mexica [Updated October 2003]  

 2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Arthur Field, SC

2003 Champion

2nd: Mario Lanza, PA

3rd: Dan Farrow, PA

4th: Allyson Field, SC

5th: David Wenstrup, SC

6th: Gary Noe, FL

Event History
2002    John Weber     23
2003    Arthur Field     29

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Arthur Field


 2. Mario Lanza


 3. John Weber


 4. Dan Farrow


 5. Allyson Field


  6. Jeff Bakalchuck


 7. David Wenstrup


 8. Sean Vessey


 9. Bruce Bernard


10. Gary Noe


11. Barb Flaxington



Past Winners

John Weber - MD

Still learning the ropes ...

By almost any standard, you"d have to call Mexica's second year at the WBC, a success. It didn't garner anywhere near the level of players that games like Puerto Rico, Carcassone, Settlers of Cataan or Slapshot enjoyed, but as a second year trial, it held its own, so to speak. By drawing 29 entrants, an increase from last year, it qualifies itself as a Continuing Trial, meaning that it'll be an event in 2004, as long as someone steps forward and agrees to be GM.

That would be me, even though in this, my first year as a GM, I learned more than anything else, that I have a lot to learn.

Looking back, it seems impossible that the three heats, semi-final and finals amounted to a total of only 16 games; five in the 1st heat, five more in the 2nd, two in the 3rd, three in the semi-final and of, course, the one final. This made for a total of 41 players, 11 of whom participated in multiple heats.

I made an attempt to create a Mexica score sheet, which was designed to provide me with the opportunity to recreate critical games for this report. Unfortunately, it tended to require a sort of concentration that detracted from game play and was met with something well shy of enthusiasm. As its designer, I took responsibility for utilizing it in the games in which I participated and I didn't even like it. Back, as they say, to the drawing board.

All but three of the 16 games played were four-player matchups. The highest and lowest score was recorded by the same person - Arthur Field, who won the four-player final with the event's lowest score (77). He had entered all three heats and won his first game in the third, scoring a tournament-high 148 points in a three-player game. The highest four-player score was 107, recorded by three participants (Jim Vroom, Mario Lanza and Jonathan Fox).

The average score in a victory was 101.56. The overall average playing score (all player scores in all 16 games) was 87.03.

With 12 winners emerging from the preliminary rounds, we added four alternates for the semi-final, based on total score in the preliminary heats. The intent was to create four 4-player games, out of which would emerge our four finalists. We posted the 16 names for the Thursday afternoon semi-final but only10 of the names showed up. Rather than field a semi-final with two, three-player games and a single four-player game, I added myself to the mix (forgetting to clarify that I would declare myself ineligible for further advancement) and set up two, four-player games and a single three-player game.

Arthur Field won his three-player match-up, posting 129 points. His daughter, Allyson Field, won something of a squeaker in her four-player matchup, with a score of 96. Dan Farrow, Michael Fox and Jack Jaeger were 7, 14, & 15 points behind her respectively. And if you're familiar with the game, that sort of point spread at game's end is indicative of a very close contest. Dan Farrow's second-place finish in the game earned him the lone alternate spot in the final.

By comparison, Mario Lanza won his semi-final match by a score of 97 points, with David Wenstrup, Jonathon Fox and myself behind by 13, 19 and 27 points, respectively. Obviously, the issue of my advancement was a moot point.

As a participant in all three heats and the semi-final, I wasn't able to monitor many of the 16 games, but as GM, I was table-side for the final, which was won on the last move of the game and attributable to a minor error on the part of the runner-up. It was a nail-biter from start to finish.

And a quick nail-biter at that. Round 1 was concluded in 45 minutes with the four players separated by only five points; Mario and Arthur deadlocked at 29 in something of a "mano a mano" struggle that continued until the game's final seconds. Allyson finished the first round with 26 points. Dan was at 24. Still to come in the second and final round were districts of 13, 12, and 10 spaces, as well as a 6, two 5s and a 4-space district.

The three big ones were founded in the opening moments of round two. Mario picked up the 7 founding points for the 13. Allyson got the 6 points for the 12, while her Dad added five for the 10-space district. Almost as soon as the second round began, there remained only four districts to be found. The race for building placement was on.

When Mario claimed three points for his founding of the final district, Dan had only one building left to place, which would signal the game's final go-around of turns. As each of the finalists pondered this, they were looking at a lot of buildings left to be placed from their own supply. Mario and Arthur were looking at a combined 32 building points left in front of them. Allyson had only six building points left to place.

Mario's founding of the final district proved to be his downfall. While it initially placed him ahead with his 76 points, he failed to place the Calpulli tile in a position that would have effectively blocked Arthur's final move. On that move, Arthur was able to jump onto one of the starting points, which earned him the five points he needed to score 77 and win the game.

"My last move lost it for me," admitted Mario.

Four excellent players,," was Arthur,'s summation.

Dan finished in third place with 73 points and Allyson was last with 69. David Wenstrup and Gary Noe picked up the somewhat honorary 5th and 6th place for their second-place finishes in the semi-final match; both 13 points from the winner of their semi-final game.

Mexica has nuances that this GM is still just beginning to learn and this year's final match was a perfect example. Quick "founding," and building placement in both rounds set a furious pace, which left the two top contenders with 31 building points left to place when the game ended. This, more than anything else, was what led the victorious score of 77 to be the lowest in the 16 games of the tournament.

See you next year and feel free to stay in touch at the e-mail address below.

Special thanks to Amanda Vessey for her support as my assistant GM this year. Hopefully she'll be back to assist me with the work and kick my butt in the game next year.

 GM      Skip Maloney [1st Year]   NA   NA

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