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Subject: Goa at WBC rss

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Alex Bove
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I'm the GM for Goa at the WBC this year, and I just wanted ask everyone who likes Goa and does not have a major conflict with our time slot to play at least one heat. Due to poor attendance, Goa has already been dropped from EuroQuest for 2009. Last year was not a banner year for WBC attendance either (only 30 players). I worry that if we do not get our numbers up, we will lose Goa entirely from tournament play.

I have taken two steps to try to increase attendance for this year. First, I've reduced the length of heats to two hours each. Second, I joined the Euro-scheduling initiative and tried to prevent Goa from conflicting with other heavier games (the shorter heat length also minimized the number of potential conflicts). We didn't eliminate all conflicts, but I think we did very well.

The schedule for Goa at this year's WBC is as follows:
Wed, Aug. 5: 11 a.m. - Heat 1
Thurs., Aug 6: 9 a.m. - Heat 2
Friday, Aug 7: 2 p.m. - Semifinal
Friday, Aug 7: 4 p.m. - Final

If you like Goa, you'll be hard-pressed to find stronger competition than here. Last year's champion and 2005 Euroquest Goa winner Chris Moffa returns to defend his title. Euroquest 2008 Goa winner and perennial finalist Raphael Lehrer will also be present. Previous champions Arthur Field and Perrianne Lurie are registered for WBC, and we certainly hope they will play (Arthur is a familiar face around the Goa table), and I am itching to recapture some of the glory of my three-tournament Goa win streak (2006-07). So join us, please!
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norman rule
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There are several of my group who are interested in Goa, but have only played once. The level of player they are expecting pretty much precludes us.

It's certainly not presented as a newbie friendly game on the WBC site... and without newbies, it's going to wither and die.

Just my $0.02.
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Steve Duff
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This is what happens when you leave something out of print. The old folks get tired and try new things, and the new folk don't have the chance to get it.
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Andy Latto
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mrorwell wrote:
There are several of my group who are interested in Goa, but have only played once. The level of player they are expecting pretty much precludes us.

If you've played once, and remember the rules, you're welcome to play. "Experienced players only" doesn't mean you have to be an expert; it just means that the rules will not be taught, so you're expected to be familiar with them.

Don't let the fact that there will be experts playing deter you. There will also be people like me, who enjoy the game, but hardly ever win. And the experts I've played with are friendly people who are pleasant to play with; they just tend to score a few more points than you do.

But that said, I'm not sure why Alex elected to make this an "experienced players only" tournament, rather than having a demo session and opening the tournament to anyone who attends the demo, even if they've never played before. There are plenty of games more complex than Goa that are handled that way at WBC, and having a demo and welcoming new players is certainly the way to increase attendance.

 
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Alex Bove
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Yes, I messed that up, and I apologize. This is my first year as a GM, and I tried to keep as much from last year as possible while making the few changes I thought would be useful. I definitely should have made it more "newbie" friendly, and newer players are very welcome. I'll be happy to do a rules refresher before any heat, so please don't let the "experienced players only" designation dissuade you from playing if it's a game you like.
 
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Steve Wagner
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Goa being dropped from WBC makes me sad
 
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norman rule
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montu wrote:
If you like Goa, you'll be hard-pressed to find stronger competition than here. Last year's champion and 2005 Euroquest Goa winner Chris Moffa returns to defend his title. Euroquest 2008 Goa winner and perennial finalist Raphael Lehrer will also be present. Previous champions Arthur Field and Perrianne Lurie are registered for WBC, and we certainly hope they will play (Arthur is a familiar face around the Goa table), and I am itching to recapture some of the glory of my three-tournament Goa win streak (2006-07).


montu wrote:
I definitely should have made it more "newbie" friendly, and newer players are very welcome.


Alex, from the two quotes above, it sounds as if you want newbies to be sparring partners for the heavyweight champions to get them warmed up.

I certainly understand that you're hoping to get new players... but when you use terms like "hard-pressed to find stronger competition," "perennial finalist" and "I am itching to recapture some of the glory of my three-tournament Goa win streak (2006-07)," you're going to scare them off.

When I looked at my schedule, I actually had no conflicts with Goa, but I spent that time in open gaming. What newbie wants to be fresh meat for the uber-players who just want another notch in their belt?

 
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Alex Bove
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Norman:

That wasn't my point at all, and I'm sorry you felt that way. I hope other people did not respond so negatively to my comments.

My point was that people who like the game and would like to play against strong opponents (giving them an opportunity either to beat the best or to learn from them) would not be disappointed. I also wanted to stress that newbies would not have to worry if they did not know every rule or procedure because it was very likely they would have competent, experienced players (who could guide them, if need be) at their table.

I suppose I was thinking about the things I look for when I go to WBC, and paramount among them is the chance to enjoy well-played games with skilled players. I've learned more about games by losing at WBC than by just about any other method. I had hoped the prospect of playing a game one loves against a top opponent would appeal to some people. Perhaps I was wrong.
 
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norman rule
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montu wrote:
That wasn't my point at all, and I'm sorry you felt that way. I hope other people did not respond so negatively to my comments.


I don't think my comments were negative. They were cautious. At WBC, time is a limited resource. I can learn a new game that is MARKED as friendly to beginners, or I can try to learn a game with no listed demo and marked for expert level. As a newbie to that game, which do YOU think is more likely?

Your comments here probably failed to reach 95% (or more) of the WBC attendees with your post here, so the bulk of the folks attending never even saw your clarification. Did you have a better turnout?

montu wrote:
I had hoped the prospect of playing a game one loves against a top opponent would appeal to some people. Perhaps I was wrong.


This may be a game that YOU love, but it is NOT a game that I love. It's a game I would be interested in learning at a reasonable pace... not surrounded by expert players with a time limit.

When I get a chance to play against a better player in a game I understand, I welcome the opportunity. That's why I played in Power Grid, St Petersburg and Thurn and Taxis. I frequently do well, but since I've never taken a championship, there are definitely players who do better. I learn from them. If, however, I have NO CLUE about strategy and I'm still shaking on the mechanics and the turn order, playing against a much better player does me no good.

If you wanted to learn chess, would you sit down at a table with the current world champion? Of course not. You would seek out someone who had the time to go slowly and introduce concepts to you so that you could absorb them. Then you would play against others near your level till you improved your skills.

The best way to turn someone off from a game is to put them at a table with 3 really high level players and have them lose horribly. They learn nothing.

Edit: to remove snarky comment.
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Alex Bove
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I appreciate the removal of snark. Tone is very hard to convey in text, and I didn't mean to be confrontational in the OP. I think we just have a difference of opinion about what makes games fun/rewarding, and I really do think you're right that most gamers (though perhaps not most at WBC, which does tend to draw more competitive types) agree with your stance.

I was actually taught by my chess coach that I should want to play against masters, even though I would get crushed. The difference in chess, however, is that one records every move of a chess game for later analysis. This does not happen with games at WBC, so I can see that being crushed there might not be as educational as being crushed by Anand or Kramnik.

Though the best players do tend to win Goa in the long run, every game of Goa is different, so a newbie can absolutely beat a champion in an individual game. In fact, sometimes newbies change the economy in Goa in ways that experienced players didn't imagine, which can throw them off. I've also seen novices grok the game very quickly and be competitive sooner that one might imagine.

I appreciate the criticism and have already decided to make Goa a "B" level game next year.
 
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norman rule
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montu wrote:
I really do think you're right that most gamers (though perhaps not most at WBC, which does tend to draw more competitive types) agree with your stance.


Oh, I agree that WBC has a higher percentage of competitive type players than you're likely to find at a regular game group. But even there, folks like to understand WHY they are getting destroyed in a game.

montu wrote:
sometimes newbies change the economy in Goa in ways that experienced players didn't imagine, which can throw them off.


Very true. That can be a lot of fun. I play a Puerto Rico strategy that doesn't focus on shipping and most folks (especially very experienced players) don't know how to defend against it.

montu wrote:
I appreciate the criticism and have already decided to make Goa a "B" level game next year.


I hope it fits in to my schedule. I'm looking forward to it!
 
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