Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: World boardgaming championship 2013 RftG report rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Rob Neuhaus
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In his second year as a GM for Race for the Galaxy, Rob Renaud came prepared and ran a much smoother tournament than the prior year. The format was changed to Heats Most Wins, and players needed 2 wins to qualify for the 16-player semifinals. Players played the base game for heats 1 and 2, and then Gathering Storm for heats 3, 4 and the semi finals, and Rebel vs Imperium for the finals. 87 different people played at least one game, slightly down from 91 last year.

Heat 1 saw 14 4-player tables of base Race for the Galaxy at 9 am on Wednesday. Previous laurelists Rob Kircher, Nick Kiswanto, David Platnick, and Aaron Fuegi all got their first win. Returning champ Rob Renaud suffered a disappointing 3rd place finish to Ed Fear and last year’s 3rd place finisher, Curt Collins. The original RftG GM, Winton Lemoine also earned a win. In what will become an nice streak, Mark Crescenzi puts up a victory with an impressive 25 point margin.

Heat 2 followed shortly with 13 4-player base game tables. Edward Fear earned his second win in a rather strange game against Aaron Fuegi and Winton Lemoine in which all players built a dev-bonus development on the first turn. Rob Renaud managed a narrow victory despite Alex Bove’s monstrous 8 cards drawn on produce (via Diversified Economy and Lost Species Ark World). Six players (Mark Crescenzi, Tim Tu, Nick Kiswanto, Ed Fear, Rob Kircher, and Peter Eldridge) all won their second game and likely entrance to the semifinals.

Heat 3 featured 11 4-player tables at 9 am on Friday. This featured the Gathering Storm expansion, which introduces goals and the infamous Improved Logistics. Previous champions Rob Renaud and Aaron Fuegi both got their second wins and qualified for the semis, along with John Riston, Jason Levine, and Christopher Ellis. Mark Crescenzi won his game in the third heat, becoming the only 3-game winner.

Heat 4 again followed right after heat 3, with 10 4-player tables and many players vying for that precious second win for the semis. Chris Bert and Jason Long accomplished the task, leaving 14 2-game winners. As a result, 4 players with only 1 win but an average finish of second also qualified for the semifinals. Meanwhile, Mark Crescenzi racked up his 4th win, with an impressive 17 point margin over 2-game winner John Riston.

Thirteen 2-game winners showed up for the semis, with three more lucky (or perhaps, merely present) 1-game winner alternates filling up the remaining slots for the 4-table, 4-player semifinals. The semis were again played with the Gathering Storm expansion. Mark Crescenzi continued his dominance with an impressive 20-point victory, taking out previous champion Aaron Fuegi. Rob Kircher bested Rob Renaud in their semis game thanks to a gutsy repeated blind trade call. Jason Levine beat Nick Kiswanto in their semi, despite Nick K’s twice-successful blind trades. John Riston won his semifinal in a close game where the difference between first and last was only 8 points.

In the final, Mark Crescenzi, Rob Kircher, Jason Levine, and John Riston played with both the Gathering Storm and Rebel vs Imperium expansions. The big goals in the game were 4+ production worlds and 3+ Explore powers. The small goals were first to 8 tableau cards, the first to build a 6 dev, first to 3 alien cards, and the first to 5 VP chips.

Rob opens with Imperium Warlord. He holds Imperium Seat, the Rebel 7, and the Alien 8 in his hand, but will need tons of military to get them down. Importantly, he has no cheap military windfalls to bootstrap his military conquest.


John opens with Epsilon Eridani. He has a military hand, including Alien Robot Sentry and Alien Robot Scout Ship, as well as a military dev.

Mark starts with Alpha Centuari. Your imperfect GM has no notes about his opening hand, but recalls that it was somewhat weak and lacking synergy.


Jason happily and immediately takes Galactic Developers before even looking at his hand.

On the first turn, John calls dev to put out some military, enabling a next turn settle. Mark trades, and everyone else explores. Rob finds (and builds) Imperium Troops, his second Imperium card and potentially setting up some possibly big scoring with Imperium Seat. Jason follows along with the military trend, building Space Marines. Mark misses the development with his weak opening hand.


On turn 2, John settles Alien Robot Sentry. Mark settles Comet Zone. Jason settles Destroyed World.

On turn 3, Mark produces, while everyone else trades away their windfalls from the previous turn.


Turn 4 sees a diversity of role selection. John explores +5, Jason calls develop, and Rob produces. Jason builds Pan-Galactic Research, mistakenly grabbing the 6-dev goal before being informed that PGR does not actually qualify for it. Nevertheless, the GM is a huge fan of an early PGR, because it quickly pays for itself with massive card advantages in explore, develop, and produce. Rob continues with his military strategy, building Space Marines. Mark builds a well-timed Mining Conglomerate, drawing 2 cards for producing the most (and only) Mining good on produce.


At this point, John and Rob both have a decent military, Jason has impressive card flow, but no clear strategy, and Mark has a budding Mining produce/consume engine.

Turn 5 again sees another round of varied action selection. Mark calls explore + 5, Jason calls dev, John calls settle, and Rob trades away his freshly produced windfall good. John builds Galactic Imperium on dev, solidifying his military strategy, though with the GM’s least favorite military 6 dev. Mark builds Terraforming Robots, which fits in pretty well with his tableau. Jason builds R&D crash program for free, possibly hinting at a future 6 dev. On settle, John builds Rebel Warrior Race, which gets a +2 score bonus from his Gal Imp. Mark builds another mining windfall, which gives him excess windfall worlds, he cannot produce on all his worlds, even if he calls produce.


On turn 6, Jason again develops as his R&D hinted, both military players settle, and Mark produces. Jason builds Galactic Survey SETI on his develop, giving him 2 explore powers and putting him close to the most explore powers goal. Rob builds drop ships, upping his military to 7. Both Mark and John miss the develop. John settles Lost Alien Warship, while Rob players a 2 defense uplift windfall world, and Mark expands his engine with Earth's Lost Colony and has Mining Guild in his hand. By now, the big military worlds that Rob held in his initial hand are gone, so he might not be able to capitalize on his large military.


On turn 7, everyone trades in their fresh goods, except for Mark, who calls consume 2x VP and grabs the first to 5 VP goal.

Turn 8 sees some more interesting action, with a dev from Rob and Jason, and a settle from John. Mark expectedly calls produce, but must not be happy with the dual build from his opponents, rushing the game towards the end, before he can get many consume 2x VP cycles. Rob builds Research Labs and takes the 3+ explore powers goal. Everyone now has 8 cards on their tableau except Mark, effectively earning him -3 VP for missing some build phases. On the settle, Mark builds Gem World for his 3rd production world. Rob settles the Rebel 6. John surprises the GM by placing Smuggling Lair rather than the Hidden Fortress that he has in hand, but he felt the need for more card flow and a quick game end. Jason settles Lost Species Ark World and draws 4 on produce, but maybe should have been pursuing the explore power goal with his existing good card flow and SETI on his tableau.


Turn 9 again sees a dev and settle while Mark consumes 2x. Mark settles a brown windfall, leaving him still 1 away from the 4+ prod world goal, while Jason ties him in the production world race. In a big and possibly game winning move, John uses the bonus +4 military against Rebels from Galactic Imperium to settle the Rebel 9, giving him both a giant military world and a matching military 6 dev. He showed the GM he didn't need Hidden Fortress to get the big military world’s down and effectively used Galactic Imperium’s settle power.


On turn 10, Mark explores with his mostly empty hand, Rob explores +5, probably looking for some big end game card, Jason devs, and John settles. Jason builds New Economy on dev. Mark and Jason split the 4+ prod goal during settle, probably both of them unhappy with that outcome.


When the dust settles, John's 40 points make him the new RftG champion, just barely ahead of Jason's and Mark's 39 and Rob's very close for last 36. Had Mark not found a production world on explore, Jason would have had 41 and would have won. Likewise, Mark would have won if Jason didn’t tie him for the goal.


Congratulations to John for winning the WBC Race championship, and putting an end to Mark's dominant 5 game winning streak.

Unlike many WBC attendees, I only specialize in a couple games and I just want to grind out many, many plays of my few specialties. If you are interested in playing lots of expert level RFG at the next WBC, and you probably might if you've managed to read this far, please send me an email, rrenaud@gmail.com and I’ll happily play lots in open gaming with you.
22 
 Thumb up
0.36
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Nice writeup, Rob. Thanks for GMing.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Grankin
Ukraine
Mariupol
flag msg tools
Avatar
Very interesting read, thanks.

The play-off is definitely exciting, but, considering the luck variance, don't you think that some kind of point system with multiple plays per group would be more indicative of players' skills and their relative strength to each other?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Neuhaus
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If it was up to me, players would play ~50 2p games to decide the eventual winner. But, WBC is very much about playing and competing in a variety of events, rather than grinding out tons of a single game. I'd definitely trust the 100s of thousands of games online as the best way to find the top Race players.

But in person tournaments are still fun/nice.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.