Twice As Nice ...
Jeff Senley and Kevin Sudy enjoy
one of the few three-player game events at WBC.
Attendance remained strong as 44 tables competed in the heats, with the cut to 16 for the semifinals falling in the same place as last year: 13 players had multiple wins and three made it with a win and a close second.
There was only one triple winner, Randy Buehler, but the GM’s 5-year Finalist streak ended in the semi’s when another former champ, Joel Lytle, was able to resolve a 46-point culture war against Chris Senhouse to catapult himself from last to first on the penultimate turn. Much discussion was triggered by Chris’s decision not to invoke the “honorable withdrawal” rule in a spot where he wound up last by 50 points.
In the other semi’s, Sceadeau d’Tela advanced to his third final table in four years, while Aran Warszawski made his second. The one newcomer to the party was Kyle Smith and it was he who ran out to an early culture lead thanks to Michaelangelo and Hanging Gardens. Just as Kyle was about to complete St. Peter’s Basilica (by spending a food via Trade Routes Agreement), the Rats showed up and ate fully ten food from Kyle’s board. The other players lost four, five, and two food as well to some very hungry rats. That’s 21 food total! While Kyle lost the most food (and tempo), it was probably actually Aran who suffered the most as the event contributed to him never quite being able to build a decent infrastructure.
The game quickly turned into a military arms race, as high-level TTA games often do. Sceadeau held the lead early (and got to 50 strength early in Age 3), but Joel pretty much kept up with him the whole time. Kyle was lucky enough to draw both Classic Army and Napoleon, which he used to defend his culture lead until Ghandi appeared. Once that happened no one had the military actions required to target him with a War. Ghandi did eventually die to the rare Age IV Iconoclasm, but there weren’t enough turns left for anyone to declare war by then. Still, a couple of aggressions resolved and Kyle’s culture lead was gone before the Impacts were revealed.
Sceadeau seemed to be in good shape for most of the game, but in the end it was Joel who got to the maximum possible 60 strength, and then also completed a 27-point First Space Flight. No one broke 100 before Impacts were scored, but Joel led Sceadeau and Kyle 89 - 77 - 62, with Aran lagging behind at 37. Five Impacts determined the final score: Wonders, Progress, Strength, Government, and Happiness. Once the accounting was done, Sceadeau only cut three points off Joel’s pre-Impacts lead and we had our third two-time champion:
Joel Lytle: 153
Sceadeau d’Tela: 144
Kyle Smith: 113
Aran Warszawski: 96
Joel Lytle now has two shields to go with a pair of second place plaques in the eight-year history of this shark-infested event.
The elimination rounds expand
to 4-player games.
Our finalists are shown above in mid-game