Spiel das Jahre 1995 ...
year's tournament witnessed 110 settlers despite playing opposite
a heat of Puerto Rico. The ballroom was a bit crowded,
but settlers are a burly group and staked a claim to appropriate
territory. Settlers still continue to attend this event under
the "one day pass" that the WBC offers. The draw of
the 1995 "Game of the Year" is still powerful a decade
The format of this year's contest remained unchanged. Random
set up, random dice rolls, random decks were all standard fare.
The addition of placing a city instead of a second settlement
and placing a third road are all concepts used at the KOSMOS
tournament in Germany. I'll continue to use these concepts, along
with any others, that they adopt.
The assistant GMs proved vital for the contest this year.
While I got to stand on a chair and bellow assignments, they
had the task of sorting the assignments by table score. No small
feat with the number of folks involved. I truly appreciate their
efforts. This year's contest started off on time, with all games
starting by 9.20 am. The tournament consisted of three preliminary
rounds. Entrants could (and some did) miss a round, but this
made it impossible for them to advance to the semi-finals. Still,
coming to play a round or two, instead of pursue the wood, you
are more than welcome, as long as you give me the word that you're
leaving. First round was set at random, with each subsequent
round sorted to keep players with the same level of points playing
together, as reason allowed. Each player was awarded Tournament
Points for their placement in their games. Five points for 1st,
three for 2nd, two for 3rd and one point for 4th place were earned.
Ties for a position simply split the points earned. The top 16
scorers would advance to the semi-finals. A published procedure
was used for resolving ties. This used a percentage of points
earned at the table. With the limit set at 90 minutes per game,
including set-up, the KOSMOS format proved vital for keeping
the tournament on schedule. A special thanks goes out to Jamie
Tang for bringing enough brownies to be offered to every player.
I especially hope you'll be back next year!
the third round completed, my Assistant GMS brought out the calculators.
Yours truly was included in the "Sweet 16" until a
card was found to have been completed incorrectly. (Once again,
foiled by a nefarious Pretzel Boy!) So, I settled into 17th place.
The semi-finals saw George Brace as the sole returneee from the
2003 Final Four makng the penultimate round. The Semis also saw
people from Israel, Canada, and Germany in the ranks. It does
look as if the WBC is emphasizing the "W" at least
from the Settlers perspective. The cut off point to advance
was 11 points. This required two wins, or a win and two seconds.
The winners at each of the four tables advanced to the Final,
while the published tournament scoring was used to determine
5th and 6th place. This year, the tie breaking method went to
the third level, with the difference between 6th and 7th place
being separated by less than 1%. A special mention goes to Mike
Backstrom for being on the non-wood side of the split hair that
separated him from wood. Pierre Leboeuf finished in 6th with
David Burkey taking 5th place wood.
The Final Four table seated the players in random chairs,
per their own request. Nearly 30 minutes went by as the players
considered their initial set-ups. This demonstrates that this
portion of the game is the most over-looked of the game. Initial
positions can make or break a player's chances. The game was
a tense one, as each player continued to point out how much they
were _not_ in the lead with each trade offer. The game had its
peaks and valleys. 8s were rolled twelve times in the middle
of the game, compared to 6s being rolled only twice. Still, careful
trading could have overcome the "skewed" dice, but
it wasn't to be. As the final construction phase ended, we had
this years champion identified. Aran Warszawski reached the 10
point goal. Michelle Hymowitz placed second with six points.
Rod Davidson was close behind to place third with five points.
Haim Hochboim grabbed 4th place with four points.
Once again, I congratulate all of you who played in the tournament.
I especially thank those of you who had a kind word for the Asst
GMs or myself. (Despite the fact that the tip jar was empty!)
I'm already looking forward to next year in our new digs.
little Settlers contested the WBC Settlers of Catan Juniors
title. The best of these proved to be Sydney Engelstein of New
Jersey who won, not only WBC wood, but better yet, braggin' rights
over the rest of the famliy including brother Brian who finsihed
second. The other finalists, in order, were:
3rd: Jennifer Sutton
4th: Daniel Long
5th: Andrew Wilson