Episode 8 – Tournament Game Master Basics Part 4: Scary Being the GM!

In this episode, I conclude the series covering the basics of running a game tournament. Rob Kircher co-hosts and my son Rich joins us as we review how GMing can go wrong based on our WBC 2015 adventures and misadventures.
The stories are true, but we won’t name names. It isn’t easy to be a GM and typical human issues come up. A main point to remember is that you have rules so you don’t have to make a lot of decisions under pressure. Just follow the plan you wrote down and don’t be embarrassed if it takes a little time or quick review to get it right.

We also talk about games we played at WBC and beyond.

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WBC 2015 Puerto Rico Tournament

115 different people played 60 games of Puerto Rico to determine that Ben Scholl is the 2015 champion.
Congratulations Ben!

Here I am with the finalists:

Finalists in 2015 WBC Puerto Rico Tournament

Finalists in 2015 WBC Puerto Rico Tournament


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Episode 7 – Tournament Game Master Basics Part 3: Be the GM!

In this episode, I conclude the series covering the basics of running a game tournament.   Rob Kircher co-hosts  and my son Rich joins us as we explore the problems that can come up when running a tournament. Alas, we discuss cheating and the more common errors and what to do about it.

We talk about some games we played recently as we get ready for WBC 2015.

The next episode will be about our experiences at WBC.

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Episode 6 – Tournament Game Master Basics Part 2: Sadly, Paperwork

In this episode, I continue the series covering the basics of running a game tournament.   Rob Kircher co-hosts as we explain the nuts and bolts and documentation aspects of running a tournament.

Below are links to example documents we reference in the podcast. Feel free to copy and modify them for your own use. Be aware that they are our best effort, but not guaranteed to be perfect or the last word in how to perform these tasks!

We also discuss some games played recently.


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Episode 5 – A New Beginning: Tournament Game Master Basics

In this episode, I restart my podcasts with a series covering the basics of running a game tournament.  I realized that only a handful of people know how to organize and run a board game tournament. We learned by apprenticing and osmosis, but that is not an effective way to spread competitive play. I asked my very experienced friend Rob Kircher to co-host with me to explain the basics.

We will also include links here to other information sources we mention.

I apologize for the long interval between episodes. Now I have a goal. I’ll try to get out an episode every 2 weeks. In addition to Tournament Basics, I’ll cover my Cult of the New games and tournament news and events.


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WBC 2014 Puerto Rico Tournament

132 different people played 59 games of Puerto Rico to determine that Raphael Philbert-Larivee is the champion.

Here I am with the finalists:

PRO14finalistsBelow are the final player boards at the end of the game:

EricFinal MarcyFinal MatthieuFInal RaphaelFinal

The tournament has 3 preliminary rounds. Winners and a few of the best non-winners advance to a quarterfinal round that multi-game winners get a bye to pass. The multigame winners and best quarterfinalists form 4 tables for the semifinal round. The 4 winners are matched in the final round.

Seating is random in the qualifying rounds. Seat order is bid on in half point increments for the elimination rounds.

Puerto Rico Final WBC 2014 Transcript

Players, in seat order:

Raphael Philbert-Larivee, Eric Kleist, Mathieu LagueGomez & Marcy Morelli

Roles: S-settler B-builder M-mayor Cp-captain Cr-craftsman P-prospector T-trader

Plantations: corn indigo sugar tobacco koffee quarry

Turn Player Role Seat 1 Raphael Seat 2 Eric Seat 3 Mathieu Seat 4 Marcy Comments
1 Seat 1 S q c c i iiicc, isctk
Seat 2 B Small indigo plant Small market Construction hut Small market
Seat 3 M q c cc c
Seat 4 P 1
2 Seat 2 T 1
Seat 3 Cr c ccc c
Seat 4 Cp 1vp 3vp 1, 2vp 6ship 5 on 6ship
Seat 1 M all c & market all c & market 4 on boat
3 Seat 3 B hacienda Small indigo plant 1, small warehouse Construction hut
Seat 4 S s c c 1, t cccst
Seat 1 Cr ii cc c
Seat 2 Cp ii, 7 boat, 2vp c, 2vp fills boat Lose c 6 boat clears
4 Seat 4 T 1, c for 3
Seat 1 P 3
Seat 2 M hc Indigo up 3 corn Ch up 4 on boat
Seat 3 Cr i ic cccc plus c from before c
5 Seat 1 S 1,iq t q q
Seat 2 Cp i 1vp, 7 ship 1, c 2vp 5 ship, i 1vp 4c 4vp c left c left 5 boat clears
Seat 3 Cr i ic cccc + c before c + c before
Seat 4 B Small Sugar (4) Tobacco Storage (0) Pass (1) 1, Tobacco Storage(4)
6 Seat 2 Cp I 1vp C 2vp 5ship, I 1vp 4c 4vp, c left Lose c, c left Clear 5
Seat 3 Cr i ic cccc + c before c + c before
Seat 4 M S + I up, q cct, SmMk 3c, q SmMk 1, t up, q 7 on boat
Seat 1 P 2
7 Seat 3 Cp i, 1vp Lose c, keep i 5c 6vp Lose c, c left Clear 5,7
Seat 4 B Lg Market Pass Hacienda 1, Sm Warehouse
Seat 1 T 1, no trades i for 2
Seat 2 S k, hacienda empty 1, q q q
8 Seat 4 M 1, 3c 7 on boat
Seat 1 P 2
Seat 2 B Coffee Roaster Lg Market Sm Indigo Sm Indigo
Seat 3 S t k qs k
9 Seat 1 M 3 2 2 1 7 on boat
Seat 2 T 1, no trades
Seat 3 P 1
Seat 4 Cp 1, c 2vp 7 boat
10 Seat 2 S ss 1, s tk s
Seat 3 Cr isk ccti 3, ccc+c ict
Seat 4 T k for 6 t for 5 TH clears
Seat 1 B 1, Guild Hall Sm Sugar Coffee Roaster Fortress
11 Seat 3 Cp is 2vp i 5boat, s6bt ci 2vp dump corn 1, 4c 5vp ci 2vp 7 bt clears
Seat 4 M 2col 2col 1col 1, 3col 9 on boat
Seat 1 B Tobacco Storage Skip Lg Sugar Coffee Roaster
Seat 2 T t, 7
12 Seat 4 M 2 2 2 4 11 on boat
Seat 1 P 3
Seat 2 B Lg Sugar Customs House Skip Sm Sugar
Seat 3 S ks s 1, c k
13 Seat 1 B Lg indigo Lg Indigo
Seat 2 S i now full c s i
Seat 3 Cp 2 No ship
Seat 4 T 1 No trade
14 Seat 2 P 2
Seat 3 Cr isk ccist 3, cccsk citk
Seat 4 M 3 3 2 4 12 on boat0 left!
Seat 1 T k, 7 s, 5 1, 2
15 Seat 3 Cp is, 2vp is, 2vp 1, ccc, 4vp c, 1vp 5 bt clear-i
Seat 4 B Residence Factory University 1, Factory 1 full
Seat 1 M 4 3 3 3 Out
Seat 2 T t, 7 k, 4
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WBC 2013 Puerto Rico Tournament

Results from the WBC 2013 Puerto Rico Tournament will appear here. Starting with a transcript of the final game and pictures of the players’ final boards, followed by the long version of the event report written by your humble host who served as GM for the tournament this year.
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Recon #7: Trajan Part 2

Welcome to another episode of Play Boardgames Better Recon.
In this episode, I’ll continue the examination of Trajan, Stefan Feld’s 6 ring circus of a Euro with more direct competition than many games.

This is part 2 of a 2-part Recon. We’ll go over the mancala (and I was surprised at what I found when I tinkered with the bits) and each of the 6 rings of the circus in more depth. I hope it gives you something to think about on repeated plays of this great game.

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Recon #6: Trajan

Welcome to another episode of Play Boardgames Better Recon.
In this episode, I’ll examine Trajan, Stefan Feld’s 6 ring circus of a Euro with more direct competition than many games.

This is part 1 of a 2-part Recon. Trajan has a lot going on and much important information is better understood if you go through game play once, then circle around for a deeper look. Aliens take over the volume for a brief time about 4 minutes in. I’ll fight them off better next time.

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Recon #5: Le Havre: The Inland Port

Welcome to another episode of Play Boardgames Better Recon.
In this episode, I’ll examine Le Havre: The Inland Port.
Its Uwe Rosenberg’s 2-player, fast game based on Le Havre for theme and Ora & Labora for mechanisms.

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