The Campaign Game is Here to Stay
Phil Rodrigues, Manual Bravo and Gareth
The six finalsts prepare for battle.
Long-time shark Nick Benedict affirmed his place among the field’s elite players, capturing his HIS shield with a dominant showing while winning his 11th WBC title.
Benedict won Protestant religious victories in the preliminary and semifinal rounds, and then marched a Hapsburg army through Germany to secure his Turn 4 victory in the Campaign Game championship. He was the 13th ranked laurelist coming into this WBC and padded his resume by becoming our eighth different HIS champion.
Tuesday was a good night to be Protestant: Luther’s boys were 4-0 in six-player games and Alan Sudy won the lone 5-player game with the English-Protestant combination. Thursday the wins were more distributed - the Turks, English, Pope and Hapsburgs each took a victory.
Benedict crossed the auto-victory threshold on the third turn of his semifinal, with Matt Beach and Paul McCarthy posting strong scores of 25 with the English and French. Kirk Harris won his semifinal with a first-turn Hapsburg domination in a low-scoring contest. And Justin Morgan’s Protestants finished Turn 3 with 24 points for the victory, with Ed Beach scoring 23.
That set the Final table, with Benedict taking the Hapsburgs first, Morgan choosing the Ottomans, Harris selecting the Protestants, Matt Beach playing the Pope, McCarthy the English and Ed Beach the French. It was the first tournament Final for both Matt (the game’s original playtester) and Ed (the game’s designer).
Ed’s French scored a strong first turn, with Verrazano circumnavigating. The Pope activated Venice as an ally, and the reformation struggled to spread. That set the stage for a wild two-turn run, with Benedict striking a deal with the Ottomans to go to war against France. But Morgan’s Turks also dragged the Pope into the conflict, in an attempt to take Venice. That led to a two-sided conflict in Northern Italy, with France and the Pope using the Renegade Leader, Professional Rowers and Threat to Power to stalemate Hapsburg and Turk armies.
The Turks and Pope made peace, leaving France to face the Ottoman and Hapsburg host alone. Benedict took Milan from the French and the Turks were shutout, and Ed and Nick made a rough deal for peace.
Turn 4 was set up perfectly for the Hapsburgs. With peace in the east and west, Charles’ armies declared war on Genoa for one Victory Point, and then captured three electorates to push to 25 at the end of the turn and deliver the title to Benedict.
For 2016, we’ll continue to explore several changes. The full game in the final round remains a popular choice, and will be back again next year. We’re also considering ways to play the full game in preliminary rounds. Finally: There was lots of discussion around France and play balance. Look for more discussion soon on that topic.