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This was a good one, gang. The season, the finalists, the vote. DK and Pepper tangled in the finals once before, but I think Pepper would agree that she was slightly out of her depth there in comparison to now (and indeed, in comparison to her very next game, which she won). Seeing the two of them recreate the finals a couple years later, now on equal footing in many ways, was an absolute blast for me to watch.

It’s probably always a little bit obvious who I think should be the winner when I talk about games; this time I can gladly say I had two horses in the race, which is more fun than one and infinitely more fun than zero.

Let’s get to the votes, in order of the players’ elimination. Votes are, as always, to win.

Ken Krouner

I vote for Pepper to win.

Bret Highum

I’m voting for Pepper. I think Dan did a great job of building alliances, but so did Pepper. My deciding factor is that she won the immunities she needed in order to vote out people who weren’t with her.

Matt Novak

I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say with my vote. The other jurors know how I feel about what went down, and I could well vote out of emotion here. One of the finalists understands juror management, one of them clearly doesn’t (indeed, one of them hit exactly the right notes for me, and, even if those notes weren’t sincere, that just shows a different type of skill that should be rewarded).

But in reading the final pleas, I think a very clear case is made for one over the other.

Pepper’s answers show she played the game with an eye towards surviving.
But Dan’s answers show he played the game with an eye towards winning.

I thought I might be casting a vote against Pepper. But I’m not. I’m casting a vote For DK.

I don’t know if Dan will win, but he is clearly one of the best to ever play this game, and I sincerely hope he does.

Jared Cedar

I vote for Pepper to win

Jonathon Pope has done the impossible, and out-worded Novak by literally hundreds.

I expected this to be easier. There were a things in each person’s final statement that stuck out to me.

From Pepper:

It appeared that Pope was going to vote with the remaining members of Willy, which meant that my T3AM-mates and I were at a disadvantage.

It’s worth pointing out that this might not have been the case if anyone besides Matt had reached out to me at all.

…I also played a game in which I was vulnerable to being voted out, and each time, the majority of players decided they’d rather vote someone else out.

Right? RIGHT? This is easily the most baffling part of this game to me, and worth noting. I understand from Novak’s point of view, but why there was never any traction for a Pepper vote was hard to understand. And of course, my openness about trying to make one happen was at least part of my undoing.

From DK:

You’re a really good and slippery liar, and I mean that as praise, for sure.

Thanks! I try not to lie in game, but it’s unavoidable at times, to be sure.

That group formed the core of the group that first split up Bret and Pope, and then, when I decided the time was right, we moved against Matt and Annette.

Well. This just makes me wish I’d actually teamed up with Bret. Not sure that it would have changed anything, but still.

I did that by playing along with big threats like Matt and Annette when I needed to, taking the initiative to build new groups with people like Pepper and Zack when I needed to, and making the right calls at the right times about when to vote out former allies.

That seems like a good summation. Both games were played well, and this was a tougher decision than I expected. But I have to go with

Voting DK.

Annette Barron

I thought I knew how I was going to vote. Kudos to both of you for great answers and making me uncertain again. Pepper, I could read your stories all day long. But I think the winning move here was convincing Pope to throw the tie. Therefore, my vote is for Dan.

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That’s 3-3. Gotta love this right here.

One.
Vote.
Left.
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Under the jump.

Voters, have votes to me by tomorrow night at 9pm Central.

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Six for each of you, DK and Pepper.

Intended deadline is Monday night at 9 Central. Let me know if this is unrealistic and I’ll extend for a day.

Also, you’re allowed a jury plea as well. I’d make a word limit, but Novak isn’t in the final two so we’re probably good. The jury plea will be posted below the answers on the post.

Thus spake Christina Pepper:

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For such a weird prompt, we ended up with some stories that were fairly grounded in reality (okay, one was a spy story, but it wasn’t bloated and extravagant). Three very different attacks made for a fun last read.

Thanks to Bernice Nicaise for being our gatherer this season, and to Brendan Bonham and Matthew Gilman for being just as irritatingly judgmental as I am, thus allowing this whole thing to work.

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

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One former winner will miss the final challenge…let’s see how this shaped up.

Vote One: Dan Kautz.

Vote Two: Annette Barron.
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Man, religion brings out the best in this crew every time. I wanted another medal to give. Gilman said the same. Brendan didn’t say it specifically, but he probably sent me a nonverbal cue that I should have noticed.

With the stories as strong as they were, scoring was a very interesting 9-6-6-6 affair (666 in the religious challenge…ahem).

Enjoy.

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So, here’s the deal. With but a single signup mention on one of my FB groups, I already have eleven classically Facebook-game players signed up. I don’t even know a few of them. As such, I’m leaning toward doing two games at once with the same challenges running. Idiotic? Sure! However, if a ton of people from here sign up, that won’t be necessary.

I have a lot of weird ideas for this one, so play along, won’t you? Declare intent wherever you usually talk to me, and as always (perhaps more than ever), if you have a new player of even middling potential, let them know as well.

It’s also an option for me to just run a game over there, while allowing you guys to play if you like, while we run a few Cutthroat Junction games and…oh, I don’t know…Werewolf. It all depends on signup numbers, which have been a bit thinner here in the last year or so.

Is this the earliest I’ve ever had all votes? I’d say there’s a good chance of that.

Vote One: Zack Sauvageau.

Vote Two: Jonathon Pope.

Vote Three: Zack Sauvageau.

Vote Four: Jonathon Pope.

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I have the results! I won’t make you wait.

Here they are.

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Your competition, and also you

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR

I: Rachel “The Double-Dealer” Flynn

II: Ryan “The Snake” Fossum

III: Patrick “The Gentleman” Kozicky

IV: Brienne “The Submitter” Maner

V: Rusty “The Porn Star” Greene

VI: Brooks “The Unlikely Hero” Maki

VII: William “The Soulful” Schuth

VIII: Brooks “The Survivor” Maki

IX: Zack “The Ice Cream Man” Sauvageau

X: Pete “The Vacuum Cleaner” Bruzek

Turbo: Brooks “The 1956-1979 Montreal Canadiens” Maki

XI: Matt “The Cold-Hearted Motherf*&^er” Novak

All-Stars (XII): Andy “The Quiet Man” Rustleund

XIII: Sarah “Clarence’s Hope” Bizek

XIV: Dan “The Professional” Kautz

XV: Christina “Assault And” Pepper

XVI: Matt “The First-Time Player” Novak

XVII: Stacy “Saintly Patience” Snell

XVIII: Brian “Checkmate” David

XIX: Annette “Eammon for the Top” Barron

XX: Daniel “Neville “Smash “Hardware” Hardwood” Longbottom” Caouette

XXI: Pete “The Comeback Kid” Bruzek

GODS AND MORTALS
I: Dragging Rivet’s Name Through the Mud One Last Time: Matt Novak (Ultragrandpa) and Michael Rivet (Friph Flipher-Fiph)
II: Bahambo Number 5: Pete “Triple Crown” Bruzek and Michelle “Single Tiara…So Far” Pratt

BIG BROTHER
I: Brooks “Oh, for the Love of God” Maki
II: Michael “#DDB” Rivet
III: Pete “Fortune’s Fool” Bruzek
IV: Erin “All Seven and We’ll Watch Them Fall” Leslie

FALL, CAESAR
2014: Brooks “The Creator” Maki
2015: Matt “The Artist” Novak
2016: Matt “Waited Them Out” Novak
2017: Annette “I Would’ve Voted for You” Barron

CUTTHROAT JUNCTION CHAMPION
Kelly “Yes, He’s a Player Too” Wells

Link to the Cutthroat Junction site. Over there, we do once-a-month strategic mega-games while the champion defends his title in a one-on-one. Head over to see how it works.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE
2013: #21 Greg “The Gallant Glutton of Greatness” Johnson
2014: #29 Jonathon “Big Papa” Pope
2015: #8 Christina “Am I in This?” Pepper
2016: #22 Annette “No Backs Stabbed” Barron
2017: #30 Bernice “The Vulture” Nicaise

PLAY WITH THE PROSE
(Writing, non-elimination)
I: Sarah “Centipede Face” Johnson
II: Sarah “The Johnson Eliminator” Wreisner
III: Colin “Lonely Old Moon” Woolston
IV: Melissa “Not Sidebar Material” Diamond
V: Sama “No Family Reunions” Smith
VI: Sarah “Tumor Face” Wreisner
VII: John “Cult Following” Wreisner
VIII: Joshua “Peed the Bed” Longman
VIII: Annette “Oh, Right, That’s Who Won” Barron

WEREWOLF (most recent)

Werewolf Stats Spreadsheet

PUZZLE CHALLENGE
I (Pure): Matthew “The Obsessor” Gilman
I (Power): Kelly “The Novak-Destroyer” Wells

DIPLOMACY
I: Matt “Exploiter of Worlds” Novak (France)

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR XXII

TRAVELING WILLYB3RRI3S

Annette Barron
Dan Kautz
Christina Pepper
Zack Sauvageau

THE GRAVEYARD
18th: Laurel Ogren (T3AM)
17th: Raymond Camper (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
16th: Brooks Maki (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
15th: Melissa David (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
14th: Sarah Bizek (Willy)
13th: Colin Woolston (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
12th: Jeph Novak (T3AM)
11th: Shawn Ashley (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
10th: erik sunshine
9th: Ken Krouner
8th: Bret Highum
7th: Matt Novak
6th: Jared Cedar
5th: Jonathon Pope