Eight is Enough ...
Rob Flowers, John Kilbride, Chaka
Benson, and defending champ Andrew Emerick
Rob Kilmore and Samantha Berk circumnavigate
the globe in the first heat.
Navegador's second chance at WBC saw a significant
attendance increase from its debut. It's been great to see this
event grow, and I hope that even more will join us next year!
The heats saw a wide variety of strategies. Games were much
more likely to finish with all the buildings bought than they
were from a player sailing to Nagasaki. Building ended 13 games
while sailing ended only nine, with two tables failing to report.
However, that does not mean that little sailing took place; all
but five contests made it at least to Macao by the end of the
game. The winning scores ranged from 145 to 92. The two highest
winning scores both came from colonizing: John Kilbride's 145
points in Heat 1, which came mostly from his 18 colonies and
seven exploration tokens, and Vien Bounma's 142 points in the
second heat, mostly from 19 colonies and six exploration tokens.
Still, winners in the heats used almost every conceivable strategy,
from very common factory/church strategy to the less common exploration
strategy to the very rare shipyard/church combination. The three
players with multiple wins all used different strategies. Vien
Bounma won in all three heats by scooping up huge numbers of
colonies. Emily Bacon won two with an exploration strategy, and
defending champion Andrew Emerick had one win with factories
and churches and another by colonizing.
The semis yielded two close games and two more decisive results.
John Kilbride won his table decisively with a strong factory/colony
strategy, and Andrew Emerick blew out the competition with 80
points from factories and 45 from churches. The close games were
more interesting; Vien Bounma built up a strong economy early
by pursuing colonies as usual, but by the endgame, Rob Kircher
edged him out by one point with a more balanced strategy in which
his shipyards earned both exploration tokens and colonies. At
the fourth table, Randy Buehler was very successful with factories
and churches, besting Alex Bove's shipyard strategy by three
Defending champ Andrew Emerick proved to be the only multiple
heat winner to advance to the Final, as well as the only former
finalist to return to the last round.. The Final did not begin
with much strategic diversity. All four players clustered on
the same field of the rondel for the first several rounds. All
four opened with sailing, then colony, then market, with Rob
and John investing in gold and Andrew and Randy in sugar. They
followed each other around the rondel a bit longer, but by the
time Randy sent the game into Phase 2, the players had begun
to commit to different strategies. Andrew had gained a church
and the privilege to go with it, Randy a shipyard and the corresponding
privilege, and John and Rob were buying factories. Players continued
on these paths throughout the game. It was a building-heavy game,
with little emphasis on colonies. Although Randy and John did
most of the sailing in the second phase, they gained only modest
numbers of colonies -- five and six, respectively. Randy was
more interested in shipyards, eventually amassing six of them,
while John combined colonies with factories, mixing in a little
bit of everything. Rob, meanwhile, focused on factories and Andrew
invested heavily in churches and workers. Shortly before the
end, John sent the game into Phase 3, using the Navegador to
sail to Goa and then grabbing another navigation token with the
sailing action. This gave each player one more privilege, and
Randy a second.
Andrew's maxed-out church privileges exactly matched Randy's
maxed-out shipyard privileges -- 54 points each -- but Andrew's
factories gave him a healthy win. The tie for third between Rob
and John was broken by the Navegador. Once more, Andrew was crowned
champion, and remains undefeated in this tournament with eight
Patrick Mirk, Romain Jacques and Virignia
GM Anni Foasberg oversees her finalists.