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Subject: 2009 WBC Stone Age Gaming Report rss

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rodney bacigalupo
United States
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Here is the report I submitted for GMing Stone Age at its first year at WBC. If you notice, I put significant information on how strategies in the final went down, which I think a lot of people would like to know.

Hope you find it useful. And yes, I moved this out of Geeklists to this forum. A comment said this was a more proper place.

This was the first year for Stone Age as a trial event with 124 people attending, 76 in the first heat alone. The other two heats had an average attendance of 60.

The scores varied significantly from game to game, even for experienced players. The highest score was 235, with the second place in the same game at 203. The lowest scoring 1st place win was 137, and the average score for a first place win was 170.

For the semifinals, 9 of the 16 players had won two games, with 3 of the remaining 7 as alternates who had at least won in the first heat entered. No alternates were needed for the final.

For a final recap, the standard 3 first moves were taken - farmer, tools, hut - with the fourth taking a green background card with 7 food on it, which is not bad for one resource. For the rest of the game, people were mostly buying cards which triggered the end game. Each person had an average of 8 cards and 5 huts by game’s end.

The winner, who happened to be the first player at the beginning of the game, rapidly built up people. Although he chose the farm as his first round pick, he was able to use the people hut for turns 2 through 5 as no one else would take it.
He soon had 9 people and used a starvation strategy for three turns. He eventually built up to 5 farms and stopped starving his people. Most of these farms, however, were from items for dice cards, which also helped him for points due to 5 farm multipliers from cards he bought. The 3 building multiplier was not a significant factor in the game, even though it was bought in the second turn.

The winner only won by 7 points, not necessarily a ringing endorsement for the starvation strategy, which most of the time failed to produce a win during the three heats. A total of 10 rounds were played during the final. The final scores were 145, 138, 127, and 103.

Sincere thanks goes to Assistant GM Steven Quade for help in getting everyone to a table to quickly start a game. I used his index card method that he uses in St. Petersburg, which was very useful. Hopefully, I can have a quarterfinal next year with some tweaking of tiebreakers for advancement into the playoffs.

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