Congratulations to Allan Jiang, who straight-up crushed the the 2020 Agricola PBEM, winning all 4 of his final round games. No one else won more than once and his 40 points were fully 17.5 ahead of the only other player who managed to finish with an above average point total for the final round.
AJ insists that the finals were much closer than his record indicates, with 3 of the wins coming by just 1-2 points. However the GM can't help but note that AJ could have taken 2nd in all 3 of those close games and he STILL would have won the event! I'm gonna stand by "straight-up crushed." That said, the details are still worth looking into:
In game 7, DJ and Sam both managed to build big stone houses while also having reasonable farms. Jon set up a crazy wood engine with Berry Picker, Wood Cart, and Spinney all on the table by round 6 and a Pig Catcher joining them later. However it was AJ's Educator that proved crucial, fueling his 43-42-42-39 victory in the closest game top to bottom of the entire 60-game event.
Game 1 was a nail-biter between AJ and Keith, and this time it was AJ's turn to play a Wood Cart game. Between that, Reeve, and Sawhorse he wound up with so much extra wood that he could eat 14 of them via Turner and Joinery. They went into the final turn tied on points and also tied at 5 occupations each for the Reeve points. Each of them played one last occ so they continued to share the Reeve points, but AJ's Yeoman Farmer was worth one point more than Keith's Lord of the Manor and that was the difference in the game. Keith actually finished 2nd in all 4 of his games in the final round, and that was enough to take 2nd place laurels overall.
Game 5 saw AJ run Social Climber and Stone House Extension for some nice value, but he struggled to put a good food engine together, scraping by with one-shot influxes of food from Well + Flagon, Brick Oven, and then Basketmaker's Workshop. Luckily, all those improvements are also worth lots of points, enough to defeat Robb's 5-room Half-Timbered House by 2. Condolences go out to Robb, who had a rough final round and finished last in his other 3 games to wind up 7th overall - the only finalist who didn't win any laurels (and that's despite coming in as the #1 seed after winning 3 of his 4 semifinal games).
Meanwhile, game 4 went pretty much perfectly for AJ, starting with a Braggart in his opening pack. Widely considered the best (unbanned) card in the game it likely could have won AJ the game by itself, but in addition he was the only player to build a room in Stage 1 and so when Family Growth flipped in round 5 he got to grow first as well. The result was a 10-point win 55-45-41-40.
Sometimes it seems like AJ wins everything, but the reigning Caesar and Consul did not yet have an Agricola shield. He had been to the final table at WBC, and had come about as close as you can to winning last year's PBEM without winning it, coming 2nd to Terry Borer on tiebreakers. This time around AJ left no doubt. Congratulations to Allan Jiang on adding another title to his collection!