here I stand [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

John Wetherell, PA

2006 Champion

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Event History
2006    John Wetherell     56

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Wetherell     PA    06     60
  2.  Allan Hill         MD    06     36
  3.  Charles Hickok     PA    06     24
  4.  Ken Richards       SC    06     18
  5.  Bryan Collars      SC    06     12
  6.  Chris Striker      PA    06      6

2006 Laurelists

Allan Hill, MD
2nd

Charles Hickok, PA
3rd

Ken Richards, SC
4th

Bryan Collars, SC
5th

Chris Striker, PA
6th


When wargames make their debut, the preliminary games are as much an execcise in learning how to play as a test of skill.

By the semi-final rounds, players have a firmer grasp of what they're doing, and even new products play quicker and truer to form.

Standing Room Only ...

The first-ever Here I Stand tournament at WBC was a resounding success. The week started with the Tuesday evening demo. 37 people attended this first demo, definitely standing room only. The upcoming C3i article "Learning Here I Stand in 20 Minutes or Less" was handed out to all present and all basic rules were covered. Many people wanted to immediately give the game a try and joined the tournament heat that followed directly after. That first night there were 35 entrants; the GM played also to give us the ideal number of 36. Fortunately the random distribution of players yielded a playtester at four of the six tables. Those tables all progressed nicely thanks to the guidance of Bryan Collars, Ken Richards, Allen and Nathan Hill, and Matthew Beach. This night required a bit of patience from everyone, since so many of the players were still new to the game (there were three players from the current series of PBeM games, but it was probably the first HIS game for at least half the field). The tournament scenario went the distance to Turn 6 at three of these tables; there was a Turn 5 Ottoman win at 24 VP at the fourth table. The final two tables moved slowest and decided to declare a winner at 22 VP (instead of the usual 23) so we could all be finished in close to the allotted fivr hours.

Wednesday night was easier all around on the GM: the demo that night had a very manageable 23 players in attendance, and we had exactly 36 show up to play in the tournament. 20 of the players this night had not participated Tuesday, giving us a total attendance for the event of 56. We also had two more playtesters join us (Barry Setser and Joel Tamburo), along with a HIS player from Istanbul (Ahmet Ilpers). With a full night of HIS under everyone's belts, the games went faster this evening. 4 of 6 games went the full three turns, only one game was ended at 22 VP, and we finished about 45 minutes faster.

When all the blood had been spilled from the preliminaries, we had twelve different single game winners:
Jim Stanard
Mitch Lake
Chris Striker
Robert Mitchell
Barry Setser
Ed O'Connor
Dan Hoffman
Ken Richards
Charles Hickok
Brad Merrill
Peter Card
Roger Whitney

These 12 would join ta dozen at-large players with the highest total VP accumulation for the Thursday night semis. At this point the win totals were:
Ottoman: 3
Hapsburg: 2
England: 1
France: 1
Papacy: 2
Protestant: 3

All but four of the 24 were able to attend on Thursday; we had just enough alternates to fill those missing slots. Players were able to select their preferred power based on their ranking this night (instead of by random draft order as in the prelims). Perhaps based on the above results, the Ottoman was picked first and the Papacy was picked last three times.

Here in the semis, the level of play increased exponentially.. All four games were finished in just 4.5 hours. Remarkably, France, which had shown so poorly earlier in the week, won three of the four. The Hapsburgs were the winner in the Final. HIS experience was crucial at this point: playtesters Bryan Collars, Ken Richards, and Allen Hill were all winners. The fourth winner was Charles Hickok. Chris Striker and John Wetherell were selected to join them in the Final based on their scores of 24 and 23 VP here in the semis.

So going into the Final, England was the only power with a single win. Chris Striker was picking his power last and assumed he'd be left with England. Therefore it was a surprise when John Wetherell selected them with the fifth pick. Here was the power selection:
1: Bryan Collars (Protestant)
2: Ken Richards (Ottoman)
3: Charles Hickok (France)
4: Allen Hill (Hapsburgs)
5: John Wetherell (England)
6: Chris Striker (Papacy)
The GM kept notes on every diplomatic action and card play throughout the Final. Go to the Here I Stand web site for a full recap: http://home.comcast.net/~ebeach/replay.htm.

Here are the quick highlights. In the first two turns we had:
-- First turn unholy alliance between Protestants and Ottomans; Ottomans play Calvin's Institutes in exchange for Protestant play of Akinji Raiders.
-- At the start of the second turn, England plays Dissolution of the Monasteries to draw two cards. Copernicus ends up being one of these card draws.
-- All spaces in England (up to the Scottish border) reform on Turn 5. In retaliation the Papacy debates Coverdale and Tyndale, burning them both. By turn's end the reformed faith is nowhere to be seen in England.
Entering the last turn, VP totals were 21-21-19-21-19-17. Extremely close. The strong lead held mid-turn by the English and Protestants had been erased by the debating skills of Cajetan and Pole.

In the last turn, England showed their determination to return England to the Protestant faith. John played Printing Press as the event as his first action of the turn. It was a desperate religious struggle all turn; the Papacy launched four more debates. The turning point was probably when Ignatius Loyola was defeated by Nicolas Cop, one of two debate wins for Cop in the turn. By turn's end, nine English spaces were Protestant.

So when all the blood was spilled at the end of the last turn with all cards played, England held the lead. But only by one VP over the Hapsburgs and France, who were each sailing west to try and conquer the Inca. If either side succeeded, the game would be theirs. Allen picked Pizarro as his conquistador, meaning he only needed an 8 on two dice. He rolled a 7. One pip short! France (needing an 11) failed also. So on these aborted dice rolls, John Wetherell protected his English lead and was an upset winner of the tournament. England, the power no one had wanted at the start of the night, had won.

Final win totals by power were:
Ottoman: 3
Hapsburg: 3
England: 2
France: 4
Papacy: 2
Protestant: 3
Well played by all. It was a joy to watch it unfold.

Question: Which power did people most want to play?
If a power is selected first in a game, I am assigning it a score of "1". The power picked last gets a "6". Based on this scoring, for the whole tournament, the results were:
Ottoman 2.2
Hapsburgs 3.3
England 3.4
France 4.0
Papacy 4.3
Protestant 3.9
So the Ottomans were the most sought after power; the Papacy the least preferred. I did expect players to prefer the military powers to the religious ones this first year of the tournament (since the religious struggle is still a new gaming concept for most players). I am a bit surprised that France was not as highly preferred as the Protestant, however.
Question: Did choosing early lead to victory?

For the entire tournament, the winning player chose third on average (the numerical average was 2.9). So getting to play a power of your choosing was helpful, but not an overwhelming advantage.
Question: Did earning a higher seed and choosing early in the semis and Final help?

Not this year.
In the first two rounds (when selection order was random), the numerical choice average of the winners was 2.7. So there was an even stronger correlation between choosing first and winning in these games. My take is that this is because many players had limited experience with the game. If you were stuck with a power you hadn't tried before, your chances were significantly reduced.
Interestingly enough, in the semis and Final, the numerical choice average of the winners fell to 3.4. Allen Hill's win as France in a semi (France was his #5 pick) and John Wetherell's win as England in the Final (again the #5 pick) brought this average down. Selection order was clearly less of a factor in these later rounds.
Question: Did the player choosing last ever win?

Not this year. The breakdown of wins by selection position over the 17 games were as follows:
First choice: 3
Second choice: 5
Third choice: 3
Fourth choice: 2
Fifth choice: 4
Sixth choice: 0

 GM      Ed Beach (1st Year)  NA  
    ebeach@comcast.net   NA

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