$10.00
WBC 2008: Wasting Away Again in Margameepleville ...
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
... searching for my white cube of a sheep.

After last year (attending both the WBC and EuroQuest), I had assumed that I would not be able to make any gaming conventions in 2008. For one thing, my wife and I had planned to have our second child by the summer, and besides, it really wasn't right for me to leave her alone for a week with the boy (now 2 years old) and dogs.

Well, the stork never stopped by with a new bundle, and my wife graciously allowed me to take off for the week (after accepting a gift of quilting supplies ... ironic since the WBC takes place right in the middle of Amish Country). Thus, I loaded up the car with changes of clothes and, of course, over a dozen games, and headed off to Lancaster (after a brief pitstop to pick up Alex Bove, with whom I've shared accomodation for all my recent forays into boardgaming cons).

Six days later, and I'm having feelings of déja vu. High expectations going in, and only minor success coming out, while most others from my gaming group walked away with top accolades and more wood than the Amazon Rainforests (which, sadly, may not be too far off from the truth these days). As before, I return with memories, good and bad, that will last for a long time ... at least until next Saturday, when the next EPGS meeting takes place.

Here, then, are my records and thoughts of all that occurred. Scores in boldface represent my own. I don't remember who I played in most games, but some situations compel me to name-drop. Anyone who remembers any particulars of games I was in (or, for that matter, anyone else was in) is free to add.

For reference sake, you can click here, here, and here to read about my exploits at WBC 2005, WBC 2007, and EQ 2007, respectively.

So, without further ado ...
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wbc [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There are close losses, and then there's what happened to me in my first game of the convention (7 PM, Tuesday).

A 4-player game on the Germany map, we all stagnated at 6 cities for back-to-back turns before someone jumped to the 7+ mark; the next plant that flipped during the subsequent auction triggered Stage 3. Meanwhile, with two of the four pre-discarded plants as 'green' plants, and with no one going for the nuclear plants, coal and oil (and trash, after the 30 and 38 plants got bought) got scooped up at record pace. At one point, there remained only one oil resource among all three after the resource-buying phase.

After last year (when I lost due to running out of resources at the end), I was determined to be prepared. Thus, I bought $85 worth of resources on one turn near the end to guarantee that I could fire my three plants (which totaled 17 cities). I didn't need any further resources for the rest of the game (about two turns), and built up what I thought was a good size of change. Going into the final round, I and one opponent had 12 cities while the others had 10. I saw that I could not be stopped from building the 5 needed ciites to trigger the end, and thought I had the game won.

On the last turn, the player to my right paid over $200 for resources and 7 cities, and still has money in his pocket. (We all had exactly 17-capacity by this point.) I built my 5, and we totaled our leftover cash ... we each had $45! A tie, and the tie-break was the largest power plant owned; his 50 beat my 38, and he won the game. (The others could only build to 14 cities.)

The first of what would be many close finishes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For the 2nd straight year, I made this my team game. Post-round conflicts caused me to skip the Semis a year ago (in favor of getting crushed at the Goa final table), which I was OK with since my team had long-since gotten crushed. This year, Caylus would finish up early in the week, so no such conflicts would be a problem.

Getting to the semis would be another issue. The first heat, on Tuesday night, set me up for a game with Richard Meyer, one of the strongest game-players at the WBC. It showed, as he used the building track to perfection and coasted to a 92-77-66-50 victory.

Needing a victory in the only other heat, I went back to what's worked in the past: building track, non-production wood buildings (like the marketplace), stone production buildings (I got 2 in my 2nd game), a generous dose of the point track, and one decent Prestige building (like the Monument). It worked well enough for me on Wednesday to claim a 94-85-75-64 win, made close by the Cathedral built by the second-place finisher near the end.

One win was enough to make the Semis. More about that later on ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:285]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One of many games that I played a heat of, simply because I had nothing else to play and didn't want to retire early on any night of gaming.

Also, a game that I've never won. It's just something about the caravans; I never do get around to getting to them, or worse, stopping others. Indeed, one player was allowed to get 9 batches into the caravans by game's end, scoring a final 27 points to go with all the other points he accrued during the game. He held off another player for the win, while I stumbled to a distant third, 86-82-69-50.

Overall, not a good first day for me; 3 games, no wins.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:171]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The first game I played on Wednesday, this would also be the only game of this I would play; my Caylus loss the night before forced me to play in the second heat, which knocked me out of that AR heat. (The domino effect would continue, as you'll read later.)

Considering how I did, it was probably for the best. I got Kharga for free in the first round, only to watch the bidding reach the 3-level in the first round, something that never seems to happen at EPGS. It would happen again in round three, after I was forced into Sawu for free. Combine that with me getting only one Bonus card for the whole game, in addition to blowing most of my hoarded cash early in the second half (three provinces had at least two pyramids, while one had none), and it all added up to a dismal DFL for me, 46-40-39-33-28.

By this time, I was ready to label this GeekList as my "Magical Misery Tour". Fortunately, my results would improve shortly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:59]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Last year I stated that I vowed "not to try this at the WBC again until I get more practice, either at my regular gaming group or online at BSW".

Well, I don't think I played this at EPGS more than once since then, and I rarely played this on BSW; when I did, it was never 5-player. Which goes to show that I really need to pay more attention to my own advice!

(It was either this or Medici, and I knew I had chances at the latter later on.)

I actually stayed rather competitive. I drew the 'best' seat (2nd), got a recruit card, picked up some jesters, and got to 58 points by game's end, helped in part by a pair of 22-works for 22 points at the end. Unfortunately, someone beat me with Bonus cards for the best work at the end, and I needed the point. Greg Thatcher, an 'honorary' EPGSer and all-around killer player, caught me by two with the help of a Prestige card. Final score: 60-58-55-55-52. A big improvement over last year, but still just short.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:6]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I only played this game 3 times going into the Con, winning my last two by rather large margins. Still, I expected nothing more than a good time for this heat.

I got more than that. I had a nice early combo of the Wet Nurse occupation and the Brushwood Roof improvement. These meant that (a) I could extend my house without reeds (just extra wood), and (b) I could pay one food when extending to immediately add another family member. By about round 8, I already had all 5 family members (and a size-5 house) while no one else had more than 3. It was still a close game; one player, seeing my position, relentlessly blocked the 'Bake Bread' card while I only had an oven. (I got a fireplace shortly thereafter to kill some of God's cubes and feed my growing family.)

I won the game on the last round; no one else had the resources to renovate, and (despite me being last in the turn order for the round) no one took the 'Plow and/or Sow' space. I grabbed both that and the 'Renovate & Fences' action, filled up a number of empty spaces, increased my grain & veggies, and got to 34 points, enough for the win (versus 29, 25, 22, & 17). It was my first win of the Con, which subsequently led to my second when I won the aforementioned Caylus heat that immediately followed. I was all pumped up going into my next game ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
... and was just as quickly deflated by game's end.

I actually got into 3 heats of this, on Wednesday, Friday morning, and Saturday morning. I finished a distant 3rd in the first game (43-38-28-21-21) and an even more distant 4th in the second game (42-41-36-27-26). I knew going into my final game that I was out of the Semis whether I won or not, but I do like the game and hoped to regain at least some glimmer of the success I had at EQ and the '05 WBC. Alas, I could only mamage a 2nd-place finish in that 4-player game, 52-46-31-25. Guess I should stick to BrettSpielWelt.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:476]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A late-night tradition for Wednesday night, I was 0-for-2 for my first two Cons. I fared better this time around, completing the '2' on the first roll of a round to go with the completed '7' and '8' to win the first round. (On at least two instances, someone fell when one step shy of completing a number; one of those would have won the game for the other player.)

My success was done in by the prepubescent males I faced in Round Two. A 3-player game featuring two guys whose combined age was less than my own, it was close up to near the end. I had already finished the '8', and has just completed the '9' on the current roll (from about halfway up) and one roll of a '12' away from ending it, while my L.H.O. was a single '2' away from winning. I chose to stop, rather than risk losing the '9', and passed the dice; he failed to get his '2', and ended up on the '4', '6', and '10', near the bottom of all three.

It was a true Can't Stop moment, as he kept rolling ... and rolling ... and rolling ... all the way up all three numbers, eventually icing it with a '4'. I was disappointed, but by then it was well after midnight and I was ready for bed anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:264]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The domino effect from above continued: by playing Amun-Re the day before, I passed up my chance at this. Now I had to choose between this and El Grande, and there were no further heats of either. I went with Cuba, despite knowing (so I thought) that either Final would conflict with the Caylus Semis, which this time I was committing to. (I figured there was little chance of making either Final anyhow.)

I haven't played Cuba much, but I have developed the belief that the game is 95% tactical, and that fixed strategies would be doomed to fail. Well, I went against those feelings in my game and went for a cash/VP situation: I built both hotelss and the large bank, earning 4 bucks and 3 VPs every time I chose the Foreman. I rarely went to the boats at all; I shipped twice the whole game, both times near the end. At the same time, I used my cash to gain influence a couple times for the vote, and made every Tax/Duty combo, while keeping others from gaining huge subsidy bonuses. In the end, I eked out an 83-77-77-59 win. (One player mistimed a play near the end, costing himself 6 VPs.)


Flash-forward to Friday afternoon; due to the low number of games (6 altogether, with one winner not making it back), the Semi round turned into the Final table. I watched as another player used a similar strategy to what I had done before, building both banks and the large hotel to get 6 bucks and 2 VPs per Foreman pop. He fared well, but I thought my strategy of early Rum production would benefit me, as many of the boats had spots for Rum.

I was done in in some part to my own pride. In the second round, the 3-boat had spaces for 2 Rum, 1 Sugar, and 2 Cigars. I already had 2 Rum in my possession, and Workered for a Sugar (among other resources and cubes). My L.H.O. then shipped his one Sugar for 3 points. No one else had Rum OR Cigars, and when it got back to me I was still perturbed about not being able to get 9 points. Rather than swallow my pride and ship for 6, I went into the marketplace, sold Sugar for 2 and bought a Cigar for 5 (I had a good cash amount at the time). What I failed to notice was that another opponent has 2 Tobacco in storage, and had both the Tobacco-for-Cigars building and the Large Branch Office; on his turn, he chose Foreman, converted his Tobacco to Cigars, and shipped both for 6 points!

I ended up shipping for 6 on my next turn, and while I did eventually turn the Cigars back into 6 bucks (I had a building to do that), the opportunity cost of a wasted action likely cost me points. Final score: 88-83-81-78-70. Close, but no cigar ... so to speak. (No plaque either, as only the winner won wood.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Back to Thursday, and a T&E heat just after my Cuba heat.

Last year I played Eric Freeman, another fellow EPGSer and super-strong gamer. I finished ahead of him but lost the game. I ended up facing Eric again this year, and the scores flipped from a year ago: I beat everyone else but lost to Eric.

The one thing I remember about this game was how it ended. I thought I had a decent chance to win if I could end the game, and felt that the bag was low on tiles. I risked a double-dump of tiles, hoping to end it ... but there were 14 tiles in the bag! Thus, I wasted a turn while the game lasted to two more people; Eric ended it on his turn by racking up a ton of cubes. Final score: 9-6-4-4. He had the game won either way, as he had at least 8 before his last move, but I certainly wouldn't have minded a mulligan on my play.


Interlude: with no games scheduled at 1 PM or 2 PM that I liked, I took some time to spread the gospel of Agricola, teaching some players for a 2-hour stretch before heading to the Caylus Semis. It felt good to do so; perhaps at some future event, I should consider GMing or something.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Caylus Expansion: The Jeweller [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Now for the conclusion of my Caylus oddysey:

Those who remember my EQ recap may recall how close the final table was: I lost by a point while I tied for 2nd and ended up 3rd on the tie-break. (One more point, and I would have won not only the Caylus final, but the overall award as well.) History was about to have some fun with me again.

Of the four Semi games, mine was the only one that didn't have someone build the mason right off the bat. This helped me go with my meat-and-potatoes strategy that worked so well in my 'win' heat: I was able to hit the building track often, getting two of the three stone production buildings relatively early in the game, and made a lot of castle batches throughout. However, I didn't build any residences for the whole game, while another player eventually built the Cathedral and a 3rd player kept with both of us. I wish I could remember more details of the game, but I'll never forget the final score:

79-79-78-68.

This time I tied for first, and my 1st-vs-2nd turn order gave me the tiebreak advantage for the win. For the second time in less than a year, I was in a post-heat game where one point separated the top three finishers.

I was in the final table for my favorite game, which was also my team event. I felt like I just made the Super Bowl ... but the final was still to come, and I was in for a couple surprises.


Rememer how Richard Meyer beat me in the first heat? (If not, scroll up and see.) As it turned out, he and his son Jeff made the final table! And our 4th? A guy named Sam Atabaki, who I've developed quite a history with, ever since GenCon 2005. Among our run-ins was a game of Caylus last EQ, where I won by such a large margin that I knocked him out of the final table and put myself in. (He jumped into Puerto Rico instead, and ended up winning that event!)

So it's the four of us, starting out in an empty room, quiet and peaceful, perfect for studying positions and determining moves. Five minutes into the game, people stormed in for a Mystery of the Abbey heat and jacked the noise level up to that of a rock concert!

The game went on, though, and Jeff raced to an early lead by building two early wood buildings, including the Mason. Sam and Richard each went for the building track, and with all the competition for buildings, I decided to try a point-track strategy. I also used the Carpenter early on to build the Marketplace, but only got a single batch in the castle for the Dungeon phase. At the first turn, Richard (who was the only one to get two batches into the castle that phase) led with 16 points, I had 10, Sam had 8, and Jeff (who made no batches) had 7.

I got a batch in early to start the Wall phase, while the others fought for the stone production buildings: Jeff got the Workshop and Park, while Same got the Farm. I also hit the Joust once for three points, and built the castle for 3+4 more. I was hurt, though, by not paying attention to the amount of cubes everyone else was accruing. With the baliff on the space just before the goldmine (3 away from the end of the phase), I felt there was time to get into the castle later to get at least one more batch for the end-of-phase favor; that turn, Jeff and Rich jumped to the castle before I even placed a worker, and Sam hopped in later. By the time worker placement was complete, I realized just how screwed I was: Rich and Jeff had 3 and 2 batches (respectively, I think), but Sam had enough for 4! Sure enough, they combined for 9 batches in that one round to end the Wall phase, costing me a favor. (I should have sensed the danger and hopped into the castle once the mad rush began.) Scores at this point: 33 each for Sam and Rich, and 27 for Jeff and myself. (I did hit the mason a couple times to score points and keep pace.)

Any chance I had to win ended a couple turns into the Tower phase. Rich had already placed 4 batches in the castle, leaving 12 spaces. I had enough cubes to do 3 batches, and hit the castle ... but Sam once again stocked up enough for 4. (I was one food cube shy of doing 4 myself.) In addition, Sam hit the Stables that round to go first, and hit the castle again to fill the last 3 slots next turn. (I got myself into a cash crunch by the end, which went a long way to deciding my fate.)

Sam was unstoppable, but I still wanted to finish as high as I could. The battle for second came down to the wire, but I edged Richard by a single point. (I hit the marketplace at the end of the game; the 8 bucks I had gave me the two points needed to sneak ahead.)

Final scores: 90-74-73-65. Ironically, Jeff was the first to build a Residence, with a Lawyer built far down the road, and actually built two Prestige buildings by game's end without using the Building Track ... but his failure to get any batches in the Tower phase doomed him to 4th.

A heckuva finish, and while I'm disappointed I didn't win, I was happy to be a part of that table. Plus, my 2nd-place earned me my first plaque ever. (Someday I hope to add to that collection.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:215]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We finished the Caylus final just in time for me to play the 2nd Agricola heat, but they had just enough to have every game a 4-player table, and as I already won my way into Friday's Semis, I decided to pass up the heat, instead trying a heat of this. The game I was in was wildly open, with no one really blocking anyone else. I stomped the table by nearly hitting all-18s, missing by one (but still earning a score of 17). The other scores were 13, 12, and 12; one of the 12s had 18 for every other cube.


The Semifinal took place on Sunday morning, shortly before I headed out. By constrast, this game featured one blocking move after another. I hit two ingeniouses early on, but stagnated on the rest of my colors. Others fared better, but my R.H.O. fared best with a balanced strategy while hitting no ingeniouses at all; that player scored 11 for the win. I would have been last, had he blocked my last tile placement (a double-yellow, scoring 3); instead of scoring 7, I got to 10 for 2nd place, with the other two each getting 9. Fun game, but one that, in the future, will likely require two wins to guarantee a spot in the Semis.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The conflicts continued for me, as I missed the first heat of this for the Caylus final. I got the sweet spot for the second heat (first corn) and shipped a lot while getting the Customs House. It wasn't enough, as my R.H.O. got multiple quarries, traded two coffee for 7 bucks each (once due to my L.H.O. crafting as the last action before the Governorship passed, with 3 barrels already in the trading house), built 3 large buildings (2 of which got manned by game's end), and won despite shipping for only 5 points. Final score: 41-37-32-24. With the final heat opposite Age of Steam, I was done with Puerto Rico for the Con.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I got into 2 heats of this, one Friday evening and one late-Saturday night. To say the least, I've done better.

My first game, one guy (the last to fill his boat) ended up with 13 (or so) in boats on 3 cards for free at the end of the first round, and raced to a huge lead. His lack of pyramid influence would do him in, though, as the rest of the table caught up. I myself focused on the purple and blue (and brown) pyramids, getting to the top of the purple one but one-shy of the 10-spot for the blue one. With one slot left at the end (the only open slot among all the players) and four cards in the draw pile, I needed one more blue to get to the top ... but pulled the purple 0. As it turned out, there was a blue card in the remaining pack; also, a blue 0 was passed out early on in the round. Had I gotten the blue 0, or gotten lucky with the draw at the end, I actually would have won ... but instead, I finished fourth, 85-83-81-76-70.

My second game, where I nearly got to play Sam again before being moved, was dreadful. I only got three cards the first round (all blue) and never really recovered. I DFLed in a blowout win by another, 113-86-82-72-71.

Overall, not a good year for me with Knizia games (except for Ingenious).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:894]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Scheduling quirks really nailed me on Friday. In two instances, I was stopped from playing a game with a 3-hour block because the 3rd hour conflicted with something else. In particular, I couldn't get into the first Age of Steam heat because of the Agricola Semis. Instead, I opted for 3 rounds of Adel.

My first two games were yin-and-yang, in a sense: I finished 4th my first game but only lost by 2 spaces, while I finished 2nd my second game but lost by about 7 spaces. (The person who won tied me for the largest collection, but had the oldest artifact; I would have won if I had the oldest.)

I learned something in my third game ... 'misclicking' is not relgated to BrettSpielWelt!

I started out well, keeping pace with the pack despite my thieves continually getting into and out of jail. However, my collection did not have a 'C' in it, and so was relatively worthless. There was hope, though; I had recently swiped the largest check left in the game ($23,000), and waited for a 'C' to appear in the auction house. Sure enough, a 'C' finally flips over.

Next round I'm all set to go to the Auction house. We all push our '1' cards towards the board and reveal ... and only then do I see that I mistakenly played the Castle card.

Too late; one person played the Auction house card, and happily snapped up that 'C' card. No other 'C' card ever came back to the house, my attempts to steal what I needed went up in smoke soon after, and I DFLed by game's end.

(Did I mention it was a bad year for me with Knizia games?)

Well, it wasn't like I was playing in the Semis anyway. Onto the next Semi!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Agricola Z-Deck [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This was for more than just wood; the winner was to receive a copy of the game. With incentive like that, and with a long winning streak at this under my belt, I was very hopeful for a win and a spot in the Finals.

One thing I learned early on: if you're the first player (which I was), you MUST play an occupation for your first action! This is especially true in a 3pl game, where the 'other' occupation spot costs 2 food.

I looked over my cards (which, like my heat game, contained the 'Wet Nurse' ... but no helpful improvement to ease the extension cost), and fell in love (as it were) with the 'Lover', which allows you to immediately add a family member to your house without need of an extra room. One hitch: it requires 4 food to play.

Shortsightedly, I took the 'Day Laborer' first for the two food needed. That did me in!

The next player took the occupation space for himself, the other player would get the Start Player spot, and HE took the occupation space next round ... and kept doing so. I didn't play the Lover (or any occupation, for that matter) until about Round 6.

Despite that, I actually kept up with the others, and would have won IF I had correctly interpreted a rule the GM stated. I thought he said that, for the tourney games, anyone who ended the game with no negatives got an extra 5 points. As I was able to do so, with my R.H.O. short on animals, I thought that would help me out immensely.

By game's end, I asked the GM to confirm what I thought. He said 'yes' ... if you had the right card.

Card??? What card???

As it turned out, he was referring to a specific occupation (the Constable, I believe) that I did not know about. And I really could have used it, as my R.H.O. stocked up madly on clay at the end before building the Pottery. That, combined with his stone structure (I had clay) and tons of grain (literally!) left him with 37, while I had 33 and my L.H.O. had 30.

Guess I'm waiting for the holidays for my own copy. (Unless I get Nefertiti instead. That one tempts me ... as does Hamburgum. I read the rules to both during breaks in my schedule, and actually taught the latter to some friends. All three are now on my wish list, but I really would like to play Nefertiti at least once before committing.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:58]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Agricola loss meant I was free to play the second heat of this, though I knew going in that I had no shot. (Seems as though you need to be from Quebec to even be considered.) Considering how I did last year (major DFL, by over 25 points), I had absolutely no expectations going in to my game.

I was in a 5-player game, on the South America board. We all agreed that the cube distribution was poor, with no 2-shipments to be found. I passed early in the first turn (after watching the bids go 3-4-5 before me) but had First Build fall to me. Here I decided on a long-term attempt: I built northwest from Buenos Aires (the only Blue city in the game) through Rosarto into Cordoba, a two-link with no shipments for the first round. I passed early on in the second turn as well (as bids got as high as 9) and scooped up El Presidente in 4th seat ... and got him again in 5th seat on the next turn. Over those two turns, I shipped four cubes into and out of B.A. (saving myself $4) and earned $5 from other players (due to the El Presidente role of taxing any shipment that touches B.A.). Other players, meanwhile, took incremental income hits and hit the taxes sooner.

Net result: halfway through, I found myself on pace with the field for income and loco, but 3 shares behind the pack. By then I was able to win some auctions, built west into Mendoza & Santiago, then up through Valparaiso (which I Urbanized) and Antofagasta, getting into La Paz on the last turn. I outtracked most players, was as high as anyone for income, and stayed behind on shares. Final score: 57-46-46-30-24. I shocked myself by making the Semis, a tremendous improvement over last year's debacle, and my first win of this on any map in quite some time.


Ten players advanced to the Semis, split into two games of five; the top two from each table would make the Finals. I was the first to bid and bid 4, only to watch the table go 5-6-7-8. I passed first (again) and settled for Turn Order. Like the last game, I saw nothing good early ... so I built two partials in the center of the map that did not connect and shipped nothing (again). Next turn I got 2nd for nothing & got lucky when the high bidder took Loco over Urban, which I desparately needed; had he taken Urban instead, I may have gone bankrupt. (He did have only a 1-engine after the first round, so he really did need to take Loco. Still, I got lucky there.) Like the last game, I was able to build up from there and establish a decent network tha stretched up towards the upper-left portion of the board. Unlike the last game, I found myself taking as many shares as everyone else, if at a slower pace. By the end, all of us hit the 15-level for shares.

I was attacked by game's end (though I did luck out with the last production dice roll), and could only watch as a player who was relatively out of it (none other than Richard Irving) had to ship over some opponents' links. As it turned out, that made all the difference, as I outtracked the field but lost out on 2nd by a single income.

Final scores: 63-59-56-44-28. In the end, the entire Finals table was French-Canadien. I went down, but not without a fight. And this year, I can hold my head up high by my effort.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:137]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This was the first of two one-shot games that I wanted to play, despite not being really skilled at them. (See also Yspahan, above.)

The other players all seemed to outscore me every round; two got the double-privilege early, while a third got the Geisha gill in a palace. Meanwhile, I was scoring roughly 2 to 3 per round only, until near the very end. Still, I managed to keep most of my people for the endgame scoring, and edged out another player on the tiebreak ... for 2nd place. One player, meanwhile, beat us all convincingly: 99-77-77-70.

I must mention the plight of one player, who raced out to an early point lead but got cash-poor. On one round (with a Famine approaching), he had four palaces (three doubles and a single) and four people. He also found himself without 3 bucks, and was beat to the rice space ... when he had no rice. Net result: he lost 4 people (and 3 palace layers, including a whole palace) on one disaster. By game's end, he had no people whatsoever ... and still finished with a respectable 70. Weird game, to say the least.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:139]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
After Year of the Dragon, I settled into a game of its predecessor. (One of my opponents with another fellow EPGSer, Chris Moffa.) I got a lot of cubes early and had rat control early on, even scoring the card for empty spaces after the rat, but I took too long to get my park going (a must for most games), missed out on a Notre Dame scoring, and finished a distant 4th, 77-70-67-62-28. (One player got ratted to death, as the score indicates.)

The aforementioned Medici DFL game followed this one. Overall, Saturday evening's results blew chunks for me.

(While I'm on the subject, I'm just going to state here that I will never bring my Predacon T-shirt to another gaming convention! I wore that particular shirt on Tuesday and Friday; on those days, I played a combined 11 games ... and lost every one. I suppose I should have taken the hint the day I got pulled over for speeding; I was wearing the same shirt that day, too.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:699]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The last game of the Con! True to form, I actually surprised myself by winning my heat game. (Each game is 5 rounds, where each player goes first once; lowest score wins.) I was behind the leader by 2 after four rounds, but he got zonked with a 7-spot on the last round (I scored 2) and fell into a tie for 3rd. Final score: 9-10-12-12-12.

The Semis for this were the same as they were for Age of Steam: two tables, top two advance. I was off to a decent start after two rounds, going out first in the second round, but got hit with a 4 in the third and drilled with a big 9 in the fourth. The battle was for 2nd, as my L.H.O. ran away with the win, 6-13-15-17-19.

With that, and after some final chatting, I was heading back home.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1526]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For all the games I played, there were a great numbers of games that I somehow never even played a heat of. Here's a list of what I would have played, had cloning been legalized:

Goa: It's hard to believe that the only game that I won heats in in both of my WBC trips went unplayed by me this year, but I knew going in that the second heat and Semi would conflict with the Caylus Semi, so I had to decide if I wanted to play the first heat or try the second if I failed to advance in my team game. In the end, I went with Power Grid instead. In retrospect, I really wish I went with this! The numbers were paltry, bordering on pathetic, and I hate the idea that this game won't even be around next year! Say it ain't so, BPA!!!

El Grande: The other game I had to pass up on on Tuesday night, and the domino effect that started with a Caylus loss passed through Amun-Re and Cuba to this. Again, there was a conflict with the Caylus Semi, which put the game for me on the back burner. Thus, another game that I qualified for the Semis in a year ago went by the wayside for me.

Pillars of the Earth: I really want to play this game at the WBC, but there always seems to be something in the way. One heat conflicted with Agricola, while another heat coincided with Can't Stop.

Vegas Showdown: I doubt I would've been very competitive, but I like the game and would have played it if I didn't have other games (like Caylus and Ra) in the way.

Imperial: I was all set to play this this year, especially after not getting to it at EQ, but fate intervened. The first heat ran up against the Caylus Semi and so was stricken from my schedule after I won a heat. I wanted in on the second heat, but the third hour of the 3-hour block coincided with the Cuba final. Instead, I gave some rule clarifications to Greg (who had never played the game before) during his game until I had to go. Let the record show that I do want in on this game at some point.

St Pete: Never high on my radar, it was more a passing fancy for me. I probably won't even include it on my itinerary in the future.

Liar's Dice: I love playing this game on Friday nights ... but the Agricolar Semi prevented me from doing so this year.

Tikal: One more game that I made Semis in a year ago, my experience then left a bad enough taste in my mouth for me to not even touch it this year. So I played a 3rd heat of Ra (knowing I couldn't advance even with a win) and a heat of Notre Dame (almost certain that I would lose) instead. Now, though, I'm having slight regrets about my decision. Maybe next time I'll give it another go.

Settlers: Probably one that I'll never play again at the WBC, if only because I refuse to commit to so much time playing it on Saturday morning.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Cup Winner [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
To sum up: I made 6 Semifinal appearances and 2 final tables (though one, Cuba, comes with an asterisk, as there was no SF round), with two 2nd-place finishes. By many people's standards, this would be a rather successful trip. However, one has to understand where I come from and who I play against on a regular basis. Here's a partial list of fellow EPGSers would had a bit more success than me: (I will edit incorrect information, as my memory is sketchy with some.)

Greg Thatcher: Won Amun-Re; won El Grande; made semis in Princes of Florence ... I know there's a lot more, but I'm blanking.

Eric Freeman: Won Tikal; 2nd in Amun-Re; 5th in Princes of Florence; final table in Ra (I don't know his place); had to drop out of Tigris & Euphrates semi due to conflicts.

Barb Flaxington: 2nd in Tikal; made Power Grid finals; made Age of Steam semis (we each finished 3rd at our respective tables; I edged her for 5th overall) ... and this was a down year for her!

Chris Moffa: Won Goa; made Puerto Rico finals (I don't know where he finished; he may have won the whole thing).

Oh, and Alex? Not much ... he just won Princes of Florence and Ra, 3rd in Pillars, and 5th in Amun-Re. Oh, and he also made semis in Goa and won some heats of Paydirt. (The only game he played that he didn't win a heat of was Age of Steam ... and he wins enough games of that at EPGS, thank you.)

So, at the same time, I'm proud to be a member of such a successful gaming group ... and extremely jealous at all their success! (I'll do my best to hide it next Saturday ... when our next meeting takes place.)


Phew! Well, that's another year at the WBC. To quote Cleveland from Family Guy: "You don't win. You just do a little better each time." Hopefully, next time I'll do a little better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.