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Sunday, August 21, 2011

WBC Wrap-Up

The end of the WBC was fun and exciting, and I was only somewhat zombie-fied. I played in the Princes of Florence semi-final and the Brass semifinal, but couldn't pull of the magic this year. Unfortunately I'm hazy on exactly what went down. I played ok but not perfect in both games. I needed to play a game purely for enjoyment with no stakes, so I jumped into the third round of Washington's War just to get a game of it in.
I played an awesome guy also named Chris who was from England, and we ended up choosing the opposite nationalities for the game! My experience with the British paid off as I was able to easily push him out of the New England region and not let him back in. I was able to create a southern diversion with Cornwallis coming into Virginia, which was enough to keep him busy before the Wars End card made the game end early. I'm starting to appreciate Washington's War more, although I still wish there were more interesting event cards. I still feel like too much of the game is spent arbitrarily moving PCs around, and not enough thinking as if you were Washington or Howe. So I have to think of it more like a light strategy game, and less like a typical wargame... and accept it for what it is.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and doing a little open gaming. I ended up playing a three player game of Glen More with my friends Stephanie and Richard. It was a cute little game with a decent number of decisions... kind of like Carcassone/Alhambra but with the river mechanic from Egizia in terms of how you acquire your tiles. And with a resource collection/management aspect because when you add a tile to your board, you activate nearby tiles, which might generate resources or convert resources (like corn into whiskey). I didn't feel compelled to run out and buy it, but it's worth a few more plays.

I also played a few games of Dominion at some point with a nice woman and her 11 year old son. He had just learned the game and had figured out some pretty sophisticated stuff about it pretty quickly. I was impressed!
I was hoping to get someone to play a wargame with me, and amazingly at midnight Andy Latto walks by, and I say "Labyrinth?" and he sits right down faster than I've ever seen anyone agree to a game. We had an epic back and forth game where it came down to the very last few card plays, but my jihadists were able to win a victory check at the end of one deck.

To recap, here are the tournament games I played. (S) means semifinal, (F) means final.

   Hannibal 3-2
   Wilderness War 0-2
   Saratoga 0-1
   Washington's War 1-0
   San Juan 3-1

   Power Grid 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st (S), 5th (F)
   Le Havre 1st, 1st, 2nd (S)
   Brass 2nd, 3rd, 3rd (S)
   Princes of Florence 1st, 2nd, 3rd (S)
   Agricola 1st, 3rd (S)
   Caylus 1st (skipped semis)
   El Grande 5th

On Sunday, we had a nice lunch out at Red Lobster with one of our WBC friends Laura and a bunch of people she knows, then had a nice drive back with Stephanie in the car with us. Another great year of gaming down... and a second plaque, for my fifth place finish in Power Grid.

This WBC showed me that I have a second game I'm good at, Power Grid, in addition to Princes of Florence. My results in Power Grid have been pretty consistent, with lots of 1st and 2nd places in games. I reached the semis last year and got 2nd there, and the finals this year. I discovered a new found love for Agricola, and am looking to play it more; and I don't like El Grande as much as I once did. In wargaming, I had enjoyable games of Saratoga and Washington's War, came very close to getting a plaque in Hannibal, and learned I have a lot to learn about Wilderness War, if I make that commitment. Unfortunately I once again had to miss the Twilight Struggle tournament for the Power Grid semis, but this year it worked out better!


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