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princes of florence (POF) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Dec. 22, 2016 Icon Key
37 Players Randy Buehler, WA 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
  2016 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

Runner-up no more

In its 16th year at WBC, only 37 players gentrified their principalities in the hopes of commissioning glorious works from the most prestigious artisans of Florence. It was the events smallest draw ever. In the heats, our 4-player games saw unusually high scores with Legend Dan Hoffman posting 70 and 2011 champ Randy Buehler scoring an astounding 84 points. The highest score in a 5-player game was Alex Bove’s 67, and the lowest winning score was Lyman Moquin’s 51-49 victory over Curt Collins II. The closest game produced by the heats was a 62-62 tie between Jason Long and Anthony Bosca, with Anthony prevailing by tiebreaker.

Due to low attendance and a nearly unanimous preference for a 5-player Final, qualifying semifinalists were divided into three 5-player tables with the three winners and two closest runners-up also advancing. Table 1 saw former champions Randy Buehler and Alex Bove paired with perennial laurelist Legend Dan Hoffman, with Dan winning (and posting the highest score of the semis, 63 points). Table 2 provided the closest game of the semifinals, a one-point win for Anthony Bosca over Derek Glenn, with laurelists Lyman Moquin and Greg Thatcher only a few points behind. Jason Long emerged victorious from Table 3, besting double-winner Keith Dent to advance. The closest runners-up were Derek and Randy, so they both advanced also.

Randy bid 400 florins for the coveted second seat, while Anthony paid 200 to go first. The other players were content to take their seats for free: Dan sat third, Derek fourth, and Jason fifth. The auctions saw relatively low bidding, with top prices of 1200 florins for a jester, 600 for a builder (and two rounds with no builders purchased), and 800 for a recruiting card. Players pursued balanced strategies with no one building more than four buildings or doing more than five works. A pivotal moment occurred in Rounds 4-5, when Jason was forced to pay four prestige points to take his actions in Round 4 and then lost two more PP in the Round 5 auction. He recovered well, but those points eventually were the difference.

In the end, Dan’s amazing 29 WV final work was not enough to compensate for his lack of a prestige card, and the final score was: Randy 56, Jason 54, Derek 52, Anthony 51 and Dan 48. Derek and Anthony’s two best work bonuses couldn’t push them past Randy, who played an error-free game and managed to get several bargains at auction, including two excellent prestige cards giving him the win despite his never having received a best work bonus.

A full session report of the Final can be found here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1618371/princes-florence-wbc-2016-final-table-detailed-ses

A lot has been made of seating order advantage in the game. Though it is a small sample, the knockout round this year showed an advantage for the first two seats, with all four games won by the player in either the #1 or #2 seat. Here are the average finishing positions for each seat in this year’s tournament:

5-Player Games (n = 11)

Seat/Avg. Finish
1) 3
2) 2.4
3) 2.9
4) 3.3
5) 3.1

Here the 2nd seat performed best overall, by a fairly significant margin

4-Player Games (n = 4)

Seat/Avg. Finish
1) 3
2) 2.5
3) 2.75
4) 1.75

Here the fourth seat fared best, even though the third seat is usually favored because of that player’s access to an extra profession card.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s tournament. Hopefully we will return next year to convert more florins into prestige, but it will require some support in the December vote!

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Jason Long, CA Derek Glenn, KY Anthony Bosca, MI Legend Dan
Hoffman, MD
Keith Dent, IL
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Cally Perry, Steve LeWinter, Rod Spade and Lyman Moquin

Alex Bove, Eric McGlohon, Pete Staab and Aran Warszawski

GM Alex Bove oversee his five finalists. Sixth-place laurelist Keith Dent (left) joins the onlookers.
GM  Alex Bove [1st Year]  NA
 gamermontu@gmail.com  NA