I had things I would have liked to do Thursday morning but decided to just get up when I woke up and not worry about an alarm or anything. The room is very cold at night so the difference for me is if I put on my super warm blanket or not. With blanket I can sleep forever. Without blanket I will wake up shivering every hour or so. Blanket on, sleep for me. I ended up waking up around noonish so I missed Vegas Showdown, Tigris & Euphrates, and food. In fact I didn't actually have anything to do until 3 so I screwed around a while on the internet.
3pm brought the second Le Havre heat. I already had a win so I didn't need to play in order to advance but I figured I would for practice and maybe to knock some people out? I ended up in a 3 player game with the GM Ken and with Daniel E. The three of us were the top 3 from last year so it was going to be a tight game. I ended up continuing my dominance of 3 player games with an 11 point win over Daniel with a big gap down to Ken in third. (Something like 292-281-205?)
6pm was the Le Havre semifinals. Our heat ran a little long so I ran back to the room to grab poptarts and granola bars. I ended up in a 4 player semifinal with Daniel, Chris Senhouse, and another dude who didn't really have a good grasp of strategy. He was a nice guy (and would sing lyrics from songs at a drop of a hat) and seemed to make reasonable decisions every now and then but clearly had no long term strategy. The following (approximate) conversion took place during the game:
Daniel - (after thinking for a few minues) If only I knew what you were going to do on your turn this would be easy.
Dude - I don't know what I'm going to do.
Daniel - I know!
Me - *nods knowingly*
Turn order was dude, Chris, Daniel, me. This is terrible for me since the dude would often make moves to set up Chris or Daniel and it was unlikely to make it through both of them and make it to me. Sitting to Daniel's left is also bad since we tend to do similar things and this means he'll probably get to do them all first. I ended up trying to differentiate myself by building a bunch of house buildings early and then hitting the marketplace for many goods. Dude ended up buying both wharves and skipped getting the colliery which let Chris scoop it up along with being the first to build boats. I honestly thought I was dead after the first few turns with how hooked up Chris was getting from the dude. I made one mistake early when I didn't notice Daniel was sitting on 5 fish and let the special building for smoked fish hit play. He quickly turned the fish into smoked fish and then sold them for 15 and bought a wooden boat which was a great start for him. I did have the smokehouse so I made a couple bucks off it when he did it a second time too. I did it once myself very late in the game as a reasonable late action. I did make use of the special building which turned wood+meat into 5 dollars and bought an iron boat with it.
Things took a turn for the better when Chris started making money in the mid-late game and started buying wooden boats instead of real things. When it came time to ship he only had 3 wooden boats which meant he could only ship 6 things compared to my shipping for 12 things. I think I may have even shipped one more time than he did. Daniel and I were both set up to build luxury liners but the dude took this opportunity to sit in the one modernized wharf while he picked up completely irrelevant offers. I ended up shipping my steel which is a fine result. Daniel took his final action in the wharf for the bad luxury liner.
Final scores were something like 170-168-161-142. I'd managed to win a 4er against Daniel. Chris was second. Once again the format involved the closest second advancing and once again they came from my table. The only difference is it wasn't Daniel this year.
I screwed around for an hour and then headed to play Ingenious at 10pm. It turns out they'd scheduled this heat in the wargamer room and I actually regret going to play. I don't know if it's a lack of air conditioning, a lack of hygiene amongst the wargamers, or a combination of the two but that room is a smelly, humid mess. I ended up in a 3 player game and came a pretty close third. Midgame I had 9 blue points and 3 lower colours so I worked on those while blue got completely closed out. With a little more experience I likely would have grabbed 5 more blue points when I could and moved on to working on the more open other colours afterwards. As it was I could only eek out one more blue point and it was my worst number by far at the end.
I almost played Pro Golf at 11pm. Vegas Showdown semis were at the same time and I was the second alternate with my close 2nd place finish. I needed either 21 of the 24 winners to show up, or 19 of them with no first alternate, or 18 and I was in. I let them convince me to skip Pro Golf and wait around. Turns out 20 winners and the first alternate all showed up so I didn't get to play either Pro Golf or Vegas Showdown.
Instead I went to Waffle House where I finally got the service I'd expect at Waffle House. I ordered sausage and got no meat. I ordered hash browns with just ham and also got cheese. The eggs were on the burnt side of cooked. It was pretty terrible. Perhaps worse is I checked out the jukebox and it didn't have Friday or Never Gonna Give You Up. How am I suppose to annoy Robb now?