I started in Wooden Ships and Iron Men with a single frigate engagement against Tim Hitchings, the event coordinator. I won largely due to die luck; for a good stretch of the game, I couldn't roll lower than '4,' and he couldn't roll higher than '3.' It's hard to lose under those conditions.
I followed with a match-up against Rob from Alexandria, VA, my two Spanish 80- and 74-gun ships-of-the-line (SOLs) against his similarly rated vessels. I won that engagement as well, partly due to basic naval gunnery tactics (concentrate both broadsides on a single target, take down one mast, then switch fire to hull and blast away) and partly due again to die luck (although not as egregious as in the frigate battle). I was by no means unscathed; through effective use of chain shot, Rob completely demasted my 80-gun SOL. At one point he tried to perform an end run by pulling his rear SOL out of line and upwind, away from my fire, then rigging full sails, and attempting to sprint around the far side of his lead SOL to turn down wind and attempt to set up a rake on my rear SOL. I was pretty tight with my line and maneuver, though, and managed to re-form my line along the wind in such a way that instead of firing on my rear, he faced a combined broadside as he made his attempted raking maneuver. Meanwhile, I was able to keep up the barrage on his lead SOL until she struck her colors. At that point Rob felt that he was unlikely to pull out a win (particularly under tournament time constraints), and he conceded the battle.
I had an opportunity to introduce Trains Planes and Automobiles to Laurie W. and Jenna S., the adults running the Juniors Room. (There were few children present at the time, and those were all engaged in other games already.) The adults seemed interested in learning a new family game, and it went over very well. I'm optimistic they will look for it in the Vendors Room tomorrow, when Worthington Games will have it available for sale.
I competed in the 7 Wonders tournament at a very fun table of seven people, including Stefan from Montreal. I came in a very close second place (112 points over two games). There were 25 tables and 42 seats in the quarterfinal, so my strong second-place finish qualified me for the quarterfinal. Unfortunately, there I had my worst showing ever, with 36 points and a solid lock on seventh place. So that was it for 7W for me this convention.
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher delivered a seminar that amounted to a summary of his lecture notes on game design, with a great deal of Q&A and interaction among the audience members, who included Joe Angiolillo, designer of Objective Moscow and Operation Typhoon (although he denied deserving credit for that latter title), among others. It was a rich and fascinating session that ran so long that I skipped the Agricola heat scheduled for later in the evening.
After my friends Keith F. and Brian G. finished in Agricola (Keith won his table), we went over to the open gaming area, where I introduced them to Citadels. Keith won our game, a victory I think I could have snatched from him if I'd properly played the assassin against the architect (rather than the warlord), which would have prevented him from building his eighth district and getting sufficient bonus points to outscore me. Curses!
Today's plan includes more WS&IM, more opportunities to introduce kids to TPA, Alhambra (or maybe Agricola - there's a conflict), demos of Tikal and Washington's War, a seminar on gaming and ethics, and opportunities to play Battleline, Ingenious, and Liar's Dice.