a few acres of snow   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending December 2013 Membership Trial Vote

Nick Henning, DC

2013 Champion

Event History
2012    Nick Page     33
2013    Nick Henning     23


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Nick Henning       DC    13     38
   2.  Nick Page          on    13     38
   3.  Kevin Lewis        DC    13     24
   4.  Patrick Mirk       FL    12      9
   5.  Jacob Hebner       CO    13      6
   6.  Alexandra Henning  NC    12      6
   7.  Robert Buccheri    MD    13      4
   6.  Claire Brosius     MA    12      3
   9.  Marc Beauregard    qc    13      2

2013 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists: 

Kevin Lewis, DC

Nick Page, on

Jacob Hebner, CO

Robert Buccheri, MD

Marc Beauregard, QC

Past Winners

Nick Page, on

Nick Henning, DC

The defending champ runs the British war machine.

James Terry tries to win with the French.

British Arms Still Prevail ...

Attendance in A Few Acres of Snow was down significantly this year, but it wasn't so much a lack of interest as a game shortage. We had approximately as many players appear; the issue was a dip in the number of people who brought copies to play. Despite making use of several mulligan round winner copies of the game for the first round while the winners sat out we still had to randomly turn away many players who didn't bring a copy. It is important to note for next year - if there is a next year for this event - that it's really important to bring a copy of the game with you if you're interested in playing.

The big concern many have with A Few Acres of Snow is the rather asymmetric board positions between the two sides. There's a known degenerate strategy that leads to the British winning the game with a military attack that is too fast and powerful to be stopped. At WBC we use a bidding system for sides in an attempt to compensate for this situation. We can't use a standard bidding system since the British attack strategy results in an auto win so bidding points wouldn't help. Instead we bid a number of times the other player is allowed to, as a free action, draw a card then discard a card. The idea behind the power gain here is that it allows the French player to smooth out and speed up their draws which may allow them to end the game in another manner before the British player can implement the unbeatable strategy.

This year we have 25 game summaries to review, with the French winning 14 of the 25 games. Even among games that ended in a military victory the British won 4 and the French won 3. Bidding was always for the British side, though in 9 of the 25 games the players didn't bother bidding at all. Did the players in those games have a solution for the British attack or did neither player implement it? It's hard to say from the sheets alone.

As the event wound down we ended up with the same top three players from 2012. Last year the bids in the games between those players were 5 and 6 and the British won both games with a military attack strategy. This year the bids between them were 6 and 7 and the British won both games with a military attack strategy. Last year the games seemed close but inevitable in their conclusion; this year the games were both incredibly close. Both had the French reach an end condition (all disks in play) with a victory point lead. The British player would have one more turn to either outscore the French player or start a fight. In both games the British player had one card in their deck that would let them start a fight and had drawn around half of their cards since their most recent shuffle. It doesn't get much closer than that, and implies a bid in the 6-7 range was probably very solid for players with this level of experience. The question then is will there be strategic innovations in the next year to shift that number one way or the other.

The good news was certainly that the bidding system seems to have a fair point. The games in the last couple rounds of the bracket weren't decided just by side played and neither were the games in the first couple rounds either since both sides were finding wins in the early rounds. Perhaps most importantly, people who just learned the game at the demo and people who played in the event last year all seemed to be having fun.

Edward Rader commands the British.

GM Nick Page, recently dethroned, watches his finalists this year.
 GM      Nick Page  [1st Year]   NA
    ziggny@gmail.com    NA 

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