My father, a friend of his, and I all share a room at the Host. This year we were in 251 ... so it was a small journey to our room and back. That's ok, at least it wasn't around the back. The room itself was pretty freakin' cold. It's not the worst thing, but my dad woke up with a sore throat one morning.
I think the Host did a good customer service move by giving free breakfast tickets to people who stayed. We ate at the buffet every morning and saved a good chunk of change that would've been spent elsewhere.
I also want to say that I think the bathrooms were very clean every time I used them.
My only "minor" complaint is about the size of the towels they have in the rooms, coupled with the shower pressure. I'm a pretty big dude and I like a strong shower current, but I was able to get clean and dry so it's really minor.
Overall, a good bounceback for the Host after the Lampeter debacle of '13.
I was able to get a lot of games of LoB in over the week. I was even on the preview demo schedule where about a dozen people stopped over to see what the prototype looked like and get information about how to play.
Everyone who played at least a season with me (who had not seen it before) was impressed with the mechanics and at least to my face told me they liked it. That's always good to hear and hopefully the production news is good as well.
Where we are now in production (I think) is that we now have a professionally appointed test group whose job it will be to either break or tighten up the game.
In addition to Lords of Baseball, my father Bob and I brought our "vision" (which we are called Gridiron Moguls ... a card driven game about running a football team) which we didn't think was quite even in prototype form in order to get some feedback. We played with a few people during the auction and invented some new rules/mechanics as we went.
I also made a deal whereas I would get feedback from a buddy of mine in trade for allowing him to teach me a game I loathed from before - Race for the Galaxy.
As I was teaching him the rules, he made a comment that it felt like I was John Candy in Stripes teaching him Poker.
Into the tournaments now - and starting off with my team game and favorite game. This was the first year in a while that I got to play in all 4 heats. Granted, I wasn't able to win any of them, I had a lot of fun in most of them.
I squeaked into the semifinals on the strength of my highest finish - and was lucky enough to get into the rowdy table for the semis. I played with Virginia, Keith, Brian ... and Marc. Honestly, I don't think I've played as fun a game of Air Baron in a long time. Brian went on to the finals, but I think my semi game was the best semi game I've ever had point wise. In years past I've been broke with a loan during my games ... maybe next year it'll all come together and I'll be in the finals.
Vegas Showdown is one of my favorite tournaments. I was able to easily get to the Monday heat, but the Wednesday heat required some luck. I lost my second game in a 9:00 swiss event just in time to sprint over to get into the second heat. I was able to win 2 heats to get a spot in the semifinals. I think VS is a game I've been in the semis 3 years in a row now. It's a great game with great people playing it.
In my semi table, I got to play with some strong gamers who I've gamed with before - but I also got to play at the GM Eric's table (who is also a strong player). I thought that was cool enough since I never got a chance to play against him in anything else. Our opening board looked odd, but we trudged through. About 5-6 rounds into the game, we discovered we had broke the game by drawing B tiles instead of A tiles (because of the misprinted Sports Book we set the game up in a way that allowed us to not have to shuffle) but this caused us to have to restart our game. The new game looked a little more normal and while I don't think I started out as strongly as I did the broken game, I did well enough that when I was able to buy and place the 5 Star Ramsay Steakhouse, I pulled in enough VP to win and move on to the finals which were right after.
I told Eric as a joke that I felt like the NBA team who needed 7 games to win their series while the other team got a sweep ... but I was pumped up to just be in the finals. I knew of 3 other guys at the table either because they're just really freakin' good players or playing in heats of other games past with them. My goal was to sandbag and be just quiet enough to not draw any undue attention to myself, as I wasn't sure if they really knew who I was. The final game result will be up in it's entirety (VERY impressed with the way Eric does his write up) soon enough. I was able to hang in there with some of the best Euro players at the Con and score a 3rd place based on tiebreakers.
I GM'ed this game this year because it was on the orphan list and I figured I would run it exactly like Bruce did in the past. I like the freeform open setting on the Monday and have it run straight through.
One issue I ran into was sitting people. I was running late due to an open game that went longer than it should have, but I was able to get people registered quickly. The other bigger issue dealt with copies of games. Not enough copies were brought and I ran into a decision to either tell a kid he couldn't play, or to sit out myself and ask a friend if he minded playing a 5P game.
I was able to get into one heat of the game in heat 3 (which I won). Three players (Curt, Dan, Cliff) easily made the finals on points or most-win tiebreaks. After that, the most opponent points tie-break put Francois in the finals.
This is one of my favorite events every year because of the people who play it. I played in 2 heats and did fairly well in both. I was able to win at least a game in each heat and all of my games (except for one against Sarah) were VERY close.
I was also able to teach this game to a friend of mine who lives nearby in open gaming. He's a sports fan so I figured this would be a good game to show him.
I got into one heat of Acquire. I got to play one of the old versions with some new players. I made the rookie mistake of forcing the first merger and just missing the payout. I enjoy acquire, but don't play it enough to really be competitive in a tournament. I like to give Cliff (the GM) a player start every year though.
Every year I try to get into at least one game of Power Grid. Ever since my first year (where my game took MUCH longer than it should have) I try to get into a fast table. I got in the heat where China was being played and that's the table I got. China's market was pretty tight throughout and my attempts to play near the back were mostly successful so I wasn't shut out of the market. At the end of our game, Jarrett was able to get to and power 17 while I could only get to 16. I had not played China before though and it was an interesting map that I enjoyed.
Asked my buddy Chris to re-teach this to me. My dad and I had played it and didn't do the payments right, and Chris is a very thorough game instructor so I'm glad he taught it. I completely understand the mechanics now and about halfway through the game started seeing strategy too. Since I always look at a new game as "get mechanics first, figure strategy later" I think developing strategy in game 1 is a good thing. Very good game - would play at game clubs, but I'm not strong enough to think about tournaments just yet.
Got an open game of 1989 in on the first weekend against a very strong player. I've only played with my dad online through Cyberboard twice and a few times on the table. I do enjoy this game, but with little experience was not a strong match for my more experienced opponent.
The one thing that bogs this game down for me is my lack of geographical knowledge. (i.e. - put two SP in Romania ... me: where the hell is Romania again?)
I was able to learn this with 2 very nice people who both knew the game and were willing to teach me. I thought it was very easy to pick up after a few rounds and I really enjoyed it. Probably not a game I'll buy myself, but not a game I'd refuse to play either. Plus - making new friends is one of the things WBC is all about for me.
I was only able to get two open games of this in. I was hoping to show Chris, but it never got out. I played a 2 and 4P. I was planning on entering the tournament, but got held up doing Lords of Baseball stuff. I am curious as to how they handled the tournament in terms of players - whether it was 4 or 2 player tables. I imagine it was 4, but I really like this game with 2. Hopefully it makes the trial vote again next year and I get to play it.
I got to sit in with Terry, Sarah, and Chris on a couple games starting with Settlers. The original plan was to go with Settlers of Stone Age, but we settled on the base game to teach Sarah. It was odd playing a Euro with Terry, but he is very much like me in that he is a versatile gamer who enjoys all genres. Since I didn't draft a baseball team this year and play him in Superstar Baseball, I was happy to get to open game with him.
After Settlers, we had some time to kill and Terry taught me this quick card game. It was cute and had a Family Business feel to it, so I caught on quick enough. Fun game that's good for a late night WBC open game.
I got into this game with Chris, Harry, and Alan - and after learning the game my first thought was "they have a WBC tournament for this?"
It was fun, don't get me wrong - but of all the events I've played in at WBC, this game felt like a party game of sorts. We played it wrong by playing through all of the cards, but for a learning experience it was fine. I made it through the entire first deck taking zero damage and earning $33. Alan said he'd never seen that happen, so that seemed pretty cool.
As my part of the bargain for Chris looking at Gridiron Moguls, I sat down to re-learn a game I planned on never playing again.
Chris painstakingly taught this to me while Jess and Jeff waited patiently. Now, when this game was originally taught to me, it was taught it about 4 minutes. Chris took a good 20-25. I was able to pick it up for the most part and during game play Chris helped me figure out what was going on. For the most part, I now understand the game. I still think a player who knows the deck will crush someone who doesn't, but I was able to parlay a good start into a 31-31 tie with Chris at the end.
I'm still not a huge fan, but the experience did inspire me to bump my rating up to 3.5 -- given the choice of Race, Killer Bunnies, or death ... I'd think for a second and play race.
This was a late night open game with Chris, Jess and a fella named Wade who had played on Yucata but never on the table. I don't remember much about it other than making dirty jokes and finishing tied with Chris again - we had 2 such tie events. This game didn't have a tie-breaker in place, so it was truly was a shared victory.
This was a game I saw on BGG that intrigued me, so when I saw the vendors had a demo set up I sat down to learn it. Wow is this a really easy game to pick up - yet it's very fun. It didn't take much salesmanship to get me to buy it. I tried it with my dad and we had fun with it. I think it's a game my wife will really enjoy too. Glad I got it.
They also told me about the new game in the pipeline - The Capitals. It's on my wishlist already to keep an eye out for.
This was in cafe Jay all week, but it took me until Saturday to try it. So, FF takes pieces of Agricola, PR, Dominion, and TtA (TTA I haven't tried, and the others I don't really like) and makes a game about nothing ... and I liked it!
I would have bought it (at a reasonable price) that day, but the lady at the booth said they sold out on Monday! I wonder how many copies they brought because other than the cafe jay set, I didn't see too many people playing it. Maybe they are saving it for later. It was a fun game though.
WGAL came to do a story on the event, as they do every year. It was dumb luck how I got to do the interview. I went to Lampeter just to see what my dad was up to and he was playing a game with Don. Don asked me if I wanted to do the TV interview and I figured he'd be better off continuing to play so I did the interview.