el grande  

Updated 11/21/2010

2010 WBC Report    

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Curt Collins II, PA

2010 Champion

Offsite Links

  Rio Grande Games

Event History
1999     Stu Hendrickson     47
2000     Anthony Burke      40
2001     Jason Levine      70
2002     Mark Guttag      41
2003     Rob Flowers      55
2004     Jay Fox      68
2005     Charlie Kersten      97
2006     Greg Thatcher      55
2007     Robb Effinger      68
2008     Geoff Pounder      61
2009     Rob Flowers      71
2010     Curt Collins II      69

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Flowers        MD    10     85
  2.  Robb Effinger      WA    10     69
  3.  Greg Thatcher      FL    10     68
  4.  Jason Levine       NY    05     62
  5.  Geoff Pounder      on    08     46
  6.  Charlie Kersten    OH    05     40
  7.  Jay Fox            NJ    04     40
  8.  Mark Guttag        VA    02     40
  9.  Stu Hendrickson    VA    00     36
 10.  David Buchholz     MI    05     32
 11.  Curt Collins II    PA    10     30
 12.  Eric Freeman       PA    10     30
 13.  Anthony Burke      NJ    00     30
 14.  Mike Hazel         SC    07     24
 15.  Yoel Weiss         NJ    04     24
 16.  Josh Campbell      NY    03     24
 17.  Mike Kaltman       PA    09     18
 18.  Marc Berenbach     MA    08     18
 19.  Winton LeMoine     CA    07     18
 20.  Nick Benedict      CA    01     18
 21.  Rob Seulowitz      NY    00     18
 22.  Dan Hoffman        NC    99     18
 23.  Eric Brosius       MA    10     17
 24.  Barry Shutt        PA    04     16
 25.  Mario Lanza        PA    03     16
 26.  Barb Flaxington    NJ    09     15
 27.  Gary Presser       NY    02     13
 28.  Brian Kirchner     de    06     12
 29.  Pete Gathmann      NJ    05     12
 30.  John Poniske       PA    04     12
 31.  Davyd Field        SC    03     12
 32.  Dennis Disney      TX    99     12
 33.  Curt Collins II    PA    09      9
 34.  Rich Meyer         MA    07      9
 35.  David Gubbay       TX    06      9
 36.  James Pei          TX    00      9
 37.  Sean Vessey        VA    99      9
 38.  Stan Hilinski      MD    02      8
 39.  Nick Henning       CT    09      6
 40.  Tim Mossman        MD    08      6
 41.  Mike Nickeloff     CA    07      6
 42.  Paul Murphy        UT    06      6
 43.  Peter Martin       NJ    01      6
 44.  Paul Hakken        NJ    99      6
 45.  Andrew Greene      VA    04      4
 46.  Gary Noe           FL    03      4
 47.  Jeff Meyer         MA    08      3
 48.  Brian Kowal        WI    07      3
 49.  Joe Pabis          VA    06      3
 50.  Andy Lewis         DE    01      3
 51.  Scott Buckwalter   MD    00      3
 52.  Scott Smith        GA    99      3

2010 Laurelists                                            Repeating Laurelists 

Robb Effinger, WA

Eric Freeman, PA

Eric Brosius, MA

Greg Thatcher, CA

Rob Flowers, MD

Past Winners

Stu Hendrickson,VA

Anthony Burke, NJ

Jason Levine, NY

Mark Guttag, VA

Rob Flowers, MD
2003, 2009

Jay Fox, NJ

Charlie Kersten, OH

Greg Thatcher, FL

Robb Effinger, on

Geoff Pounder, on

A Comedy of Errors ...

Overall attendance held steady this year, although I was pleasantly surprised to see many new faces. Every year I wonder if I should continue to hold a demo for the game, but this year I was rewarded with more attendance at the demo than I expected, and several of them played in the tournament. This game can be a bit tough on newer players because between the 2-hour time limit and the experience level of the regulars.

Winning scores in the heats ranged from a high of 131 points (Bryan Berkenstock) to a low of 81 (Geoff Pounder). There was one tie between Greg Crowe and Tom Saal, with Greg advancing on the tiebreaker. There were no double winners in the three heats this year, but there were four former laurelists who managed a win and a second place finish: Robb Effinger, Geoff Pounder, Marc Berenbach, and Greg Thatcher. All four were alumni of the 2008 Final proving that creme rises to the top. Only David Gagne, Keith Layton, and the GM, who finally got a win on his third try, attempted all three heats.

At four of the five semi-final tables, the winner had a decent margin over the second player; however, at my table, I managed to make a good run at the leader (Robb Effinger) and tied his score, only to lose on the tiebreaker. The Final inspired the title of this report. Because I run the semi-final and Final rounds back to back, and the advanced rounds tend to run long, it can be tough to stick within the two-hour time limit, releasing players to continue on to other events. In this Final, however, all participants were playing quickly... perhaps TOO quickly, as many mistakes were made on all sides. By request, I won't go into who made each mistake!

One telling mistake included a player taking an Intrigue action, using it to move several pieces on the board, and then forgetting to place his own piece after the action was completed! Another player bid high with a near-empty court to take a valuable scoring card, forgetting that another player still had a Veto in his hand. Several times, players bid middling cards but then ended up with the 4 or 5 caballero actions and didn't have enough people in their court to take full advantage of their turn. Near the end of the game, one player made a move which made it unnecessary to defend his home territory in the final Castillo drop, but then moved his troops there anyway, when a different location probably would have won him the game. Finally, in the replay of the game, the GM discovered a scoring error in which one player was given too many points! Fortunately, it was a small enough error that it didn't change the rankings at all.

This ended up being a low-scoring game, as several scoring cards were either vetoed, or taken and not scored. This scenario tends to favor the player who develops the strongest board position over the course of the game, which in this case was Curt. He managed to get the most pieces on the board and avoid having them in useless positions. Although he was 10 points behind the leader before final scoring, he managed to outscore everyone and win the game. After several near misses in the semi-finals and last year's Final, Curt persevered for his first ELG title.

 GM      Rob Flowers  [8th Year]  NA
    rpf1@mindspring.com   NA

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