Ken scratched through illness
Graydon was represented by Kirin. Kirin was informed of how poorly Graydon rolls, and he complied with our request to emulate that.
So we had an alternate alternate earth.
It's almost funny (or perhaps prophetic) that I ended my last report with "I guess I'll have to go practice my dice-rolling." I started as I meant to continue, tossing boxcars to get first pick in the draft.
So, to Smaug's chagrin, I chose the Mutants. As Vizzini suggested, I went back to the beginning and set up HQ in Brazil. Aaron squatted in Australia, Kirin took Eastern Canada (nee Quebec), and Kevin was in Scandinavia. I moved into the radioactive crater of my former city in North Africa, and took up a strong position in Central America to keep Kirin out of S. America. Kirin and I traded territories back and forth over the next couple turns. On one, his attack was 6-6-6; he was also playing the Bear, which automatically kills all defending troops on a triple roll... if at least one defender dies. I rolled a 6. Not that it was a big deal, since there was only one troop there, but still...
Meanwhile, Aaron was spreading out of Australia, and he had a huge pile of resource points to turn into armies. [One check on Aaron was that Kevin had placed a biohazard in Australia, which basically sucks a soldier every turn, essentially reducing the continent bonus from 2 to 1.] I had a not quite as big a pile myself, and I dangerously decided that if no one bloodied Aaron's nose, he was gonna tromp all over us. So I set out from Africa, across southern Asia, battled against missiles in SE Asia, and plunged into Australia, taking his HQ. Not that it would last, but it certainly set him back.
Fortuitously, one of the mutant-y events turned up. If no human player controls a continent, the mutants get a victory point. Due solely to my reckless attack on Australia (ordinarily, a pretty safely locked-up continent) I earned a point out of that.
So he dumped about 20 armies and retook what I had taken away, and then some. Rather than aiming for a kill, he deftly managed to complete a mission of conquering 4 territories across sea-lines (aided a bit by my attack on Australia).
Kirin bought a point with cards, but might have regretted not taking the armies. He made a last ditch effort to complete the next mission by controlling 6 cities, but he went full-Graydon on the dice in his attacks on Kevin. Never go full-Graydon. It was a fool's errand, but it's true if he'd taken the six cities, and Kevin's HQ, that woulda been 2 more points for the win.
But this really made it almost a walk in the park for me to take my stopper force in Central America, augment it with all my recruits, and roll north to take Kirin's HQ, and then complete his plan of going into Kevin, taking his HQ as well. That's 2 more points and game. Mutants win! My rolls on that last march to Scandinavia were pretty ridiculous. I think I did not lose a single battle, though two wins depended on A) my Mutant power against the Bear, since they were the Bringer of Nuclear Fire (Mutants get to reroll 1's) and B) the Ammo Shortage I placed on Kirin's HQ.
Other changes to the board. Biohazards were placed in Iceland and Scandinavia.
Victory changes: I placed the last major city, so now Wendigo sits in the Northwest Territories. The other players put resource dots somewhere or other. I was too glowing with victory to notice.
So all the major and minor cities have been placed. Only the World Capital remains to be placed. All the Scars we have available to us have been placed (though more exist in still-sealed packets).
Ken - 2 victories
Mike - 2
Aaron - 1
Graydon - 1
Smaug - 0, but still putting a good face on things.
Later today, I think I will put up some thoughts on future strategery, now that much of the board is set.