The Brosius family attends the 2013 World Boardgaming Championships
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
66 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
My family and I have been attending the World Boardgaming Championships for a number of years now. I started out coming by myself, but all three of us look forward to it eagerly each year. My wife is the GM for the Ticket to Ride tournament, which has drawn more than 200 participants every year, and she won the prestigious GM of the Year award in 2011. In many ways she is more involved than I am.

If you want to check out my GeekLists from previous years, here are the links:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15890

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23759

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/33864

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/45262

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/57698

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/70767

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145611


We always enjoy WBC, and this year was no exception. This GeekList is a report on what we did.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wbc [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:661]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This year's road trip from Needham MA to Lancaster PA featured a fourth person in addition to Claire, Sam and me. Andy Latto, the GM for Innovation and Thurn and Taxis, came with us. We left our driveway exactly at the planned time of 9am (this won't surprise anyone who has played in the Ticket to Ride tournament!)

We stopped for lunch as usual at Thatcher McGhee's Irish Pub in Pompton Lakes NJ and crossed the Delaware River on I-78. In past years, we've always run into annoying traffic on PA Rt. 222 in the Kutztown area, even when the GPS app hasn't shown any, so my navigation innovation this year was to stay on I-78 all the way to Hamburg PA and take PA Rt. 61 south to join 222 near Reading. It worked great (though who knows? We might have done fine on 222.) We did get a warning about construction just before Lancaster, so we cut cross-country through the little town of Leola and wound up dodging Amish horse-drawn buggies.

After our traditional Friday dinner at the Texas Roadhouse (don't miss the fresh hot rolls with cinnamon butter,) we played a few games before bedtime. Claire and I played a pair of San Juan games to practice for Monday's tournament. Then Andy taught us Eight-Minute Empire, a very quick civilization expansion game by designer Ryan Laukat.

The game features the time-tested "dudes on a map" mechanism, but the action is driven by the process of drafting cards from a row that rolls off the deck in a queue. Like in Vinci, to which it bears a clear if slight resemblance, you can skip over the next card to get one that has come off the deck more recently, but only if you pay one or more tokens to do so. Each card gives you an action (e.g., move the dudes you have, place more dudes, or place an additional starting location,) but the cards also award VPs at the end of the game if you collect sets (similar to the way payoffs are handled in Bohnanza.) The cards that award fewer VPs at the end have better powers, so there's a rough balance, though of course some may be better for the particular position you are in.

I can't say we finished our 3-player game in 8 minutes, but it did play quickly. It seems to be a well-developed game, with no obvious "best" strategy. I'd be happy to play it again, though it didn't offer enough to make me want to buy a copy after just one play.
4 
 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: 1846 [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1107]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There are no tournaments on Friday, but the pre-Con action starts up on Saturday morning. The first tournaments begin at 10am: the 18XX tournament (featuring a choice of seven 18XX titles) and "GrognardCon" (a selection of nine older wargame titles, all Avalon Hill games from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.)

Because of how the schedule worked this year, there were an unusually high number of participants in the Saturday morning heat of the 18XX tournament. Some people who planned to focus on other games were able to squeeze one 18XX heat in before their other tournaments started. As a result, the 18XX tournament got more people this year than it had in any year since 1994. My favorite of the 18XX games is 1846, so I started out with it in the first heat.

My opponents in this game were Kelly Krieble, Herbert Gratz from Austria, and Peter Eldridge from England. Last year I played 1846 with Herbert, and I also played 1824 with Herbert and Peter during open gaming on Tuesday. You may want to check last year's GeekList for details.

In this game Herbert, with Priority Deal, took the Big 4, Kelly took the Michigan Southern and Michigan Central, I took Steamboat, Lake Shore and Mail, and Peter took the Chicago & Western Indiana and the Meat Packing. The Mail Contract was actually the last item taken. Herbert received it and turned it face up after we all had taken blanks. He and Peter declined it, and I decided to take it for list price rather than risk letting Peter get it for $70 (which would have allowed him to start a company at $70 and buy three shares.)

Herbert started the Grand Trunk and Kelly the Illinois Central (an ideal choice given his cash-poor position and a guaranteed token in Detroit.) I surprised no one by starting the B&O, which works well with the Steamboat, and Peter took the Pennsylvania, whose Fort Wayne teleport token is ideal for Meat Packing.

The game started gently but ramped up remarkably quickly given the synergies that were available. Peter is an outstanding player, as he demonstrated by dumping a valuable B&O share near the end of a SR for the sole purpose (as far as I could tell) of getting me to sell an opponent's share to buy it and give him the Priority Deal. He then used the Priority Deal, which he managed to hold for several SRs, to buy better shares. At the same time he laid track that prevented the two unfloated railroads (the NYC and Erie) from breaking out past Cleveland, so that when Herbert and Kelly finally started them late in the game, those of us who had to buy multiple shares were severely disadvantaged relative to Peter's much better shares.

Peter won the game with $6,893, well ahead of my $6,178. As I said above, he's a great player, and I learn a lot when I play with him. He is also a pleasant opponent, and he plays quickly. My group finishes 4-player 1846 games in less than 2 hours, which is unusually quick, but Peter is just as quick. If you ever have a chance to play with him, take it.
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}}
3. Board Game: 1880: China [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1774]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One feature of WBC is the Team Tournament. Teams of four players registered for WBC choose one game each and send their entry in to the tournament director, Don Greenwood. Each player scores 0 to 10 points depending on his or her finish in the selected tournament, and the team that scores the highest total wins the Team Tournament. Here's a link that describes the process:

http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/teamtour.htm

As you can imagine, it's common for team members to do well in or even win tournaments that are not their team tournaments while whiffing completely in the ones that matter for their teams. This just adds to the hilarity.

For many years I've been part of a team from our local area, but none of us is much of an organizer. We have usually waited till the last minute and then scrambled to put a team together. We didn't act this year either, so when I got an invitation from Bruce Reiff to join his team, "Your Name's Not Bruce", I accepted. Last year the team included Bruce Reiff, Bruce Monnin, Bruce Beard and Bruce Young. This year Bruce Young was drafted by his local gaming club, the Greenville Mafia, to join one of their teams, so the team was one Bruce short. This is why Bruce contacted me.

Now, you may have noticed one small technicality. My name's not Bruce! I got not a few questions about this during the week, and I came up with a selection of answers, including:

"My name's not Bruce!"

"I'm really Eric Bruceius!"

"The 'EPB' on my badge doesn't mean 'Empire Builder', but 'Eric Playing Bruce'."

I planned to play a second game of 1846 Saturday afternoon, but Bruce Beard, an 18XX whiz (he won the tournament eight years in a row before being dethroned by Spencer Hamblen in 2012) loves the game as well and wanted to play. Team members aren't supposed to play in the same game, and there was only one game of 1846 available, so I shifted to 1880: China which I also enjoy, and that needed a player.

1880: China is a game that twists many 18XX conventions. Most games in the family feature one stock round followed by some number of operating rounds (the number may vary depending on what game phase you are in.) In 1880: China things are different. Instead, a stock round takes place whenever the last train of a given type is taken. This means stock rounds can be close together or far apart, depending on players' train-buying decisions.

My opponents in this game were Jeff Tolleson, Frank Visco (both local gamers from Massachusetts,) and Antero Kuusi. Antero is definitely not a local---he's from Finland! One team this year was composed of four Finns; their team name was "The Ski Patrol."

The game begins with a traditional auction of private companies. Bidding was spirited and I bought only one private---the Hong Kong private that makes Hong Kong worth $30 extra for any of my companies. I started the HKR, whose home base is in Shanghai, a valuable location that is within easy reach of Hong Kong. Frank bought the private that allows a company to get a train immediately, even before running in OR1, and I bought one share of his Beijing company after floating the HKR, which proved to be a good decision.

Although I enjoy the game, I'm not an expert yet, and I always seem to mess up my timing. I should have bought a pair of 2Ts in OR1, but only bought one. And so it went. Antero played a fine game to win by a margin of about $1000.
6 
 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: 1846 [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1107]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The 18XX tournament continued on Sunday morning. I could have jumped into the Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage tournament, but although I enjoy Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, I like 1846 even more and chose to stick with 18XX. In previous years, the Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage tournament started on Saturday, and a number of people must have had issues similar to mine, as the attendance for Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage was down this year.

This game was a 3-player game against opponents Carolyn Caton and Elissa Hoeger. I believe it is the first time I have played an 18XX game in which all my opponents were women, but it's certainly not unusual at WBC. More and more women are taking part each year, and not just in games like Ticket to Ride, but also in games like 18XX.

In the private draft, Elissa took the Michigan Southern and Big 4, leaving her with just $160. I took the Steamboat and Michigan Central, and Carolyn took the C&WI and Mail Contract. Elissa started the Illinois Central at $50---the extra cash would be important to her company because she had spent so much on privates. With the Steamboat, you'd think I might start the B&O, but I was afraid that the green trains might not break in OR1, leaving me somewhat stuck in Wheeling, so I started the NYC instead, counting on easy access to Wheeling if I really needed it. Carolyn then started the Grand Trunk at $80.

Elissa bought a pair of 2Ts on her turn (these were in addition to the built-in 2Ts from the two minor railroads she owned.) I bought the other three 2Ts on my turn, because the NYC loves 2Ts! This left no 2Ts for Carolyn (there are only five 2Ts in a 3-player game.) With Detroit so close, the GT loves 2Ts as well, but she had to settle for a 4T. This isn't so bad in theory, because the GT can run an East-West run through Detroit and Chicago for $23 a share early, but Carolyn didn't have quite as much cash as she would have liked, and as a result had to run her 4T sub-optimally for a while.

1846 is an unusual game in many ways. One of those ways is that it's not always to your advantage to start a second company. Carolyn had played some 1846 before, but Elissa was new to the title, and both of them followed their 18XX instincts, starting new companies in SR 2. I was happy to buy up good-paying shares of established companies, including NYC, which was minting money, and one IC. In SR 3, I had a pile of money while my opponents had far less in dividend earnings and were also less liquid, owning two President's certificates each.

I realized that the IC was going to be a powerhouse, so I started buying its shares. Elissa owned 4, and I already owned one. I bought a second, a third and a fourth. At this point Carolyn jumped in before Elissa's turn and said, "I probably shouldn't say this, but if you don't buy a share of IC, Eric is going to take your company." One theme of WBC is sportsmanship (there's even an annual award,) and Carolyn's action showed good sportsmanship (or sportswomanship.)

The reason for this is that I had enough cash to take over someone's company, and if it wasn't going to be the IC, it would be one of Carolyn's companies. I could go after one first, then, if she sold stock in the other to protect the first, take the second. I decided to go for the GT first, and Carolyn decided it would be better to let me have it, since it had so many shares issued, and keep the B&O, her second company.

The NYC and GT had plenty of synergies available. I put tokens of both companies in Toledo and had them work together to develop routes. The Steamboat token went in Toledo, where it augmented three different NYC runs each OR for quite some time---not as good as if it were helping the B&O in Wheeling, but then again, Toledo upgrades to gray.

With this great start, I was able to win the game comfortably. But for the third game running, it was a pleasant game with opponents who were fun to play with. People who haven't attended WBC sometimes get the idea that it's not fun, but with only a few exceptions I've enjoyed the people I have played with.
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}}
5. Board Game: 18EU [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1502]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Of the seven 18XX options at WBC, I enjoy three (1846, 18EU and 1880: China,) dislike two (1830: Railways & Robber Barons and 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire) and haven't played two (1856 and 1870.) I had already played two of the three I enjoy, so I played the third for my last heat. This game featured Pierre LeBoeuf, the GM, Ken Gutermuth and Carolyn Caton. GMs are encouraged to play in their own tournaments at WBC, but a GM who wishes to do so must appoint two assistant GMs to make rulings, if needed in the GM's game. The GMs are typically big fans of the games they GM, so it's impractical to bar them from playing.

This was a friendly, enjoyable game, but Ken got minors 13, 14, and 4, which worked together remarkably well. Minor 4 is usually a dog, but it hooks up well with minor 15, and Ken took advantage of this. I was running one corporation in Austria and Italy based on minors 6 and 8. It did reasonably well, but it's not the richest area of the board, even though Trieste did go gray. My other major was all by itself up north and could not get tokens in useful places without assistance, leaving it trailing far behind the leading companies.

Ken won this game by a healthy margin. I don't think any of my games had a margin of victory less than $500.

With one win, I qualified for the 18XX semis, but the semis are almost always 1830 games, and with so many qualifiers, they would be 5-player 1830 games, a format I despise. I thanked Pierre for his great work running the tournament and let him know I wouldn't show up Monday morning for 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}}
6. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:162]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Claire and I both look forward to this tournament each year. We enjoy Race for the Galaxy more as a game, but the 2-player format of the San Juan tournament works better than the 4-player format for Race for the Galaxy, at least in my opinion. It's a game with quite a bit of player skill, as the AREA ratings demonstrate:

http://wolff.to/area/G_SANJ.html#_

The 2nd-ranked player, Debbie Gutermuth, is an excellent player. I've lost to her in the past in this tournament. (I haven't played the top-ranked player, Ian Thompson, who has never, as far as I know, played the game at WBC.)

The tournament format is 4 Swiss rounds followed by a single elimination playoff among everyone who wins 3 games in the Swiss rounds. If you go 3-0 in the first three Swiss rounds, the GM sends you off to get lunch, so everyone in the single elimination phase has gone 3-0 or 3-1 in the Swiss phase. I'm pretty good at this game, winning 3 Swiss rounds every year, but I have never finished better than 3rd and I don't think I'm as good as the top players.

My first game was against Barb Flaxington, who is particularly noted for her expertise in Puerto Rico. I got good cards and won a game that was close but not too tense for me. In the next round I faced Tim Rogers. My initial hand was so bad that, even after choosing my best 4 out of 6 cards (Tim was first player and I was second,) when Tim took Prospector to open the game, I took Builder to build an Acqueduct(?) I had a second Indigo and a Well in hand, so this wasn't completely daft, but my cards didn't get any better. Tim is a good player and beat me without much difficulty.

I was now 1-1 and couldn't afford to lose another game. My third opponent was Mark Kennel, a fellow Philadelphian whom I know best as an opponent in Empire Builder. Things were going pretty well for me, but I just couldn't find a large building. Finally, on the very last turn, my Gold Mine turned up a large building that I was able to play to pull out a last-minute win. Now that was a tense game!

In my last Swiss game I faced Derek Glenn in another close game. I squeaked past him by a 29-28 margin to enter the playoffs. Claire was disappointed---she lost two of her Swiss games and didn't make it in.

My first round opponent was Rich Irving, the GM for Merchant of Venus and a good all-purpose gamer. Rich carries a small case around with him that contains enough components to play about 100 different games (he smooshes everything down to its minimum cubic inchage.) In this game I built a ton of Indigo while carrying a Guild Hall for most of the game. He probably suspected me of having one, though I may have been bluffing, but when I banged it down at the end, it was enough to pass him by 1 VP for the win. After we finished, Rich realized that a different play would have won him the game, and it was a play he probably should have made. Unless I had a Guild Hall, I wasn't going to win, so he should have assumed I had one and played accordingly.

We were down to 16 players, and I ran into Derek Glenn once again. As my first action I built a Gold Mine, and it was embarrassingly productive, hitting on 4 out of 6 opportunities during the game. As a result, I won by a huge margin (we didn't even bother scoring.)

I was now into the Elite Eight. My opponent was Rob Kircher, a Rhode Islander (practically a Massachusettsan, we'd say.) Rob is an outstanding player. We both started with lousy hands, but Rob took the Councillor multiple times, allowing me to get both the Prospector and the Builder several times. The problem was that I wasn't building ideal buildings, while he was slowly improving his options. Maybe that's why he's a better player. Rob knocked me out in a small but meaningful blowout.

Rob eventually made it to the Finals, where he lost to Bruce Reiff. The way places are distributed in this tournament, the person who loses to the runner-up in the quarter-finals finishes 6th (the person who loses to the winner in the quarter-finals finishes 5th.) This means I finished 6th. But I got to play 7 games of San Juan, against good and varied opposition. That's an opportunity it's hard to get anywhere but at WBC.
10 
 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: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:258]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I had told Andy Latto that I could serve as Assistant GM for Thurn and Taxis as long as I didn't go deep into the San Juan playoffs, and as it turned out, Rob had knocked me out just in time to head over. It isn't my favorite game, but I own and enjoy it and I always seem to be happy to play it if someone asks. For me it's a solid _7_, and I play at least one heat in most years.

My first heat was a close one. I kept an eye on Stuttgart, which I needed to get at some point, but it never became available. I'm a believer in sweeping the board when you need to, but even though I did it multiple times, Stuttgart never appeared (or, when it did, someone took it or swept.) It was a close game, but Marcy Morelli won.

My second heat, later in the week, was similar but much worse. I never had an opportunity to get a light green card at all. This left me unable to get the "all colors" bonus and greatly hampered my route building plans. I lost 21-15-10-6 (I was the 6.)

I have a question for experts in this game: Is it a common strategy to deny people the light greens? I don't know whether what happened to me was simply unfortunate coincidence or something I need to be aware of.
4 
 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: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Another game I really enjoy is Power Grid. In many years it doesn't fit into my schedule, but this year things looked better, partly because Monday featured an early heat. In this game good plants came out early. In a 5-player game that means bad plants will come out late. I stepped up to the plate and bid for good plants, and I seemed to have the magic power that meant as soon as I bought a good plant (perhaps after letting someone else have a good plant for a high price,) the next plant flip was bad.

Because the current market got choked with bad plants, we entered a stall during Phase 2, and with my bigger plants I was able to end the game by building to 15 before Phase 3 began. I won by a huge margin in cities powered: 15-12-10-10-9.

Some of the other players complained about their bad luck in having plenty of money but nothing useful to spend it on, but although I was lucky, I think it was clear that the game was heading in this direction. They should have kept bidding when the good plants were being auctioned.

Even with this strong win, I would need to play in another heat to advance to the semis, though I wouldn't need to win that heat.
6 
 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: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not a good Ra player. Some people at WBC are very good Ra players, but I'm only an average player, as my AREA rating of 4962 indicates. Nevertheless, I like the game, and I try to play it at least once each year.

In my Monday night heat I faced Jeff Meyer, a local (and former WBC teammate) who is an excellent player. Despite this, I held my own all through the game, scoring for pharaohs three times and getting a reasonable collection of monuments. I dropped out of the final era with a good total, but Jeff was still in it. He had the biggest sun but needed the right collection---a big collection wasn't going to do it. I watched as tiles were drawn from the bag; I had counted Jeff's score so I knew what he needed to beat me. Another player drew a gold tile, and I knew that those 3 points were enough to do me in. What a disappointment!

Jeff beat me by just 1 point. The final scores were 41-40-33-17-16.

I played one other game of Ra, on Tuesday night, but I didn't come nearly as close.
5 
 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: Football Strategy [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2954]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One of the storied tournaments at WBC is the Football Strategy tournament. It is associated with Bruce Reiff, who has won the tournament nine times. This year, not only was Bruce my teammate (actually, all of my teammates were Bruce,) but Football Strategy was (not surprisingly) his team game.

Just before this year's WBC, Bruce's father passed away. It was not a surprise, but of course it's tough to take even when you're expecting it. Bruce's father was a practical person who had repeatedly told Bruce that he didn't want a big funeral or memorial service (and he's the type of person who meant it.)

Bruce has many responsibilities at WBC, so he came to WBC anyway. He let it be known that anyone who'd like to remember his dad with him should come to the hotel bar at 11pm on Monday night. There were dozens of people there, and we lifted a glass in memory of Bruce's father and shared stories with Bruce and with each other.
11 
 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: 1846 [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1107]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tuesday at WBC is the day of the Auction and open gaming. I usually sit through some of the auction, but it's my only real open gaming for the week. I like open gaming, but I only get to play in tournaments once a year, and tournaments are a different kind of fun.

This year I met Steven Yu, an 18XX player who had never tried my favorite in the series, 1846. We agreed to try to get a game going at 9:30 on Tuesday morning in the open gaming area. I found Frank Visco and enlisted him to join us. Frank had to leave around noon, so we knew we needed to play quickly. I arrived soon after 9am and started setting up. Frank soon showed up and helped me finish, but Steven was nowhere to be seen. As the two of us were sitting at the table with 1846 all set up, Bruce Beard stopped by. We told him what we were doing, and he said, "let's start a game and if Steven shows up, we can stop it." Bruce plays a lot of 18XX, and this shows why. He'd rather play 18XX, even if it's only one set of ORs, than not play 18XX. Bruce has a saying, "18XX is what I have instead of a life!"

We played one set of ORs. I got Meat Packing, Big 4 and Mail. Bruce took the IC and I took the NYC. It was looking to be an unusual game, but pretty soon Steven showed up and we re-started with him instead of Bruce.

This game went almost to the end, but it was slower than the games we play at home, and we had to finish it a bit early. But we did manage to introduce Steven to the game, and I think he enjoyed it.
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}}
12. Board Game: Black Diamonds [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While I'm on the subject of open gaming, I'll mention that my other goal in open gaming this year was to meet Geof Gambill, host of The Long View podcast, where Joe Huber and I have been guests for three episodes: 18XX, Race for the Galaxy and Saint Petersburg. I would have liked to have taught Geof how to play 1846, but unfortunately, he would not be arriving with his wife and family until later in the week, when I was wrapped up in tournaments.

Even though I couldn't play any more games in open gaming, I did find time to walk through the open gaming area from time to time. In one of those walks I found Geof, who was getting ready to demo the new game he has designed, Black Diamonds. It's a game about mining coal in northeastern Pennsylvania and shipping it to market. The components look great, and I hope Geof is able to find a publisher and make a success of it.
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}}
13. Board Game: India Rails [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1581]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One of my very favorite games is Empire Builder, together with the other crayon rails games, and in particular Eurorails and India Rails, my other two favorites in the series. My two potential team games are this and Facts in Five, and because Facts in Five had a potential conflict with The Princes of Florence, the tournament I GM, I had chosen EPB ("Eric Playing Bruce") as my team game for 2013. The convention director lets each GM pick one other game he or she wants to ask the director to make sure does not conflict with the game he or she GMs, and I always ask Don to keep Empire Builder from conflicting with The Princes of Florence.

In the first heat I played India Rails, a less-well-known game that is well balanced and challenging. I got off to a good start, with Fish to Bombay and Fish to Jaipur. In my first building turn I built from Bombay to Mangalore, and in my second I upgraded to a Fast Freight. It was a good start, but Glen Pearce had an even better start, with two Rubber loads he could deliver on his first run. The other players weren't as fortunate with their contracts, and all through the game it looked like a 2-player race between Glen and me. An early Rail Tax came up that cost me $10 million when Glen had spent his money building track, and that gave him a little more advantage. Partway through the game, Glen headed north needing a Gypsum for a big run. One opponent had a Gypsum on her train, and I scooped up the other two just ahead of Glen, emptying the supply and forcing him to try Plan B.

Despite this dirty trick, he was still ahead of me until just near the end, when his contract cards dried up. He had to dump a few times and make suboptimal deliveries to keep making progress. I didn't get any big spec loads, but I did have good cards to deliver all through the game. As we neared the end, we could see that Glen and I would go over $250 million on the same turn (every player gets an equal number of turns) and so we did. I finished in first place with $266 million and Glen had $255 million for second place. It was a thrilling game the whole way.

One win qualified me for the semis, so I was free to use the time I would have spent playing more Empire Builder to try and progress in other tournaments.
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}}
14. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:157]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You can probably tell that I like this game by looking at my BGG avatar! I was delighted to see that I could play in all 3 heats this year, and I managed to do so.

In my first heat, one of my opponents was Tom DeMarco, an outstanding player. I feel that I can play more or less evenly with Tom, but he outplayed me in this game (maybe I can console myself by telling myself he got better cards, but that may just be wishful thinking.) I came in second to Tom by about 5 VP.

In the second heat, I was first up in the noble phase in Turn 1. Of course, in this situation you hope you'll be able to grab a Mistress of Ceremonies. The problem was that I was last in the worker phase and had to take a 6 and an 8, leaving me with only $17. The Mistress did turn up, but I couldn't afford to buy her!

I shifted to a "get money" strategy, built the Mistress on Turn 2, and managed to win a close game. Unfortunately, Saint Petersburg is so popular that to make the semis you either need to win your first heat or win two games. So I hadn't achieved anything yet.

My third game was extremely unusual. Only one building was bought in the 1st turn, so just one player got a noble. I was second for upgrades, so I took a building into my hand so I would have the chance to take the second upgrade. All the upgrades are good early except the Marinski Theater. Well, wouldn't you know it---the second upgrade was the Marinski Theater. yuk

In the 2nd turn, nobody took a blue building, so no nobles came out. Marc Berenbach, a local gamer, and I were glancing at each other, amazed at the unusual way the game was going. Marc made a canny move, shifting to blue buildings and ignoring nobles. Since nobles were coming out so slowly, the bonus would be less and blue buildings would be better. I failed to make this change.

Still, as we went into Turn 6, I knew that I had a good chance. I had big income and should be able to close the gap with Marc on Turn 6 and shoot past him on Turn 7. Unfortunately, one other player systematically bought all the cards during the green phase and made sure the game would end on Turn 6 (even though he was in last place.) I'm not sure what he was thinking, but that's all part of the game at WBC---people don't always play like the people at home. I finished with another close 2nd, but my record of 2nd-1st-2nd was not enough to make the semis.
7 
 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: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Another Brosius family favorite is the Lost Cities tournament. Claire, Sam and I are all good players, and we've all made it to the Elite Eight in years past. Like Ticket to Ride, this tournament is a madhouse, and Ivan Lawson does a great job with it (he won GM of the Year back in 2007 with the second highest vote total ever recorded.)

My first opponent was Rick Young, designer of Europe Engulfed, FAB: The Bulge and Leaping Lemmings, among other games. He's not only a great designer, though. He's also a great player. I went into the tournament rated 7th in the AREA ratings, but Rick was rated 12th. Incidentally, you can see from the ratings that there is a lot of skill in this game, despite what the naysayers claim. If you think it's all luck, try your hand in the WBC tournament.

http://wolff.to/area/G_LST.html#_

Rick blew me out in my first game by a margin of 92-44. I had awful cards and (if it's any consolation) no regrets. There was nothing I could have done to have won that game.

My second game was better, as I won fairly easily (I got the good cards this time.) But in my third game, against Doug Galullo, also a great player, I went down in defeat, bouncing me from the playoffs.

Claire and Sam both made it to the playoffs, but both got knocked out before they made it anywhere near earning a plaque.

I really love Lost Cities tournaments. I'd play in one every month if I could.
5 
 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: For the Crown (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:2457]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One game that had been on my BGG "Want to Play" list for a while is For the Crown (Second edition). I had a small gap in my schedule and saw that there was a heat of For the Crown (Second edition) starting right at that time. Now, the rounds were listed as running for 2 hours, and I didn't have that much time, but I did have a chance to hear the game demo, taught by designer Jeremy Lennert. It's a logical, well-constructed game (I'm a mathematician by training, so I appreciate a game in which the rules work together well.)

Even though I couldn't play in the tournament, I stuck around and when Colin Crook received a bye, I played a quick non-tournament game with him. Colin played better than I did and won.

After playing, I was even more impressed with the game, but it's not a game I really want to get into. I'm not a big fan of deck building games, and it's more admiration for me than a real desire to play.
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}}
17. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Next on my schedule was El Grande, my 3rd favorite game. My opponents in this 5-player game (like The Princes of Florence, El Grande is best with 5) were Alex Bove, Anni Foasberg, Peter Staab and Ben Hash. It was a real tough table. I managed to keep my head down and put cabs in places where it wasn't easy to dislodge me, and even though my opponents never gave up in the quest to reel me in, I was leading going into Round 9.

The game was running late, though, and it was almost time for my The Princes of Florence demo. As soon as I dialed the location for my tower drop, I excused myself to my opponents and left for the demo (I had no more decisions to make, so they could place my tower drop and do the scoring without me.) Later I ran into Anni, who told me that I had won by a small margin.

In my semi, things went a bit awry. As soon as I made my cube placement on Round 1, one of my opponents whined about what I had done. Now, I like to think of myself as a rational, win-focused player, but I really hate whining. In fact, when someone whines, I'm inclined to whack him (or her) just because it irritates me. And that's what I did. Which led to more whining and more whacking, until it became a self-reinforcing cycle of whining and whacking. I apologize to my opponents for going on tilt a bit.

On the other hand, Geoff Pounder, who won our semi, succeeded in keeping such a low profile while building a winning position that it never seemed quite possible to whack him (something I'd prefer to have done.) One of the keys in El Grande is to build a whack-resistant position, and Geoff is a real expert in doing so.
4 
 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: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I did my demo for The Princes of Florence, with about 8 or 10 people attending, and moved on to the first heat. There are some regulars, who attend every year without fail, but there are always some new players, many of whom learned the game at the demo. We had 40 people for Heat 1, or exactly 8 tables of 5. My game featured Tom DeMarco, Doug Mercer, Eric Freeman and John Dextraze---quite a line-up. We bid for seating order in the semis and finals, but we determine it randomly in the heats, and I was assigned Seat 5.

Round 1 was quite unusual. It's not uncommon for no one to put on a work in Round 1, but sometimes Seat 5 puts one on to gain Best Work and get a bad card out of his or her hand (often in connection with a Builder strategy.) Well, in this game, Eric Freeman in 3rd seat put on a work for 7 WV, and John Dextraze then put one on for 8 WV (he had a Jester,) snatching Best Work from Eric. I just sat in Seat 5 and paid low prices for things, and managed to win a low-key victory by a margin of 55 to 52 over second place.
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}}
19. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:493]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As I have mentioned, there are more and more women taking part in tournaments at WBC, and in many different games. On the first Sunday I walked into the Paradise Room, where the Paths of Glory tournament was held, and saw Nels Thompson playing a heat against Emily Wu. This isn't that unusual, but it gets better.

Later in the week I walked down the stairs to Lampeter as the tournament for For the People was starting. Geoff Allbutt was playing Heat 1 against James Pei, the Yoda of For the People, and Emily was sitting next to him in a chair reading a book. It turns out that Geoff and Emily came to WBC, played in the Paths of Glory tournament, among other things, recruited witnesses from among the people they knew at WBC, went out and got married locally, and came back so Geoff could play in the tournament. Emily would have played, but she hadn't yet learned For the People.

Here's a picture:



Geoff explained that when he met Emily, he introduced her to games, and she almost immediately asked to learn the hard ones. Maybe next year she can play James in the first heat.
10 
 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: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:671]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thursday morning marks the semis for Empire Builder. In many ways the semis are the tensest part of the tournament, at least for me. You need to play well, but you also need to get good cards, and even if you manage to win, there's still another game in front of you.

I had a great start: Coffee to Kansas City and Coffee to Omaha. My opponents looked stressed when they saw these cards (all I needed to do was build north from Veracruz to KC to deliver two big loads) but I reminded them that even with a nice lead, you need to keep drawing good contracts. Remember what had happened to Glen Pearce in my heat!

And so it went. After the big start, I never quite got the cards I wanted, and though I was often able to settle for Plan B, I needed to do a lot of dumping as well. At one point I made a blunder on a trip to Mexico city, taking my track toward Durango instead of continuing south, and this cost me two full turns. Mark Kennel, another player in my game, was gaining ground steadily, and I realized that he was going to pass me unless I hit a big spec load (I did have an extra Coffee and I was in the Northeast.) But, in a blaze of glory, Debbie Gutermuth played the dark horse role and flew past both me and Mark to reach $271 million and win the game. Mark came in 2nd with $257 million (what a disappointment) and I finished 3rd with $215 million.

Debbie, of course, went on to the Finals, where one of her opponents was her husband and teammate, Ken. Debbie's team game was (like mine) Empire Builder, but the rule against teammates playing each other goes away (as it must) in the Finals. Now, if you're worried that Ken might have "thrown" the game to his wife, you don't know much about WBC! One of the proudest accomplishments a team member can achieve is to knock off a teammate in their team game (at least, that's the way it is for the people I respect.) And Ken came through with flying colors, winning the tournament (and Debbie received some points as well.)
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}}
21. Board Game: Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My second heat in this year's Power Grid tournament was on the Brazil map. On this map, the yellow resources represent bio fuel (sugar cane, mainly) and are more numerous than usual. In many ways, this game was a reprise of my first game. I started with the #04 coal plant and added the #22 windmill, the #31 coal plant and the #26 oil plant as good plants once again came out early. My wizardry in making the top plant on the stack lousy as soon as I bought one wasn't as strong in this game, but I still was able to head into the latter part of Phase 2 with the largest capacity and (thanks to my windmill and high fuel prices) a lot of money.

Once I had enough money, I simply built to 15 cities to end the game, once again in Phase 2. I won this game by a margin of 13-12-11-10-10 (remember that your score isn't the number of cities built, but the number powered.) It's great when you only have to buy 4 plants in the course of a game.
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}}
22. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As I have mentioned, my wife runs a great Ticket to Ride tournament, and I try to play in as many heats as I can. She offers three options during the heats: the base game, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 and Ticket to Ride: Europe. I prefer Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 by a substantial margin, and that's the game I was able to play.

My initial card draw included three big tickets:

Los Angeles - Miami
Las Vegas - Miami
Las Vegas - Seattle

I kept all three of these. In my first two turns I built Portland - Seattle and Houston - New Orleans, generating a lot of chatter on the part of my opponents, but after that I collected cards to build the long routes I needed. I didn't get all the long routes (someone snatched El Paso to Houston,) but I managed to cash in on my great start to win.

The Ticket to Ride tournament has quarter-finals, so one win is normally enough to get you into the playoffs. I would have something to do on Sunday morning!
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}}
23. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My second heat of The Princes of Florence also had exactly 40 players. Eleven were repeat players and 29 were new this year. This made 8 perfect 5-player tables once again.

In this game I was in a table with Jason Long. I had the favored 2nd Seat, but Jason, who had already won Heat 1, did a great job in the auctions. Somehow he managed to buy a Jester for 200 florins in Round 4! It wasn't just good luck either---he clearly orchestrated things so as to give himself a good opportunity for a bargain.

Not surprisingly, Jason won, his second heat win.

After a break for my final game of Saint Petersburg (which I described above,) we went on to the semis. We didn't get 25 people showing up, so we played five 4-player tables. The 4-player game is quite different, but Ken Horan did a great job, winning my table, as I came in a dismal 4th. It didn't help that I whiffed on a Prestige Card, but that was a long shot as I had little chance of winning by the time I bought it anyway.

The Finals were held the following evening, and long-time participant David Platnick, who is a very strong player, won the tournament for the first time, using a Builder strategy to demolish the field.
 
 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}}
24. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I had hoped to be in the semis for Saint Petersburg at 9am on Saturday morning, but unfortunately I was about 20th on the list of people who showed up and there was only room for 16. So I went on to Plan B: Puerto Rico. I'm reasonably good at this game and enjoy it, but for some reason it doesn't feel like an ideal tournament game to me. Despite this, I seem to have room for at least one heat every year, and this was the heat.

I didn't lack for strong opposition. My three opponents were Marc Berenbach, Eric Freeman and Rob Kircher. But it was one of those games where I didn't have to strain. Everything came my way as I built Factory, Harbor, Wharf and two large buildings to win by a margin of 52-45 over the 2nd place player. This qualified me for the quarterfinals at 3pm.

The quarters didn't go so well. It was a bizarre game, in which I got four quarries and actually built a University mid-game, but never got a large building. Chris Moffa, who's a genuine championship-level player at Puerto Rico, won the quarter.
5 
 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}}
25. Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
But before playing in the Puerto Rico quarters I had the chance to play in the Power Grid semis. With two good wins I was one of the top qualifiers, but you still have to win your semi to make it to the finals.

It was a close game. One of my opponents, Justus Hibshman, was a local high-school age player who was playing an outstanding game. He bid when he should bid and passed when he should pass. He managed to get two good plants by timing his bids properly, then waited patiently for the third plant he needed. Money was short and space was limited (we were playing on the UK map.)

In the penultimate round, any one of us could have ended the game, but whoever did so would have lost. I badly needed a 7-capacity plant, had plenty of cash, and there were three left out of six, but none came up. Justus, starting from a better point, got a smaller plant and won the semi.

Afterward someone expressed surprise to me, asking how I had lost to an "unknown". I told them that Justus had game, and would do well in the Final. He proceeded to prove me correct, winning the Final and his first WBC Power Grid championship. Congratulations, Justus!
8 
 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}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.