Anni's Adventures at WBC 2014
Anni Foasberg
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This was my fifth year at WBC. I have been feeling quite low-energy and not very sociable* lately, so I wasn't as excited about it as I sometimes am! But, I still managed to have a good time. Thanks everyone for putting up with me!

I also didn't take good notes, because at the time I was pretty sure nobody would be interested in what I had to say about this. So, sorry about the lapses in information here.

*And I'm never very sociable, so what this means by my standards is that I spent a lot of time hiding in my hotel room between events.
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1. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:445]
Board Game: Thurn and Taxis
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Heat 1: Monday, 3 PM
This was my first game of the convention! We all crowded into Vista, which was far too small for the number of participants there, so some people had to go play elsewhere. But I was able to get a table in the room.

I didn't know any of the other three players. For some reason, perhaps because this was my first game of the con, or perhaps because I mostly play it online these days, I kept doing things wrong! I promise I know how to play Thurn and Taxis, but you'd think I'd just learned it from the simple rules errors I kept having.

In any case, the game was very administrator-heavy. I was as guilty as anyone else--sometimes because I was living on the edge, and sometimes because I just didn't like anything out there. The player to my right crashed a route or two when the administrator failed him (he needed a card that others were holding in their hands).

One of the many things I didn't do correctly was watch for the end of the game; I had a three-length route which would have gotten me a chip and put down a house or two, but I let it go around for another turn, during which the game ended. Oops. I ended the game with six points and a feeling of confusion.

Heat 3: Thursday 11 AM

Although I was starting to think that I didn't actually know how to play Thurn and Taxis after all, the third heat happened to fit into my schedule, so I showed up anyway. This time I knew my fellow players; I believe they were Mike Kaltman, Tim Horne, and Perianne Lurie.

I got lucky and happened to pull Lodz and Budweis in the first turn--I'll take it! I put down some more multi-colored routes and got the bonus for being in all colors quite quickly. Meanwhile Perianne was picking up bonuses all over the board. I was starting to think about fulfilling some more chips, but one of the other players decided to push for the game to end very quickly. Perianne won with 10 points; I was second with 9, so that's like 50% better than my previous score!
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2. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:395]
Board Game: Amun-Re
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 1: Monday, 5 PM
I think I played in this heat? But I don't remember anything about it. I imagine this is why some people keep notes. Uh, I'm sure I had a good time, anyway? It's a great game! Or maybe I went to dinner instead. I'm not sure.

Heat 2: Wednesday, 1 PM
Okay, so I KNOW I was in this one. I didn't know my fellow players, except for Loc Nguyen, who had just beaten me in Vegas Showdown. However, it was a really fun table, and we kept joking that we were perfect because every time Mary Ellen (the assistant GM) stopped by, we were exactly on time.

We had a very high-scoring Old Kingdom; the players built one pyramid in each province in the first turn, except that one province on each side of the Nile had another pyramid for the majority. Very neat and symmetrical (and one of them was mine!). Also, three of the five players had two Old Kingdom bonus cards, and a fourth player had one. The fifth player, unfortunately, couldn't draw a bonus card throughout the entire game, except for one at the very end, when it was too late. This was just plain bad luck; he was drawing masses and masses of cards, but none of them were bonuses.

I came out of the Old Kingdom with the most points (I had 18 or 19, a very high score for me), and I didn't feel I was really hampered by it much later in the game; I was able to build all kinds of neat things and I think I got another bonus card as well. But at this point we were all rich, and I couldn't score well enough to keep up with everyone else. It was a very high scoring game; the winner had around 48 points. I was third by a tie-breaker over the fourth-place player, with one of the highest scores I've had in this game!

Heat 3: Thursday, 3 PM

A slightly more typical game. I started out bidding people up on the good provinces until they became quite expensive; this was probably the right thing to do, but it also meant that the provinces were expensive later in the game when I didn't have much money, which wasn't quite as exciting.

Once again, I had a high score coming out of the Old Kingdom, but this time I had some cash issues even before the Old Kingdom had really ended. They didn't get much better. I ended up taking a lot of the cheaper provinces and getting what I could from them. I drew enough harvest cards to make this kind of okay but didn't do especially well at the end. One of the other players threw away a lot of bonus cards, even in the Old Kingdom, which I don't generally do and which kind of made me twitch with envy, because I could have used them!
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3. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:195]
Board Game: Goa
Anni Foasberg
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So Goa is a game that I've wanted to play better, but it had been a while since I'd really felt that I was improving. I'm also not used to playing with the new edition.

Heat 1: Monday, 7 PM

My table had Rich Meyer, and the GM (Derek Glenn?) and one other player that I don't remember (I think I played with Keith Layton in one game, probably this one?). I advanced quickly down the card track but also paid some attention to the harvest track; my concern early in the game was choosing tracks that others hadn't started before I did.

Lots of things happened in the game, but the upshot of this decision was that I had a LOT of spices to play with, though not quite as many ships. This was really useful because, while I generally focus on pushing down one or two tracks as quickly as possible and hitting the bottom by the end, I was also able to get the rest of them down a couple spaces. Additionally, I was able to pick up a mission cheaply in the auction and, near the end, the second duty, which I completed.

I had the flag a lot, too, which didn't hurt.

I spent most of my money in the last auction, but Rich also spent most of his bidding against me. I was very surprised to find that at the end of the game, I was the player with the most money, although I didn't have very much! (perhaps about six?)

It still wasn't enough to win--Rich did that--but I had a very close second.

Heat 2: Wednesday, 3 PM

This time, I played against John Corrado, Barb Flaxington, and another person whom I don't remember.

I wasn't as successful as the first heat; for one thing, they didn't let me get the flag as much! This was a very different game because, while I had been rich in spices in the first game, I was much less so here. I had a few colonies and tried to make the most of them, but I was short on both spices and boats (at one point I actually won the Espionage tile and used it for boats, so) and had to work pretty hard to make anything happen.

Barb was the spice player this time, although I think she had some bad luck with colonies.

Anyway, I think I came in third; I remember that John won.
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:180]
Board Game: Ra
Anni Foasberg
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I played in three heats of Ra and played terribly in each of them; I'm not sure that I can even explain them well. I have hot and cold streaks in Ra; I think this is because when I'm playing it frequently I have a better intuition about what the lots are worth, but I lose this sense when I am not playing often. This just proves that I need to play Ra more often (but let's be honest, that is ALWAYS true!).

I can tell you that there was one case when I got burned on bluffing with the Ra token and lost my 14 sun, so, uh, don't do that.

Anyway, I finished with two fifths and a third; I think I can do a little better.
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5. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:585]
Board Game: Vegas Showdown
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 1: Monday, 11 PM
Amusingly, I played against (and lost against) someone who was actually from Las Vegas!

What actually happened in this game? I remember some rather fierce bidding over the buffet, and it being a close one. I filled up both my restaurant and casino, don't believe I got them connected, but I felt like I was doing okay. I think I came in third, but I think it was fairly close, at least between the three of us who didn't win.

I dunno, Monday was a long time ago.

Heat 2: Wednesday, 9 AM

I didn't know my opponents in this game, except for Loc Nguyen, who ended up winning. We played very quickly and finished in about an hour, but it wasn't because the game ended quickly; on the contrary, Loc nearly filled his casino before it ended.

I thought I was doing fairly well with the early Night Club, and I had things set up fairly well for the end game, but didn't carry it through well enough. Also, I learned that Fancy Lounges are really difficult to place. I could probably have managed it better (placing with a door to the wall may not have been the BEST plan?), but rotating things in my mind isn't really my strength and I don't usually buy Fancy Lounges, so I had some difficulty realizing that it is actually impossible to place them next to each other. I might give up on buying them until I feel like I really have the rest of the game figured out; this isn't the part of the game I want to worry about yet.

Anyway, I might have finished third?

Heat 3: Thursday, 9 AM

Two of my opponents in this game were Kate Fractal and one of the players from my Power Grid game the prior night. I've forgotten the third (sorry! that seems to be a theme here).

This was a little unusual because in the prior games, I'd ended up with an early Restaurant while attempting to avoid the high-priced Slots. In this game, though, Slots went a little cheaper and I picked one up early. There were also a lot of early Fancy Slots and other casino-related buildings--I think I ended up with a Sports Book, a Table Games and some other nice yellow buildings. In fact, it was a long time before I even bought a Restaurant; I ended up filling my restaurant section with two large buildings just before the game ended.

This time the game had gone quite well for me and I came in a close second behind Kate.
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6. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:83]
Board Game: El Grande
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 1: Tuesday, 6 PM

After holing up in my room and studying copyright all day, I emerged to play El Grande!

I had four opponents I didn't know, which is different from my experience in some years! I tried to insinuate myself into as many provinces as possible throughout the game. The other players took off to a fast lead without me, due to some early scoring cards, but I crept up fairly quickly once all these provinces started to score. There were a couple of choices I made just because I thought they would be funny, but which actually turned out well.

However, I didn't take the lead until the very end of the game. The red player looked like he was out ahead the entire time, and I really believed that he was. However... I managed to catch up to him and win.

Semifinal: Thursday, 1 PM

Rob Flowers was at my table; I didn't know the rest of the players.

There were some scary decay of authority cards early that left me trying to recover my court for the rest of the game. I also put the 4/0/0 scoreboard on New Castile; I'd done the same thing in the heat game when I ended up with the mobile scoreboard. It's a move I like to make when New Castile is my home province (trust me, I get a lot more points out of it that way); that wasn't the case in this game, but I realized that I still didn't want a lot of people fighting over it and getting points I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with.

I was behind throughout the entire game, but I was at least keeping track of the castillo well through the first six rounds. The first one was very light on the castillo, and I was able to pick up some points there; in the second one, there were masses of cubes there, so I sent them to Galicia, which was the blue player's home region, because I didn't think I'd be able to get much out of the other regions, with all the competition that would be there. This worked as planned, although he told me later that he thought that he would have won if I didn't do that.

In round 9, the Royal Advisor showed up; so did a scoring card that helped the other players much more than it helped me. Rob had played with the assumption that I would take the scoring card and cancel it, and indeed I had the intention of doing just that, but the player before me had moved the King into my home region of Catalonia, and I decided that leaving the King there plus getting four cubes was better. I think this was the right thing to do; I would almost certainly have lost that region otherwise, but I haven't done the math. This disrupted things a little.

Despite how far behind I was for the entire game, I managed to finish third.

This was the first time that I'd made the El Grande semis; I hope I'll be back!
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7. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:318]
Board Game: Saint Petersburg
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 1: Wednesday, 11 AM

I love Saint Petersburg and I always play all the heats in a vain attempt to make the semis. I never succeed in this goal; it's a constant of WBC but I will keep trying.

So. Heat 1. Kathy Stroh was to my left and was first in the worker phase, and I didn't know the other two players. It turned out that the player to my right had learned the game in the demo and had never played before, but we didn't know that at the beginning of the game, so we assumed he knew what he was doing when he passed on the second worker in the first round. This turned out pretty well for Kathy. I was first in the aristocrat phase on the first turn, and passed it to her on the second turn, which was also when the Mistress of Ceremonies showed up.

So, uh, that was pretty good for Kathy. I don't want to diminish her skill here; she played it well and made solid decisions throughout the game, but having a bunch of extra money and points lying around didn't hurt either.

I managed to come in second, mostly on the strength of my aristocrats.

...and that was the most typical game of Saint Petersburg I played; things got a liiiiiittle bit stranger after that.

Heat 2: Thursday, 9 PM

This was a table with Perianne Lurie, Randy Buehler, and Ian Streeb, so, pretty good competition. Randy and Ian both started buying buildings and building upgrades early on, while Perianne collected a pile of aristocrats to try to catch up. It turns out (and I suspected this a few years ago) that the building upgrades are very good and can get you far.

Me? I didn't do much. Made some mistakes. Finished fourth.

Heat 3: Friday, 6 PM

This time, I was at a table with Vien Bounma, Eric Brosius, and Henry Campau. I sat down, certainly without the expectation that I would win, but also definitely expecting to be well-entertained.

And I was. Eric was doing something complicated and profitable which I don't quite remember, but which did seem to get him a lot of workers and a good economy. What I do remember is this: Vien, to my right, passed on the Observatory early in the game. He later told me he did this on purpose because he thought I'd overextend myself with it, but be that as it may, I didn't turn it down. I used it for an aristocrat the first time around, which I think was a mistake, as we'll see later; in the subsequent round, I used it for a worker, which I badly needed as I was one or two workers behind. I managed to pick up a warehouse which helped me a little bit. Henry, who was diagonal from me (Eric was between us), picked up the other observatory and was also using it for aristocrats.

On what we believed would be the penultimate turn of the game, Eric surprised us (maybe not Vien?) by having kept track of the aristocrats well enough to end the game prematurely by pulling out another building and making the game end in the orange stack. Somehow it's always a surprise when it ends that way! This did more than deprive people of an opportunity to earn points; due to the timing, he also managed to stick all three of us with a card in hand at the end of the game!

What's perhaps even more painful is that the card I was left with was the very Controller that I had picked up with the Observatory at the beginning of the game! Oh, Controller. You are not very nice.

Anyway, one of the most interesting games of St. Pete that I have played, and great company. I believe I came in third, five points behind Vien.
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8. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:47]
Board Game: Power Grid
Anni Foasberg
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I'm not really sure I should play in the Power Grid tournament because, while I like Power Grid, I never seem to enjoy the tournament. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it's mostly populated by people who don't play the rest of the games I play? Anyway.

Heat 2: Wednesday, 7 PM

Okay, Power Grid. Yup. Spain/Portugal map, with Northern Spain out.

I like to bid on the three and build first, even though some jerk always decides to build next to me. Or, in this case, two jerks. And then you have to buy another plant the next turn, which I did, and I guess it's a pretty good plant but I didn't really want to use it and I can only power three. So the next turn, I was last in the power plant bidding and there were a bunch of twos sitting out there, and I didn't want any of them, and I knew I didn't want any of them, and I realized it was a waste of money to buy anything, but I still bought the nuclear one because I felt kind of trapped. I only used it once, though, because the next round the 25 came up and I managed to get that, too. Just as well, since the nukes don't replenish at all in Step One for Spain.

In the meantime I was getting a couple cities along the coast and not saving as much money as I should have because, as should be obvious from the prior paragraph, I spent it all on useless friggin' power plants.

I got my last plant just as Step Two happened. It would have been logical to have kept the nuclear plant, because nukes are good in Step Two of Spain, but I got rid of it, because I had already determined in my mind that it probably wouldn't be good once Step Two happened, because it wouldn't last long and Step Three would come up soon. (this didn't actually happen, though)

I did start making money somewhere around here, but I was spending a lot on coal. It got to the point where I should have been able to build up and win--I had superior capacity--but of course I had spent too much on plants. I finished fourth out of five.
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9. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
Anni Foasberg
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Now here's a game I like playing!

Heat 2: Wednesday, 11 PM

Small heat. I was in a table with Barb Flaxington, Sara VanderWal, and another player whom I have forgotten. Lately I've become a really big fan of the tile that scores 3 points per different shipped good at the end, so I planned on getting it. It was a four-player game, so I knew it would come up, and I made sure to stay in front with boat, both so I'd be able to pick it up and so that I could actually get the goods tiles. I spent a lot of the early game placing ships to pick up these goods, focusing on the different colors (and in a couple cases, passing up on colors I already had). I also picked up the animal +1 tile, which is very nice early, so I put some effort into making some nice farms. Usually in Castles of Burgandy, you mostly ignore one type of tile; for me in this game it was buildings, which is interesting because I usually like them. (I generally ignore the techs; whether this is correct or not is probably debatable). Sara went after castles and Barb picked up a lot of the bonus point tech tiles.

Eventually the tile that gives points for goods did come up, and I got it. It worked out pretty well for me, and I won to advance to the semis.

Semifinals: Friday, 1 PM

The semifinals worked out in such a way that there were two tables of three and two tables of four. Each of us was able to choose whether we wanted to play in a three-player game or a four-player game. I chose four because I am becoming slightly obsessed with that tile; probably not the smartest thing to do, but I did.

I started out going fourth. We played with the advanced boards; mine was the 6, the one with the 8-size building field. This is a difficult and risky board to play--you almost need to get the tech that allows duplicate tiles in the same field--but the alternative was the basic board, so I used it.

The tile I wanted came up first, so I didn't think I'd be able to get it, but I did! This did leave me a little distracted, though; I needed to collect goods, but I also needed to focus on getting different buildings to make sure that I could fill that field. What's worse is that I ended up compelled by the dice to fill the smaller field first; one of those buildings ended up being one I'd have trouble getting later! But when you don't have the numbers, you don't have them.

The player to my right (descriptive, not turn-order significant; I don't know his name) wanted buildings too, which was for the most part slightly annoying and in some cases very annoying. He and one other player were very aggressive with the boats and left the the other two players (Chris Moffa and me) in the dust in terms of turn order. The most deleterious effect of this was that the duplicate building tech came up while the other player who was collecting buildings was going ahead of me, and he picked it up first.

I didn't think I'd be able to fill my field, but I picked up a couple more buildings just in case. I needed a church, but he'd taken most of them, and I still don't know the building distribution (learning this would be very helpful!) I was definitely behind on the point track, so I thought I'd probably do well to pick up some animals, and I managed to get some nice points from that while hoping desperately for a church to pop up that the other building player wouldn't like.

Meanwhile, of course, he was picking up all the techs that gave him bonus points and getting remarkably good use out of them.

But he did leave me the last church! This was very exciting. I managed to get it placed and rolled the right dice to place what I needed and ship my last goods (it turned out I could have placed chickens for roughly equivalent points, but...)

So that was exciting. In the end, though, he had so many points from the building bonuses that he beat me by about six points. So, that was the closest I came to making a final table. Very well played on his part.
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10. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:240]
Board Game: Navegador
Anni Foasberg
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This is a game I love very much, but seldom play at WBC, because I'm the GM and I want to have four-player tables. But I love GMing it because, well, because I get to watch the finals.

Demo: Thursday, 6 PM
The demo was scheduled for one hour before the heat, which is actually a little tricky because I need to let people play for a while so they can understand what the game is--it's not at all clear what is going on from a simple description of the possible moves. But it was a good demo, well attended. A couple of attendees had played before and needed a refresher. I know of at least five who went on to play in the tournament, which is always exciting.

Heat 1: Thursday, 7 PM

I got to play! I didn't do well, though. My table included Rob Kircher, Romain Jacques, and Wade Fewble--all good players! Wade and Rob both made the final table last year; Romain had played in this tournament several times before, and I knew that he was a good player too (spoiler: he ended up making the final table this year!). Going second, I opted to try for the sugar monopoly; it's basically my favorite thing, but it's hard to pull off against good players. Rob picked up a few of the sugar colonies too, enough to stop me from using them as effectively as I wanted. He wasn't all that interested in colonies and didn't pick up very many of them, but still, this slowed me down considerably. I gathered as much of the sugar as I could and started buying shipyards so I could head east and pick up some spice. I did manage to do this, but the game wasn't really long enough for it to help me catch up, and then, Rob was competing with me for shipyard privileges too. Meanwhile, of course, Romain got a nice factory/church thing going and edged out Rob for the win. Wade and I were rather far behind.

Heat 2: Friday, 11 PM
I got to play again! This was working out well.

And, I got to play Rob again, along with Henry Campau (whom I'd taught in the demo) and Akihisa Tabei. This time, I just picked up a couple colonies for the purposes of establishing an early economy, which ended up depending more on factories. Rob was doing colonies and factories, so I was able to feed off his economy for enough money to get my ships and workers up and go sailing. This game went a lot better for me, and I finished second, but I wasn't close to winning -- Rob ran away with it with his extremely powerful economy and the ability to buy pretty much everything.

Heat 3: Saturday, 1 PM

I got to play AGAIN! There were magically the right number of players. Best Navegador tournament ever.

This time, I was up against Ian Streeb, who is a regular in this tournament, Ip Yeung, whom I'd taught in the demo, and Sara VanderWal. This was the game that went badly for me because I allowed myself to get muscled out of my colonies; Ian, who was sitting to my right, decided to go for them too, while Ip had the contrary factories. At this point I kind of gave up on both of those and just started buying churches with money I got from discovery, since I didn't have a good backup strategy; what I really need to learn is how to have a good backup strategy, and when to persist. Giving up on all these things wasn't the best idea, either; in retrospect, I don't think I really had to. Ip did some interesting things with the turn order; she had the best ships and everyone expected her to start Phase 2, but she didn't do it, to the great consternation of all. This gave her a lot of control, but ultimately it didn't really translate to points.

Meanwhile, Sara ignored all the bizarre intrigues going on on the other side of the board and factory/churched her way to the win.

I'd love to write about the semis and finals here--I wasn't in them, but they were very interesting!--but this list is already taking too long to write, so I'll save it for my GM report. Read the GM report, it's going to be fantastic. Promise.
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11. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Puerto Rico
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 2: Friday, 8 PM

I dropped in to play Puerto Rico, which is a game I'm not very good at but enjoy playing occasionally. The other players at my table seemed even less experienced than I was, though; one of them had only played a couple times, one hadn't played for a long time, and one seemed to know the game a little better but seemed to mostly play using the app version.

Inexperienced players are unpredictable! This amuses me; I'm not good enough at Puerto Rico to be annoyed by it. In this case, though, I think it made my game...a little easier than it would otherwise have been. The more experienced player, sitting to my right, wanted to play a shipping strategy; I'm not sure about the strategy of the other two players. What I do know is this: I bought the Construction Hut in the first building phase, but I was still able to pick up the Small Market later on. Then the Large Market. Then the Office. Then a Coffee Roaster.

...and then I was very rich, so I started buying up the large buildings. I got three of them before the end of the game, and through the diligent Maying of other players, was able to place colonists in all of them.

So, um. I won.

Maybe I could have advanced to the quarterfinals with that win, but I didn't even check, because I realize that being able to run away with a quirky session like that doesn't mean I belong anywhere near the quarterfinals. It was enjoyable, though.
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12. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:471] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Board Game: Last Will
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 2: Saturday, 11 AM

Last Will! This is a game I definitely need to play more often.

We played to a relatively low number; I think 90? My opening hand included a waiter and a reservation, so it was pretty clear what I should do. I picked up another waiter and another reservation quite quickly. It took me a while to get them down on the table, though. In the meantime, two of my opponents were both playing a farm strategy, and another was spending quite a bit of money on his properties, and still eventually managed to sell them and absurdly low prices.

Nevertheless, the waiters eventually paid off. I thought that the player who was doing so well with real estate would go out in the sixth turn, but he didn't, giving me enough time to spend down below zero and win. I was the only person who did.

Semifinal: Sunday, 9 AM

The semis! My game included John Corrado and some others. This time, I had a mansion and a gardener; I managed to pick up another gardener and another mansion, which wasn't at all bad, but I still haven't figured out how the endgame works with real estate, and it was tricky to me getting rid of the money at the end as I wasn't well set up for it. I ended up in third.

Or else those two games happened in the opposite order; I don't remember for sure.

Anyway, it turns out Last Will is a much better game with people who know how to play it. When people have coherent strategies and you have to figure out which cards are going where, that is when it gets interesting.
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13. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Anni Foasberg
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Heat 3: Saturday, 3 PM

I dropped in for a heat of Ticket to Ride and happened to be seated with Vien, and two other players. We played the 1910 megagame.

In 1910, you draw five tickets and keep three. I kept four; they were all up the East Coast with some combination of Charleston, Atlanta, New York and Montreal, with one or two of the cities in between. This would be a very good hand as long as I could get the Charleston to Atlanta link. I managed to get that link within the first couple turns, and then quickly built up the coast and took more tickets. Once again, I was quite fortunate with the tickets and drew a couple that suggested a trans-Canadian route.

All the other players were also fighting over the East Coast; early in the game the West and Midwest were completely empty. Vien built a couple route in California, but nobody followed him out there for a long time. I started patiently collecting the cards I would need to build west across Canada. This takes a long time, since you need so many of them, but I was able to get there, and since nobody was building on the east, nobody took the short routes of the Pacific Northwest away from me. Finishing that, I took tickets once more, drawing an already completed one and one that I could finish an ambitious way or an easier way. I was planning on ambition, but other players started to threaten, so I finished it up, counted up the rest of my trains, and then somehow managed to collect enough green cards to take the Houston to El Paso route and finish up with a 2-er.

I finished the game with no trains remaining and no cards in my hand, having completed eight tickets for the Globetrotter bonus.

I think I played reasonably well and might have won anyway, but (as should be clear here) I was also incredibly lucky, so I kind of ran away with it.
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