puerto rico [Updated October 2003]  

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Nicholas Anner, NY

2003 Champion

2nd: Gary Carr, VA

3rd: Phil Rennert, MD

4th: Lucimara Martins, Arg

5th: Arthur Field, SC

6th: David Platnick, VA

Event History
2002    Arthur Field     152
2003    Nicholas Anner     217

Euro Quest Event History
2003    Lyman Moquin       57


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AREA Ratings

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 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Nicholas Anner

NY

03
60
 2.  Lyman Moquin

DC

03
40
 3. Gary Carr

VA

03
36
 4. Phil Rennert

MD

03
24
 5.  Barb Flaxington

NJ

03
24
 6. Arthur Field

SC

03
22
 7. Lucimara Martins

Brazil

03
18
 8. James Robertson

MD

03
16
 9. Bruce Reiff

OH

03
12
10. Bill Salvatore

MD

03
  8
11. David Platnick

VA

03
  6
12. Ted Mullally

NJ

02
  6
13. John Adams

MD

03
  4
14. Steve Simmons

NJ

02
  4
15. Rachel McGinley

SC

02
  3
16. Tom Browne

PA

02
  2
17. Bill Murdock

VA

02
  1

Past Winners

Arthur Field - SC
2002
 


New WBC Attendance Record ...

This year's tournament shattered all WBC single-event attendance records. In the four preliminary heats, there were a total of 89 different games played with 72 different winners, including one game where an equal score on the tiebreaker resulted in double winners. The first of four heats saw a total of 128 players squaring off at 26 tables, and Stephen Smith with a 77 established a new mark as the all-time top score (this in a 5-player game). At Saturday's last two heats the competition really got tight as players strived to get to the two-win level to reach the semi-finals; ten players sealed spots in the semis with wins in the last round. Gary Carr's second win with only 30 VPs set a new mark for the lowest winning score in the event. While no player won three games, David Platnick came close with two wins and a narrow one doubloon loss on a tiebreaker in his third game. David and defending champ Arthur Field paced a field of 18 double winners who squared off, along with the top two alternates, in five four-player semifinals. This year (with Puerto Rico now a level 6 event) there were no issues with no-shows as everyone who qualified for the semi-finals showed up to play!

The two players who had tied for first in the preliminary heats (Luci Martins and Phil Rennert) each won another game, then won again to advance to the five-player final.. (A second-level tiebreak, the most colonists, was invoked in the elimination round games but never needed.) Luci's 15-point margin in the semi-final game (the highest margin of victory in any of the semi-finals) resulted from a strong shipping strategy. Phil's mixed shipping and building strategy was enough to win by three points over Eugene Lin. Arthur Field earned a return trip to the finals with a 10-point win; his late-game shipping strategy overcame second place David Dockter's early building strategy. Nick Anner's aggressive building strategy took his opponents by surprise, and he won by filling his city with three large buildings to advance. Gary Carr produced more shipping VPs to edge out David Platnick by just one point in the closest semifinal match, and David was a deserving winner of the sixth place plaque for his efforts.

The final game was a tense contest. Luci Martins and Gary Carr both grabbed a hospice at the first opportunity, while Nick Anner and Arthur Field were the first to snap up the inexpensive but very useful small markets. (While both small markets were taken early, the more expensive large markets remained unbought for the entire game!) As the game evolved, Nick worked on duplicating the builder strategy that had worked so well for him in his earlier games; in fact, he focused so much on building that he did not earn his first shipping VP until almost two-thirds of the way through the game. Arthur, who carried a perfect 7-0 record over the last two years coming into the finals, relied on a corn-and-coffee strategy that had also proven successful in his prior wins. Phil, like Nick, relied on building more than shipping and developed a variety of different goods. By contrast, Luci and Gary both had more focused production goals, Luci starting first with indigo and later tobacco while Gary began with corn and later sugar. Both Luci and Gary used their hospice buildings to grab manned quarries at every opportunity. Nick, who pulled ahead in the later stages, proved you do not need quarries to win, and perhaps his key move was the purchase of the often underrated office which he used effectively to trade goods when others could not do so. Nick's timely buys of a harbor and a small warehouse helped him add more shipping VPs (he wound up with 22 shipping VPs) after a slow start in that category.

The last turn of the game saw Phil Rennert take the mayor, leaving enough empty building circles to end the game. Luci and Gary, as the last two players, tried to improve their scores by producing and then shipping more goods. On the very last turn, Gary filled the large ship with corn for 10 VPs, but still fell short of Nick, whose harbor helped him keep pace in the final shipping phase. Phil was able to pull into third by scoring maximum points with his Guild Hall for all his production buildings. Luci and Arthur tied for fourth, with Luci having two more doubloons at game end to take fourth on the tiebreak. Both Luci and Gary failed to buy a building the last turn, not anticipating that Phil would end the game, missing a chance to earn more VPs. Gary had the funds to buy a 3-point building which could have been enough to win the game had the rest of the last turn proceeded in the same fashion. Nick, however, did manage to buy and occupy a large building (City Hall) to clinch the win by just two VPs.

Statistics collected from the 95 games played in 2003 showed a decided advantage for the two corn seats (4 and 5) in a five-player game, which averaged about two to three points per game more than the indigo seats (1, 2 and 3). Looking at the winning displays, the most popular production buildings were small indigo and coffee; the three most popular violet buildings were small market, factory and harbor; and the City Hall was the most popular double-sized building. As was the case last year, those with a majority of points from buildings outnumbered the successful shippers by two-to-one.

Looking ahead to next year, results from a player survey showed strong support for continuing Puerto Rico as a class B (beginners welcome) event and that two hours was sufficient time to complete games. Less than one third of those who responded favored including the new expansion buildings in the event for next year. Finally, most players were comfortable with four and five player games, and there was support for adding an extra elimination round as was done in 2002.

 GM      John Weber  [2nd Year]   NA
    jcw222@earthlink.net   NA

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