My WBC gaming flops and hunger games 2012
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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My friends in my gaming group got into a huge argument over a bed so I didn't get to play games like I usually do during the year. My total plays since last years WBC: 6 games of Dominion, 2 of Power Grid, and 1 time of Catan and Kingdom Builder along with 2 days of gaming at Totalcon. So I come into the tournament expecting not doing well.
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1. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:10870]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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Wednesday

I go to Holiday Inn for all of my other trips. So sometime during the year, I decided to join the Holiday Inn Vacation Club. Basically I was tricked into thinking owning it would make my hotel stays cheaper in the long run. It turned out to be exactly like a time share. I booked the Holiday Inn Express the day before the convention for only 1 day only. (It was booked for the rest of the week.) The cost was $144 plus tax but came with extra vacation points. (They don't expire for me.)
 
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2. Board Game: March Madness [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:5390]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 2]
This is a game I only play at the WBC. Somehow, I got lucky enough to pick first. And I kind of wasted it on UConn 2011 which was a middle of the road team. I was paired up against OK St 2004. I got high rolls on card drawing and initial assessments but not when it's needed on player rolls. In the first half, I used a timeout when his best vs my worst was rolled 5-2. I used a timeout and the reroll was 6-1. I was down by double digits at halftime but managed to close the gap to 76-74.
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3. Board Game: Smokey [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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Since I had 2 hours till my next event and my turbocharged car was already warmed up from the 2 hour drive this morning. I went to the Smoketown Diner. This year, I didn't make the mistake of getting seafood. I got a large bowl of cream dried beef and a large bowl of grits. Lancaster isn't that far south, and is close to Philadelphia. To my surprise, the grits were great, but the beef was about 90% gravy. With a cranberry juice, it came to $10 (all prices listed include tax and tip).
 
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4. Board Game: Power Grid: France/Italy [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 2]

One of the quick games needed an extra person so I volunteered. After seeing the players, I didn't think it was going to be that quick, but we managed to be one of the first ones done. The game used plant deck 2, and I remembered all of my mistakes from the last 2 years with this deck. I was mostly in first after step 2 triggered and kept it until the game ended.
 
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5. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 1]

This game used the E-deck which is my best deck. But not playing in a while hurt me as I took some non-efficient moves in the later rounds. I was also hurt that both ovens were taken by the same rancher, and had to rely on just a wood fired oven. I finished in 2nd place 52-35-24-21.
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6. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:311]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 1]

Despite me only playing this 8 times in 2010 and none last year, I was pretty confident in my abilities in this game. I was played the same way the leader had played throughout the game with the exception of building my wall in the last phase. But he kept getting amazing draws for money and buildings and had a great 2nd round. My last turn, was a lose on green buildings to the leader whether I buy or don't buy this round situation. This lead to me getting second place 109-84-80-70-49
 
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7. Board Game: Ruby Gloom: The Game [Average Rating:6.02 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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After checking into my room I wanted a quick bite to eat. I wanted to go to Chic-fil-A, but the line was out the door for their appreciation day. So I managed to walk down to Ruby Tuesdays for happy hour. It was $3 apps and I think $1 off drafts. So I got queso dip with a 12oz yeungling for $8.
 
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8. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 2]

In this game, I started as 4th player (which I hate) but was able to max my family which is my go to strategy. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get most of the related cards, and lost to Eric Freeman 156-129-125-109.
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9. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:586]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 1]

Throughout the day, I was reading the rulebook into this. I remembered the limited number of people that came to the Factory Manger tournament a few years ago, expecting the same thing. It turned out to be pretty packed with limited number of copies of the game available. I relied on fish throughout, and somehow took a surprising lead near the end of the game. Unfortunately, I forgot a rule that limits clan building to only 5 per turn and passed 1 round before the final turn. So I ended up 3rd with 6 food leftover (which is a lot in this game).
 
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10. Board Game: Hotel Checkout [Average Rating:3.53 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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Thursday

I ate a very large continental breakfast in the morning with omelets, pancakes, and sausage. I also went to Target and picked up cupcakes that were on clearance. I would later check into the Ramada for $72+ for the next 2 days. (Not sure if I would stay Sunday)
 
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11. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 3]

This heat was on the US with plant deck 2. The section that was cutoff was the south east. I used a strategy that I never use on this map and took a high plant and build the west. I was in it throughout the game, but the person in last place ended the game despite a capacity of 12. So the game ended a round earlier than expected. A turn before that I was $10 short of ending the game with a winning capacity of 11 in step 2. So after step 3 hit, I finished 3rd through tiebreakers with a capacity of 13.
 
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12. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 3]

This was the first time I used a tool strategy and it nearly paid off. With the exception that most of the tool building cards were in the first few rounds of the game. I did get the triple hut builder with some useless monument cards (for me that is). I came in second 148-142-141-98
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13. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:19]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Round 1]

Again with only 15 total plays, I was also confident in this tournament. Cause after watching some of last years WBC videos, I won the Totalcon tournament. This year, everyone was allowed to choose which side to play on instead of a everyone A in game 1 and B on 2. I got Colossus of Rhodes which seemed to be a favorite of most people, but not me. I'm not a fan of the numerous types of resources on A and the 2 level wonder for B. I choose A because I had the Zeus on the left and the Temple on the right. I never had enough brick to build the second wonder and struggled for resources throughout Age 3. I finished in 7th by 20 points to first.

In game 2, I had Lighthouse of Alexandria which I would always choose side B since it builds well on itself. In the Age 1, I had 4 of the mix resources. When added the Forum, and the 2 wonders stages by the end of Age 2, it allowed me to build any card possible in Age 3. Every turn was a buy the best card for myself and I won by 7. When both games were added I came in 3rd by 9 points.
 
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14. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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After realizing I wasn't in the QF round, I saw that Formula De and Amun Re was perfectly filled for the number of players. So I checked into my room and went for a swim.

[Heat 1]

This game was no longer a tournament at Totalcon which reduced my fix on this. After drawing for seats, I got the coveted seat 3. I was first to tobacco which lead to a round 8 harbor and a round 10 wharf with 4 corn plants. With the game ending on all 3 conditions, I won 67-56-54-39
 
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15. Board Game: Waffle-opoly [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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I went to Waffle House during my 45 minute break. I ordered a grilled cheese along with a Triple size hash brown topped with chili. The hash alone could feed 2 people, but I eat more than people expect. With a small soda, it came out to $8.
 
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16. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Round 1]

Dominion is one of my better games at the tournament. But when I play with my friends, I usually just play around to experiment. In game 1, I came up 4th due to my bad opening of Spy-Chancellor. Although, both cards came on the turn 5 which set me behind. In addition, I didn't get to use the chancellor ability until my 4th deck pass.

Game 2 had Gardens which I don't usually play. But being desperate for a first place, I opened Workshop-Bureaucrat. I was able to grab most of the Gardens with most Estates. Even then, I didn't think I was winning and focused on card gathering rather than ending the game. The other gardens player kept buying moats to ended the game. We both had 5 gardens (my deck was 37-his 31), 1 duchy, but I had 7 estates to his 5 for the win.
 
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17. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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After my game, I was watching John Faella play 7 Wonders and giving some coaching tips. Until later on, when I realized someone was playing for the first time and started to teach the game to that person.

[Heat 2]

This used the I deck. I had the ideal first stage going first with no one taking starting player and playing 3 occupations in my first 2 rounds (Fieldsman, Net Fisherman, Juggler). But when unofficial colluding in that round meant no food in round 3, I had to waste round 4 to find food elsewhere. The family growth card didn't come up until round 7 which forced a battle for it along with start player which I kept losing. I didn't get my first kid until round 10 and came in third 36-34-30-25
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18. Board Game: Dead & Breakfast [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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Friday

The Ramada renovated the main entrance for the better. They closed down their big dining area for breakfast so the only options available for the week are cereal or frozen french toast/pancakes.
 
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19. Board Game: Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Semifinals]

This map was on the Brazil with the original deck. This was the first time playing this map. Although I realize that it is basically a circular version of Italy, I still went overly conservative and built a high plant and started in a semi-contested area. I was essentially 1 round behind throughout the entire game when I made a power play to buy 10 pieces of coal with 2 oils and let 1 coal on the market. It turned to be my downfall as I also built cities to be 2nd to last place. But the following round, plant 37 (3 coal for 7) came up and it was between me and last place which made me lose in either scenario (1 coal short or not have capacity). I let him get it so he could power 15, while I was stuck at 13. I could of bought another plant to just come in 3rd, but decided to build cities to try to extend 1 more round. It didn't matter and I came in 5th.
 
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20. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:22] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Quarterfinals]

In my first game I had a 5-2 start with Upgrade available which made it a short game for everyone else. The second game, I was more relaxed and opened Silver-Masquerade. If I didn't win the first game, I would definitely opened Silver-Swindler. I finished in second to the player using a Ironworks-Big Money strategy, but he came in 4th in the first game.
 
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21. Board Game: Fuddy Duddy [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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I walked to Texas Roadhouse at 11:30 expecting it to be open, but nope. Since I didn't want to walk across the street again and didn't want sushi or Applebees, I went to Fuddruckers. This was in spite of me saying I won't go here since I eat at one at least once a week. I ordered a salmon burger w/ provolone, bacon cheese fries, and a reese's shake since I can't get that at the one that I eat for $15.36. The salmon was well seasoned but too thin for their giant buns.
 
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22. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 2]

In this heat, I drew my best seat which was seat 1. Seat 2 did what I always wanted to try (take Sugar, then build sugar, then pick mayor with the governor). I was able to get to coffee first before anyone else had tobacco. This led to round 7 harbor, round 8 wharfs (despite only 2 quar, 1 corn/ind/sug/cof), and a round 10 factory. With a Customs House, I won 75-58-52-40.
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23. Board Game: California Trivia [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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I saw this driving around the other day, and decided to walk to California Tortilla. I was expecting it to be a large Mexican restaurant judging from the outside. It was actually the size as one of the small subway restaurants inside a strip mall. At this place, it is similar to Chipotle. It has numerous burritos to choose from along with a wall of over 100 hot sauces. But what caught my eye was the coke freestyle machine. I ended up with an pork enchilada bowl and soda for $10.15. As much as I don't like Chipotle and Qdoba, I could see myself coming back next year.
 
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24. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:357]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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[Heat 3]

I ran into Charlie Faella in the opengaming area and started to watch him play Catan since he's one of the best players I know at it. After his game he convinced me to play Medici. I've only played this 3 times back in 2008 as 6 player games. I came in last every time because this was when I was first learning boardgames. So after a quick refresher, I played in a 4 player heat. I decided to just go for low cards towards a set to sneak by. I overbid on everything I bought, but I received the 20 point bonus by 2 hands into the 2nd round. With everyone else passing on cards in the last round, people had to bid over 20 for a single card. It gave me a surprising win.
 
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25. Board Game: Guest Host [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Loc Nguyen
United States
groton
Connecticut
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After the game, Charlie and his son John went to the caf to eat. I just ordered some fried rice for the Lancaster host's Asian dinner night. It was $3.50, I believe. Although it did have the strangest assortment of vegetables in it.
 
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