We had both been knocked out of the Royale and were enjoying cigars--my cigars--on the deck at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, when Jake Trotta breathed a deep sigh.
"Jim," he lamented, "I haven't topped a board since CODCon."
Never mind that he had in fact shared a board top at the Weasel Pyle a couple of months earlier. Jake's rise in the hobby had been meteoric. He played his first game ever in July 2015. By November, he was leading the league. And at CODCon nine months after that very first game, he won his very first tournament. But now, fresh off disappointing performaces at Tempest in a Teapot in D.C. and the Royale, he was feeling as if his game had plateaued.
But yesterday at our Diplomacy game in the sky, the Young Wolverine was back on the prowl. Game No. 319, played Saturday in Bryan Pravel's Gold Coast penthouse apartment, ended by draw vote during the Spring 1908 turn in the following center counts:
Austria (Jake Trotta): 11; 39.803 points.
England (Mick Johnson): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Zane Blanton): 11; 39.803 points.
Germany (Pete McNamara): 7; 16.118 points.
Italy (Matt Sundstrom): 2; 1.316 points.
Russia (David Spanos): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Michael McIntrye): 3; 2.961 points.
The supply center chart is here. Players, observers, what really happened?