At the start of play in Game No. 104–held Saturday at Dan Burgess’ home in Downers Grove–Pete McNamara and Sam Bassett were holding down the sixth and seventh spots, respectively, in the Weasel Royale field. But with scores of 403 and 345, they were low-hanging fruit for other Royale hopefuls.
So, Saturday’s game represented an opportunity for them to solidfy their tenuous positions. But by the end of the day, they were on even shakier ground.
Instead, it was Amanda Baumgartner, Christopher M. Davis and Dan who improved their Royale chances. As Germany, Italy and Turkey, they each finished with eight centers and 92 points in a game that ended in a five-way draw after the Fall 1910 turn. Peter Yeargin, meanwhile, topped the board with a nine-center France, but his score had no bearing on the Royale.
The final center counts were:
Here’s the supply center chart.
The Weasel Pyle at Eric Brown’s home in Wayne on Aug. 14 is the last scheduled event of season five, and with three or four boards and so many players in contention, each game could have Royale implications. Check out the club standings here.
There’s still room on the Pyle’s fourth board, so sign up now and join the fun. In the meantime, let’s hear from the players in Game No. 104.
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I should also note that in the past two weeks, we lost five players from this game, for reasons ranging from family emergencies to severe flooding. It’s a credit to the depth of our club that we were able to replace them all and play the game as scheduled.
If I do something smart, it is usually a mistake gone right. Saturday seems to be one of those instances!
Before the game started, Sam suggested we put Italy and Austria down as preferences and play a key lepanto. The plan started to unfold, then I found myself in 1902 with a chance to stab Sam in Austria for two with Turkey taking a 3rd. The plan went a little wrong in that we traded Venice and Trieste. Austria was forced into gypsy mode for the next five years, and I had the chance to let him get a build, but I put him out of his misery. After a few bumps, Dan in Turkey and I forged a good relationship. England agreed to let me into MAO, but I misordered and missed the opportunity. France and I were deadlocked while Turkey moved up Russia. We were deadlocked in the north as well with Russia stuck in STP. While the middle was not totally locked down, it was looking like a stalemate was likely unless someone stabbed.
Peter Y. is a genius at trying to convince you that someone is going to stab you, so I agreed to pull back to defend against Dan. Dan was innocent, though he did take Greece from me with the excuse of needing the build. We had a draw vote, but someone voted it down. (It was not me.)
Peter Y. claimed that it was Amanda in Germany thinking that she could earn some more dots and get her first board top. When it was clear that Amanda was going to lose dots, she was the one to ask for another draw vote in the fall. Again, I did not vote for it. This was voted down again, probably by Peter Y. to punish Amanda.
The next (and final year), I dotted Dan, fearful he was going to do the same for me. As a result, Peter was the sole board top. This also gave me 10 points and cost him 10 points. If you look at the standings, this was brilliant as it kept me ahead of Dan. Granted, he only has 2 games, but that might be the difference in the end. Also, my stab of Sam kept him close, and Amanda’s lack of board top also kept her close.
I am also thankful that the game ended. There was lots of game left, and it was an interesting draw with 4 of us so close. I am afraid I would have been a bone for Dan and Pete to rip apart. If I moved against one, I would have been vulnerable to the other.
As always, Dan is the host with the most, even when he has to play!
Hindsight is 20/20.
Not a lot of EOG from Russia, but I highly recommend any new or novice player to re-read Jim’s primer on playing Russia (http://www.windycityweasels.org/game-reports/wcw-2010/102-for-old-times-sake-founders-take-1-2-in-crazy-88)
Unfortunately, my advice comes too late to myself as I should have read it before the game, not after.
My first mistake was being too trustful of Turkey and my 2nd was being too trustful of Austria. My third mistake was my opening: Sev-Rum, Mos-Sev , War-Ukr and STP-BOT. Austria opened to Galicia and Rum and Turkey opened to Bla and Arm. Sam then attempted to get into War in the fall. Thank goodness England allowed me in Sweden or it would have been a very short game because the South was under assault. Of course, England built fleet Kiel and berlin in 1901 and another fleet Berlin in 1902 so the Russians never had an easy moment. At one point Turkey had 3 fleets in the Black Sea! Dan was intent to pop that Southern Russian fleet!
It was just one of those games where no amount of charisma, logic or persuasiveness was going to get people to change their strategy.
In the end Russia was lucky to survive with only one and I think each of the 4 board leaders played well.
[quote]Austria opened to Galicia and Rum[/quote]
Referring back to Chris’ Key Lepanto reference in his comment, are Vie-Gal, Bud-Rum the preferred moves for that opening? I ask because that’s how Nate Cockerill played it in Game 91. Isn’t it better to move Vie-Bud, and then use that piece to support Tri-Ser so that Turkey can’t thwart that move? With your other two pieces, F Alb supports A Ser-Gre. That’s how I thought it was supposed to be played.
Well…according to this, the play by Chris and Nate was accurate:
It seems like the above version is very wishful thinking though as it assumes Turkey supports Austria in Budapest after not recognizing the Key Lepanto. It also assumes you’ve gotten Russia to leave Galicia open and Austria has gotten there and now has the ability to push an army through into Ukraine afterwards.
Your version sounds more sound if the target isn’t necessarily Russia to begin with and is more likely Turkey.
Here’s a link to an article by Edi Birsan on Italian openings. Take a look: [url]http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/article/ah20041101a[/url]. I think the Key Lepanto would be more effective if played this way.