GM Henning Wins Inaugural Everdell Championship!
Everdell’s inaugural year was an astonishing success with 71 unique players across all 3 heats, and roughly half the field attended multiple heats for a total of 111 player starts. In heat 1, a few players were sadly turned away due to lack of copies available, so be sure to bring your games next year! Shoutout to the games library which provided us with two necessary copies.
The average winning score in the heats was 69.9. Eric Wrobel set the tournament high score of a whopping 91 thanks to 25 points scored from special events! The closest game of the event was a hard-fought tie game between Kaitlyn Ballard and Christian Kasilag that came down to the second tiebreaker.
The Saturday morning Semifinal event time proved to be a challenge for some players, as only 14 players showed up out of the 16 semifinalists and 5 alternates listed. The competition was fierce in the Semifinal, as the average winning score was 77.5 points across the four tables. The average second place score, 70, was higher than the average winning score in the heats!
Doug McNaron narrowly edged out Luke McKinnes at one of the 4-player tables in a 75-to-74-point showdown. Both players cited the University as a key card in their cities. Nate Heiss won the other 4-player table with an impressive 83 points, 30 of which came from point tokens (a tournament high)! At the three player tables, Matthew Thiessen triumphed in another close match (73 over 70) thanks to a self-cannibalizing city of Universities, Dungeons, and Rangers. The last finalist was Nick Henning who scored 79 points primarily through playing expensive prosperity cards such as the Evertree, Palace, and School.
The Final was a showdown between the turtles (Nate), axolotls (Nick), squirrels (Matthew), and hedgehogs (Doug). Nate took advantage of his first position to collect resources for purchasing an on-board farm, which segued into a free Wife. He followed that up with an early Historian – one of the strongest single card engines in the game. Nick played no cards during spring, instead collecting resources and quickly rushing to summer – this gambit paid off when he picked up two powerful cards from the Meadow as the first person to pass out of summer. Matthew and Doug played out a few cards, but no player had a particularly impressive green production system before passing to summer.
Doug’s early Inn changed the dynamic of worker placement in the early game, as players hotly contested the meadow cards. Nick, Matthew, and Doug all grabbed a Clocktower with the hope of playing a Well-Run City. Doug’s Clocktower earned a free Historian. Nick had the Chip Sweep to claim the special event. Matthew, unfortunately, was left cleaning the clock.
By the mid game, some themes were emerging. Nate seemed to be the table favorite with a powerful collection of blue cards such as Historian, Shopkeeper, and Courthouse. Nick’s wealth had allowed him to grab an Evertree from the center of the table that no other player could afford, in addition to an early School. Both had also played a free Architect off a Crane. Matthew had a University that allowed him to play at a more comfortable pace than the other players. Doug had a “hotel chain” of multiple Inns and a Historian along with a pile of production to accrue resources. Nick took advantage of Doug’s production with a combination of Miner Mole and Chip Sweep.
Doug took a Peddler in the hopes of sneaking the Under New Management event away from Matthew, but he was too attentive and claimed the special event with a few resources he had on hand. Unfortunately for Doug, he never was able to find the Bard for the Performer in Residence event and he quickly came across the problem of having a full city.
Nate had similar space problems but found his way into a Dungeon that allowed him to put some of his peskier creatures into jail (such as the Bard, which Doug stared at forlornly), thus allowing for additional space. Nick’s Dungeon was also essential, although in his case it was because he was in desperate need of resources given his lack of a production network.
Matthew had plenty of space and resources, but was in a desperate drawing frenzy, trying to find things of value to put into his city. Meanwhile, Nick and Nate were looking for similarly important cards or a Woodcarver to build a Pristine Chapel Ceiling. Matthew found his way into some of the remaining valuable cards, but Nick and Nate had to make do without the elusive Woodcarver. Overall, between the Historians and card management exhibited by these finalists, the draw deck was reshuffled twice this game (something the GM has never seen before!).
When the game finished, every player had at least 15 cards in their city and resources were assigned to eager beaver Architects. Nick became the first Everdell champion with 73 points, Nate placed second with 71, Matthew trailed closely with 68, and Doug earned 4th with 47.
Congratulations to all the finalists and thanks to all 71 players for making Everdell’s inaugural year such an excellent success!
Some additional statistics across all games played this tournament:
- Winners scored an average of 32 base points on cards compared to 29 for 2nd and 3rd place players. A difference, but not a terribly large one.
- Winners took more advantage of points tokens than other players scoring an average of 12 points compared to roughly 8 points for non-winners. This might suggest that cards like Bard, Monk, and Chapel are more highly valued by folks who go on to win.
- First and second place players had higher purple prosperity points than their 3rd and 4th place counterparts (roughly 13 points versus 7 points scored). My perspective is certainly biased as most of the games I won were on the back of purple cards, but holding onto those Palaces, Castles, and Evertrees makes a big difference!
- Journey points tended to be low, but winners had the highest average journey points at 4.4.
- There was almost no difference between basic event points for all places of players, and usually players took about one basic event per game.
- On the other hand, special events were not addressed by 3rd and 4th place players (averaging around 1 point), but 1st and 2nd place players paid more attention (averaging around 5 points for special events). This suggests that looking for those specific card pairings may be a way to level up your game!
|Marvin Birnbaum deciding his next move.
||Enjoying a friendly game of Everdell.
|Enjoying a friendly game of Everdell.
||Finalists including GM Nick Henning.