We don't need no stinkin' blocks!
Leave it to Pete Stein (left) to manage to play with Allen Kaplan's
nifty painted miniatures.
Once a block gamer ... Dave Metzger
(left), the War of 1812 guru, looks for new Block worlds
Blocks & Blades ...
The first round used four-player groups wherein each player
played all three of the other players in the group in the same
scenario, Bagrades, with the best in the group automatically
advancing. Side selection was handled by players bidding complete
battle dice re-rolls they were willing to give their opponent
which could be used at any time. The results were pretty close
with Carthage coming out on top 33-27. The scenario is closely
balanced. When there was no bid, Carthage won 21-10, but with
Carthage getting one re-roll advantage, they were only 5-9. Even
giving the Romans a re-roll didn't necessarily provide a big
advantage; at one re-roll the Romans were 5-1 but they were only
3-2 with two re-rolls.
With the ten group winners automatically advancing to the
second round, we also took six other players. This worked well
as it meant that all groups with two or three people tied with
2-1 records to lead the group were able to advance. The second
round was another group stage where the 16 players were broken
down into four-player groups again. This time the scenario was
Ilipia. Even with some scouting help from Richard Borg, the scenario
proved to be not so balanced. The Romans went 15-8. The interesting
thing was the Romans were 5-3 when Carthage got three or four
re-rolls. If Carthage got less than three re-rolls, Rome was
5-0, but Carthage was 2-0 with more than four re-rolls. Only
one group had a 3-0 player. The other groups advanced the winner
with a 2-1 record due to their beating the person they tied with
head-to-head. The semi-finalists were thus defending champ Bill
O'Neal, who has made the semis all three years, returning laurelist
Brian Conlon,, Jeff King, and Riku Riekkinen, the Finnish juggernaut
- who took time off from his giant killing to push a few blocks
The semi-finals required play of two games against the same
opponent in the same battle, Gabiene from the 1st Expansion,
switching sides. One match was a repeat of last year's semi-final,
Brian Conlon vs Bill O'Neal. This time Brian got his revenge
and had the better of Bill, winning with both sides. The other
match was closer with Jeff and Riku each winning once. Jeff advanced
by virtue of capturing more total banners 10-8.
This set the stage for a Final between Brian Conlon and Jeff
King. The battle was Gaugamela. The results were a split decision
with the Macedonians winning twice. Even the losses were close
with total blocks killed at 33-37 and total mounted killed at
22-22. However, Brian triumphed by concentrating his attacks
and taking 11 banners while losing only nine.
The third year saw a return to our original 40-player size.
We are drawing a nice core group of strong players, yet still
welcoming newcomers. I did have to call time on several games
so if you're practicing for 2009, work on your play speed as
the rounds will be the same length and no one likes adjudications
- especially me. Otherwise, the tournament flowed very smoothly.
Hey Dockter! Jeff King has figured
out a way to beat this guy! Just take out Riku's Finnish elephants.
GM Andy Lewis (center) gets some pointers
in the Final as Brian Conlon and Jeff King trade slivers.