Castles of Burgundy (COB) PBeM Reports Updated May 15, 2023

2023 PBeM Tournament
 

Forty-one players played in the first round, each playing 4 simultaneous games and each game having the same, randomly selected board for all four players. Michael Swinson led the first round with four wins, while Dominic Blais, previous PBEM champion Ray Wolff, and Chris Bert scored three wins each.

In the second round, previous WBC champion, Allan Jiang, won all four games, while Chris Bert won three. While looking through the games for my writeup, I found one unusual one in this round where Jon Senn managed a win without collecting a single yellow tile.

With the large field, the final round still had ten players competing for six laurel slots.

A rundown of the games in the final round:

  • Game 1 – On board five, Michael Swinson won by twenty-one over Goran Kero, with the others not far behind. He scored 24 points with his two yellow tiles (both 4VP building tiles) and completed two animal areas with a herd of cows.
  • Game 2 – On board six, Goran Kero beat DJ Borton by just eight points. Goran had just the 3VP/type of good tile, but also finished ships, animals, cities, and mines each for the 7VP bonus.
  • Game 3 – On board ten, Ray Wolff passed Allan Jiang by twelve points. He completed the yellow tiles, including 3 scoring tiles as well as the “same building” tile, which helped him complete the 8-space building area.
  • Game 4 – On board two, Michael Swinson won the game with Chris Bert 21 points behind. He had only two yellow tiles but filled in the entire rest of the board including a decent pig field.
  • Game 5 – On board 8, Ray Wolff edged by Eric Freeman by only 4 points, only finishing the animals and buildings, but completing a 6-space sheep field and scoring the maximum possible 21 points with yellow tile 7 (an additional point for every animal tile).
  • Game 6 – On board nine, Allan Jiang squeaked out the win over Ray Wolff by just two points, finishing buildings, castles, mines, and ships. Eric beat Dominic again, this time by 26 points, filling everything but the light green spaces.
  • Game 7 – On board 3, Michael Swinson had a comfortable margin of 34 points over DJ Borton, finishing yellow tiles, animals, buildings, and cities.
  • Game 8 – On board 4, Allan Jiang won by just 1 point over Chris Bert, only missing out on 3 animal and 2 city spaces.
  • Game 9 – On board five, Allan Jiang won by twenty-three points over Goran Kero. Allan finished everything but 5 animal tiles, racking up five bonus tiles.
  • Game 10 – On board 8, Ray Wolff got past Jon Senn by only 2 points, with the help of a 6-space pig field.

In the end, both Allan Jiang and Ray Wolff had three wins and a second-place finish, followed closely by Michael Swinson, with three wins and a third place. I calculate a tiebreaker for each player based on how close they were to the winner in each game (or if they won, how much the passed the second-place player). Ray Wolff managed the win by a remarkably close margin. It is at least worth noting that in the two final games where Ray and Allan played each other, each won a game, but Ray’s margin of victory was larger. The final results were:

  1. Ray Wolff
  2. Allan Jiang
  3. Michael Swinson
  4. Goran Kero
  5. DJ Borton
  6. Chris Bert

This being online, I had the luxury of pulling some statistics. I opted to gather the following:

  • a) How often each different type of tile was completed by a winner (whether getting the bonus or not for being 1st/2nd to do so)
  • b) How often each yellow tile was picked by a winner, and what was the average score of a VP tile (across the winning boards)
  • c) How often each player (by initial turn order) won a game.

Type of Tile – number of winner boards that completed (% - for reference we had 71 total games)

  • Yellow / Special Tiles – 31 (44%)
  • Blue / Ship Tiles – 42 (59%)
  • Light Green / Animal Tiles – 45 (63%)
  • Dark Green / City Tiles – 54 (76%)
  • Brown / Building Tiles – 45 (63%)
  • Grey / Mine Tiles – 48 (68%)
  • Yellow Tile – number of winner boards that selected (%) – average score:

    1. use same building – 3 (4%)
    2. worker with mines – 14 (20%)
    3. silverling with mines – 14 (20%)
    4. worker with sell good – 11 (15%)
    5. ship – gather adjacent goods – 4 (6%)
    6. buy from anywhere – 7 (10%)
    7. +1 VP per animal tile – 14 (20%) – 12.0 VP – this included one zero score and Ray’s max 21 VP score.
    8. workers +/- 2 – 4 (6%)
    9. place brown tiles +/- 1 – 3 (4%)
    10. place blue/light green tiles +/- 1 – 9 (13%)
    11. place dark green/yellow/gray tiles +/- 1 – 4 (6%)
    12. take any tiles +/- 1 – 11 (15%)
    13. silverling with workers – 8 (11%)
    14. 4 workers – 15 (21%)
    15. 3 VP per type of good – 24 (34%) – 15.5 VP – most popular, for good reason
    16. 4 VP per Warehouse (sell goods) – 13 (18%) – 10.2 VP
    17. 4 VP per Watchtower (4 VP) – 12 (17%) – 8.7 VP
    18. 4 VP per Workshop (take building) – 10 (14%) – 10.8 VP
    19. 4 VP per Church (take mine/city/special) – 16 (23%) – 8.0 VP
    20. 4 VP per Market (take ship/animal) – 13 (18%) – 7.4 VP
    21. 4 VP per Boarding House (4 workers) – 19 (27%) – 9.7 VP
    22. 4VP per Bank (2 silverlings) – 18 (25%) – 10.0 VP
    23. 4 VP per City Hall (place tile) – 15 (21%) – 8.3 VP
    24. 4 VP per type of animal – 13 (18%) – 9.2 VP
    25. 1 VP per good sold – 16 (23%) – 9.3 VP
    26. 2 VP per bonus tile – 14 (20%) – 7.6 VP

    Number of wins by Initial Turn Order:

    • 1st – 17
    • 2nd – 14
    • 3rd – 24
    • 4th – 16

    Full results available at https://epworthian.wordpress.com/castles-of-burgundy/castles-2022-2023-results/.


    2022 PBeM Tournament
     

    Thirty-five players played in the first round, each playing 4 simultaneous games and each game having the same, randomly selected board for all four players. Chris Bert topped the charts with four wins. Michael Swinson was in second with 3 wins and a third. Last year’s champion Ray Wolff came in fourth with two wins and two second place finishes. Ray was one of my assistants, and the other, Jon Senn, made it through the first round as well. Proving that I didn’t learn much from last year, I missed the cut off by several spots.

    In the second round, Michael and Chris switched places in the top two spots. Ray Wolff stayed in contention along with Steve LeWinter, Roger Jarrett, and Eric Freeman. There was a bit of confusion as I sent out the final tables, where I listed the wrong person for the last slot. The sorting algorithm got messed up on my sheet; after it got straightened out, Dominic Blais joined the final tables. DJ Borton was a good sport about it.

    A rundown of the seven games in the final round:

    • Game 1 – On board 2 (with a long bent area of 8 buildings), Steve LeWinter won by 5 points over Dominic Blais, finishing out buildings, cities, mines, and ships first for the 7MP bonus in all four categories.
    • Game 2 – On board 10c, Eric Freeman beat Steve by 9 points, finishing everything but animal tiles.
    • Game 3 – On board 9, Michael Swinson passed Roger Jarrett by 28 points, with mines, buildings, animals and four scoring yellows.
    • Game 4 – On board 2, Eric led by 20 points over Dominic, completing animals, ships, and buildings (with the 8-spot area). He made some use of the yellow tile for duplicating buildings in an area.
    • Game 5 – On board T13, Chris Bert got a whopping score of 292, 39 points over 2nd place, completing yellows, animals, mines, ships, and cities, with only 1 building.
    • Game 6 – On board 9, Eric beat Dominic again, this time by 26 points, filling everything but the light green spaces.
    • Game 7 – On board T13, Michael won by just 1 point over Chris, finishing only animals and buildings, but one animal field was all 3 and 4 count pig tiles.

    In the end Eric Freeman’s three wins (and a fourth place) was enough to snag first place. Michael Swinson followed with two wins and two third place finishes.

    Laurelists were:

    1. Eric Freeman
    2. Michael Swinson
    3. Dominic Blais
    4. Chris Bert
    5. Roger Jarrett
    6. Steve LeWinter

    This being online, I had the luxury of pulling some statistics. I opted to gather the following: a) How often each different type of tile was completed by a winner (whether getting the bonus or not for being 1st/2nd to do so); b) How often each yellow tile was picked by a winner, and what was the average score of a VP tile (across the winning boards)

    Type of Tile – number of winner boards that completed (% - for reference we had 58 total games)

    • Yellow / Special Tiles – 33 (57%)
    • Blue / Ship Tiles – 41 (71%)
    • Light Green / Animal Tiles – 29 (50%)
    • Dark Green / City Tiles – 40 (69%)
    • Brown / Building Tiles – 41 (71%)
    • Grey / Mine Tiles – 47 (81%)

    Yellow Tile – number of winner boards that selected (%) – average score.

    1. use same building – 7 (12%)
    2. worker with mines – 13 (22%)
    3. silverling with mines – 13 (22%)
    4. worker with sell good – 9 (16%)
    5. ship – gather adjacent goods – 11 (19%)
    6. buy from anywhere – 4 (7%)
    7. +1 VP per animal tile – 14 (24%) – 10.2 VP – there was much more use of this compared to last year workers +/- 2 – 7 (12%)
    8. place brown tiles +/- 1 – 8 (14%)
    9. place blue/light green tiles +/- 1 – 6 (10%)
    10. place dark green/yellow/gray tiles +/- 1 – 4 (7%)
    11. take any tiles +/- 1 – 12 (21%)
    12. silverling with workers – 5 (9%)
    13. 4 workers – 5 (9%)
    14. 3 VP per type of good – 26 (45%) – 15.5 VP – most popular, for good reason
    15. 4 VP per Warehouse (sell goods) – 11 (10%) – 8.4 VP
    16. 4 VP per Watchtower (4 VP) – 8 (14%) – 8.5 VP
    17. 4 VP per Workshop (take building) – 5 (9%) – 8.0 VP
    18. 4 VP per Church (take mine/city/special) – 12 (21%) – 9.0 VP
    19. 4 VP per Market (take ship/animal) – 12 (21%) – 9.0 VP
    20. 4 VP per Boarding House (4 workers) – 18 (31%) – 9.6 VP
    21. 4VP per Bank (2 silverlings) – 14 (24%) – 8.9 VP
    22. 4 VP per City Hall (place tile) – 11 (19%) – 10.2 VP
    23. 4 VP per type of animal – 8 (14%) – 9.0 VP
    24. 1 VP per good sold – 16 (28%) – 10.5 VP

    Full results available at https://epworthian.wordpress.com/castles-of-burgundy/castles-of-burgundy-2021-2022-results/.


    2021 PBeM Tournament
     

    The two top 2019 WBC winners change places!

    I was looking for a fourth game to run as a tournament, but ones I were considering were either not played at WBC anymore (and therefore not eligible), or didn’t have a good online implementation, or other GMs had started picking up as tournaments, or I was just plain afraid wouldn’t draw enough. I finally settled on Castles of Burgundy, as it had good online implementations and a pretty good showing at WBC. I own the basic game, but have rarely played at WBC as it seemed a bit on the longish side for the amount of luck I considered it to have. Playing it as an online tournament mitigated the first part, and as for the second part, I was, of course, very wrong. I enjoyed the chance to get to know this game a little better.

    We started out with 42 players in the first round of four simultaneous games. All rounds were played with every player having the same (randomly selected) board. In the first round, Mike Munson and Randy Buehler (who also runs the Meeple League tournaments of this game) topped the boards with four wins each. The GM and both Assistants (Jon Senn and Greg Crowe) were all eliminated, Jon just missing the cutoff.

    The second round with 20 players resulted in Allan Jiang and Ray Wolff at the top, who were also the 1st and 2nd place finishers from the WBC 2019 tournament. Mike Munson hung in there, but Randy Buehler just missed the cut. Based on the feedback I’ve been getting recently, my scoring system will be tweaked going forward to help reduce some of the reliance on tiebreakers.

    Eight players remained for the top six spots in the final round games.

    • Game 1 – On board 13, Allan Jiang wins by 24 points over Steve LeWinter, missing only 5 ship spots and having his large animal field filled with Sheep.
    • Game 2 – On board 9, Allan wins again, this time by 15 points over Ray Wolff. This time Allan only missed 4 ship spots and managed 13 points with yellow tile 7 (+1 VP per animal tile).
    • Game 3 – On board 10e, Ray Wolff won a close game (4 points) over Dominic Blais, missing out on 4 ships and 2 mines.
    • Game 4 – On board 2, Michael Swinson beats Ray Wolff by 22 points, completing Special Tiles, Ships, Mines and Buildings first for the 7VP bonus in all four.
    • Game 5 – On board 2 – Dominic passes Steve LeWinter by 14 points, despite six empty spaces (3 of them yellows).
    • Game 6 – On board 9 – Michael Swinson has a very close win (1 point) over Mike Munson. The only yellow tile was the +1 VP per animals, again scoring 13 points.
    • Game 7 – On board 10d – Ray Wolff passes Robb Effinger by 11 points, this time skipping animal spaces entirely.
    • ame 8 – On board 10h – Robb Effinger gets his win, by 10 points over Steve Lewinter, with strong yellow tile scoring and completing all the larger areas.

    In the end Ray Wolff’s two wins AND two second place finishes cemented his first place standing, with Allan Jiang’s two wins and two third place finishes snagging second. Top six finishers were:

    1. Ray Wolff
    2. Allan Jiang
    3. Dominic Blais
    4. Michael Swinson
    5. Steve LeWinter
    6. Robb Effinger

    This being online, I had the luxury of pulling some statistics. I opted to gather the following:

    • How often each different type of tile was completed by a winner (whether getting the bonus or not for being 1st/2nd to do so)
    • How often each yellow tile was picked by a winner, and what was the average score of a VP tile (across the winning boards)

    Type of Tile – number of winner boards that completed (% - for reference we had 70 total games)

    • Yellow / Special Tiles – 34 (49%)
    • Blue / Ship Tiles – 45 (64%)
    • Light Green / Animal Tiles – 36 (51%)
    • Dark Green / City Tiles – 61 (87%)
    • Brown / Building Tiles – 51 (73%)
    • Grey / Mine Tiles – 51 (73%)

    Yellow Tile – number of winner boards that selected (%) – average score

    1. use same building – 8 (11%)
    2. worker with mines – 16 (23%)
    3. silverling with mines – 16 (23%)
    4. worker with sell good – 11 (16%)
    5. ship – gather adjacent goods – 7 (10%)
    6. buy from anywhere – 5 (7%)
    7. +1 VP per animal tile – 6 (9%) – 11.8 VP
    8. workers +/- 2 – 8 (11%)
    9. place brown tiles +/- 1 – 5 (7%)
    10. place blue/light green tiles +/- 1 – 3 (4%)
    11. place dark green/yellow/gray tiles +/- 1 – 3 (4%)
    12. take any tiles +/- 1 – 11 (16%)
    13. silverling with workers – 7 (10%)
    14. 4 workers – 7 (10%)
    15. 3 VP per type of good – 29 (41%) – 15.8 VP
    16. 4 VP per Warehouse (sell goods) – 15 (21%) – 10.1 VP
    17. 4 VP per Watchtower (4 VP) – 7 (10%) – 9.7 VP
    18. 4 VP per Workshop (take building) – 16 (23%) – 9.5 VP
    19. 4 VP per Church (take mine/city/special) – 14 (20%) – 8.0 VP
    20. 4 VP per Market (take ship/animal) – 10 (14%) – 8.0 VP
    21. 4 VP per Boarding House (4 workers) – 21 (30%) – 9.0 VP
    22. 4VP per Bank (2 silverlings) – 17 (24%) – 9.6 VP
    23. 4 VP per City Hall (place tile) – 19 (27%) – 9.5 VP
    24. 4 VP per type of animal – 5 (7%) – 10.4 VP
    25. 1 VP per good sold – 20 (29%) – 9.6 VP
    26. 2 VP per bonus tile – 15 (21%) – 7.9 VP

    Full results available at https://epworthian.wordpress.com/castles-2020-2021-results/