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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WBC Day Four

Despite wanting to catch up on sleep, of course I again was instantly awake at 7:30. At least this meant I could bring Andy Latto an extra copy of Innovation for his demo at the Showcase Sampler as he had requested. As his demo was starting, Eric Brosius walked by and we decided to try out his copy of A Few Acres of Snow, which I had only played about 40% of a game of the other day. Eric smoked me as the French - I tried out a specific strategy I thought of but misimplemented it. I thought it was a pretty cool game and I want to play it more... not sure if I want to buy it yet though.

I stopped by the auction store and found two good deals - Wellington and Imperial, two games I was looking for. I hope I can find people who would play Wellington at some point...

After that I ran into one of our regular friends at WBC, Laura. It was good to see her again since she missed last year's WBC, so I tracked down Andy after his demo and we grabbed another Andy, Andy Gerb, and picked out Yspahan as a game that we were all interested in playing. It was definitely a learning experience since Andy won last year's Yspahan tournament and Laura clearly knew what she was doing. Andy took it down with lots of cards and camels in the last week.

Then, one of those glorious days at WBC got even brighter. I ran into Alex Bove, who is an awesome and intense gamer - every time I talk to him I learn something knew about thinking about games. He's one of the few people I know who really likes Princes of Florence, so we got a 5 player game together. I was very happy to win after the guy in seat 2 decided to go builder heavy and let me have the extra Profession card. The scores ended up very tight: 59-58-58-57-48.

Then the official tournaments kicked off with the Power Grid at 6 pm. I had a fun table with some people I vaguely knew, Deniz and Meghan, a nice 25 year old guy named Derek, and a funny, inattentive 14 year old named Eli. We played the Germany map with the alternate power plant deck, which I owned but hadn't played with yet. In a very, very close game, I pulled it out with 15 cities powered by not building cities on the second to last turn and getting the Step 3 card to come up so I could build out first. I also waited out the auction so even though people had 16 capacity, I doubted they had the cash to build to 16. Derek had about 7 Electros while I had around 27 for the win!

Finally, I was agonizing over a "cake-or-pie" decision: Le Havre or Ra. Even though Le Havre would keep me up later than I wanted (I'm psyched for Brass 9 am tomorrow...), I knew I just like it better overall. The judge didn't randomize the tables for Le Havre, so I ended up playing with Rich Meyer, who is from western Mass but I don't think I had ever played a game with, just because he was sitting near my board. We had just had a nice dinner together with my wife Bronwen and the winner from the St. Pete game yesterday. After the game started, I knew I had made the right decision. The other players were fun, a nice younger guy and Pete Staab, who I knew from the Chicago Express tournament last year. I pulled out a tight 6 point victory with Rich in second place, mostly by building efficiently.

Winning three of my favorite games back-to-back was certainly satisfying! Tomorrow: another day full of heavy eurogames. Check out this intense line-up:

   9    Brass
   12  Power Grid
   3    Agricola
   6    El Grande
   8    Princes of Florence
   10  Brass


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