Always a Crowd
Blair Morgen, Deb Davidson, Cal Perry,
and Harald Henning play at Table 10 as a heat gets underway.
Our 2008 finalists led by 2005 Champ
Arthur Field go for the gusto having run the gauntlet to the
In 2008, the juggernaut known as Saint Petersburg continued
another year of triple-digit attendance; 106 different players
in three heats. Even with a high rate of returning players
from previous years, many new faces were seen. The assigned
times and room could not have been a better choice for the tournament.
The Final Board found Rob Flowers, former champ Arthur Field,
Norman Herrick, and Cary Morris in a neck-and-neck race to the
last round. Power cards Mistress of Ceremonies, Judge,
and Observatory dared not show their heads until near the end,
making it an exciting game. Arthur took advantage of an
early Gold Smelter Upgrade, followed by a Lumber Mill upgrade
for Rob for easier money managements. Rob also took a slight
lead in number of workers early for a better edge going into
building and noble-buying phases. Two-thirds of the way
through, Arthur led with four nobles, followed by Rob and Cary
with three, and Norman with but one. Seeing the pressure
of a looming game end, the purchase of nobles was fast and furious
as Rob and Norm increased their nobles to five each, Cary with
seven (unique nobles), and Arthur with nine (also seven unique
nobles). The final scores were 84 for Norman (1st), 74
for Cary (2nd), and a tie of 73 for Arthur and Rob. Arthur (third)
edged Rob out of third place by a $4 cash tie breaker.
As a first time GM at WBC, Steve Quade strived to get the
people into game play as soon as possible. A simple check-in
process of using large index cards and a large collection box
seemed to move the line of attendees along. Setting up
large, colorful numbered stands helped get people to their boards
and into their seats once the random assignments were selected.
The entire check-in and seating process was down to seven minutes
for the 52-attendee heat. A random drawing door prize at
each heat was a pleasant surprise. Arthur Field generously
supplied actual gifts from Saint Petersburg that were handed
out to finalists. Assistance from Rodney Bacigalupo, Arthur
Field, and last year's GM, Dan Mathias, was greatly appreciated
and helped to smooth the organization.
This could also be called the "year of the suggestion"
as many long time players supplied their opinions on how to improve
the tournament. All suggestions were heard and now are
being weighed for including in next year's event. Suggestions
included adding a quarter-final, changing to a round tournament
format, increasing the cost of the power cards for the first
two rounds, removing the power cards, or excluding the power
cards for two rounds. Each suggestion has its merits and
will be considered.
Euro Quest Laurelists
Tom DeMarco, NJ
Anne Norton, NJ
Norman Rule, MD
Perrianne Lurie, PA
Virginia Colin, VA