Author Topic: Belgian tournament  (Read 1208 times)

Offline Death Meeple

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Belgian tournament
« on: January 29, 2024, 04:09:56 AM »
Hi all,

I was deperately lloking for a Carcassonne event in Belgium, contacted Asmodee Belgium who told me there where currently no competition in Belgium, when this event from a belgian association in collaboration with 999 Games appeared in my news feed:

https://www.999games.nl/evenementen/bk-carcassonne-2024?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=event&utm_content=bk-carcassonne&fbclid=IwAR0nK5tHzPbj-DNJGAz_XQbK6tEuHQKxBIIOZWDGl9BoBrxMOIO31kBwIQ8

So there is a tournament in Belgium on 16 March 2024, what a great news!
If there are other belgian members on the forum, maybe we'll meet there :)

BTW: I contacted 999 Games as the event is located in the Dutch speaking pas of Belgium, they confirmed it's not a problem for people speaking French, and someone on a Facebook group told me he went last year and most people are ok to speak english :)

See you there!



Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6578.0

Offline Willem

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2024, 09:16:41 AM »
Asmodee don't distribute Carcassonne in Belgium, I believe it's 999 Games for both NL and Belgium.
And they usually outsource the organisation of both BE and NL championships, although they sponsor it of course.

With Belgium being bilingual, I would imagine it shouldn't be an issue for french speaking people to join in.
The only thing I'm not sure of is if there are any rules regarding entry.
Some countries have rules stating you're only allowed to participate if you live in the country, or have the nationality.
For the Dutch championship I know you can always enter, however you are only allowed to represent NL at the World Championships if you have the Dutch nationality (last year the tournament was won by someone from Belgium, so te runner up went to Essen (and came in 3rd overall)

Good luck! The 4-player games can be tricky and catch people out, so best to practise those!
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Offline Death Meeple

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2024, 11:46:28 PM »
Well, I understood Asmodee distributes it for the french speaking part of Belgium and 999 Games for the dutch speaking part?
I can find Carcassonne on Asmodee Belgium website, and just like the games I can find in physical shops, they are all labelled with the Z-Man Games logo.

Also, I had an issue in an expansion box bought in a physical shop (the count meeple was broken), I contacted Asmodee Belgium, they freely replaced the meeple (and even included free tiles in the package), so I guess they must have some role to play in the distribution over here?

Belgium is a complex country... Even us belgians don't always understand it :D


I didn't knew it wasn't mandatory to have the nationality to play in a national competition, maybe this will give me the opportunity to play elsewhere :)
We were originally planning to travel to Carcassonne next summer for the event in Carcassonne, but I understood it was sadly limited to people living in France :(


About the 4-player games: indeed, someone who played last year told me about it, and suggested to join him on BGA to practice some 4-player games before the event. I highly prefer 2-player games, as I think luck impacts the game heavier in multi player games, and I prefer the competitive mindset induced by 2-player games... But let's see and hope we can pass these steps to join the duel phase! :D

It will be a first time for me and I'm only playing for 6 months, I don't think I can win against good players (I'm on BGA for a week and the lesson is hard! :D ), but I'm sure I'll enjoy the day!

Offline Vital Pluymers

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2024, 12:06:04 PM »
In former years, there were regularly participants from other countries, obviously especially from the Netherlands.
If you speak English, French or even German, it shouldn't be a problem to communicate with most of the participants.

Offline Willem

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2024, 01:25:31 PM »
I think the distribution might be more split per language rather than country specific.
And yes, a bilingual country like Belgium makes something like that more complex.
999 Games has the distribution of the game in Dutch, Asmodee France (under the Z-Man Games brand) have it in French.
So it makes sense for both to be involved in the Belgian market.
(And I would argue in some parts in the east you could expect some German releases from HiG/Asmodee Germany, but let's not complicate it further)

In the early days (when HiG was doing the publishing in French themselves), 999 Games even included some french rules in some expansion boxes. This stopped, probably at similar time of when Filosofia took in the french distribution.
It gets complex hahaha

The rules regarding the national championships can and will differ between countries, so do read up on that.
For some you have to have the nationality, for some you have to live there, for some you can enter but just not represent the country at the world championships (if you win).
One thing to note, is that the world championship rules state that you're only allowed to enter 1 national championship per year. Meaning you are technically not allowed to travel to a bunch of countries to try and win one and enter the world championships that way.
If you don't win any national championship, then this wouldn't come up, but just a note from the world championships rules.

If you want to practise a bit on 4-player games, I'm happy to join some as well. Look me up on BGA (Willem88), and do send me a DM here as I dont always get BGA notifications

Offline Death Meeple

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2024, 11:08:29 PM »
I contacted Asmodee Belgium about this tournament: they were not aware of it, as they confirmed Asmodee distributes Carcassonne in the french speaking part of the country, and 999 Games distributes it in the dutch speaking part of the country.

Indeed, I guess a third editor might take care of the german speaking part of Belgium :)


@Willem, I added you on BGA, and will tell the person setting up the 4-players game to add you as well so you can join us :)

Offline Decar

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2024, 12:29:18 AM »
Good luck with the tournament in March!  And thanks for letting us know about it!

Offline Death Meeple

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Re: Belgian tournament
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2024, 03:37:30 AM »
So, the tournament was this weekend, I guess it deserves a feedback!  :D

We came in at 9:00 with my girlfriend, registration were planned to start at 9:30 and first row of 4-players game at 10:00.
We soon met 3 members of the French speaking Facebook group, wich was very nice as we were the only 5 French speakers of the tournament, while there are more than 90 players!

It started a bit late (10:30 - 10:45). At that point, we were both feeling relaxed in comparison to other players who seemed to be there for a win... As we play for a few months only, we had no hope of winning and were there for the fun!

A lot of explanations before the first game, in Dutch only so we couldn't get a word of it, and as far as I can understand, here is the way the selection took place:

-Each player receives points depending on his results of each game (winner gets 5 points, 4 if ex-aequo, 2nd gets 3 points, 3rd gets 2 points and 4th gets 1 point). For later games, players are selected to play with people who have the same amount of points.

-After 3 games, the 16 contestants with the best score are selected to play the 1/8 finals. Unselected players play 2 more 4-players game to confirm their position in the general classification.

-Tables are placed in a way you can get an idea of your place in the competition: the closer to the table 1 (with the camera for steraming the game), the better.

Players are dispatched at each table, and it's time to finally start the first game of the day!

-Game 1: wow, what a change! I'm used to play in a comfy place (my house, or friend's house), with people I know very well, mostly 1 vs 1... The atmosphere here changes it all! Big place, many people around, I don't know any person at my table, and everyone speaks Dutch... Now, I understand the shaking hands Fabian (an other French speaking player) told me about earlier!
Fortunately, players at my table are kind enough to speak English and the game begins.
I'm the player 1, so I'm closer to the scoreboard, this means I move scoring meeple for everyone. Not a good thing tbh, as I have to focus on everyone's current scoring in addition on focusing on my own strategy. My main target is not to end up 4th of my table, as this wouldn't be encouraging for my very first competition.
I manage to wisely place meeples in other players features, and end up to be 2nd of my table (huge gap between 1st player and me, and also a huge gap betwenn me and the 2 other players). I'm really happy of this first game, we gather around with the other French speakers, and I learn my gf ended up 3rd of her table... Not too bad for a first time!

-Game 2: I'm called suuuuper early! Wow, I wasn't expecting that: obviously, scores on the scoreboard also helps to sort people at tables. I had a decent result, this means I'm one of the first "second at his table" player to be called, close to the top tables... I'm nervous, but I'm not player 1 this time and I can focus on my strategy more easily. It becomes clear at the middle of the game that I'll be 2nd once again, and I'm once again really happy about it. Same pattern as previous game: large gap between 1st player and me, and large gap between me and 2nd and 3rd players.
Other French speakers had good results too, my gf managed to win her table! We all have pretty good positions in the general classification, and we have chances to be selected for the 1 vs 1!

-Game 3: Once again, I'm placed among the top tables, and so is my gf, playing the table just next to me. What a first competition!
I manage to share the largest farm, and we spot an illegal meeple placement at the end of the game (placed on a 3 points farm wich was actally already linked to the big farm). No one noticed it, and to stay fair, we decide to grant the player 2 points (closest road, where she could have placed it).
I'm 2nd once again... 2 points behind the player with the illegal placement! We could have shared the win if we paid more attention during the game to this meeple... But this doesn't really change the competition, so I'm ok with it.
My gf is 3rd of her table, and the 3 other French speakers have very good results!

Selection is announced for the 1/8 finals, the 3 other French speakers are selected, but we are not... Close, but not enough!
I also notice 2 of the players I played with earlier are selected, this probably means I wasn't that bad at the 4-players game?  ;D

This means we still have two 4-players game to play.

-Game 4: the other players include one of the former champion of the belgian tournament... And the situation I was hoping not to meet hapens: 2 players team up against me (placing tiles in the clear advantage of their one opponent - bringing them less points but leaving me way behind), and I end up as 4th of my table... Really disappointed about that game, but that's what 4 players game are, I guess...

-Game 5: roads, roads roads! That's all I pick! 4 turning roads in a row (after straight rouads... And crossroads... City tiles where are you?), what am I supposed to do with it? We even laugh with other players when I show my tiles each turn...
I manage to place my meeples in a few features, but everything I try is left uncompleted. I litteraly end the game with 0 on the scoreboard!
Final evaluation brings in a decent amount of point, but that's clearly not enough... Sadly, 4th at the table once again.

So, while I was not too bad at the beginning (around 34th on the general classification I think), I'm now down to the end of the classification... And so is my gf.
Still very happy for the 3 other French speakers in the top 16, and especially for Fabian, who is 5th!

We stay until the prizes are given, and as all contestant, we receive the Nordic Map (999 Games, so in Dutch) and some map tokens.

We come back home exhausted, it was a very long fay (very long waits between games!), but happy we took part in the competition!


Now, a few pros and cons we noticed about the competition:

Pros:
-It's super cheap! Registration is 10€ and includes 4 food/drink token, these tokens are cheap as well, and everyone gets a prize... Honnestly, this is really great!

-A competition in Belgium? Great, this is the only opportunity for us to play Carcassonne IRL in a tournament!

-Things are made to ease the process for the players. Score papers are prepared, with names and all, it's easy to report everyone's results.

-Many prizes! About half players will receive at least 1 new board game.

-We met other players, and once again... The 3 other French speakers, especially.
This was really nice, and I'm sure we'll see each other again, probably even for Carcassonne games at each other places!

Cons:
-4-players game... Seriously? As we discussed with other players: next year, just throw dices to decide who's in the 16 for the finals and who is not. Several Belgian Champions left behind due to this, games are more based on luck, and it just can't reflect the skills of each players. Surely it select some good players, but does it select the best? I don't think so.
This also means most players can't show anything in 1 vs 1 since they only play 4-players game, and that I actually played against a total of 15 players (over 90 in total!)... Not really representative on one's final position in the general classification.
Surely, starting with 1 vs 1 would require more people to collect the data and dispatch tables, but this would be a HUGE plus for the players, with more relevant results.

-toooo long! Time between games was really long, this break the entertainement in my opinion... I know my gf won't participate again, mainly due to this. A lot of data is entered manually by 1 person, it would be great to find a more efficient way (maybe an algorithm or something?). Also, making this point efficient would allow the previous point to be taken in serious consideration :)

-not enough food, all sandwiches were sold rather quickly, that was a bit too short regarding the number of people attending the event

-Belgian Tournament... 100% Dutch! All explanations throughout the day are done in Dutch, games as prizes are in Dutch (not a big deal if you only need to find the rules, but for games with cards and stuff it's impossible to play if you don't speak the language), promo for the event is only done in Dutch, and as a result, barely all players are Dutch speakers (and speak together in Dutch at the tables when there is no need to involve French speakers in the talk).
Actually, I can't blame the organisators for this. I also organise some events in Wallonia and it's in French only, you can't translate everything and repeat it just for 5 people on the event.
Receiving vocal info given on D-Day in english (by mail or other) would have been great for us to understand, but the main thing is... Why to set up a National Tournament if there is 0 promotion in half the country (the French speaking part)? It's probably eliminating half the players of the country just because of this...
It would make way much more sense to call it the Flemmish Tournament, and to have a second one in Wallonia, the Wallonian Tournament... And then a final between the top players of both event on an other day?
There, you'd have a real Belgian Tournament... Asmodee Belgium, we are waiting for you to make a move for us French speakers!  ;D



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