the trade not made ...
Kenny Rothstein, Kevin Hillock, Kevin
Youells and Justin Nordstrom all enjoy their return to the Final.
Jacques Romain, Shantanua Saha and
defending champ Christina Harley take their places around the
As the Advanced Civilization tournament matures, it
also evolves to help meet the scheduling needs of our players. This
year marked the debut of the "fast game" variant which
included shortened trading times, a fixed number of turns, and
a one-use "credit card" which could be exchanged for
points to buy advances during the purchase phase. The
amount of the credit grew the longer you waited to use it. Players
in the fast game liked the modifications, and this will probably
continue to be offered for the first rounds in future years.
The 2009 tournament drew a good mix of new players and returning
veterans. Preliminary heats on Wednesday and Thursday
narrowed the field to our eight finalists. Three were
prior champs, with defending champion Christina Harley (Assyria),
2007 winner Kevin Youells (Crete), and 1994 victor Ken Rothstein
(Babylon) all striving to recapture the Wood. Prior
finalists returning for another chance at glory were Justin Nordstrom
(Africa), Kevin Hillock (Egypt), and Shantanu Saha (Thrace). Jennifer
Drozd (Iberia) and Jacques Romain (Illyria) made their first
Board positions for the Final were determined by a random
draw, with trading permitted, and the politicking began before
the game as Kevin desperately attempted to trade away his draw
of Crete. Nobody was interested, with Jenn quoting
the pregame advice she was given of "Don't play Crete."
The first area of conflict began early. Crete opened
to the east to counteract Assyria's growth in Asia Minor, leaving
the Balkans open, which Illyria immediately exploited. After
discussion, then heated discussion, then threats, Crete vowed
that he would be sacking two Illyrian cities the following round. The
attack never did materialize, as Illyria drew a devastating Civil
War, with Crete as the beneficiary. The sudden growth
from this event helped the Cretans advance and grow, while the
Illyrians never did fully recover.
Justin decided to go with an early Mining strategy with his
Africans. After using his Mining to fuel an impressive
purchase round, it was determined by the board that Justin was
"winning", leading him to be targeted with multiple
secondary effects from calamaties, continuing long after others
had passed him in point totals. This left our Africans
to finish the game in second place, and reconsidering his strategy.
As always, the Final yielded some interesting events. Kevin
Hillock was rather militant with his Egyptians. At
one point he successfully took over the island of Crete. Later,
he launched attacks on Babylon and Assyria as well. The
strategy worked well for him, as he combined timely attacks with
skillful trading to guide his nation to a fourth place finish. Jenn's
Iberians were the beneficiary of a Babylonian Civil War. Normally,
units that far from home would be killed rapidly, but she was
able to keep them alive which was very useful when she ended
up using the extra population for city support.
In the end it came down to our three prior champions fighting
it out for the top spot as Kevin and Ken were both convinced
that the other would win, while being wary of how dangerous Christina
could be. Kevin launched a naval attack on Ken, sacking
one of his cities and grabbing a valuable trade card to take
into the final round. The trading was fast and furious,
with few calamities in play. As the final scores were tallied,
it was Kevin that came out on top with a 300 point victory, despite
his inability to trade away Crete at the beginning of the game.
Thank you to all of our players, and we look forward to seeing
you again next year when a new GM will be required.
Advanced Civilization is one of those games that is best at conventions
since its length and number of players are hard to come by at
Jennifer Drozd and Jacques Romaine
made their first appearance in the Final. Note the timer at right
to keep the gaming moving at a brisk pace.