My First WBC
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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I've been always curious about the WBC. I thought it would interesting to play these games competitively, but I also know that I tend to get too wound up playing in tournaments. I partially stopped playing competitive Chess in High School because of this reason.

However, the WBC schedule used to be the first week of August, which coincides with our anniversary. I thought it would not be prudent to abandon the family for a week during that time.

This year, things seems to fall in place: I got flying benefits from my sister who is a flight attendant, my friend Nathan has a room and welcomed me barging in on he and his son Jacob, and I recently decided to retire which gave me time to make the trek to Seven Springs.

Note: I photographed the tournament game results in order to report the scores and names. Some names were illegible to me and I did a best guess. I'm sorry if I mangled anyone's name. The list is organized in chronological order.
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1. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Jeff W
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Agricola Heat 1

50 Derek Glenn
45 Chuck Wisner
31 Bronwen Heap
30 Jeff Wu

The schedule for Saturday morning was a bit sparse and the game library for open gaming doesn't start until later in the day, so I begrudgingly signed up for Agricola.

I like Agricola but I haven't played much face to face games for a long time, and when we did we usually played the E deck since we are often teaching new players. Even though I played the iOS app for a month or so, I feel like seasoned veterans would just crush me. I was correct.

What I learned: Experts at the game know their combos at a glance and are able to execute it. Wood is valued more highly than I value it.
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Jeff W
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Agricola Heat 2

57 Micah McCormick
44 Tricia Wolf
40 John Corrado
36 Jeff Wu

Still not a whole lot on the docket, so again I decided to see if I can improve my play of Agricola now that I have a game under my belt. Again I got crushed. This time I was lucky enough to be the first to grow my family, but still that wasn't close to enough.

Micah, perhaps seeing a crushed ego, tried to cheer me up after the game saying that I was playing against really good competition.

What I learned:Being the first to family growth is not essential to winning. You can mitigate it by doing a couple of family growth later in the game by building two rooms at once.

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3. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Jeff W
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7 Wonders Heat 2

61 45 Samatha Berk
57 57 Jeff Wu
52 56 Micah McCormick
44 58 Craig Thomas

After getting crushed twice, I decided to forgo the 18xx pool that I knew was full of sharks and decided to play something light. We played 2 games and with the tournament points 7-6-4-1, I actually won the heat with 2 second place finishes.

What I learned: Science (green) won both games. But you can still finish well if you ignore science.
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Jeff W
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Ra Heat 1

43 Laurie Wojtaszczyk
40 Anthony Lainesse*
32 Stephane Dorais*
23 Metzger*
13 Jeff Wu

*My bumbling finger obscured the first names in my photo of the score sheet.

O.K. I thought I am pretty good at Ra, but this game completely threw me for a loop. This is probably the lowest score I ever scored in Ra. My friend Scott refused to play Ra because he claims he is really bad in Ra and scored 11 points in his first game. I think this matches that. The bad thing is I really didn't know what happened.

Edit: Corrected the Names
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5. Board Game: Biblios Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2630]
Jeff W
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Biblios Dice (Open Gaming)

Max 29
Keith 25
Jeff 24
Nathan 19

I love Biblios and I have scripts and scribes dice game (but haven't played it yet). This one is just OK. Max threw 5 of a kind on one roll and 4 of a kind on a second roll to get the victory.
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6. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Jeff W
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San Juan (Round 1)

42 J
27 D

Another game I haven't played in a while. I think I retained a bit more of the strategy and cruised to victory.

What I learned: A first round Silver Smelter is really good.

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7. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Jeff W
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San Juan Heat 2

~37 Bruce Reiff
~29 Jeff Wu

I played the GM of the event. I think Bruce had the Guild Hall/Palace combo and prospectored himself to victory.

What I learned: Experts like the prospector role (with the gold mine).

I had to make a decision at this point. I thought I was doing OK in San Juan to continue, but I have made the Quarter Finals of 7 wonders with my 1st in my heat. Since I've never been to a QF, I decided to ROR San Juan.
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8. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Jeff W
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Parker
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7 Wonders QF

57 46 Jeff Wu
53 47 Anni Foasberg
45 43 Brandon Bernard
55 61 Keith Dent

Things were looking up after the first game with my win which I played Giza. But thing crashed down around me when I played Olympus. I realized half way through the game that I have no source of points after finishing my wonder in the middle of game. The final round wasn't kind to me with Blue cards. So I played a bunch of weak cards in the final round and got finished 3rd, which wasn't enough with Keith's 1-2.

What I learned: Maybe for wonders withoug a lot of points, I need to plan an alternative source of VP (Science). Many qualifying people don't show up to the event. This QF let in probably around a dozen alternates.
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9. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:412]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Vegas Showdown Heat 1

46 David Borton
45 Jeff Wu
38 Anni Foasberg
32 Alex Bove

I chose to play Vegas Showdown over Alhambra even though I feel like I'm also pretty good in Alhambra. I think people are more willing to play Alhambra in Denver so I chose Vegas Showdown because I don't get to play it as much. Actually I don't remember much about what I did in the actual game. I do remember Alex espousing that the Buffet is really overpriced and then saying that he is a horrible Vegas Showdown player.

Later I realized that Alex was montu on BGG and that once several years ago we traded jigsaw puzzles through BGG.

What I learned: Players really pay attention to what bonus cards have and have not come out and adjust their strategy to do so. Tiles like the Buffet are not as good because they are not included in the bonus tiles.
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10. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Jeff W
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Parker
Colorado
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Titan 2 Round 1

[win] Sean McCullough
Jeff Wu

I have played Titan since the 1980s and it is probably the only "wargame" that I play. I used to play against one of my friends who was very enthusiastic but not very good. I played some on ACTs for a while. But other than that I didn't have different opponents. One of the attractions coming to the WBC is that there is 2 Titan tournaments. I went in enthusiastically and for the 2 player game because I felt that you can be easily out of a game through no fault of your own in a multiplayer game.

I was imagining hours of playing Titan, but I found out that previous champions aren't paired against previous champions in the first round. Furthermore, there were 7 previous champions out of the 14 players entered, so I had to play a previous champion. My draw was Sean who I have played against on ACTS.

Sean was recruiting much better than I, but I was picking off some of his growing stacks so I was catching up in the recruiting and ahead in points. But I left my Titan open to a roll of 6 right after I split and Sean pounced on the opportunity by rolling a 6 demolished my Titan. This happened about 1 hour into the game.

What I learned: Sometimes it is hard to see the reach of a stack with a 6.
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11. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:278]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Egizia Heat 1

109 Sceadeau D'Tela
90 Chris Wildes
73 Andrew Emerick
57 Jeff Wu

A bonus for getting knocked out so fast in Titan was that I was free to play Egizia. I played some 2 player games of Egizia a few years back on Yucata and I thought I was pretty good.

I was in for a rude awakening. I jumped to selecting a Sphinx card and this was followed by a jump to halfway down the track to snag a 3 quarry and another jump to 3/4 of the way to grab the other 3 quarry. While the fourth player Chris was left to pick up all the remaining cards. He decided to starve people to lose point to go first. More claiming of quarries in the second round pretty much doomed my game. My only consolation was that I wasn't lapped.

What I learned: People valuate quarries highly and are willing to do extreme measures to acquire them early in the game. Starving people in the first round to lose points is actually a good strategy.

Edit: Corrected a name
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12. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:207]
Jeff W
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Parker
Colorado
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Acquire Heat 1

Finished 2nd -- forgot to take picture of final score sheet.

Acquire is the first game really to captivate me. I first saw it around 1970 when my parents were invited to a party and this game was brought out. I don't think I was allowed to play, but I was hooked. I went on to buy many of the 3M games but none of them was quite as good as Acquire.

There was one beginner (of the 4 player game) at the table and she was frustrated and complaining loudly that she didn't have any money for a long time, being locked out of the mergers. The leader of the game was sort of negotiating with her (somewhat in jest) saying that if she helps him that he'll help her out.

What I learned: I was clearly 2nd, but I kept buying the same stocks as the leader. I need to do something different, even if the odds are lower because that is the only way to win.
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13. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:112]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Splendor Heat 1

15 Megan Byrd
14 Jeff Wu
12 Sam Wolff
8 Jeremy Pirlet

I have played a lot of the 3 player Splendor on the iOS app. This is probably a disservice to the tournament because I tend to play fast and not pay too much attention to the other players. Megan won by bringing out a reserved card which I didn't even remember she took.

What I learned: Need to pay more attention to what the other players are targeting.
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14. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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St. Petersburg Heat 1

63 Haim Hochborm
43 Nicole Yuhase
41 Jeff Wu
35 Bryan Berkenstock

I love 2 player St. Petersburg because I think it is a highly skilled game. I usually avoid 4 player St. Petersburg because I feel it is a luck fest. I decided to just play in this heat to relax. However, it became stressful immediately when Bryan thought for a long time about which of the first workers to buy (he was debating if he should buy a 7 worker over the 3 worker because there are multiple 7 workers and he would get a discount on future 7s). I was suddenly seeing that I might miss the the second heat of Vegas Showdown because this game might take too long. Fortunately Bryan picked up his pace and the game ended in time.

What I learned: Playing a game for fun to relax can backfire on you.
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15. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:412]
Jeff W
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Parker
Colorado
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Vegas Showdown Heat 2

47 Kate Fractal
46 Jeff Wu
42 Tim Rogers
39 Jim Fry

I had a big lead in this game and was trying to finish it quickly, but Kate was able to buy the Theatre and beat me out by a point.

I didn't overbid Kate on the penultimate turn for a lounge, figuring I had another turn. However, the lounge workers went on strike the last turn and I had to buy a table games to complete my casino section for twice as much without a point (losing me 3 points).

What I learned: Buy the tiles you need before the last turn because events can screw up your plans.
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16. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Amun Re Heat 1

41 Rich Meyer
38 Robert St. Pierre
37 Lexi Shea
36 Jeff Wu
33 Scott Fenn

Played another lackluster game. I wasn't very aggressive in the game (going for sets instead of majorities). I think I'm a better player when there are big differences in pyramids after the first epoch. I also had all three of the bonus cards that give you bonuses for different areas on the board, but couldn't use any of them in the first epoch and only one in the second epoch.

What I learned: I should go for majorities in the first epoch. But I should position myself after the competition in round 3. I should pay attention to the provinces that come out in the first round and value provinces that are "by itself" higher because it is easier to complete the bonuses.

Edit: Corrected Names
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17. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Ra Heat 2

39 Steve Scott
25 John Gitzen
25 Jeff Wu
23 Robert St. Pierre
22 Rod Davidson

Another inexplicable game of Ra. My game was doomed when my 2 tile advantage in pharoahs disappeared when something like 16 tiles were drawn without a Ra tile at the end of the second epoch.
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18. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Thurn & Taxis Heat 1

22 Scott Saccenti
20 Deb Yaure
19 Samantha Berk
14 Jeff Wu


Since Tuesday didn't have much on the calendar, I decided to play this late (11pm) heat of Thurn & Taxis. I have played a few games of T&T but they are all many years ago. I spent the first few turns remembering the rules and then the next few turns remembering the strategy. This is not a recipe for success again good competition.

Edit: Corrected names
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19. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Titan (Open Gaming)

Tuesday was auction/meetings so there was very little on the docket until late, so we hit open gaming. Nathan wanted to play Titan and he invited a new player to play. With a four player game a newbie the game moved very slow. Jacob pretty much rotted and was down to one pile. I gifted him my position when Dan wanted to go to grocery store and I tagged along at the 4 hour point in the game.
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20. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:207]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Acquire Heat 2

52,100* Evan Davis
44,800 Jeff Wu
43,600 Paul Klayder
38,300 Bradley Raszewski

Paul and I had early mergers and were fighting it out. Towards the end of the game, I started to merge companies away from Paul's holdings and toward Evan's since Evan had been sitting out of the action for most of the game. After the final scores had been tallied, all four of us were stunned that Evan won and by so much. I think it was in our collective experience that someone who was left out of most of the mergers during the game was doomed to last. Were our mergers too small and the 41+ Luxor majority big enough to catapult him to first?

*Later on, the GM informed me that Evan calculated and recalculated and determined that I was the winner by $200. I don't know how he recalculated because I that task would have been beyond my brain capacity.

At this point in the WBC, I had a few minor successes coupled with several massive failures. After Evan rescinded first place, I felt like the luck started swinging my way.
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21. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Jeff W
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Parker
Colorado
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Titan Heat 1

1st Jeff Wu
2nd Rahul Chandra
3rd Nick Klercker

Very early in the game, Rahul knocked out Nick's Titan and we were suddenly in a 2 player game. I guessed where Rahul's titan was and set up a block/trap with my wyvern/marsh stack in front of his jungle/brush stack. I blocked the other exit with a weakish unicorn/warbear stack in the woods. Eventually, Rahul knocked out my unicorn stack in the woods and then attacked my marsh blockade. Having a summonable angel made his attack viable and Rahul had the battle won. But worried that he would be left with a non-growing stack, he risked his titan against 20 dice from my guardian and troll. Given that I have been rolling like crap this seemed like a good gamble. I rolled 6 sixes (I needed 5) and I had my first victory in Titan.

It was a good thing that the game ended there. I had a quite strong (double hydra/unicorn/warbear) titan stack when most of the others were just getting to behemoth stage. I think the game could've gone another 5+ hours at the pace that we were playing and it was 2:10 in the morning. I was considering calling for an adjudication or just resigning outright so I can get to bed.

What I learned: Do not play in the 9pm Titan heat--especially if you have plans in the morning.
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22. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:412]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Vegas Showdown Heat 3

62 Jeff Wu
58 Andrew Drummond
48 Michael Brazinski
45 Kevin Wojtaszczyk

I don't remember what happened in this game. Even though the Titan game on the previous night didn't go past 2:30, I didn't get to bed until 3:30 and had a hard time falling asleep. So this game was a blur. I got my win and I was pretty sure with a 1-2-2 that I made the semifinals. Someone put away my board while I was in the bathroom so I didn't even fill out the winning player's playsheet.
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23. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Titan Heat 3

1st Aki
2nd Jeff Wu
3rd David DesJardin

I know David is one of the best Titan players. He once attempted to give me a lesson by playing on ACTS, but I don't think we ever finished. I have never met Aki before. Playing Aki was kind of intimidating at first. He would give out all your musters even before you pick up your pieces. He would yell out numbers during your rolls (kind of cursing your rolls) and he would silently giggle (kind of reminds me of the old cartoon dog Sneavly (sp?)) when his curses work.

Aki is a very aggressive player and knocked out David in the first couple of turns. He attacked my Ttn/ang/ang/uni/cyc/cyc stack with his ttn/wlk/min/ran/ran/ran stack. At the end I left an opening for his titan and he can eliminate me by throwing 7 4s with 16 dice. I also could've eliminate his titan by throwing 8 4s with 20 dice. His curses worked and I wasn't able to get a mutual.

What I learned: Be careful early with your Titan stack when facing Aki.
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24. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Lost Cities Heat 1

233 Jeff Wu
51 Jon Sean

I haven't played in a long time and had to ask Jon for a quick summary of the rules. I felt bad about my huge score but I think luck was on my side.
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25. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Titan Heat 4

Nick Klercker
Bruce Rae
Rahul Chandra
4th Jeff Wu
5th John Chung

I almost always split my gargoyles. The only time I don't is when playing in a high number count game and going near last. This was the case in this game. From the start, I was just boxed in and couldn't muster at all.

Nick was almost crippled by Rahul early in the game, but somehow grew to Colossuses in short order. There was an interesting interchange which led to Nick's Colossus. I had a couple of centaurs trapped in the tundra. Bruce decided to leave a small stack on the marsh in front of my stack--presumably so I would attack and concede and yielding him an angel. I decided not to move figuring out that Nick had a 50% chance of getting a giant anyway and I was not going to gift Bruce an angel. Later Bruce pointed out that I could have negotiated a mutual. However, I don't think that worked because I didn't know what was in his stack and I don't think negotiations are binding between the move and the battle.

I presumed Nick won this heat with Bruce finishing second. Rahul was pretty much crippled from his early attack on Nick.

What I learned: Bail out of 5+ player games of Titan. I personally don't enjoy it and there was other events on the docket that I do enjoy.
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