A Disruption in the Force ...
Eric Brosius, Lyman Moquin, Lexi Shea
and Rob Kircher
Jack Doughan and three-time champ
Although attendance hit a new low, it was somewhat misleading
since the format doubled the number of starts in each heat. The
format required players to win just once in four opportunities
spanning two heats to advance to the elimination rounds. Heat
1 witnessed ten four-player games for the first round and seven
in the second, with players rotating tables to new competition.
A few winners from the first round played a second time for the
fun of eliminating other potential winners. Heat 2 generated
22 games over the two rounds. The defending three-time champion,
Robert Renaud, arrived at the last minute for Heat 2 and found
himself in a 5-player game the first round, coming in second
to Eric Brosius. Fortunately, Renaud's second game proved to
be an easier test, allowing him to advance. Perhaps most noteworthy
was the success of Scott Anthony in the heats, where he won three
out of four games.
With four qualifiers not showing for the quarter-finals, 28
heat winners played seven games, with all winners and runners-up
advancing to the semis. Additionally, two of the third-place
players advanced, based on fewest points behind the winner of
their table. Eric Brosius continued his winning ways with a 13-pt.
advantage over second-place Matt Peterson. Jonathan Barnes and
Pei-Hsin Lin tied in their game, just 10 points ahead of Michael
Crescenzi. In another close game, Aaron Fuegi beat Doug Faust
by just four points and Jack Doughan by five. Scott Anthony's
dominance continued, with a four-point victory over Richard Fetzer.
Nick Kiswanto advanced by six points over Edward Fu. David Platnick
won at the defending champion's table, but Renaud continued his
surprisingly challenged title defense by placing second. In the
most lopsided quarter-final game, Geoffrey Pounder blew out the
competition, leaving Charles Hickok to barely edge Matt Jesser
for the right to advance.
In the semi-finals, the bar was raised, with only winners
advancing from the four 4-player games. Hickok took advantage
of his second life to win at his table by a healthy margin. Renaud
returned to form finally by running away with a 20-pt. victory
over Pounder. Scott Anthony's impressive 4-for-5 run came to
a sudden end in the closest semi, falling short by seven points
as he finished last, while Fuegi won by a single point over Pei-Hsin.
Kiswanto used a nine point advantage to advance over Platnick.
In the Final, Renaud started with Earth's Lost Colony and
pursued a strategy with the Galactic Federation and Galactic
Bankers. Hickok had the Alien Factory and played toward the Terraforming
Guild. Fuegi started with the Imperial Warlord and exploited
trade bonuses and the Prospecting Guild. Kiswanto began with
New Sparta and worked toward Imperium Lords and Rebel Alliance.
The first three rounds involved a lot of exploration. By Turn
4, Renaud had fallen behind with only three cards down compared
to four for the others. Renaud countered on Turn 5 developing
PanGalactic Research, but alas there was no Galactic Status goal
in this game and Fuegi snagged the Innovation Leader goal. By
Turn 7 both Kiswanto and Renaud were two cards behind the nine
built by the leaders, and Fuegi had snagged the Research Leader
goal. At this point Fuegi appeared to be the favorite, though
Kiswanto's military strategy was about to start scoring big worlds,
and Hickok was competing neck-and-neck with Fuegi for the Largest
Industry goal. On Turn 9, Hickok and Fuegi reached 11 cards,
while Kiswanto had nine and Renaud but eight. With one final
Exploration and Settle, the game came to an end. When the last
satellite had lost orbit, Renaud had 27 points, Hickok had 37,
and Kiswanto 38, but Fuegi had 43 to become the first non-Renaud
RFG champion. It was his second shield of the week and 12th title
Scott Anthony and Pei-Hsin Lin
Matt Peterson and new champ Aaron