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Great Western Trail (GWT) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated November 4, 2018
106 Players Donte Saccenti 2018 Status 2019 Status History/Laurels
  2018 Champion  

Giddy-Up! Saccenti Family Leads The Way West

July 2018 saw the debut of Great Western Trail as a Trial Event at the World Boardgaming Championships in Seven Springs, PA. One-hundred-and-six cowpokes competed over the course of a week in a total of 52 games of GWT, with the prize being the traditional WBC reward: merely the glory of it all, plus a small commemorative plaque. It was a remarkable event on many levels, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

We had a good mix of experience in the tourney, as any successful event at WBC ought to. I had about a dozen players attend the Demo early in the week, and many of those who learned the game there had a go in the competition. I'll mention also that the game got good play in the open gaming area all week as well. There were a good number of our 106 players who were more on the casual level, and then I would say a couple dozen players who really had a lot of plays logged in the game.

I did a blog on BGG that breaks down the results of every game in the three heats, with some general data on strategy choices and turn order.

I think we will need a lot more data to confirm any general opinions, but at the very least, I think the numbers show that there is a slight advantage to going earlier in turn order, and that any of the three major strategies can win (though Cows are most popular of course). It's too long to reproduce in this after-action report, but for those interested, here is a link: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2030599/blogging-gwt-tournament-wbc-2018.

We cut to the Top 16 players for the Semi-final, leading into a four-player Final. There was bidding for turn order (in both the Semi and the Final). I'll note in passing that one table in the Semi was particularly savage (Antony Saccenti, Eugene Yee, Sceadeau D'Tela and Kyle Smith); that table could easily have been a Finals table had the random seating put those four players apart in the Semi.

Here are some notes on the Final; the competitors were Andrew Emerick, Antony Saccenti, Donte Saccenti and Scott Saccenti. Andrew bid to go first, and played Cows. Donte went second, and built. Scott was third and played Trains. Antony went fourth and played Cows. Andrew and Antony set up early a very successful tax corridor near the top of the board, leading into the Cow and Worker markets. This paid off well the entire game. Donte attempted the Southern Strategy, building on the risk actions in the swamp at the start of the trail. Scott mostly blundered about, not really deciding on a real strategy until mid-game.

It was a very high-toll, low-money game. With a good spread of strategies, Antony and Andrew had the only overlap, but throughout the game, Antony seemed to be mostly doing what Andrew was doing, just "a turn later, a turn worse." By mid-game, Antony had gotten blocked out of a useful action in the early part of the rondel, and could not recover.

Andrew played cows really well, ending the game with 53 Cow points despite it being a tight, low-scoring game. This was actually the second-highest Cow total in the entire week of the tournament.

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: N/A

Andrew Emerick Scott Saccenti Antony Saccenti Eugene Yee Nathan Heiss
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Rob Kircher trying to determine the correct
path to Kansas City.
Intense times on the trail.
John Emery exploring the trail west. Finalists with including GM Scott Saccenti.



GM    Scott Saccenti [1st Year]   NA