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Terraforming Mars (TFM) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated November 26, 2018
183 Players Keith Dent 2018 Status 2019 Status Event History
  2018 Champion   & Laurels

Dent Moves Up One Spot From 2017 To Capture Title

The second year of Terraforming Mars was another huge success with 183 different players and 471 player starts. Each of the 3 heats had over 130 players and 57 players (all winners) advanced to the quarterfinals. Players liked the 4-player game format. Not everyone was thrilled with the use of expansion boards and Venus cards, but the large majority of players who had played the different boards agreed the expansion boards were preferable for tournament play. (To minimize stress, next year we will make Venus cards optional until the finals.)

Two players (Ricky Boyes and Bill Crenshaw) went 3-0 in the heats, but Bill lost in the quarterfinals by 2 and Ricky was unable to get by last year’s runner-up and soon to be champ, Keith Dent in the semis. After eeking out 2 narrow wins in the heats, and a tie for first in the quarterfinals, Pascale LaFreniere posted a double digit win over Sky Roy, Eric Wrobel and Luke Koleszar in the semis to advance. In the other semis, Duncan McGregor bested Donte Saccente, David Borton and Mary Roelofs and Greg Thatcher took down Kevin Rice, Daniel Bates and Micah McCormick.

The finals was played on Elysium, with Keith choosing Tharsus, Duncan Phobolog, Pascale Mining Guild and Greg Thorgate. Pascale got off to a fast start by playing both Mining Areas and jacking up her steel production early. Keith was undeterred by first turn Sabotage (courtesy of Pascale) as he built his city centrally to grab 3 plants. Keith also played Artic Algae, resulting in an early greenery (and later played Greenhouses to salt things away). Duncan also got off to a solid start by increasing the Venus track 3 steps on turn 1 and playing Earth Catapult on Turn 2. Greg jacked up his income with Immigration Shuttles on turn 1.

The middle rounds saw everyone shift their focus towards positioning themselves for milestones. Duncan played early microbe and animal stacking cards to claim a relatively uncontested Ecologist. Fueled by an early fuel factory, Keith began drafting every event card he saw in an effort to claim Legend for playing five events. After being forced into playing investment loan in round 1 to recoup his losses from Pascale’s sabotage, he added Convoy from Europa, Giant Ice Asteroid, Comet, and Local Heat Trapping to claim the milestone. He would later play Deimos Down and Large Convoy for good measure. Drafting these events had the dual effect of protecting his plants as his arctic algae was the only real plant production at the table and he surely would have been the target of plant attacks had these cards gotten into other hands. Pascale and Greg both put their corporation powers to work in order to race towards the specialist milestone. After bumping her steel production to four with the round one mining areas, Pascale added strip mine and a few other steel bumping cards to get her steel production to ten the turn before Greg would have nabbed his tenth energy production and claimed specialist for himself.

With the milestones gone, the table began looking towards awards as a way to get cheap points. Keith had an early lead on estate dealer but was never able to fit the extra $8 into the budget alongside the expensive events he was playing. Pascale would strike first, funding a pretty secure looking industrialist. Duncan, with the only five Venus tags at the table, followed suit by nabbing the $14 Venusphile. This left just the $20 award up to be funded and Keith’s estate dealer the only lead that seemed secure enough to justify that sort of an investment. However, Pascale, going ahead of Keith the following round and knowing that Keith appeared to be winning, decided to fund Desert Settler to hopefully lock Keith out of award points. The decision to fund this award was not an easy one and she took a long pause to think it over before deciding to go through with it. At the time, she had the two mining areas and a city in the southern hemisphere, giving her a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, she also lacked plant production and the $20 investment left her broke for the rest of the round. Keith, now $20 richer than he anticipated, shifted his focus Southward, immediately dropping a city in the desert lands. After Greg and Duncan added cities of their own, Keith began the next round by dropping a city in the only remaining available spot and then filled in the gaps with greeneries. His greenhouses would then be the nail in the coffin as he stole the Desert Settler from Pascale 6-4.

With the world government pushing standard parameters over Venus in every round but the first and Keith’s events pumping oceans and heat into the game, the game end was triggered quickly, after just eight rounds and one hour and 40 minutes of gameplay. Oxygen seemed the only parameter that might extend the game as Keith’s greeneries and Pascale’s water-splitting plant were the only things pushing it up. However, it closed quickly when the world government picked oxygen in both round 6 and 7 and Keith’s greenhouses provided the final oxygen bump. This early game end was unfortunate for Duncan as his microbe and animal engine would have loved to spend another couple rounds accumulating points. Meanwhile, Pascale was unable to find enough worthwhile building tags to maximize her impressive steel production. Greg was worse off, getting very little return on his considerable investment in energy production as he was cut out of specialist and had physics complex, ironworks, and steelworks all de-drafted from him. Keith, with the most on-board points and a TR lead was the clear leader going into final scoring, particularly after stealing the Desert Settler from Pascale. He played a lean game, playing only five non-event cards – arctic algae, greenhouses, fuel factory, artificial photosynthesis, and noctis city – but getting a lot of value out of each of those cards as well as the expensive events and cities he was able to play with savings he got from not keeping most of the cards he drafted. Ultimately, he benefitted the most from the game ending quickly and won comfortably with 67 points. Duncan was second with 55, Pascale third with 52, and Greg fourth with 44.

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Duncan McGregor Pascale Lafreniere Greg Thatcher Kevin Rice Donte Saccenti
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Olin Hentz examing his cards.

Duncan McGregor starting his run to the Final.

Pascale Lafreniere is happy as Luke Koleszar and Eric
Wrobel await for final score.

Finalists with GM Bill Crenshaw.

GM  Bill Crenshaw [2nd Year]  NA
 billcrenshaw@verizon.net  NA