|I may have played a little CoP on Saturday|
As I mentioned in Part 2 of this recap, I won my CoP game during the "mulligan" round on Friday. So, I didn't really need to get up for the 9:00 AM round on Saturday. But, I typically only get to play CoP at conventions anymore, so I rolled myself out of bed and made it over. About 14 people showed up for the morning round, which meant 2 games of 4, and 2 games of 3.
|Just thought I'd throw this in to break up the wall o' text.|
|Pic from BGG - perhaps the reprint will come with wooden huts|
As I am wont to do whenever I play Samoa or Tonga, I grabbed the island of Niue before my neighbor could. When it was becoming obvious that this was going to be a roughly equal game in terms of discoveries, Tonga decided to beat the war drums early and launched an attack on Niue. I struggled with the decision to use my Arioi card to stop the combat, but I decided to wait until a more crucial moment later. My Samoans attempted to retake Niue a short time later, but to no avail.
To the east, Hiva and Raiatea quietly expanded their empires. The Hivans expanded via the atoll at Flint Island, and eventually launched their own attack on Niue, capturing it. In Samoa, I decided discretion was the better part of valor, and did not want to get into a 3-way tug of war over Niue. So, I used the "safety valve" and attacked the "NPC" island of Kiribati, and colonized it.
By this point, the drums of war were pounding across the entirety of the South Pacific, with War Canoes and Warbands seemingly multiplying overnight...well, all except in the southeast, where not much was heard from the Raiateans. After seeing the Samoans take Kiribati, the Tongans reasoned that many Samoan warriors were away from home, and launched a direct attack on the Samoan homeland. This is what the Arioi card was saved for! The Hivans continued to be a threat on the island of Niue, though it looked like they might turn their eyes to the fertile islands of the Raiateans.
|Pic from BGG, but closely resembling our situation.|
Sensing he might not have a better opportunity, Dave - as Raiatea, revealed his Arts & Culture cards to show 22 points - enough for victory. That is, until the dastardly Tongans revealed the Severe Deforestation card, causing the rest of the empires to lose a village, and dropping poor Raiatea back to 21 VPs.
There's nothing like revealing a possible victory to make yourself the target, and all eyes turned towards Raiatea. Or did they? The Tongans, still reeling from being thwarted earlier, launched a 2nd attack on Samoa itself. The extra turn had given Samoa enough time to build and reposition various warriors however, and the Tongans (with the "help" of some atrocious dice luck) were beat back. Samoa was looking further to the west, and was choosing between the Marshall Islands and Pohnpei to attack. With Hiva still left to go, Samoa thought they were eyeing Raiatea, but dared not take all his warriors, in case Hiva decided to strike west instead. Judging it safe to take only 3 war units to conquer a western island, Samoa chose to attack the more lightly defended Pohnpei, easily conquering it and adding it to the empire. Hiva did indeed launch an attack on the Raiatean homeland itself, successfully wresting it from it's original owners.
When all cards were revealed, Samoa and Hiva were tied at 24 VPs each. Samoa earned the victory based on the tiebreaker of number of controlled island groups in his empire. Critically, on the last build phase of the game, Hiva chose to build a 3rd village on the captured island of Raiatea, rather than building a transport canoe and chaining it to his empire. If he had done so, the score would have remained the same, but we would have had to go to the 2nd tiebreaker, which was Arts&Culture cards - where Hiva would have won.
|I think this means I get WBC "Laurels". I'm not sure I know what those are...but I think I get some.|
So...WHEW!!! Before Brian dethroned me this year, I had won the CoP tournament at Prezcon for three years in a row. But success at WBC had eluded me. I had only made the final once, and that one time I came in a distant 4th place. It feels good to have won at WBC...and in addition to a plaque, I got a $10 coupon to spend at the GMT booth, which I immediately used on Battle Line (with some "encouragement" from Paul).
Thanks go again to Kevin for running another fine tournament...and let me also take this opportunity to mention the Conquest of Paradise reprint that is currently on GMT's P500. Kevin tells me that the reprint will fix some of the color issues, include wooden tokens of some sort for the villages, include the expansion random event cards, and maybe a few extras (including a card that makes it tempting to attack Fiji...interesting indeed).
Brian, Paul and I did some more open gaming on Saturday night and Sunday morning...but I'll leave that for Part 4 of my WBC recap....