This morning I awoke at 7:30 AM, got ready for the day, and headed off to the Kinderhook room to duke it out in the Here I Stand semi-finals. I came in as an alternate and was placed at a table with Dave (our third game together!), and three people I didn’t know: Jeff (assistant GM), Paul, Ted, and Manuel. I had second to last pick, and, as I knew that I wouldn’t be able to advance to the finals because of travel days back to MN, I took the English. My intention was to sit back and watch sparks fly, and fly they did!
The game was over in 90 minutes.
For people who know Here I Stand, this is pretty darn rare. On the opening turn, I pulled an okay anti-Ottoman hand. I tried to convince the Hapsburgs to give me something for it, but he (Dave) wasn’t interested. So I chatted it up with the Ottoman, and he granted me a card pull in exchange for an agreement not to play the anti-Ottoman cards (I wouldn’t have anyway, but hey…). The Pope and I agreed to one card pull from me to him and one play of Erasmus for the event in exchange for the divorce (essentially two cards). Then I gave the French two mercs in exchange for an agreement not to intercede in Scotland. I allied with the Protestants (in case Henry ditched three wives this turn and we both got a card draw for that third wife) and that was that.
Then things went a little south for me. The card the Pope pulled from my hand was a 4 CP card, and I only drew a 2 CP card from the Ottoman. Then I whiffed the “get an heir” roll. This now meant that I’d have to spend my home card on divorcing and remarrying, and another card on declaring war on Scotland. Long story short, I got one shot at Edinburgh at bad odds, didn’t make it, and came in at 14 VP (Edward was eventually born). This put me one behind the French by game’s end, on that same turn.
Who won, and how? The Ottoman did a bit of thrashing around and never took any keys. The French allied with the Hapsburgs, and the Protestant had a screwy hand: Michael Servetus and Copernicus (+3 VP) but very few CP. Dave took Tunis and Metz, nabbed an electorate, and then…in the New World phase, aced an explorer and a conquest roll and came away with 23 VP, the Pope behind him at 22. An interesting game, to be sure.
I face an odd choice for the rest of our time here: I can throw my lot in with Crusader Rex tomorrow morning (a small tourney, probably a lot of extremely good players) or go play 1960: Making of the President. The problem with the latter choice is that I’ve only played it twice, have never read the rules, and it’s rated as an “A” tourney–experienced players only.
This afternoon will be filled with walking around the vendors’ room, which just opened today, playing some games in the open area, attending Ed Beach’s preview of Virgin Queen, and playing the Wits & Wagers game show.
I should be able to post later today, so stay tuned…