We’re six months into our 14th season, and for those of us who have been here since the beginning, it can be difficult to recall which wave of players the current surge represents. We’ve had many over the years.
Last Wednesday at the Red Lion in the Lincoln Square, the club played its 382nd game, a contest pitting players from three distinct waves: Don Glass and Ted McClelland, vets who joined the club in our fourth season; Brandon Fogel and David Spanos, the vanguard of the New Guard, who joined in Season 10, along with Bryan Pravel, who started playing with us the next year; and two members of the current wave, Brian MacWilliams, playing in his second club game–and second game ever–and Braden Lenz, who joined us in Season 13.
For most of the evening, it was the newcomers’ night. MacWilliams was holding his own in the East, and Lenz led everyone as Germany–no easy feat considering that one of his Western neighbors was three-time defending Weasel of the Year Brandon Fogel.
Pravel and Spanos likened the contest between Lenz and Fogel to an AI experiment in the Starcraft arena. There, a program called Alpha Go found early success by using unorthodox strategies to throw the human players off their games. Eventually, though, the veteran human players adapted, and they sent Alpha Go packing.
“In this game,” Pravel says, “Braden was Alpha Go, and Bandon was the vet.”
Lenz shared or held the lead outright from 1902 through 1906. But when the game ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn, the final center counts were:
Austria (Brian MacWilliams): 4; 5.926 points.
England (Brandon Fogel): 12; 53.333 points.
France (Don Glass): 1; 0.370 points.
Germany (Braden Lenz): 8; 23.704 points.
Italy (Bryan Pravel): 3; 3.333 points.
Russia (David Spanos): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Ted McClelland): 6; 13.333 points.
Players, how about some post-game chatter?
And for those of you who haven’t yet heard, we will not be holding a tournament at CODCon this year. Weasel Moot will be April 27-28. Check the website for details.