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Catan: cities & knights (C&K) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 12, 2016 Icon Key
43 Players Janet Ottey, PA 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.
 

It pays to go first

The event had its smallest field thus far in its four-year run. Wednesday’s and Friday’s heats were both well attended with 17 games between the two heats. Saturday’s heat continued to draw only only games, since it was competing with advancement rounds of other tournaments. Next year, I will consider moving the tournament earlier in the week to avoid these scheduling conflicts, although the post-con discussion has been focused on the need for more end of week events, not less.

Since the advancement rounds were against many other elimination rounds and we take only the top 16 who appear for the semifinals, a single win in any of the heats was all it took to advance in the tournament. Even so, we were three players short of a full bracket. The aqueduct was very popular with 11 of the 13 semifinalists attaining it.

The Final was contested by Rob Kircher, Janet Ottey, John Gitzen and Winton Lemoine. Both Rob and Winton were new to Round 3, with Janet and John having both reached the Final in 2014. The board looked to be a difficult game, with wheat on 2, 3, 11, and 12. Only John (city on 2) and Janet (settlement on 3) produced wheat at the beginning of the game. It would be interesting to see what alternate ways the players would produce this critical resource.

In their initial placements, Rob was doubled up on ore and sheep, and close to the 2:1 ore port. Janet had her city on two wood hexes (9 and 11), perhaps hoping to get the Aqueduct or metropolis before the barbarians attack. She was also close to the 2:1 wood port. John had a city on the 6-brick with a road pointing toward the 2:1 brick port. He also produced sheep on 4 and 5, and was close to the 2:1 sheep port, so trying to use maritime trading to his advantage seemed likely. Winton was going for more of a general strategy with his city on 11-wood, 5-sheep, 6-ore. He was destined to grab whatever he could, and trade 4:1 of something for the missing wheat. His settlement was on two brick hexes and he was close to a 3:1.

Fortunately for the players, after three rounds around the table, the barbarian was still taking a nap, only two spaces from where he started. However, the players are cautious, with all except Janet building and activating a knight. Janet, John, and Winton built to their ports (John on sheep port, Winton on 3:1). Rob concentrated on getting the metropolis from cloth, getting to the Merchant Guild (only one advancement away from the metropolis, and also allowing him to trade commodities 2:1). The barbarian would eventually attack on Turn 7, 25 rolls into the game. By that point, Janet had built and activated a knight, so all cities are safe and gain a green progress card for their efforts. Not long afterwards, Janet is able to advance the aqueduct, allowing her to take a resource of her choice whenever she gets nothing from the production roll (as long as the roll is not a 7). With nobody really pressuring him on the metropolis, Rob converted cloth into wheat, and built another city.

An hour into play did not yield an obvious leader. Janet was able to use the inventor progress cards to great benefit, upgrading her production hexes on wheat and stone. John was able to advance to the aqueduct, giving him that extra production. Winton connected his settlements with help from two Road Building progress cards, and claims the longest road, giving him eight points. Janet and John both had seven, and Rob five points. The next few turns were mostly uneventful. At around the 90-minute mark, developments started to accelerate. Rob was able to advance to the Aqueduct and the cloth metropolis. Janet upgraded her city on 5-wheat, 8-sheep, 10-ore, and built another settlement. John advanced to the Merchant Guild and the paper metropolis. Winton, with the help of the mining progress card, built another city. The score was now Rob 9, Janet 10, John 11 and Winton 10.

Having arrived at the endgame where everybody fears making a trade that may result in the trader cashing in a win. The most likely source of the win will now come from somebody stealing Winton’s longest road, Rob’s cloth metropolis or John’s paper metropolis.

  • Rob rolls a 7 and robs Janet’s and John’s ore. He builds a city, giving him 10 points (10/10/11/10)
  • Janet trade a sheep for an ore with John and tries to build a city, but she already has all of them on the board. In a very sportsmanlike move, John allows her to undo the trade.
  • John, with the longest road card, is able to tie Winton’s longest road.
  • Winton, seeing the threat, builds two more roads with his own road building card and builds a settlement. He also pressures Rob into defending the cloth metropolis, tying him at level 5. 10/10/11/11.
  • Rob, with help from two irrigation cards and the merchant, builds another city, but he can’t quite manage the last point, passing the dice to Janet. 12/11/10/10.
  • Janet plays a merchant card as well, and is able to use four paper from her hand, her wood port, and the merchant trading to go directly from the Aqueduct to the University and steal the metropolis from John, giving her the win after a little more than two hours.

Janet wins with 13 points including the Science Metro (four points), three other Cities (six points), two settlements (two points), and the merchant card. Winton Lemoine was second with 11 points, followed by Rob Kircher with 11 and John with nine. The tie for second was resolved by tiebreaker: most cards in hand. Winton had 11 to Rob’s eight.

The Road Building progress road was played four times, three by Winton.
Janet played the inventor card three times. Winton was the only player to finish without the aqueduct. Had Janet not won the game, and John not been able to win it on his turn, then Winton had the cards in hand to claim victory. Turn order can be fickle.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Winton Lemoine, NV Robert Kircher, RI John Gitzen II, NY James DuBose, NY Patrick, Neary, NY
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Thomas Tu and Chris Trimmer Anne Norton and Jessica Shea
 John Gitzen, Laurie Voisin and Andy Latto  Susan Singer and Janet Ottey
Winton Lemoine, John Gitzen and Charley Hickok GM Chris Gnech oversees his finaists.
 
GM  Christopher Gnech [4th Year]  NA
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