Friday morning brought the finals for my team game: Le Havre. Apparently all three of the other finalists had failed to win a heat and had all advanced as alternates. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's one thing to fill a semifinal field up with alternates to make for properly sized games... But the semifinal field has 12 people which includes those 3 alternates. We could have played 3 3-player games with a 3 player final instead. And I'm not just saying this because I prefer 3 player games in Le Havre. Vegas Showdown didn't advance any alternates because it hit 20 winners who showed up even though it meant different sized semifinals from finals and I think that makes sense. I didn't win a heat therefore I shouldn't feel like I deserve a semifinal slot. If it's a game like Tigris which can play as a 3er but really needs to be a 4er then I think it makes more sense. Oh well.
At any rate I ended up in first chair with a fish/wheat tile coming up. This means I don't have an awesome first choice (3 wood or maybe 2 clay) and ended up taking 2 wood. I also bought the 4 cost building firm. As the tiles came out it became clear that I had good iron tempo and good cow tempo. (I would get first choice of 2 iron every 4th time through the game unless someone took a single iron.) No one ever broke the iron tempo so myself and the guy across from me (Ken, the GM) got 2 iron every single time it came out. This denied both the other two players any iron for an awfully long time. Chris went for a marketplace plan which let him get some iron but the other guy pretty much ignored iron and got a poor score as a result. Oddly it seemed like only Ken and I wanted to go to the black market to scoop up the 2 iron from it as well.
One of the special buildings was the harbour watch which changed the game significantly. I took a buck offer and bought it as soon as it came out since I figured it would get used a lot by the other players. It didn't, which surprised me, though I did use it a lot myself. I got my game plan to function pretty well with a lot of shipping on 3 iron and a steel ship. Mostly bread and cows but some extra coke and steel as well. Unfortunately for me Ken was implementing almost the same plan. He got most of the other iron ships and a couple of the steel ones. He had both wharves and the colliery which meant he earned a lot of money from entry fees. (He pulled off the build wharf-buy black market-build colliery play.) It felt like I got my share of everything for my plan but someone else got way more than their share because the other players weren't going for it. He was one step ahead of me most of the way. He made coke first, and steel first, and got the higher valued boats. He also got a luxury liner. The end result had Ken way out in front with me a distant second and the other two a fair bit behind me. I continue my streak of finishing behind Daniel and one other guy in the finals. This time Daniel didn't make the finals so I got second. Maybe next year no one else will show up and I can win!
We finished in under 3 hours so I had time to go play another heat of Race for funsies. I already had 2 wins so I was going to advance anyway but I like the game. This round was played using the first expansion and goals. I forget exactly what I did but I ended up getting both of the big goals and a lot of other points for a large victory.
I didn't have anything I really wanted to do until 5pm and the Race semis. I went back to the room to screw around and ended up going to Red Robin for lunch with Robb and Pounder once they realized they had a bye through the first round of Innovation thanks to the mulligan round.
5pm was the Race semis which were actually quarters. They had 30 winners show up and decided to advance them all. They went with the somewhat odd plan of playing 8 games (6 4-player games and 2 3-player games) with the top 2 of each game advancing. They seeded the #1 and #2 seeds into the 3 player games (a pretty huge advantage since 2 of 3 would advance). With 3 heat wins I was the #1 seed and got into a 3 player game. We played with the first 2 expansions and my game got off to a pretty silly start. My home world was the one where I draw a card for each rebel planet during produce. The first three actions were develop, settle, produce. I developed space marines, settled a rebel planet, and drew 2 cards in produce. One of the other players kept calling produce for me (I don't know if he was trying to make me win with him second or if it was legitimately his best play but it sure hooked me up) and I ended up with 2 galactic federation cards in my hand. There's only supposed to be one in the game. We decided that since I had them both I should just throw one away and get a new card. So I ended up with a bunch of rebel worlds worth tons of points and tons of 6-cost developments worth tons of points for a really huge score. The third player ended up accidentally cheating by playing a military planet he couldn't conquer and no one noticed for a few turns. We didn't know how to deal with it but it was pretty obvious from the boards that he was going to be last anyway so we just played on. The game ended soon thereafter for a huge win for me.
The semifinals were all 4 player games with only 1 player advancing. I was in a game with the same dude from my Le Havre semi who did everything he could to throw that game to one of my opponents. He did the same thing in Race as well. One guy was set up for a huge produce/shipx2 cycle. Dude kept calling produce for him so the guy got to keep shipx2ing for huge points. I don't think it was intentional by any stretch of the imagination. I just think he plays games obliviously and it ended up really screwing me hard in this game. The winner was up by 20 something with me in second. Second wasn't worth anything in this game though! I think I ended up getting 6th but unfortunately Race is a 3 plaque event so no sand for me.
7pm had Battle Line starting in the Race room. My race game ended at 6:58. I figured I'd give it a spin. I got blown out of my first two games and ended up in an irrelevant third game against someone with 2 breakthrough wins. I did manage to beat him so I finished at a 1-2 record.
I considered playing Ingenious at 10pm but was actually watching the League of Legends arena (the internet worked enough to stream a low quality feed) and the Olympics in the room with Robb and Pounder and didn't feel like leaving.
11pm was Liar's Dice which we did go to. I played at a table with Robb and he prevented me from becoming the LIAR'S DICE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD for another year. I lost my first 2 or 3 dice on exactas on the other side of the table and then walked right into Robb having nothing of my bid to lose the rest of them.
Waffle House for a 3-egg + plain hashbrowns meal. Then bed.