Special thanks to the following Weasels for paying their 2017 dues! (Dues are $25, $10 if you're a student. You may pay your dues here.)
For the 10th time, we gathered at Eric and Muy Leng Brown's beautiful home in bucolic Wayne to wrap up an exciting season of Windy City Weasel Diplomacy. This season, a total of 72 players competed on 28 boards. Eighteen of those players showed up for Weasel Pyle Ten, and 16 of them got to play on three boards throughout the day.
War Weasel Dan Burgess and I never got in a game. Instead, we played four other games, including Caverna, pictured above, and Clue. Yes, Clue.
But you don't care about that. You want to hear what happened in the games. So here goes.
At one point last night at the Red Lion, Ali Adib threw up his hands in disgust and said to his fellow Easterners, "We're obviously doing something wrong. None of us is gaining centers!"
It was that kind of night as we played Game No. 276, the final match of the 2015 Bar Room Brawl Series. Play ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:
Our club has held numerous multi-board sessions in our 10-year history, but prior to last Saturday, we had never fielded two boards in two different locations. The 14 players featured three first-time Weasels. Here's how the games went down.
Ali Adib continues to be this season's greatest recruiting success story. He found us on the Chicago Game Lovers site back in September and joined us for the season opener. That was the first of his eight league games this season.
He's topped two of those boards and currently leads the Bar Room Brawl series. But more than that, he's brought new players into the fold. The latest of those is Andre Dankha.
This week's Red Wednesday at the Red Lion was one of those rare Dip and Drinks nights when we had exactly the right amount of players for the game. And once again, that wasn't the case the day of.
We were sitting on 10 early Wednesday morning, and I was trying hard to find two others so we could force two boards. One of them, Jason "The Dude" Raynovich, a Founding Weasel, showed up, but instead of 11, he turned out to be No. 7. Two players cancelled and two others didn't show, so for once, I didn't have to sit out. I actually got to play.
And wouldn't you know it, the Blackhawks were playing, too.
Once before in our club history--at the first CODCon back in 2007--we asked three people to play on two boards to make numbers work. Since then, our threshold has been two. Any more than that, and it just gets too disruptive.
So, after a third cancellation on Wednesday night left us with just 11 players, we decided it would be better to sit four and field one solid board than stretch for two and disrupt both. The short straws went to Matt Sundstrom, John Gramila, Sam Bassett and me, although Sam sat in for the first few turns for a late-arriving Nathaniel Olson.
When we last saw Barry Preece (center), he was guiding Turkey to a monster board-top at Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Downers Grove. Remember when we used to do bar games in Downers Grove? Yah, that's how long ago it was--March 2011.
Back then, Barry was playing in only his second game. His first came in a recruiting game that Chris Davis ran for the Chicago Game Lovers Meetup, also in March 2011, I believe. That recruiting game was off the grid--we didn't count it. On his own, Chris arranged to teach the game to seven novices. (Coincidentally, they played that game on the same block where we played the first five games in our club's history.)
Of the seven, only Barry wanted to play again, but one out of seven isn't bad for a recruiting game, and when he topped that next board at Ballydoyle, we figured we had a solid new member for the club. We figured wrong. Despite our best outreach efforts, we couldn't get him back to the table.
For Jeff Lokken, in town from Buffalo to visit his brother, Game No. 268, played Saturday at Peter's home in Logan Square, was the best of times. But for brother Peter, it was the worst of times. Jeff's France finished second with eight centers, while Peter in Germany was eliminated in 1904. Nevertheless, a bad game of Diplomacy is still a pretty good time.
"We all had fun," Peter said afterward. "It didn't go well for me, though. I blame alcohol."