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Thursday, August 9, 2012

WBC Conclusion

I'm back home in Boston and finally have the energy to wrap up this series of posts. The end of the WBC was both rewarding and exciting!

On Friday I woke up and headed straight to the Le Havre finals. Of course this was going to be tough, with the GM Ken, Nick, another finalist from last year, and a Nick I don't think I'd met before. Since there were three plaques, I was hoping to get somewhere in the top 3. Unfortunately that was not to be and I took fourth.  I thought I was doing ok in the game so I was a little surprised that I wasn't above the other Nick - he hadn't built much over the game, but I think he never took a loan. He built a bunch of expensive buildings at the end for points, including the Church (26 points). I had the Marketplace early, and accumulated a bunch of the symbols that make it more powerful. I was very excited when I used it and saw the Town Square come up - that one lets you take one improved good per that market symbol you have, except for steel. So I was able to go there multiple times and get charcoal, coke, smoked fish, bread, meat, hide, and brick. I shipped a bunch of hides and cokes twice too, but it wasn't enough. Fun game though!

Luckily that game ended in its time frame so I could play the third heat of Agricola for fun with the K deck. Since I was already a double-winner, I was looking for cool interesting things I might try out, and I was in luck! I ended up staying on two people the whole game, and using the Storehouse Clerk to accumulate a lot of goods. I had a super nice house and lots of bonus points, and was actually able to avoid coming in 4th!

I was very excited to get to the Agricola semis, and that was next. After making the Le Havre finals by being the best second-place in the semis, I was hoping to get an outright win. I drafted the combo of Perpetual Student-Writing Desk, and had six of my Occupations out by the third round. It seemed liked I was going to cruise to a victory when Patrick (who definitely knows the game well) dropped a Braggart on me. I managed to win a very close game by one point!

The finals took place right after that, and I was very lucky that Stephanie and Patrick stopped by and offered to get me some barbeque from upstairs. Sometimes at WBC I forget to eat regularly, so this was a super helpful reminded. That pulled pork is really, really good!

The finals were definitely interesting but also frustrating. I started in the fourth position, and didn't feel like I saw all that many good cards in the draft. Through most of the game I felt like I was behind the eight ball, trying to work my way out of a tight corner. I ended up in fourth once again, but at least Agricola gives a 4th place plaque!

I'll keep the rest of the convention short: I played the Power Grid - First Sparks tournament the next day, and won my first two games of it ever to make the finals, where I came in 4th out of 5 after making a silly mistake on turn 1. The 5th place player made an even sillier mistake that put him into a locked situation, where he was creating 4 food units and eating 4 food units, and would never be able to bid for technology or expand his family. Having that be a possibility is enough for me to not like the game.

Saturday night I played Mage Knight with Jesse and Bronwen and had a great time, and picked up a few pointers on how to play efficiently by watching Jesse play and having him give some advice here and there. Needless to say Jesse demolished us, and we ended early. I finally gave in and played Slapshot, Lancaster Milk Stout in hand. I had a great time with Shane, Daniel, Rob, Marissa, and Nick from SNEW! Somehow I won our game and of course immediately dropped out of the tournament. Does anyone actually play round 2?

Once again I had a great time at the WBC, and met the goal I had set before WBC 2011: either win one tournament or make the finals in two. I ended up making three finals, but I'm not sure if Power Grid First Sparks counts the same. I definitely had less of a chance in these two finals (Agricola, Le Havre) than I did in the ones I've made in the past (Princes of Florence, Princes of Florence, Power Grid). The players in these knew these games inside and out, so to ever have a chance of winning one of them I would need to really play those games a ton over the next year. Since Bronwen loves them, that doesn't seem too far fetched!

Thanks to everyone I gamed with and hung out with over a great WBC 2012!


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