Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 WBC: Day 8

There are people who can spend an entire week playing tournament games with strangers and then still wake up at 9 in the morning to play Diplomacy. I am not one of those people. By the end of the week I tend to be pretty out of it. All I want to do is sleep, and avoid people. Eventually I will wake up and get bored of surfing the internet and head out to play games but I'm way less eager to do it than I am earlier in the week. This time I was also prompted to leave the room by the fact the room was either frigid or smelled funky. (Not because of the people in the room but likely because of mold in the hotel room. Moving to a ski resort is almost certainly going to be a good thing for me!)

The first game I ended up playing was Concordia at 5pm. This was Duncan's team game so I wasn't going to be allowed to play against him regardless of what happened so I volunteered to be the 'owner' of a library copy of the game which forced me to sit at a different table. I ended up at a table with Matt, Steve K, and a 4th guy I didn't recognize. I've only played this game twice. Steve said he's also played twice, and the other people had never played before. One if my plays was in opening gaming earlier in the week with Robb and Sceadeau and Pounder where I had to correct at least one rule that Sceadeau's group was playing wrong. I found out in the heat that we'd played that open gaming game with a different rule wrong! (We all started with 8 coins where the last player is supposed to start with 8 and each subsequent player starts with one fewer coin.) I'd found in the open gaming game that buying one of the Minerva cards for a resource you aren't going to aggressively go after was a bad plan so I decided to avoid doing so in this game. Unfortunately no one told this to the guy on my right who aggressively bought the Minerva cards for resources I was going after and he wasn't. He kept playing them too, for a production of one resource. This feels really bad to me since you should be able to use a normal production action to get more than one resource if you have any cities on the board. I think he just got trapped into thinking he should use all his cards if he could without thinking about if he should use them.

I made some pretty good card buys early on I think though I did feel like I messed up by never building a 3rd colonist. It slowed me down a lot, but I did get to buy some points by not saving those resources? Maybe that was ok. I haven't played enough to know! Ultimately I feel like I got a little screwed by tying my wagon to Matt's and he diverged on me. We start off by building in the same two zones as each other while the other two players went and built two cities in a single zone each. This was fine as long as a given cycle of production included both of our zones but Matt ended up splitting off and never producing for me again after the first turn. This may have been a good move on his part since I did produce for him a couple times after that? On the other hand I think we finished 2nd and 4th so it probably hurt us too much to ignore producing for each other. Steve ended up in a fantastic way as he got the cloth Minerva card and built in all the cloth cities pretty quickly. I feel like that card alone was the difference since it was worth 20 points and it let him take several really good production actions in the mid game which he used to transition into card buys and more cities. The game ended with score around 130-110-103-102. I was the 110, but too far behind Steve. This event was single elimination (a very odd format for a multiplayer Euro) so I was now out.

We went out to eat at Red Robin after this round. We were a group of 7ish, but we were in a bit of a hurry and some of us left without waiting around to see how many we were for sure. Sara, Andrew, Pounder and I walked over and the restaurant was packed. We asked if they had a table for 7 and they looked at the 4 of us and looked a little confused and indicated that they didn't so we just took a table for 4 and left the other people to fend for themselves when they arrived. It was the first time Andrew had been to Red Robin and he decided to make a bit of a mockery of the place by ordering a cheeseburger and having the waitress list all the possible cheese options. Then he got them all. Red Robin burgers are pretty greasy to start with (AND SO GOOD) so bumping the cheese up to 5 times as much as normal made a real mess of things. He had to eat it with a knife and fork since the bun sure wasn't built to absorb that much grease.

9pm was Facts in Five, a trivia game of sorts with a GM who goes all in on making it entertaining. I'm never going to win this event, but it's an hour and a half of good times. I'd complained last year about how too many of the categories were US centric so this time around they dedicated an entire round to countries of the world. Canada was a correct answer three times! Hurray! And thankfully more than half of our little Canadian contingent knew Canada had a female head of government at one point... Shame on those who didn't! SHAME!

11pm was Slapshot, but I headed off to play TOBOGGANS OF DOOM instead of Slapshot. There aren't many games that are objectively worse than TOBOGGANS OF DOOM but Slapshot is definitely one of them. We decided to play teams this time since we had 5 people. Robb and Pounder ended up scoring the most points but since Sara, Duncan, and I successfully jumped the SHARK ATTACK I think we were the real winners.

Robb and Pounder then had a El Grande good players only game scheduled so I went back to Andrew's hotel with him and Sara and Duncan to play games over there. We played Fast Flowing Forest Fellers but the other three pretty much fell asleep on the board as we were playing. I smoked them, probably due to actually being awake and alert. So no more games after that as they went to bed. I wasn't tired so I went and got my book (The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg) and read in the lobby for an hour or two. This let me say goodbye to a few people who wandered through the lobby but also meant I got to read in peace (and not-frigidness) for a bit too.

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