2011 WBC Week
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
I have been a regular attendee of WBC and its prior incarnation (Avaloncon) for close to 20 years. It is one of the gaming highlights of the year, although it can be a bit of a marathon as you get through a full week or so of gaming, often going from one event to another with little food or sleep.

Anyway, as in the past, this GeekList will recap the games I played and the people I played with. Here are links to other prior WBC GeekLists by me:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/57547/2010-wbc-diary

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/45090/2009-wbc-diary

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/33774/fun-and-games-at...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23588/2007-wbc-recap

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15837/games-played-at-...

For this year, the final entry on this Geek List will include some stats and final comments and observations.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wbc [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Lords of Baseball [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Arrived earlier than I originally anticipated because the game designer’s son, Max, had listed a 12 Noon demo time for this game. I was very intrigued after viewing the very descriptive and detailed half-hour You Tube video posted on BoardGameGeek (one of best game video previews I have seen, by the way). When I arrived at 11:30, there was already a game in progress being shepherded by Max’s Dad, Bob, and I was lucky enough to sit in for the final year of the game in progress when one of the players departed. I let Bob know my schedule for the rest of the day, and he said he would save a seat for me in a full game slated to start later that evening after my scheduled tournament games were over.

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}}
2. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
First tournament game for me, it was a 2 PM start. Among my three opponents was Doug Galullo, a strong player whom I knew from tournaments over the past year at other conventions like EuroQuest and PrezCon who has recently moved nearby and been attending my local club in Laurel. Doug had some atrociously bad luck on his die rolls, and I managed to take a narrow four-point victory into the next game which, due to a somewhat unusual format, took place immediately afterward as kind of an extra elimination game following the first heat.

The second game, which paired together winners of the first round of games, did not go so well for me. In fact, it turned out to be one of the few times I have seen a starvation strategy work as Dan Eppolito took the win. Believe I came in third.

For me, Stone Age is more of a “filler type” game, not a lot of deep strategy, quite a bit of luck and, although I have surprised myself by winning a tournament game here and there over the past year, it’s not a tournament I had targeted for more than one heat, so I moved on to play other games.
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: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:275]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One of the main reasons for switching from my usual Tuesday to Sunday to starting on Monday was the inclusion of a couple of games on the Monday night agenda that were among my favorites. For 2011, both Vegas Showdown and Automobile were scheduled in overlapping time slots starting at 6 PM, and I had to pick one. Given there would be two more chances to advance in Automobile while Vegas conflicted with other games in its remaining time slots, I elected to choose Vegas, which turned out to be one of the most-played games in my collection since I picked it up on a whim in December 2005, and it’s still in my personal overall top ten list (at #5).

The game was an enjoyable even though it did not go well with me. I was paired with Geoff Pounder from Ontario, Canada (a player I had known primarily from playing in a Puerto Rico final at WBC a couple of years back), Matt Fetzer (son of Rich, whom I had enjoyed some fun gaming experience at EuroQuest in the past) and someone I believe was fairly new to gaming conventions, Becky. Of course, the newcomer, Becky, won the game and I came in last. One of the nice features was kind of unofficial sponsorship from Mohegan Sun Casino, which provided free T-Shirts and decks of playing cards to all the players, courtesy of Bob Wicks, a WBC attendee who happens to work there.

Anyway, to reiterate, Vegas Showdown is a top five game for me and, IMHO, had it been released at Essen by one of the big game publishers there with a big name designer, it would be in the top 20 or 30 on BGG, instead of where it is now, still woefully underrated.
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}}
4. Board Game: Lords of Baseball [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While it was “one and done” for me in the Vegas Showdown tournament, I was looking forward to playing a complete game of Bob and Max’s game of baseball management from the beginning. Fortunately, Rich Moyer (who I played once in the Superstar baseball tournament at WBC few years back and someone who has since become a Champion at that event) was interested in playing the game as well, and I talked gaming buddy Kevin Walsh from NY to join us. I managed to field a competitive team but never managed to win the pennant, but the money began to flow once I got a media outlet for a discount after the first season, a move I had seen work for Bob in the earlier demo game. It turned out that I won just ahead of Rich with Kevin – who had won two of the three pennants – trailing, along with Bob, the game designer.

Overall, playing this game was one of the more fun experiences of my WBC week this year (note I am not just saying that because I happened to win this particular game), and I wish Bob and Max well in finding a publisher. This game is too good and too unique to ignore.
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: Kreta [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:904]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Lords of Baseball wrapped up my first day of the convention (Monday), as the game ended around 2:30 AM or so. I was able to arise a bit later than usual because I had no scheduled events until 1 PM the next day, but took advantage for a quick breakfast at a nearby Waffle House (a place I was able to revisit a couple of times later that week for my only meals outside the hotel). While wandering around the hotel with about an hour and half before my next event, I saw Eric Freeman and his father Jim sitting in the lobby and invited them for a game of Kreta. Bruce Hodgkins (a Canadian who I had met playing in the Automobile tournament) made it four, which is the optimal number for this excellent worker placement game.

The rules of the game were soon mastered and, although Eric’s Dad, Jim, seemed to be more focused on doing stuff with his hand-held computer, ipod, phone or whatever, in the end it turned out he was paying attention as he edged me out for the win. Eric was third and Bruce, after an excellent start, dropped to last. It was a good way to spend some time while waiting for the next event (see entry below) while reconnecting with some old and new gaming friends from different places which is kind of what WBC is about.
 
 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: Rails of New England [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:3120]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My first “assignment” for the WBC convention week was a teaching demo of Rails of New England, which was one of 10 newer games being featured in the “Showcase Sampler” on Monday and Tuesday before most of the heavy competitive schedule commences at around 6 PM on Tuesday. Now, I had only about 4-5 games under my belt, having just purchased a copy in June. Having checked on BGG, I found there were a number of rules questions, so I contacted one of the game designers, Walter Hunt, who not only graciously answered my questions but accepted my invitation that he and fellow co-designer Greg Pozerski attend the demo. Since the two of them were headed west to GenCon later in the weekend, things worked out perfectly as we had three games set up, one with Walter, one with Greg, and a third with me.

I set up a five-player game and was joined by Marcy, Pete S, Kevin and Mark after Walter and Greg wrapped up a brief summary of the rules. I had played many games with Marcy, Pete and Kevin, but Mark was a new face. We went with pre-set starting businesses for each of the five states to speed play, given the demo had a three-hour time duration, and some of the players had other events later that day. It turned out to be a very tight game top to bottom, with Marcy taking first with NH while I was a close second with VT. Pete had RI, Kevin had CT while Mark had the one state I still think is the best, ME, with lots of potential income from the Grand Tote RR although it is a bit of a distance to the first market city on the coast. We were able to get in around 10-11 turns before the game was called on time, but we were close to ending with only one mail contract (MASS) and one special route (Cape Cod) outstanding.

All in all, I was pleased that the demo went well, particularly with Walter and Greg on hand to answer questions. There were only a couple of times where I stumbled on the rules and they corrected me. The one I remember was the interpretation of the basic action mechanic where the rules say “Players take two actions during the Phase in turn order” – does this mean each player takes two actions before passing to the next player, or two rounds of actions, one action per player at a time? Walter and Greg assured me it was the latter, despite my having recalled reading something to the contrary here on BGG.

While I did not play Rails of New England for the rest of the week, there were three library copies in the open gaming area, and I saw the game being played frequently. Kevin, who was in our game, told me he was able to get in another play.
 
 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: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Traditionally, tournaments have started at 6 PM on Tuesday at WBC although this year there was an effort to have some events on Monday with “schedule protection” for the auction which takes place from late morning to late afternoon on Tuesday. First game up for me was Power Grid, and I elected to play on the Germany map with the new Power Plant deck. I was randomly paired with four players I had known from prior conventions: Rod, Lee and two Erics (Cheatham and Engelmann). I started with the power plant that let me place my initial city last and wound up in the high rent district near the southern part of the map. As it turned out, I was often near the front in turn order, but in this game there wasn’t a lot of hoarding of resources so my costs were not too exorbitant. Heading into the final turn, I was set with 16 power plant capacity but Rod bought a new plant to bring him to 17. Given that the other players had only 15 capacity and that I was building first, I took advantage and spent a bit extra to block the cities that were closest to Rod. Since I had plenty of cash, I was hoping Rod would not be able to build to 17 and that I might take it with 16 on the money tiebreaker. As it turned out, Rod could only get to 15 and slipped behind Lee, who took second with 15 and more cash while I won the game with 16.

Now, with a really large event like Power Grid and under the format used by the GM, you really needed to play another game to advance to the semifinal round, something which I was not prepared to do, so it was “one and done” for me for Power Grid. While I still enjoy the game (it’s on my top 10 list), in tournament games among very good players I find the outcome often comes down to a random element like a power plant flip where one player gets (or does not get) a nice endgame plant at face value. Plus, after advancing to the semis a couple of times and getting hammered in many of those games, I am kind of reluctant to target this is as an event I have a chance to make the final.
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: Automobile [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:195]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
After Power Grid, it was on to Automobile, a game which I did make the final last year and was prepared to play in two heats in an effort to reach the semis or better in 2011. In this game I was paired randomly with Bruce H from the Kreta game, Charlie, Barry Barnes and Kevin Barry. I had lost a heat game to Bruce at last year’s WBC so I figured he was my toughest opposition. Don’t remember much about the game, except for the fact that it turned out well for me, and I finished first to qualify for the semis with Bruce something like 150-170 behind in a reasonably close game. I sensed the other three players were somewhat new to the game and just feeling their way through.
 
 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: Troyes [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:48]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
After two wins in two fairly heavy tournament games, it was back to the open gaming area for guess what – another heavy game, Troyes, one of the higher-rated of the newer Euros to come out in the last year. I was the teacher in this game and Dvd (whom I had known from playing in my Puerto Rico tournaments over the past few years) and Kevin (my late night gaming buddy at these cons) were the others in a three-player game. I believe Kevin was the winner while I came in dead last. Both of them were able to grab the two tax collector slots and successfully convert that income to points before the end of the game. Oh, well, shows what a good teacher they had.

I like Troyes because it takes the die-rolling mechanic and makes it less of a luck factor. I compare it to a game like Kingsburg, where people always bitched and moaned about a low die roll sinking their chances. In this game, sometimes low die rolls are good; also, you can buy your opponent’s dice and use them or pay influence to re-roll or flip your own dice, a very innovative and interesting mechanic
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}}
10. Board Game: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:707]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Next up was one of the new additions to the tournament lineup this year, a game that I felt was one of the best new releases of 2010, Founding Fathers. Last year I had voted for its inclusion, and it was about one of five new games voted in along with 20 or so retreads (games from the prior year that didn’t hit the numbers for Century status). Side note: most new games at the WBC come through vendor-sponsored or “sugar daddy” trials where someone pays $500 to add a new event; after the first year, all games then compete through a player hours (aka “ass-hours” formula) for Century and prize level status; longer games and games with multiple rounds have an advantage but there is some consideration for games that fall within the top 25% in total participation (number of unique players).

Anyway, since I had voted for the game, I felt honor-bond to play it at least once even though it conflicted with another of my favorite games (the next heat of Vegas Showdown) so I did. I was very pleased to see the GM (or perhaps it was one of his helpers) had pins depicting the 1787 Constitutional convention along with a replica of the actual parchment document which all players were invited to sign. I duly put my John Hancock under the Maryland signers and found it humorous to see entries from Texas, Kansas and Florida, among others – states that didn’t exist at the time.

Now, on to the game. I recognized only one of my four opponents from prior games – Joel, who I had met at last year’s EuroQuest and did not catch the names of the others. Joel kept debating on the initial turns but, after focusing on votes in round one, I switched to contest the debate track on turns two and three. One of the players hit me with the delegate that lets you steal a card when I had both Geo. Washington and Ben Franklin. He took Franklin, which may surprise some, but Franklin is a lot stronger unless you have built up a commanding position and are set to end the round early with GW. He held it until a later round and made a really nice play, comboing it with another delegate who lets you do a second action, pulling back a influence block, then scoring like 8 VPs and retrieving his blocks. On the last turn, I played the guy who lets you place two blocks in the committee room and this turned out to be the difference as it enabled me to flip an article that made all the debate wins a wash, so I went on to a two-point win with Joel in second.
 
 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: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Every GM of a Class B (beginners welcome) event is required to do a one-hour teaching demo, as players are not expected to learn the rules during play. Although this is the 10th year for Puerto Rico at WBC, every year there are players showing up for the scheduled demo. In some cases, the players are totally new to the game, in other cases they are looking for a refresher, and a few (I suspect) are looking for some strategy tips. This year they got all three, as I went through the key rules, explaining the game components and the seven roles, then we played about four-five turns of a sample four-player game. For the last few minutes, the winner of last year’s tournament, Luke Koleszar, stopped by to offer the players some advice.

All in all, the demo went well, so I returned to the room where Founding Fathers was being played.
 
 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: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:707]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While I had missed the second of three games, I was able to play in the third round of the tournament, which used what is known as a continuous, Swiss system format, meaning players with similar scores were paired together. Through the luck of the draw, I was paired with one of the same players from the prior game, plus a third player, Eric Kleist, another guy I knew from Puerto Rico tournaments at both WBC and EuroQuest. I lagged behind until the final turn until I played the plus 3 VP for last place, then seized control of the Federalist faction to score 5 VP for the debate bonus to take another close one, 38-35, with Eric in second. It was during this game that I learned for the first time that the debate track was limited in spaces, so when two of us tied at the top spot, that was actually a win for the player with Brierly (the guy who wins all unawarded debate tokens) in play.

That ended my participation as there were no elimination rounds in this tournament. Ironically, it turned out to be the only tournament I scored multiple wins, yet it was no better than 7th or 8th place. The continuous three-game Swiss format meant you had to play in all three games for a chance to win. I later learned the winner was Danny Lewis, with second going to Joel, the guy I played in the first game. Despite the vagaries of the format, going in I just expected to play the one game but enjoyed it so much I came back for a later game, and had fun there as well. I really hope this event stays on the WBC schedule next year. Jacob Nixon, the GM, did a good job running the tournament and seemed to be really on top of any rules questions that were asked. Although the BGG ratings favor the other games (Twilight Struggle, 1960, Campaign Manager). I personally prefer FF to those games perhaps because of its multi-player format.
 
 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: Automobile [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:195]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Even though I was qualified for the semis of Automobile the next day, there was no other game on the agenda I wanted to play, so I signed in for the second heat. At this point I was riding a hot hand, having won four tournament games in a row, going back to that Power Grid on Tuesday night. In this game, however, things did not go so well. I was paired with John D (another guy from Ontario whom I had played in the 2010 final), Paul, Kevin from the first heat and Don, a guy who plays occasionally at my local club in Laurel. I played fairly conservatively, building lots of singles but no double factories which meant income generation was a struggle. I also had to deal with factory aging, thus took Ford on the final turn to close down three aging models (two in the action phase and a third at executive decision time). I lacked the white cubes to get to the favored Hupmobile spot at a key moment, and this contributed to my downfall. Paul played a nice game to advance, and I believe Don finished second.
 
 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: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:62]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Princes of Florence is a game I GM’ed for the first two years at WBC, and I always try to arrange my schedule so I can play at least one game. This year, that game was on Wednesday night. I was paired in a four-player game with a couple of strong players – Alex Bove, a former WBC Champion, and Ed Fear, the reigning EuroQuest Champion. The fourth player was Ryan Housman. While I had a fairly good record at PoF in reaching semis at the WBC in the past, I had only reached final tables at EuroQuest and PrezCon where the fields were smaller, and at a time when there were fewer accomplished players around versed in the nuances of the game.

Anyway, with four players, there were some unusual bidding sequences that saw early jesters go for 1000, recruiters bid up to 500, while some builders went for 200. I went for a jester/works strategy, got 7 works down, a couple of best works, and a 7-point prestige card to take a narrow with over Alex with Ed a close third. I was very pleased with the way the game went, as everything seemed to go my way against two high-quality opponents. Therefore, I penciled in the Saturday AM semifinals on my schedule after originally expecting that this one game would be it for me at Princes this 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}}
15. Board Game: Black Friday [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1374]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Princes was my last tournament game of the day, and I was feeling good about my win which meant five of six since the heavy competition fired up on Tuesday. Still was up for some more opening gaming, and this time it was Black Friday, an interesting new stock market game which I taught to Stan, Jeremy and Eric Filipowicz (hope I got the name right). Side-note: Even though it was only Wednesday, this was the fifth different Eric I had played games with during WBC Week, the others being named Freeman, Cheatham, Engelmann and Kleist.

It was a close game, kind of low scoring, with Eric finishing first with 13, ahead of Jeremy (11) while Stan and I had 10.

At this point I decided to turn in for the evening as my first elimination round game, the Automobile semifinals, were set for 9 AM the next day.
 
 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: Automobile [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:195]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Since I had managed to come in third in the final the prior year (Automobile’s initial year at WBC), this was one of the tournaments I had targeted again this year. We had 16 for the semis, divided up by the GM (last year’s winner, Andy Maly) into four four-player games. I was paired with the guy who had beaten me in the prior heat (Paul), a guy named David whom I had not played before, and Rod Spade (against whom I had played Automobile and other games many times and who I had managed to eke out a win in most recent encounter in Power Grid). Going into the game, I figured Rod and Paul to be my toughest competition although David was kind of an unknown quantity.

My notes aren’t clear and I can’t recollect what happened precisely, but I recall taking Durant and getting the model T and Duryea going but closing both before the game end. For this game, I was able to manage my loss cubes well, but a conservative strategy meant I wasn’t churning out the money. On the final turn, I took white cubes which enabled me to get to the Model A while Paul was shut out of the low-priced car market (not good because that’s where the demand was late in the game). David had two low-priced models, Paul had two mid-price models. Rod and I were both in all three car types, but once again Rod had reached the key Hupmobile space although it meant he had to take out both loans to do so. Even though I had zero loss cubes by the game end, I finished about 400 back of Rod but had a good score of around 4000 which was second best second-place in the semis, good for sixth overall and some laurels.

I periodically checked back into the room to see how the final was going, and it turned out the winner was Bill Zurn, who is a bit of a character but a solid gameplayer from California who has been a regular at EuroQuest the last couple of years, as well as WBC. Rod came in second and Jeremy, another EQ guy from last year who was attending WBC for the first time, nosed out David (the same guy I introduced to Troyes the night before) by something like 30 for the third and final plaque position. Since none of the other finalists from last year made the top six, it meant I was the only person to earn laurels in both the 2010 and 2011 tournaments, a nice achievement to brag about.

Checked with the GM Andy and it turned out attendance was up significantly from last year, which hopefully will mean a return trip to Automobile in the WBC Century without the need for a revote. For me, Automobile is Martin Wallace’s best design ever, as each game is challenging and different. I learn something new just about every time I play, and I would estimate I have well over 50 games under my belt at this point.
 
 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: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Not getting to the Automobile final was disappointing, but it meant the opportunity to play some more games. For Thursday, I had originally penciled in Labyrinth, a new game, but it was on a different time schedule that overlapped with the Automobile semis, so I found a chance to play another (for me) “filler” game, Ra. Ra is game I have played repeatedly and don’t believe I have ever won a single game in a tournament setting (and probably only four or five pick-up games) in what I would guess is about 100 plays total. To me, it seems like a lot of luck on the tile draws, either getting what you want or waiting and not having the Ra tiles come out to end the round. Nonetheless, you look at the tournament results and see many repeat winners, so there must be some skill involved.

For this game, I was paired with John Jacoby (a friendly guy who is a fixture at both WBC and PrezCon where he runs the Circus Maximus chariot racing games), Scott M and a couple of others whose names I forgot. I came in at third or fourth as the game was between Scott and John, and I believe Scott won after collecting all eight monuments and a set or two of triples.

The Ra tournament is ably run at WBC by the affable Steve Scott, a San Diego native whom I met playing Decathlon (a now extinct event at WBC but one of the few tourneys I actually won) one year, where I played the role of Bill Toomey and he, Bob Mathias, so we often greet each other at WBC by those names.
 
 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: Imperial [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:81]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
After Ra, I was in for probably my tightest fit of the week schedule-wise as three of my favorite games were scheduled back-to-back-to-back with no breaks in between, plus the one sandwiched in the middle (Puerto Rico) was the one in which I was serving as the GM. Fortunately, the prior event (Imperial) was in the same room. I asked the GM (Blair Morgan, who had won the tournament for the prior two years) for some consideration, hoping we could finish the game in around 2.5 hours so I would have time to get Puerto Rico set up. As it turned out, of the two games going, ours was the slowest and I found it a bit hard to concentrate toward the end of the game as Puerto Rico players starting arriving early, massing for the first heat. My opponents were Gordon, Blair and Rob Barnes, all of whom I had played Imperial with before. I was in contention early on, but as the game progressed, it looked like a close game between Blair and Rob. Rob then seized control of two countries (the UK and Austria) that were doing well, and I thought he might be in position to win. When the game was over, I left for Puerto Rico and later learned, to my surprise, that Blair had edged Rob for the win.

Since the second heat of Imperial directly conflicted with Puerto Rico (and the semis – had I qualified – conflicted with the semis of Princes on Saturday), I knew that was it for me for Imperial although I really enjoy the game – it’s my fourth all-time favorite, surpassed only by Die Macher, Puerto Rico and Stock Car racing. The bad news for Imperial at WBC is that attendance was down significantly this year, such that they had only five games and went directly to a five-player final. Only way it gets back in next year is through a re-vote. Some suggest changing the format to Imperial 2030, which is an improvement but could lead to even more challenges keeping the game under a three-hour time limit.

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}}
19. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
First heat of Puerto Rico, and an added challenge was that Dominion was in the same room, starting up at the same time. The Dominion GM and I had agreed to take 20 tables each in a ballroom that had just 44. As it turned out, we collectively needed 49 – 28 for Dominion and 21 for PR. This meant doubling up at some tables and perhaps searching for space in another room.

I had also decided to commemorate the 10th year for Puerto Rico at WBC by awarding a special prize in the form of an engraved chunk of marble to those players who had attended every year. These prizes were handed out to Mike Backstrom, Barbara Flaxington,John Jacoby, Cheryl Mallon, David Platnick, Bob Stribula and Kevin Walsh. I kept the eighth one (originally intended for another player who did not attend this year) for myself. While some of these players had earned laurels and reached multiple semifinal and final tables, others were just people who enjoyed the game and the competition. Congratulations to all of them.

Anyway, randomly I was paired with Cheryl and two others. I drew the #1 indigo while Cheryl was in the favorite #3 (first corn) seat. With just one corn in the opening draw, I went with the standard Settler-Quarry opening and things developed fairly well for me as I got an early Small Warehouse, followed up by the Harbor and the Guild Hall. It was a routine 10-point win that put me into the next round, so I would not have to play until then.

Some of the other players were not so lucky, including former Champions Barb Flaxington and Chris Moffa, who had some “tough draws” – being forced to meet other strong players early -- and lost. Despite some difficulties finding table space and getting things organized, I was able to wrap up the Puerto Rico heat close to the scheduled two-hour time after having to call one game that was running over on time, thus enabling me to get to my next event which was in a different room.
 
 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: Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2695]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This game (known as “McGartlin” after the two game designers) has been among my favorites after seeing it demoed at an Origins convention 16 years ago. There were three games this heat, and I was paired in a group that included the game designer’s son, Josh Garton, who eventually won the race. Josh confirmed it was the first time he had won a race at WBC, where his sister Rebekkah had been the first WBC winner back in 1999 (a memorable race for me, where I came in second). This time I was fourth, not good enough to qualify but to put me on the bubble in the “alternate” list. I vowed to return for the next heat the following morning to try again.

Anyway, playing four of my favorite games (Automobile, Imperial, Puerto Rico and McGartlin) on the same day is what WBC is all about. Sure, it’s a rough schedule some times, but it’s what you come here for, and what makes it better is the camaderie and relationships with all the people there that you have developed over the years around the common love for a particular game.
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}}
21. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
After taking a few minutes to decompress after the hectic schedule with three games back to back, I returned to the open gaming area but tonight, my timing was off so I was headed back to the room to start up on some GM paperwork when I ran into Bob Stribula, one of my Puerto Rico stalwarts, and another gentleman in the bar area. The other guy had an intriguing looking prototype of a new game sitting on the table and so I introduced myself. Turned out it was Evan Davis, designer of Air Baron, which ironically was the game that drew me to the Origins convention in 1995 where I learned about the preceding game, i.e., the Stock Car game, which has since become one of my favorites.

Anyway, Evan explained the basics of his new game, which has the working title of “Air Lords.” Not having anything better to do, I said “let’s play” so he and Bob (who had played several iterations before) joined him for a three-player game using some of the advanced rules he had worked out. The concept of the games was building a network of cities and then turning them into income and points by playing “Route cards” associated with those cities. Now, Evan’s prototype looked like some of my hand-made versions of games not very attractive, but the game play seemed to made sense. Bob and I both made some constructive comments which Evan seemed to welcome. Hope to see this game in print eventually, as other that Air Baron and the recently-released JetSet and Airlines Europe, there’s nothing out there – at least nothing that approaches the heavy-duty economic type level of a game like Automobile or Power Grid.
 
 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: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Even though it was around 2:30 AM, I was still wandering around, returning to the open gaming area where I spied Bill Crenshaw and Jim Vroom wrapping up a game that was another prototype. This was a game that Bill, the designer of the very excellent Manifest Destiny, had come up with and, while both of us were tired, he gave me a 10 to 15 minute run down on the rules. The working title of this game was “Entrepreneur” so it was a business game where you got four actions per round to develop a business, using cards in a similar manner to Manifest Destiny. His enthusiasm and the game components and mechanics (much nicer-looking than the airline game I had just played) made me put this one on my radar screen.
 
 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: Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2695]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Second heat of three, and for all intents and purposes, this was my final chance to qualify for the final which was Saturday night. Tough race for me, I believe there were six or seven cars again, needed a top three to secure advancement. Going into the final round I had worked my way to third place, but because I had burned quite a few cards to do so my hand was just five cards while others had as many as nine. Sometimes, though, it’s better to be lucky than good as the waves seem to part and, when my turn came, I had all the right cards at just the right time. I played a pull away and eventually had a gap and a two-wide car in second behind me, the best of all possible worlds. And, to be honest, I needed it as I had played all five of my cards and had none left – no defensive cards in case someone tried to pass me.
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}}
24. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The McGartlin race finished early, so I had plenty of time before the second heat of Puerto Rico later in the afternoon. I ran into Beth and Nicole, along with Alan, Nicole’s brother whom I met for the first time at the convention. Alan was interested in learning a good strategy game he could play in a tournament that day, so of course I suggested Puerto Rico. I retrieved my game and set up a four-player. When Jeremy joined us (fresh from his excellent performance in reaching the Automobile final the prior day), we hade four with Nicole, Alan, Beth and Jeremy as the players while I was the mentor. Alan asked lots of good questions about strategy, such as how to get money. Kevin, another experienced Puerto Rico player, joined us, and took over the role of strategy consultant when I went for a food and bathroom break. Can’t remember who won, but the game broke up as Beth, Nicole and Alan wanted to attend one of the seminars (something to do with strategic gaming at the CIA or some such topic).
 
 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: Black Friday [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1374]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jeremy and Kevin were up for another game, so once again it was Black Friday. Can’t remember if one of them had played before, but this turned out to be one of the closest games I have played to date – I believe it was 21 to 20 to 19. I believe I had the 21 with Kevin second, but I may be wrong. Anyway, it was this game that caused Kevin to comment on a later game that I never “saw a subsidy I didn’t like.” Of course, many players feel taking out the max subsidies early on is a viable strategy as long as you feel there is upward pressure on the market.

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}}
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.