In the first round, Jeff sent most of his workers to the wool mill to max out at 30 gold. I was immediately reminded of last year's final, when players consistently went heavy on cash to pay for early master builder placement. Shane took both the gold-earning woodworker (which I think is a favorite tactic of his) and the tool maker. Tom sent two master builders to Knightsbridge Priory for a quick three points. Archbishop Thomas extended his protecting hand over Philip. After the first round, Tom had the early lead at five victory points, followed by Philip at four, and Shane and Jeff at two.
The second round saw Philip pick up the architect, Jeff the carpenter and the potter, and Tom the mason.
|Jeff Thornsen and last year's champion Tom Snyder|
In the third round, it was Philip who recruited a potter, while Shane took both a sculptor and a carpenter. Jack persuaded the guilds to allow Shane a sixth craftsman in his employ. Tom brought the Crying Madonna to Knightsbridge for three points. Richard took control of the castle, distributing metal to all the builders. Philip, who had been accumulating metal every round, sold five of them for 25 gold in the market. Tom led at the halfway mark with 16 points, with Jeff right behind him at 15, Philip at 13, and Shane at 11.
The fourth round saw Philip pick up a carpenter, Shane another sculptor (going strong on stone-working talent), and Jeff a mason. Tom the Snyder recruited Tom the Builder to improve his stone accumulation, while Philip of the Sheas gained the help of Richard of the outlaws to improve his sand collection. A cold winter brought famine and reduced the productivity of everyone's workers except Tom, the beneficiary of the Archbishop's Office. Tom sold five stone for 20 gold in the market. Shane meanwhile sold his metal and bought three stone and two wood to make a tremendous contribution to the construction of the cathedral, more than doubling his score in one round and taking the lead at 23 points, well ahead of Philip and Jeff at 18. Having sold so much stone, Tom made no contribution to the cathedral and remained at 16 points.
|Shane McBee and Philip Shea|
Tom started the final round by taking the goldsmith and the sculptor. Shane took the organ builder. Tragically, the cathedral roof collapsed during this final stage of construction and killed four craftsmen. Shane bought stone and wood in anticipation of a tight race for the finish with Philip,
In fact the final scoring was the closest I've ever seen. Both Shane and Philip finished with 48 points and one gold. The rules don't provide for a second tie-breaker after gold, but the PrezCon tournament rules don't allow for a shared championship. As the GM, I looked at the final state of the players and decided that since Shane finished with five stone whereas Philip had no materials left, the victory and the plaque should go to Shane McBee. Jeff finished third with 41 points and 13 gold. Despite nearly doubling his score in the final round, Tom finished in fourth place with 39 points and one gold.
It was a real pleasure to run the Pillars tournament again this year. Shane, Philip, Jeff, and Tom played a terrific final, and it was really fun to watch.