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Conquest of Paradise (CQP) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated October 6, 2023
22 Players Ed Prem Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Prem Captures CPQ Title!

This year’s iteration of the WBC Conquest of Paradise tournament (we can’t use annual numbers anymore, since 2020 and 2021 were skipped due to COVID concerns) was held again in Seven Springs, PA. The traditional inflatable palm tree, genuine tapa cloth, and moai statues once again marked its location. But this year we were never in the same place twice. Every single round was in a different room! Next year, I hope that at least the third heat/ semifinals/ finals will be in the same room since they run continuously. As usual, we used every Advanced Rule that we could, in addition to the usual Tournament Rule, which increases the cost of Arts & Culture cards.

All three first round sessions were well attended, with many of the “usual suspects” that we enjoy seeing every year, as well as a good number of first-time attendees. As we shall soon see, one of these first timers did very well in the tournament! Games tended to be close this year, with the biggest victory only ahead by 5 points (in one of the semi-finals). One game was the closest top-to-bottom game in the history of the tournament: the winner was ahead by 1 ½ points, but then there was a three-way tie for second! All players in the game were within 1 ½ points of victory!

The Semifinal were set, featuring nearly all experienced players (including several former champions) and one new player, who had asked the GM for a refresher on the rules before sitting down to his first heat. Long-time CQP enthusiast Alan Arvold won his Semifinal convincingly, while newcomer Ed Prem won the other Semifinal.

After choosing their starting positions in seeded order, the Final table was set. Top seed Alan Arvold chose Samoa; then Ed Prem chose Tonga; Paul Brenner picked Hiva; and Dave Cross was left with Raiatea. The game proceeded quickly, with three experienced players and Ed now playing like an old hand.

Dave had a very unusual first turn of exploration, finding not just one - but two - rare 1-knot islands. This great good luck was instantly countered by his drawing an equally rare 3-knot open ocean, sending his explorer to the Lost box! Alan pulled out to an early lead, and so was hit by two bad events – weeds and typhoon – in a row. Typhoons remove villages and canoes, and this set him back by two turns. Then the next event hit Paul since he was the only player with an Arts & Culture card in hand. Dave then tried an unusual tactic, playing his Severe Deforestation card mid-game, choosing a moment when the other players were particularly vulnerable to the loss of a village on their homeland. A Polynesian sea monster (called a Taniwa) then rose from the deep and cut off half of Paul’s empire, causing him a serious setback.

All this time, Ed’s Tongans were never far from the lead. He revealed New Zealand, showing him as a real threat. But Tonga was immune from the later events due to circumstances, and none of the other players were in a position to mount an attack on his islands. And anyway, Ed was heavily defended with warriors, and he had been carefully tracking the possible locations of enemy war canoes. In his last turn, Ed placed four new villages at once (on four different islands). He suddenly and unexpectedly declared the win! So, this year’s Conquest of Paradise champion is Ed Prem.

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
David Cross Paul Brenner Alan Arvold Mark McCandless Rex Lehmann
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Most are enjoying the Conquest. Explorers keep getting younger.
Alan Arvold taking a break from the tanks
to explore the warm waters.
Finalists with GM Kevin McPartland.
GM Kevin McPartland [14th Year]