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Castles of Burgundy (COB) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 22, 2016 Icon Key
71 Players Moon Sultana, MD 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

We Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time

I became the GM in rather unusual circumstances for this event. Every year I sign up for a late Orphan in a game I enjoy and this one was still orphaned on the last day. So I volunteered. Don informed me that someone else had beat me to it.

A few weeks later, Don said he couldn’t contact the prospective GM and he wanted to move the Final from an unworkable 12 noon Last Sunday start. I agreed and changed the elimination rounds to Saturday afternoon and evening, but kept the original heat times. If I run the event again, I’ll go with three heats and start them before 10pm.

I made another important change to the format: I required all players at each table to play the same board. The reason for this is I like having different boards and variants in play, but the standard way of implementing involves each player choosing which board to play based on which two they were dealt at the start. Unfortunately the various boards are not balanced - a player will be able to score more points on this board rather than that board (the notorious board 8 being the prime offender). By giving each player the same board, this balances all the players at each table and allows otherwise advantageous or disadvantageous boards to be used. All of those who commented approved of the change once they had played it.

Each board was used once or twice during the event. The top and bottom five boards, ranked by average score, were:

  • Top: 8 (257), 13c (248), 13a (247), 13g (238), 2 (237)
  • Bottom: 14 (204), 4 (204), 6 (207), 13f (210), 13d (211)

Note: Boards 13a-13h are from Expansion 4, Monasteries which provide an additional method of scoring worth up to 22 points. No surprise as these boards appear frequently in the Top 5! Board 14 was used in the Final and is the “Tournament board” designed by Stefan Feld for 2016. No surprise that even the finalists found this one tough!

The first heat was Monday at 10pm in Festival (the room hidden above the Exhibit Hall). We used boards 2-9 from the base set. 52 players on 13 boards played in this round. The winners were: Glen Pearce, Francois de Bellefeuille, Tricia Wolff, Anthony Lainesse, Will Bleier, Nicole Yuhase, Doug Faust, Anastasia Tircuit, Dominic Blais, Steven Cameron, Eric Harthan, Kara Morse, Blair Morgan.

The second heat on Wednesday evening used the boards from the Monastery expansion, which add an additional method of scoring—connecting a straight five-hex path between monasteries scores five VP with an additional bonus to the first two players to complete all three paths on their board. 45 players appeared, so the GM abdicated to ensure 11 equal tables. The winners were: Jean Villon, Romain Jacques, Alex Bove, Moon Sultana, Dave Rohde, Glen Pearce, Pieter Villon, Steven LeWinter, Francois de Bellefeuille, Blair Morgan and Frank Dinoff.

The semifinals were in the Alpine room on Saturday afternoon. The original plan was to use the boards from Expansion #1—which include a special rule that further limits the player options. However playing on the same board, this causes a likely situation where no players have any tiles available for much of the game which is blatantly unfair. So the boards from the base set were quickly substituted. Steve LeWinter enjoyed a solid 16-point margin over Doug Faust on Board 2. Romain Jacques won by 11 over Kara Morse on Board 7. Steve Cameron had the closest semi, winning by four over Glen Pearce on Board 4 and only 11 ahead of last place. Moon Sultana showcased her skills with the largest margin of victory - 19 over Pieter Villon of the Netherlands.

The Final was played on the 2016 tournament boards released by designer Stephan Feld, Moon Sultana won by a healthy 13 points over Steve Le Winter to claim the second of her two WBC titles for the week. Not too shabby for a first visit to WBC. She was also the first woman to win multiple events since Rebecca Hebner (now Roppolo) won four as a teenager.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Steve LeWinter, NC Romain Jacques, qc Steve Cameron, PA Glen Pearce, on Kara Morse, NY
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM Richard Irving and his four finalists.
David Barton and Doug Faust head a long row of Castle dwellers. Steve Shambeda eyes the opposition.
GM  Richard Irving [1st Year]  1505 Caceras Circle, Salinas, CA 93906
 rri12@sbcglobal.net  831-905-1073