The Downers Grove witch trials

With apologies to Shakespeare, here’s a brief account of Game No. 125, played last night at Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Downers Grove.

The confessional in the backroom at Ballydoyle. On the table in the middle, a caldron boiling. Thunder.

Enter the two Witches.


ENGLAND: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d. 
TURKEY: Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d. 
ENGLAND: Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time! 
TURKEY:  Round about the caldron go; 
In the poison’d entrails throw.— 
Toad, that under cold stone, 
Days and nights has thirty-one; 
Swelter’d venom sleeping got, 
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot! 
BOTH: Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn, and caldron…[SPLAT]

That’s how it went for the witches last night. All trouble and no bubble. Dan Burgess’ Turkey was flattened in 1902. Interestingly, his was the second 1902 elimination for Turkey in as many games at Ballydoyle. Newcomer Nathan Kos, playing in his second game in as many nights, fared little better. He melted in 1905.

The big beneficiary of the witch hunt was Mark Weiskircher in Russia, who took his centers two at a time and reached 10 in 1903. With him more than halfway to the magic number and his closest rival at only six, the Coalition of the Willing formed in 1904. The game eventually ended by time limit during the Fall 1906 turn with Weiskircher sharing the board top at nine centers with Eric Brown in France. The supply center counts were:

Austria (Christopher M. Davis): 6; 14.400 points.
England (Nathan Kos): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Eric Brown): 9; 32.400 points.
Germany (Rob Clare): 4; 6.400 points.
Italy (Jim O’Kelley): 6; 14.400 points.
Russia (Mark Weiskircher): 9; 32.400 points.
Turkey (Dan Burgess): 0; 0.000 points.

This game completed a run of three in six days for the Weasels. A total of 15 players played in the three games, including three for the first time ever, and one for the first time with us in more than 2 1/2 years.

In all, we played four games this month. Next month should be another busy one. We have full house games scheduled for Feb. 12 in Downers Grove and Feb. 26 in Chicago. And we plan to announce another one and at least one bar game soon. Stay tuned.

The supply center chart from Game No. 125 is here. Now let’s hear from the players.

Join the discussion!

Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    Great snakes! Last week, I was in 5th place on the standings! I don’t understand…

  2. Christopher Michael Davis

    Ted just needs a 15 point finish to pass us as well.

  3. Jim O'Kelley

    Contrary to popular opinion, I not only have a soul, but a conscience as well.

    Chris Davis has given me many chances to work with him, and I have consistently screwed them up. I’m painfully aware of that, and I wanted this game to be different. I really did.

    But in Fall 1902, I felt I had no choice but to stab him. Turkey was going down quickly, and I was going to be too late for the carving. This was partly my fault.

    I had opened in a Lepanto, but I took Tunis with the fleet instead of by convoy. I did that because Dan Burgess in Turkey had opened with Ank-Con and clearly was heading for the Aegean. I wasn’t certain of the alliance structure in the Black Sea theater, and I felt that remaining in a Lepanto stance would ensure a build of F Smy.

    As it turns out, Russia supported Austria into Bulgaria, preventing Turkey from building. I had actually suggested that plan to Austria, and he was willing to give me a home dot so that we both got two builds. But later in the turn, Russia wouldn’t confirm his support. He later told me that knowledge of the attack was on a “need to know” basis.

    Anyway, although Chris was willing to follow through on our plan, I didn’t want to take a center from him if he wasn’t getting Bul, so I took a potshot at Munich instead, which failed. He and Russia both finished 1901 at six centers, I was at four, and Turkey had his original three.

    So, due to a lack of information, I was in Tunis instead of the Ionian. A turn later when I got back there, the Turkish campaign was virtually over. My choices were to sail into the Eastern Med, set up a Lepanto for 1903, and hope for Austrian support against Russia, which Chris was offering; shift west against France and play as a junior partner to an A/R, as Russia was offering; or shake things up.

    I chose to shake things up. I ordered Ven S Tyo-Tri, Ion-Adr and Tun-Ion, and then built A Nap.

    I think the stab was the right choice, as it salvaged my game. But the price was yet another chance to work with Chris.

    He and I eventually worked together out of necessity to stop a monstrous Russia from running away with the game, which isn’t quite the same as working with someone from scratch. Regardless, I squandered that, too, by stabbing him again in Spring 1906 in what turned out to be the last full turn of the game and therefore meaningless.


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