Thurn & Taxis Online Tournament

Season 7 Standings

As games end the standings are updated. See how each Group is doing and check on your friends and rivals.

Lifetime standings can be seen HERE.

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Tournament Results

Thurn & Taxis Online Tournament
Season 7 Report Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results. Use the form below. Be sure to add the seat number of the player who triggered the game end.

If you have problems using the form on this page CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM.

Game Assignments

Season 7 Matches

Our Thurn & Taxis tournaments use the online implementation at www.yucata.de. We use the original version of the game – no expansion content, and no special options.

Players are sorted into leagues of 7 players based on previous results.  In a season, each player plays in 4 games. Each other member of your league will be in 2 games against you. See scoring rules below.

Divisions are based on previous Season results. New players enter at the bottom level for their first season.

If you have trouble viewing the list below, click here to see just the listing.

Thurn & Taxis Season 7
Sign Ups are Closed

Fill out this form to receive an announcement about the next season. Click on the title below if you have trouble using the embedded form:

Sign up for Future Seasons 

Last Season Results

 

Kyle Smith continued his dominance by winning again Season 6.  Kyle has won 3 of the last 4 seasons, and HALF of the first six season of Thurn & Taxis at Meeple League.  He is proving why he has the reputation among tournament gamers for being the top Thurn & Taxis player in the world.  In fact, you have to go all the way back to Alex Bove’s Season 2 win to find a non-Smith victory, as Kyle’s wife Hilary won Season 4.

Kyle and Alex remain as the only two players who have played in every season in Division 1 thus far.  Rob Murray trails these two by one after being relegated for Season 5 and winning his way back in for Season 6.  

Joining the top ranks for Season 7 are power-gamer Andrew Emerick, and Rob Kircher who returns to Division 1 after a few seasons fighting through Division 2.

 

Lifetime standings can be seen HERE.

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Tournament Results

BFGCon to hold Meeple League games

BFGCon is a brand new convention starting up this year in Frederick Maryland.  BFGCon will offer a variety of game types and events, and for this first year the Meeple League will be sponsoring two events:

Ticket to Ride (Fri March 23 8pm)
Splendor (Sat March 24 3pm)

Players can sign up early for the tournaments on Warhorn, and if spots are still open they can sign up on site.

 

We’re really excited to be part of this fun new event – come on down and check it out!

 

 

2018 Meeple League Games and Events

2018 Live Play Lineup

The games listed below are the 2018 Meeple League games for live events. Tournaments in these games will be sanctioned and tracked all year starting with our kick-off events: Total Confusion 32 and PrezCon 25, both in February.

  • Castles of Burgundy
  • Catan
  • Great Western Trail
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Splendor
  • Stone Age
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars and Great Western Trail are new this year.

Online Tournaments Growing

We now have 5 active online tournament games:

  • Brass
  • Castles of Burgundy
  • Thurn & Taxis
  • Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
  • Agricola (1st edition)

All the games have run multiple seasons and have or will be soon starting their 2018 Year. At the end of this year, a 2018 Online Player of the Year will be determined. Watch for details (but playing a lot helps)!

 

 

Agricola Online Tournament

Sign Ups Open for Season 6 of the Agricola Online Tournament

Players are sorted into groups of 7 players based on previous results.  In a season, each player plays in 4 games. Each other member of your group will be in 2 games against you. See scoring rules below.

Divisions are based on previous Season results. New players enter at the bottom level for their first season.

Our Agrcola tournaments use the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. We use the original version of the game with drafting.

You’ll receive a notice in your email once the pairings are ready. If you do sign up, you are committing to checking the website a couple of times on most days (it’s OK if something comes up every once in a while, or if you’re out of town for a weekend (for example), but in general we’re hoping game lengths will be measured in weeks not months.

If you want to play, please sign up below by using the form OR click on the link for just the form in a tab:

Sign Up for Season 6

Season 5 Standings

As games end the standings are updated. See how each league is doing and check on your friends and rivals. You can see lifetime standings HERE.

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Tournament Results

Report Season 5 Agricola Online Tournament Game Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results using the form below.

If you have trouble using the form shown, click on the title below to open the form in its own tab or window.

Game Report Form

Season 5 Game Assignments

This Agricola league uses the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. Games must be created with the Tournament mode setting (which just means the banned list used in most tournaments is implemented) and “Draft 7” will be used to distribute occupations and minor improvements from all 3 of the implemented decks: E, I, and K, though there are a few cards from the printed version of the game that have not been implemented  (see the article about online Agricola).

Be sure to name the game using the game name below and invite the other players listed. Any player may set up the game, but the winner of each game is responsible for entering the results using the form further down the page.

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Game Assignments

Previous Season Results

The results of the last season are here. The overall standings are on a separate page. Please see the menu under Standings.

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Tournament Results

NEW: Online Player of the Year in 2018

The Meeple League is proud to announce that we’re adding a new plaque to next year’s awards:

Online Player of the Year

We will keep track of everyone’s performance across all of our online leagues using the following point system:

  1. You get points equal to the league points you accumulate in every game you play, so the usual 10 points for 1st place in a game, 6 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 point for finishing in 4th place.
  2. You get bonus points for each game you win
    1. 1-point bonus for winning a game in Division 3
    2. 2-point bonus for winning a game in Division 2
    3. 3-point bonus for winning a game in Division 1
  3. You also get bonus points for winning your group
    1. 2-point bonus for winning a Group in Division 3
    2. 5-point bonus for winning a Group in Division 2
    3. 10-point bonus for winning a Group in Division 1

One of our goals was to acknowledge the (much) tougher strength of schedule and accomplishment of winning the top divisions, while also making sure you didn’t need to be playing in the top Divisions to win this. Using the points above it works out that crushing a Division 3 Group 4-0-0-0 is worth about the same amount of points as winning 2 games and narrowly taking the Group in Division 1. This is our first year doing an Online Player of the Year, so there’s no guarantee we got all weights tuned correctly, but we feel pretty good about this as a starting point. Meanwhile, it is pure point accumulation, so the more leagues you play in, the more points you can get.
We currently run leagues for 5 games: Agricola, Brass, Castles of Burgundy, Through the Ages, and Thurn and Taxis. If we add any new games during 2018, they will count, too. For whatever it’s worth, we started our first two leagues in January and over the course of 2017 we ran 5 seasons of Thurn and Taxis and 4 seasons of Agricola (counting the two seasons that are currently in progress). We expect to open up at least two seasons for registration in December (Through The Ages season 2 and Castles of Burgundy Season 4) and those will count as the first events of the 2018 year.
Good luck and have fun!

Andy Latto’s Tie-Break Rationale

Andy Latto is a very competitive gamer. Beating him at Thurn & Taxis was when I knew I understood the game. Having him win a game that you are teaching him is no longer a surprise. Andy is also generous with his time and talent to the hobby. Andy is the Game Master for the Thurn & Taxis tournament at the World Boardgaming Championships every year. To keep track of his tournament, Andy created a Google Sheets spreadsheet to register and track entrants in the tournament. He has, generously, shared it with other GMs and I will be using it for the 2nd time for my Puerto Rico tournament at WBC this year.

Along with other clever programming throughout, Andy implemented his tie-breaker rules for advancement. As part of the documentation, Andy explains why he uses certain tie-break rules. I found that so interesting (and well explained) that I felt compelled to share just that with other folks who may never explore Andy’s GM spreadsheet. So here, in his own words (and with permission), is Andy Latto’s tournament advancement tie-break philosophy. You may disagree, but if you do, I hope your reasoning is as clear as Andy’s.

Thurn and Taxis tiebreak system is as follows:

Each game you play that you finish first or second, you score points as follows:

  • Win in first game played: 1500 points plus (your score/second place score)
  • Win not in first game played: 1000 points plus (your score/second place score)
  • Second place, 4-player game: 100 points plus 10 * (your score/winner’s score)
  • Second place, 3-player game: 50 points plus 10 * (your score/winner’s score).
  • Top 16 scores qualify for the finals.

This scoring system was designed to fulfill the following goals:

1. Playing never hurts

People should always be encouraged, not discouraged, from playing a game. So I never want to put people in the situation of “I qualify now, but if I play again, and do badly, I might not qualify”. So playing an additional game can only help, not hurt, your qualification score.”

2. Reward achievement, not attendance.

The best players should qualify for the semifinals. Showing up for a heat and finishing last doesn’t show you are a good player; it just shows that you showed up. So points are awarded only for finishing at least average, which in a game with 3 or 4 players, means 1st or 2nd. If you play a heat and finish 3rd or 4th, it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help, either.

3. Scores should only be counted as score differentials.

In many games, a game may be high scoring for everyone or low scoring for everyone, depending on how the game goes. A Thurn and Taxis or Saint Petersburg game with many turns will have higher scores for everyone, but doesn’t mean that everyone is a better player. So the absolute score should never be used in the qualification formula, since it gives an incentive to aim for a high-scoring game, which can be in conflict with the main objective of scoring higher than the other players.

4. Score differentials should be measured by ratios.

If scores are higher, we expect score differentials to be higher, too. So winning 15 to 10 is a more impressive achievement than winning 20 to 15, and should get more tiebreak points. So the tiebreak always measures the ratio of your score to another’s score, rather than a difference. This has the added benefit of producing far fewer ties; since an 18-17 win is just slightly better by ratio than an 18-19 win, exact ratio ties are very rare except when both compared scores are the same.

5. Compare to other good players where possible.

Tournaments will always include some beginners who play poorly and finish with very low scores. The difference in skill, and therefore in score between the best and the worst players can be quite large, and the luck of having a very weak player at your table should not be rewarded. Some luck of the draw is unavoidable, but if we say that it’s unlikely that there will be more than two very weak players at a table, their effect on qualification is minimized if the first player is only compared to the second player, and vice versa, rather than comparing to all players or to an average.

Also, to the extent that one can make plays that target particular other players, I’d rather the first and second player target each other, rather than target the players who are losing, which I think makes a more fun experience for all.

6. Count closeness of seconds as more important than big firsts.

A close second means you did well against a player who won, while a win far ahead of second only means you did well against a player who came in second. There’s less evidence you did well against a good player, so you get fewer tiebreak points.

7. First in a three player game counts as much as first in a four player game, but second in a three player game counts for less than in a four player game.

If first didn’t count as much for three players as four, a player in a three player game would be at a severe handicap in qualifying. A second in a three-player game is easier to achieve than a second in a four-player game, so it counts for less. The fact that you can’t get full credit for a second balances out the fact that it’s easier to get a first.

8. For simplicity, incorporate the HMW (heats: most wins) rules into the formula

Technically, the point formula should only apply if the list of precedence rules for qualification reaches the ‘GM specified tiebreak rule’. But I think it’s easier to understand a rule that says “Add these up; highest score qualifies” than one that says:
“First see who has most wins; then see who has a win in their first heat entered, then…then add these numbers up and see who is highest”
So the size of the bonuses for win in first heat entered, other win, and second place ensure that the standard HMW rules will be followed, with the tiebreak points only mattering in comparing people with the same number of firsts and same number of seconds, and both or neither having a win in first heat entered.

If your tournament is HSW (heats: single win), rather than HMW, so that a win in the first heat entered is more important than two wins, you can achieve this by modifying the points for win in first heat entered to be:

Win in first game played: 5000 points plus (your score/second place score)

Feedback on this scoring system is welcome; email me at andy.latto@pobox.com.

Thanks, Andy, for permission to publish this. If you, gentle reader, have different view, please add it as a comment to this article. If the terminology of tournament structure is unfamiliar, you should read the WBC GM Guidelines at

http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc_gmeventform.html

Agricola Online Season 1 Report

Agricola Season 1 Wrap-Up

by Randy Buehler

Season 1 of the Agricola league was a smashing success, with the Meeple League’s largest turn-out for an online event so far and some great matches up and down the ladder. 77 players signed up to play, which meant 11 leagues spread across four divisions. I was the biggest winner, but by the narrowest of margins as I defeated Sceadeau d’Tela for the Division 1-A crown *on tiebreakers* (3 match wins to 2). Congratulations are also due to Bernt Nodland and Steven LeWinter, who won the two leagues in Division 2 and thus earned spots in the top division for season 2. (Steve’s win was particularly close with only 3 league points separating 1st from 4th in his league.) You can see all the standings HERE.

Season 2 is about to start, and the field has expanded to 96 competitors. That means there will be 7 leagues in division 4 and 14 leagues in total. Good luck to everyone as they try to win promotion, and have fun playing.

With season 1 in the books, I thought it would be interesting to see how accurate the initial seeds were. As you may recall, I did the initial player sort first by looking at BPA laurels and then at Elo ratings on boiteajeux. There has been some debate (bordering on trash talk) about how accurate Elo ratings are, and I saved a copy of everyone’s rating before the season began. I then looked at the absolute value of how far each player’s finish position was from the position that would be predicted by Elo or laurels. (In other words, if you had the 5th highest Elo in your league but finished 1st then you were 4 spots away from where you were predicted to be.)

Laurels did a significantly better job of predicting division 1 than Elo did (8 spots off in total versus 18), but in Division 2-A it was the other way around (20 spots off versus just 4). Meanwhile Division 2-B was close to a wash (12 off for laurels versus 10 off for Elo). If you add up all 3 leagues that included at least some players with laurels, Elo comes out looking a little better at 32 to 40 (or an average of 1.5 spots off per player versus 1.9). Meanwhile in Division 3 there were some major upsets, including division wins from each of the two lowest rated competitors, but Elo was a quite reasonable predictor if you ignore those two players (1.7 spots off per player, or 1.1 spots off per player if you ignore the two outliers).

One surprising fact about season 1 is that only one player managed to collect exactly a first, a second, a third, and also a 4th place finish. Ed Fear is apparently the Epitome of Average. Meanwhile the triple winners club included only 3 people and exactly one person managed to win all four of their games: William F, aka wsefranc, from league 4-D.

There were, unfortunately, some players who played too slowly in season 1. The vast majority of games were done by the end of March and I think that two-month timeline is what folks should see as acceptable (we started in the last few days of January). The truly unfortunate part of having a slow player is that they impact four different games. My only real recourse to deal with this problem is to tell those players they aren’t allowed to play in future Meeple League events, and while most of the slowpokes from season 1 did not choose to sign up again, I did decline one registration attempt for season 2. For the handful of matches which haven’t finished, I treated them as 4-way ties when determining promotion and relegation and I will add the real points to the lifetime standings page once they finally do complete.

All of which brings us to season 2, which has quite a few interesting storylines to follow. A few more well-known WBC ringers have entered the league now (Jon Senn, Eric Wrobel, Josh Cooper, Rob Kircher), but they will have to fight their way up from the bottom. Turambar will be the champion of the pro-Elo crowd as he joins Division 1 and is the only player there without a WBC pedigree. Rob Murray and Petri Savola barely missed getting themselves promoted to division 1 and will be trying to finish the job. Meanwhile Daniel Eppolito will have something to prove as he was a consensus pick to finish in the top 2 of division 1 according to the fantasy league participants, but instead got himself relegated to division 2. In my own case, Agricola has not historically been one of my best game but I have invested a lot of time in the last 18 months or so trying to bring my game up to a world class level. I don’t know if I’m there yet, but I will do my best to claim back-to-back titles.

I’m confident there are many other interesting stories around the players I’m not yet familiar with, but that’s the beauty of a league like this. As the seasons go by we’ll get to see who rises and who falls. Good luck to everyone, and have fun in season 2!

PrezCon Winter Nationals Trip Report

By Marcy Morelli

This was my second year attending PrezCon. It’s a bit of a hike from Suburban Philly – especially in the winter. But Amtrak runs right into Charlottesville and that’s a great way to travel. Charlottesville is the home of the University of Virginia and offers some good sightseeing opportunities for those who are interested in Presidential history.

I arrived Monday evening and the Doubletree shuttle picked me up at the train station. It ended up being too late to pick up my badge, but I was able to catch up with some friends.
The Doubletree Charlottesville is a really great spot for a convention the size of PrezCon. The hotel staff are very well organized and seem appreciative of the convention’s presence. A few employees even seemed interested in learning some games.
Besides the shuttle, a pool with hot tub, and the ubiquitous cookie, the hotel also runs a great restaurant. Breakfast offers a large buffet with made-to-order omelets. Lunch and dinner have a tasty menu and you can call in an order and pick it up at the restaurant. There is also a special stand outside the ballroom that offers drinks, sandwiches, pizza, and some special meals throughout the day. In the late evening, 4 or 5 different pies are available. If you have a car at hand, there are plenty of local eating establishments nearby as well as a Walmart.

I’m primarily a EuroGames tournament gamer, and the conference room layout works well for that. Most tournaments are held in either the large Ballroom, or a few steps away in the Gallery Rooms. The food stand is just outside the Ballroom which makes it easy to catch a quick bite if you don’t have many breaks. The vendors set up in-between while open gaming has a large room downstairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The convention registration desk is organized and well-staffed for the long hours of the convention. Convention Director Justin Thompson is generally floating around keeping tabs on things, but is easy to find if you need him. PrezCon players are friendly and welcoming to newcomers.

Tournaments at PrezCon award plaques to the final table based on the total numbers of players who participated in the game.

Besides the regular tournament line-up PrezCon also holds several mini-cons during the convention: ColumbiaCon, RevCon, and a EuroGames sampler event. The Agricola and Catan tournaments are both regional championships with winners advancing to a National Championship.

PrezCon will also hold a Summer Nationals event in June. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend – you’ll have a great time!

TotalCon 2017 Report

Total Confusion 31 was held in Marlborough Massachusetts on February 23rd to the 26th of 2017. The convention moved to a new venue, the Best Western Royal Plaza. With more space and better lighting the board game space was great to play in and the tournaments were held in separate spaces with less noise and no crowding.

New England Regional Championships are a highlight of the convention. Listed below are the first 3 finishes in each of the 9 New England Championships.

GameChampion2nd3rd
ConcordiaWill WarrenKara MorseAndrew Harris
SplendorAndrew MenardIan DembskyMarvin Birmbaum
Ticket to RideNicholas CheungSteve CostaDean Scungio
St PetersburgAndrew HarrisIan DembskyShelly Thomas
AgricolaRichard J ShayRichard M ShayShelly Thomas
DominionJared RushananAndrew MenardThomas Jarrett
Castles of BurgundyIan DembskyWill WarrenKara Morse
Puerto RicoRichard MeyerAdam ShersonRichard M Shay
Power GridSteve CostaThomas JarrettBill Todd
Stone AgeShelly ThomasMongoJustin Roark

Chairman of the Board: Ian Dembsky

Chairman of the Board is awarded for accumulating the best record in different tournament games. Winning and placing in tournament games earns points, but you can only score for your best game in each tournament. Bonus points are awarded for placing overall in tournaments. Ian won Castles of Burgundy and finished 2nd in Saint Petersburg and Splendor. He also played well in other tournaments. Congratulations Ian.
Catan Regional Qualifier: Ian Dembsky


The Puffing Billy group spends the convention playing railroad themed games and has their own tournament format, giving prizes in the following categories:

Overall Champion: Roger Jarrett

1830: Bruce Beard

Empire Builder: Roger Jarrett

18XX: Bruce Beard

Empire Builder International: Roger Jarrett

There is also a Diplomacy tournament held over the course of convention.
Diplomacy Champ (& Best Italy): Brad Blitstein.

BEST GERMANY: Alan Levin

BEST ENGLAND: Rob Premus

BEST TURKEY: Andrew Katcher

BEST FRANCE: Randy Lawrence-Hurt

BEST AUSTRIA: Jay Aloia

BEST RUSSIA: Steve Cooley

Puzzle for February

The Game: Puerto Rico

By Marcy Morelli, Puzzle Editor

About the Game

Puerto Rico is a classic Economic game created by Andreas Seyfarth. Although originally released in 2002,  it continues to remain a top ten game in the BoardGameGeek rankings.

Most players appreciate that there is very  little luck in Puerto Rico. Each player starts the game with one plantation and 3 doubloons. Each turn a player selects one of the available roles and executes it. Then in turn order each other player also executes the role. The player who selected the role also gets a bonus. The goal of the game is to build an engine of plantations and buildings that allows you to accumulate victory points. At the end of the game, each  player counts the number of victory points collected during the game, and also gains points for the buildings they have purchased.

Your position

This game occurred at Congress of Gamers in late 2016.

 

It is a little less than halfway through the game. On your turn, you were the Governor,  selected the Trader and accumulated a handsome sum of doubloons.

The next player selected the Builder action and purchased a tobacco storage.

Now it’s your turn to build something.

Here’s what your board currently looks like:

Other Players


 

The situation

 

Your Decision

You are a big fan of the 4 point building Guild Hall because you feel it is easiest to obtain the maximum bonus points. With your quarries, you have enough to buy it now. However, it’s a bit early to purchase it. Another alternative would be to buy a good three point building that would help you earn more victory points. This will set you back on funds, and it might take a bit to get more doubloons to purchase a 4 point building.

You consider the following buildings:

Which would you purchase?

  1. Factory
  2. Harbor
  3. Wharf
  4. Guild Hall