Six New Laurelists Again ...
Several of the 33 ladies that
made up 22% of the field in Carcassonne this year.
Finalists clockwise from left
Mike Fox, Katie McCorry, GM Hymowitz, Jon Fox, Robert Kircher,
and Karl Henning.
Our individual attendance actually increased this year to
near-record levels ... so much for the theory that interest in
Euros quickly wanes with a "flavor of the month" mentality!
Carcassonne attendance has remained solidly in triple
figures for all five years of its inclusion at WBC. It has also
not been dominated by anyone as other events have. It may be
due to the large player fields or perhaps a higher luck/skill
ratio than most, but in eight BPA tournaments there have been
only five people who have managed to receive laurels more than
once. That's 43 Laurelists out of a possible 48!
I had about ten people come to my demo and all of them played
in at least one heat of the tournament so this game continues
to attract new players every year. After the first two heats
I already had more individual first-try winners than I could
possibly qualify for the semi-final round and two participants
that won their first two heats so I was sweating the MESE tie-breakers.
Needlessly, as it turned out, since not all of the qualifying
participants tried to advance. I needed to pull in several
alternates, including one very far own the list to achieve the
optimum 25 players for the second round.
In the five semi-final games, blue was the lucky color since
three of the five semi-final winners played blue. Some
players have the philosophy of staying in their own little
corner of the world, but in all of the games there was a single
location that could be called "monastery row" where
most or all of the cloisters were played. None of the
semi-finals went over the tone-hour time limit.
There were 33 females in the tournament, roughly one in five,
and this ratio held true in the Final as well, but the fair sex
beat the odds and won the tournament again for the third time
in five years. Carcassonne is truly the ladies' domain.
Two brothers were among the finalists, but they were not allowed
to take adjacent seats..Katie McCorry drew four cloisters in
her first seven tile draws to take an early lead and it would
have been very difficult to catch her.
After the Final ended, I heard the woeful story of one of
my AWOL qualifiers who had indeed arrived to play, heard someone
standing on a chair screaming, "Winners, report here!"
and followed the voice only to find out that his name was not
on their list. They told him to check if he was at the
right tournament, and he realized that he'd gone to the San
Juan semi-finals instead.
Good luck to those of you who will happily try again next
year! It was a true pleasure GMing the Carcassonne tournament
and if I am able to do it next year, I will be there with all
of my energy and excitement. I want to thank all of my
"assistant GMs", especially Joanne and my husband Eric,
Legend Dan, Dan Matthias, and Pete Eirich. I hope I didn't
forget anyone -- I couldn't have done it without you guys!
Until next time, I hope everyone has a great year!