When Peter Lokken joined our hobby, he was like a meteor lighting up the sky. Lokken played his first game with us in May 2010. By October, he had topped his first board.
Many more would follow. In fact during that 2010-11 season, his first full season with the club, Lokken compiled a record 7.5 board tops. That record still stands. He did it while playing in 25 games, a single-season total eclipsed only by Nate Cockerill’s 27 the same year.
More success followed. In 2011-12, a season shortened because we were hosting the World Diplomacy Championship in August, Lokken played in 19 more games and topped three more boards. During the second round of our WDC, he soloed as Germany, earning a berth in the world championship game (won by Doc Binder).
Lokken was shining brightly then. But the thing about meteors is they shine brightly only briefly. Then they burn out.
Lokken mustered only two shared board tops during the 2012-13 season, and his participation dipped to a mere 11 games, paltry compared with the standard he set the previous two years. And he missed both of our 2013 tournaments. We didn’t see him at all this season until our 14th game at the end of January.
Lokken posted a goose egg in that return to the table, and then managed just 9 points on five centers in his second outing three games later. The once bright meteor was now just a dead rock.
But yesterday in our March Madness tip-off at John Gramila’s home in Humboldt Park, the rock flared. Playing Austria, Lokken secured a rock-solid alliance with Turkey and rode it all the way to his first outright board top in league play since May of 2012.
Game No. 238 ended in Spring 1909 in the following center counts:
Austria (Peter Lokken): 10;38.760 points.
England (Dan Burgess): 4; 6.202 points.
France (Don Glass): 6; 13.953 points.
Germany (John Gramila): 5; 9.690 points.
Italy (Ben DiPaola): 0; 0.000 points.
Russia (Nate Cockerill): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Mike Morrison): 9; 31.395 points.
The supply center chart is here. I hope the players will comment, as you don’t often see a three-build Turkey in 1901. And I suppose it’s even more rare that you see her build three fleets.
"I couldn’t break the Turkey-Austria alliance," lamented DiPaola. "They designed it so that Mike had all fleets, Pete all armies, and they stayed away from each other. … It was a crazy solid alliance."
March Madness rolls on this weekend at Concentric at the Holiday Inn Itasca. We have a game scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday. It’s full, but we can probably get you in if you’re interested. Concentric will charge $20 at the door. (For those of us already signed up for the game, the fee will be $15.) The game on the Ides of March (the 15th) at Tony Prokes’ home in Des Plaines needs players.