Down to Two Heats in year 2 ...
The Tuesday heat was well attended
with 30 players present
Our finalists go for the gold
on Satuday night.
In 2007 the format for Caylus changed from the inaugural
three preliminary heats to two, with a corresponding drop in
attendance from 72 to 44. The Tuesday heat was well attended,
accounting for 30 of the year's total players. The Saturday
version only drew 14, apparently due to conflicts with some similar
Scoring in the initial heats was fairly consistent,
with most 4-player game winners scoring in the 80s, with two
scoring 97. The lowest winning score (in a 5-player game,
not surprisingly) was 62 (Rich Meyer).
The semi-finals drew 22 players, with the winners advancing
to the Final. The finalists (in turn order) were Andrew
Gerb, Alfred Smith, Marc Berenbach, Chris Trimmer, and Rich Meyer.
None of the finalists were repeats from last year, indicating
that either the field is competitive or that the better players
moved on to other challenges (hopefully the former).
The Final started quickly, and at the scoring of the
dungeon Marc and Rich were tied with 13 despite Marc not having
built a section in the castle. Chris was third with 12,
Alfred fourth with 10, and Andrew trailed the field with 9, but
was loading up on resources. At the scoring of the walls,
Rich had pushed into the lead with 39, followed by Andrew (34),
Chris (31), Alfred (26), and Marc (25). As the game entered
the later stages, Rich and Andrew began to invest more heavily
in the castle, separating from the others with scores of 56 and
54 respectively versus 38 for the other three. In the end,
Andrew edged Rich 82-81, with Chris not far behind at 74.
Marc and Alfred battled for the fourth and final wood spot, with
Marc prevailing 61 to 54. Andrew went unbeatenin the tourney,
winning in both heats, the semi and the Final for a truly dominating
From a strategy perspective, the importance of building
castle spaces was indicated by the fact that the player building
the 1st or 2nd most castle spaces won 15 of the 17 games reporting
building stats. The highest number of castles built in
a 4- or 5- player game was 11 by Chris Trimmer in a semi, a fair
accomplishment in a 5-player game. The Final supported
the castle strategy, with first and second place being captured
by the high castle builders (7 and 9 versus 4, 4, and 6).
For next year's event, I would recommend keeping the
two-heat format with Tuesday night and another TBD, but reducing
the number of semi-finalists to 16. At the present time, I am
not planning to GM this event next year so anyone wishing to
bring it back should act accordingly.
Euro Quest Laurelists
Peter Putnam, MD
Raphael Lehrer, MD
Michael Kaltman, PA
Rod Spade, PA
Kevin Walsh, NY