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El Grande (ELG) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated October 31, 2018
55 Players Keith Dent 2018 Status 2019 Status Event History
2018 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

El Grande Rebounds Back to Century

El Grande fell out of the Century for this year, but got plenty of votes to run as a Trial event, and thus managed to be included in the group of games run for all twenty years of WBC. Deciding to shake things up a little, the event was moved forward in the week from its long-running Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday schedule to Sunday-Wednesday. The demonstration on Sunday attracted a large number of new players, many of who came to play at the following heat. Unfortunately, we ran short of copies and turned away at least a dozen would-be participants!

A couple of situations came up that might warrant adjustments for next year. First, for the first time in awhile we had a game run quite long and it had to be adjudicated. The scores were such that the winner was beyond doubt, but the next three places were too close to call and still mattered for advancement in the tournament. Ultimately the GM made a call, which pleased no one of course, but after discussion with assistants we can outline some rules to make it a little less arbitrary in the future.

The second was a suggestion from one of the assistant GMs, that with the number of new participants, that we consider some sort of mulligan for the card that clears players’ courts in the event that it comes up on the first turn. This happens one out every eleven games, but can be tricky to deal with and can also result in a poor experience if you get burned.

Other notable occurrences included Greg Thatcher winning all three heat games (the only multiple winner this year), and Tim Mossman winning his semifinal game over Mike Kaltman on the second tiebreaker. Mike at least got sixth place overall for his troubles.

The final table consisted of Dominic Blais, Tim Mossman, Ray Wolff, Curt Collins, and Keith Dent. The game started fairly normally. Ray got off to fast start with a couple of scoring cards, although at the expense of board position. Tim used his 1-13 to lock up his home region for the first scoring round. Perhaps the most remarkable event in the first third of the game came with the Castillo drop, where four of the five players chose Granada. Curt avoided the crowds by going to Aragon. At the end of the first scoring round, Tim and Ray tied for the least with others 7-9 points behind.

In the second third of the game, we all forgot Curt had a Veto card and it went unused. Adding insult to injury, Curt later was in the position of being the target of Ray's Veto, which got much better use hanging over people's actions. Keith moved his Grande from Aragon to Seville, where he didn't have the lead, but he built up the Castillo and took that region over in time for scoring. Tim's game started to unravel, as all the scoring cards that were executed helped everyone else, and even with strong second round scoring, he dropped to last place by several points while Curt held a slim lead.

Keith's new strong position in Seville paid off early in the last part of the game. A score the fours card came out which gained Keith and Ray about ten points. Also, Keith got the king action on two out of the last three turns, and Ray didn't move it on his turn with the king, so people's ability to affect the board was greatly reduced. Many pieces were thrown into the Castillo, with a lack of better options.

This time Dominic was the loser on the scoring cards, only netting 4 while the others were getting 8 or more. In the final scoring round, Keith had slightly higher scoring than the nearest competitors, and he took first place by 2 points. Curt and Ray tied for second place, with Ray having more pieces left in his court to break the tie. Congratulations to Keith to winning on his first entry to the final table!

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Ray Wolff Curt Collins II Tim Mossman Dominic Blais Michael Kaltman
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Preliminary action with Rich Meyer eyeing competitors. John Emery trying to expand the Mafia to Spain.
El Grande with some smiles. Jeff Cornett studying the board.
GM  Rob Flowers [16th Year]  NA
 epworthian@gmail.com  NA