The Spice of Life
Malinda Kyrkos and Roger Cox in search
of the spice of life.
Eric Caron and Joe Doughan forge an
Like Father Like Son ...
Attendance was up significantly this year, with a record 13
qualifying games played. Despite this, only one player expressed
interest in playing Rex, so that was unfortunately not played
at all. Given the continued dedication of the WBC attendees to
Dune alone, I do not expect to bother offering Rex
as an option next year.
The average game this year lasted 7.2 game turns over 4.4 hours,
very close to the overall 12-year average. The Bene Gesserit
returned to the top of the heap, participating in more wins than
any other faction, but the Harkonnen, normally a frequent winner,
took it on the chin and recorded the most losses. The Fremen
and the Atreides climbed, both registering strong mid-tier results
along with the Guild and the Emperor.
A number of players recommended limiting alliances to at most
two factions next year, feeling that it may be "too easy"
to win as part of a 3-faction alliance. While it is true that
six out of 13 qualifying games resulted in 3-way victories this
year, only about a third of all recorded games have been won
by 3-way alliances. There is also concern that 2-way victories
may be too difficult to come by, which could result in a new
increase in Guild/Fremen default victories. (See this year's
Final.) Nonetheless, player perceptions are important, and elimination
of 3-way alliances will be considered next year.
Due to the plan to support both Rex and Dune,
Best Faction plaques were not provided this year, but the winners
of these coveted awards would have been: Bill Dyer, both best
Atreides and best Guild; Mark Brody, best BG; Rob Murray, best
Emperor; Paul Weintraub, best Fremen; and Matt Fagan, best Harkonnen.
Since Rex ended up not panning out, I will try to provide
retroactive awards next year.
"Grueling" is the only word that can describe the
15-turn, 14-hour championship game! Bill Dyer drew Atreides (his
personal favorite), James Denam returned for the second year
to take the BG, Glenn McMaster got the Emperor, Lee Proctor the
Fremen, Jacob Dyer (Bill's son) the Guild, and Chris Bennett
the Harkonnen. With a pair of 2-time champions involved, it was
destined to be a brutal game from the start. At least four different
alliance configurations battled to get the win, and then were
forced to battle to prevent others from winning when they were
stopped. Casualties were severe. By the late game, most of the
tokens and many leaders were in the tanks, and most factions
were playing with just a few revived tokens each turn. It became
nearly impossible for any faction to exert dominance, with the
leading alliance always being beaten back by the cooperation
of the other four. In the end, the Guild, who had been laying
low and clearly playing for the stalemate from the beginning,
won a 2-way default victory with the help of his Emperor ally.
Congratulations to Jake on his victory -- perhaps Dune
aptitude is an inherited trait!
Matt Fagan and Marissa Bianco try
to avoid the worm.
The six finalists at work in the cool