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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: 2008 Catan World Championship Event Review rss

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Alex Yeager
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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This is the Mayfair view on the 2008 Settlers of Catan World Championship, held in Indianapolis IN at Gen Con. We’ll have an illustrated version of what follows on our website next week, along with some extras both here and there over the next few weeks.

Upon checking in, contestants received a gift bag with a variety of items, including a variety of Catan-themed items and their invitation to dinner on Friday evening. Contestants were allowed to wander the convention on Thursday and Friday before the tournament began.

The festivities started Friday night with a dinner for all of the contestants and their guests, as well as Mayfair staff, Gen Con organizers, and a surprise special guest in Johan From Catan (featured in a series of YouTube videos). We started at 7 pm, and when I stopped back by from a previous engagement at 12:30 am, almost everyone was still there. In addition to dinner and drinks, contestants were asked to sign two World Championship banners: one to be displayed at the Mayfair offices, and one for the tournament winner to keep.

Saturday morning at 10, all of our contestants were present, photographed and ready to go. We had a scheduled group of 16, but one of our Taiwanese players was unable to obtain her visa in time and so Azreal Spears, a multiple finalist from past Origins and Gen Con tournaments, was included to fill out our field. Although unable to advance, a special thank you to Azrael is in order for assisting us at the last minute to keep our field at an even 16.

Our lineup included:
Shi-Wei Hsu (Taiwan)
Manfred Werlein (Austria)
Andreas Landrichter (Austria)
Peter Gruber (Germany)
Ulrich Schütze (Germany)
Niek van de Schoot (Holland)
Andre Hanemaaijer (Holland)
Rohan Flavelle (Australia)
Markus Welbourne (United Kingdom)
Adam Wilson (Canada)
Olav Rokne (Canada)
Nataniel Ljostveit (Norway)
Todd Sweet (USA)
Joshua Slaubaugh (USA)
Matt McLaughlin (At-Large/USA)

The format was the same as past qualifier tournaments: four games, with players ranked by number of wins, then by total points, then by percentage of points earned (a victory at a 10/6/5/4 table is considered better than a 10/9/9/8 table). Players would be ranked, and the top 8 would move on to Sunday’s semifinal.

One game was played before lunch was catered in, with 3 games in the afternoon. The tournament was ran in an open area off a main hallway for the convention, which also received a lot of extra traffic on Saturday afternoon due to the presence of two Star Wars stars (granted, they were really only very good full-size remote-control replicas of R2-D2 and R4-P17, but it drew a crowd. Come for the robots, stay for the Catan).

Games and scores remained tight, with 13 people still able to qualify for the 8-person semifinals with one game to finish at the end of Saturday. Finally, at the end of day one, Rohan and Andreas sat in the first- and second-seed position, with all of the Americans qualifying for the top 8.

A note about the play styles: past North American players have found that World Championship games tended to be very quiet and very restricted in their trading (port strategies are critical to most successful performances at the WC). Our intent was to create a tournament that not only provided high-level gameplay, but also to encourage the social element of Catan that we feel is one of the enjoyable aspects of the game. The icebreaker dinner was meant for contestants to relax and meet their opponents, but it also seemed to encourage a lot more conversation and trading than we’ve seen in past years at the WC.

Sunday opened with eight players ready to go. Rohan, Todd, Manfred and Ulrich sat at table 1; Andreas, Olav, Joshua and Matt sat at table 2. The order shown was their seeding from the Saturday qualifier, which meant that the highest seed at each table got to choose their starting position (first, second, third or fourth). After the smoke cleared, Andreas, Rohan, Matt and Todd had moved forward to the final game.

All of our contestants were invited back for lunch on Sunday, where they received their trophies for 5th through 16th place, as well as a parting gift of an iPod Shuffle. Our final game started after lunch, and 80 minutes later Todd Sweet emerged victorious. Rohan took second, Matt earned third, and Andreas claimed fourth. The final round of prizes were given out in front of several hundred people in the Mayfair booth in the exhibition hall. Todd took home a Flip video camera, a trophy, a Catan 3D Treasure Chest, and the signed banner.

Our favorite story occurs after the convention closed down. Nine of our participants (and let’s not forget, these are the folks who had never met 48 hours before, and had been playing against each other all day Saturday and Sunday), decided to get together and go out for an evening on the town. And what could be more quintessentially American than to head out for a rousing night of WWE action?...

Our 2008 field was about as large as the first World Championship, but we are delighted to have the opportunity to host, as well as put a bit of a social spin on the event. It’s great to see our players talking about what a great time they had, and we’re making plans to share a game or a beer with them at Essen. This event was made possible through the major sponsorships provided by Mayfair Games, Catan LLC, Kosmos, 999 Games and Heron Games. Additional support came from ThinkFun, Funatical, AlburyCity, Mind Games, Mission: Fun & Games, Minotaur Games, and Swan Panasia. Of course, having Guido Teuber and Nick Johnson from Catan LLC was much appreciated, and the Gen Con staff was terrific in giving us a great location for our tournament and fulfilling our every request.

We look forward to hosting the North American tournament at Gen Con in 2009 (details will be posted beginning in November on the Mayfair Games website), and we look forward to returning to Germany in 2010, when Kosmos will be the hosting organization for the Catan World Championship. Thanks to all of the support, enthusiasm, and patience for what was an enthusiastic first effort on our part to continue the tradition of the Catan World Championship!

Thanks!
Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games

(edit: added more individual sponsors. Thanks again to them!)

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Rick Teverbaugh
United States
Anderson
Indiana (IN)
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Before the photos are up I can vouch for the fact that the trophies were gorgeous and befitting of such a great tournament. The trophies were on display over the weekend and drew lots of admiring stares throughout the con.

Great writeup Alex.

So the points from each game are just the victory points earned when the game finished?
 
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Alex Yeager
United States
Ypsilanti
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Correct, Rick. Players with hidden VP cards at the end of the game reveal them, and they're included in the final point totals. And you can't win with more than 10 points (that got stopped a few years ago...)

Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Anderson
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Thanks much for the confirmation. I wish I could have watched more of the play as I am still learning. Too bad a video couldn't have been made for the entire final board.
 
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Alex Yeager
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We were hoping to webcam the final, but technical issues prevented us putting it into action. We've got pictures of all of the boards (before and after), and we're hoping to have a little fun with them over the next few weeks. We're not done showing off our competitors yet!

Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games
 
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All I can say was that I was happy to be there and to have participated in what was one of the most fun and enjoyable tournaments I've ever been in. There were laughs, tears, screams, and jumps of joy that made me very happy to see, and I am glad to have met so many friends from around the world. I say friends because I was one of the ones who went to see Summerslam, and all of us said that if any of us were in another's country, we would look each other up, and I plan to stick by that committment. I made a lot of friends (the banquet helped), and I can't wait to play everyone again sometime!

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Vidar Aas
Norway
Arendal
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Nice report, Alex. I spoke to Nataniel Ljostveit, the Norwegian representative, and he had a great time, so thank you for all your efforts.

One very important thing is lacking in the report though: All the results from No1 through 16!

Could you put up the results also? Like the Germans used to do after the World Championships in Essen: [url][/url]http://www2.herne.de/spielezentrum/Siedler/CATANWORLDS07/Inf...

Vidar Aas,
Norwegian contact person for the WCC
 
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Alex Yeager
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I'm on my way to Toronto this morning, but I'll definitely add the full list to this thread today if at all possible. We'll also make sure it's on the Mayfair webpage when it goes up.

Thanks for the reminder!

Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games
 
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BFL's going down (under)
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Thanks for the write-up, Alex. I look forward to the photos.

Well done to all who took part, especially from my point of view Markus Welbourne - glad you were able to make it, Markus. It must have been one heck of a field, and I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Paul (OxCon SoC tournament organiser 2008)
 
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Alex Yeager
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The final standings were:

1. Mr. Todd Sweet
2. Mr. Rohan Flavelle
3. Mr. Matt McLaughlin
4. Mr. Andreas Landrichter
5. Mr. Olav Rokne
6. Mr. Joshua Slaubaugh
7. Mr. Ulrich Schütze
8. Mr. Manfred Werlein
9. Mr. Markus Welbourne
10. Mr. Adam Wilson
11. Mr. André Hanemaaijer
12. Mr. Shih-Wei Hsu
13. Mr. Peter Gruber
14. Mr. Niek van de Schoot
15. Mr. Nataniel Ljostveit
16. Mr. Azrael Spear

Alex Yeager
Mayfair Games
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