Old Game, New Tricks, Same Result
Steve Shambeda, Keith Layton and Chris
Lola Reynolds and Kyle Smith
The 2013 field was the largest of the past six tournaments.
Most of the 16 preliminary games used the recently released second
edition. The new version features streamlined play that includes
more balanced development tracks, an emphasis on the importance
of Ducats as a viable strategy, diminished expedition card track
strategy, and an additional symbol added to the expedition card
mix that better contains scoring thus making it more difficult
to get triples and quadruples. In addition, tweaks and additions
to both tiles and expedition cards help make the game more exciting,
varied and balanced.
of the 16 tables during the two heats were 4-player and of those,
a massive nine victories were posted coming from those who held
the first seat (flag + 5 ducats) at the start of the game. Over
both heats, three players managed to achieve double victories
(all former champions), and four more were able to secure a first
and second place finish. I was a bit concerned over how Goa v2.0
would fare under tournament strain, but judging by the point
spreads of the winners, there was an interesting mixture of close
games, blowouts, and everything in-between. Victories of 1-3
point margins occurred six times, two blow outs in the double-digits
range, and the rest falling in-between.
Twelve players advanced to three semifinal games with the
three winners and the best runner-up going on to the Final. The
field included five former champions, and many high laurelists.
Former champ Chris Trimmer prevailed over reigning Caesar Randy
Buehler, 53-46 with Andrew Emerick and David Platnick close behind.
Sceadeau D'Tela's newfound interest in Goa lifted him to a close
victory over defending champ Rod Spade, both of whom advanced
over Bob Woodson and Steve Shambeda. And what was predicted to
be a hotly contested match between three former champs (Alex
Bove, Kevin Walsh, Chris Moffa), didn't turn out that way at
all. Kevin piled on the points, tying a tournament high 58 with
a victory of 18 points in strong card play, solid auctions and
cash flow that stymied the rest of the table.
The Final stage was set between prior champs Kevin Walsh,
Rod Spade, Chris Trimmer, and first time finalist Sceadeau D'Tela.
Kevin lead off with the flag and salmon tiles of 1 Ship per turn
and 3 ducats per turn were won by Sceadeau and Kevin respectively.
Rod picked up Crop Rotation (1 wild spice per turn) while Chris
gained both the Flag and a 4 ships tile in a high powered opening
auction phase. Kevin struggled in the actions phase with back
to back colony failures. The second auction round settled down
as only spice tiles were up for auction and Sceadeau won the
flag for 10, giving him some leverage. Round 3 auction brought
two more spice tiles and a salmon spice tile which drove the
price of the Flag to 13 (Chris). Chris made use of the extra
action to found Madras (2 spice) and made it all the way to level
4 of the development card track. Round 4 had Sceadeau amassing
four extra actions. Combined with the regular actions, he card
cycled colonists (to help find Cochin), picked up spice, advanced
on card, colonist and ship (x2) tracks, and dumped excess spice
for money, setting him up for B phase. Chris managed to settle
all of his colonies.
The second half of the game opened with Kevin winning both
flag and three ships for 25 total, while Rod took advantage of
a diverted cash flow that went from the others to him, picking
up Vice King for only 8. Round 6 saw Kevin winning the race to
the bottom of the coveted expedition card track. Round 7 had
Chris winning three auctions -- Harvest 3 tiles, Swap and 4 colonists.
The latter to deny someone else from getting them, since he already
had a full colony board. Sceadeau won the other two auctions
of Flag and Swap for 24 total. The last round had Rod winning
salmon expedition card for 19 (+1 card/turn). He had been amassing
cards and was making a push to tack on more later in the round
with the salmon tile to dodge the hand check limit. Kevin paid
the max, 24, to go down to the bottom of the spice track. Rod
continued to discard/draw cards to optimize his hand.
The end was a very close affair with Rod pulling ahead by
scoring 12 points from expedition cards. While Kevin's most money
wasn't quite enough to match Rod's total tally. The final scores
were: Rod 46, Kevin 45, Sceadeau and Chris 42. Congratulations
to Rod who wins back-to-back tournaments, last year on the old
version, and this year on the new.
Chris Trimmer and Jeff Meyer
GM Christian Moffa oversees his finalists.