So, right off the bat, I have to issue a correction. You have to understand, at these conventions, the nights can get late...and that leads to fuzzy memories. My buddy Paul recapped his first day at WBC, and when I read that, I realized oh...the late night games I posted about earlier were actually on Friday night, not Thursday night! So...what was played on Thursday night? As Paul mentions in his blog, we sat down for a session of Settlers of Catan:Cities & Knights. Now, I have to admit, I've not actually played a LOT of Settlers - my fair share, but not a lot. I've played the Seafarers expansion on my tablet, and that adds a little bit, but it's still 95% the same game (my understanding is that the Seafarers rules were originally part of the base game). Cities & Knights on the other hand, is a whole other animal. This expansion changes the game significantly - to the point where it bears minimal resemblance to the original. Paul told me he likes it better than the base game. I'm not so sure - I did like it quite a bit, but our game took 3+ hours. That's too long for a Catan game (although there may have been mitigating factors such as the late hour and the beverages being consumed).
On Friday, I intentionally avoided playing anything in the morning, as I wanted to be there when the doors opened to the vendors area. Last year I missed on getting a copy of Eclipse because I was late to the vendors. In particular, I had seen Stronghold Games mention that WBC would be the first place to buy Space Cadets:Dice Duel, and that they had limited copies. I got my copy of SC:DD, and several other things, but I'll save that for later (I think "limited" was a loose term for Stronghold, as it appeared they brought enough SC:DD to supply the entire convention :))
After the vendors had their way with my wallet, I had to choose between Stone Age and Agricola. I like both games quite a bit, but in general I think I like Agricola a bit more. Partially because I'm still not very good at the cards, and I think I have lot left to explore with that game. That being said...I chose to go with Stone Age, as the late night and early morning left me feeling that I would just be raw meat at an Agricola table. Turns out I was raw meat for my fellow Stone Age players instead. I went with the strategy of trying to get the hut multipliers, but they didn't come out very fast. The fellow who won the game had 10 family members, but he didn't have the food problem, because the player to his left kept passing on the agriculture track. She did get 88 points from the tool bonuses, though, which is the most I've ever seen for that.
That afternoon was the "mulligan" heat for Conquest of Paradise, which is "my game", if you will. I had won three years straight at Prezcon, until Brian dethroned me this past year. But for some reason I had come up short the past 3 years at WBC. I arrived a bit earlier and saw many of the usual crew that plays Conquest, and then as typically happens, designer Kevin McPartland showed up, trailed by a bunch of folks who had just attended the demo. At my 4 player table, by random draw, I was playing Tonga, veteran Conquest player Brian (a different Brian) was playing as Samoa, and two new players were playing as Hiva and Raitea. It was a fairly uneventful game, to be honest. The woman playing Raitea had unfortunate luck in finding little to no islands - and for some reason she made the decision to explore right up next to me, finding an island for me, essentially. Being a new player, she did not really pick up on the need to go military at that point. On the last turn of the game, I had enough military to pick off one of Brian's small islands, to ensure enough VP for the victory - that may have been the only battle of the game. So, I was qualified for the semi-final.
That was it for tournaments on Friday. The rest of the evening was spent in open gaming, which I detailed in the last post. We did run into designer Ben Rosset, and his friend Eli at one point. Later we came back, eager to try the latest iteration of Brewcrafters, but I believe they were smack in the middle of demoing to other folks. In fact, that turned out to be one of my big disappointments of the con - I never did get a chance to sit down and play Brewcrafters. I believe Ben mentioned that they were gearing up for an October Kickstarter campaign, so I'm excited for that to start.
Next post will be about Saturday at WBC - aka - "Conquest of Paradise Day". I would be remiss if I did not mention the reprint of CoP planned by GMT games. It's up on their P500 list now, and I encourage folks to order it. They will be correcting/enhancing a number of things in the base game, and including the random event cards that were originally published in C3i Magazine.