Spiel das Jahre 1995 ...
This year's tournament witnessed an improved draw. Over 130
settlers attended the contest this year, a good jump from last
year. By my count, 25 or so settlers were wearing the "one-day"
badges. This is another indication of the continuing popularity
of 1996s "Game of the Year".
The format of this year's fest mirrored last years. Random
set up, random dice rolls, random decks were all standard fare.
The addition of placing a city instead of a second settlement
and placing a third road at start were items introduced from
the KOSMOS tournament in Germany. I'll continue to have us mirror
their concepts in future years. The tournament specific rule
of not being able to play a Knight card before rolling the production
dice will be re-considered for next year. Any future 'tinkering'
(or reduction of 'tinkering') will have ease and speed of play
assistant GMs for this event earned their pay this year. At 9
o'clock, the line for entering the tournament was nearly out
the Valley Ballroom door, despite starting the sign up at 8.30.
I'll have to go to three lines next year! Despite the number
of entrants, we had everyone seated by 9.20. If you can manage
it, bring a copy of the game! We had a number of people without
a game this year. One kind soul gave me two sets to use. (If
you are that kind soul, please contact me, as I have recovered
those games.) The tournament consisted of three preliminary rounds.
Entrants could (and some did) miss a round, but this made it
impossible for them to advance to the semi-finals. Still, if
you're coming to play, instead of pursue the wood, you are more
than welcome to play, as long as you give me the word that you're
leaving. First round was set at random, with each subsequent
round sorted to keep players with the same level of points playing
together, as reason allowed. Each player was awarded Tournament
Points for their placement in their games. Five points for 1st,
three for 2nd, two for 3rd and one point for 4th place were earned.
Ties for a position simply split the points earned. The top 16
scorers would advance to the semi-finals. A published procedure
was used for resolving ties. This used a percentage of points
earned at the table.
The time limit was set at 90 minutes per game. This included
set-up of the map as well as playing out the game. With over
130 entrants playing in nearly 100 games, it's a credit to the
players as well as the tournament rules (thank KOSMOS) that none
of the games were adjudicated (for the second year in a row!).
As the preliminaries drew to a close, the pencils and calculators
were brought out. Last year, the tournament point count needed
was 11. This year, the cut off was 11.5. A special acknowledgement
goes to Su Hung. She lost all three games last year and ended
up as the 17th ranked player this year, a clear winner of the
"Most Improved" award. In addition, she pointed out
a scoring error on her card that would have had her firmly in
the top 16. She was good enough to remain at the GM table until
it was verified that our 16 semi-finalists were present. Congrats
to Su for being the Settler's Sportsmanship Award winner. On
another front, we had two undefeated settlers going in to the
semi-finals. Charles Hickock and Bill Duke were wearing their
targets as the tables were set for the "Sweet 16".
After a 90 minute round, Mike Musko, Charlie Faella, Thomas Saal
and George Brace were left standing.
As the Finals board was set-up, there was much deliberation
about initial settlement placement. There was a clear dearth
of Brick and Ore locations. Each flavor had a single effective
payout number. Nearly one-third of the game time was devoted
to the critical initial placements. The great difficulty in obtaining
Brick and Ore, let alone trading for it, was evidenced by the
purchase of Roads for eight Sheep and Settlements for 10 Commodity
cards. Scores reached 5, 6, 7 & 7 points without anyone taking
ownership of the Special 2 point cards.
Despite the hard scoring environment, Charlie Faella met the
10 point goal ahead of the other finalists. Final scores: 10,9,8,7.
Thanks to everyone who entered. I'm already looking forward
to next year.
Eighteen little Settlers
contested the WBC Settlers of Catan Juniors title. The
best of these proved to be Tim De Marco of New Jersey who won,
not only WBC wood, but better yet, braggin' rights over the rest
of the famliy which went woodless this year. Carolyn Strock who
came in second gets a sportsmanship nod for not complaining about
the gender alliance that was set against her by three boys who
continually set the robber against her even when she was not
in the lead. Expect that alliance to change change with time.
The other finalists, in order, were:
Carolyn Strock - PA
Vincent Alonso - VA
Zach Dunn - VA