My WBC Goes to 11
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
2013 was my eleventh WBC. It had its ups and downs, but overall I had a great time. Here is my best recollection of the games I played this year.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wbc [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:248]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thurn had a gigantic surge in attendance this year, so we knew from the start that two wins would probably be needed to advance to the semifinals. Perhaps next year this game will need a quarterfinal round.

Heat 1 (Monday)
Ashley Worley - 23
Me - 16
Pete Gathmann - 13
Steve Cuccaro - 9


I got off to an incredible start, making Lodz-Pilsen-Regensburg with my first route and eventually getting to the around the world chit before anyone else. But my cards went cold in the mid-game, and I didn't get any long-route chits. Ashley used her tempo to complete longer routes and end the game early, leaving me in 2nd.

Heat 2 (Wednesday)
John Pack - 13
Cary Morris - 19
Me - 24
Anne Norton - 10


John used the administrator several times, which made Anne's game incredibly hard and helped Cary get out to an early lead. I was able to get Lodz early and de-draft one of the other Lodz cards, which also slowed everyone else down. In the end, I pulled out a win, but one win was not enough to get me into the semifinals.
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}}
2. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:169]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I was the GM and a participant in Amun Re, and it was a good year for our tournament. We had our highest attendance since the game's debut, and it was a well-played tournament. Special thanks to Mary Ellen Powers for serving as de facto assistant GM, and for recording the final table (available as a session report on Amun Re's BGG page), and to Melody Loder, who anointed me an honorary member of the Greenville Mafia.

Heat 1 (Monday)
Me - 40
Matthew Craig - 28
Pete Gathmann - 21
Dominic Blais - 31
Steve Cuccaro - 32


Dominic got out to an early lead but ran out of money in the New Kingdom. Matthew and I had fairly large cash leads, but Matthew misinterpreted the rule about the 5-point bonus for most pyramids on a side of the Nile, allowing me to take my side with less competition from him. I didn't need those 5 points, but Matthew's mistake probably cost him 2nd place.

Heat 2 (Wednesday)
Me - 38 (2)
Matthew Beach - 32
David Gagne - 38 (1)
Ken Horan - 30
John Corrado - 27


This time it was Matthew Beach who went for big Old Kingdom points (20) but ran out of cash and finished 3rd. David had more pyramids than I did, so he won on the tiebreaker, punching his ticket for the semifinals. My previous win and this close 2nd put me in good position for a high semifinal seeding.

Heat 3 (Thursday)
Me - 32
Bryan Berkenstock - 25
Aran Warszawski - 37
Bob Cranshaw - 34
Bobbi Warczak - 22


This was a true table of death, with former Amun-Re finalists Bryan and Aran and all-around strong gamers (and finalists in other games) Bob and Bobbi seated with me. Despite my money advantage going into the New Kingdom, I was too far behind in points to catch up. Also, I don't recall drawing many scoring cards. That was a problem for me all week.

Semifinals (Thursday)
Me - 33
Chris Gnech - 24
Dominic Blais - 34
Andrew Emerick - 37
Scott Saccenti - 19


Based on my performances in the heats, I'd earned the #2 seed, but this was certainly a strong table, so I'm not sure the seeding worked out very well for me. Dominic staked his claim to the early game lead but (are you sensing a theme here?) ran out of money and had to hold on for dear life in the New Kingdom. Andrew was only 3 points behind Dominic at the halfway point, while I was 5 points behind Andrew. I tried to close the gap but came up short.

I'd made 5 straight Amun-Re finals prior to 2013, and just a few more points would have gotten me into a 6th. Oh, well. At least I can be sure Amun-Re will return to the Century next year.
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}}
3. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:48]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Coming off of my 2012 EuroQuest win in Stone Age, I felt pretty good about my chances at WBC this year, even though I'd never advanced past the quarterfinals there. Would the dice cooperate?

Heat 1 (Monday)
Me - 138
Elaine Pearson - 135
Jennifer Mongold - 119
Nick Henning - 179


When one sits at any table with Nick Henning, their odds of winning decrease. And I know that Elaine and Jennifer are strong gamers as well. Nick ran away with the game, but I was able to end it early enough to hold off Elaine for 2nd place. Ending Stone Age games early was a trend for me this week.

Heat 3 (Friday)
Me - 129
Henry Dove - 127
Deb Yaure - 98
Abby Omer - 65


Since Heat 2 conflicted with another game, I knew my only chance to make the quarterfinals was to win this game, but Henry did not make it easy. Abby, who if I recall correctly was playing in her first Stone Age tournament, got truly horrific dice but took it in stride. Deb fought Abby for family growth, but neither had many farms. I went with a heavy tool strategy for the first time I can remember, and Henry played a balanced game, earning huge card points but coming up just a bit short.

Quarterfinals (Saturday)
Me - 119
Joe Millovich - 104
Peggy Pfeiffer - 98
Chris Shabsin - 90


Another very short, low-scoring game in which I got 5 of the hut-builder modifiers and built three of the 1-7 resources-of-your-choice huts. I think I finished the game with three cards, but my building points got me through to the semifinal.

Semifinals (Saturday)
Me - 119
Scott Saccenti - 135
Ed Ericson - 152
Chris Yaure - 145


This game got off to a bizarre start, as Scott obtained 5 tools in the first two rounds. Scott's taking the tool space first in round 2 allowed Ed to get an extra early farm, however, and Ed would turn his food advantage into enough points to edge Chris, who amassed an enormous amount of card points with his huge family. I need to prioritize cards more in the early game. Infrastructure is just so tempting, but I feel like I can never compete with other players in final scoring. This was another game I ended early, thinking I might have enough card points to compete, but I badly miscalculated my opponents' positions.
3 
 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: Ra [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:89]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ra is a game in which I've had enormous success, but it's also a game that involves high variance. I'd probably had four (or more) game losing streaks once or twice, but they had never come during the heats at WBC. Until this year, that is.

Heat 1 (Monday)
Me - 17
Mikko Raimi - 30
Kevin Wojtaszczyk - 38
York Douglas - 31
Mike Horn - 28


This was a rematch of sorts with Mikko, who had sat at the final table with me in 2012. It was also a rare chance to play Kevin, a very strong gamer who is especially good at Amun-Re and Ra. I started with the 15-8-3 suns, which I just don't play well. The 16-7-2 set is even worse, but only by a small margin. I was never competitive in this game, and as you can see, Kevin more or less wiped the table with us.

Heat 2 (Tuesday)
Me - 38
Barb Roeper - 33
Scott Fenn - 36
Mikko Raimi - 43
Scott Saccenti - 25


Another game with Mikko, and this time we were also joined by perennial Ra finalist Scott Fenn. I managed to beat Scott at his own game by taking the early pharoah lead, but by the end of the 2nd epoch he'd fought back. Meanwhile, Mikko bought nearly all the land adjacent to the Nile. I think he finished the game with 11 or 12 flooded Niles for the relatively easy win.

Heat 3 (Thursday)
Me - 26
Steve Scott - 41
Carmen Pettruzzelli - 35
Mark Love - 32


At this point, I really needed a win, but this was not the table to give it to me. Steve is a two-time Ra champion, and Carmen and Mark are both excellent gamers (though neither has had huge success in Ra!). I'm fairly sure I had the 15-8-3 to start this game too. One of the things I need to do this year is to learn how to win more games with bad starting suns.

Heat 4 (Friday)
Me - 36
Jon Anderson - 25
Gunnar Parauda - 18
Cliff Ackman - 38
Lola Reynolds - 22


After the 2nd epoch, this one looked like a two-person contest between Cliff and me, and when Lola took over the pharoah lead in Round 3, I had nowhere else to get the points I needed to weather Cliff's monument storm in the endgame. On a side note, it was fun playing Ra! with the lead singer from Yes (just kidding, Jon).
2 
 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: Goa [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:51]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Though attendance was fairly low in Goa this year, we did have our usual field of sharks. We were also able to play the 2nd edition on all boards, which was great. It is so much more balanced than the 1st edition, though Goa is a great game no matter what.

Heat 1 (Tuesday)
Rich Shay - 45
Andy Latto - 44
Me - 48
Jefferson Meyer - 44


As you might imagine, given the caliber of player at this table, it was a tightly-contested game. Getting to the bottom of the card track early gave me the boost I needed to hold on for the win, but it was not easy.

heat 2 (Wednesday)
Jeff Senley - 42
Matthew Charlap - 43
Me - 50
Ken Horan - 43


I could have stayed home and played Matt and Ken at EPGS, but table assignments are random, so sometimes at WBC we re-enact the scene from Rounders. Jeff was a relative beginner, which probably slightly hurt Matt's game, and everyone but me struggled with money (I was lucky to fish a couple of money cards), so I was able to secure the win by a fairly large margin.

Semifinals (Thursday)
Chris Moffa - 40 (3)
Me - 40 (2)
Kevin Walsh (58)
Barb Flaxington - 39


Yes, you're reading that correctly. Kevin beat two former champions by 18 points in a semifinal. It was never really close. Barb ran into money problems early, allowing Kevin to get bargains on several of his tiles. Meanwhile, he raced to the bottom of the card track. In Phase B, it seemed that every action Kevin took came with a card enhancement, and we just couldn't keep up with him. He executed a brilliant game and went to the bottom of four tech tracks (something I've never seen in competitive play). Kevin is a top-tier Goa player, and it was fun to watch him stretch the game to its limits.

Sadly, Goa may not return next year. It was already only a trial event, and attendance will not change that. We need votes to get back for 2014, so if you love this game, please vote for it!
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}}
6. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:56]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dependent as it is on optimization and careful planning, Princes is a game I consider to be one of my best. It also tends to draw strong fields, so one can expect at least one shark at pretty much every table. I go to WBC to play against some of the best players in the world, so I had to make room in my schedule for Princes.

Heat 1 (Wednesday)
Legend Dan Hoffman - 54 (3)
Lyman Moquin - 64
Stephane Dorais - 39
Me - 54 (2)
Peter Eldridge - 39


This one was never really close. I played a builder strategy but was bid up mercilessly for the builders and later had to pay 900 for a Park. I did manage to edge Legend Dan for 2nd. That may have been the first time I'd finished ahead of Legend Dan. He and Lyman are both amazing Princes of Florence players.

Heat 2 (Friday)
Nick Avtges - 47
Ken Horan - 60
Tom DeMarco - 56
Me - 52
Rich Roberts - 48


Ken was nearly unstoppable at Princes all week long. Tom is a great all-around gamer. I didn't know Nick or Rich very well, but they played strong games as well. Nothing came together for me in this one, and with no win, I thought I was probably out of the semifinals. Since Eric Brosius (the GM) likes to take 25 players into the semis, though, I thought I'd show up and see. A chip and a chair, as they say in poker.

Semifinals (Friday)
David Duncan - 53
Me - 59
Ed Ericson - 56
Bruce Rae - 58


With only 20 semifinalists, Eric opted for 5 tables of 4, leading to a 5-player final. I was happy to be in the semifinals, but I really don't play the game with 4 players very much. I bid for the 2nd seat, which meant I would go last on the last turn. Knowing that almost every player gets 6-7 works in a 4-player game, I wanted to have the best position for recruiting in the final round. It was a very close game, and I was lucky to avoid a couple of huge battles in the late-game auctions (both of which involved bids of more than 1000 florins) and hold on for the win.

Finals (Saturday)
Lyman Moquin - 52
Me - 55 (2)
Ken Horan - 54
Mike Kaltman - 55 (3)
David Platnick - 63


I will defer to Eric Brosius' detailed session report for all the nuances of this game, but it was pretty much a runaway for David, who was able to get his builders and prestige cards relatively cheaply. If you can do that, you can win with the builder strategy. My seven works in the two seat allowed me to eek out a narrow 2nd place finish, but I had to pay too much for recruitment cards and my sole jester, so I was never able to make a real run at the win.

Princes was my only final table of 2013, but I'm pleased with my finish. It really was David's game pretty much all along, so 2nd was the best I could have done. I don't think I made any real mistakes, and if my 15-point work had held up in Round 3 (as I'd expected it to), I would have made it a close finish.
2 
 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: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Puerto Rico is not a game I consider to be particularly strong for me, but I also don't finish last very often. I've only made the semifinals at WBC once, but I did make a final at EuroQuest a few years ago. Regardless of tournament results, it's a game I like, and I especially like the advancement rounds, when bidding is used to determine seating order.

Heat 2 (Friday)
Me - 35
Barb Flaxington - 33
Sonny Walker - 28
Marc Berenbach - 23


This was the only heat I would be able to play, so I knew only a win would get me into the quarterfinals. Luckily, Barb drew the #2 seat, giving me a slight edge over her (I drew the #1 seat). I needed it, as Barb played her usual strong game. Sonny and Marc were unable to get enough shipping to counteract Barb's heavy building strategy and my balanced approach. For the first time ever, I built all five goods with the Factory. I still think it's overkill, but that was the way the game fell to me.

Quarterfinals (Saturday)
Jeremy Osteen - 31
Marcy Morelli - 37
Me - 35
Lewis Lin - 33.5


I bid 2 points for the first corn seat, and it seemed to be paying off until Marcy got her powerful building engine going. In the end, my 2-point bid was Marcy's exact margin of victory, but my close 2nd meant I was at the top of the alternates list for the semifinals. GM Rich Shay told me that he was pretty sure at least one winner would not show up for the semis, so my chances of advancing were good.

Semifinals (Sunday)
Kolbe DiGiulio - 34
Eyal Mozes - 33
Eric Monte - 41.5
Me - 30


Bidding for the corn seats was furious in this game. Eric paid 2.5 for first corn, and I paid 2 for the #4 seat. After Kolbe bid 1 for the #1 seat, Eyal had to settle for the dreaded seat #2. As it turned out, I should have bid 3 for the #3 seat. Eric turned his early tobacco monopoly into a very early Factory, then a Harbor, and he ran away with the win. If the game had gone another round, I think both Kolbe and I would have made it closer, but the outcome would likely have been the same (I may have squeaked into 2nd).
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}}
8. Board Game: Wise and Otherwise [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1445]
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I played in a few more tournament games during my 2013 WBC, but I can't say I really competed in other tournaments. I played a couple of heats of Race for the Galaxy and had the honor of losing to Rob Renaud, which I suppose is a bit like sparring with Mike Tyson (in his prime); I finished a fairly close 2nd to Eric Brosius in a heat of El Grande; and I did manage to get in a game of Paydirt, but I missed too many of Adrian Peterson's breakaways (look at the chart: it's insane) and fell to Green Bay in the first round. I also had time for a few rounds of Hanabi and Tichu with friends, and I was even able to get to The Seed cafe in downtown Lancaster for some amazing vegan food.

All in all, it was an enjoyable week. It would have been nice to have won an event, but I did continue my 11-year streak of coming home from WBC with a plaque of some sort. Next year, hopefully I'll bring home a shield. See you then!
2 
 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.