Google Gang gains Galaxy
The event expanded on a triple-digit
debut so Race For the Galaxy appears to be no flash in
Can they make this type any smaller?
These card games are hard on the bifocal set, eh Rich?
There is no denying that winning Race for the Galaxy
players are consistent, as seven of the16 semi-finalists from
2008 returned to the semis again this year. But with a 40% increase
in participation over the previous year (139 players) two wins
were not a guarantee to advance. Six players notched three wins
in four heats and another 14 won two. However,, none of those
triple winners would advance to the Final.
In the first semi to finish, Scott Anthony knocked out three
of the returning semi-finalists, including the 2008 Euroquest
champion, winning by military strength with Epsilon Eridani.
In the second semi finished, Don Sutherland also advanced by
military with New Sparta complemented by significant development
points. David Finberg had not planned to participate in the semis,
but had a last minute change of plans; he advanced in the third
game with New Sparta, but on the strength of Galactic Federation
and Pan Galactic League rather than military strength. The fourth
game was dominated by relentless produce/consume actions. When
the space debris cleared it was defending champ Robert Renaud
who won the closest semi with Earth's Lost Colony boosted by
Robert Renaud's group of New York friends, aka 'the Google
Gang', were a strong presence in the tournament. Their exact
number is not known, but at least five of them went 10 for 17
in the games they played. Where they made the greatest impact
however was at the seeding of the semi-final tables. Two of Robert's
Gang qualified ahead of him but opted not to advance. This allowed
him to advance in his 'team game', single-handedly putting his
team in 13th place in that competition while bringing forth the
spectre of co-operative team play moreso than is the norm at
The Google Gang also made an instant crowd/audience/cheering
section for the Final table. Many pictures were taken. Early
in the Final it appeared that Donald was pulling ahead, settling
several colonies from New Sparta, but in the end Robert had enough
consume points to pull off a seemingly unlikely repeat win.
Wins by starting world in the event overall were clustered
abnormally. While wins in 2008 supported the prevailing wisdom
that higher numbered start worlds are somewhat favored, the 2009
distribution was: Old Earth - 10, Epsilon Eridani - 15, Alpha
Centauri - 22, New Sparta -16, Earth's Lost Colony -7. In the
preliminary heats players were allowed to choose either the base
game or expansions, 14 games were contested with the latter.
Only three of the 11 home worlds failed to register at least
one win in expansion games; even in these games Alpha Centauri
The highest single game score was 78, turned in by Lyman Moquin
with Alpha Centauri. In games played with expansion decks Alan
Stern actually lost with a score of 65, second to Robert Renaud's
80 with Rebel Cantina.
Euro Quest Laurelists
Doug Faust, NJ
Eric Brosius, MA
Bob Wicks Jr, CT
Mike Richey, VA
Sceadeau D'Tela, NC