thurn & taxis  

Updated 11/26/2008

2008 WBC Report  

   2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Andy Latto, MA

2007-08 Champion

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Event History
2006    Anne Norton       37
2007     Andy Latto     104
2008     Andy Latto     100

Euro Quest Event History
2006    Rod Spade     41
2007    Rob Kircher     33
2008    Raphael Lehrer     42

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Andy Latto         MA    08     70
  2.  Anne Norton        NJ    08     57
  3.  Raphael Lehrer     MD    08     32
  4.  Rod Spade          MD    06     30
  5.  Rob Kircher        RI    08     28
  6.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    07     26
  7.  David Meyaard      CT    07     24
  8.  Nick Henning       CT    08     18
  9.  Eric Brosius       MA    06     18
 10.  Phil Rennert       MD    06     18
 11.  Jim Castonguay     PA    08     12
 12.  Bill Murdock       NY    08     12
 13.  Michael Thompson   PA    07     12
 14.  Charlie Kersten    OH    06      9
 15.  Phil Taylor        NJ    06      9
 16.  Amy Rule           MD    07      8
 17.  Ray Pfeifer        MD    07      8
 18.  Tom Stokes         NJ    08      6
 19.  Tom Dunning        NY    08      6
 20.  Larry Loiacono     PA    07      6
 21.  Thomas Browne      PA    06      6
 22.  Sara Hagen         VA    06      6
 23.  Sean Vessey        VA    08      4
 24.  Ted Bohaczuk       PA    07      4
 25.  Skip Maloney       NY    07      4
 26.  Jon Gemmell        CT    08      3
 27.  David Gagne        QC    06      3
 28.  Tom McCorry        VA    06      3

2008 Laurelists                                            Repeating Laurelists:

Nick Henning, CT

Bill Murdock, NY

Anne Norton, NJ

Tom Dunning, NY

Jon Gemmell, CT

Past Champions

Anne Norton, NJ

Andy Latto, MA

T&T continued to draw triple digits with only two heats and seems assurred a place at WBC for some years to come.

Dave Metzger. Ivan Lawson, Rich Meyer, and Norman Rule deliver the mail in the opening heat.

Staying Power ...

Sometimes a game that wins the Spiel Des Jahres (the German "Game of the Year" award for Euro-style games) is popular for a little while, then vanishes without a trace, but some have staying power. Thurn and Taxis is proving itself to be in the latter category. Two years after it won the award and became a WBC trial event as a last-minute replacement, Thurn and Taxis is still extremely popular, with an even 100 entrants in 2008. This is especially impressive considering that the tournament gathered those100 entrants in only two heats. Excluding the late-night events, only one other game, Settlers of Catan, has reached triple-digit attendance without having three or more heats.

With more than 16 players winning a game in the heats, a single win was not enough to guarantee a slot in the semi-finals. Only a few players won in both heats, so the deciding factor in determining who went on to the semi-finals was the GM-specified tie-breaker of margin of victory. So a few players who won their heat by a point or two did not qualify for the semis. A quarter-final is being considered for next year, which would guarantee that anyone who wins a game in a heat would advance, but quarter-finals are problematical in four-player games since 64 winners will almost certainly not be generated, making the preliminary heats a pointless exercise.

Three of last year's finalists, Andy Latto, Tom De Marco, and Anne Norton, reached the semi-finals this year. Tom lost to Andy in the semis, but Anne won her semi-final, so the Final would include both Andy, the defending champion, and Anne, the 2006 champion and 2007 finalist.

They were joined in the Final by Nick Henning and Bill Murdock. Nick went first, followed by Anne, Andy, and Bill. The men went for the all-countries strategy. Andy scored the all-countries bonus first, followed by Bill and then Anne, netting them 6, 5, and 4 points, respectively. Nick could not get the cards he wanted, using the administrator to throw away six cards and deal six new ones three times early in the game. He eventually placed houses in every city in Bavaria, the only player to do so, earning the 5-point bonus. Those who say that the administrator is rarely a good move will be interested to learn that Nick still managed to come in second after all that card-cycling. But Andy soon ended the game by being the first player to build his 7 carriage, ending four points ahead of Nick to defend his championship.

Some grumble that Thurn and Taxis is too luck-dependent, but the consistent performance of the top players suggests that skill must play a large part in the game. Not only is there a repeat champion, but Anne Norton has now made it to the Final all three years, without losing a tournament game to any player except two-time champion Andy Latto. Records like that in a 100-player event rarely happen purely by chance.

2008 Euro Quest Laurelists

Raphael Lehrer, MD

Jim Castonguay, PA

Rob Kircher, RI

Thomas Stokes, NJ

Sean Vessey, VA

 GM      Jim Vroom (2nd Year)  NA   NA

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