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WBC 2011 List - Eight Days A Week
John Corrado

Virginia
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Made it to Lancaster again for another week of gaming. Actually, more than a week - Greg Crowe and I made it for an 11 AM Saturday heat and didn't quit until just after midnight the next Saturday, for eight straight days of gaming. We had a blast! Not sure we could take another year of that much gaming and that little sleep, but we had a blast.

Warning on the descriptions below: I am terrible with names. With a little help from the WBC site, I've managed to fill in some of the blanks because I remember faces really well, but I can't draw little faces to put in to my descriptions and have people go "wow, that's Barrett Straub" or something because I'm in no way that good an artist, so if I forgot your name, please don't take it to mean you're forgettable.

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1. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:114]
John Corrado

Virginia
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First off was the game that wasn't. I bid Dungeon Lords in 2010 for the 2011 con, and missed making it in by only 18 votes. I saw more people playing pick-up games of it this year and heard some complaints about it not making it in, so I expect I'll re-bid it for 2012. We'll see if that leaves me any time next year to actually play in anything.
 
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2. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:567]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning was Age of Renaissance. It's a game I really like, but if I'm going to get up at 7 AM for a three hour car ride in order to play it, I should probably do a better job of remembering the rules and the strategies.

I managed to win my first game, through no particularly good play; the guy playing Paris accumulated a bunch of attack cards and threw them at everyone he thought was winning, which never quite included me, and always seemed to include Ken Guttermuth. I managed to slalom the craters to get a small victory.

Second game was pretty miserable; my victory in the first game made me think I knew what I was doing, and oh God did I not. I bid high for Barcelona, got over run and pushed out of everything, and spent most of the last half of the game trying to climb into third. I did not make it.

Third game was... interesting. I'd finally re-learned the strategies I forget since I only play it once a year (i.e.: don't worry about contiguous borders, go instead for ownership of big markets, get either a cathedral or ocean going quick, bid lots of token when your cards suck and few tokens when you need cards out fast). I got Venice cheap, which is nice. Play started pretty well, although Genoa seemed to be more of a hardnose than I was happy about regarding our eventual borders.

And then Barcelona and London got into a huge shouting match over London's play into North Africa. And then Hamburg played an unprovoked Civil War on Barcelona. Holy crap. After that, every tension between Genoa and I dissipated in the sweltering heat of fury that was Barcelona's loud hatred for every other player on the map. Which apparently encouraged London to poke him as often as possible, shutting down the game for a few minutes of loud arguing each time. I did well - came it second to London by 20 points or so - but man, that wasn't fun.

Overall, I think I just missed getting into the top six with a weak first and a great second; I think everyone else was a double winner. Next year, if I make it in time for AoR, I'll re-read the strategy articles before the games, not after.
 
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3. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I... holy crap, this one. I love this game, but apparently this one draws top players like spilled ice cream draws ants. Ants who are planning their moves ten turns in advance, and know what events you're seeding based upon how you're holding your cards.

First round (which I was lucky to get in to, as the AoR game got pushed forward an hour to allow people to make it to the TtA game on time and I *still* was half an hour late due to the near-fisticuffs) I lost to Rob Flowers by less than ten points, so I'll take that as a moral victory and remember to not slack off during Age III no matter how far ahead I think I am. Second round I played Bruce Hodgins and Ted Mulally and only managed to win when Ted made a single mistake than turned into a Rube Goldbergian flameout: in the third round with a comfortable lead and working on a Wonder, he won a good colony (one of the 'free worker' ones) but had to divert himself of his colony/defense cards and break down his army. Before he had his army back up to shape, the "Independence" event came up and, as it was his only colony, he had to discard it. On my turn, I plundered him, and while he had built his army back up he was out of defense cards and I could steal eight rocks from him - thus allowing me to build my wonder while preventing him from building his.

One colony. That's all it was.

I managed to get in to the semi-final as an alternate, and ended up at the table with Randy Buehler, last year's winner. I did okay, but my military was too weak and Napoleon doesn't help that much if you don't draw any tactics after Age I is over, so the end of Age II was spent playing kind of a prevent defense to keep people from attacking me, and every football commentator says the only thing the 'prevent' defense does is 'prevent' you from winning. Of course, I make it sound like I had a chance; I didn't, as once Age III started Randy found the overdrive button somewhere in the box and brushed the rest of us off as he built up a huge army and two Age III wonders along with plenty of Multimedia workers. None of us were even close.
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4. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:289]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Played UPac in the lull between Through the Ages and Vegas Showdown. Got rolled over twice, which was enough for me. Still, hanging around and playing got me introduced to Rich Meyer, Rich Irving, Jeff Mullet, and Jason Ley, so the company was awesome even if my play stunk. And quite frankly, I could use more awesome company when my play stinks.
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5. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:272]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Vegas Showdown is one of my favorites, and the first one I ever made a semi-final for at WBC, but this year it was not to be. I missed the fact that one of the other players (Rob Kircher) also had a Sports Book, and so when I thought I had saved just enough money for an unstoppable Space Age Sports Book bid at a low cost, it turned out he had more money. I trailed him in money production thereafter, and he won handily.

Normally, I'd brush this off and try again in the next heat, but it was pretty obvious that the pre-con was huge and there were 14 tables for VSD already. Given that only 25 get in on HSW, a first loss followed by a later win meant I was probably only going to be an alternate, and so every time VSD came up against something I was more likely to succeed at, VSD got put aside. Maybe next year.
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6. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:172]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I won the first heat by being a lucky bastard. I had mediocre money going in to Age II, but I'd managed to get every single payoff card possible. I bid small in the first and second round, grabbing not particularly developed provinces but ones which would get me close to 7 cards, 9 farmers, and two placement cards, don't remember which. On round three, the province that managed to fulfill all of my bonuses came up and I opened the bid on it for 36. I didn't realize that someone else could have bid 45 even without it being printed on the card; luckily, no one else had that kind of cash. 12 points on bonus cards took me from last to first, and that meant I was in the semi.

The semi was played against a lot of high quality people, including Greg Thatcher; I think I managed to pull in fourth. I'd be more upset if it were a game I actually played more than one in a long, long while.
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7. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:27]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Grabbed a pick up game of El Grande with Rich Meyer, Rich Irving, Greg Crowe, and Skip from Rio Grande whose last name I can't remember. Because, hey, who was going to get up early on Tuesday? I think I did well, and I think Rich Meyer won, but it was so late at night that I don't remember anything about it now other than it being a lot of fun and Greg got completely hosed by everything. Which may have been part of the fun.
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8. Board Game: Olympos [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:560]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Tuesday during the day was open gaming. (I'd do the auction but I don't have enough spending cash or open shelves.)

Olympos was one of the games being shown off by Rio Grande, and Greg and I decided to try it out. Turns out that it's very similar to Vinci / Small World. Vinci / Small World is not a game I'm particularly fond of; as you might have gleaned from my talk of AoR, I like games where my pieces are next to each other and they mostly survive round to round. Olympos is even *less* static than Small World as owned spaces provide resources and having certain resources lets you jump up the tech chart (and walk over other players easier) and so nothing that's important to you ever survives more than two turns.

Even typing this is pushing my blood pressure up. On to something else.
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9. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:190]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Saw Rich Irving and Rich Meyer (like bad pennies, they keep being there) trying this in open gaming and joined in. Only took one play to fall in love with it; it has very simple play and only a few rules, but pieces play off of each other in interesting ways and you can build great combinations that lead to huge point incomes. At the same time, you have to balance jumping ahead to grab what you want for a single huge point gain with slow-playing to keep building your infrastructure to keep your combos rolling in moderate point gains. Lots of depth; I made sure to grab this from the dealer's room once it opened.
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10. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
John Corrado

Virginia
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My standard Tuesday night opening move; one of my favorites* despite having played the hell out of it for over ten years. Which brings up a slight problem - in order to keep it fluid and interesting, Jim has the play either on alternate maps or with Deck 2; as I'm not familiar with Deck 2 I play on alternate maps because I know how the deck plays. But it probably means I should get a copy of Deck 2 and get familiar with it. I've also heard people rave about how Deck 2 is better and eliminates a lot of the slow parts of the middle game, so it's worth a try anyways.

First heat was in Spain/Portugal. I did pretty badly - I put myself in great board position but completely stymied myself with poor powerplant choices - I grabbed the 29 (4) early and it was working well, but when no other 5 or 6 dropped I was forced to hit another 4 plant. Step 3 came out one card too late to let me grab another plant to pick up the pieces, and when it was over I had 11 plants, 11 power, and over $200 in cash.

Second heat was in Central Europe and played nearly exactly the opposite. I got decent if not great board position, but after picking up the 29 (again!), I managed to grab the 20 and the 3-garbage-for-6 plant, meaning I had 15 power before Step 2 began. The rest of the game was just sitting on energy reserves and building my way toward 15; just as people were putting in the last pieces to block me from ending the game, Step 3 occurred and every city was suddenly open to me.

Semi-final I was on the bubble; five people had one win and a fourth for two spaces, and random draw saw me out. More details on that when I talk about Brass.

* I say "one of my favorites" a lot to describe games here, don't I? Eh. I don't go to WBC to play games I don't like.
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11. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:194]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Another Martin Wallace fanatic, that's me. Well, not fanatic - I don't own Last Train To Wendsleydale or anything, though I do own London, so I dunno.

Anyways - played in the second heat and had a great time. Raphael Lerher, Eric Engleman, and Joshua Cooper were at my table (along with one other person whose name has slipped my mind); Josh dove into debt with a vengeance to fund an economy class empire but somehow I managed to end the whole shebang $40 ahead of him as the pre-FDIC bankers stole too many profits from him. Best moment of the game for me was using Henry Ford to build an extra factory that during the options phase he burned down for the insurance money. Not sure that was the best plan, but it worked.

The semi-final was against Matt Calkins, Andrew Maly, and Jeremy (can't remember his last name because I see him in local gaming). It was incredibly tight - at the end of it, none of us had any sense of who had pulled it out. Matt played a strategy of a single factory in multiple lines of the same class, allowing him to sell faster and shut down for loss cube reduction with less money loss, a technique I hadn't seen before but I'm definitely throwing into my bag of tricks.

After counting and double-counting, Jeremy had it, beating me by $70. Jeremy managed to get 3rd in the finals, and while I'm jealous, I think it's awesome he did as well as he did. I think I might end up in overall fifth or sixth place, which is fine by me.
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12. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
John Corrado

Virginia
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And the doozy. Brass is one of my top four games, and two of the others (Down With The King* and Dungeon Lords) aren't in WBC, and the other doesn't fit in with any of the rest of my schedule (Twilight Struggle). If I'm here to do well at or to learn new strategies for any game, Brass is the one.

I picked up Brass last year at WBC; Greg and I tried it out at open gaming, and were somewhat instructed in the rules by a good man who didn't speak English, so when I showed up at the tourney last year I was expecting to learn a bit. I did learn that I had a few of the rules wrong. I also learned that I didn't have even close to an understanding of the strategy as I'd thought, and got almost literally schooled by Paul Sampson and one other player.

I've played it a bit on-line since then, so I had an expectation of doing better. Amusingly, my first heat turned out to be against Paul again, along with Craig Trader at my table; he's a friend of mine from before I even went to WBC, and when I got my ass kicked last year, Craig was in that game as well. I opened with one of my standards - iron & coal - but my iron production fed Paul what he needed to get his top ports out early, and Paul won with me a fair second.

Unlike VSD, the number of tables for Brass is small enough that a win is still in, so I made sure to attend the next heat. I was seated with Justin (another friend from local gaming whose last name I don't remember, but we spar in Brass a lot), Dave (another "would recognize the face, can't remember the last name), and some barely-out-of-high-school kid named Constantine who had just showed up for Thursday and Friday of the con. Needless to say, with three veterans at the table and one kid new to the con, it was only a matter of course that he completely wiped the board with us. I don't remember how, I don't remember what he did, or how he did it, or specific plays; I just remember looking at the Canal Era scoring and seeing what he had come up with and knowing there was no way any of us was going to catch up with Constantine. I ended up coming in just a few point behind Dave and ahead of Justin, but we were miles behind Constantine.

This is made more amusing/weird by virtue of the fact that I've lost Brass twice to two people who knew they couldn't make the semis. :shakes an angry fist:

I had assumed at this point that everything was all done - a second and a third meant I was at best a long-shot alternate, and the third heat was against the Power Grid semis, which Jim had told me I was in. C'est la vie, way the cookie crumbles, better luck next year, need to read up on strategies and think through my play, etc. But then I managed to draw poorly for Power Grid and have the morning free; and after a near-sprint managed to get to the Brass heat before the lone three-player game had started up. I was at the table with Bruce Hodgins, last year's winner, a third person, and Craig (three out of four games he's been in!). The third person turned out to only have played a time or two before, and managed to build iron just before Bruce's turn for two in a row, letting Bruce get an early lead in development and start putting out some high stuff - but I managed to get in a Canal Age overbuild of Bruce to cut out some of his points, and Bruce overpushed at the end and when we went into the Rail Age I was sitting on a stack of cash and Bruce was barely above water. I managed to pull it out in the end as Bruce's cards and his board placement never matched quite right and he didn't have the money to put rails out early enough to improve his position. I had a huge rail network and a few level 3 cotton mills, and that was enough to get a win and be in the semis.

The semis... the semis were just magic. I can't describe them in any other way. Two other players started fighting over putting out iron as quickly as possible, and I just rode the wave and developed away my cotton. I took a risk that a $7 development action to get to the point of uncovering my 3s would be a good move (it was) and managed to get all 3 3s down. Then, when I flipped, the one risky flip (needed a -2 or less on the foreign market) pulled a -1 and I was sitting on 27 points in cotton. *And* I was able to double-loan on the last Canal Age turn, and could put out four rails first Rail move. Everything else was just maintaining after that.

The final wasn't quite so magic. It was an honor to be there, but it's the most stressful, nerve-wracking honor I've every received. I was ready to pass out from tension for much of the Rail Age - nothing like knowing that everyone gets a trophy *except* the loser to keep one completely paranoid. It does not help that in the Canal Age I was dealt a hand made up entirely of coastal cities and port cards, and the port strategy is the one I'm least experienced with. I pulled a dumb move or two early on, and while I was able to come back in the Rail age with good rails and flipping a few 3 cotton mills, it was the finals and a few mistakes is all it takes. Rob Flowers came in first to no surprise, but I did manage a third behind him and Dan Speyer, and I did get my first ever piece of wood, and it was all worth it.


(*For the record: I may love "Down With The King" more as a concept of a game than an actual game to play.)
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13. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:182]
John Corrado

Virginia
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You're still reading? What the hell? Did you skip the wall of text about Brass? It was the best part! Read it!

Anyways - Egizia. Good game, I like it, but I never play it 4 player so the tourney was a new experience. Won the first game because I'd actually played the game before while the others at my table were trying it for the first time (or playing it live for the first time in one case, and for her, she couldn't read half the board on her monitor so much of what was going on was new to her).

Second game was fun just for the hurdle I decided to jump. Starting Sphinx card was "Pyramid is complete", which is a hell of a thing, especially when after two turns it looks like I'm the only one who's ever going to build in it. So I went all out. Elaine Pearson, sitting on the "two bricks in every monument" card, eventually put a couple bricks in, but every other Israelite hauling stone was hauling one of my stone, and at the end of the game the pyramids were solid yellow with two flecks of green. I pulled in "Complete", "Have 7 bricks in the Pyramids" and "Have 5 bricks in the Pyramids".

I didn't win, of course. I had to skip the Sphinx too many times, and I never bothered going down the market tracks, and I was well behind people who took a balanced approach. I only finished ahead of Tom Browne because he couldn't get another quarry until turn 4. But it was fun, and it was my pyramid goddammit.

Unfortunately, the Egizia semi got scheduled at the last hour of the third Agricola heat, and I thought I needed another Agricola standing to get in to the semi (I didn't) and I thought I could finish the Agricola game in time to make the Egizia semi (I couldn't) and so I missed it. Next year!
 
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14. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:98]
John Corrado

Virginia
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In the time between the Brass semi and the Brass final, I managed to slip in a heat of Navegador. I liked Hamburger (or however that's spelled), and this game is pretty similar. I had managed to read the rules at the Open Gaming Library (I *love* the library for this purpose) and actually bought a copy, but this was a chance to actually play it and learn by doing.

Nothing to say about my performance - this was my first time playing, my mind was completely on the upcoming Brass final, and I can't give good strategy advice after coming in last. But it was a fun game with a fun table, and definitely a good break between some intense stuff. Definitely hope this makes it in next year - Anni Foasberg was doing a great job of hanging around to help us newbies through it and had handouts on often-forgotten rules and frequently asked questions.
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15. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So, I have this friend, Mike. He's one of my best friends, and one of the few that games. I play games against Mike a lot.

Mike plays games a lot as well. But Mike also plays them against other people that I don't hang out with, and he also plays games against his wife, and he plays games on line. This means that some times, Mike gets a game, and he decides he likes it, and he plays it a lot, and by the time he and I start playing it occasionally he's racked up four or five dozen plays while I'm still learning which sides of the cards I should look at.

This is not a complaint against Mike; I did the same thing with playing Brass and Through the Ages on-line. But it does mean that certain games I *should* like, I assume I'm crap at because I've always played them against someone who has at least twice the experience I do. Caylus is one of these games; so is Agricola.

Last year, for lack of anything else to do in that time slot, I played Agricola. And I found it a very different experience from my usual games with Mike; I had never played within a single deck before, and I had never played with the "draft" mechanism before. I also had been playing Farmers of the Moors for a long while and had forgotten how much space there can be in a basic game of Agricola. I ended up coming in second, and realized I was much better at Agricola than I had thought.

So I gave it a full go this year. First heat was the "simple" deck, and as I was to the left of a first-time player, I had a pretty simple run of it - managed to stack up a huge number of bread baking bonuses in the draft, got myself situated with wheat fields fairly early, and never looked back. Almost lost due to a miscount - we forgot to take someone's two begging cards into account, knocking him from a point ahead of me to third.

As I mentioned in Egizia, I went to the third heat only because I thought I needed to and I didn't, and it was a not-fun experience. Partially that was the setup - I was in fifth seat with no compensation bonuses, and we were playing the K deck with the Lover, the Midwife, and the Reed Hut allowed in and Josh got two of those. And partially it was my own stupidity in forcing a time constraint; as the game took longer and the one kind of inexperienced person slowed things down, I needed to force myself to calm down and stop pushing the game to go faster. Not my finest moment. In the end, I came in a decent third, which was good for the position I was in for most of the game. All things considered, though, I should have skipped it.

The semi was great, if only because I was at the table with obviously good players (Ted Mulally again; Rich whose last name I don't know but who I faced in the Brass semi, and John whose last name I don't know but who advanced to the final) and managed to pull in a decent third place in a game I don't think I'm tops in. My major failings are that I get too wrapped up in "efficient" moves and I'll end up actually wasting time and stuff in order to do that one "special" move - like not expanding my house and getting a third token because I have the Midwife and so I'm saving up to expand my house twice and get two guys right away! Except by the time I get enough to expand twice everyone else is at four and has been at three for a while and I still haven't had the moves to get the damned occupation out.) I also took a three point move on the last turn on the assumption the five point move would still be around for me next time, and it wasn't.

All in all, though, I feel good about how I did and will probably throw myself in again next year. Though I may keep to the earlier decks.
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16. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
John Corrado

Virginia
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This will be my VSD entry again, pretty much. Like VSD, Lost Cities holds a special place for me in my WBC history as the first place I earned laurels (5th place! Woo!). And like VSD, there are enough people who play that if you lose your first heat, it's a tough fight to win enough to make the semis. My first heat was against Andy Latto, and we played quick enough that he was able to kick my ass and *still* make it to Dominion in time. After that, it moved to an 'alternate' on my schedule where I'd play if nothing more directly leading to semis or finals was going on, and that never quite happened. But at least I gave Ivan one start; he needs those, right?
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17. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:19]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I... I'm pretty sure I played this. It's kind of a haze of hundreds of bodies and constant noise and a table where everyone was constantly moving. I'm pretty sure I played this, though. I came in third, which was okay - I was pretty adamant that if I couldn't get a better score than the seven-year-old then maybe I shouldn't play it again. (That's a joke. That a seven-year-old was playing this and competing was awesome. I have a two-year-old I hope to get up to a Juniors event in a few years, and him taking part in regular tourneys would make me very proud.)

Anyways - came in middle of the pack, decided that I preferred smaller games of this and smaller tourneys in general, and went off to somewhere quieter, I'm sure.
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18. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:255]
John Corrado

Virginia
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So, when I said I came only to play games I liked, this was the exception. I'm 'meh' on T&T - I don't dislike it, but it doesn't grab me and make me want to play, especially in the WBC tourney where you have to win your first game by a certain percentage to get into the much-jockeyed-for tourney.

Ended up in a three-player game with Ivan Lawson and Skip Again From Rio Grande. As with UPac - played a poor performance that was more than made up for by excellent company.
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19. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:441]
John Corrado

Virginia
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I may disappoint Rich Irving by not being able to honestly say "I saved the best for last", but MoV is really up there. Yes I say that about a lot of games, but MoV is the first Avalon Hill game I actually bought with my own money, and I played the hell out of it as a teenager, and if it did take so damned much set up I'd still be playing the hell out of it. It's a nice combo of strategy and luck, and after days of playing games where every move needed to be weighed in relation to all other player moves and against this that and the other, it's a nice way to unwind to play a game where you get to think about your move, but you can't plan much past the next dice roll because the dice mean so much.

In the tourney, I played against Gary (can't remember his last name, but every MoV game I've played at WBC, I've played against him), Tom McCorry and one other person, and I won through sheer luck - picked up the artifact yellow drive, found a civ that could get me an early explorer and zoomed to a comfortable lead. In the semis, played against Gary (again!), Eric Wrobel (last year's winner), and Kevin Wojtaszczyk (who I bump into in at least two semis every year, it seems). I thought I was doing well with an early shield find and an early explorer build, but Eric found the Jump Start and five out of the six telegates ended up popping up, meaning in the last few turns Eric simply jumped from one corner of the map to another to deliver goods fast and overpriced. I managed a second, but I was at least $500 behind and I don't think I made a fifth or sixth for laurels.

Still, definitely a blast to play, especially late in the con when I'm fried from so much planning and plotting. Best of all, Rich gave plastic spaceship player tokens to everyone who won a heat, and my one complaint about my much-abused copy is that I've lost some of the player tokens, so now it's not only complete, but better.
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20. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:2994]
John Corrado

Virginia
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One year, I will play a board that has more than two categories I know anything about. Perhaps I will need to follow a sport more closely. Any sport.


Also, I would love to write a set of categories for this one year, but have no idea how to offer that to Sean McCulloch without coming off as super creepy. He beat me in the Lost Cities final on his way to victory last year; maybe I can claim that he owes me? Or maybe I'm getting punchy over all this recounting of stuff.
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21. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:4233]
John Corrado

Virginia
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Saturday night ended with some nice open gaming; ran into Jared and he showed Greg and I Settlers of Catan The Dice game and my luck went into overdrive for that; I showed him Glen More. Low key, and while I wanted to play for four more hours and try new stuff, a desperate need for sleep was overtaking me in a major way. Which turned out for the best - I'd forgotten that family from New York was going to be in town on Sunday and it would be best to get home as early as possible to see them before they left.

Overall, I think this was my best WBC experience ever, even without the fact that I won a plaque. I met good, fun people and had a blast at a bunch of games; I had, at worst, three unfun games, and one of those was my own internal pressures, and one was just the byproduct of trying out new games - sometimes, they suck. I tried to take a more zen attitude on my performance to the con, and though it faltered a fair bit midweek, I think I managed to keep myself from plunging into the crisis of self-confidence I did the previous year.

My only real complaint was in how exhausted I was when I came *back* from the con. With no respite between the Friday work day and early rising on Saturday to get to the con, and then little time to catch sleep on Sunday with travel back, and work on Monday, I feel like I had to put off a lot of catching up on relaxing and sleep until this weekend. (Given that it's nearly 1 AM and I'm still typing, I'm not sure I'm even catching up this weekend.) I've gone to WBC for four years in a row, and each year I've gone for a longer stretch; I think next year, I may just do Sunday through Sunday and plan on taking Monday off of work so that I have a day before and a day after to sleep in and decompress.

But I'm definitely in for next year. Hope to see you there!
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