Author Topic: European Team Championships  (Read 1612 times)

Offline danisthirty

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European Team Championships
« on: October 09, 2020, 05:45:30 AM »
Hello!

In case anyone is unaware, I thought I'd take some time to share details of the European Team Championships that are taking place on BGA (http://www.boardgamearena.com) at the moment. I'm serving as the captain of the UK team, so obviously this is where my interest lies and is what I've written about below.

Firstly though, the European Team Championships is an online Carcassonne event being organised by Carcassonne.cat (http://www.carcassonne.cat). Each team consists of between 5 and 10 players (although you can only play 5 of them at once). Teams have been split into two groups and each group is playing a round robin so that every team plays a single match against every other team in their group, these have been split into rounds so that every team plays one match per week/ round (unless they are having a "sitting out" week in the case of groups with an odd number of teams). Each match consists of 5 duels, and is settled by whichever team wins 3 or more duels. Each duel is played between two players (one from each team) and is a simple "best of 3" games. Games are basegame only, and all 5 duels are scheduled to begin at the same time.



It's very nice to be in second place for now, but Russia and France play each other on Sunday so one of them will be pushing us down into third before the end of the round. There's also the fact that we haven't had our "sitting out" week yet, which will come in round 6 after we've played Spain and have just Russia to come (Ukraine and France also still have their sitting out weeks ahead of them).

Round 1:


The Netherlands are always a tough opponent for us with players like Bekse (former national champion) and humske (former world champion) who always seem to get the better of us, as was the case in this match. Jackface triumphed over Johnnoordwijk with relative ease (2 - 0), whereas my win over hulpspuppie was less clear-cut after I lost our first game by one point. Thankfully I was able to contain my opponent more effectively over the next two games and took the duel 2 - 1 as a result. Elsewhere, our team's newest player statmatt lost to Bekse in straight games while wallaceprime vs. Zwollywood and ted the notty bear vs. humske both went to third games. I was cautiously optimistic and watched both games very closely as a win in either would give us our third duel, and the match. But sadly it wasn't to be. wallaceprime played as well as always, but simply couldn't generate enough points with his last few tiles to outscore Zwollywood's powerful farms and... well, I'm not quite sure what happened in the other game. It all came down to a fight for the main farm in the end, and while it looked (to me) as though ted the notty bear drew the required tiles to win it outright, things didn't quite go according to plan and all was lost :(

Round 2:


The Ukrainian team have been a bit of a surprise to our group of this competition. I have a good record against Samuelsson so was fairly confident that this would be a duel in our favor but the other matches were hard to call. ted the notty bear and I were both successful, winning our duels in straight games. Revelations (@halfling) was unfortunate to have his debut game settled by Carcassonne.cat's unusual "starting player loses in the case of a tie" rule and went on to lose the second game by just 9 points. statmatt struggled to put anything past Lawyer too, losing their duel 2 - 0 and bringing the match score to 2 - 2. The final duel was being played between Han Shot First and Jubjic. I didn't watch it live, but it seems Jubjic won their first game fairly convincingly and was equally unrelenting in their second...

We tried to be optimistic about everything, but to have won just four duels from two matches wasn't where we wanted to be, and it wasn't the start we needed either. :-[ :(n)

Round 3:


This match taught me that while I thought I'd been helping the team by winning literally every duel I'd played in both the World Team Championships and now the European Team Championships up to this point, I'd actually been hindering them. Apparently, my less than impressive loss to Boulym inspired everyone else to win their duels and we took the match 4 - 1 as a result! This included a win for ted the notty bear against one of the highest-ranked (and current #1) player at BGA - "viv-" which was nothing short of incredible! :o I don't remember watching many of the other games as they were being played, which is most likely because I was too busy crying, or had gone canoeing, but there was much celebrating and mutual virtual back-patting as we finally took a long overdue "big point" for our first match win. :(y)

Round 4:


My first game with Antoniospqr1970 was a comfortable win after he allowed me to trap two of his meeples at a cost of one of my own, and then went on to invest three farmers in the main field (against my two - one of which never joined up). Since we each had another meeple locked up in another city, this meant he played most of the game with only one meeple at his disposal whereas I had three. This meant I could take more risks, and as a result I was able to build up a decent lead and take my own farm which was almost as valuable as the main one without ever feeling like I was in too much trouble.

Antoniospqr1970 was much more cautious in our second game and played far more safely. He got off to a great start with lots of short roads and built an early lead, whereas this time I seemed to be the one not managing my meeples very well. I wasn't at all confident that this was going to be another win after the first 20 or so tiles, but gradually I was able to start trapping his meeples while generating some points for myself and as we got towards the final 20 tiles or so it was too close to call. I thought it was over when my opponent drew the remaining ccff splitter and cut me out of his big city which was completed with the same tile, but I completed my half of the city a few turns later to pull things back a little. Towards the end I was able to block a bold attempt by Antoniospqr1970 to take the main farm outright, but he'd grown a 9-point farm elsewhere so I knew I was still in trouble despite this. Thankfully, I drew the final crrf tile towards the very end of the game, which I had been in desperate need of for most of the game! This allowed me to finish a worthwhile city and claim a road. And with my final tile of the game I finished another small city and farmed the other side, which all added to my winning score of just 7 points in a game that could very easily have gone either way at several points. With this, the duel was mine.

Having played both games in just half an hour, it was no surprise to see that the other four duels were still some way away from completion. However, I was slightly discouraged to see that the Italian players had won the first game in all four of them! I was starting to prepare myself for being on the receiving end of another crushing 2 - 3 defeat (or worse!) but thankfully wallaceprime and ted the notty bear both won their second games, whereas Jackface and statmatt lost theirs. The two deciding games were quite similar in nature and were won thanks to a large farm. wallaceprime's opponent had played tremendously but was a little too keen to put all of his eggs in one basket. On this occasion, that basket was a large but uncompleteable city which he controlled with 4 knights of his own against 3 of Chris'. The most valuable feature besides this was the main farm which was tied with two meeples each. However, Chris demonstrated a real masterclass in farming which enabled him to win the main farm outright with a third farmer. This was enough to take the game, and our second duel, which meant the match would be settled by ted the notty bear in his third game against Lorenzo79. Although he was some way behind on points when I started watching, it was clear that this game was all about the farm which ted was able to hang onto until the end of the game. It was an awesome moment, and for a second week in a row we could cheer and celebrate on our Facebook messenger chat group!

Full details of the competition can be found on Carcassonne.cat's website. Games can also be replayed/ watched through BGA and some are being streamed live either through meeplewizard's youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisInsaneTV) or on occasion through BGA TV (look for "boardgame arena" on Twitch). All in all, it's definitely taking Carcassonne as a spectator sport to a new level! :(y)

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=4824.0
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 02:27:05 PM by danisthirty »

Offline Halfling

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2020, 05:59:39 AM »
Our next match is against Spain on Friday 16th.
We then have our rest week.
Finally we play Russia who are the seeded team in our 7 team group.

The top 4 teams then progress to the quarter finals.

How are things progressing in the other group, I know some members of Carc.central are participating. It would be good to hear from you.
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Offline Meepledrone

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2020, 06:41:10 AM »
Our next match is against Spain on Friday 16th.

My heart is divided in this matter. Best of luck to everyone. :))
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Offline Willem

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2020, 11:50:21 PM »
I've been watching some of the matches, and will continue to do so!
Good luck all!
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Offline DrMeeple

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 01:12:03 PM »
Well done Dani! Our last games was with Poland and tight matches (3-2) Poland wins... Hope we had more luck next time. Thanks for sharing here.


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Offline danisthirty

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 02:22:05 PM »
I've been watching some of the matches, and will continue to do so!
Good luck all!

Thanks! :(y)

Well done Dani! Our last games was with Poland and tight matches (3-2) Poland wins... Hope we had more luck next time. Thanks for sharing here.

I saw your result; Poland have a very strong team indeed. We suffered in the World Team Championships from being in the same group as Poland and Germany, but hopefully you'll at least manage a top 4 position and advance to the knock-out stage. Good luck!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2020, 03:27:00 AM »
An exciting update from the UK team in that we finished 4th in our group and have therefore qualified for the next stage of the competition: the knock-out!



(having scored at least two duels in every match there was very little between 2nd and 4th in terms of duels won/ lost and we actually finished ahead of 3rd-place Ukraine in terms of duels won and games won - games lost)




(our next opponents: winners of Group B - Poland! :white-meeple: :red-meeple:)


Round 5:


Our match against Spain was rather a disappointing one as they were yet to win a single match and we were still on a high having won our last two. While remaining cautious and not allowing ourselves to underestimate them, a win seemed likely. However, this is not what we got. :( Jackface and I were quick to finish our duels earning us an early 2 - 0 lead, with Jack trapping all of his opponent's meeples before he'd scored a single point in their second game! :-[ Rosco however was less fortunate and suffered our first loss of the match, losing his second game by just four points. It was now 2 - 1 with the other two duels going to a third game. This was familiar territory for us, even down to the two players fighting for our victory: wallaceprime and ted the notty bear. Both were very exciting games to watch but when it came down to it they were both lost by 50/ 50 tile draws. ted the notty bear needed the single remaining ccrr tile to tie a huge city. This tile went to his opponent just as the last remaining ffff cloister that ted had needed to win a field had done in their previous game. It was 2 - 2. wallaceprime also needed a specific tile to tie the main farm in his deciding game, but this also went to his opponent. It was a very disappointing end to a match that had started so well, but we took our two duels and moved on. Our chances of finishing in the top four were still favourable depending on how the matches between Italy and Ukraine and Spain and the Netherlands went...


Round 6:


The Italians had an excellent match against Ukraine, beating them 4 - 1! We hadn't anticipated this, but calculated that we needed to win two duels against Russia to guarantee fourth position. Between us, we tried to anticipate what the Russian lineup might be and sought to place our two strongest players against the two players that we perceived to be their weakest in order to guarantee the two wins we needed (not that there's any such thing as a weak Russian Carcassonne player). If all went as planned, Jackface and I were sacrificed against their strongest players so that Uhome and ted the notty bear could get the wins, with wallaceprime placed in a likely loss but possible win that would give us the match if the tiles were on our side.

As it happened this is almost what occurred with the exception being that Russian captain and former world champion "Someone you know" was absent from their team which left their top two players as mikhail-rus (who played Jackface) and 71st (who played wallaceprime). Both of these duels went to a third game and both were very close indeed. Jack's game was settled by which player could draw the last remaining crrf tile. This went to mikhail-rus who used it to complete a city and then went on to win the game by three points, and therefore the duel, 2 - 1. wallaceprime's game was similarly unlucky and went to the Russian by nine points. My match with sergt was fairly unremarkable. We had an interesting history in that I'd won three of our five previous encounters but always by 17 points. This led to me fearing that I couldn't win unless by exactly 17 points, but thankfully I was able to win both games by 26 points after being ridiculously fortunate with my cloister-drawing in the first game and then winning a game-deciding farm in a much more exciting second game.

It appeared that our tactic had paid off elsewhere in that Uhome was able to win his duel against alenezavr comfortably, and ted the notty bear beat nyuka after their duel went to a deciding third game. This was a much better result than we'd anticipated as, not only had we won the two duels we needed, but we'd won a third duel to win the match and had become the only team in our group to snatch a victory against the mighty Russians! There was much talk about gin and mankinis as we prepared ourselves for the knock-out stage and an upcoming clash against the Polish team...




One final thing to share is this screenshot of the tracker I've been using to track points difference (points won - points scored against) in all of the teams matches so far from both the World and European Team Championships that have been held this year. Up until our match with the Russians we had scored exactly 1 point more than had been scored against us. But that's now up to 104 thanks to three convincing wins and two marginal losses against Russia. Interestingly, our best match (in terms of PD) up until this point had been in Round 1 of the World Team Championship where we lost to the Netherlands but still scored 36 points more than they scored against us in the process! Does any of this mean anything? Probably not, I just like the numbers. 8)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 03:30:20 AM by danisthirty »

Offline DrMeeple

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2020, 04:12:32 AM »
Congratulations Dan! Hope you win the tournament! We didn't pass finally... the level is very high and when the teams are very equal luck most of the time decides.
Keeping hope for UK!

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Offline danisthirty

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 10:05:53 AM »
Last night was a big night for the UK team as we faced the winners of Group B in the European Team Championships quarter-final! :(y)

This was not a match I was particularly looking forward to as there were some scheduling "difficulties" since the captain of the Polish team and I struggled to find a mutually convenient timeslot for the match. It ended up being played at a time that didn't really suit us, but which we had little choice over, so the final result felt like an appropriate outcome: 8)



Although they're a very strong team, we got a good win against them in the World Team Championships earlier this year when ted the notty bear was victorious over dr_atomic, I snuck 2 wins past Merlin_89 and Rosco Red - man of the match, if not the entire tournament - achieved a convincing 2 - 0 win over TerranPL! This time both teams offered a similar lineup to our previous encounter. For Poland, Merlin_89 had been replaced by Misney_PL and for us, ted the notty bear had been replaced by statmatt. Here's how we got on:



It was a slightly unusual match in that 4 of the 5 duels were 2 - 0 wins, with only one duel (mine) going to a deciding game. A mistake with his penultimate tile (and some bad luck before it) led to the first game of the duel between Rosco and dr_atomic going to Poland irrespective of the excellent battle that had gone before it. Undeterred, Rosco fought back hard in the second game but couldn't compete against the growing farm controlled by dr_atomic that eventually gave him the second game and thus the duel. wallaceprime looked as though he was in for a similar battering in the first game of his duel with Misney_PL but was somehow (incredibly) able to turn it into a 1-point victory! This was possible thanks to his control over a worthwhile farm and a large (but incomplete) city that just about balanced out the constantly-growing threat of a vast mega-city that his opponent had gotten to within a single tile of completion over the course of the game. The second game was very different, with wallaceprime seeming to keep control from start to finish regardless of what the tiles had in store. A (very) comfortable win by 38 points gave us our first duel and brought the match score back to a tie: 1 - 1.

Elsewhere, Jackface was struggling against Gr3yDeath who seemed to be able to keep him on the backfoot through an exceptional knowledge of the remaining tiles. With less than a dozen tiles to go, it seemed the game could still have gone either way but several 50/50 tiles draws including the final all-important fffr cloister went against Jack and he lost the game by 10 points. Their second game quickly turned into an all-out farm-war. Jack built up an impressive army of farmers on a seperate farm adjacent to the main field, but still needed any rrrx tile to join them to take the whole farm outright. Sadly, the tiles had other ideas and even thwarted his final desperate attempt to tie the farm (with yet another farmer!) by giving the remaining ccrr tile to his opponent. The second game went to Poland, along with their second duel. :(

My first game with TerranPL (who had won the Polish national championship the previous day) was absolute carnage :-[. He has a 2 - 0 record against me based on previous encounters and this game seemed to follow the familiar pattern that he outplayed me in every respect. He got off to a good start with a big city and another to follow, and never really looked back. Despite me fighting him for the main field (which I eventually won) he had such a big lead from the strong start he'd gotten off to that I was always behind and couldn't come close to finding the points I needed to put up much of a fight. I lost the game by 47 points (the team's biggest PD - positive or negative - to date) and felt utterly outclassed :'(. However, after taking a moment to remind myself that this is Carcassonne and that anything can happen, I wiped all memory of the first game from my head before starting the second (hence why I'm struggling to recall much of the detail) and went into it feeling hopeful that it wasn't too late to turn things around. As it happened, it wasn't! ;) The misfortunate that Ross and Jack had suffered in their games was paid back to me tenfold! Not so much in the second game where TerranPL seemed happy to let me complete a large city without really challenging it, but certainly in our decider where I drew the final cccf that my opponent needed to finish a large city of his and also the final crrf that I needed to finish a city of my own! I lost control of the main farm towards the very end of the game, but the duel had already been won by then. It was 2 - 2!

The final duel of the evening was statmatt against former Polish national and world champion (2017) - UY_Scuti. Although we hadn't seen their lineup before submitting our own and didn't know for sure whether he would be playing, it seemed inevitable that he would be, and almost as inevitable that he would win regardless of who he played. Thankfully Matt had other ideas! Their first game was a very interesting one to watch as it isn't entirely clear (to me) what UY_Scuti does wrong that ultimately leads to his downfall by the huge margin of a single point. However, Matt did a fantastic job of continuing to give it his best even when it looked as though things were going against him and found an opportunity to take a 12-point shared farm outright. :(y) Despite everything else that he seemed to have going against him, this represented an incredible breakthrough in that UY_Scuti had lost a game and Matt was halfway towards winning us our all-important third duel of the match! The second game got off to an exciting start with Matt putting together what looked to be a promising city. UY_Scuti was always going to recognise the threat this posed and attack it accordingly, but it was the early drawing of the cccc tile that really killed Matt's hopes of keeping the city to himself. However, while the city was never completed, various parts of it ended up being tied which was a big advantage to Matt who had managed to build up a worthwhile lead from a few short roads and small cities elsewhere. Something else that worked to his advantage was that he managed to trap two of UY_Scuti's meeples (one on a cloister and another on an adjacent city cap) which really hindered him in the ongoing battle for control. I was a little surprised to see UY_Scuti join Matt's farmer onto his own more-valuable farm purely so that he could take a 4-point road, but as the game edged ever closer to completion it became increasingly clear that Matt was going to win this game too! A last attempt of UY_Scuti's to take the main farm outright was thwarted when his final tile turned out to be a ccff rather than the ccrr that Matt drew, and with that, the score was 3 - 2 to us and we were through to the semi-finals!

So that was that! We've now beaten the winners of both groups A and B, and are ready to face the German team (after they beat the Netherlands 4 - 1) later this week. Interestingly enough, the Germans are now the only remaining team from Group B as Russia and Ukraine were also in Group A with us. I'd love for a win for both us and Ukraine purely for the shock value of a final between us - nobody would have expected that! But to be honest, I'm more than happy to face the Russians again. We just need to beat Germany first. Wish us luck! O:-)



« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 11:37:40 AM by danisthirty »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2020, 11:24:45 AM »
What table results is for match Czechia vs Russia?

Offline DrMeeple

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2020, 12:26:46 PM »
Congratulations Dan! Hope you will win the tournament!! You deserve! :D


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Offline danisthirty

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2020, 01:45:36 AM »
What table results is for match Czechia vs Russia?

It isn't unusual for things to go missing on the Carcassonne.cat website as images tend to get overwritten from time to time. This appears to be the case for their image of the Russia vs Czech Republic result. However, I've taken a screenshot of the result from the shared Google doc which the captains have access to for posting scores:



Looks as though the Russian "big three" took fairly comfortable 2 - 0 wins, with a fourth win for them going to a deciding game after the second game was tied and so went to bormar as alenezavr would have been the starting player (starting player loses the game in the event of a tie). The only duel for the Czech team being Hurtle_cz's win over Muzhachello.

Congratulations Dan! Hope you will win the tournament!! You deserve! :D

Thanks! I hope so too! In a post about the semi-finals, Carcassonne.cat say this:

Quote from: Carcassonne.cat website
On the one hand, Russia, the best team in the first phase, will face Ukraine, a team that has improved its position in relation to the world championship. On the other, Germany, one of the favorites to win before starting the competition, will face one of the great sensations of the championship, England.

Win or lose, being described as a great sensation is a great sensation... 8)

Offline Halfling

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2020, 01:47:21 AM »
You beat me to it Dan!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2020, 01:52:44 AM »


Offline Meepledrone

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Re: European Team Championships
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2020, 02:35:09 AM »
Best of lucks and enjoy, Dan!  :(y) :(y)


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