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Julius Caesar (IVH) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 25, 2016 Icon Key
17 Players Ron Draker, VA 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
2014-2016 Champion
 

Ave Draker! Tribus temporibus vicit…

Ron Draker successfully defended his title for the third year in a row. Ron went 4-1, defeating perennial block game contender Fred Bauer twice, losing just one game to Michael Sosa, but beating the latter when it mattered in the semifinal. Congratulations to Ron, who continues to dominate the Columbia block game tournament scene. 

The field was our smallest yet, several of whom were new players who sat through the demonstration game an hour before the start. We had a two-hour time limit for each match and it worked 95% of the time. This game plays very quickly with just five cards per player for turns and it can end suddenly with a 10-point victory. Several games were concluded in the first five to ten card plays as Pompey grabbed a few extra points for the win. I did not record bids this year but the usual bids were two to four extra levy points for Caesar in the first card play of the game as he starts three points away from an auto-loss against Pompey. With reasonable play, Caesar can avoid this early fate and use his stronger units to repel Pompey.

The top four records advanced to the semifinals which consisted of an undefeated Michael Sosa and Ron Draker, Fred Bauer, and Craig Thomas - all dinged once with 2-1 slates. 

The Draker vs. Sosa semifinal was a close affair, ending 7-6 in favor of Draker after some exciting last year card play. Draker had marched Pompey’s Spanish army west after several battles in Spain, with Antonius’ depleted army following behind.  Sosa had all of the West except for Rome, while Draker had all of the East except for Ephesus where Caesar held sway. The fourth year saw Antonius’ rebuilt army as well as the entire Caesar fleet attack Rome separately using “Neptune” and “Mercury” cards but failing nonetheless. In Year 5 the remaining Rome defenders were hit by desertions (“Vulcan”) and Antonius made one last desperate effort to regain the city and succeeded. However, Caesar’s fleet is gone and Antonius has barely any units left. This allows Draker to retake Africa and sail into an undefended Massilia for a one-point win while ending Sosa’s perfect slate at an inopportune time!

Draker went on to play Fred Bauer again in the Final. Fred had been defeated earlier by Draker but he beat Craig Thomas a second time to advance. Draker took Caesar and marched east to prevent Pompey from getting all of the victory cities there and the auto victory. Using the extra build points to build a large navy, Draker maintained control of the Eastern Med which he used in the third year to move Caesar and the Ancyra legion to Cyrene and take Alexandria. In Year 4 Caesar marched north from Egypt to invest Antioch, held by Scipio. The latter managed to escape but he disbanded at the end of the year rather than risk a one-VP loss along with his head. Disbanding leaders is a high level strategy when they are trapped. Meanwhile in the East, Pompey tried advancing from Spain but was repelled repeatedly until he had to concede. The gods were not pleased with Pompey and punished his dice regularly with poor results.

See you all in the mountains next year!

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Fred Bauer, VA Michael Sosa, DE Craig Thomas, VA Tom Johnston, IL Omar Chbalko, ae
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Craig Thomas vs William Kelley Fred Bauer vs Steve Koleszar
GM  Michael Sosa [2nd Year]  NA
 NA  NA