Another year, another WBC. Here's the list of games I played over the course of the week:
A Few Acres of Snow - 4
Innovation - 4
Coup - 3
Le Havre - 3
Through The Ages - 1
Can't Stop - 1
Copycat - 1
Liar's Dice - 1
Facts in Five - 1
19 games played with only 9 games covered. Compare to last year where I had 57 games played in 23 different games and there's a noticeable drop. A third of a normal year, in fact. The bottom line is that being sick sucks. I didn't even get to play Toboggans of DOOOOOOOOM!
Oddly enough, despite playing in only 7 tournaments I still managed one of my better results. A 1st and a 3rd, with the win in a century event so I get a shirt for the first time since 2008. The win was even in my team game! Well, it would have been, if we had bothered to submit a team. But I'm sure that didn't matter, right? RIGHT?
Assuming we had submitted the same team as last year, with the same team games, we would have had a 1st, a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd. Robb might well have changed his team game again, and if he had it would have been back to El Grande which was his team event a couple times in the past. And he won that one instead of the 2nd in Dominant Species. So it's entirely plausible we would have had 3 wins and a 3rd. Of course actually having team games might have caused people to play differently, or it might have caused us to play differently. Butterflies in Africa and all that jazz. But if we were to ever have a year, this year was it. And we didn't bother signing up. I had several people come up over the course of the week and mention they were disappointed we hadn't submitted a team because they were going to bet on us to finish in the top 10 as a sleeper pick that the normal oddsmakers wouldn't have found. It would have paid off for them if we had! Oh well!
Thermos tech came home for the second straight year. I once again had to drink a Coke for the 9am Le Havre final, and I actually drank a fair number of Sprites in the room to keep hydrated and caloried up while feeling sick. But when I was playing events, or even just wandering around watching games, the thermos was awesome. Not having to go searching for water in the middle of a game is really key.
I was surprised at how well eating worked out. Red Robin was a real life saver. Eating steamed carrots seems like it isn't something I do, but with enough salt on them they were really quite good. And beef, cheese, and pickles wrapped in lettuce is actually really tasty. I was happy with the service at the Texas Roadhouse and surprised that the mediocre service at Waffle House didn't kill me. I also brought lots of gluten free snacks from a grocery store in Waterloo. No one except Ian would eat my cookies, but there are worse things in the world than having snacks other people won't eat. More for me!
GMing an event was in some ways better than expected, and in some ways worse. In my worrying before the event I was fretting a lot about needing to make a ruling on my own game and not having assistants around who were willing or able to step in fairly. What I should have been worried about, in retrospect, was how to deal with games going long. How to time them properly, and how to actually adjudicate them fairly. Having to come up with that on the fly for a game with alternate victory conditions like A Few Acres of Snow was a disaster waiting to happen. Not having enough copies of the game around sucked, and I also didn't have a plan for what to do when that happened. On the plus side I was surprised at how well received the demo was, and how many people thanked me for GMing. It's not something that ever crossed my mind in the past. Because I'm a selfish jerk who can't talk to people. Buying a box of pens and some index cards from the nearby Staples worked out well even though I really didn't need the pens. I ended up giving them to the Facts in Five event because everyone in that event needs a pen. But with 60 pens for $7 it's really hard to go wrong! I'm not sure I can do it again though. It made WBC feel like work instead of like a vacation, and I don't know that I like that feeling. But I'm not really sure how much being sick was impacting it. It's possible I would have been all good to go on Tuesday when my event ended if I was feeling fine. But it's also possible that being sick during the event kept me from freaking out more from the situation.
Next year WBC shifts to a week later because of the way our years don't have an even number of weeks. Aug 2 - Aug 10, 2014. More people need to go! So many games! So many tournaments! So many gamers!