Natasha Metzger, NY
John Min, NJ
Doug Faust, NY
Thomas Strock, PA
Carolyn Strock, PA
Brad Johnson, IL
David Platnick, VA
Craig O'Brien, VA
David Buchholz, MI
Charlie Faella, RI
Aram Warszawski, Israel
Rob Effinger, on
Roy Gibson, MD
Tom Stokes, NJ
Matt Tolman, UT
Rick Dutton, MD
Robert Kircher, RI
Andrew Arconti, MD
Jeremy Osteen, MD
Julie Ehlers, NJ
Still a Gateway Draw ...
Laura Miller takes that trade.
One of the 32 female settlers in the
Well ... maybe 33. Can you direct
me to the Junior's room?
Only the most fashionable accessories
for this future gamer.
Crazy Eights ...
2013 WBC Settlers of Catan tournament was another in a
long line of successful events as we attracted a triple digit
field for the 12th straight year and convinced me that we have
some of the best gamers around. This year, 123 members toed the
line for the first round games. Any rules issues were resolved
in a good gaming environment at the table, which proved to me
that everyone wants to have a fun time playing a classic gateway
game. As was done last year, the standard setup was used and
only a handful of games were called due to time. Most of those
were games that got started late and to offset that I gave them
an extra round at the 5-minute mark. This standard format will
be used again in 2014. New for all of the winners this year was
a prize to choose: Selections were a Catan meeple for your badge
or a stuffed animal catan-style. Ty Hansen contributed several
copies of the Catan Scenarios: Oil Springs expansion which
he designed (along with Erik Assadourian) to any winners as well,
as an optional prize. Thank you for the gifts, Ty. I hope to
continue the prizes next year with Mayfair's continued support.
The basic tournament format is three preliminary heats that
qualify 16 for a single elimination playoff. All games were consecutive
and it makes for a full day for both players and GM. Players
scored tournament points based on finishing position with bonus
points based on the strength of victories. Seating was random
and players earned five points for 1st, three for second, two
for third and one for fourth. After three games, the top 16 players
then enter into a playoff round.
The games averaged 85 minutes, with the fastest game ending
in 45 minutes and the longest stopped at the round cutoff of
two hours. A total of 69 games were played - 27 in round 1, 24
in round 2 and 18 in round 3. This year we had two triple winners
advance into the semifinal, but neither went any further. The
magic tournament point barrier was 11 points -- two wins, or
a win, a second and a third. One qualifier gave up his seat to
play in another event, which allowed an alternate to advance.
We again barely had enough copies to go around and I would like
to thank those that left a game behind with me for others to
play. Again, please bring your game if you want a seat.
After three heats, we had our top 16. Table 1 seated Israeli
Haim Hochboim, Doug Faust, Eve Secunda and Allyson Field. Table
2 belonged to Julie Ehlers, Canadian Donna Balkan, William Austin
and Rod Davidson. Table 3 might have been mistaken for a tea
party with Forrest Speck hosting three ladies: Lynda Shea, Natasha
Metzger and Carolyn Strock. Table 4 was more of a poker party
with four gents missing only lampshades and cigars: John Min,
Thomas Strock, Brian Bortz and Phil Reese. 90 minutes later John
Min, Doug Faust, Julie Ehlers and Natasha Metzger emerged as
the 2013 finalists. It was the second straight Final appearance
by Natasha - no small feat in an event this large. Claiming fifth
and sixth place wood were Carolyn and Thomas Strock. All players
received a free bag from Mayfair games, along with a bumper sticker
and a water bottle.
Doug had the first move of the Final, followed by Julie, Natasha
and John. Most players look for a red number during the setup
stages; Doug chose a 6-brick, Julie an 8-Ore, Natasha an 8-Brick
and Jon was left with a 6-Wood location. Julie took a key setup
risk by placing her settlements on a 5-8 ore/10 sheep and a 2:1
ore trade port that bordered a 6-Wood/2-sheep. This port would
EARLY GAME: When the first roll of a Catan game is
a 7, you can expect a rough game. Round 2 saw our first road
(Julie) and Soldier (Jon). Round 3 drew another robber (Julie)
and Natasha placed two roads. Round 4 gave Doug the lead with
a settlement, while Julie moved the robber again. Natasha then
built more roads before Jon moved the robber again. Scores: Doug:
3, Julie, Natasha and Jon: 2.
MID GAME: The game became a version of crazy eights;
an 8 was rolled each round for the first four turns. In round
5 the rolls were 8-8-4-2. Round 6 rolls were 8-7-8-6. Obvously,
Julie and Natasha were loaded with ore and bricks respectively.
Julie took advantage and built a city on the 8-Ore while Natasha
invested in roads and trading for wood. By Round 8, Julie had
two cities (the ore port and the 8-ore location) while Jon and
Natasha plied trades with Doug. Julie was able to use the 2:1
Port often and get the missing pieces for Dev cards since wheat
was rare (12, 11, 9 and 4) and not being rolled. Another city
for Julie gave her a two-card edge in two locations.
END GAME: Now with three cities on the map and the
8 paying off handsomely and regularly, Julie was going to be
hard to stop. In the next three rounds, Natasha finally got Longest
road out, Jon was able to build his first city and was poised
to take longest road from Natasha, but Round 9 struck with more
8s: 8-6-8-5. With lots of cards to trade, it was a very active
round. Jon, Natasha and Doug tried everything to gain an edge
over Julies four cities and ore monopoly. In Round 10, another
8 was rolled by Doug, Julie's 6 resulted in a monopoly on brick,
and she built two roads and a settlement for 10 points.
FINAL STATS: No 10's or 12's; one 2 and 11, two 5s,
three 9s and 3s, four 4s, five 6s, six 7s and 13 8s were rolled.
It was definitely not an average game for the dice in terms of
the expected bell curve. Only five cities were built, four by
Julie. Natasha had the longest road with seven road segments.
END SCORE: 10-7-6-5. Jon made this game much more enjoyable
than most Finals I have witnessed. His positive attitude, willingness
to trade every turn and even give advice made him a great player
that I would love to game with anytime. That earned him my Sportsmanship
monination. Natasha became a Top Ten rated player in only two
appearances at WBC with her back-to-back runner-up finishes.
Julie was a newcomer to WBC and came away with the win in one
of the convention's premier events to become our first female
Settlers champ. Making her accomplishment even more impressive
was that her first game was a dead last showing. But you have
to play three games to advance in Settlers, and unlike
many who lost their first game, she kept at it. In all, it was
another excellent event that everyone seemed to enjoy once again.
I hope to see everyone and more come back next year to trade
sheep for wood as I will have some loot to hand out to winners!
Junior GM Tim Mossman with his finalists
using the 6-player expansion.
Donte Saccenti is awarded his prize.
The Junior version drew 26 little settlers on Tuesday for
GM Tim Mossman. Six games were played in the opening round, with
the winners advancing to the Final.
· Table 1: Nick Metzger ran away from his competitors
at the lone 6-player table to advance to his fourth consecutive
Settlers Junior Final.
· Table 2: The 2012 Settlers Junior runner-up, Dante
Saccenti, outpaced Sophia Holmquist to advance to his second
· Table 3: John Wobbeking advanced after pulling away
from Sarah Morgen and Lindsay Saccenti in a tightly contested
· Table 4: Abby Omer dominated her game to earn her
second Final appearance. Omer previously appeared as the youngest
participant in the 2011 Final.
· Table 5: Tessa Lytle established an early lead at
her table and coasted to victory over second place Ethan Shipley.
· Table 6: Buddy Sands won the tightest victory in
the opening round (10-9), narrowly defeating second place finisher
Tessa Lytle, Nick Metzger and Dante Saccenti separated themselves
from the other three finalists early. Lytle was the first to
upgrade to three cities and was generating a steady flow of resources.
Metzger who had obviously inherited good settler genes, claimed
the longest road and began to place settlements. Saccenti built
steadily from his two starting locations.
Lytle built up her impressive empire to show nine points worth
of cities and settlements on the board, as the rest of the table
struggled with how to catch her. Saccenti built up to eight points
to keep the pressure on Lytle. Metzger did claim his eighth point;
however, his resource stream started to run dry towards the end
of the game.
Over several tense turns, Lytle narrowly missed grabbing her
game-clinching final point. She focused on building one more
settlement, rather than play into the development deck, which
had yet to yield any VP cards for her. Saccenti quietly gathered
just enough wood and brick to build two road segments on his
last turn, which was just enough to join his two separate settlement
areas and claim the longest road from Metzger. The two points
from the longest road card clinched the game for the 2012 runner-up.
Lytle finished second with nine points, followed by Metzger.
Omer finished fourth with six points, as she rebounded from a
very tough early board position by claiming the largest army.
Sands also finished with six points to take fifth. Wobbeking,
the youngest competitor in the 2013 Final, settled for sixth.