By Eight Ducats ...
Chris Trimmer, Evan Cagwin, James
Long and Anni Foasberg celebrate the return of the Goa event.
Titan: The Arena GM Greg Crowe and Barb Flaxington do some trading
in Goa's return to WBC.
Goa returned from hiatus after missing only one year
since its 2004 WBC debut. The event got off to a solid start
with a dozen in attendance for the demo and 34 entrants across
11 tables utilizing the first edition game. The plan was to incorporate
the second edition, but its release fell behind schedule and
never materialized until, ironically, later on during WBC week.
The two heats comprised almost entirely of 4-player games
showcased relatively tight scoring (which would continue into
the Final) including 32-31-30 and 41-41-40-35 finishes. The greatest
margin of victory was eight by Jeff Meyer with 54 points. No
one won twice. The expected trend of pushing expedition cards
to the bottom of the track played out as roughly 2/3 of the tables
won via this method. On a peculiar note, only one player that
started the game with the flag won.
The field narrowed to 11 winners. Two winners could not return
for the semi, including a potential father-son match up with
Rich and Jeff Meyer. This opened the door for three alternates
to round out three 4-player games advancing winners plus the
top second. The semis advanced Finland's Mikko Raimi with nine
points from expedition cards over Jeff Meyer's close second.
So close that he too would advancel. Three-time champ Alex Bove
lost to Rod Spade. Rod made the most out his alternate second
life when Alex could not win a power struggle for most money
at the end. 2006 champ Chris Trimmer grabbed the last Final slot
by topping 2008 champ Chris Moffa with a whopping eight points
from expedition cards and an incredible nine points from VP tiles.
He was able to buy advancement down the tracks three times -
18 & 24 ducat moves on the bottom two expedition card tracks
respectively, and 12 ducats for third level on ships totaling
54 ducats! The game was noted for an unprecedented number of
auctions being bought out by the auctioneer. Between this and
the aforementioned track upgrade purchases, money drained out
of the game as both Trimmer and Lachla Salter were broke in the
middle game whereas Moffa could only marginally capitalize. Chris
T.'s historically aggressive money strategy paid off, as he coasted
to an eight-point victory over Moffa.
The stage was thus set with prior champ Chris Trimmer, fifth
ranked Rod Spade and new finalists Mikko Raimi and Jeff Meyer.
Things got off to a rocky start as three players failed colony
attempts in the first round and Jeff failed to colonize on all
three of his colony attempts (by switching to Cochin on the latter
two attempts) for a total of five failed attempts in the round.
The second round's auction was more contested with Jeff winning
back to back auctions at 7 & 13 ducats for double ginger
and double actions respectively. Round 3 had Jeff's colonizing
luck turn around and Mikko push down to level 4 on the ship track
while using skillful play of multiple double expedition card
draws. Round 4 had a 13 ducat flag and Mikko struggling a bit
as he failed a colony attempt and was forced to discard two unusable
expedition cards to make room to draw two cards.
The end game opened with flag purchases of $14 and $18, Trimmer
getting his cash engine going and multiple players making it
to the bottom of the tracks. In the latter rounds it looked like
Mikko was pulling ahead with three card expedition draws that
were lining up for him while Rod kept pace with steady and even
track progression. The exhilarating end proved to be much closer
than expected as everyone scored 6-8 points with expedition cards
and it took most money for Rod to pull into a tie with Mikko.
The title was resolved by tiebreaker where Rod edged Mikko by
a mere eight ducats, 59-51! Final scores were 47 for Rod and
Mikko, Chris 46, Jeff 41. Note: Next year, we will be using the
second edition for improved balance.
Fifth-ranked Rod Spade eyes Pete Stein.
GM Christian Moffa oversees his finalists.