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San Juan (SJN) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated November 25, 2018
54 Players Jeff Mullet 2018 Status 2019 Status Event History
  2018 Champion & Laurels

Mullet Back on Top

With more games moving to have one or all of their heats/rounds in the first weekend, San Juan faced serious competition for players. The numbers dropped to mid-50s instead of the normal 70s for past three years. Hopefully some careful schedule consideration for the next year will boost our numbers back up. However, we continue to see new players learn and play our fun, quick, easy-to-learn card battle with themes similar to the popular Puerto Rico. Still, every year, we gain a generous crowd to our demo time, so feel free to stop by to learn and participate in a few rounds!

There were four continuous rounds of 2-player games and every player who won at least 3 times advanced to the elimination bracket. Players are allowed to enter and leave rounds whenever they like, so do not let that discourage you from coming by! The second edition of the game appeared in many more games this year, gaining some popularity amongst players. There are new buildings and some text changes to existing cards. Players have the option of playing either edition, which aids in exposing more players to it. As this edition is becoming the norm for game sellers, I cannot wait to see how that affects the turnout in the tournament.

After the initial 4 rounds (which took less than 3 hours this year!), there were 16 players who garnered the required 3 wins to advance. Only one player (2011/17 winner Greg Thatcher) returned from last year’s top 6, but there were 3 other past winners were in this bracket: Bruce Reiff, Jeff Mullet, and Tom Browne (Shocker, right?!?!). And many of the other players have been on this knockout bracket before. 16 players, perfect bracket, right? Wrong! One player (Sean) had to drop out. So, one of the six 3-0 winners (Bruce) was given a bye in the first round while the other competed to win or die! (Note: players do not actually die, just go sit in corner and whisper about games going on).

Among the other seven games in the first round, there were a few fun notes to share. Lisa Gutermuth gave a major upset to former champion, Greg Thatcher, beating him 40-30 with the use of the Palace AND City Hall. Greg was just unable to build a single 6-cost building and that was his downfall, but 30 points with none of those buildings is pretty impressive! Two more veterans of this tournament and knockouts, Tom Browne and Rich Irving, had a tough battle of the Guild Halls with the final score of 37-35 in favor of Tom. His additional Palace gave him the final edge he needed to advance. The final noteworthy match was between Derek Glenn and Francois de Bellefeuille. Derek had a remarkable 51-22 victory, harnessing the power of THREE of the four 6-cost buildings: Palace, City Hall, and Triumphal Arch, while Francois was unable to build one during the game. There were much bigger gaps in final scores than last year: Only one game had less than a 5-point difference, while four of the seven games had a 10+ point difference.

As the field narrows, the competition between Guild Hall/production and City Hall/Triumphal Arch/violet building heats up (with neutral party Palace giving nice boosts to either side). Of the 8 players, four (50%) played Guild Hall, 3 (37.5%) played City Hall, 1 (12.5%) played Triumphal Arch, and 5 (62.5%) played Palace. Half of the players played multiple 6-cost buildings, which gave 3 of 4 the win in the game (mainly because one match was between 2 of those players!). Lisa continued her winning streak, beating out Nick Page, with her Palace/City Hall combo yet again against Nick’s singular Guild Hall and a final score of 40-35. Tom squeaked out a close 35-33 win over Kevin Burns, despite having THREE 6-cost buildings (all but Triumphal Arch). Kevin rounded out the set with his Triumphal Arch, but his monuments were not enough to stop Tom. Derek had yet another have with a greater than 15-point difference in final scores: 25-42. Unfortunately, this time he was on the losing end of it, with his Guild Hall and Palace not being able to beat former champion Jeff’s Palace and City Hall. Derek was just unable to procure the right cards, as is often the case in this game, and ended the game having only built 8 buildings out of the max 12. Now came the battle of the singular 6-cost buildings between Bruce and Evan Battilana. Bruce had the perfect production engine, ending the game with 10 production buildings, Smithy, and the Guild Hall; it was enough to beat Evan’s growing violet building engine (Library, Carpenter, Prefecture, Palace) 37-21. Now the field has narrowed to Lisa, Tom, Bruce, and Jeff; all have been playing this tournament since the beginning (or close to it!).

Now this semifinal round has stepped up from previous years: EVERY single player built TWO 6-cost buildings!!! Two players (Lisa and Bruce) went the City Hall and Triumphal Arch route, which, unfortunately brought them both losses. Do not blame those particular end game buildings; strategy and when you build what buildings when also plays a huge part in the flow and result of these fast-paced games. Tom won his match against Lisa 41-35 with his Guild Hall/Palace combination. Jeff got his revenge from last year’s first round knockout against Bruce and squeaked out a win 43-42 with the luck of the Gold Mine in the last round! (I am sure his City Hall and Palace did not hurt either).

Now it is time for the battle of past champions! 2-time winner Tom Brown, who used Guild Hall and Palace in each of his elimination matches, versus 4-time winner Jeff Mullet, who used City Hall and Palace in each of HIS elimination marches. Tom started with not much good in his hand, besides the Prefecture, and Jeff started with a strong combination of Carpenter and City Hall, which plays into his winning strategy. Now let us delve into what happened in each round:

My first two Round notes seemed to be missing but after these rounds, this is what had been built: Prefecture and Gold Mine for Tom and Carpenter for Jeff.

Round 3:

  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards, and Jeff got 1 card
  • Jeff built Quarry and got a card and Tom built Quarry
  • Tom used Prospector, Jeff got nothing from Gold Mine

Round 4:

  • Jeff used Prospector. Jeff got nothing from Gold Mine
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1
  • Jeff built Smithy and got a card and Tom built Smithy (copycats)

Round 5:

  • Tom used Prospector, Jeff received Guild Hall from Gold Mine (nice!)
  • Jeff built Hero and got a card, and Tom built Tobacco Storage
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1

Round 6:

  • Jeff built Poor House and got a card, Tom built Indigo Plant
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1
  • Jeff used Prospector and received Silver Smelter from Gold Mine

Round 7:

  • Tom built Library and Jeff built Victory Column
  • Jeff used Prospector and got nothing from Gold Mine
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1

Round 8:

  • Jeff used Prospector and received Palace from Gold Mine (another lucky find!)
  • Tom used Councilor and Library, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1
  • Jeff built City Hall and got a card, Tom built Indigo Plant

Round 9:

  • Tom used Prospector and Library for 2 cards, Jeff got nothing from Gold Mine
  • Jeff built Black Market and got a card, Tom built the long-awaited Guild Hall
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1

Round 10:

  • Jeff built Prefecture and got a card, and Tom built nothing
  • Tom used Prospector and Library, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got nothing from Gold Mine
  • Jeff used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1

Round 11:

  • Tom used Builder and Library to build Palace, and Jeff built Well and got a card
  • Jeff used Prospector and got nothing from Gold Mine
  • Tom used Councilor, Tom got 2 cards and Jeff got 1

Round 12:

  • Jeff built Library and got a card, Tom built Silver Smelter

The final score was Jeff 34, with City Hall, versus Tom 33, with Guild Hall and Palace. Jeff did not end up building that Palace he received from Gold Mine, but instead focused on building more buildings and pushing for the end; it ended up working for him in this close matchup. Some statistics about roles in the finale: Trader and Producer were NEVER used, so each of the other 3 roles appeared in each round! Jeff mainly got extra cards over Tom from Prospector/Gold Mine and Builder/Carpenter, and Tom got his extra cards from Councilor. Congratulations to Jeff and his FIFTH win!

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Thomas Browne Bruce Reiff Lisa Gutermuth Derek Glenn Kevin Burns
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM Lexi Shea watching over her tournament. Aurelia Allbert enjoying her game.
Mullet has Reiff perplexed in semifinal. Finalists with GM Lexi Shea
GM  Lexi Shea [4th Year]  5500 Margaretta St Apt 106, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
 soccerymusic58131409@Gmail.com  860-597-5744