The latest addition to my family room is a set of coasters from the Game of Thrones*. Each one represents one of the great houses of Westeros, displaying the family’s sigil and words. The Stark coaster, for example, says, "Winter is coming." The Lannisters’, "Hear me roar." During the Fall 1901 turn of Game No. 215, which was played today at my house in Little Italy, my son Kevin gave our family its words. Or so we thought.
England –played by guest of honor Aash Anand, back in the city for the weekend from his new home in Denver — had just read Kevin’s order from Denmark to the North Sea, completing the opening Sea Lion against him, and he gave Kevin the "You Bastard!" look that we Weasels are famous for.
Kevin shrugged and said, "Never trust an O’Kelley."
"Those are your words," someone, perhaps DiPaola, pointed out.
I wish I had listened to them. Playing Italy, I overcommitted to a French campaign, and Kevin and our latest Meetup recruit, Josh Mendoza playing Austria, made me pay. In 1903, they took Venice and Rome.
I got some measure of revenge, engineering a successful move to Munich from Burgundy in the Fall of that year, and that’s when the little punk had the gall to say, "I can’t believe you attacked your own son. Look at you, wallowing in your shame."
"Those are your real words," quipped the Turk, Mike Morrison, without missing a beat.
On this day, there was plenty of shame to go around. Game No. 215 was a wide open, free-wheeling affair. At various times, Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey all looked to be in the driver’s seat. But when the draw passed in Spring 1908, it was Kevin’s Germans who were topping the board, as they had been since 1904.
The final center counts were:
England (Aash Anand): 5; 11.161 points.
France (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
Germany (Kevin O’Kelley): 9; 36.161 points.
Italy (Jim O’Kelley): 7; 21.875 points.
Russia (Ben DiPaola): 2; 1.786 points.
Turkey (Mike Morrison): 7; 21.875 points.
Check out the supply center chart here.
Early on, it looked like we were going to make good on the game title, Aash to Ashes. France and Germany quickly agreed to a Sea Lion, and they pulled Ben DiPaola, the Russian, in. He opened Moscow to St. Petersburg and took Norway in the Fall when Anand ordered both fleets back to the island for defense. Anand lost London in 1902 and stayed at two until 1905, when he finally regained all three home centers. And then he started growing. He was at five by the end of 1907, and when the draw vote failed in the spring of that year, he and Morrison were the leading suspects in my mind.
The draw passed the next year, and so ended a fun game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon that was marred only by the strong smell of fertilizer. Had it not been for Kevin, our words could really stink.
Next up is Weasel Moot VII, June 22-23 at the Holiday Inn in Willowbrook. I hope you’ll join us. I’ll be there all three rounds. Kevin plans to play on Sunday.
* Yes, I know the series of books is actually titled A Song of Ice and Fire, but I’m trying to make this a little less nerdy by referring to the name of the popular television series, which is named for the first book.
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Ben DiPaola offered up another potential headline and thread for the game summary. He was the early board leader with seven centers as late as 1903. But then his empire started to decline. In 1905, with five centers and beset by enemies, he said, “I need to channel my inner Cockerill.”
Alas, his inner snake couldn’t save him.
Mike Morrison, meanwhile, lobbied for [i]Das Boot[/i] as the headline, a reference to the sacking of Italy by Austrian and German armies. By the end of 1904, I was homeless.