Keith McFarland is the only WBC GM
with his own palm tree ... and this year it didn't seem out of
place in the tropical climes of Lampeter sans AC.
Bruce Hodgins, Rejean Tremblay, Brian
Goodwin and Keith Ferguson paddle their canoes through the Lampeter
Ocean in search of balsa wood or coconuts.
Beware Newcomers ...
The CQP experience began with an interesting demo on
Friday afternoon, where aspects of the game were compared to
typical wargames. My thanks to Guy Ferraiolo for standing in
as a "typical wargamer"! The Mulligan round followed
the demo with four games, split evenly between 3- and 4-player
matches. The Mulligan was followed on Saturday by Round 1's four
4-player games. There were both close victories - one win was
decided on the second tiebreaker - and decisive ones. Some games
were won by military might, while others found victory through
stealthful economic dominance.
The semifinals composed two 4-player games. The tables were
assigned and positions selected by seeding order. Table 1 consisted
of Dave Stiffler (Samoa), Andy Lewis (Hiva), Steve Cuccaro (Raiatea)
and Rejean Tremblay (Tonga). Table 2 was manned by Kevin McPartland
(Samoa), Alan Arvold (Hiva),Ted Drozd (Raiatea) and David Cross
At Table 1, Samoa won by stringing together many small islands,
and then successfully attacked Tonga, overcoming the latter's
Pa defense. Hiva came in a close second, and despite losing their
home island group, Tonga was not much further behind in third
place. At Table 2, Tonga crushed the opposition, first by taking
Hawaii from Hiva, and then with a last turn that captured neutral
Vanuatu and cut the Samoan transport canoe chain at its base,
isolating their entire empire.
Tonga's win at Table 2 was so dominant that both the second
and third place finishers from Table 1 advanced to the Final.
David Cross's decisive victory gave him first choice of starting
location. Not surprisingly, he took Tonga, looking to repeat
his recent success. Dave Stiffler then selected Samoa, Andy Lewis
took Hiva, and third-place (and "newbie") Rejean Tremblay
was left with Raiatea.
The game began with conditions in Lampeter Hall closely matching
the conditions in Polynesia itself: hot, humid, and possibly
malarial. Tonga started with some successful exploring, quickly
finding Tahiti, Raratonga and Hawaii! The others had trouble
finding anything useful, although Samoa did find Hawaiiki. Samoa
attacked the Tongan home islands with a powerful force, but Tongan
won a decisive victory, with the help of their Pa defenses. Tonga,
in turn, attacked Hiva and cut Samoa's link to Kiritimati. The
final turn saw Samoa's last-ditch attack on Tonga stopped by
the latter's Arioi card, which was artfully saved for any last-turn
attacks. It looked as though Tonga had won the day again. But
without notice by the other players, Raiatea had quietly connected
all of his many unthreatening little 1-point island groups and
atolls, including two connected on the last turn. Raiatea won
by one-half of a victory point, 23 12 to Tonga's 23! So, with
a remarkable come-from-behind victory, our new champion is the
Canadian "newbie": Rejean Tremblay.
Kevin McFarland, Alan Arvold, Keith
Ferguson and Dave Cross go explorin'.
David Stiffler, Andy Lewis, Steve
Cuccaro and Rejean Tremblay bask in the tropics.