Switching to Plan B ...
Legend Dan Hoffman, Barrett Straub,
Dominic Blais and Craig Fox go shopping.
The big Kahuna, sporting his new Mafia
shirt, plots how to ruin Scott Fenn's day.
Deniz Bucak studies his options.
GM Eric Brosius and his finalists
In last year's report, I mentioned the emergence of the Builder
strategy, which focuses on building buildings rather than putting
on works. Players pursuing this strategy won the 2012 and 2013
tournaments, and we arrived this year wondering what the next
step would be. But for some reason there was less of a focus
on it in 2014, though it did raise Builder prices in most games.
Heat 1 we had exactly 30 players not counting the GM, so we played
six 5-player games (I believe 5-player is the best vesrion.)
One game ended in a tie, as Alex Bove and Jean-Francois Gagne
both had 58 PP, but Alex had a few florins left over to take
first place. At the other end of the spectrum, Greg Thatcher
scored 71 PP, a full 14 PP ahead of the runner-up.
Heat 2 featured close games and blowouts too. Bruce DuBoff
scored 54, just one PP more than both Greg Crowe and Scott Fenn
at 53. Pete Staab played five Bonus Cards in Round 7 of his
game, including four on one work, but it wasn't enough to win.
Barrett Straub saved a Recruiting Card for Round 7 in a 4-player
game, and was last to play, but amazingly there wasn't one Profession
Card on the table that did him any good, so he could not play
it, and this cost him dearly. Long-time participant Lyman Moquin
punched his ticket to the semis, outscoring the GM by six PP.
This heat also saw Alan Elkner win by a margin of 11 PP and
first-time entrant Keith Dent by a margin of 24 PP. In Keith's
game, one player committed the faux pas of leaving abruptly in
the middle of the game, and I was fortunate to recruit Doug Smith
as a fill-in so the game could continue; Doug gave up a heat
in another tournament to help me out when I desperately needed
This year 27 players appeared for the semis, so we played
five 5-player games. Thanks to the two alternates who followed
through but could not play because 25 higher-ranked players elected
In the elimination rounds, we bid for seating order. Many
people prefer the second seat in a 5-player game. You can view
the data at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1220283.
On average players bid 260 florins for Seat 2 and very little
for the others.
Keith Dent continued his strong play, winning his semi by
six PP from Seat 5 to advance. Eric Freeman bid 300 florins
for Seat 2 and tied with both Randy Buehler and Greg Thatcher
at 54 PP; Eric had 300 florins left to Randy's 100, while Greg
was broke. This gave Randy 6th place in the event for being
the closest semifinal runner-up. Edward Fear won a close game
over Zachary Felix, Robert Cranshaw did likewise over Eric Brosius,
and at the remaining table Lyman Moquin tied Kenneth Horan at
58 PP and won the tiebreaker, 500 florins to zero.
In the Final, Eric bid 300 florins for Seat 2 and Lyman bid
100 for Seat 1. Robert, Edward and Keith took Seats 3, 4 and
5, respectively, at no cost.
Bids were high in the Final. The first three Jesters went
for $1,300, $1,400 and $1,000, the first three Recruiting Cards
all went for $800, and the first three Builders went for $800,
$600 and $600. Lyman bought both of those $600 Builders and
gradually shifted to a Builder strategy. Unlike the players
who pursued Builder strategies in 2012 and 2013, it didn't seem
to me that Lyman was fully committed to his from the start; I
perceived that he fell into it as items became available. It
could just be that he was subtler about it so I didn't see it
There was lots of competition for Best Work in this game,
with Eric and Robert each scoring it three times and the others
once each. But in the end, Lyman's "take what they give
you" approach was a winner. The final scores were: Lyman
60, Robert 57, Keith 54, Eric 52, Edward 49.
A full detailed report of the game is posted at http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1220223
Congratulations to Lyman on his first WBC Princes of Florence
title. Thanks also to everyone who took part. If you're interested
in Princes of Florence, come to WBC next year and join
us. I'll explain the game during the demo and you can join in