Saturday started off with the long drive to Lancaster from Waterloo. I don't know if it was leaving earlier in the morning or that the civic holiday is next weekend instead of this one but the drive was pretty smooth. We ate at Cora's, Arby's, and Rita's which specializes in ice, custard, and happiness. I got a watermelon ice and was quite happy. We got in to Lancaster around 7:10 after a small detour where we couldn't remember the right road to take and went straight to the Texas Roadhouse. Robb even called ahead to reserve a table so we got to skip the long line. Woo! I wasn't famished so I just had a small steak but it was quite good. I was definitely happy I brought along Gas-X, though.
There were no events we wanted to play on Saturday so once we got in we played a 3er of Puerto Rico and then a 3er of Innovation+expansion. I should have won PR but made a terrible play by building a late wharf instead of the obvious guild hall I'd been setting up for. Innovation was fun and we had lots of people from WBC's past stop by while we played.
Sunday started off with a Through The Ages heat. People who brought a game get to play at their table and everyone else gets split up which has the minor issue that the good players tend to end up split up and not playing each other. I don't think there's a solution to this issue but it does exist. I don't have the game so I was off to play with a shark. Fortunately for me, I was not placed with a shark. The guy who owned the game I played with didn't even really know the rules and I had to correct him on multiple occasions. The third guy had never played before. I won by a mile.
Next up, food. We went to Fuddrucker's with Rich and Jason. I'd never been there before and didn't feel like a burger so I ordered the fish and chips in honour of the Olympics. Then I found out they didn't have vinegar. What! How you can have 15 barbeque sauces and no vinegar baffles me. It was passable and I'd consider eating it again though I'd want to smuggle in some vinegar.
Next up, heat 2 of Through The Ages. A Few Acres of Snow was 4 hours later which should be good enough and I decided to risk it. I was not at an easy table this time as I got to play with a game owner who knew what he was doing and Winton who I know is good at games in general. This game was very close and devolved a little into beating Winton like a pinata and scrambling to get the candy that came out. The game owner had Napolean and a modern army. I had an air forced conquistador. Winton had a transcontinental railroad and a warrior. Both other players spent the whole game commenting on how I had the game in the bag but I didn't see it. The problem was I was still a despot in age III and didn't have any food. I did have ocean liners and was the first to iron. I didn't draw a single good age III scoring event and the end result was the game owner won by a single point. All 4 final events scored him more points than me. 3 of them were seeded by Winton. Sigh.
The game was done in 3.5 hours which left plenty of time for A Few Acres of Snow. I tried to convince Sceadeau to learn it but he didn't like the sound of the game (I think it's auto-win for the British) and played Eclipse instead. They ended up with 16 people for AFAoS and I got paired up with an older gentleman who had played maybe twice before. He let me have the British for a bid of one. I promptly took Port Royal, Louisbourg, and Quebec. The game took an hour which was about 3 minutes my turn and 57 minutes his turn. My game was by far the first one done. I looked around and saw only one other game with a British player taking a military strategy, and he wasn't doing it well. No French players were going military. Maybe people were playing soft for the mulligan round. Maybe the sharks are all hiding for tomorrow. Or maybe this event is an auto-win for me. We'll have to wait for tomorrow to see. The GM told me that he figured the best way for him to find the ringers was to see who finished their games fastest so he pegs me as a ringer. I hope he's right!