7 Wonders Duel (7WD) PBeM Reports Updated September 30, 2023

2023 PBeM Tournament

Attendance rose once again for the 2023 iteration of the 7 Wonders Duel PBEM tournament. Fifty-two players registered for the tournament this year, and 104 games were played over eight rounds. The event was played using the same double elimination format as in previous years, with rounds continuing until only one player remained with fewer than two losses.

The top six finishers were determined after six rounds of play. Patrick Maguire had defeated Michael Swinson in Round 6 to become the lone undefeated player. Patrick then eliminated John Pack in Round 7 with a 61-54 civilian victory. Michael eliminated Oliver Searles 70-57, while Alan Schmuck overcame an early Round 2 loss, earning a spot in the final three by winning 73-53 over Paul Klayder.

Since Patrick and Michael had already faced off, it was Alan’s turn to try to deal Patrick his first loss of the tournament. Unfortunately for Alan he made a crucial mistake in Age 3 in his search for a military victory, losing to Patrick 70-61. Michael would face an eliminator, and since he had previously played all three of the Round 6 eliminated players, a further search was needed. Seventh-place finisher Eric Freeman answered the call to test whether Michael would get another chance to dethrone Patrick. Eric was able to secure a military victory, eliminating Michael and crowning Patrick as the 2023 7 Wonders Duel PBEM champion.

Michael and Alan had identical records and opponent win percentages so an additional consolation game was played to determine their final order in the standings. Alan could not overcome Michael’s superior wonders and quick start, finishing 3rd after a 67-49 loss.

The laurelists were, in order, Patrick Maguire, Michael Swinson, Alan Schmuck, John Pack, Oliver Searles, Paul Klayder

Patrick also had the highest winning civilian score with 88, while Oliver posted the lowest winning score of 52. Samantha Raszewski had the highest civilian score in a loss with 70 points.

Over the 104 games played, civilian victory decided the most games with 63 (60.58% up from 50.54% in 2022) games ending on points. Science and Military dominance ended 21 and 20 games, respectively. Science victories were down 13.14% from 2022, while the Military win percentage rose from 16.13% to 19.23%. The player who took the first turn of the game won 52.88% of games, up from 45.16% in 2022.

Historically over three PBEM and two WBC tournaments, 279 of 526 games (53%) went to civilian points. Science dominance ended 29% of games, while Military victories comprised 18% of all games. Second seat holds a narrow edge in victories, 264 to 262.

Congratulations to all the laurelists and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.

2022 PBeM Tournament

A total of 93 games were completed by 46 players over 9 rounds during the 2022 7 Wonders Duel PBEM tournament. The event was played using a double elimination format with rounds continuing until only one player remained with fewer than two losses.

After six rounds, five players remained in the tournament. The lone undefeated player, 2021 PBEM champion Chris Wildes faced off against Steve LeWinter. Steve was able to pick up the Law token midway through Age 2 and used The Mausoleum to grab his sixth science symbol early in Age 3, dealing Chris his first loss. Mike Kaltman was able to apply military pressure while also denying his opponent manufactured (gray) resources and ended the game with 48 coins to win 79-59 over Haakon Monsen. Jon Senn, serving as an eliminator, used a surplus of extra turns on his wonders to narrowly defeat Michael Swinson 64-59.

In Round 8, Mike’s two Age 3 guilds and 17 coins remaining proved the difference in an otherwise close civilian battle, winning 61-52 over Steve. Chris faced eliminator Michael in one of the closest games of the tournament. The game ended tied at 58, with Chris advancing on the first tiebreaker (points from blue cards: 25-23).

The final game of the tournament featured a rematch of a Round 5 pairing between Mike and Chris. Chris heavily pursued a science victory and had three symbols early into Age 2, with access to two more and the Law token in play. Mike saw the threat of science dominance and used his wonders to aggressively push the military track and attack Chris’s money at a key moment. At the end of the age, Mike was three shields from victory with the Strategy token while Chris needed two science symbols.

The card display in Age 3 immediately gave Chris one of his needed symbols and guaranteed him access to the sixth symbol. However, this meant that one card would be flipped for Mike and a red card would seal his victory. With no red cards visible and two guilds face down in the display, the odds were roughly 56-44 in Mike’s favor. Chris gambled and lost as the shields on the revealed card pushed Mike to military dominance and earned him the 2022 7 Wonders Duel PBEM championship.

The top six finishers were:

  1. Mike Kaltman
  2. Chris Wildes
  3. Steve LeWinter
  4. Haakon Monsen
  5. Michael Swinson
  6. DJ Borton

Chris Wildes had the highest winning civilian score at 81, while Henry Rice posted the lowest winning score at 43. Two players, John Pack and Patrick Maguire, had the highest score in a losing effort with 65.

Over the 93 games played, civilian victory decided the most games with 57 (50.54%) games ending on points. Science dominance followed close behind, being the decider in 31 games (33.33%) while military dominance ended only 15 games (16.13%). The player who took the first turn of the game won only 45.16% of games.

Looking at those same numbers excluding the first three rounds (after which half the field had been eliminated), we see that the civilian victory percentage stays roughly the same (51.72%), but military dominance drops off considerably (6.90%). There is a corresponding rise in science dominance to 41.38%. For this subset of games, the player who took the first turn of the game won a slightly improved 48.28% of games.

Once again congratulations to all of the laurelists, and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.

2021 PBeM Tournament

The 2021 7 Wonders Duel PBEM tournament featured 44 players completing a total of 88 games over 8 rounds. The event was played using a double elimination format with rounds continuing until only one player remained with fewer than two losses.

Heading into Round 6, eight players remained in contention. The last two undefeated players, Derek Landel and Chris Wildes, faced one another. Chris finished the game with five science symbols but earned enough points for a civilian victory. James Thompson also narrowly missed science dominance with five symbols in his game but fell to Rob Flowers on points. In the remaining games 2018 WBC Champion Robb Effinger defeated Dominic Blais and Jon Senn defeated Goran Kero, each on civilian victories as well. James, Dominic, and Goran all ended the tournament with four wins, meaning the 6th place finisher would be determined by the tiebreaker, opponent win percentage.

In Round 7, Robb and Chris each earned science victories, defeating Rob and Jon respectively. In the third game, Derek faced James, who was serving as an eliminator due to an odd number of players remaining. Derek used The Appian Way and The Sphinx in Age 3 to prevent James from securing the sixth science symbol after James failed to find Law from The Great Library, allowing Derek to secure a civilian win.

Chris and Robb squared off in Round 8 while Derek again faced an eliminator, Jon Senn serving in that capacity. In the first game, Chris and Robb drafted a fairly even set of Wonders with one extra-turn Wonder apiece (The Temple of Artemis for Robb and The Hanging Gardens for Chris). Neither the Law nor the Strategy progress tokens were available, making science and military dominance less likely. After Age 1, Robb had acquired a full set of brown resources and had built The Great Lighthouse, while Chris had purchased all three yellow resource cards and two science cards but had yet to build a Wonder. Halfway through Age 2, Chris used The Hanging Gardens to pick up a matching science symbol and acquired Theology, meaning his three remaining Wonders would each trigger an extra turn. Robb responded by acquiring a progress token of his own (Economy) and quickly building his remaining Wonders to minimize Theology’s impact. In Age 3, Chris combined the Moneylenders Guild with his six yellow cards to end the game with 18 points from coins, which along with building The Pyramids and The Mausoleum propelled him to a narrow points victory, 68-61.

In the second game, Derek and Jon again drafted a relatively even set of Wonders, but the Law token was available putting an increased value on science cards. During Age 1, Derek acquired two science cards along with both gray resources, but Jon had picked up all three brick resource cards making that resource more expensive for Derek. Derek was able to mitigate that early in Age 2 by building The Great Lighthouse, giving him access to brick. By the end of the Age, Derek had four science symbols, including the Law token. Jon had used The Great Library to take the Philosophy token and had picked up the Agriculture token as well to give him a 17 point lead. All seven Wonders had been built and Jon held a slight advantage on the military track from the Circus Maximus and The Statue of Zeus Wonders. When the Age 3 cards were dealt no science cards entered the display face up, so Derek began trying to narrow the point gap. In the meantime, Jon picked up two red cards to push the military track within two shields of victory. With ten cards left in the game, Derek would have to reveal only one more blind card on his turns, and he needed that card to not be the last remaining red card. Unfortunately he revealed Circus, giving Jon the military dominance win and making Chris the last player remaining in the tournament.

The top six finishers were.

  1. Chris Wildes
  2. Derek Landel
  3. Robb Effinger
  4. Rob Flowers
  5. Jon Senn
  6. Goran Kero

Over all rounds of the tournament, Chris Wildes had the highest winning civilian score with 92 while Andrew Bennett had the lowest winning score at 48. Haakon Monsen had the highest non-winning score at 74. In the closest civilian game of the tournament, Alfred Schnabel defeated Scott Burns by one point on the first tiebreaker (most points from blue cards), 27-26.

In arguably the closest non-civilian game, Cary Morris began Age 3 with five science symbols against Lexi Sheaburns, who sat one shield away from military dominance. Cary elected to go first in Age 3 with the only visible science card sitting in row three. The card he revealed was one of three potential military cards remaining, allowing Lexi to claim the victory.

Over the 88 games played, civilian victory decided the most games with 39 (44%) games ending on points. Science dominance followed close behind, being the decider in 36 games (40%) while military dominance ended only 13 games (16%). The player who took the first turn of the game won only 44% of games.

Regarding Wonders, Piraeus had the highest build percentage (percentage of games in which the Wonder appeared where it was also built) at 98% (57 of 58 games). The Mausoleum was the Wonder least likely to be built at 55% (32 of 58). The Great Library had the highest win percentage of built Wonders (59%), while The Pyramids had the lowest win percentage at 40%.

The Temple of Artemis was the Wonder most likely to be selected first from any given set of four (81%) and had the highest average pick order (1.28), while The Colossus was not once selected first. The Pyramids were most often the last Wonder remaining from a set (86%) and unsurprisingly had the lowest average pick order (3.69).

For progress tokens, Law had the highest win percentage at 78%, with 88% of those wins by science dominance. Overall, 80% of all science dominance victories included the Law token for the winning player. By comparison, players picking up the Strategy token won 71% of the time, but only 40% of those victories came by military dominance. The only two tokens to have a <50% win percentage were Economy (48%), and Masonry which failed to win any of the four games in which it was acquired. Only 15 games (17%) were won by a player with no progress tokens. Dan Leader acquired the most progress tokens in one game with five.

Once again congratulations to all of the laurelists and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.

Full results can be seen at https://bgtournament.wordpress.com/7-wonders-duel-2021-results/