WBC 2012 - Blood, Sweat, and Sleep Dep
John Corrado

Virginia
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But mostly sweat.

WBC was once again an emotional roller-coaster ride; a week of hard work and strenuous strategizing, of winning games I shouldn't have and losing games I shouldn't have, but mostly of playing lots of games.


As a forewarning: I have trouble with names. I will attempt to place names to people in this list, but I make no guarantee to get anything right, and I certainly don't know most people's last names, even if you told it to me three times at different games as I filled in result cards. And yes, I did run a trivia contest this year, why do you ask?

Also: I'm enabling public dice rolls. I don't know what that is, or why it's an option, but it seems fun.
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  • Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:00 am
1. Board Game: Mille Bornes [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:5161]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Last year, Greg Crowe and I came up early Saturday morning and stayed for eight days of gaming; afterwards, we both agreed that it had been one day beyond our limit, and also, wow, it was weird to realize we had limits for gaming. I think it was more of a limit to allowable sleep dep at our age, but maybe there's only so much you can shuffle a card deck and roll dice before the carpal tunnel gets you.

Anyways, so this year we decided we would be extra extra smart and go up Sunday morning, in theory getting more sleep and being more ready. We ended up being extra extra stupid and falling in to watching a bad '70's cowboy movie ("They Call Me Trinity") my wife was watching, meaning we had barely five hours of sleep each when we hit the road around 6:30.

 
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2. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
John Corrado

Virginia
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We dragged ourselves into the hotel a bit before 10 so that Greg could go off to play Age of Renaissance. I like AoR, but I like it more in theory than in practice, and I had played it recently enough that I was more interested in Through The Ages, which is always one of my favorites. Of course, getting Greg there by 10 meant I was over an hour early to my first heat.

Several people were hanging out, and conversation about the game revealed that most of them had never played - or only played on-line - and being tired and bored and excited I ended up doing a demo and rules brief for the game with Sceadeau D'Tela and Elaine Pearson, which was probably a bit confusing to GM Randy Buehler when he showed up to do the actual demo and saw it already happening. Thankfully, some people had shown up on time for the demo and therefore had missed the first part of our early impromptu demo, and so we had two simultaneous demos so that people could learn the game twice as fast. Or something.

I played three heats, and in all three heats Napoleon with an Air Force won that player the game. In my first run, that wasn't me; I had serious trouble getting my military and economy arranged well, and the winner should have lapped us except he never had a better army than a Legion. In my second and third games, I was able to get the combo running well (with a Classic Army in the third game, no less!) and had an easy coast in the second game and a bare win in the third (which, being against last year's winner, was especially wonderful).

The semi on Monday found me against GM Randy Buehler, who had beaten me in the semi the previous year, and this year was no different. Moses and the Pyramids on my side worked well to get my economy off to a resounding start, but I couldn't time taking military advances well enough to keep up with Caesar and Alexander, and Age I events knocked the crap out of me. I made two big mistakes - I didn't grab daVinci when he was cheap, and ended up spending Age II and most of Age III leaderless as no good leader made it to me in a position I could afford to grab him in; second, I grabbed Kremlin instead of Eiffel Tower and compounded unhappiness problems for less culture-per-turn rather than making religion unnecessary and focusing on opera houses. Kremlin + Pyramids also made me blase about getting a better government, which wasn't smart given that I had two people in my urban buildings very quickly and then had little to gain with my extra people.

Still, I won two out of four games played, and it's no shame to lose to a finalist, especially when you can beat a previous finalist.
 
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3. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:274]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Eric Freeman made a special exception for people playing in the Through the Ages semi-final to start their Vegas Showdown heat late, so the good news is that I did manage to get in a game of Vegas Showdown. The bad news is that I got it in with four other people of a caliber that could make it into the Through The Ages semi-final, so needless to say I got rolled over.

I love this game, but apparently I don't understand it nearly as well as I thought I did, as I haven't won a game of it in three years now. I guess that's just an excuse to play it more.
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4. Board Game: Lancaster [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:160]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Following a late Monday night, I slept in so that I'd be coherent for the demo of Lancaster I was giving for the Sampler Showcase. Turnout was good, with two full tables getting a rules explanation and being able to run a game, and I have to give massive thanks to Greg here for showing up just to drop me off and maybe watch a round or two, but ending up shepherding the first table through the first few turns while I got the second table up and running, then watching both tables while I set up for the next event. Note to self: next year, if you run two events in the Showcase, make sure they aren't consecutive.

I like Lancaster a lot, and most of the people who played seemed to agree. It's more complex in activity than it looks at first, with a lot of deep strategy over where to place and what to shoot for. My only real unhappiness with it is that it thinks its iconography is stronger and clearer than it actually is, and when combined with badly translated rules, it means there are a lot of fuzzy boundaries that need to be clarified.
 
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5. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:10]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So, yeah, setting up a six-player game of Eclipse in the Showroom under the hot lights while trying to help out two beginner games of Lancaster - there's a reason that "sweat" is one of the things I called out in the title of this list. Thankfully, I had great help - Greg Crowe shouldered a lot of the Lancaster questions, and Tom Browne actually read the rule book to provide corrections and explanations to my occasional bouts of misinformation. (Yes, I should have reviewed the rules beforehand. Note the "never run two showcases in a row" rule I made for myself above.)

Thankfully, while we had a lot of people there to hear the rules and see what the fuss was about over this game that no one can find anywhere, only six people stayed behind to play, and of those six we had enough drops that Tom and I each got to play a bit.

I'm still torn on this one; I like it, and I think there's a great deal of elegance in the mechanics, but I worry that it's too random to be balanced while not random enough to encourage different playstyles. Still, as Randy pointed out to me, to test that theory I'd need to play dozens of times, and any game that draws me in to play it dozens of times can't be that bad.

Now I just need to find a copy.
 
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6. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:55]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I was thrilled to see Goa back in the running, and made sure to show up for at least one heat. It was a fun game, but none of us at the table had played in years, so there was a bit of "I'm doing this - I can do this, right?" fumbling going around. I went with my usual builder strategy while two other players shot down the card path; in the end, I wasn't efficient enough and didn't bid on quite the right things to get what I needed (note to self: when you have the strongest board, Espionage is not worth it).

I ended up in a tie for first and lost on money-in-hand; I thought such a close second would guarantee me an early alternate slot and I was safe to skip the next heat to play Agricola instead. Turned out I was #21 in what turned out to be a 20-player final, so better luck next year.

At least I managed to snag one of the re-prints from the dealer's room. At some point this week I need to actually open it up and see what's different.
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7. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:195]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I missed the finals of this last year by $30, so I was determined to play again. It's a favorite of mine, and I'm extremely opinionated over what I think the better strategies are, though I should probably wait until I actually make a final before I start expounding on them.

The heat was pretty straightforward; the first player to act grabbed Durant and built the first M factory so that latter he could grab a single E factory; another player skipped M altogether to build E, and at that point I felt like it was my game to lose (see: strong opinions on strategy referenced above). I played a bit more conservatively than usual and the board rarely had enough cars to sell, but I made enough money to win the heat by an easy few hundred.
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8. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I'm not on a team yet, but if I had team games, Brass would absolutely be one of them. I took home my first plaque ever last year with a third here, so there was no question about whether I'd be playing it this year. In fact, I ended up playing it three times just because.

My first heat was a lot of fun; Sceadeau showed up and played at my table with a loose grasp of the rules, and having him respond to my moves with "Oh, I see what you're doing there" was very gratifying. (Also a bit of a relief that I was playing him before he had a strong grasp on the fine strategies of the game rather than after.

I ended up making a real blunder in the early part of the game (general strategy note: when building lots of mills for shipping, keep a port card in your pocket as a "just in case"; otherwise, after you've blithely thrown it away on a loan, everyone else will suddenly build mills and ship and leave you with a wrecked foreign market) but I managed to win by a few points, securing a place in the semis for a third straight year.
 
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9. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I always try to get at least one game of Power Grid in, and this year the schedule worked out fairly well for me. I ended up in a fast Central Europe game with Bill Crenshaw and Bob (mumble-mumble), the guy who I had helped teach TtA and been beaten by in it earlier in the week.

Unfortunately, not only did the game not go well for me - I went for the 21 and found myself over-spent too early for good cities and cap-locked later - but I ended up having to pull a "screw you" move on the leader. John, the leader, had the 3-coal-for-6 plant and a few other coals, and if I bought all the coal I could save 4, I could force Bob (in second) to buy 4 coal (depriving him of the cash he'd need to buy a 15th city) to coal-starve John. I laid all that out, apologized to John, bought what I needed... and then another player, who apparently was only half-paying attention, bought coal he didn't need, sparing Bob the need to buy his own, and Bob built 15 cities (with $6 left over!) and won.

It was my only move to even have an outside chance of victory, but it sucks to screw over another player and then have circumstances make it worthless.
 
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10. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So, I'm not that great at Agricola. I prefer it with Farmers of the Moors, and so the chance of me playing the original, with 4 players, using a single deck, outside of a gaming con is pretty much nil. Still, I like it, I'm good at the general concepts, and if in a heat I end up at a table with mostly casual players I can usually do well.

So, Josh announces that there are too many people and tables for a card draw and it's just a "seat yourself with people you don't know" situation, and I look around to realize I've just lost the biggest game of musical chairs since I was in kindergarten. "Oh, I don't know them, I'll just... oh, taken. Well, I only barely know him, so... wait, that's already four. I'll just sit at this empty... oh, it's the game owner's seat." So, I look around, and there's one chair I can see, and it's at a table with Sceadeau D'Tela, Doug Mercer, and Patrick (who I think was at my table in the smeis the previous year).

Eh, didn't expect to make the semis anwyays.

But I had a blast, and if you're going to lose, you might as well lose to the best players at a table that's obviously having fun. We joked around, Sceadeau and Doug launched missiles at the fence barricades I established, and we made rude jokes about farm animals.

I actually ended up doing pretty well- I had the Grocer, the Baker, and a Minor Improvement oven, so grabbed some early lying-about food, laid out the Grocer, grabbed some clay, and then spent six food to get all I needed to build a clay oven to cook the grain the Grocer gave me for four food back. But I got distracted in trying to get my house bigger and get more people, and while I was able to grab grain for cooking, I never timed a surplus for planting until near the end. I ended up second to Sceadeau by 3 points, which I'll take as a moral victory.
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11. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:183]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Another moral victory here; Randy Buehler referred to my table as "ringers" when he sat down with us, and I managed a second to Sam, who I believe won the Egizia finals, so I held my own with a strong crowd.

I tend to be a serious economy builder in this game, and this time I got it working, with the "+1 crew each round" on the first round, a 3 green field early, and I believe around 10 stone production by the end of round 2.


Heat 2 didn't go nearly as well; I fell behind in production early, and I ended up picking up two cards that gave me no benefit whatsoever (grab a remaining card, and there never were any; one other I don't remember) and slid to a third.
 
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12. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So Wednesday night was the second heat of Brass, and Ed (the GM) requested I set up my copy - which I had left in the car. Went outside to find it had started to rain pretty decently, and after waiting a couple of minutes, realized it wasn't going to let up any time soon. Having not brought an umbrella, I ran the thirty feet to the car (thankfully had a good space), drove the car to the front door to pass the game to a dry friend, drove the car back to the space to find it had been taken in the minute I was gone, and ended up parking around the side. Walked back to the hotel through the rain (and now hail!) as I was already soaked and couldn't get any more soaked. My badge turned into a beautiful tie-dye pattern, and they let me play in the Brass heat, but only if I sat back from the table and didn't drip on anything.

Ended up in a three-player game, which had me on an off footing for most of it, and I lost to Justin (which is not hard to do). Was reasonably dry by the end of it, at least.
 
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13. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:485]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So I'm doing the last of my drying off in the upstairs hallway, fiddling with my cell phone and slumped in a chair when Sceadeau, Elaine, and Marissa* walk past me. Sceadeau says to me, "Dude, you look like you've stopped. How can you stop? You can't stop."

Ten minutes later, I'm shaking dice in my hands to move some pharamceuticals around a piece of paper with an informal-turned-formal letter assignment system, the others egging me on to keep going, go until I can't go any more, push past all limits and break three towers.

I didn't realize the Lancaster Host could be part of a Naked Lunch analogy, but I probably should have guessed from the state of the upstairs men's room on Tuesday night.


* I think her name was Marissa, but my brain kept saying 'That's Marietta!' and then the *smart* part of my brain would say, 'No, shut up, Marietta's where your Automobile heat was.'
 
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14. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:274]
John Corrado

Virginia
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My second try at Vegas Showdown went no better than my first; it was a very strong table (Eric Raymond, Lachlan Salter, Dave see-him-every-year-but-never-remember-his-last-name, and Mark Love) and I had good money and good diamonds but not enough of either to get the points I needed at the end.

It was one of the most challenging games I've ever played in; at one point I had to open with 47 on a Theater to force Dave to pay 52 for it just so that I would then be able to bid enough on the Dragon Room to keep it from Lachlan. Defense is never a good game to play in VSD, and I ended up with a 4th. Still, it was a fun competition, and good to play against Dave and Eric again, as well as to meet Lachlan (who seemed to be in every semi I was near).
 
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15. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Had plenty of fun playing Lost Cities. Ended up 2 of 3, and might have made the 4th round and then the semis if it hadn't conflicted with another semi series I was in. Ah, well, there's always next year.
 
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16. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:809]
John Corrado

Virginia
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This was my first time playing this at WBC, and it was a lot of fun. As usual, my seating luck led me to be at the table with Randy Buehler, but he was only just learning the game and therefore did not crush us all in his mighty grasp.

He *did* manage to roll three disasters throughout the game, which led to my favorite quip of the whole week: after assigning a disaster that hit two of us but spared the third player, and then losing to that third player, Randy said "I can't believe I just lost Yahtzee on a bad strategy decision."

Ra: The Dice Game, ladies and gentlemen.
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17. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:98]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I played this. I did not play this well. I have a small inkling as to why I did not play this well, but I haven't played this nearly enough to know for sure. I just know that I had a lot of cathedrals, and that made Curt Collins sigh. Then I built some shipyards, and that made Dominic sigh, and then Emily won, possibly because I never made her sigh.
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18. Board Game: Jinx [Average Rating:3.44 Unranked]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So this is about when I went into my standard WBC slump. I played more games - a Brass heat, the Automobile semi, another heat of Agricola, Last Will - and they were all good games, but my performance completely stunk, and from mid-Wednesday through late Thursday I did no better than next-to-last in anything I played.

In retrospect, that's the way games go. Winning half of your four-player games should be a goal to strive for, not an expectation. Having said that, I very rarely live in restrospect, and at the time was in a seriously foul mood, growing worse with each performance.
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19. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
John Corrado

Virginia
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And then I played Princes of Florence.

So here are two secrets:
* I have played Princes of Florence maybe three times, because four or five player games of anything with my regular group are nearly impossible to do; but I hang out a *lot* with Greg Crowe who loves the game and talks about its strategy whenever I'll listen.

* I have avoided Princes of Florence at WBC like the plague because every time I peek in a heat, I see tables filled with the top performers of WBC: Eric Freeman, Rob Flowers, Alex Bove, etc., and I despite what my performance at WBC may sometimes look like, I don't actively seek to lose games.

So Friday night, I look through my schedule, and realize I have two things I'd like to do that conflict: the third round of Lost Cities, a win at which would get me closer to the semis; or the continual tourney of Battleline. I like both games, I think my chances of advancing with either are about the same, I don't have a huge interest in any game starting after Lost Cities, so how can I choose?

Well, I see that Princes of Florence has its semis after LC but during Battleline, so on a whim, I decide to play a heat of Princes of Florence, letting that decide my schedule. If I make the semis (unlikely), I go to Lost Cities; if I don't (very likely), I go to Battleline.

So at the heat, I get seated with Tom McCorry. Tom is someone I love gaming with, and he and John Weber stomped me the last time I played PoF. But my starting cards are strong (3 had a single freedom, with only 2 landscapes needed), so despite remembering strategies only after I screw them all up, I end up actually keeping pace, and with two strong works in the end, end up tied for first but lose on a tiebreaker.

Suddenly, I'm #21 in the semis, and I'm not planning on playing Battleline that night.

Semi time comes, and despite some wandering around for good room space, enough people show up that Eric Brosius can get 5 tables of 5 set up and I'm in the semis. I decide to play conservatively with my opening and take 4th seat for free (being unable to do a good value judgement on seat), and get seated with Tom McCorry (who, having played a Brass heat and the previous heat of PoF with me, is probably well sick of me), David Platnick, Legend Dan Hoffman, and someone whose name I don't remember as I haven't gamed with her before.

No one at the table is a slouch. Except me. I'm the slouch who lucked in, but whatever, I've broken my losing streak, so let's ride it. Get my starting hand, and three of the cards have the same freedom and the same landscape. I make a noise that the others interpret as disappointment, and we're off. With works as good as I've got, I go to 1200 to grab the first builder, and in my actions forgo the first turn work to grab another card. 2nd and 3rd builders go a little steep, but I can afford it, and I chunk all my works early enough to get 4 completed and a bunch of free buildings. Add in the "fewest empty spaces for 8 PP" Prestige card, and I'm able to pull out a decent victory over a bunch of capable, experienced players. Opening hand luck!

So, somehow I'm at the final table. Four very strong players and me. I decide to be a little aggressive and bid 100 florins for 1st seat; 2nd goes for a lot, 3rd for 100 as well, and 4th and 5th are nice freebies.

Opening hand is good, with two freedoms and one landscape covering three of my cards. I plan on going builder, but Jason Levine has different plans and drives it up to 1300 - more than I'm willing to pay for that. Ironically, I pay exactly that for a Jester next, so I guess I'm Jester-biased. I screwed up in taking first seat thinking it would let me get one more profession like 2nd; 3rd or 4th would have been better for that. But what 1st seat *does* get me is to go last or near last in bidding and work building for turns 2 - 4, and I'm able to see exactly what I need to build or what I can put off in order to snipe best work for those rounds.

But Jason is the one who dominates the game; he plays lead bidder incredibly effectively, starting the bidding on Jesters and replacement cards so that when he finally starts the bidding on what he wants - builders - he's knocked all but one or two other players out and he gets incredible deals. I force him to squeeze cash out of points in the end to get what he needs as the minimum to put out his last work, but I don't push him hard enough to keep him from getting first. But a few jesters, a cheap builder, a good prestige card and a great bonus card played on the last turn gets me third by a few points.

So, 3rd and a plaque in a game I dropped into just to figure out my schedule. Not bad. Next year, I need to actually play to win. That'll teach me.
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20. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So Saturday comes and I'm in the semis for Brass. I took third in Brass the previous year (did I say that already? If so, then yes, I'm bragging), and it was completely nerve-wracking as it was my first serious finals table. This year, though, I'm completely Zen - I already have a 3rd place with PoF, so even if I crash and burn, I'm fine for this year.

And "burn" is an appropriate term for my semis game. I'm at the table with two people who I know are top-class - Ted Mulally and Lachlan Salter. I don't know the third guy - Rob - but he's no slouch once I see his plays. But it's Lachlan and Ted who provide most of the excitement. By my second turn, both of them have built a coal in Oldham, so they're already breathing down each others' neck. Ted left a canal open to Manchester, and being no fool, I build an iron in Manchester and use the iron to develop away some cotton. By the time it's Ted's next, he eats up the last of the iron and overbuilds me, which is unfortunate but completely expected. But then Lachlan - who is unhappy that Ted let me have Manchester and then beat him with the overbuild - later turns around and overbuilds Ted's iron in Manchester with a 3, and suddenly it's a slash-and-burn war between them, with no coal or iron being safe. Ted manages to overbuild both an iron and a coal of Lachlan's on the same turn. Age II sees both of them go into Shipyards and compete to lay the rail they need; I just lay low and build my cotton and ship it out. In the end, Rob builds a rail link to Barrow-In-Furness to get the iron there, and that lets Ted get his second shipyard in it. In the end, I squeaked out a 2 point victory, mostly because Lachlan - who played a far better game than I did - got pulled down too hard. Even worse, another table had a 2 point difference between first and second with a higher overall score, so he didn't even make fourth seat by the percentage tiebreaker. Still, I expect to see him next year in Brass, and I expect to tremble.

Finals table was myself, Ed Kendrick (the GM), Gene (missed his last name), and Paul Sampson; all great people and great players. Paul should have multiple Brass titles under his best except in previous years he's had to leave the con before Saturday, so he'd always miss the semis or the finals. It's also always hilarious to play Brass with Ed or his son William, as they're from that general part of England, and they have low opinions of many of the cities featured on the map.

The game starts with Ed and I fighting over laying down coal-to-iron while Gene and Paul use the iron to develop up to Level 3 Cotton Mills. Ed and I are close enough to each other that once iron runs out we start fencing over turn order and placement location to keep one of us from overbuilding the other, and while we're positioning Gene and Paul start laying down mills. Ed gives up on overbuilding me and drops iron up north now that Paul and Gene have laid connections, and I drop a port and eventually a shipyard; unfortunately, the foreign market is great for sellers and my port doesn't get flipped.

Age II sees Ed in the lead and the better position with more iron points on the board and good income, with Paul and I within a point of each other and Gene in behind. I did a double-loan as my last Age I turn, so I lay down rails first for the great point sites - but I don't cover W/R-Ellesmere for the later shipbuild, and that costs me. Ed interrupts rail building to develop away shipyards, and suddenly I'm in a terrible position - I have to connect to Liverpool and build there before Ed does, I need to take my loans before the deck runs out, and I need to get my rails in position for whereever I can get a second shipyard. I finesse my turn to get Liverpool built, but Ed is able to block off Lancaster and Ellesmere port. So now I'm sitting on a lot of money, and my build of a port in Lancaster is immediately met with Ed's rail line to BiF and a shipyard there. Well, with nothing better to do and a lot of cash, I start streaming out railroads across the land. Ed has been to busy setting up for his shipyards to have built much, and Gene and Paul have been racing to get their 3s and 4s built, so there's plenty of space for it. So railroads and some ports for me; once again, the Foreign Market starts out all 0s and 1s, so in the end more than two ports would be foolish.

On the next to last turn of the game, I'm fishing for points like everyone else, and I can overbuild a coal. I'd like to make it Ed's, as with two shipyards and his previous iron points, I'm pretty sure he's winning. But only Paul and Gene have mines in where I can build, so I have to choose between them. Paul points out that he still has an unbuilt 4 Mill, while Gene has built and flipped all of his, so that settles it, and I overbuild Gene.

End of the game, Ed's son William takes care of summing up points. I'm pretty sure I'm in last - only one shipyard, only a few ports flipped - and when William reads my final score as "120", I'm only surprised by how behind I was. "No, wait;" says William "that's wrong. It's actually 140."

We double-check the math, and he's right - I have enough rail points for 140 points, which ties Paul for first. Tiebreaker is income, and I'm a single box behind him on the income track, so I take a second - which could have been first if I'd overbuilt him instead with my last coal. Ah, well - that's why they don't keep track of the score as you go along.


Best game of Brass I think I've ever had. Can't wait for next year. I worry that I'll end up at a semis or finals with Bruce Hodgins, Lachlan Salter, and Paul Sampson next year, and even if I pull off a miracle and win, I won't be able to talk without an accent for a week afterwards.
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21. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:3035]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So, yeah, ran this one. Went well; people seemed to be happy. Real results and analysis will get posted to the BGG forums this weekend, hopefully.

I'd talk more about this one, but I already used up most of my words talking Brass. All I can do is give a huge shout of thanks to:
* Greg Crowe for helping me run it and being subjected to a year of
playtesting awful categories and letter choices;
* Kaaren Englemann for helping get everything set up and in working order, without which we'd have been sunk;
* Sarah Beach, Jim Eliason, and Winton LaMoine for helping to grade papers so that Greg and I could get to sleep by 3 AM;
* Sean McCulloch for running it last year, and now I know how much work that is;
* and all the players who showed up, especially the ones who didn't think they had a chance at wood but just wanted a good time - I hope you got one.


Main lessons learned for next year:
* Either we do no "partner scoring" or we move to two hours or both. More likely the former.
* More open and accessible categories are always better.
* Many people confuse Bill Murray with Tom Hanks.
* Scoring takes about eight person-hours, so get volunteers in advance.
* Silly answers are awesome, and need to be encouraged.
* Don't wear the GM polo shirt over another shirt, as I'm under hot lights and moving around a lot. (re: "Sweat" in title above)
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22. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:235] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Sunday morning was the semi for this, as everyone who played a heat essentially made it into the semi. Completely screwed the pooch with my first turn, but recovered enough to actually be broke on the last turn when everyone else went out. Was fourth or fifth, can't remember, but it didn't matter - I had two pieces of wood and a lot of compliments for how Facts in Five went, so I was more than happy with the way everything had worked out.

Now I just need to start stocking up on sleep for next year.
 
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