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Topics - wallaceprime

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General / Luckiest Escape!
« on: June 20, 2022, 06:58:43 AM »
What your luckiest escape in a game of Carcassonne?

Mine might have been this lunchtime in the first round of a Single Elimination knockout tournament against a 100 Elo player.
She kept getting cloisters and completing them while I had to wait until my final tile to close a crucial city. Amazingly the result was a tie, so I only lost 9 Elo - phew!!
Due to the vagaries of the BGA system, I was put through to the next round  ;D
A lucky escape indeed!

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.

General / Biggest game you've played?
« on: May 02, 2022, 08:49:04 AM »
Yesterday my son and I finished printing and sticking a whole bunch of forest and additional ocean tiles.
Today, we had our biggest game: we started with 497 tiles and it took 3 hours 15 minutes.
I think we could add another 100 to 150 tiles if we added the last felt-covered segment to our table.
What do the rest of you play your really big games on?

General / Ping!
« on: May 01, 2022, 08:39:26 AM »
Does it count as psychological abuse if, every time I score a point from the fairy at the start of a turn, I irritatingly exclaim, "Ping!"?
It makes my son wince every time I do it, if only because it reminds him he forgot to take control of the fairy on his previous turn, but I guess that's just one of the unspoken benefits of parenthood.

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