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Conquest of Paradise (CQP) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated October 22, 2018
33 Players Kurt Hoffman 2018 Status 2019 Status Event History
2018 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Numbers Keep Conquest In Century

The eleventh annual WBC Conquest of Paradise tournament saw CQP return to the Century list again, with the traditional inflatable palm tree and authentic tapa cloth table spread again marking their presence known in the ski lodge. This year, a contingent of veteran players from Northern Virginia (including a couple of previous champions) could not attend the convention. Despite this, we had our highest attendance ever, with more unique players and a lot more player starts.

Just like last year, we used every Advanced Rule that we could, in addition to the usual Tournament Rule increased cost of Arts & Culture cards. One particular Advanced Rule turned out to be critical to the eventual champion- as you will soon see!

All three first round sessions were very well attended, with five full games in each round! It was quite a sight to see so many happy folks spending some time in Polynesia (the Western Pennsylvania version, at least). Games were won by as many as ten points and as few as on-half of one point. Some games finished quickly, but two first-round games needed to be adjudicated when time ran out. The advanced rules were again well received; they will be used in all future tournaments.

The semifinals again had three four-player games, including some new players and some former champions, including last year’s champion. Both of the game’s designers made it through to the semi-finals, as well as both of the LaDue sisters. This year was Morgan’s year: she obliterated her opponents in her semi-final, winning by 7 1/2 points! Former champion Dave Cross won a close game, while newcomer Forrest Speck won an even closer game. Kurt Hoffman came in second in Forrest’s game, so he advanced to the finals as well.

The semifinals were all completed with over an hour to spare, so the finalists decided to continue straight into the finals. After choosing their starting positions in seeded order, the final table was set. Top seed Morgan LaDue as Samoa: an experienced player, she made it two years in a row that a LaDue was in the finals. Dave Cross as Tonga: a long-time player and former Champion. Forest Speck as Hiva: his first time in the finals. Kurt Hoffman as Raiatea: having the last seed from the semi-finals, he was stuck with the least desirable starting islands.

The game began with rather even exploration, with everyone finding at least one island group, although Tonga found three. The first big reveal was Samoa, who had discovered the mythical island of Hawaiki. More big discoveries soon followed: Hiva had found both Tahiti and Hawaii right next to their home islands (as well as Rapa Nui), and Samoa had found the double-size islands of Aotearoa (New Zealand)! Tonga and Raiatea had each found a scattering of small islands and atolls; Raiatea had discovered a spring on Starbuck Island, making that atoll into a small island. The cluster of Hawaiki, Aotearoa and Rapa Nui soon attracted a typhoon.

The game was tightening, and all players focused on their end game strategies. Samoa and Tonga had found enough rich islands that each figured they could simply defend their empires and out-produce their opponents for the win. Tonga began to build a war fleet to take what he need and knock the leaders down to size. Raiatea had a different plan.

Raiatean explorers began the next turn by setting off eastward toward South America. They seemed to have an inauspicious start, getting an “Off Course” result. But Kurt revealed his “Navigation” card, so his explorer’s superior navigational skills allowed his expedition to continue forward. The next step had the same result. Then, a “Return” result seemed to mark the end of his journey, but again, his Navigation card converted it to an “Off Course” result. This allowed his explorers to stumble into the Galapagos Islands, where they were able to find provisions and repair their boat. Pushing off again, they made it to South America! Leaving some chickens with their Incan hosts, they returned with valuable Kumara (sweet potatoes) and earned two victory points.

The turn continued peacefully, with players developing their empires. Samoa and Hiva built up their large islands, with Samoa leaving the South Island unoccupied- for now- just in case. Tonga and Raiatea sent colonists to their small islands and connected up their atolls. Raiatea had a chain of small islands heading straight southeast. No one tried to take Raiatea’s valuable Kumara for themselves. Raiatea surprised everyone by suddenly declaring victory- he added ten points in one turn, going from last to first! The others were clustered close behind, but his long string of small islands, good Arts & Culture cards, and those sweet potatoes had won him the game.

Kurt Hoffman had won the WBC Conquest of Paradise tournament, playing from the least likely starting islands, without finding a single island with more than two boxes on it. As he said afterward, “crap island will win the game for you!”

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Morgan LaDue Forrest Speck David Cross Kevin McPartland Paul Brenner
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM and designer Kevin McPartland gets a
chance to play his game
Champion Kurt Hoffman in action.
Steve Cameron exploring on paradise.
GM Kevin McPartland [11th Year]  NA
  k4mcp@verizon.net NA