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Spaceships, Chariots, and Planes...Oh My!
Contributed by Kaarin Engelmann on Feb 25, 2001.

Despite the huge blizzard (and 90-some car pile-up on 95 South) that scared a few people off from driving to Charlottesville, I made it down there on schedule and ran a successful Galaxy tournament at PrezCon last weekend, with 13 players participating (we managed 4 four-player games and a 4-player final). It was fun, but we certainly need to get more people involved. I'll try to put something together locally to get players familiar with Galaxy before WBC.

I had the opportunity to demonstrate the dominance of heavy-fast chariots at PrezCon in Charlottesville, apparently sacrificing enough to the Gods before I spread blood and horse sweat around the track.

In one heat, the driver who finished first (Charles Severance) was the only chariot left on the track (and he was still in his second lap). The second-place finisher in that heat was actually a guy who cut free from his horses and ran off the track.

I managed a 2-0 record in the heats. In the second heat, I was (slowly) dragged across the line by my horses (down to 1 speed on each side). I had three driver hits remaining...if I had rolled a 6 instead of 4 for the damage; I would have bought it. It was an exciting race.

The final was less interesting. Somehow no one died. I think the chariots were doing too much wheel bashing--and we had all heavies and mediums. Of course, I have little to complain about, because I managed a solid victory for Caesar.

I pulled out way ahead early (not hard considering that out of 7 chariots only 2 of us went out of the starting gates in the first turn), so the other chariots were only able to get a couple of hits on me the whole game--of course they butchered the other guy who had come out of the starting gates with me. (Although I was a heavy, I spent most of my time sprinting.) As I neared the finish line, most of the field still had a lap to go. I controlled myself and didn't taunt them too much (other than to remind them that they could still move up in the finish if they killed someone else ;-). The battle for place in that game was quite intense.

I also "flew" with a great group of Russian pilots in the finals of the Mustangs tournament. Mustangs is an air game like Blue Max. It is somewhat similar to Star Fleet Battles--same concept. The best thing was that the GM used model airplanes, so changing altitude and facing was very visual. The first heat, I must have scored my points mostly on luck, because I was often lost. We weren't very coordinated and I didn't really comprehend the strategy for staying alive and attacking at the same time. (It didn't help that everyone was willing to tell me what to do on my next move and they were usually wrong.) In the final, I was much more familiar and confident (it helped that I played the same airplane type—a Yak 3) and picked out my maneuvers and only verified them with other people (when necessary), we played much more like a team. My veteran pilot (two kills) was shot down trying to help take on a squadron of bombers coming in over our territory; however, I managed to end up the 2nd best Russian pilot. I need more experience...that way I can start being the team leader!

We got a game of Slapshot in--and I was able to "Puck" someone and get LeGoon thrown out. (Yes, my crappy team did play everyone else to victory.) I also played some Titan: The Arena and Guillotine and I even taught several people how to play Atilla. To top it all off, a friend—Lidia Treadway, who is a History of the World novice—managed to make it into the finals and make a decent finish. Overall, it was a lot of fun (despite the fact I lost my voice on the first day). I’m looking forward to next year.

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Last updated by kae on May 13, 2001.