dune  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Bill Dyer, IL

2013-14 Champion

 

Event History
1992    Paul Saunders    12
1993    Ray Carpenter    23
1994    Paul Weintraub    22
1995    James Garvey    23
1996    Bruce Bernard    22
1997    Matt Fagan    28
1998    Brad Johnson    43
1999    Steve Koehler    38
2000    Jay Schlaffer    35
2001    Tony Burke    29
2002    Steve Koehler    33
2003    Bill Dyer    34
2004     Andrew Clark    33
2005     Phil Barcafer    25
2006     Anne Marie Dilworth    33
2007    Bill Dyer    28
2008    Glenn McMaster    28
2009    Glenn McMaster    24
2010    Jean-Francois Gagne    27
2011    Ty Hansen    30
2012    Jacob Dyer    38
2013    Bill Dyer    31
2014    Bill Dyer    32

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bill Dyer          IL    14    228
  2.  Glenn McMaster     on    12    115
  3.  Phil Barcafer      PA    10     93
  4.  Joe Abrams         CT    10     70
  5.  Steve Koehler      NC    02     70
  6.  JeanFrancois Gagne qc    14     63
  7.  Lee Proctor        IL    14     60
  8.  Joe Harrison       KY    11     58
  9.  Wray Ferrell       NC    14     53
 10.  Jacob Dyer         IL    14     52
 11.  Benoit Groulx      qc    09     48
 12.  Stephane Dorais    qc    10     45
 13.  Matt Fagan         NJ    11     43
 14.  Brad Johnson       IL    07     42
 15.  Ty Hansen          DC    11     40
 16.  Andrew Clark       AZ    04     40
 17.  Jay Schlaffer      DC    00     40
 18.  Anne Marie Dilworh NY    06     30
 19.  Tony Burke         NJ    01     30
 20.  Chris Bodkin       NY    03     26
 21.  Peter Stephanouk   PA    02     24
 22.  Brian Jones        NC    05     21
 23.  Ken Keller         AZ    99     18
 24.  Rachael Day        AZ    13     16
 25.  Steve Cuccaro      MD    02     16
 26.  James Denam        NC    12     12
 27.  Paul Saunders      VA    00     12
 28.  Rob Barnes         WV    08      9
 29.  Ray Carpenter      CT    99      9
 30.  Michael Day        AZ    13      8
 31.  Joe Doughan        NJ    11      8
 32.  Jeff Cornett       FL    04      8
 33.  James Hopkin       CA    02      8
 34.  Bruce Bernard      PA    00      8
 35.  Joel Tamburo       IL    06      6
 36.  Chip Collins       TX    01      6
 37.  Jeff Clark         AZ    99      6
 38.  Liam Dyer          IL    14      4
 39.  Carl Krosnick      PA    13      4
 40.  Chris Bennett      MD    12      4
 41.  Kevin Sudy         VA    05      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 

Lee Proctor, IL
2nd

Wray Ferrell, NC
3rd

Jake Dyer, IL
4th

Jean Francois Gagne, qc
5th

Liam Dyer, IL
6th

Past Winners

Paul Saunders, VA
1992

Jean Francois Gagne, qc
2010

Paul Weintraub, MD
1994

James Garvey, NY
1995

Bruce Bernard, PA
1996

Matt Fagan, NJ
1997

Brad Johnson, IL
1998

Steve Koehler, NC
1999, 2002

 

Jay Schlaffer, NJ
2000

Tony Burke, NJ
2001

Bill Dyer, IL
2003, 2007, 2013-14

Andrew Clark, AZ
2004

Phil Barcafer, PA
2005

Anne Marie Dilworh, NY
2006

Glenn McMaster, on
2008-09

Ty Hansen, DC
2011

Jacob Dyer, IL
2012
   

A pair of former champs with a bird's eye view of Dune - 2009's Glenn McMaster and 1997's Matt Fagan.

Lee Proctor and Robert Powers play a non-Avalon Hill edition of the game. Lee went on to finish second.

The Spice of Life

The tournament this year sadly began with a dedication to our dear friend Joe Abrams, who passed away last fall. He was a veteran Dune player who played avidly in the tournament back to AvalonCon days, and his experience and camaraderie will be missed.

With no major rule changes this year, the average game duration decreased again to 6.4 turns in 3.8 hours, or right around 0.6 hours per game turn. This value has held extremely steady since 2001, when records began. Despite this, three of 12 games had to be adjudicated after the full 5 hours of play, which is three more than I would like. However, most feedback I have received seems to indicate that the amount of negotiation happening during the games is generally acceptable and desirable, even though sometimes time-consuming. I continue to monitor these metrics, but I am avoiding introducing artificial constraints on rate of play while current levels are maintained.

Overall, division of wins by faction returned to a more normal distribution in 2014. After a 4-year absence, House Harkonnen returned to the top spot with a 54% win rate. (Interestingly, the last five years have seen five different factions in the top spot -- all but the poor Fremen, who have never made it to the top.) House Atreides, the Bene Gesserit, and the Emperor made up the middle tier with win rates in the 30-40% range. The Guild and the Fremen tied at the bottom with a 23% win rate for the year. The Fremen continue to perform slightly better with the "Desert Power" house rule. The Guild continued a 3-year slide, even though they are an overall strong mid-tier performer.

Taken as a whole, the established trends continue, with the Bene Gesserit maintaining the highest win rate, the Harkonnen, Emperor, Guild, and Atreides remaining mostly at parity in the middle, and the Fremen distinctly behind the rest. I welcome suggestions regarding the possible use of a bidding system for faction assignment.

No tables chose to allow 3-player alliances this year, reinforcing the decision to eliminate them last year. This resulted in 11 of the 12 qualifying games ending with a 2-player alliance win. One game saw a BG prediction victory, surprisingly timed at a fairly early Turn 5. There were no Guild or Fremen default victories this year, which probably contributed to the overall decrease in game duration, but it's certainly possible that one or more of the adjudicated games may have ended in stalemate if permitted to continue to the bitter end. Only one player, Wray Ferrell, managed a win in all three heats, a strong accomplishment.

With the abolition of 3-player alliances, 2-player alliance wins become a near certainty for most games, given the coarse granularity of the victory conditions. For this reason, I expect to simplify the tournament rules for qualification for the Final next year. Alliance wins (of any kind) will count as one win, while solo wins (of any kind) will count as two wins. The big advantage is this will eliminate the differences in scoring 5- and 6-player games.

Best Faction plaques were awarded to Michael Powers for best Atreides; Wray Ferrell, best BG; Jake Dyer, best Emperor; Adam Sigal, best Fremen; Bill Dyer, best Guild; and Matt Fagan, best Harkonnen.

For the Final, Jean-Francois (JF) Gagne (2010 champion) advanced with the only solo victory, along with Wray Ferrell, the only 3-game winner. Liam Dyer, Ty Hansen, and Lee Procter with two wins each also advanced. On the second tie-breaker, the sixth spot was taken by Jake Dyer (Liam's brother, and 2012 champion.) Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, Ty was unable to attend the Final, and we turned to the alternate list. First and second alternates Adam Sigal and Jon Anderson also failed to appear, so third alternate Bill Dyer took the remaining seat at the table. This not only put a 3-time former champion in the game, but also made it three Dyers vying for the 2014 championship. Of course, the patron saint of Second Chances immediately took notice!

JF got the Atreides, while Jake drew the Bene Gesserit; Liam, the Emperor; Wray, the Fremen; Bill, the Guild; and Lee, the Harkonnen. All players agreed that this game would be played to the bitter end, regardless of duration (but all secretly hoping it would not turn into another 14-hour marathon as we saw in 2012.) The game started with a minor shake-up, with the BG playing an initial (worthless) Karama card to blind the Atreides in the Turn 1 bidding round. The first Nexus appeared in Turn 2, and Emperor/Harkonnen and BG/Atreides alliances quickly formed. Not unusually, the Guild and Fremen remained unallied, and the Fremen weathered battles with the Atreides, Harkonnen, and Emperor in Turns 1-3. In Turn 4, the Harkonnen and Guild allied, with the entire board having deduced that they each held a Karama card, a force that seemed difficult to stop. (All fear the Harkonnen's special ability to swap treachery cards, combined with the Guild's special ability to cancel another player's shipment.) The Emperor and Atreides ally in defense, while it was the BG's turn to battle the Fremen. Despite their perceived position of strength, the Harkonnen/Guild alliance is unable to achieve victory in Turns 4-7. All factions jockey for position and play to block as the threat of the two Karamas continued to weigh heavily on the game. In Turn 8, the sixth worm appears, not only triggering the "Shield Wall" house rule, but also heralding a critical Nexus. A diplomatic snafu ensued, with everyone knowing that the Harkonnen could use his Karama to force the Guild to play or swap his Karama. In the end, the Harkonnen and Guild remained allied, and they were able to secure victory after a critical error in stronghold defense by the Fremen. As the dust settled, the Guild held three strongholds with a mere eight tokens, with his Harkonnen ally in the fourth, giving Bill Dyer his fourth championship! The Guild may have underperformed during qualifiers this year, but they had what it takes to win in the end.

Aidan Powers is flanked by a pair of formr champs - 2012's Jacob Dyer and 2011's Ty Hansen. The Grinch nemesis will have his day.

GM Brad Johnson is among the most senior of WBC GMs with 14 years continuous service. These are his 2014 finalists.

 GM     Brad Johnson  [14th Year]  NA
   tempus42@sbcglobal.net   NA 

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