertheless,
the demo attracted more than a full tables worth of interest
and a few players came by to participate in the heats following.
The initial heats ran well this year. Everyone took the sportsmanship
message to heart and played with a minimum of fuss and muss.
Special mention should go to the 6-player table, which, due to
a logistical snafu, wound up with three newbies at the table.
Jeff Mullet bagged the win at that table even though he tried
his best to instruct everyone on how to beat him. Maybe they'll
listen to him next year!
There was a little family excitement in the qualifier as Ted
Simmons' single win score edged out his father's (Steve) two-game
score. Thankfully, Bill Crenshaw won two games, beating out the
GM in the second heat, to keep the advancement simple. Thanks
The 6-player Final saw some very interesting maneuvers as
a last choice London (Bill Crenshaw) opted for Caravan on Turn
1 with an early Crusades play. Mark Smith was edged out of his
usual comfortable chair, as Ewan McNay outbid him for Venice,
and wound up sailing unfamiliar waters as Genoa!
Venice used the usual Cloth payout in Turn 3 to lead the religious
race with Holy Indulgences, while simultaneously purchasing Overland
East. Predictably, this started the 'Ewan's Winning!' chant made
famous after its chart topping debut last year, though to a milder
beat. He followed this up with a Timber run on Turn 4, much to
Hamburg's (Ted Simmons) chagrin, while Genoa (Mark Smith) went
on a Wine run.
Epoch III came early this year (Turn 5) but this apparently
drew out the long missing Wool cards for a boost to London and
a remarkably quiet Barcelona (Jeff Mullet) who slowly built up
Amazingly, a double shortage card in Turn 6, put the game
to bed early and in a flurry of Spice payouts, Barcelona sailed
to victory despite a late run on Metal by Hamburg and a timely
Enlightened Ruler by Venice with THREE! Misery cards being played
out to plummet everyone else into the nether regions of the chart.
I am sure John Boyd (Paris) learned a lesson or two that night.
More action was to be had at the first annual Midnight Consolation
game on Saturday night, where the GM was joined by Ted Simmons,
Mark Smith, and several others who couldn't attend the heats
for an all-nighter BEEP-fest, where the GM finally was able to
record a win - alas - off the record.
There was almost another post final match when Kathy Stroh,
Tedd Mullally, Ken Gutermuth, Ted Simmons, and Jeff Mullet all
qualified for the semis in TransAmerica! But the GM refused
to let us play on the AOR board! :-)
As AOR enthusiasts begin planning for Enlightenment, in March
2007, my thoughts turn to improvements in the demo and heat structure
for next year's WBC tournament. I have heard from many of you
already, but if you haven't chimed in, send me your suggestions
and feedback to the address below.
See you all next year!
2005 Age of Renaissance PBeM Tournament Results:
Harald Henning reigned supreme over 43 others in the latest
Age of Renaissance PBeM tournament. Even though both the
first two rounds advanced runner-ups, Harald didn't take
any chances as he won all three of his games. The Final saw
Harald take on some powerhouse competition with Chris Byrd,
George Young, Thomas Browne, Greg Stripes, and our AoR ambassador
from Australia, Nicole Kaiyan all earning laurels.
Harald played well as Paris and really took it to his competition,
winning by a substantial margin, Runner-up Chris Byrd as
Barcelona could only
manage about 75% of Harald's score. Rounding out the laurelists, Greg Stripes
(Hamburg) and Thomas Browne (London) finished tied for third (but by virtue
of having a higher advance total, Thomas Browne earned 3rd place laurels).
George Young (Venice) finished 5th, while Nicole rounded out the final game
You can read a complete summary of the Final (including
Neutral Commentary from GM John Coussis) at http://www.geocities.com/aorbpa2005/2005home.htm.