Riku Wargames the Field ...
Eli Persky draws the Finnish POG
Keith Wixson vs Randy Pippus
Anthony Raimo escapes the Showroom.
Chris Byrd vs Derek Landel
Notwithstanding the heat and humidity of Lampeter, Twilight
Struggle posted a nice attendance increase. In addition,
more total games (78) were played than in recent years as many
took advantage of the new swiss format to play more rounds, including
the 4th place finisher, Matthieu Pare-Paquin, who missed the
first round but won his next four games. Cold Warriors appear
to be heartier than other wargamers as we did not see the attendance
falloff suffered by most tournaments in Lampeter.
The tournament used two adjustments to dampen the early war VP
swings that often favor the Russians. The main option was the
use of the Chinese Civil War variant, which prevents early Russian
play of Red Scare and has other balancing effects. In addition,
players bid for sides; typical bids gave the US 2-3 additional
influence at start.
After four rounds of play, only three unbeatens remained: Riku
Riekkinen, Chris Withers, and Paul Sampson. Philip Burgin-Young
was randomly selected among those with one loss to complete the
final four. Riku was paired with Paul, and accepted the Americans
for a bid of 3. The USSR took an early edge with some good coup
rolls and early play of Destalinization. Riku nonetheless controlled
the tempo for significant periods, neutralizing areas immediately
prior to scoring and using final action rounds to disrupt the
position at the end of the turn. The game ended on Turn 10 when
Riku played Wargames. In the other match, the Russians got off
to a poor start and Chris's Americans never let Philip recoup.
Riku took the Soviets in the Final with a bid of 3. Early Destalinization
enabled the Russians to gain a favorable position in Asia, which
the Americans partially offset by taking Europe. Still, Early
War ended with the Russians up 7 VPs. In Mid War, the battle
shifted to Central America, then South America; by the end of
Turn 5, the Americans had pulled back to -1 VPs, but the Russians
gained a more favorable board position. This produced a -6 lead
at the end of Mid War, with a strong Russian position in the
Mideast giving the Russians an edge. Riku increased the VPs by
one more, then dropped Wargames for the win on Turn 9.
Game play, as usual, favored the Russians, even with the Chinese
Civil War and bidding. The Russians won 49 games; US 29. This
is a fairly large edge so balance provisions will be reexamined
before next year's tournament.
Paul Sampson vs Ted Lyng
Chris Withers is denied by Riku in
Chris Byrd, CT
Keith Wixson, NJ
Micharl Mitchell, GA
Larry Fryer, MD
Marvin Birnbaum, NY