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Subject: Ten Thoughts on this years WBC rss

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Marty Sample
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Long time NFL fans may be familiar with Peter Kings MMQB column where every Monday he writes about the week's news on the NFL and his thoughts on various issues. One section of this excellent column is called "10 Things I Think". Here are my 10 thoughts on this years WBC while they are fresh in my head :

1. TERRAFORMING MARS came out just after last years con and this year it was all over open gaming. From what I saw it had a very healthy turnout for the tournament, despite some voicing misgivings ( card drafting not only the 4 cards per turn but the starting 10 as well ) . However the real standout for me was TIME OF CRISIS . Released just a few months ago, this wargame/deck builder on the late Roman Empire saw a healthy amount of play in open gaming. With a tight rules set and a play time under 3 hours, I wonder if this makes the century next year either by vote or by GMT sponsorship. I played both games four times during the week .

2. Speaking of GMT, I was fortunate enough to get in two playtests of the upcoming SPACECORP, This game is played over three eras as you explore the inner solar system, then the outer solar system, then finally launch out to places like Alpha Centauri and build colonies . Players draft cards to build their capabilities like Move, Explore, Build, Research etc and try to not only explore space but fulfill contracts for various goals. This game should be out by next years con I think and I suspect it will be very prominent in open gaming . As you would expect with a John Butterfield design, its an excellent game with some very well thought out ideas.

3. On the flip side from new games, I got in yet two more plays of a classic multiplayer wargame, ANGOLA . The second game in particular was a nail biter. One player was new to the game, Steven Brooks. Fresh off his win in the ASLSK event, he quickly picked up the nuances of the game and helped eke out a tie on the very last phase of the game when I thought our side would lose. Often tie games are a bit of a letdown, but all four of us - Bryan Collars and JR Tracy - felt it was an excellent game given the seesaw nature. Whether its ANGOLA or another older game in your collection, in this day and age of constant new product hitting, don't be afraid to break out older stuff, some of it still holds up quite well .

4. Some people I talked to felt event attendance seemed off a bit while open gaming was up. Don't know if its even possible to quantify - overall pre regs were flat. No word on walk ons . One of my favorite events saw a bit of a drop off with no schedule change from prior years . If you have attended an event for many years but were unable to this year, take a moment to reach out to the GM and say why you couldn't make it, it can give them feedback to perhaps tweak things, whether it be schedule, format, whatever .

5. On the ride home, my co-pilot ( the ever entertaining Rob Seulowitz ) and I discussed the satisfaction in seeing younger attendees participate in non Junior events. Yours truly was taken out in the Mulligan round of War of the Ring by a 10-12 year old, I wish I caught his name. He stood his ground despite my military forces laying waste to Gondor; he put on his track shoes and gamely sprinted the Hobbits up Mt Doom and dunked the Ring with only 2 Corruption to spare.

He then showed up to the first round heat despite the bye he earned in the Mulligan because he wanted to learn more about the game ! It got me thinking...the Tour de France has not only a yellow jersey for the overall winning rider, but also a white jersey for best young rider. Perhaps some sort of Junior Caesar award for juniors ? While I agree there is a need for all junior events, I think its equally important to encourage them to try to kick the adult asses, as we've all seen many times over the years.

6. On the food front I liked the Timbers menu a lot, but some nights found myself needing a dinner break by myself . Since they have no bar I felt a bit bad taking up a table and did my best to eat as fast as possible . Since it appears that the Bavarian menu comes out of the same kitchen as Timbers, I wonder if they would consider offering the Timbers menu in the Bavarian. On a related note, never got to try to the new place next to the bowling alley . Did the buffet dinner one night, which was decent but not great. However the dessert section was insane .

7. Kudos to the Board for securing our long term future at 7S with a nominal $1.50 per nite rate increase over the next 10 years ( actually $5 every 3 years ) . Throw in all new renovated rooms including all having a refrigerator . The WiFi was better than last year ( I was able to stream Game of Thrones !! ) , but still a work in progress . I feel confident that will improve as well .

8. Back to games, one of the more popular events, Atlantic Storm got a boost when GM and game designer Ben Knight announced a new version, the Admirals Edition, will be published by Lock n Load publishing. It will have some new cards and rules tweaks. I would not dump your old version, esp given there is no firm publishing date; they've been working on the reprint of TRIAL OF STRENGTH for several years now .And a few days later I picked up a Mediterranean version called "Med Sirocco by Hexasim . Ben was not involved with the design but they contacted him and he gave them his blessing. I've not had a chance to play it but it looks very similar mechanically . I think it was about $25 .

9. The Consimworld discussion forum was down for most of the convention, its longest outage ever. Supposed to be fixed soon; if it's gonna go down, WBC week is as good a week as any as forum traffic takes a noticeable drop during the con .

10. Rain aside, the outside temps were as nice as I can ever recall for a WBC. Maybe next year the third time will be the charm and we'll get sunny weather and mild temps .



See you all next year !
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David desJardins
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Were all of the tables at Timbers full?? I never saw it that busy.

Triumph & Tragedy was another game I saw a lot of in Open Gaming. Probably not a good tournament candidate.

The "unofficial Tichu tournament" went well and I think there will be another push to get it considered as an official event for next year.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Were all of the tables at Timbers full?? I never saw it that busy.


We had to wait about 20 min last night for a table of 2. It was right around 6:30. There seemed to be a lot of "civilians" in the hotel yesterday, though, so maybe that it why it was so crowded.

The weird thing was that Foggy Goggle bar. It was open for a few days last year and not at all this year. I talked to a few of the bartenders and they all said they didn't know of any plans to open it during the week.

You would think they would have opened it like last year for a few days when it was hopping with events. They could have made a killing during that 9pm Terraforming Mars heat over there. Nobody was leaving in that deluge to get a beer, but a bunch of us wanted one.

I know they probably made a business decision that it wasn't worth it to stock it and staff it, but it would have been nice to have another drink option when on that side of the property.

Or maybe they figured 7/10 was close enough.

Quote:
However the real standout for me was TIME OF CRISIS .


My big regret is that I didn't get to play this. I brought my copy and had every intention of getting it played in open gaming, but it just didn't work out.

Kevin
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Bill Gallagher
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I'm thinking about going next year (for the first time).

Terraforming Mars: How would one implement the first-round draft? I'd like to hear some ideas (probably better in that forum).

DaviddesJ wrote:
The "unofficial Tichu tournament" went well and I think there will be another push to get it considered as an official event for next year.

Tichu has been a staple tournament at BGG.CON - I hope it's picked up at WBC as well.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Terraforming Mars: How would one implement the first-round draft? I'd like to hear some ideas (probably better in that forum).


I played both a corporate and non-corporate game in the heats and we just did it as described in the rules. (The corporate game I played was with the GM, so I assuming we did it right. )

It took awhile, for sure, but I didn't find it agonizingly long.

Kevin
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David E
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Triumph & Tragedy was another game I saw a lot of in Open Gaming. Probably not a good tournament candidate.


Why not?
 
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Marty Sample
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Long play time.
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David desJardins
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AmadanNaBriona wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Triumph & Tragedy was another game I saw a lot of in Open Gaming. Probably not a good tournament candidate.


Why not?


It's primarily a 3-player game. I don't think most 3-player wargames work well in tournaments.
 
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David E
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DaviddesJ wrote:
It's primarily a 3-player game. I don't think most 3-player wargames work well in tournaments.


Churchill does okay. It's a little awkward because you can only admit exactly (modulo 3) people into the tournament (or else use the suboptimal 2-player rules, which I don't recommend), but I have actually thought about trying to start a T&T tournament.
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Wayne L
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AmadanNaBriona wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
It's primarily a 3-player game. I don't think most 3-player wargames work well in tournaments.


Churchill does okay. It's a little awkward because you can only admit exactly (modulo 3) people into the tournament (or else use the suboptimal 2-player rules, which I don't recommend), but I have actually thought about trying to start a T&T tournament.


I fully support a T&T tournament and I can say I know at least 3 people who would participate in WBC 2018 just for T&T. I had posted this in a different forum thread about a tournament format.

Quote:
Thought about it a bit more. I think the best set up would be 3 heats on 3 different days. Each heat is an entire game. The top 9 players from the 3 heats advance to the semi finals. So if you win 2 games, you have a very good chance of advancing. The semi finals would be seeded. Best I got is 1-6-9, 2-5-8, and 3-4-7. The top seed gets to choose faction, 2nd next, etc.

Winners of each match go to finals. Finals are random factions. Winner take all.

Thoughts? Having more than 1 game in a day would be very challenging as a full game can take 6+ hours. So it would be best to split the 3 heats across 3 days. Than the semis and finals could be the same day or different.
 
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David desJardins
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I don't think Churchill is a good tournament game either, but, as you point out, there have been plenty of enthusiastic players in the Churchill tournament, so it doesn't really matter what I think.
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Gareth Williams
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natsean wrote:
Quote:
Were all of the tables at Timbers full?? I never saw it that busy.


The weird thing was that Foggy Goggle bar. It was open for a few days last year and not at all this year. I talked to a few of the bartenders and they all said they didn't know of any plans to open it during the week.

You would think they would have opened it like last year for a few days when it was hopping with events. They could have made a killing during that 9pm Terraforming Mars heat over there. Nobody was leaving in that deluge to get a beer, but a bunch of us wanted one.



They opened the bar in the Ski Lodge last year and didn't get many takers, the one bartender who did come down to give wait service in Rathskeller got in trouble for leaving it unattended

From discussions it seems they didn't make any more money doing it, though we were able to get wait service in there for Thursday night and the bar was open Friday for a few hours for B-17

I'd like to see something for this next year though I know we are a tight fisted bunch
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Devin Smith
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DaviddesJ wrote:

The "unofficial Tichu tournament" went well and I think there will be another push to get it considered as an official event for next year.


It would have been nice if this were advertised somewhere--I would have loved to play, but. . . .
 
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Michael Kiefte
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Wilphe wrote:

They opened the bar in the Ski Lodge last year and didn't get many takers, the one bartender who did come down to give wait service in Rathskeller got in trouble for leaving it unattended

From discussions it seems they didn't make any more money doing it, though we were able to get wait service in there for Thursday night and the bar was open Friday for a few hours for B-17

I'd like to see something for this next year though I know we are a tight fisted bunch


I'm kind of glad they didn't. If there were civilians at the bar, it would have been annoying for the tournament players.
 
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Marty Sample
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I don't envision civilians hanging around the Ski Losge off-season, esp if it's not advertised as being open.
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Curt Collins
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[q="Yuglooc"

Terraforming Mars: How would one implement the first-round draft? I'd like to hear some ideas (probably better in that forum).
[/q]


scrap the draft.

having a draft may allow some players to 'improve synergy' or 'build better combos', but overall it's a huge negative for the tournament.

Do you want your tournament fate to be determined by seat draw more than by your play? Then use a draft. Inexperienced players will feed those around them, and the poor souls that sit next to better players will have to hope that they get a good card in their original hand, but not more than one.

Playing this event was a mistake I don't make again. Tournament time is too valuable to waste, and this tournament took a LOOOOOOOOONG time.
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striped_zebra wrote:

I fully support a T&T tournament


    Whoa -- Tunnels and Trolls tournament? I AM IN BABY! "Take that you fiend!"

             S.

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Thumis Dalidalisa
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Marty hit what would have been most of my main points as well.

Terraforming Mars was the game I saw on the most tables over the week. Time of Crisis was second but also widely played and a hit. It was nice to have Wray there to answer rules questions. Triumph and Tragedy showing great "legs" and was played a lot as well.

In addition to Spacecorps, John's new Enemy Action game (Kharkov) got good reviews from many playtests.

I strongly endorse idea of giving some sort of recognition to young players who play in adult events. For example, Grant's two high school daughters whipped many people in Conquest of Paradise.

Another idea to stimulate a new generation of gamers might be to allow drop-ins" for a nominal fee at the youth room. I saw several "civilian" visitors whose kids were asking to be allowed to play games in the kids room. I doubt they'd want to buy a WBC pass (or know how).

Food has been debated at length. I have some opinions but it's fruitless to discuss an issue like this on the Internet. Personally, I tried to save money by eating turkey sandwiches I made in my room.

My biggest regret is not taking an afternoon off to walk or bike around outside in the gorgeous weather.



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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Do you want your tournament fate to be determined by seat draw more than by your play?


This is what happens in every WBC game, unless you are bidding for seats, though. You will always have differing levels of experience in the B events. As you said in the other thread, you have to mitigate this in the heats to get out.

The alternative in TF is just to have fate decide your fate by luck of the draw. I don't think any serious players are going without the draft at home. So, to do so in the tournament would have been odd.

For sure it added time, but it would have been a worse game, to my mind, without the draft. (And I got hate drafted out of Jovian in both games I played. soblue)

Kevin


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Kevin C.
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Quote:
If there were civilians at the bar, it would have been annoying for the tournament players.


That's a good point. Although last year, when it was open, I don't remember many (or any) civilians being up there.

I think the gauntlet of wargames they would have to run to actually make it to the bar would dissuade them.

Kevin
 
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Peter Stein
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Spleen wrote:
[q="Yuglooc"

Terraforming Mars: How would one implement the first-round draft? I'd like to hear some ideas (probably better in that forum).



scrap the draft.

having a draft may allow some players to 'improve synergy' or 'build better combos', but overall it's a huge negative for the tournament.

Do you want your tournament fate to be determined by seat draw more than by your play? Then use a draft. Inexperienced players will feed those around them, and the poor souls that sit next to better players will have to hope that they get a good card in their original hand, but not more than one.

Playing this event was a mistake I don't make again. Tournament time is too valuable to waste, and this tournament took a LOOOOOOOOONG time.[/q]

Well hey I'm actually in agreement with Curt. cool

You're getting 10 cards, plus 2 corporations to choose from. You ought to be able to put together something at least marginally useful.

And how many times do you come up with a plan after the initial deal and by turn 4 the plan is in the garbage can because you're not seeing any of the helpful cards?
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Peter Stein
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Yuglooc wrote:
I'm thinking about going next year (for the first time).

Terraforming Mars: How would one implement the first-round draft? I'd like to hear some ideas (probably better in that forum).

DaviddesJ wrote:
The "unofficial Tichu tournament" went well and I think there will be another push to get it considered as an official event for next year.

Tichu has been a staple tournament at BGG.CON - I hope it's picked up at WBC as well.


I'm curious- how do they prevent partners from giving signals about the cards they have?
 
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David desJardins
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Bordgamer wrote:
I'm curious- how do they prevent partners from giving signals about the cards they have?


Same as in tournament bridge or any other partnership game. It's against the rules.

How do you prevent people playing 18xx from hiding extra money in their pockets?
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DaviddesJ wrote:

How do you prevent people playing 18xx from hiding extra money in their pockets?


    Wait, that's not legal?
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Dave Long
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Sagrilarus wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:

How do you prevent people playing 18xx from hiding extra money in their pockets?


    Wait, that's not legal?


Is THAT Bruce Beard's secret? (Prob. not. I suppose he'd let me hide extra money and he'd still win.)
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