Victory at Last!
Doug Mercer, Eric Freeman, John Dextraze,
Eric Brosius and Tom DeMarco
Gregory Crowe, Zachary Felix, Chris
Senhouse and Winton Lemoine man Table 6.
Dan Hoffman and Lyman Moquin
entertain Stephane Dorais, Alex Bove and Peter Eldridge.
David Platnick, Barrett Straub,
Mary Ellen Powers and Tom DeMarco set out to buy stuff.
In any Princes of Florence game, most of the players
aim for victory by putting in as many works as they can. I conduct
a demo each year so new players can learn the game -- we had
a group of about 10 this year -- and that's what I tell people
to focus on in their first few games. You can win by bidding
high for the things you want and putting on many works that score
a lot of points, or by bidding frugally and putting on fewer
works worth fewer points, but avoiding the need to convert so
much of the Work Value to cash. But there's a third approach
-- one that requires the person trying it to go all in with little
opportunity to adjust if things go wrong. This strategy involves
getting three Builders, filling your principality with free buildings,
getting the right Prestige Cards, and using Bonus Cards to make
the few works you put on big ones. Last year Jason Levine used
the Builder strategy to gain a close win in the Final, the first
time the Builder strategy had won since Princes of Florence began
to be played at WBC.
We were fortunate this year to have exactly 40 players in
each heat. This allowed us to play 5-player games (in my opinion,
the best number.) None of the Heat 1 games needed a tiebreaker
to determine the winner, though some were close. A few players
achieved wide margins of victory, though. David Platnick, a frequent
finalist even though he had never won the tournament, won his
heat by a margin of 13 PP (even though he was sitting in the
fifth seat.) Lyman Moquin did almost as well, winning by 10 PP.
In Heat 2, Mary Ellen Powers tied Jennifer Horan on PP in
one game but ended with 200 florins to Jennifer's zero to win.
Mike Kaltman got by David Platnick by a margin of 67 to 64, and
Jeffrey Senley nosed past top-ranked Rod Spade, 56 to 55. Jason
Long won a second game to become the only double winner in the
preliminaries, leaving us with 15 winning qualifiers and a host
of alternate runners-up.
Unfortunately, we did not have 25 appear for the semis, so
we were limited to playing five 4-player games. In the elimination
rounds, we bid for seating order. There's little agreement about
which seat is best in a 4-player game, though most people prefer
the second seat in a 5-player game. You can view the data at
this link: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1023089.
players in Seat 2 won all four of the games that had no bids
for seating order. Mike Kaltman won by 2 PP over Aran Warszawski,
who had only 100 florins and thus declined his chance to start
an auction. He realized later that he might have won if he had
given up a PP to get something. David Platnick won by another
huge margin, scoring 79 PP, a full 16 ahead of his nearest rival.
Alex Bove snuck past Bruce Rae 59 to 58, earning Bruce 6th place
honors for having the closest loss in the semis. And Lyman Moquin
bested Rod Spade, 67 to 65. In the one game with bids, Ken Horan
bid 200 florins for Seat 3 and won. Go figure!
The Final featured three players from Philadelphia (Alex,
Ken and Mike,) who commented on the chances that so many people
from the same city had made it through. Alex, who likes to put
on a lot of works, bid 300 florins for the second seat. Lyman
bid 200 for the first seat and Ken bid 100 for the third seat.
In last year's Final, the first item auctioned was a Builder,
but this game started out more conventionally, with Ken taking
a Jester for 1200. The Builder was next, though, and David paid
700 for it (200 less than the Round 1 Builder cost last year.)
Alex paid 800 for a Recruiter, getting an early start on the
"lots of works" plan. In the Action phase, David gave
up a chance at a Profession Card to build a Workshop and put
on a work. It seemed he might be headed for a Builder strategy.
Could it work again?
In Round 2 David bought a second Builder, but the price rose
to 800. This time Lyman put on a work and gained three PP for
Best Work, outmatching Mike for the honor. David didn't get a
Builder in Round 3, though, as Ken bid 800 for one. The price
must have been too rich for David's tastes, but he consoled himself
with a 200 florin Prestige Card.
The Round 4 Builder went to Lyman, this time for only 600.
It seemed David's strategy might have to be a hybrid given the
energetic bidding for Builders, and he settled for a cheap Forest.
But he got his third Builder in Round 5 and built two buildings
for no money to surge into the lead.
The Builder strategy was now on in full force, and David bought
a second Forest (gaining three PP) in Round 6, and followed it
with a Best Work for 23 Work Value, using the "each Prestige",
"each Forest" and "each Building" Bonus cards.
He picked up a second Prestige Card in Round 7 and won going
away. His auction buys were three Builders, two Forests and two
Prestige Cards. The final scores were David 63, Alex 55, Mike
55, Ken 54, Lyman 50 (with Alex beating Mike on the tiebreaker
by 100 florins.)
Congratulations to David on his first POF WBC 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 the
The five finalists in the shopping
game. How come no women?