A Whole New Class of Jihadists
Michael Kiefte vs Stefan Mecay
Jessica Brown on her way to victory
over David Kiefte.
The 2013 Labyrinth field shrank by a third in the wake
of Bin Laden's demise. Nonetheless, the competition remained
fierce. Unlike last year's event, wherein the Jihadist and United
States battled to a standstill, this year's tournament saw Jihadist
dominance, with them winning 69% of all matches (18/26). Player
consensus seemed to be that the Jihadists were favored in a one-deck
game due to the difficulty of the U.S. achieving more than twice
as many resources by deck end. Indeed, so favored was the Jihadist
side by players that only one game saw a player bid to play the
Player consensus was borne out in the statistics, which revealed
that the plurality of Jihadist wins (39%) came by the U.S. failing
to have more than twice as many resources at game end. Obviously,
the 2014 tournament will need to incorporate some balancing mechanism
to make it harder for patient Jihadists to win by deck exhaustion.
However, there were several memorable moments. The mulligan
game between Stefan Mecay (U.S.) and Patrick Richardson (Jihadist)
saw Patrick's Jihadists winning by achieving a major jihad in
regime-changed Pakistan, with Patrick's 11 cells overwhelming
the U.S.'s six troops! In the semifinals, Jessica Brown's U.S.
defeated Michael Kiefte's Jihadists on the last turn only after
Michael failed five minor jihad rolls in a row, any one of which
would have given him the win. And Phil Yaure, who would eventually
meet Jessica Brown in the Final, exhibited his skillful play
by defeating the GM in three close games.
much back and forth fighting in the two-deck Final, Jessica was
able to turn Pakistan to Islamist Rule and grab its three WMDs.
Despite the U.S. losing Pakistan, the game remained close, with
neither side running away in resources. Victory came approximately
halfway through the first deck when Jessica was able to move
a single Jihadist cell from the Philippines to the U.S. and place
two plots (both WMDs) with Martyrdom Operation. Phil did not
have sufficient ops to alert either plot, bringing the Final
to a sudden -- and dramatic -- end.
Total games played: 26
Jihadist / U.S. wins: 18/8
Types of Jihadist wins:
6 adjacent Islamist Rule resources (5/18 = 28%)
WMD detonated in the U.S. (4/18 = 22%)
15 countries at fair/poor and U.S. prestige at 1 (1/18 = 6%)
U.S. < 2x Islamist Rule resources by game end (7/18 = 39%)
U.S. resigned (1/18 = 6%)
Types of U.S. wins:
All cells killed (2/8 = 25%)
12 good governed resources (4/8 = 50%)
U.S. 2x Islamist Rule resources by game end (2/8 = 25%)
Riku Riekkinen and Dan Hoffman join
the search for terrorists.
Jason Albert tackles GM Stephen Aslett.