conquest of paradise  

Updated 12/2/2009

2009 WBC Report  

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Nick Smith, UK

2009 Champion

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Event History
2008    Mark McCandless     19
2009    Nick Smith     32

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Nick Smith         uk    09     30
  2.  Mark McCandless    LA    09     26
  3.  Charles Drozd      IL    09     18
  4.  David Cross        VA    09     17
  5.  Scott DeBrestian   on    09     12
  6.  Ed Beach           MD    08     12
  7.  Alan Sudy          VA    08      6
  8.  Jack Stalica       on    08      4
  9.  Brian Keller       VA    09      3
 10.  Daniel Pappas      MD    08      2

2009 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

Charles Drozd, IL

Scott de Brestian, OH

David Cross, VA

Mark McCandless, LA

Brian Keller, VA

Past Winners

Mark McCandless, LA

Nick Smith, uk

The Hawaiian idol inspires expansion.

Designer Kevin McPartland watches Dave's island empire grow.

Aloha ...

The second Conquest of Paradise tournament at the WBC began Friday afternoon in the Demo area. A nice crowd gathered to listen to the game's designer describe how to play the game.  Most of those folks followed to Conestoga Room 3: a private room just for us, off of the main gaming room. Some familiar faces were spotted from last year, but many new faces as well. This year, the tournament had a total of 32 players; dwarving last year's turnout.

The Mulligan round had four full 4-player games - yes, exactly 16 players showed for the round; this would not be the only time the numbers worked out just right. Some highlights: One game saw Tonga draw some terrific islands in exploration: Hawaii, Tahiti and Hawaiiki!  But despite the fact that there was no combat (the only battle was turned away by judicious play of an Arioi card), Tonga did not win: Hiva won with a point-and-a-half margin of victory. Another game saw a victory by Hiva in a dramatically different manner: a last-turn attack gained Hawaii, getting just enough points to tie the front-runner, and then win on the tie breaker!  In another game, Samoa won despite losing their home islands to an attack by Tonga.

The first round had even more players - five games going this time.  In one of the games, Tonga declared victory, but the play of Severe Deforestation forced the game to continue. Hiva then attacked Tahiti successfully, beat off a counter-attack, and won the game. In another, Raiatea made a final attack that came down to the final throw of the die; he won the battle, and the game by a single point. Other games were quiet development competitions; all players found good prospects while exploring, and felt confident in winning through superior economic might; the winner of these close games ran their island empires more efficiently than the others.

The semi-final round again had exactly eight players (one of the winners of the nine earlier games had another commitment) so there were two full games and both were nail-biters! The game at Table 1 opened with an early attack by Raiatea against Hiva, but it was beaten back.  This began the first of many rounds of intense negotiations, as all four players tried to define their areas of interest.  Tonga explored a lone hex, right in the middle of the other three players, and revealed Hawaii (!) just to distract them!  Two of the players attacked into the known islands to find expansion room.  The last turn saw two attacks: Tonga sacked Samoa's home islands, burning all the villages to look like less of a threat to the others.  Raiatea made a surgical strike against Hiva, gaining enough points to win the game - or so he thought; instead, Scott deBrestian's Tonga ended up winning by half a point!

The game at Table 2 saw an epic victory by David Cross playing Tonga.  His exploration was not going well, and his cards suggested a martial strategy; but his first attack was a complete failure, rolling seven 1's in nine attempts!  Exploration continued to fail Tonga, finding just three atolls and the rest open ocean - not a single useful island!  Through diplomacy, threats, and well timed attacks, Tonga ended up controlling three home island groups and won the game by one point.  And he had a lot of fun with that Cannibalism card, too!

This set up our Final.  Half of the players would have been returning 2008 finalists, but defending champ Mark McCandless made the agonizing decision to forego defending his title to expand his realm of accomplishments by play in another Final - which proved to be the correct decision!  The Final followed a completely different course from the semis.  All four players were having successful explorations, and quietly developing their empires.  There was only one battle, an attempt to knock down the leader a bit.  But then suddenly, Samoa turned over his cards, and revealed just enough for a victory, by two points over Charles Drozd's Tonga. Nick Smith had won the coveted Hawaiian idol!  And he even agreed to pose for a picture with the winner's wood plaque.

 GM      Kevin McPartland (2nd Year)  2885 Jessup Rd, Jessup, MD 20794   410-404-6509

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