Well San Juan remains consistent in its turnout with a similar number of players as last year with 70. The move to play Sunday morning seemed to fortify our numbers and we continue to gain new members for this quick and easy-to-learn card game. Everyone should come by and play as we all build our best tableaus within an average of 11-17 rounds.
There were four continuous rounds of 2-player games and players who won at least 3 times advanced to the elimination bracket. Players are allowed to enter and leave rounds whenever they like, encouraging you to come by and play! In the initial round of 4 games, four players played 1 game, twenty-one people played 2 games, twenty-three people played 3 games, and twenty-three people played all 4 games. The second edition of the game appeared in about 3 matches each round, gaining some popularity amongst players. There are new buildings and some text changes to existing cards in the new version. Players have the option of playing either edition which aids in exposing more players to it. I would like to see if it grows in popularity.
After the initial four rounds, there were 18 players who garnered the required 3 wins to advance. The playoff field included 2 of last year’s top 6 contestants, Bill Edwards and winner Jeff Mullet, as well as past tournament winners Greg Thatcher and Bruce Reiff. There were also 3 of the Saccenti clan, Donte, Anthony, and Scott. Because only 20 advanced, 2 games were played in the first round between 4 players that had the record of 3-1. From there, it was a standard bracket of 16 until there is a winner!!
Within the second round, there were a few fun times. Jeff Mullet and Bruce Reiff, co-Assistant GM’s and people who usually battle it out in the semifinal or final, were thrown together. After playing hundreds of games together, Jeff smites Bruce and gives him an excuse to eat lunch early. Among the 8 games, four ended with a score difference of 1 point or less and they were all in the lower half of the bracket. Two games had a score difference of 4 points, and two games had a final score difference of 5+ points.
Within the third round, there started to be a pattern of which end-game 6-cost buildings were bought. Of the 8 players, two played City Hall, two played Triumphal Arch, five played Guild Hall, and two people played Palace. Three people, Kevin Hammond, Greg Thatcher, and Jeff, played multiple 6-cost buildings. In the family battle royale, Scott with Triumphal Arch, beat his son Donte, who played City Hall, with a score of 32-25. Kevin Hammond, with both Triumphal Arch and City Hall, beat out Andy Latto, who played Guild Hall, with a score of 37-32. Chris Greenfield, with Guild Hall, suffered a significant defeat against Greg Thatcher, who played both Guild Hall and Palace, with a score of 29-42. Finally, Jeff, despite having Palace and Guild Hall, lost to Michael Powers, with just Guild Hall, in a narrow defeat of 37-38. The king has been dethroned!!!!
Overall within the four games of the third round, half were won by players who bought two 6-cost buildings, and all 6 cost-buildings won at least one game. So, no matter what people say, every 6-cost building can win.
Moving on to the semifinals were Scott, Kevin, Greg, and Michael. Every semifinalists played a Guild Hall, with Scott and Greg playing an additional Palace to each of their tableaus. That double 6-cost buildings worked for one but not the other. Greg Thatcher trounced Michael Hammond with a score of 40-29. However, Scott suffered a narrow defeat in a high scoring affair of 38-41 against Kevin.
The finals were set up to be quite the spectacle as WBC newbie Kevin Hammond, who defeated multiple tough opponents, went up against past winner Greg Thatcher, who dominated all 3 of his qualification bracket games with a score difference of 10+ points. For the first time in many years, the final was held during the scheduled time slot and therefore, notes could be taken so everyone can experience the fun.
- Round 1 - Greg built a Tobacco Storage and Kevin built a Sugar Mill, Kevin used Prospector, Greg produced 2 goods and Kevin produced 1 good
- Round 2 - Kevin used Prospector, Greg traded for 2 cards and Kevin traded for 1 card, Kevin produced on Sugar and Indigo while Greg produced on Tobacco
- Round 3 - Greg built a second Tobacco Storage and Kevin built nothing, Kevin traded for 2 cards and Greg traded for 2 cards, Greg produced on both Tobacco and Kevin produced on Sugar
- Round 4 - Kevin built a Quarry and Greg built an Indigo Plant, Greg traded for 4 cards and Kevin traded for 1 card, Kevin produced on Sugar and Indigo, while Greg produced on Tobacco
- Round 5 - Greg produced on Tobacco and Indigo and Kevin didn’t produce, Kevin traded for 3 cards and Greg traded for 2 cards, Greg used Prospector
- Round 6 - Kevin produced on Sugar and Indigo and Greg produced on Tobacco, Greg built with both Greg and Kevin building an Indigo Plant, Kevin traded for 3 cards and Greg traded for 1 card
- Round 7 - Greg traded for 2 cards while Kevin didn’t trade, Kevin built an Aqueduct and Greg built a Silver Smelter, Greg produced on Silver and Tobacco, and Kevin produced on Sugar and Indigo
- Round 8 - Kevin counseled with both players gained 1 card, Greg built a Smithy and Kevin built a Prefecture, Kevin traded for 2 cards and G traded for 2 cards
- Round 9 - Greg built a Sugar Mill and Kevin built a Well, Kevin produced on Sugar and Indigo, gaining one card, and Greg produced on Tobacco and Silver, Greg used prospector
- Round 10 - Kevin counselled gaining 2 cards to Greg’s 1 card, Greg built a Tobacco Storage and Kevin built a Carpenter, Kevin used Prospector
- Round 11 - Greg built a Coffee Roaster but Kevin didn’t build, Kevin counselled to gain 2 cards to Greg’s 1 again, Greg traded for 5 cards and K traded for 1 card
- Round 12 - Kevin built a Library and gained 1 card while Greg built an Indigo Plant, Greg used Prospector, and Kevin counselled once again gaining 2 cards to Greg’s 1
- Round 13 - Greg built the Guild Hall and Kevin built a Tobacco Storage
The final score was Greg with 37 points, with 20 being Guild Hall, to Kevin’s 17 points. The lack of a 6-cost building plus Greg’s luck pulling a Guild Hall in a late round Council, no he did NOT have it since the opening hand, did Kevin in. But he did wonderful for a new WBC and San Juan player.
Some statistics about roles in the finale:
- Of the 37 possible role choices, Prospector was chosen 6 times, Councilor was chosen 4 times, Producer was chosen 8 times, Trader was chosen 8 times, and Builder was chosen 11 times
- There were 3 times, besides when Prospector was used, when one person did an action and the other person did nothing. All 3 times Greg was the only one getting the benefit
I hope this gives everyone a better sense of how to play and encourages more people to join us. Again, congratulations to our winner, Greg Thatcher!