WBC 2014--Wargames and Euros and Fillers, Oh My!
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Just as the forest in the Wizard of Oz is filled with animals, my WBC was filled with glorious board games. This was my sixth WBC; I've attended each year since 2009, and I'm convinced that I've had a better and better time with the passing years. At any rate, I felt like I knew more people this year than ever before.

I was at the convention for eight days this year. I kept a running list of each game I played throughout the convention, but I didn't write down names or scores, so games that I happen to remember more about will have more detail. By my count, I played 65 games, or roughly eight games per day (!). Obviously, some are short and some are longer, but I definitely like to pack in the gaming. I played 40 unique games, 12 of which I learned during the convention.

The list is organized semi-chronologically based on the timing of the first time I played a game during the convention. I'd prefer to put every play as a different item, but I know the list would quickly grow too long that way, so all the plays of a game are included in the same Geeklist item.

As an explanatory note, I included ratings for all games I learned during the convention. I figured including them would be useful in expressing my opinions on the games.

Enjoy!
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1. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:129]
Board Game: Istanbul
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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We left around 7:45 and arrived at the Lancaster Host by 9:40. I had already arranged to play this one with Scott Saccenti at 10 (a great guy all around, and I love gaming with his kids too, because, like me, they grew up with a boardgaming father and have clearly picked up the hobby). Scott's son Antony joined us as well. After a rules explanation (during which we were joined by Andy Latto), we dove in. I was the only new player, though Andy had only had one game before. I stockpiled a lot of money (the markets and some resource spaces were near each other), but I didn't start doing getting gems early enough, and I only stood at two gems when the game ended. I liked the game enough to give it a _7_ (the rating I give most Eurogames). It seemed to have some interesting mechanics. Definitely worth exploring more.
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2. Board Game: Virgin Queen [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:724]
Board Game: Virgin Queen
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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The timing of this game was the main reason I went on Sunday. The first qualifier was at noon. I had second pick of power, and I decided to go with the Holy Roman Empire (the power I won with in the semis last year) for the hell of it, even though the fact that we were only playing three turns in the qualifiers hurt the HRE. I didn't do exceptionally well on patronage, but I had some great fortune in my military campaigns against the Ottomans, and I managed to claim 2nd after a full three turns with 23 points (England had 24).

In the qualifier that night, I took the Protestants and managed to win a military autovictory when the French didn't have quite enough regulars to defend their keys.

In my semifinal game the next morning, I had second pick at the table (I was 5th seed overall, just behind the folks who won their first game). I selected England (I didn't feel like playing a power I had already played in the tournament). Drake had a brilliant first turn, netting me three Piracy VPs. Since I looked strong, however, the table shifted its focus to me, and Spain especially, recognizing that he probably couldn't win except via the Gunpowder Plot, decided to go after me and only me. I took the lead in espionage activities in T4. In T5, Spain landed the Spanish Armada in England. English assassins (quite literally) took a shot at the Duke of Parma and somehow managed to kill him off (I had gotten Cryptography earlier). After Parma died, the invasion of England fizzled. Suddenly, the Ottomans took the lead in their war against the HRE, sacked Vienna, and were one key away from an autovictory. Although we tried everything we could, we couldn't prevent him from winning. Unfortunately, the early end to the game prevented anyone else at the table from qualifying for the final.
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3. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:175]
Board Game: Splendor
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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_7.5_ I hadn't played any of the SdJ or KedJ nominees before WBC, so I was very happy to find Scott with this one on him. He graciously offered to teach. We had four, as two of the Saccenti kids were also around. I quite liked this game, actually. I didn't do so well in it (third with 10 points, if I recall correctly), but I really like the interplay between building up and taking quick points. In that way, it really reminded me of Dominion, one of my favorite Euros. Although I rated it on the higher side for a game I've only played once (since it seems to pack a lot into a pretty short length), I'd have to play it more to see if it really stands the test of time.
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4. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:445]
Board Game: Thurn and Taxis
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I had some time before the first Maria qualifier, so I decided to head over and play a heat of this classic. I rarely win in it, but it's quick enough that I never regret heading over for a game of it. Anyway, I actually managed to win this heat with 21 points on the tiebreak (who ends the game). I didn't get quite as many houses out as some of the other players, but I got to all the colors first and had some success with the color groups in the west.

I played another heat on Wednesday after the first round of 1989. I had a shot but messed up a play and came in a distant second (though, if my calculations were correct, I couldn't have won anyway). Still, a fun game, and the 45-minute time span is perfect for a full game.
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5. Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1303]
Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I still had a little more time until my tournament game for the night, so I went up to Open Gaming and found Sara VanderWal (who had just played my brother in Thurn) along with fellow Canadians Andrew and Robb, who also had to be somewhere in 45 minutes. Someone suggested this relatively new filler, which I still hadn't learned, so I was happy to go along with the idea. I can't remember whether it was Robb or Andrew's set, but it was awesomely pimped with soldiers from Risk (I think), ships from Impulse, and some kind of replica Chinese cash. The game itself was a solid _7_; I definitely didn't plan enough ahead, and I can see how there's strategy in the tension arising from limited money. I'd definitely want to play this one again.
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6. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:350]
Board Game: Maria
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I first learned this game last year at WBC (another big thank you to Kaarin for starting the event last year and continuing it this year), and it's become one of my favorites. I played PBEM throughout the year, so I felt pretty solid coming into WBC this year, and I changed my team game to this (from Galaxy) shortly before WBC after realizing that the advanced rounds of the two games conflicted (perhaps one regret about WBC this year was that I didn't get to play Galaxy, one of my favorite Euros and a game I've had success in at WBC).

Anyway, although there was a bidding system in place as a matter of form, it was not widely used, and I happily agreed to take Austria in the first heat on Monday night. I was sitting with Jeff Cornett and Michael Kiefte, two highly experienced wargamers, to say the least. (I had played Michael in this last year before I knew what I was doing and then again in part of a PBEM game which was ultimately abandoned because the third player had real-life conflicts, but I was excited to take Austria against his France.) After being rebuffed by Prussia, I offered a peace deal to the French, which they accepted, allowing me to focus on Prussia. The hussars took their toll, the Prussian supply train was unfortunately exposed, and Prussia's defenses fell, giving me the win, but Jeff did an admirable job for still being a pretty new player (the game's unique nature makes the learning curve a bit tough).

I missed the second heat on Wednesday because I was busy with 1989 (more on that later), but I did drop by and watch the two games going on for a little while. That heat had some longer games, which were nice to see.

I agreed to play in the third heat on Thursday night if I was needed, and it turned out I was. I again agreed to take Austria. Jeff was once again in the game, while someone who shall go unnamed took the third seat. Unfortunately, this round was a bit of a negative experience because I inadvertently caused the third player to get up and leave the game without any warning. As a bit of explanation: My last few PBEM games have been with people who have been willing to make large-scale deals (which do change the nature of the game), and when neither of the players in this game was biting on my offers, my tactics got a bit more aggressive. Maria certainly isn't for everyone, and while I don't fault the third player if he just didn't like the political nature of the game, I felt guilty nonetheless even though I knew it wasn't my fault. Fortunately, Rex Lehmann happened to be standing around, so he kindly filled in, and the game ended up being fun after that was resolved. (I won by defeating Prussia again.) A thank-you goes to Jeff for being sportsmanlike about the whole matter and giving his thoughts afterward.

The semifinals were slated for Friday at 5, but sadly, only Bjorn von Knorring (who taught me many of the Maria tricks I know) and I showed up and were able to play. (To his credit, Jeff showed up, but he had to GM Medici at 7, so he had to sit out.) We therefore just skipped to the final. Having been able to get in on a qualifier and place 2nd in the game, Kaarin took the third spot in the final. We randomly determined sides. I got Prussia/Pragmatic Army, Bjorn got Austria, and Kaarin wound up with France. I was quite happy with this state of affairs, and things seemed to only get better for me when Bjorn offered me a deal I couldn't refuse--annexation of Silesia in the first year (meaning fantastic Winter scoring) in exchange for peace until Turn 5. I considered a bit and accepted. Unfortunately, however, with Prussia out of the mix, Kaarin's France and Bavaria now bore the brunt of the Austrian juggernaut. As Bjorn recounted later, he didn't originally plan to go all-out in France, but Arenberg won an important battle and eliminated a French general on the Flanders map in the first year, encouraging Austria to be more aggressive. Austrian armies soon flooded onto the Bavarian border, and although the French/Bavarian forces did have some victories, their hands were soon depleted and their troop counts dwindled. Kaarin played well but had trouble withstanding Austria's larger number of troops. As soon as my peace with Austria ended, I rushed into Austria, quickly picking up VPs and emptying my pool. Bjorn won at the end of T8 by nabbing enough VPs in Bavaria along with a few Arenberg had taken in France proper. I had only two VPs left in my pool and could've won the next turn (though Bjorn would've been able to get another VP in T9 politics). I felt bad for Kaarin, but I feel I ultimately made the right decision in accepting the deal.

On a slightly lighter note, during the final, I earned the title of "Worst Ally Ever" from both Bjorn and Kaarin. As Prussia and the Pragmatic Army, for those not familiar with the game, I controlled one power fighting Austria (Prussia) and one power allied to it (Pragmatic Army). Well, one of my powers helped Austria and the other hurt it, alright, but not the ones you might expect. My early deal with Austria helped Austria by giving Bjorn free rein against France, so Kaarin lamented (only half-jokingly) about how terrible an ally I was. Seeing Bjorn's success, I decided to use the Pragmatic Army to help France. I positioned my generals to systematically block Arenberg from getting VPs and indeed from easily keeping supply, and I used the Pragmatic cards (which weren't being burned up in battle) to take political cards helpful to the French, leading Bjorn to call me a terrible ally. The plan almost worked, but I fled back to the Austrian Netherlands after I went out of supply. Can't please everyone, I guess.

Overall, it was quite a fun tournament, and the final was one of the highlights of the convention for me. A huge thank-you to Kaarin for her work in securing Rio Grande's sponsorship for the event and then running it, and for her great prizes for the finalists (art depicting the rulers involved in the game).
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7. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:18]
Board Game: Concordia
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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After the Monday night Maria qualifier, I went searching for a game and found Winton Lemoine. He suggested Concordia, so, after failing to find another player, we headed over to Rio Grande's demo copy for a late-night game (we started around 1 and didn't end until after 3). As luck would have it, Bruce Wigdor was walking by, so we roped him into playing a game (unfortunately, my only game with Bruce during the convention this year). Though Winton offered to teach (he had played a few games previously), Jason Levine (the GM of Concordia this year) was walking by after running the first heat of this and graciously offered to give a demo. Although I wasn't always quite sure what I was doing, I got a decent number of cloth, wheat, and tool cities and the cards that matched them, netting me enough endgame points to win. I definitely enjoyed the game, and I felt that there was more to explore in it than with Istanbul. I'll give it a _7_ for now, but that number could go up by a half-point or even a full point if I play it more and continue to enjoy it.
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8. Board Game: Department Store [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Department Store
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I began Tuesday by quickly stopping at the Auction Store. I arrived at 8:45, and the line was already rather long (though it moved quickly). I should remember to wake up a little earlier next year (I say that now... ). Although I didn't take quite as long as I normally do since I wanted to get to my scheduled game, I did pick up Manoeuvre for $30 (maybe I can get one of my friends/family members to try a lighter wargame) and Ascension for $22 (since my friend has recently shown an interest in Dominion, I figured I might convince him to try the other--albeit more chaotic--deckbuilder I like). As usual, the Store had bargains aplenty. I don't frequent the Auction proper, but I consistently love the Auction Store. Thank you to all the hard-working folks who keep the Auction/Auction Store running!
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9. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:709]
Board Game: Friedrich
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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_8_ I had previously arranged to play this one with Bjorn. Since I'm a fan of Maria, I naturally had an interest in learning Maria's predecessor. Jeff Cornett was in this one as well. Bjorn and Jeff had played before, but the 4th player and I were new. After a summary of differences from Maria, we picked sides. Bjorn, as the most experienced player, took Prussia. Jeff, as the next most experienced player, took Austria. The other new player and I randomly determined between us who would take France and who would take Russia, and I ended up with France. I made slow but steady progress against Prussia and Hanover, fighting some big battles and getting a tad risky on occasion, but usually taking a more passive approach. I only had two victory cities left to take by the end, but I wasn't strong enough in hearts to challenge Prussia, and I didn't have time to attempt to pull off a flanking tactic. Jeff and Bjorn both formed stacks of three generals with a total of 20+ troops. After lots of subtle maneuvering and some slight skirmishes, Austria managed to put Prussia out of supply, eliminating Prussia's gigantic stack and giving Austria the game. As a fan of the system, I knew I would like it, and it's a solid game, but I rate it a full point below Maria because it lacks Maria's diplomatic beauty. Still, thanks to Bjorn for arranging the game. It was a fantastic way to spend the auction block.
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10. Board Game: Ivanhoe [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2282]
Board Game: Ivanhoe
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Friedrich ended in the mid-afternoon, just after the Annual Meeting started. I stopped in to find out WBC 2016's venue and then went up to Open Gaming. On the way, I once again saw Scott Saccenti, this time with Antony and Donte. I proposed a game, and he agreed. Someone sugested Ivanhoe, which I heartily agreed to. I learned it on the final Sunday of WBC two or three years ago but hadn't played it since. Fortunately, it all came back quickly enough. Scott won a blowout victory; none of us challenged him until he was close to winning. (I probably should've gone in on some colors but didn't feel strong enough until it was too late.) Alas.

Since the first game finished quickly, we played a second that ended up being quite close. I jumped out to an early lead but couldn't manage the last chip. Eventually, we all stood one chip away from victory. If I recall correctly (though I may not), Antony built up a huge hand and managed it win with it. Either way, a fun little session of a game I hadn't played in too long.
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11. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:68]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Still having some time before my first tournament of the evening, I found a group just setting this one up and asked to join. I don't really get to play Race during the year, but I always seem to find one or two games of it at WBC. In this game, I tried to go heavy on Production, but I didn't have quite enough blue worlds to make a killing on that or quite enough diversity to cash in on that, so I got to 11 worlds in the same turn as someone else but came in 2nd. Being able to find great people and get in on a game like this that I essentially don't get to play except at WBC illustrates well one of my favorites features of the convention.
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12. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:332]
Board Game: King of Tokyo
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I still had some more time before the evening's main event, so I found a pickup game of this just starting. I had The King, if I recall correctly. I ventured into Tokyo a bit too early and was significantly hurt. I might've survived long enough to heal, but someone had the card that allowed him to do damage to everyone else no matter what, so I tragically died.

I played in the tournament at 11 as well. It was a great late-night event. I had The King again. I got the upgrade card that allowed me to mirror someone else's ability, and I got up to 19 points, but someone else just edged me out and got to 20. I definitely hope this one joins the Century or is voted back next year.
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13. Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:6012]
Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Both the first round of Here I Stand and the Superstar Baseball draft were at 7. I flitted back and forth between the two; Bruce was nice enough to take a team for me when my number was called. (I always go with the most recent Phillies team, and I got 2009--my first choice--this year). Unfortunately, I only ended up playing two games this year, a home-and-away late Wednesday night against the '62 Yankees. The Phils won the first game 7-3 with a 5-run 2nd inning but lost the second 5-4 in the 10th.
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14. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:297]
Board Game: Here I Stand
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I love Here I Stand, but I'm not a big fan of the Tournament Scenario, and I'm particularly bad at playing the Tournament Scenario. I had third choice and took the Hapsburgs (allied to Ed Beach's Pope), but I ran up against Dennis Mishler's expertly handled Ottomans. I agreed to a white peace with the Ottomans and negotiated the cession of an electorate in exchange for a card to John Riston's Protestants, but there was a misunderstanding and John ended up taking the last electorate too. I drew Diplomatic Marriage, which I used to take Venice, but Dennis played well and caught the right breaks. He scored 3 Piracy VP (I didn't want to give him a card), and I built up, ready to beat back the Ottomans in the second turn, but I drew my worst explorer and worst conquistador and failed to gain a VP in the New World, so the Ottomans won a domination victory.

I missed the second round of Here I Stand while playing Maria, unfortunately.
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15. Board Game: Elk Fest [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3458]
Board Game: Elk Fest
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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This is a fun little flicking game where you try to get your moose from one side of the table to the other. I often don't get to it at WBC (last year because of Here I Stand), but my unfortunately swift HIS game did have the upside of allowing me to play this. I won my first round against Ginger Thompson (who tried to guilt me into not beating her, but I didn't fall for it) and then was matched against fellow second-generation Jay's Basementer Brett Fox. I managed to win but dropped out to go play King of Tokyo (as previously detailed). My play wasn't great in either round, but it was quite a good time as always.
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I decided to make this a separate entry so I can include my thoughts on the newer version. I went up to Open Gaming after King of Tokyo and saw a couple guys (unfortunately, I don't remember their names) who had just gotten in. One of them had this under his arm, and I asked if they were up for a game, so we played three-player (not the optimal number for Ticket to Ride, but it has its own interesting dynamics). I don't actually remember who won the game, but the 10th Anniversary set was absolutely gorgeous. I have no idea how the bigger board affects logistics, but it was tweaked with some nice extra background images and brighter colors so that it really stands out (I have no problem with the old board, but it definitely looks grey compared to the new one). The themed train sets are a really nice touch; it adds a lot of character to the components. And the "pinkle" debate has finally been settled; I'd say the new cards of that color are solidly magenta. Anyway, it's not something I'd buy if I already had the original and 1910, but it was a joy to play on nonetheless.
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17. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:283]
Board Game: The Resistance
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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This was with the younger part of the Yaure clan and friends. I like this game so much more than Werewolf (more on that later). If I recall correctly, Joe, Sam, and I were spies. A couple people suspected me (I'm not a great liar), but we managed to pull out a win (humorously, I voted against the group that won us the game to improve my credibility, but it passed even without me). An amusing end to the night.
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18. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:636]
Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Wednesday was set aside for 1989, a tournament new to WBC this year. Henry Richardson kindly stepped up to run the event, and after it finished 29th in the Trial vote, GMT sponsored it. Anyway, the tournament was organized as a four-round Swiss with rounds at 9, 12, 3, and 6. The three-hour rounds looked like they were going to be a bit of a stretch for this game, but the times actually worked (so kudos to Henry for that).

My first game was against a newer player whose name I regrettably can't remember. He put up a good fight, but I drew three scoring cards in Turn 3, two of which were beneficial to me, and I got an early autovictory. (It was at this point that I went to the second Thurn heat.)

My second game was against Jeromey Martin, a skilled wargamer who definitely knew his stuff in 1989 (and, on a semi-unrelated note, taught me the correct pronunciations for many of the leaders' and cities' names). I had the Communists, and I focused on East Germany and Romania, making enough points there (along with minimizing Democratic points elsewhere) to win me the game.

My third round was against Barry Setser, another Wargameroom league member, whom I've played a few times online. His play was much improved from the last time I had played him; we dueled for the full three hours. My Communists eventually came out on top, though.

My final game was against Tom Drueding, a legendary wargamer who has clearly played his fair share of 1989. I've played him twice online, to my memory. I had the Democrats in this game, and it really wasn't decided until Late War. The Communists jumped out to an early lead by placing more starting influence than normal in Poland and then opening with the Poland Scoring card. My Democrats controlled Hungary and scored well there. Relatively even (yet very important) Power Struggles in Mid Year gave me Power in East Germany and Bulgaria. I got Power in Czechoslovakia after winning a Power Struggle, failing the Power die roll, and playing Domino Theory for another shot. Poland scored a third time in Turn 9 (such Communist dominance in Poland is almost unprecedented), and the Communists managed to keep Power in Poland, but they could only score in Poland, and the Final Scoring would've been +20. Tom played a great game, and it was one of the most intense and exciting games I played in the entire convention.

(I have to say, I didn't expect to do so well in 1989. I've had a solid--i.e. winning--record in both of the 1989 WGR leagues I've played in but haven't gotten to the finals of those, so this was a nice surprise.)
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19. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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On the way back to the room after 1989, I saw Donte Saccenti in the hallway, and I proposed a game, to which he agreed. I picked up Ticket from the room and we went to Open Gaming. I forgot to bring 1910 from the room, so we just played base. We conflicted with each other a bit, so the "screw-you" aspect of two-player Ticket definitely came into play. If my memory doesn't fail me, we were tied before Longest Route, but I got the 10-point bonus for that and consequently the win. We finished at 10:20, with plenty of time to go back to the room and drop off the game and still not have to wait in a ridiculously long line for Can't Stop.

I also played in a heat of this on Saturday. I drew what might best be described as a shark table--it included the likes of Andy Latto and Curt Collins. On the other hand, we played on Curt's 10th Anniversary set, which was an unexpected bonus. I inadvertently knocked out Curt by taking both routes out of Las Vegas (I swear it wasn't on purpose), but Andy sailed to an easy victory by about 30 points. I had a rough game but ended in 3rd with 96 points.
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20. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:757]
Board Game: Can't Stop
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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When I arrived, I looked for and found someone with a German copy and sat down. When the game started, I went for the fringe numbers along with some of the more mainstream ones, but took it slow, so to speak. I finished up the 12s and later the 4s on a whim but couldn't pick up the final column. Everyone eventually caught up, and only the 5s and 6s were available by the end. The game came down to a round where anyone could win it, and there were plenty of near-misses (busts while almost-but-not-quite at the top of a column). I heard later that the person who won at my table made quite a run in the tournament and was very close to getting to the final.
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21. Board Game: Impulse [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1660]
Board Game: Impulse
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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I had been interested in learning Innovation, but it never happened (though I might play with someone online). Anyway, Thursday morning, For the People didn't start until 10, so I went to Open Gaming and managed to find a couple guys willing to play a game. One suggested this, and I was happy to learn. It seemed like a nifty game. I liked the theme and thought the game had some interesting mechanics. I had been warned at the beginning that some engines could become super-powerful, and one of the players proved that to be true by building an extremely powerful military/points engine. I'm worried about powerful combos happening in other games, so I gave it a _6_. I'd be interested to play it some more, but it's not a priority.
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22. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:967]
Board Game: For the People
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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One of the highlights of the week was being able to play this in person. Mark Herman kindly matched me with David Dockter so I could learn a few lessons from one of the best. I drew great cards as the CSA in the first two turns while David's USA had some subpar hands, but the situation reversed in Turn 3 when David drew a great hand and mine was only okay. I got too aggressive, and David depleted my forces by sending forces of 1 SP again and again against my main army. By the end of T6, my SW was over 100, but the US had made incursions against the Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast (darn you, Farragut!), so I resigned. I definitely learned a lot from David though, and it was a fantastic experience. (And thank you to David for bearing with me!)
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23. Board Game: Faces [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:8881]
Board Game: Faces
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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For me, one of the cool parts about WBC is being able to see and interact with people I'd only previously gamed with online (since I play a lot on Wargameroom and VASSAL). A few names deserve mention:

Jordan Kehrer, with whom I've played Virgin Queen, Here I Stand, For the People, and more on VASSAL;

Fred Finkenbinder (who came to WBC for the first time!), with whom I've played FtP and TS and generally chatted with about games;

Harold Buchanan, with whom I've played Manoeuvre and his design, Liberty or Death (more on this later);

and Tom Drueding and Andy Friedmann, with whom I've played 1989.

Great to interact with you all without the aid of a computer!
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24. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:430]
Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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_6.5_ After For the People, I was pretty shot, so I went to Open Gaming to search for some slightly lighter fare. I found Dennis Mishler not in a game, and then I found a group setting up this one, and one of the folks agreed to teach Dennis and me (I had been interested to learn it, since I generally like worker placements). One more joined us as we were about to start, so we had six. I started with an orange card and stocked up on fruit, but I missed the boat on pretty much all that markets, leaving me with tons of gems still in my pool. I tried to diversify a bit and get bliss near the end, but it was too little, too late. I also failed to get an extra worker until close to the end. The downtime was also a bit much with six players. Also, I almost never say this (I'm really quite flexible on theme when it comes to Euros), but the theme here felt pretty much nonexistent. I do trust that some or all of the issues were due to my inexperience, so this could probably go up to a _7_ at some point.
 
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25. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:467]
Board Game: Sushi Go!
Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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_7.5_ After Euphoria, we still had some more time before one of the players had to be somewhere, so someone broke out Sushi Go. I knew nothing about it, but I was happy to learn it. I love 7 Wonders, and this game certainly takes more than a little from 7 Wonders, so I'm not surprised that I quite enjoyed it. We played two games. I like the interplay between short-term points and cupcakes and also the ability to score more points if one is willing to go for a set (with tempura and sashimi). The game really seemed to be a perfect length for its complexity. I managed to get 2nd and then 1st in the games we played by not worrying too much about cupcakes and taking tempura and sashimi enough but not always (I was fortunate that no one else was going for those when I was). If I get to play this one more, my rating could easily go up to _8_ (the rating I give 7 Wonders).
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