Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Brandon Bernard, PA

2013 Champion

Event History
2009    Arthur Field     236
2010    Arthur Field     140
2011     Randy Buehler     112
2012    Chad Weaver     127
2013    Brandon Bernard     119

Euro Quest BPA Event History
2009    Sceadeau D'Tela     52
2010    Edward Fear     49
2011    Haim Hochboim     54
2012    Sceadeau D'Tela     42


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Arthur Field       SC    10     90
   2.  Sceaudeau D'Tela   NC    12     52
   3.  Haim Hochboim      il    11     50
   4.  Chad Weaver        PA    13     48
   5.  Brandon Bernard    PA    13     40
   6.  Randy Buehler      WA    11     40
   7.  Edward Fu          NY    11     40
   8.  Rob Renaud         NY    11     38
   9.  Edward Fear        NY    10     30
  10.  Andy Latto         MA    10     26
  11.  Thomas Tu          NJ    13     24
  12.  Derek Glenn        KY    12     24
  13.  Laura DeWalt       MD    11     24
  14.  Nick Ferris        MD    12     20
  15.  Jon Senn           PA    11     18
  16.  Mark Giddings      NY    13     16
  17.  Cal Doughan        PA    12     16
  18.  Lee Nguyen         PA    12     16
  19.  John Fanjoy        VA    09     16
  20.  Jason Pollock      PA    10     15
  21.  Patrick Richardson VA    13     12
  22.  Andrew Emerick     CT    12     12
  23.  Dan Eppolito       CA    11     12
  24.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    11     12
  25.  Bill Crenshaw      VA    10     12
  26.  Helen Powell       MD    09     12
  27.  Luke Koleszar      VA    10     10
  28.  Doug Galullo       MD    12      9
  29.  Mary Ellen Powers  VA    11      9
  30.  Michael Eustice    PA    10      9
  31.  Rob Kilroy         PA    12      8
  32.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    09      8
  33.  Jeff Mullet        OH    11      6
  34.  Dan Gottlieb       NY    10      5
  35.  Ben Scholl         PA    13      4
  36.  Steven LeWinter    NC    12      4
  37.  Aidan Czyryca      MD    11      4
  38.  John Ostrander     NY    09      4
  39.  Alexandra Henning  PA    09      4
  40.  Ziad Munson        PA    10      3
  41.  Donna Davis        PA    12      2
  42.  Donna Dearborn     MD    09      2

2013 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists:

Thomas Tu, NJ

Mark Giddings, NY

Patrick Richardson, VA

Chad Weaver, PA

Ben Scholl, PA

Arthur Field, SC

Randy Buehler, WA

Chad Weaver, PA

Brandon Bernard, PA

What every Dominion tournament needs - a card caddie with equal access to all.

Aaron Fuegi is under the watchful eye of Holiday Saccenti and her young friends.

That's a lot of Dominion players ...

GM Nick Ferris oversees his finalists.

Accountant Dominion ...

(inspired by Donald X. Vaccarino's Dominion intros)

What new challenges were in the cards for WBC's Dominion players this year? Let's see... 7 coppers... plus 3 estates... times 119 tournament participants... carry the 4... Well, let's just say that a lot of people came hoping to turn Dominion Copper into WBC Gold. Or wood. Or maybe golden wood? That certainly sounds a bit more appealing than wooden gold.

As Dominion's popularity (and its card count) increases, so too do the number of games brought by players. And while the number of copies of the Dominion base set were plentiful, there was not as much intrigue in the crowd this year. To clarify, there was plenty of mystery and secret planning during the tournament, so maybe that should be Intrigue with a capital I, as in Dominion: Intrigue, the first expansion to the game. Fortunately, two preliminary round card sets were prepared in the event that not enough copies of the Intrigue expansion were available. Indeed, that was just barely the case as a number of players chose to leave their copies of Intrigue at home, perhaps to leave room in their luggage for Monopoly: Duck Dynasty Edition. And who can blame them? Well, the GM sure did. So only he will ever know the Base/Intrigue card sets prepared for the Preliminary round in 2013. Or if you see him walking down the street and ask nicely, maybe he'll tell you.

Game 1 ("Last Action Hero"): Cellar, Council Room, Festival, Laboratory, Throne Room, Library, Market, Village, Woodcutter, Workshop.
Game 2 ("Landfill"): Feast, Mine, Moat, Remodel, Thief, Adventurer, Bureaucrat, Chancellor, Militia, Smithy

Maintaining its usual two-game advancement-point format, the Dominion preliminaries pitted 119 players across 30 tables in an epic struggle of shuffling lots of cards without dropping them all over the floor. Yes, Joe, I'm talking to you.

Game 1 pairings gave players a plethora of Actions and additional card draws, making for a number of tight games as players rushed to gain prime Action Cards early until somebody pulled the Province trigger and started the countdown to game end. Indeed, nearly all tables ended the first game with an empty Province pile and winning scores in the 20s and 30s. The standout in Game 1 came from Table 22, where Natalie Beach employed a strategy of "buying all the good cards" and "not buying all the bad cards" to earn the room-high Game 1 score of 50.

A decidedly more somber atmosphere took hold as the room switched over to Game 2 with its Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style assortment of attack cards. Duchies were the order of the day for many decks as floods of coin-killing and hand-ditching left players feeling the pinch of poverty. In a few cases, the mere presence of Moats was enough to dissuade would-be Thieves and Beaucrats from plying their trade; those tables saw far higher point totals and much shorter games typically ending in empty Province or Moat/Province piles. But despite the attack-heavy card set, all players managed to remain positive... at least in VP; emotionally, a number of contestants were spotted sobbing in the corridor outside Ballroom B after the game or muttering about the time that Thief got their Gold.

With a field just shy of 120, only 48 players advanced to the quarterfinals.

QUARTERFINAL ROUND (Base, Intrigue, Prosperity)
Game 1 ("My Kind of Party"): Moneylender, Witch, Spy, Baron, Duke, Nobles, Scout, Bishop, Goons, Peddler
Game 2 ("Biggest. Money. Ever."): Colony, Platinum, Courtyard, Harem, Pawn, Steward, Trading Post, Bank, Contraband, Hoard, Mint, Venture

Of course, just because 48 players qualified for the quarterfinals didn't mean that 48 actually played in the quarterfinals. Indeed, only 34 of those who earned automatic advancement from the Qualifying Round claimed their seats in Round 2, and then only four of the nine alternates with eight advancement points appeared. And could the top qualifier himself be bothered to play just a little more Dominion, hmmmmm??? Noooooooo, he probably wanted to play one of those cooler games that won't cripple him with Shuffling-Induced Arthritis at a young age. Still, rather than lower the threshold for Alternate qualification below half the maximum advancement points, it was decided to play the next round with the field of 38 who could be bothered to put on pants and march themselves down to Lampeter Hall. Lesson learned for future years: if you play even halfway-decent Dominion, you will probably get to play more Dominion the next day! Heck, we'll even say "Pants Optional!! ... maybe not.

Game 1, with a card set inspired by the great Victorian parties of yesteryear (you know, those parties where magical Witches appeared and somebody let in a bunch of Goons and Peddlers), saw a number of tables with Curses flying off the shelf like they were having a 75% off sale at Curses R Us. Fully a third of the games reported empty Curse piles, with a number of additional tables perhaps too traumatized to report any empty piles. Average scores still ran higher than in the Preliminary games, perhaps a testament to the qualifying players' skill and tenacity. Or maybe they just Bishop'd away all their Curses. Yeah, it's probably that second one.

Players retreated to the warm, cozy safety of vast treasuries and plentiful cash in Game 2. Treasure Cards coupled with pick-your-poison cards like Pawn and Steward made for big decks of Platinums and Colonies. Nobody knows that feeling better than Erik Schlosser, the only player to break the single-game 100-VP barrier in the entire tournament with a Game 2 score of 101. But his quarterfinal total score of 141 (the round's high two-game score) wasn't enough to earn a spot in the semifinals as he placed third at a 3-player table in Game 1. Only three tables reported double-first finishes: Patrick Richardson and Mark Giddings each scoring 105 total points, and Kelly Czyryca with 100 points.

SEMIFINAL ROUND (Base, Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity)
Game 1 ("Secrets Revealed"): Bridge, Minion, Secret Chamber, Scout, Wishing Well, Bazaar, Caravan, Island, Lookout, Salvager
Game 2 ("Bits and Pieces"): Colony, Platinum, Adventurer, Gardens, Village, Swindler, Torturer, Embargo, Lighthouse, Native Village, Monument, Trade Route

Dominion Quarterfinalist winners took their commitment to the game much more seriously as all 16 qualifiers appeared promptly the next day, bringing the journey to an end for several hopeful but unfortunate top Alternates (a.k.a. those who probably should've taken that first Province when they had the chance).

After determining seating in traditional Dominion WBC style (a baking contest administered by the GM), players tackled their first challenge of the day: a game of card guessing and deck manipulation. Fortunately, there was only one report of a player using a Wishing Well to guess a card that wasn't actually in the game's set of Kingdom cards. Scores were once again tight and rather middling, with one table recording an astonishing 27-26-25-24 tally.

Game 2 offered players two basic routes to pursue: play nice and get lots of points, or unleash some of the nastier attack cards in any of the Dominion decks. Ben Scholl's 18-VP win at a table that chose the former route earned him 10 advancement points (AP) in the semifinals, but it wasn't enough to get him into the Final Four. Scholl finished sixth overall. Elsewhere, defending champ Chad Weaver's two seconds also netted him 10 AP, coming in one point shy of victory in Game 2 and netting him only fifth place laurels.

Indeed, it took 13 AP in the Semis to earn a spot in the Final. Brandon Bernard managed this at his attack-heavy Game 2 table (winning Game 1 and finishing second to Scholl's low-scoring victory), as did Mark Giddings with the semifinal's high total score of 103. The duo of Thomas Tu and Patrick Richardson each earned a win and a second at their shared table, advancing them both.

FINAL ROUND (Seaside, Prosperity, Cornucopia, Hinterlands)
Game 1 ("The Thrill of Victory"): Fairgrounds, Hamlet, Horn of Plenty, Jester, Young Witch, Crossroads, Embassy, Ill-Gotten Gains, Oasis [Bane], Silk Road, Tunnel
Game 2 ("The Agony of Defeat"): Colony, Platinum, Cutpurse, Ghost Ship, Haven, Sea Hag, Mountebank, Rabble, Fortune Teller, Margrave, Noble Brigand, Trader

Game 1 of the Final round marked the tournament debut of the Cornucopia and Hinterlands sets, introducing players to such lovable characters as the Jester and Young Witch. Indeed, these cards saw early play as Thomas Tu used his 5-2 Copper split to pick up a first-turn Jester, while Patrick Richardson opted for the cheaper Young Witch, not fearing that its cheaper-still Bane card (the Oasis) would negate its powers later. Mark Giddings chose the more conservative early route with an Oasis-Tunnel combo, while Brandon Bernard mirrored Tu's opening Jester-Crossroads.

Giddings next turns saw him buy a powerful Embassy and a second Tunnel, a machine that earned him the game's first Province in the sixth round. Across the table, Bernard bet heavy on a longer game with buys like Young Witch, Oasis, Horn of Plenty, and Ill-Gotten Gains. His first Province didn't come until the 13th round, shortly after Tu's 12th-round Province... but all of which came after Giddings snapped up Provinces number 2 and 3. Richardson took a dramatically different course than the other players, loading up on Embassies and Tunnels and ultimately following the path of the Estate-encrusted Silk Road.

In the late game, Giddings Curse count mounted as he eschewed attacks for money and Tunnels, the latter of which ran out by the tenth time around the table. While his Province-making machine faltered toward the end, he did manage to snag four of the six Provinces that were procured overall. And once the Curse pile ran out and others found their Jesters and Young Witches neutered, Giddings climbed aboard the Estate-Silk Road train. But it was Bernard who--perhaps knowing he was solidly but distantly in second place--ultimately pulled the trigger on the game end, picking up the last Silk Road and emptying a third stack of Kingdom cards. Giddings finished in first with 37 VP, followed by Bernard with 23, Tu with 21, and Richardson at 16.

Following "The Thrill of Victory" in Game 1 came Game 2's "The Agony of Defeat," a card set described by its players as "pure evil" and "I want my mommy." With eight attack cards and two tiny countermeasures, it wouldn't be a matter of if players turned on one another... but when. (Ultimately, "right away.") And also how much. ("A whole bunch.")

Tu's 3-4 start guided him to the Fortune Teller and Trader, while Bernard grabbed a Cutpurse-Silver combo. Playing it safe, Richardson used his first two buys on a Haven and Trader, but Giddings chose to duplicate Tu's first two acquisitions with Fortune Tellers and Traders of his own.

As players decks began to flood with Silvers converted from Trader'd Estates, some of the higher-priced attack cards found owners. Giddings opted for the Montebank, ultimately picking up three in hopes of slowing players' decks with Curses and Coppers. Adding to the brawl, Richardson and Tu acquired Cutpurses and Margraves, forcing players to choose between keeping their Coppers on Margrave-induced discards or hanging on to their attack cards for fear of Cutpursing. Perhaps hoping to capitalize on the mayhem, Bernard chose to dabble in Rabble in the seventh round, a pick he almost immediately regretted. Other surprise moves came from Richardson who passed up a chance at a sixth-round Province for Gold instead and a ninth-round Platinum. As players' decks filled with Curses, Coppers, Silvers, and Duchies--the popular choice of VP card for much of the cash-strapped mid-game--Provinces and Colonies remained untouched through the 12th round.

It was Bernard who broke the seal on the big-VP cards, nabbing the first Province in his 13th turn. Giddings followed suit immediately after, as did Richardson. Tu remained Provinceless until his 15th turn, but he finished the game strong with final purchases of three Provinces, a Colony, and a Duchy--enough for the game win with 30 VP. The only other Colony ended up in the hands of Richardson, but his heavy Curse count bogged down his final score and kept him in third place with 27 VP. Giddings also finished with three Provinces, but no Colonies pushed him to fourth with 26 VP. Bernard's three Provinces had some big Duchy company, but he finished a point shy of Tu with a score of 29.

Tu's third-and-first finish and Bernard's two seconds earned each player 10 advancement points, meaning the tournament victory came down to the two-game total scores. And while Tu edged out Bernard by a single point in Game 2, it was Bernard's extra two points in the first game which won him the championship plaque by a single Estate. (Or maybe Tu had an extra Curse. Glass half empty, right?) Gidding's win was enough to give him third place overall, and Richardson finished fourth.

 GM      Nick Ferris  [1st Year]   NA    NA 

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