A Newbie's WBC Game Recaps
Andrew Drummond
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6 days of gaming, 1 quarter, 5 semis, and 1 final. I played 62.5 hours of games from Sunday night through Saturday night and enjoyed practically every minute of it. WBC felt like home.

I’ll do it better next year: More costumes, better prep for the games I care about doing well in, more new games. But for this year, I had a blast, met some great people, and came home with the plaque I had coveted ever since Nick Page brought home his first in 2007.
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1. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
Andrew Drummond
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The first day at WBC started off with a lot of excitement as Sara, Duncan, and I were all really pumped to play our first games. Unfortunately, the only morning event was San Juan which meant that’s what we all had to play (except Nick and Robb who were finishing up Through the Ages heats). The San Juan tournament was done in 3 swiss style heats with all 3-0 players advancing and the 2-1 players playing in a wildcard round to advance people to a single elimination tournament.

My first game was against a very nice woman who is one of the WBC organizers. As we went through the game it was obvious that neither of us were experts. She first turned a Coffee while I could only get out a smithy. The difference in the game turned out to be that she got a Library out and I never saw one during the game. It was close (ish) but I lost. 23-27.


Game 2 was against a very old gentleman who was not the fastest player in the world. He also first turn built a Coffee and I passed so that in round 2 I could get out a Library. I ended up getting out a Chapel and using a Chapel/City Hall strategy to beat him down. At the end we got a grumpy GM coming over to threaten to adjudicate us because he was going so slow L. 40-34


Game 3 I don’t remember at all. I know I won, I know it was by a lot. I got 8 production buildings and a Guild Hall out. 36-26 I think?


Going 2-1 in the first three games qualified me for the wildcard round (only one out of the 6 of us – Yay!). I ended up at a table against a nice guy named Curt (I would later learn that he was a “shark”). We both built close to the same start buildings (my Prefecture-Coffee-Library vs his Prefecture-Quarry-Library) but then he went to chapel, I couldn’t get anything good. He then got some 6s, I didn’t and the game was a wipeout. 26-40.
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2. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:278]
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I only ended up playing the innovation mulligan round. The setup for this round was a little different than I expected as essentially the people owning the game (including me) and the people without were shuffled into 2 piles and randomly paired with each other. I ended up against a very nice university student named Heather who had unfortunately only learned the game in the demo a few minutes earlier. There are a lot of detailed actions and combos in Innovation and I simply knew more of them than she did.

Based on some advice I had gotten from the experts (Robb, Nick, and Geoff) I tried to focus more on achievements than actually progressing in ages. I got the first couple pretty easily, and then I got Mathematics out which allowed me to Age up combined with a Steam Engine that scored me points. My first 5 achievements were in while Heather only got one, and then it was a matter of waiting it out till I could achieve the 6. An interesting game though, and I made a mistake that let her draw an 8 at one point that almost shifted the balance of power in the late game. Next time I need more patience. However, a win is a win.
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3. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
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Heat 1

I had never played this game in person before, and I am not particularly good at this game online on Yucata. But, I had a free 2 hours and I just feel more comfortable in a structured environment than open gaming so I chose to get in on this in the timeslot. I had a ridiculous draw off the top and managed to first build a 3 of Zurich-Sigmarien-Ulm. And then I followed it with a Mannhiem-Stuttgart-Nurnburg-Pilsen. Things were going really well. Unfortunately, there was a point that I was poised to get the countries bonus first having built Lodz-Pilsen-Nurnburg to make it happen, but then the board got wiped so there was no city connected to Nurnburg on board. I wiped and drew from the stack to no avail and had to toss my route which killed my game. I beat myself up about it a little, because I could have taken 2 cards the previous turn to safety the move, but I got greedy. Duncan and I figured it was about a 75% play to get a card that would work, but I didn’t and thus came 4th of 4.

Game 2

I had a really fun table with Steven LeWinter, Antony Saccenti, and a nice girl named Faith. There was not anything terribly memorable about the game other than Antony getting unlucky with a draw and blowing his route. Faith kept flushing the board at bad times for me, and I ended up 1 turn away from a good result and 1 hut away from all the whites. You win some and you lose some, and I think there’s a deeper level of strategy to this game that I have nto yet figured out. Anyway, with a marvelous final turn Steve crushed us all, I think the final scores were 25-19-15-11? (Steve-Faith-Me-Antony)
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4. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
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Mulligan round

I ended up at a table with Rob Kircher and two very nice people from Quebec who were learning the game. I still struggle a bit with the strategy for Concordia and I used this round to try something a little different. I focused on getting as many Mars cards as I could to maximize my scoring on getting 6 dudes out. I also focused my resources on only 2 different types (tools and brick) in an effort to be able to score well and get a lot of use out of the Minerva cards. It didn’t turn out very well, and Rob is a very good gamer (as I would learn more about during the week) so I finished 3rd.

Round 1

This was the only game I actually really enjoyed on Saturday. I played a game of Concordia with three strangers on the demo copy out in the hall. Jason (the GM) had asked if anyone would volunteer to play on that copy as he was short. I didn’t care so I went out with 3 other people that were there to have a good time. I had a couple glasses of wine over the game, and we ignored the game and talked a few times. That prompted a bit of a warning from Jason that we were a little slow. Either way, I focused again on a Mars strategy (while trying to monopolize the Colonists – I got 3 of 4). Ironically, while drinking I played better, and I managed to allow the 4th place guy to get Concordia and end the game on my terms. I still only came 2nd, so I didn’t advance but I still had a good time and played a strong game.
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5. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
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Heat 1

I went to the Stone Age heat at 7pm. I don’t particularly like Stone Age, but it involves rolling dice and I love dice so I thought I’d play for fun. My table was incredibly slow and an hour in I had to start warning my opponents that I had a 9pm game to get to and I would push the GM to adjudicate if we couldn’t pick up the pace a little. It was a pretty boring game, I got lots of farms so I didn’t have to worry about food, but I ended up in an uninteresting 3rd.

Heat 2

This was THE GAME. I heard once (and have repeated often) the saying that in every round of golf you hit one shot so perfectly that it keeps you coming back to the course for more rounds because you know that you are capable of playing at a high level as long as you can find some consistency. My game of Stone Age was the exact opposite of that saying. It has been a long time since I was so thoroughly destroyed at a game. To make a long story short, I started with a few farmer cards, ran out of food from a 1-1-2 roll that forced a starve and on turn 6 went all out starvation. It was a complete disaster…
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6. Board Game: Santa Fe Rails [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1868]
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Heat 1

Previous to WBC, I had looked up every event on BGG so I could determine if there were events that I might enjoy. Santa Fe rails looked like one that could fit the bill nicely. I got the one heat in my schedule and would figure it out from there. It’s a 60-90 minute rail game that’s kind of a cross of TTR and Transamerica. I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, Duncan had explained the rules to Sara and I on the car ride down so I had never actually played. I got surprised a few times as I would try to direct a route only to have it veered off the path to my cities by the other players. I also didn’t quite grasp the 12 point 2X turns. So I got blown out in that first game, but really, really liked it.

Heat 2

I had a much better idea of what I was trying to do here. The game went very differently than my first one with me focusing almost exclusively on scoring points for building track I got a $12 action 3 times across the game (including a 4X that hit SD and LA with Blue) and ended with $79 in cash on hand. That combined with me deliberately dead ending tracks wherever I could it led me to a relatively safe win. Which co-incidentally also led me to have qualified for my first ever WBC semi! I remember running down the hallways exuberantly after I realized :-)

Heat 3

I tried another round of Santa Fe to try and get some practice in for the semis Thursday. It didn’t go terribly well, and I didn’t have a good sense of where my opponents were going to direct the routes. It felt like I kept misunderstanding their intentions. I also had a less experienced player to my left and I kept setting her up for points and her not noticing. By mid game, I was pointing out to her what I was setting up for her so that she didn’t leave the bonus points to the other 2 players. I came 3rd in that round, but it at least was fun and I did learn a little more about the game and strategy.

Semifinal

First off, I noticed that the quality of play in a semi goes up dramatically. This game was HARD. I was trying to work with people still, and I got a decent number of good cities out, but I couldn’t get the routes going exactly where I wanted and I didn’t get nearly enough bonus money. I used a lot more 2X cards than the others did, but not to enough effect. And the guy to my left got crazy luck with his city cards and ran away with it. At the end I was in 3rd, and I felt like I’d played a good game. A new experience that prepped me for some of the others through the day.
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7. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:413]
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Heat 1

I have ranted about this to most people across the week I was at WBC, and I will likely bring it up at every UW Lounge Day from now until the end of time. But I was playing Showdown and the following sequence of events occurred: in the first 2/3 of the game, I bought all 3 Fancy Lounges that came out. The 2nd turn that the theatre was available, the played to my left purchased it for 42 purely out of spite. He knew he could never place it, he just decided that I was not going to get it and that he did not need to win. On the very next turn, he tried to take 17 in income with his 17 revenue and 10 population. I wasn’t policing game state, and I can’t prove that he was cheating because after briefly arguing that he was entitled to the 17, he recanted and said this was the first time in the game he’d made that mistake. But it was suspicious and it cost me the game. I came 3rd but I really enjoyed dressing up in my 70’s sleazebag outfit.

Heat 2

My second Vegas heat was against James Denam and 2 other people I didn’t know. The game was a very tight one, with me pushing a lounge strategy and James pursuing a blue building tact. I got the “A” Night club out and had a large lead on the board, but I was not doing well in bonus points. As we approached the game end, we were both getting a little nervous as we believed that I had a better position but that James’ would improve over time. On the last turn, we rather suddenly pulled 3 straight small building cards from the deck and ran out the game. I let go a little shout because I thought that had sealed it for me, but James’ bonuses were too much to overcome and I lost 52-50-x-x

Semifinal

I hadn’t even qualified for it, but I’d hunted Eric down earlier and I was the second alternate going into the semis. Fortunately the right number of people did/did not show so that he needed to make 5 tables of 5 and there was room for me to get in. The game was an interesting table as I was against James and Cary who are both very strong players. I did not do anything too unique or aggressive in this game, I just tried hard to wait for deals to appear and not spend too much money. I definitely first turn publicitied when I couldn’t get a $9 slot or lounge and then 2nd turn lounged.

There were however two defining moments in the game for me. The first was about half the way through the game where I pulled off a little mysticism. None of the 3 “restaurant” cards had yet been flipped out of the deck (Master Chef, Convention, and the one that gives you $3 per restaurant) and I already had a restaurant and fancy restaurant. I placed my hand on the deck, hummed a little to encourage those cards and bought a second restaurant. A couple turns later I did get my Master Chef for 9 points. Then nearer the end of the game, the 5-Star was out and I couldn’t afford it but I would be able to the following turn. For some reason, I panicked that I hadn’t yet connected and I outbid someone (not James or Cary) with a 12 on a lounge that would connect me. For whatever reason that guy rebid 15 on the lounge and allowed me to pub and then buy the Steakhouse I should have been saving for anyway.

All of that allowed me to actually win fairly comfortably (55-50-50-47-43) because of my lead on board and winning the pop bonus. I may at this point have been a little bit excited to have made my first final table…

Finals

I’m sure that Eric will write about this in great detail in his event summary, and I forget a few things because it was a couple weeks ago now, but here are my thoughts. I was terribly nervous going into this game. I had been clear to my friends before WBC that my goal was simply to get a plaque and to do that I would need to come not last in this game. Nick had told me a story of a guy who had that approach to his first final and got so nervous that he got blown out and I was legitimately worried that would happen to me too. My costume helped settle me as I was clearly a spectacle for other reasons than being a newbie. I also had a beer to add to the costume and help settle my nerves a little.

Amazingly, once the game started I wasn’t nervous at all. This was my game, and I just did my normal thing. I didn’t play any crazy strategies, I just looked for deals and tried to ensure I got as many fancy lounges as I could. The slots played out interestingly in the early turns as they initially went for 12, but within 4-5 turns they could be had for 7 or 5. I still believe that $12 on slots is too high and I’ll never do it. My first 2 turns were Pub/Lounge just like my semi and then I took a restaurant and focused on slots. Mike Kaltman was my RHO and interestingly I looked at his board about halfway through the game and we were almost exact matches. We each had a lounge, restaurant, and 5 slots. The only difference was that one of his slots was fancy.

Afterwards I got a fancy lounge and a fancy restaurant and was well positioned for the theatre which fortunately came out early. I then played the same gamble that I had done in the semi. The Master Chef hadn’t yet come out so I took a second restaurant and got rewarded a turn later with 9 points (to Mike’s 6). Then I saved for the Theatre (which came out early) and the game came to a close. It had felt like there were only 3 of us contending, me, Mike, and Steve LeWinter who went with a full Green strategy (I don’t’ remember now when/if Ladies Night came out, but the Master Chef killed him). After counting scores it was 68-68-66-x-x with Mike getting me on the tiebreaker. This was his first ever win at WBC so he was very overwhelmed with it, and it was interesting to see how emotional a moment it was for him. Also interesting to ponder whether I may be the same way in 5-7 years if I never get one of those fancy shields…
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8. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:129]
Andrew Drummond
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Heat 1

I was placed at a 3 person table with a young player who was fairly new and Eric from Quebec who was not used to playing the game competitively. I was not sure of what I should do in this circumstance. I decided to play the game to win by the rules and I think that I regretted it afterwards. After timing them out in each round, neither of my opponents ever had anything resembling a complete ship and as we went through events, I was the clear winner 79-9-0. The sportsmanship or lack thereof of this has bothered me for the remainder of the week.

Semifinal

I’d already been in a semi earlier in the day and I was prepared for the quality of opponent to be high. I ended up at a table with the tournament sponsor, David; a guy named Brian who seemed to be a strong gamer and a third person I don’t remember. Interestingly, in part I think due to my practicing against Duncan and Sara I rushed through my build to finish first. Unfortunately, my first completed ship was awful. And I ran into a bunch of obstacles that I could not defeat. So I eventually lost all my dudes and was adrift in space for a round score of -5 (-7 after paying off the loan).

In round 2 I rushed again, though I prepared my ship for the obstacle card I had seeded in the deck. So I was ready for some things, but others hit me hard (particularly the mafia card which cost me 7 I didn’t have or 9 after the loan) and I only managed to score 8 which put me at a whole 1 point after 2 rounds (yay positive!)

Round 3 was far better for me. I took my time building my ship, though I was still ready to finish second except I had a single opening at the very top of my ship. By the time I had found a medicore component to go there, I was down in 4th and last in the race. I also didn’t have much in the way of engine power, though my firepower was impressive. I also was still in last when an awesome card for me came up. It was “hostage” or something like that. It allowed you to pick a column of the person immediately in front of you in the race and blow the back component off that column unless they paid you a fee you specified. Unlucky for Brian he had a very vulnerable spot and I was able to soak him for 11 credits for him to keep it safe. And by going last I wasn’t hit by anybody. As a result of that, I managed to win the 3rd round, but I’d been so far behind that I still came 3rd overall. I think too that Brian may have been able to win if not for me soaking him with the hostage, but I guess that’s the way these things are.
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9. Board Game: British Rails [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2161]
Andrew Drummond
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In the Empire Builder heats, you could choose your own table (many tables had different maps) and Sara and I both chose to play at Ken Gutermuth’s British Rails table. It was Ken, Jennifer Thomas, Sara and me. I think that going in, Ken and Jennifer were very apprehensive of having 2 players who had never played the map before. I gather they had had a not great experience earlier in the week with some very slow players, but Sara and I turned out to be a pleasant surprise to them and we all had a really good time. Ken made a big deal about going to do some routes in SW England which he rarely does, and overall he crushed Sara and I while Jennifer gave him a run. But we all enjoyed the game. Final scores (ish) 250-220-160-139 (Ken-Jennifer-Sara-Me)
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10. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:754]
Andrew Drummond
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Heat 1

This was a different game that I had never played before: Titan the Arena. Nick had given me a 2 minute crash course in the game and I felt like I could at least complete at it. I had Rob Kircher, Donte Saccenti, and a couple other young players at the table. The game started out interestingly with the younger girl putting a target on her back by taking 2 4 bets. We played 3 rounds of cards in the first round which I hear is unusual, but it allowed me to also play 2 chips + a secret one in round one which no one really seemed to notice after the girl did. Either way, one of my creatures was killed off early, but I was able to keep the discussions focused on the girl “winning” and no one really made me much attention. So, I snuck to 12 points (5-4-3) and the win. I had my 5 bet on the same creature as the 3 which allowed me to publicly defend it without it being clear just how much I was invested in it. Still not sure if I played well or got lucky, but a win is a win, and that got me qualified for my second semi!

Semifinal

I had talked with Sara and Duncan about my heat and they had explained that the intense negotiating of my heat was abnormal. Most Titan: Arena games were tactical by nature and had little discussion and planning. My semi was a lot like that. Having played the game twice, it really feels quite random to me. I got blown out when I couldn’t protect my secret bet and came last of the 5 people.
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11. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1120]
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Heat 1

I ended up randomly at Duncan’s table and it did not end well for me… I don’t remember this at all. I think I was Green and I seem to have gotten a monument in every column, but I probably didn’t get enough other points to be competitive.

Heat 2

After drawing Duncan in heat 1, I got Sara at my table this time (even though she had already qualified for the QF, she was passing time by playing another round). The game went crazy long (I think we played for almost 90 minutes) because we just never rolled suns. By the end of the game, we had filled too many monument and civ spaces.... I came 3rd, mainly because I misread how long the rounds would be and had ignored fields pretty much. Probably the first time ever that someone got 59 points in Ra Dice and came 3rd… Although I had out monumented and cived her, Sara still took an easy victory on the rest of the categories through the game. 71-60-59-47.

Heat 3

I had one last chance to qualify for the quarters in this win-and-you’re in event. I played a round against some people that to be fair I don’t remember. Sara was watching because she very graciously gave up her seat (there was a game shortage) so that I could play. (Keeping in mind she had already qualified for the quarters she just loves the game). I don’t remember much about this game, but I do remember making an actual mistake where I had a chance at all 5 civs one epoch, but re-rolled the wrong die to get forced to take only 2 civs because the third natural die was a civ I already had L. But I lost again and didn’t get into the playoffs of that game…
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12. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:630]
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Nick and I have been debating the strategy (or lack thereof) of Can’t Stop for years now. It is one of the few games that I honestly believe that I have an elite level of skill at. I understand the probabilities intuitively, but in a game like this, that can only get you so far. There is a lot of luck. But, I had a lot of pressure to do well, and I hoped that my luck would hold out. Robb even took 2 side bets against me at ridiculous odds just to add more to it. And then the most ridiculous game (even by Can’t Stop standards) ever occurred.

There were three young players (young compared to me) at my table. The girl across from me started and fell off. Then my RHO fell off. I rolled 4-7-10 and continued to roll up until I capped the 4 and was halfway up the 7 and 10. A really good opening turn. LHO fell off and the girl fell off again. Then RHO took his second turn. He initially rolled 6-7-8. He kept rolling till he got to the top of the 7s. Then, like a crazy man he kept rolling to the top of the 8. At this point he was 2 off the 6s as well. He suggested that he should stop. Me, in my infinite wisdom talked him out of it “You’re 2 rolls away from the greatest win ever! Why would you stop?”. So I sucker him in (looking it up afterwards he has a 69% chance of falling off) and he rolls 2 6s anyway and wins. Arg.

Then more Waffle House where I told my story to anyone who would listen (or really actually anyone in earshot) and got ready for the next day.
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13. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:42]
Andrew Drummond
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Round 1

The format for it was interesting as the first round was 2 consecutive 4 player games against the same opponents. For me it was a very easy 2 rounds. I took my standard strategy of resources/military in the first two rounds and tyr to get huge guild points in the last round. It worked out well and I got 2 easy victories to advance to the quarters.

Quarterfinals

The quarters were a five player game and I believe that 2 from each table would advance. In round 1 my strategy was going fine, but near the end of round 2 my RHO built 3 consecutive military cards to take my advantage away. He built 3 more in Age 3 which knocked off a bunch of my military points and I also had not used my Babylon wonder at all leaving me with a couple bad turns at the end of the age where I had no big point plays. Me and RHO finished 4th and 5th respectively and 7 Wonders was done.
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14. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Andrew Drummond
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Dominion Round 1. This event was 2 games against the same opponents advancing winners and some seconds to a QF round the next day. For the two games, there were 14 different cards selected and each player could “veto” one set. For me, although I have placed well in Dominion tournaments before, I was well out of practice and felt that others could combo better than I could so I vetoed the Village in each round.

For the first round that left us with: Moat, Cellar, Throne Room, Bureaucrat, Feast, Remodel, Council Room, Library, Mine, and Adventurer. I tried to go for Throne Rooms and Bureaucrats while everyone else played a Mine/Remodel game. It went badly and I came third.

In the second round the cards were: Cellar, Chapel, Woodcutter, Workshop, Throne Room, Bureaucrat, Moneylender, Council Room, Festival, Mine. I again tried to Throne Room my way to nice things by Throning up the 3’s but it was a disaster and I didn’t get a single province to come a distant 4th.
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15. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Andrew Drummond
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I was only playing in the 1 heat of Ra! which was kind of unfortunate, but the SF/F conflicted with Medici later in the day (my team game) so I wasn’t able to advance. I got a table with Mike Kaltman, and two pleasant older gentlemen I had not met. Mike I think misread the table and rushed out to buy up monuments in the first Epoch. The 2 older gentlemen were not as strong at analysis as Mike and I and they went too aggressively at a few different things. This pattern continued as the game went on and I was able to score tons of flooding points, and the 5 points for Pharaohs each turn while Mike got the -2 and a few -5s on Civs. End of the game I had dominated 57-40-37-37-33.
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:92] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Andrew Drummond
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I had a couple hours to kill, so I thought I’d play a round of Ticket to Ride. Unlike many of my more elite gaming friends, I still enjoy this game. Interestingly, although they offer the choice of playing the USA map or the Europe version, I’d say at least 90% of tables in the room were playing USA. And even at my Europe table, 2 of the 4 players were unfamiliar with the Europe additional rules.

Off my opening tickets I had the Stockholm-Cadiz long route and three short routes in the South. Against all of my advice that I ever give, I dropped the long route and focused on getting two short ones done quickly. After a couple of turns, it was clear that no one was taking yellow cards from the board (there were 3) so I decided to make a play at the 8. I took a couple yellows and then a couple more and was able to get the 8 down before my RHO (the other experienced player). Then I got my routes done, and at this point it was obvious that RHO was doing Brest-Petrograd so I built a few tracks in his way to force him to station.I drew 3 new tickets, keeping 2 and rushed to complete them and run out the game. I almost got screwed because I realized late that just because my 8 connected to Petrograd and the rest of my track went through Kiev did not mean I had fulfilled the Kiev-Petrograd ticket, but I forced game end anyway. Every other player still had 10+ trains left so my lack of a long route and failed ticket didn’t quite hurt me enough and I won 102-100-x-x.
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17. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Andrew Drummond
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Heat 1

Similar to Ticket to Ride, most of my gaming friends are not big fans of Small World. However, I have been playing the app on my iPad a lot and I really do like the game. I’d never played in person, but was really looking forward to it (I’d also picked up a copy in the Auction Store which I was excited to play too). It turns out in person the game is a little finicky with lots of little bits that all need to be organized. That said it’s still a lot of fun. It turns out that we were at a table with one of the guys who play tested the expansions. He was kind of intimidating from the start, but he took an early troll and someone attacked him and he never recovered. For my part I started with Spirit Ratmen, then I took some Mounted Amazons, but finished weakly with Diplomat Humans. It was good enough for 2nd place though and I’d been happy with it.

Heat 2

I learned interesting lessons about WBC during this game. I was playing against Eric, the guy I had beaten in Galaxy Trucker Heat 1, and 2 other guys. 3 things happened in this game that I remember:

1. Starting the game off with Stout Ghouls will make you a target no matter how badly you are actually doing.
2. If you beat somebody badly earlier in the week, they will be unshakeable in their belief that you are great at games and will take every chance to hit you.
3. Saying “Oh No!” in the voice of the iPad app every time someone fails a die roll is hilarious (possibly only to me – but as the game went on people came around).

But, as a result of Eric’s attacks and the other two believing I was winning when I wasn’t I came a distant third. Interestingly, I went to the GM who said that 2nd-3rd would likely be a high alternate but then I completely forgot to show up for the semi.
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18. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:442]
Andrew Drummond
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My first heat had a few really good players at it. Richard, Trella, and Doug are all WBC veterans. We had a good time playing, although we were going really slow. Part of the problem was an elderly lady who was having trouble managing the purchases and focusing on the game. And then near the end we got to an incident that I really regret and wish that there was a way to avoid. We were the last table to finish and were finishing up day 3. Everyone around the table was noting that we were way behind and holding up the start of round 2 and it was suggested that we all agree to take our actions quickly to finish it off. On the last set of goods for sale, there was clearly the opportunity to stop and count what was out to figure out what was left in the deck. I didn’t do this and just made a gut call quickly. And then the other guy left decided that he needed to stop and count everything. 3 minutes into this, I started making comments that he needed to hurry up and he got very offended. He eventually made a rushed decision (the wrong one) and it cost him the round in my favour. It was a bad situation all around, but short of a more aggressive GM, I’m not sure how to prevent it in future.
I don’t really remember round 2 other than I was playing with yet another different copy of the game, and I had Doug at my table again (after he had gone to the GM to demand he not have to play with me again) and I know Doug won the game, but I don’t remember the details. Somewhere in the middle I offered an apology, and he suggested that he may have over reacted and we all moved on.

My semi was a great group to play with again. I had Doug and Richard back, as well as Curt and someone else that I didn’t know. I played a mediocre game, focused on boat points, but being forced to spend too much to get them. Richard won, I tied with Curt for 3rd (which I then called 7th overall) and Medici was mercifully finished. It was also worth noting that this semi had over 2,200 laurels points between the 3 players I had met. Quite the powerhouse table.
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19. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:561]
Andrew Drummond
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I finished the night by rushing over to Liar’s Dice and losing 5 dice immediately on 3 separate challenges that were perfectly reasonable. Again, if the game involved dice I apparently am going to lose it. And then off to Waffle House again and thinking about what to do Saturday.
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20. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:503]
Andrew Drummond
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Day 6 offered an interesting dilemma for me. Nick has always claimed that he really wants to play Empire Builder at WBC but never gets the chance because it’s long and he has other commitments in its timeslot (though for the record, the rest of our team all played a heat of it this year). For me that game would be Diplomacy. I haven’t played in about a decade, and I was really looking forward to the chance to play. However, instead of Diplomacy, I could get in heats of all of: Puerto Rico, Carcassone, Ra: Dice, and Small World. It was a difficult choice.

However, I settled on Diplomacy and regretted it as soon as I pulled the black army out of the box. Germany is notoriously difficult to play for an experienced player and I was many moons away from being experienced. However, my opening negotiations went very well. I pledged myself to England on the condition they moved London-English in Spring 1901. He did and I allowed him Belgium and Norway to go +2. The first 3 moves progressed with a very bitter Frenchman and us consolidating our position. In the South however, there was a very clear alliance formed.

Italy/Austria/Russia all smashed Turkey out of existence very quickly. Then England miswrote a move. He wasn’t a strong player to begin with, but he miswrote his move to strand his army back in Liverpool an extra turn.



One of the other problems I had with this game was the 10 minute Diplomacy sessions. It was never enough time. I know it was necessary, but I made two mistakes simply because I did not have enough time. First I wasn’t able to get the time to pressure Italy to move West and I couldn’t get the time to work out with England to support me into Sweden. If I had, I may have been able to salvage the game. But in Fall 1903 I decided to switch sides to France. I kicked England out of Belgium, and Russia by that point had taken Norway, so England went down to 3. Unfortuantely, France didn’t trust me after that and the Triumvarate in the East didn’t waver and I was in the way of a Juggernaut. I quit after Fall 1904 (with GM approval) when I got knocked down to 4 units and had no allies or any play to recover.
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21. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3818]
Andrew Drummond
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It was A LOT harder than I expected. I only averaged about 10 right answers out of 25 each round and that put me well behind many others (though not my teammates). It was still fun and the GM did a lot of prep work to make it as exciting as it was for everyone. A very impressive event.
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22. Board Game: Slap Shot [Average Rating:5.84 Unranked]
Andrew Drummond
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Last event of the night (and of the week for me) was Slapshot. I had a fantastic costume I thought, only enhanced by the fact that I could stick a beer into the goalie mask and be able to drink it with no hands. It was a raucous affair with yelling, the referee, etc. My game actually went terribly because I had both of the “whinable” event occur to me. I had my Superstar taken out with a bruiser, and Tiny Tim scored on my goalie. Which gave me the opportunity to stand on my chair, curse, and bang my stick on the table which was fun too. But Slapshot as a game is awful, so the event was the best of the night, but the game was the worst.
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