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UK Carcassonne Championship 2022 - NEC, Birmingham 05/06/2022

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Despite my pessimistic/realistic prediction yesterday on the morning of the tournament that I had probably less than 50 % chance of even making it to the knockout stages, here I am, the new 2022 UK Champion  :yellow-meeple:

I really thought with such numerous strong and high Elo opponents that I stood little chance of getting anywhere near my 3rd place position of last year.

It started well with a 1st round game against a relatively inexperienced lady who ran out of meeples after only around 20 tiles. I blocked all except 1 of her meeples and won by over 50 points.

My heart sank when I found my 2nd round opponent was Alexey_LV! We had never played before (he thought we had), and I thought 'here comes my first loss'! If I remember correctly, Alexey won the farms and completed a juicy city, but I had enough ruins to win by 2 points. Crucially - as I had no meeples by this point - I prevented him getting a 9 point farm by blocking access to it, so he could only get 6 points and I squeezed the victory. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but I spotted my hands were shaking during Alexey's game - stress/nervousness/excitement does strange things to you when you're under pressure.

All went well - wins against Uhome and Andrew Page (previous UK champion) - until I came up against evereverever in the 5th round. I made an initial poor placement of an awkward straight city splitter which ended-up with 2 of my meeples trapped for around 15 points. My second poor choice came when - with the same city - I had the chance to trap 2 of my meeples and 1 of Nic's for a net gain of 11 points. Instead, I was greedy and went for potential completion and an almost guaranteed win, and Nic immediately got the perfect tile to score 8 points, get a meeple back, and trap my meeples. I was utterly out-farmed and Nic deserved the win.

My last group round was against ted the notty bear, last year's winner, who had beaten me by 2 points in last year's group stages. Ven and I had an epic farming battle, but I managed to keep a few cities compartmentalised in my own farms so my ruins pushed me 2 points ahead at the end, and that gave me the 5th win required get to the knockout stages

My semi-final was against Chris Tucker, who had beaten me in last year's semi-final with a self-admitted lucky streak at the very end. In this year's game - and sorry if this is a bit of a blur - I recovered my Lucky-Godliness deficit from last year's semi-final o get a good buffer of points at the start that Chris couldn't recover from. Chris was just not able to get the tiles he needed to take control/equalise 2 separate farms, either of which might have changed the outcome, but both needed the same road bend... which I got >:D

The final, against Uhome, did not get off to a good start for me. I think he had over 30 points before I even got on the scoreboard. He had a couple of cloisters and an initial meeple in a decent farm. I was hoping to section-off his farm from another couple of cities, but he got the perfect bend to join them in. I eventually finished a decent city and road that gave me a meeple back to give me a fighting chance with 2 meeples in hand. Unfortunately, by this point he had a second farmer (to my none!) to protect a lucrative 7 or 8 city farm. It looked very bleak for me, but I got another meeple back and knew I had to get some more points before even thinking about attacking the farm. This worked well and I completed 1 city and got another nearly complete.

In the last few moves I got 1 farmer in and another waiting.  I was really hoping I was going to win by time default since Daniel had spent a lot of his time thinking earlier and had only around 1 minute remaining on his clock when there were 10 tiles remaining. However, Daniel played his final tile and meeple with 2 SECONDS to spare! My final (or possibly penultimate) tile got my equalising farmer in and, when the incomplete features were counted, I had won by 1 point! I had started the game, so if we had tied in points, he would have won since the first player is rightly deemed to have the advantage. It was a thrilling finale to the championship and one I can hardly believe. It certainly gave the spectators an interesting game to watch :yellow-meeple:

That win lets me represent the UK at the World Championships in Essen, in Germany, latter in the year in October.


Congrats @wallaceprime !  ;D ;D ;D

How are you goint to celebrate it? Still a long wait until October...

Congrat Wallaceprime! Well done making your way past some very strong opponents in an amazing field!
Too bad I couldn't be there this year, but I'll be there to watch you play in Essen!

Oooooh! Is it your first trip to Essen, or can you recommend somewhere convenient to stay?

It's my first time going there, so I have no idea whatsoever! Just hope I can get some nice croissants for breakfast  ;D


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