Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WBC West Report, Day 1

Nothing as detailed as what I've done in the past, but here's a quick report on WBC West '07.

Chuck and I got out of Portland pretty early, and were here and gaming by 2:30pm. With only 2-3 hours of gaming before Mike, Tex, and Mimi got here we decided to get in our first round of Combat Commander. Our scenario was the new C3i entry, Varsity Blues. It features the American paratroopers trying to get past a German position on their way to rendevous with the British in early 1945. Only the 3 and 4 objectives are worth points, and only one each at that, so the way to get points is to get off the board or eliminate enemy units.

The game started off well for me when Chuck used sustained fire with his lone heavy machine gun and rolled doubles, breaking it. On his next play, he got a sniper that also destroyed the machine gun, so within minutes Chuck has lost his primary weapon. To add insult to injury, I got a Scrounge event that handed the HMG directly to *me*. Ouch.

Things were moving along, but not quite quickly enough. We had three timer events fairly quickly, so the game was potentially half over. I used the machine gun to kill one squad, and a successful advance killed one more squad plus a team. I had four other German units in some trouble at one point, but some handy cards got Chuck out of trouble.

When the next to last Time event got pulled with me soon to run out of cards in my deck (and trigger the chance of sudden death), I reluctantly handed Chuck the Initiative card. I figured that if I waited until one of us drew for sudden death that if I used it Chuck would either get the card or win the game, so why not give it now. Amazingly, I survived both the next two sudden deaths, and was now poised to kill five points worth of units, and get another five points off the board. Since Chuck was 8 points ahead, even with one point for being defender (which you get after the sd check), I'd pull the game out. Sadly, my advance rolled a time event (yay) and I failed the sd roll. I figure I was about one more round after this one to get those points, so time was definitely on Chuck's side. A great game.

We next pulled out my two premade decks for WoW: CCG, and I got to try out my orc warlock deck. The Horde have about half the Ally cards that the Alliance has, so it's not as finely tuned as my rogue deck. The game is pretty similar to Magic and a host of other CCGs, so nothing new for him. On the other hand, he's not familiar with the online game, and we weren't playing a raid deck, but we were mostly just passing time waiting for the rest of the group.

We started dinner close to six (Asian chicken night), with the other three participants arriving just in time to eat. MImi started working a puzzle, and the rest of us pulled out Britannia, the first group game of the week. Play time was right about five hours, with 30 minutes explaining in advance. I was hoping to finish by 11pm, but we went over that by just about an hour. I had Green, Mike was Red, Doug was Blue (the only person who'd not played in years), and Chuck was Yellow (the Roman faction for those with the AH or Gibson sets). Chuck got out to a strong start, with 103 points with the Romans in the early going. He was very aggressive going north, and once there he moved units back south to garrison his forts. My Welsh took a beating early, as my dice went bitterly cold for about four turns, when the Danes showed up.

Meanwhile, Tex seemed to be doing quite well, with his Angles running all over the Midlands, and Mike's Saxons firmly controlling the south. Chuck's Romano-British managed to survive pretty handily, running all over the place. They survived until turn 16, not quite the distance. The Welsh did manage to sneak in their 12 points for York, but it cost at least that much in lost points in Wales as it took considerable time to win the parts I'd deserted to get to York back.

In the endgame, I was very sure I was dead in the water, then my Danes rolled in and kicked but. I got 36 points with them alone on turn 11, and several more points a few turns later. They were no match for Chuck's Norwegians, though, and despite a good effort to slow him down he pretty much wiped the floor with my poor Danes. At least the Welsh got their areas back! Meanwhile, Tex's Normans were making a run for it. Unfortunately, Tex left William a bit exposed (not much, mind you), and he lost him on the very last turn. The Danes made a run of it, but ended up controlling only 2 points worth of areas on the final turn. Fortunately, the Welsh were worth 20, and with another 10 from the Caldonians and lone Dane, I scored 30 point in one turn, putting me back into the race.

I didn't quite realize how much back in the race until I discovered that Chuck was scoring very low points on the last turn. When we counted all of the points up, Chuck won by a nose with 211 to both Tex's and my 208, with Mike bringing up the rear - he'd missed a leader, and had very bad luck with the Norsemen, and I think the end of the game was quite anticlimactic for him.

By now it was midnight, so off to bed we went, me doing the blog before turning out the light. You'll have to forgive the typos, but it's been a long day...

More tomorrow, when we plan to play Wellington and Arkham Horror, among other things.

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