One supply center. A single, measly supply center. That’s all that now separates Peter Lokken and Mike Morrison atop the Season Seven standings.
Morrison pulled off his third board top of the season today at Ted McClelland’s home in Rogers Park to reclaim second place–which he had lost Thursday night–and close to within two points of front-runner Peter Lokken. But it was a small board top, by his standards.
The Sum of Squares scoring system is all about separation, and in this game, the margin between first and second was as thin as could be. Had he topped by two centers instead of one, Morrison would be in first place now. Instead, he must settle for second.
Game No. 184 ended by draw vote in Spring 1907 with Morrison’s Germans at nine centers. The final center counts were:
The supply center chart is here.
Morrison qualified for the Royale in 2009, his first year with the club, but hasn’t been back since. He’s virtually assured of a spot in this year’s field, and if he can manage another big board top, he could claim his first Weasel of the Year title.
Otero, playing his second game in three nights and sixth overall, turned in his best performance since his debut in a novice game in September. He continues to demonstrate enthusiasm for the game and a desire to learn. Diplomacy’s lessons can be bruising, but he’s learning them.
We almost had to pull the plug on the game last night, as we still had only six players. Fortunately, DiPaola and O’Kelley agreed to tag-team the seventh spot, with DiPaola starting the game and playing until O’Kelley could get there.
O’Kelley’s cavalry arrived in Fall 1902 to find Turkey under siege and without friends. He turned the mess around and finished the game with eight centers. Neither he nor DiPaola will score, however, per club rules. Turkey’s square was factored into the sum, though, so the game totals less than 100 points.
The photo above comes compliments of Whitty, who selected the 12-pack of Hop Czar during a beer run on the lunch break. He has nominated Hop Czar for the official beer of Diplomacy.
In addition to the Hop Czar, we had a lot of fun with this card, which we found in the bottom of McClelland’s Diplomacy box. For example, after I popped Ted’s fleet in Sevastopol, he asked why I stabbed him. I picked up the card, showed it to him, and said, "I just did you a favor."
And when Ted unexpectedly supported Anand’s last unit against a French attack, Aash picked up the card, waved it around, and said, "Ted just did a friend a favor."
Whitty did point out a slight flaw in the card. Rather than invite bright friends to join our group, he suggested, we should target stupid ones to improve all our scores.
Good times in Rogers Park. Now, why not do yourself a favor and sign up for the June 16 game at Dan Burgess’ home in Downers Grove? It’s Father’s Day Weekend, which is all the excuse you need to get the afternoon off.