This year's tournament ended with Bill blowing away the competition (Dan, James, Keith) by over 40VP in the final, a game of Castles of Burgundy, chosen by the league's winner, James.
I wasn't able to make the last league game (Caylus) and Bill took the chance to sit in for me and prevent Ian from winning it, to snatch away from Ian the place in the final.
This year was my lowest ever league ranking (15th of 16), due to one missed game, the usual cock-ups – I paid too much for jesters in Princes of Florence and completely messed up Brass – and being stitched in Samurai and Katana. I got cornered on Sakado islands and Bill and Paul D. played the tsunami card twice to prevent me from attacking. The most frustrating game in a long time: I spent half of it just watching others play, and came obviously last. My surprising win at Castles of Burgundy, a game I don't enjoy (like last year's win at Village) was the only consolation.
Getting back to the final, David, Ed, Paul D. and I had an enjoyable evening. To quote David:
Our group started with Vintage, a highly thematic game about the production of Port-wine in the Douro valley. It is a fairly simple, reasonably quick worker-placement game and is certainly one of my favourites in this genre. I think that it was not as popular as it might have been because it came from a less-known Portuguese company and was published at about the same time as Vinhos. At least I can usually guarantee to get Michel involved as he translated the English version of the rules. The board-art is IMO particularly nice – functional, with all the move-options clearly illustrated. We finished the evening with Ra, which is auctioning in its purest form and still well worth playing.