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Amun-Re (AMR) WBC 2017 Report
Updated February 15, 2018 Icon Key
63 Players Eric Freeman 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
2017 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Money is Golden

With the reprinting of Amun Re a few months ago, I was hopeful the field would expand this year. Unfortunately, the reprint did not produce the outcome I expected. Turnout for the event was similar with previous years at 63 participants. The upside to this stagnant number is that Amun Re boasts some of the best competition any game can provide. Want to sit at a preliminary heat with all sharks? Amun Re should be your game of choice! There were no easy qualifiers for this field. Three alternates joined seventeen heat winners to create four great semifinal games.

Lexi Shea, the best 2nd place at the semifinal tables, was the sole newcomer to the final table joining some fairly regular final table talent, Keith Dent, Aran Warszawski and the two top laurelists in Amun Re, Greg Thatcher and Eric Freeman.

Auctions in the first round of the final were highlighted by Eric’s bidding of 10 for Berenike and establishing an early money advantage over the paltry farmer payoff of 1 each. Aran did not mind the low money payout as his sacrifice to the Gods yielded him 3 bonus goods where he quickly took a dominating position for most on the east side of the Nile. Lexi used her rewards to gain control for most on the West in Memphis. Eric continued his money advantage by securing Sawu in round 2 and forcing farmer payouts to remain low. No challenges to most pyramids on either side led to a fairly standard round. Round three again saw no challenges to most pyramids and the sacrifice left the farmer and temple payout positions at one. Aran (8) and Lexi (10) maintained the most on each side of the Nile, and each had temples to score leaving them with lower money, but respectable scores. Eric, more concerned with hoarding money, managed to only score one set of pyramids for 6 points. He held a fairly commanding money lead for the second round, so he was in excellent position. Greg and Keith both scored 2 power cards and 1 pyramid set each and held the lead at the end of the first round with Greg’s one temple (Edfu) giving him a slight edge (13 to 12, respectively). With so much at stake in the second round, it could still be anyone’s game.

Rounds four and five did not see much action as bidding was relatively light for provinces with zero to one pyramid. Eric used his money advantage to take control of Amarna in round 5 with two pyramids giving him the lead for most on the East side of Nile and challenging Aran. This came as a surprise to the table because Greg was currently in a dominate position on the west side of the Nile.

The money positions of both Eric and Aran set up a great over-bid in round six. Aran’s jumping Eric for 21 on Memphis’ 2 2/3 pyramids to steal the province guaranteed the final outcome would indeed be close (it was pretty well believed if Eric secured Memphis the game would have been a run-away). The move relegated Eric to take Mendes in the final round with only one pyramid. This forced Eric to spend a larger amount of money for bricks to make his 2 sets of pyramids, but did mean his most on the east side of the Nile was locked. Aran’s overbid also meant Greg would get to keep his most on the west side of the Nile, so the game came down to the final sacrifice. End game money would decide the winner yet again!

Greg’s poor decision to sacrifice, rather than steal from his God, kept Eric’s farmers (11) paying out at 2 rather 1 each. Money advantage therefore favored Eric and he scored 2 additional points for third place in final money at 32 to Greg’s 28. Had Greg stolen, his Karga province would had paid him out enough to take the money advantage from Eric and win the game. Alas, the two finished tied in points at 32 and Eric having more pyramids than Greg (8 vs 6 2/3), gave Eric a win via first tie-breaker. This was Greg’s second loss by tie-breaker in 3 years!

Final scoring had Eric and Greg at 32, Aran came in a very close 3rd with 31, Keith ended 4th with 29 and Lexi (who ran short of money because of low farmer payouts in rounds 4 and 5) ended 5th with 21.

Overall, one of the most challenging games of Amun Re I have been associated with in the past 10 years. Congratulations Eric. It was an incredibly well-played game by everyone.

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Greg Thatcher Aran Warszawski Keith Dent Lexi Shea Jeff Meyer
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Tom McCorry intensely studying his hand A little laughter during Amun Re
Reviewing the Pyramids Amun Re Finalists including GM Greg Thatcher
GM  Greg Thatcher [3rd Year]  NA
 gthatcher@CSUfresno.edu  NA