Round 2: hakase 3.5-0.5 mith
Another year, another loss to a top 10 seed! At least I got a half point this year. I think I played pretty well in the first two games despite my long hiatus, but the lack of familiarity with Empires definitely doomed me in the last games.
Raze, Hermit, Smugglers, Warehouse, Horse Traders, Mining Village, Golem, Vault, Venture, Peddler, Ritual, Wall
mith 45-45 (25-25) hakase
I opened Horse Traders/Warehouse vs. Horse Traders/Hermit, and won the Peddler split as a result. hakase used Raze and Hermit well to keep around 15 cards for Wall; meanwhile, I aimed to get a lead on Provinces and Ritual some Peddlers. I feel like I missed a good chance to win here, probably trashing Peddlers too early. We did some endgame dancing with Duchies and Ritual, and on my final turn I got stuck on $3, ahead 45-44 with 1 Curse left for a three-pile. I had a Curse in hand to trash with Ritual, but $1 short, so I passed and fortunately he was only able to tie.
Coin of the Realm, Hamlet, Pawn, Doctor, Urchin, Bureaucrat, Island, Messenger, Distant Lands, Sentry, Seaway, Battlefield
hakase 65-64 mith
Another very tense endgame. I opened Urchin/Urchin going hard for Mercenary, while hakase got a 5/2 for Sentry/CotR. Eventually, our decks weren't too different. I won the Distant Lands split 5/3 for a small lead, but by the time I ran out of Mercenary fuel our decks were basically the same (four treasures) except I had the Mercenary to threaten something drastic and he had the Sentry (maybe 2?). He used Seaway on Urchin, I used it on Island (primarily to keep pace in gaining Islands), and then we danced on all the victory piles. Eventually the Islands were gone and we were down to 2 each of Province, Duchy, and Estate - with $5, I had to buy a Duchy and hope he only hit $5 (I had 2 Gold in hand if he missed), but his Sentries got him to $7 for the win.
Engineer, Overlord, Masterpiece, Miser, Ghost Ship, Governor, Graverobber, Lost City, Mint, Relic, Training, Bandit Fort
mith 4-34 hakase
I lost this on the opening; I hovered over Overlord for a long time but finally opened Silver/Silver and picked it up next turn. He opened Silver/Overlord, and was able to immediately start hitting with Ghost Ship for an easy win of the Governor split and also fairly early buy of Mint.
City Quarter, Page, Stonemason, Warehouse, Wishing Well, Plaza, Worker's Village, Distant Lands, Library, Altar, Basilica, Tomb
hakase 42-30 mith
After buying Overlord too late, I think I bought City Quarter a bit too early and was never able to trigger it... which discouraged me from buying more. He waited a little longer but then bought 3, and was able to draw his deck several times and eventually pile out with Stonemason gaining more Stonemason etc. This was pretty close otherwise - we hit each step of the Traveler line on the same turns - but hitting the City Quarters consistently meant this was never in doubt.