There were 10 games played in the first heat (Northern Europe/UK & Ireland), 9 in the second (Brazil/Spain), and 8 in the third (South Africa/Middle East). We didn’t have enough of the designated maps, so we had some tables of Germany in heat 2 and one US in heat 3. That was caused by having each heat have the other side of each map. I designed that to minimize the number of boards needed to pack but will make an adjustment next year. For those planning ahead, I plan to use these next year:
- Heat 1 – France/Europe
- Heat 2 – Italy/Korea
- Heat 3 – China/North America
- Semifinal - Central Europe
- Final - Benelux
I plan to rotate through all maps over three years.
Most of the games finished in 2 hours to 2.5 hours. There were a couple in the first heat that went a little over 3 hours, but that was partly from having a late start. It was my first time running an event here and I’ve learned a lot about how to make it run more smoothly in the future.
Across the 27 games played in the heats, there were 24 unique winners, so all of them made the Semifinal. We took the top 25 and two had a conflict, so the top 27 made it in and the cutoff was a tie breaker between those who had two 2nds.
Across the 27 heat games, 5 Semifinal games, and 1 Final game, there were 33 total games. I looked at the final plants for the 33 winners. No winner had #50. #26 is better than normal on some maps (Brazil, Russia, and Middle East) and worse than normal on some maps (South Africa and Northern Europe if Denmark is in play). It was a final plant for 10 of 33 winners. The next highest were #21/#30 (9 winners), #28/#31 (8 winners), and #25/#38 (7 winners). Of course, another factor is how much was paid for those plants. At some tables, #26 was bought for 26 electro and it was a major factor in the win. At other tables, #26 was bought for 40+ electro and the buyer fell behind.
The Semifinal map was Russia. The five Semifinal winners were Tim Horne, Jack Munson, Philip Shea, Eric Sokolowsky, and John Myers. The final map was Japan.
Thanks to assistant GM Miles Iverson for being banker, plant manager, and resource filler for the final table.
Round 1 – Jack bought #3 for 5 to get turn order advantage, John bought #5 for 10 since #4 was not available yet. Phil bought #10 for 13, which worked out well when #4 and #8 were not bought in round 1. Tim bought #12 for 13 and Eric bought #13 for 13. Each player only built as many cities as they could power, so at the end of the round they had 43-49 Electro.
Round 2 – Tim bought #6 for 1. Eric bought #11 for 15. The bottom row was then #7, #8, #14, #17 with #26 up next. Phil (with #10) passed because he’s happy to just stay at two cities. John (with #5) passed because he did not want Jack to get #26 at cost. Jack bought #8 and then #23 was on the top of the deck, so Jack would not have gotten #26 anyway. Tim and Eric built to three cities and powered them. Phil stayed at 2 cities. Jack built his second city but did not go to 3 which he could have powered because he wanted to build a 9 connection and wanted to stay back in turn order. John stayed at 1 city.
Round 3 – Eric got #23 at cost with everyone wanting #26. #26 did reach the current market after that. Tim got #26 for 41 Electro. If Jack had bid 42, he would have had 5 left and would not have been able to power any cities. Tim had 19 left after buying #26. Jack bought #27 for 29. Phil bought #30 for 30. John bought #29 for 29. Phil decided not to use #30 and held back at 2 cities. Everyone else went to (or stayed at) 3 cities.
Round 4 – The turn order was John, Jack, Tim, Eric, Phil. The bottom row was #9, #14, #16, #17. It seemed like someone would want #9 for 1, but everyone passed and it went away. Tim (using #26), Jack (using #27/#8), and Phil (using #30) built to 5 cities. Eric (using #23/#13) and John (using #29) built to 4 cities.
Round 5 – The turn order was Phil, Jack, Tim, John, Eric. Phil passed. Jack bought #14 for 1, saving a little on fuel costs and increasing Phil’s fuel cost on #30. John bought #18 for 22 and everyone else passed. Eric built to 6 cities. John built to 5 cities. Tim built to 6 cities. Jack built to 7 cities, triggering step 2. Phil built no cities so that he could build second in step 2.
Round 6 – the turn order was Jack, Tim, Eric, Phil, John. The bottom row was #16, #17, #19, #22 and the lowest in the top row was #25. Everyone wants #25. Jack bought #16 for 1 and #21 was on the top of the deck, so Tim got #21 for 21. Eric bought #25 for 46. Phil passed and John bought #22 for 22. Tim built to 9 cities and everyone else built to 8.
Round 7 – the turn order was Tim, Phil, John, Jack, Eric. The bottom row was #4, #17, #19, #20 with #31 coming next. Tim bought #20 for 32 and could then power 14 (20/21/26). Jack bought #31 for 42 and could then power 12 (16/27/31). John bought #32 for 41 and could then power 12 (18/29/32). Eric bought #28 for 29 and could then power 12 (23/25/28). Phil bought #33 for 33 and could then power 12 (10/30/33). Eric stayed at 8 cities. Jack built to 11 cities. John stayed at 8 cities. Phil built to 10 cities. Tim built to 10 cities.
Round 8 – the turn order was Jack, Phil, Tim, John, Eric. Step 3 had been reached and the plants were #24, #34, #37, #38, #44, #46. Jack told me later that he considered #44, which would allow him to build to 14 and likely win the money tie break if Tim ended it with both powering 14. Instead, Jack bought #38 for 38 hoping for a round 9. Jack could then power 16 (27/31/38). Phil bought #42 for 42 and could power 16 (30/33/42). Tim passed on plants, clearly considering ending it powering 14 (20/21/26). John put up #40 and Eric got it for 41, so he could power 15 (25/28/40). John bought #39 for 39 and could power 16 (29/32/39). Eric built to 12 cities. John built to 10 cities. Tim built to 15 cities (powering 14) and triggered the end of the game. Phil built to 13 cities. Jack built to 14 cities with 0 electro left. Tim had 12 electro left, so he won the money tie break and made a great move ending it early.
Here are some more stats on the game:
- Plant cost – Eric 167, John 163, Jack 124, Phil 118, Tim 108
- Fuel cost – Phil 90, Jack 87, Tim 86, Eric 58, John 47
- City cost – Tim 305 (15 cities), Jack 286 (14 cities, likely 316 for 15 cities), Phil 261 (13 cities, likely 321 for 15 cities), Eric 227 (12 cities, likely 317 for 15 cities), John 190 (10 cities, likely 315-340 for 15 cities depending on if he built the others in round 8 or a hypothetical round 9)
- Income – Tim 461, Jack 447, Phil 422, Eric 417, John 386
In the first 2 rounds, Tim had more income than anyone else and that gave him a big edge over the rest of the game. Minimizing the plant cost also helped a lot but is a bit misleading since the others could power 15-16 and he needed another plant if it went another round. Building cities faster/earlier helped him keep the total city cost low when I estimate the total everyone would spend for 15 cities.
Thank you to everyone who played. Please email me any suggestions you have for 2024 changes at email@example.com. See you next year!