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WBC 2013
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Went back to Lancaster for my 8th time out of the past 9 years. Once again it proved to be my favorite week of the year; and this year I did not have to split my time between board games and the Olympics so that left much more time for tournaments new demos, and open gaming. As usual I was too tired after traveling Saturday and working Friday to jump into a long pre-con game. Instead I relaxed with A Storm of Swords, and began my board gaming week on Sunday.
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1. Board Game: Virgin Queen [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:290]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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I started my weekly gaming campaign with the demo to Virgin Queen. While the GM/Designer did a good job explaining his game, having never played Here I Stand, I have to admit I was lost, and did not participate in the tournament.
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2. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:145]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Did this demo on Sunday evening and fell in love with it. Sekigahara became my first tournament of the week on Monday morning. While I did not perform well, still had a fun time. My first and only game, (had to drop out for my next tournament), was against a friendly Brit who I met several other times throughout the week, I was Mitsunari and lost my leader, thus the game, at about the 2/3rds mark of the game. Will certainly be playing next year, tried buying it from the store later in the week, but sadly the shipment did not make it in time.
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3. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:413]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Easily one of my favorite games, and a Monday staple for me, Andy Lewis did a good job as always running the tournament. With his unique scoring system base on which countries you choose, the game has a semi-game within the tournament structure, making you choose some weaker nations first to help advance to the next round, and since you can only pick a country once, saving your better nations is usually the smart move. The first round is broken off into pods of four, having each player play their opponents once each. My first game saw me as the British against the Russian, the Brits pulled out the victory. Second game I chose the Russian, and my opponent took the Turks. The Turks were able to stay out of reach of my strong but slow Russians, long enough for the win. Lastly, I went with the Prussian against my opponent's Russian. The Prussian were able to get me the victory, improving my record to 2-1. With enough points garnered by using two average nations and one good nation I was able to advance to the quarterfinals. Last year I got second place losing to the talented Finn, and was hoping to get a shot at redemption this year, sadly it was not to be. My quarterfinal game saw my French face the Brits, (all 8 quarter finals were Brits vs. French). This game was perhaps the closest lost I ever had in Manoeuvre. The game was decided by nightfall, with me taking the last turn, (since my opponent went first). At the beginning of the last turn I was about 5 points below my opponent, I was able to play a supply, which allowed me to move twice. Having the first two tiebreaks, (having killed more units, and having less injured units on the board), the win was within my grasp. I was able to reduce my opponents lead to one, and had a last attack in hopes to force a retreat and gain two points, giving me the lead. It was not the strongest of attacks but was certainly possible to get the x2 total I needed for the retreat, sadly the dice gods were not with me and my opponent ended up getting 2nd place, losing to the above mentioned talented Finn.
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4. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:272]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Over the past few years this game has went from just a time filler into a tournament I look forward to each year. I was able to enter all three heats, Monday night, Wednesday morning, and Thursday Morning. Had a good time in all three heats, got 2nd place in each game, enough to be an alternate but not enough to advance to the final rounds.
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5. Board Game: The Halls of Montezuma [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3621]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Tuesday Morning was spent at the Auction and Auction store. The banter between Bruce Reiff and the other auctioneers is always a highlight of the week. I did not buy any games at the auction but bought about 11 games from the auction store, the one I am most looking forward to is The Halls of Montezuma, which I was able to pick up for $15. THoM will be my first Mexican American War game, and has a few unique mechanics regarding how to declare war and receive new troops.
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6. Board Game: High-Bid [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:6589]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Tuesday evening I went to the demo and later the mulligan of Auction. Fun quick game that plays in less than an hour. If I can find the time next year I'll probably return for at least the mulligan round again.
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7. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:144]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Acquire is one of my favorite games, easily in my top 5 games. I've been to the final tables about two or three times, and was able to enter all three heats this year. The first heat on Tuesday night was my best performance. About half way through the game I was in dead last by a good margin, but was able to build and collapse the same company a few times, earning me enough money to compete for the larger companies. I ended up in second place by about $3,000. My next two heats did not go as well, I was third place in the Wednesday Morning heat, and 4th place in the Wednesday afternoon heat ending my chances of advancing.
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8. Board Game: Ivanhoe [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1180]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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A quick game, which is a good way to end the nights before the party games start near the end of the week. The GM, Brian Mongold, and his wife always do a fantastic job managing that many people that late at night. I was able to enter two of the three heats, Tuesday and Wednesday night. The first game was a lot of fun, my table was 2 younger players, near the same age as myself, (early twenties), and my father. The table had good playful banter, and close competitiveness, my dad and I were third and fourth respectively. Sadly the second table was not as much fun. I was please that the friendly guy at the table won, but was a little irked that one of my opponents took the game too seriously, even to the point of questioning my actions throughout the game when we finished. Once I explained myself, he backed off and accepted that I did the best move for my chances of winning, but I was not a fan of having to explain myself after the game. Despite that it was still an enjoyable tournament.
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9. Board Game: Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:656]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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After a morning of Acquire and Vegas Showdown heats I decided to attend the demo then the tournament of Napoleon. This was one of my favorite games, having played and loved the third edition many times over the years. Sadly Columbia, in my opinion, destroyed the game with the 4th edition. The game plays much faster which is not necessarily a negative thing, but is very unbalance. The French have a virtually 0% chance of winning, and all the new additions to the editions are the cause of it. Shorter days, shorter overall campaign, same objective, tactical battles favor the defenders, (which Napoleon is often the attacker), etc. make it far too easy for the allies to just hold behind the rivers and wait until the short game ends. Even during the demo the GM joked that the right bet to play the allies is one more than your opponent, (you bid for the allies, taking one click on units for each number you bid). I believe the final record was 17-1 for the allies, the sole French win coming from the GM, who later won the tournament. My game was somewhat close, I took the French, allowed my opponent the allies for only a bid of three, (far too low). I was able to capture Liege, and had a force with Napoleon in between Ghent and Brussels, but simply ran out of time. My original plan of a double feint attack had to be scrap shortly after I realize how truly short the new edition is compared to the older versions. I would give this game another chance if there were a fifth edition, or alternate rules to balance it out, but until then I'll hold off from participating in the coming years.
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10. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:801]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Having some spare time I decided to try this game out, being a fan of Roll Through the Ages, I thought another dice spin off game would be fun. I went to the demo on Thursday, and the first heat an hour later. I was able to win my second heat on Friday morning, earning a spot in the semi-finals. I cut it close, and almost miss the sign in for the semi-finals due to another game, but made it in time, and able to play a third game of Ra: The Dice Game. Will certainly try to play again next year.
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11. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:259]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Despite coming in fourth last year, I still view Lost Cities as a filler game, due to the amount of luck required to win and advance. This year I was only able to enter one heat, an enjoyable game with me taking a big lead in the first round, my opponent leveling the game in the second round, and he had a great third round to take the victory.
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12. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:130]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Another one of my favorite games. I had to miss last year's tournament due to a conflict with Lost Cities semi-finals. This year I was able to go 3-0 in my pod of four, (with a decent amount of luck in my third game), to advance to the single elimination rounds. I won my first game of single elimination, with a break through, to advance to a semi-final game with defending champion, Sean McCulloch, (who beat my father last year in the semi-finals). The game was a nail bitter, coming down to the last two unclaimed flags, with me having 4 flags and Sean having 3. A desperate play of mud by me to extend the battle for one flag ended with Sean claiming the flag, and me having played one more tactic card than my opponent. The final flag came down to a battle of tactic cards, Sean took the flag, the win, and eventually the tournament, with me receiving third place.
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13. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:407]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Having skipped Can't Stop once again this year, Liar's Dice was my first party game of the week. Was able to find a table with out too much rejection, and accomplished my goal of not being first out, (was second out). Still a fun time despite the early exit.
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14. Board Game: A House Divided [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:618]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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My all time favorite game. A House Divided has become my favorite game over the years; it was my first war game I learned at 7, not including Chess, or Risk. I was able to get third place last year, and was looking forward to another fun tournament this year. A House Divided benefits from having two great GMs, Dave Metzger who ran it last year and Terry Coleman who took the reigns this year. My first round I won as the North by stalling the South in Virginia, going down the Mississippi, and landing a couple small invasions near Florida. My second game I took a bid of two to play the South. The bid change my usual aggressive southern strategy to a more defensive game. The strategy worked well, but I still came up short. The last turn, the North took Nashville and Knoxville to give himself the potential win. On my last turn I had a march of four. The four marches meant I could attack both cities with strong forces, but not as strong as I could with a higher roll. Nashville fell easily enough back to southern hands, with my large army in Kentucky coming down to defeat the one unit despite the river disadvantage. The battle of Knoxville odds was not as favorable, but I was still able to get 4 units, against two militia units, (one which was entrenched). Unfortunately the dice were not with me and it quickly became one flipped unit against one flipped unit. At this point it was simply whoever rolled their magic number first wins the game. After about 6 rolls the northern unit prevailed and held onto Knoxville. Retrospectively there were a few things I would've done differently, but overall I was still pleased with the game, as both sides played well.
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15. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:2984]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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What a fantastic tournament. The dedication, effort, and humor, put into this tournament impresses me each year, and always has me coming back. The categories were a good mixed of ones I was able to get all five correct, and ones I was lucky if I could guess one correctly. My total points were not close to the top, but I was able to win the mini tournament between me my father, and my two friends. Looking forward to participating in this tournament again next year.
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16. Board Game: Slapshot [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2027]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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My last party game of the week was once again a good atmosphere and experience. While I did enjoy the game, my table was filled with my group, unfortunately and unintentionally causing the other two players to seem uncomfortable, next year I do plan on splitting up and playing with more random people.
 
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17. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:699]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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For the last two years it has been between Trans America and Attack Sub on which one will be my last tournament of the year. Perhaps because I enter no other rail games Trans America always win. Playing only for my second time I did got to the quick and informative demo right before the tournament. My table was friendly and quick moving, playing against my father, Dave Metzger, Faith Wobbeking, and the eventual tournament winner, Doug Faust. Started off strong but stumbled near the end, and fell out of second place by one point, eliminating the chance to move on.
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18. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:114]
Brad Raszewski
United States
Maryland
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Rest of my time at the convention was spent listening to a couple good seminars about game designing and game publishing, and open gaming. The new game that I learned in open gaming that stoop out the most was King of Tokyo. By the designer of Magic, this family game is a surprisingly a lot of fun. While going for points may be the best course to win, killing other monsters is more satisfying. So while I did lose, I was able to knock out one monster, which was quite enjoyable. Overall had another great week of board gaming, and looking forward to doing it all again next year.
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