Auspicious Debut ...
be the best way to sum up GM Tom McCorry's efforts. Not
only does he run two events—but they are both
three-heat whoppers with over 220 players total.
another word that comes to mind. Notice the wooden
doweling table stands in the background that Tom
fashioned to aid quick player seating. Classy.
Caylus got off to a roaring start in its first year
of release, jumping to the third highest rated game on Board
Game Geek, winning a special award for "Complex Game"
from the jury of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award, and
selling out its first print run. Caylus' debut at the
WBC was just as auspicious with 72 people participating in the
tournament. Heat 1 on Tuesday had nine 4-player games with an
interesting result: Only players who went either first or last
in the first turn won their games! Heat 2 had six games with
a more balanced spread of winners/starting turn order. Heat 3
was the biggest with ten games and only a slight bias toward
the first or last player. Interestingly, out of the 31 total
games played (including the elimination rounds) the player going
second at the start of the game only won twice.
The semi-finals had 25 qualifiers who squared off in five-player
games. Ken Rothstein, Peter Martin, Rod Spade, Christine Frattali,
and Jeremy Spence (in initial turn order for the Final) advanced
to the final table. Christine edged Tom Browne on a tie-breaker
in her semi-final game to advance so Tom's compensation was 6th
The game started slowly on Turn 1 with each player placing
a single worker and leaving the provost with the bailiff. Turn
2 saw more action with Rod and Christine heading to the Stables
early, Ken taking up residence in the Inn, and Jeremy heading
for the Castle to start work on the Dungeon. But Rod made use
of the Guild to send the provost toward the Castle. After completing
the bridge, the players had moved the provost another two spaces
toward the Castle. Unfortunately for Jeremy, he no longer had
the diversity of goods needed for the Castle but he had no prestige
to lose yet so no harm done.
On Turn 3 everyone avoided the castle and continued the aggressive
provost movement with the provost ending five spaces closer to
the castle again, this time with Peter controlling the Guild.
On Turn 4 Ken sent the provost away from the Castle to the joy
of all the players and Peter finally got the Castle started by
building the first Dungeon section. Turn 5 was the final phase
for building the Dungeon, so everybody but Rod headed to the
Castle for a chance to please the king. At this point the turn
order and scores were Rod (0), Peter (14), Ken (10), Christine
(9), and Jeremy (8).
The provost was up to its old tricks on Turn 6, with Jeremy's
Guild starting the charge fivespaces back to the castle. Turn
7 was uneventful but Turn 8 saw the provost moving three spaces
toward the Castle with the help of Rod's Guild and 6 Denier in
bribes. Turn 9 saw the provost move away from the Castle with
the help of Ken's Guild, triggering the end of the Wall Phase.
The King was not pleased with Ken however for he failed to help
contribute to building the Castle Wall, losing him three points
of prestige. Turn order and scores were now Jeremy (21), Rod
(23), Peter (30), Ken (16), and Christine (21).
The provost must have liked the pubs near the castle because
once again he headed there with the help of Ken's Guild. Jeremy
started off the Castle tower with a single build. Turn 11 saw
the provost heading for the outskirts of town, Christine building
two sections of the tower and Jeremy three more sections and
Jeremy earning five prestige points this turn from his donation
to the Church. Turn 12 proved to be the last when Rod built five
sections of the Tower and Peter built the final three. Jeremy
once again donated to the Church earning him five prestige points.
Ken earned the wrath of the king once again for not working on
the Castle, costing him four prestige points. After the final
favors were taken, the players turned in their excess resources.
Jeremy turned in 10 resources giving him 60 prestige points and
a one-point win over Peter who had no excess resources. Rod finished
third with 55 points, followed by Christine with 48 and Ken with
Congratulations to all of the players for the well played
games and an enjoyable event. I look forward to an even bigger
event next year with Caylus' wider availability.