Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 WBC Recap

This year's World Boardgaming Championship was awesome as always. So many games. So much eating out. My personal experience evolved year over year as one would expect but it remained a great time with great people and few overall problems. Here's a rundown of my week:

Games played:
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation - 17
A Few Acres of Snow - 6
Race For The Galaxy - 5
Le Havre - 4
Innovation - 3
Battle Line - 3
Through The Ages - 2
Ingenious - 2
Ora and Labora - 1
Puerto Rico - 1
Ra! - 1
Agricola - 1
Saint Petersburgh - 1
Vegas Showdown - 1
Lost Cities - 1
Titan the Arena - 1
Ra Dice - 1
Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit - 1
Can't Stop - 1
Liar's Dice - 1
Facts in Five - 1
Slapshot - 1
Roll to the South Pole - 1

57 games played with 23 different games covered. These numbers are inflated due to how short Lord of the Rings the Confrontation is coupled with playing two games per heat and playing 8 rounds. And playing an extra game with Sceadeau. The real difference this year compared to a normal year is how few of the games were new to me. Slapshot and Roll to the South Pole were the only new games. I don't think I even attended a demo (other than A Few Acres of Snow to do some scouting) to learn a new game. (EDIT: I went to the Automobile demo.) Open gaming once tournaments started consisted of that Roll to the South Pole game and one late night game of Agricola at the start of the week. This is a big deviation from normal. Part of this was always going to bed after Waffle House instead of trolling around for games. (Pounder and Robb were both ill in the middle of the week which may have played a part but I think I may just be getting old.) I also slept in a lot this year instead of getting up early to play new things. Or established things for that matter! And when I had an hour or two to kill I spent it in the hotel room blogging and watching the Olympics instead of trying to find an open game to play. That's probably me being super reclusive.

Actually getting lots of sleep during the week and eating reasonably may have helped when it came to winning. This year was the first time I'd brought home three plaques and had my first outright win since 2008. The two events I won this year were both asymmetrical two player wargames with cards. Kinda like Queen's Gambit back in 2008, actually... Maybe I should look for more games of that ilk? I also added on a 2nd (in my team game) and a 6th. From a laurels point of view this is probably close to 2008 but nowhere near Consul levels since someone managed to win 4 events this year! I should dedicate some year to trying to earn laurels to see what I can pull off if I try...

The venue keeps getting worse. Losing air conditioning in the biggest room was a borderline disaster. I won an event in that room and in retrospect I probably wouldn't have played in it even if I'd known I was going to win. It was that uncomfortable. I'm on vacation! I want any comfort level issues to come from tough game decisions, not from the fact I'm completely drenched in sweat. We got the same hotel room as last year and most of the issues from last year persisted. (The AC was overwhelmed by a leak in the door/window which meant the room was warm during the day and frigid at night. The shower drain was only quasi-functional. Apparently the sun was bright through the curtains in the morning though I certainly didn't notice. On the plus side the balcony lock worked.) That said it's way better to stay in the hotel than anywhere else and that room in particular has plenty of floor space for my air mattress so I can't actually justify complaining too much.

Bringing a thermos this year was a stroke of genius. I'd put some ice cubes in it from the ice machine every couple days and then just fill it up from the giant water cooler things they had set up around the hotel. This meant that I had access to ice cold water all day every day. I didn't have to get up in the middle of a game to track down more water if I got thirsty. The more likely situation in previous years would be just going thirsty and getting dehydrated which would result in playing worse. The thermos was sealed which meant I didn't have to worry about it get knocked over and ruining someone else's game which meant I felt more comfortable having it with me. It also meant I didn't buy overpriced and undernutritious soft drinks for a whole week. (Other than a Coke for the Le Havre finals which were stupid early in the morning.) Honestly, if there's one thing for other people to take away from my WBC this year it's this item. Bring a thermos! You'll love it. (Or you'll leave it behind and lose it if you're forgetful...)

The people were great. I don't think I had a single malcontent in any of my games all week. There was some good natured grumbling in St Pete's when I got a turn 1 Mistress but that was because the game is unbalanced. I had some very tightly played games like the second heat of Le Havre and the two games against Other Nick. I had some really fun and jovial games like Ra! and Titan the Arena. Replacing the coloured tokens with Star Wars figurines was a happy coincidence and amazingly brilliant at the same time. Hurray for bringing incompletely copies of a game!

My team earned 8 points which is unlikely to place in the top 10 this year. Sorry anyone who bet on us! Next year will be different!

I still haven't played crayon rails at WBC. Maybe next year will be the year. I should make it my team game...

1 comment:

Paul Owen said...

Thermos. That's brilliant! I am so doing that next year. And every other con I go to from now on.