dune [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report     

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Bill Dyer, IL

2007 Champion

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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

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bill Dyer          IL    07    120
  2.  Phil Barcafer      PA    07     72
  3.  Steve Koehler      NC    02     70
  4.  Joe Abrams         CT    07     64
  5.  Brad Johnson       IL    07     42
  6.  Andrew Clark       AZ    04     40
  7.  Jay Schlaffer      DC    00     40
  8.  Glenn McMaster     ON    07     31
  9.  Anne Marie Dilworh NY    06     30
 10.  Tony Burke         NJ    01     30
 11.  Chris Bodkin       NY    03     26
 12.  Joe Harrison       KY    06     25
 13.  JeanFrancois Gagne QC    05     25
 14.  Peter Stephanouk   PA    02     24
 15.  Brian Jones        NC    05     21
 16.  Benoit Groulx      QC    06     18
 17.  Ken Keller         AZ    99     18
 18.  Steve Cuccaro      MD    02     16
 19.  Stephane Dorais    QC    06     12
 20.  Paul Saunders      VA    00     12
 21.  Matt Fagan         NJ    06     10
 22.  Ray Carpenter      CT    99      9
 23.  Jeff Cornett       FL    04      8
 24.  James Hopkin       CA    02      8
 25.  Bruce Bernard      PA    00      8
 26.  Rob Barnes         WV    07      6
 27.  Joel Tamburo       IL    06      6
 28.  Chip Collins       TX    01      6
 29.  Jeff Clark         AZ    99      6
 30.  Kevin Sudy         VA    05      3

2007 Laurelists

Brad Johnson, IL
2nd

Joe Abrams, CT
3rd

Phil Barcafer, PA
4th

Rob Barnes, WV
5th

Glenn McMaster, ON
6th


Past Winners

Paul Saunders, VA
1992

Ray Carpenter, CT
1993

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

Andrew Clark, AZ
2004

Phil Barcafer, PA
2005

Anne Marie Dilworh, NY
2006
 

 

 Defending champion Anne Marie Dilworth was the only female among the entrants and remains the only woman to laurel in the event. She tried hard to defend her title, playing in all three heats but failed to advance.

 The finalists included all four members of the GM's team - finishing 1-2-3-6.

The Spice of Life

Participation in this year's tournament continued at about the same level as previous years. We again played nine qualification games, this time with a mean duration of 6.3 game turns in 4.1 hours.

Most of the qualification games finished in the allotted four hours or less, but one grinder took nine hours to complete to a 10-turn Guild default victory. (My philosophy is to let the games play to their conclusion as long as all of the players agree to stick with it and are having fun. Based on the amount of intense negotiation going on at this table, it was apparent that all six players were fully engaged and they insisted on playing it out.) On the other end of the scale, one game finished in just one hour with what appeared to be a surprise solo Harkonnen victory in Turn 3. Until the crafty Bene Gesserit player revealed that it was all part of his master plan, converting it into a solo BG prediction victory! This is the first prediction victory in three years; before that we were typically seeing one per year, so it's good to have the witches back in their usual form.

All of the other games were won by alliances, six pairs and two three-ways. After last year's "Fremen surprise" (where the tournament's losing-est faction leapt to the top of the winner's column), we returned to results more aligned with the usual expectations: Harkonnen led with six total wins, followed by the Bene Gesserit with five. After that, the Atreides took third with four wins, continuing their odd habit of alternating years toward the top and at the very bottom. The Emperor, Guild, and Fremen brought up the rear with three, two, and one victories respectively.

This year's statistics were no real surprise in terms of faction results. Over the seven years of records I've kept, the Atreides, Emperor, and Guild have been pretty stable as the "average"-strength powers, capable of winning and losing in about equal measure. The BG and Harkonnen (especially the BG) definitely seem to win more often than they lose, and the Fremen lose quite a bit more than they win. The hardcore fan base of Dune (including myself) are quick to want to discuss adjustments to the various player powers to try to balance the factions a little more for tournament play, but we risk damaging the flavor and enjoyment of the game. Several people proposed limiting the Harkonnen's hand-stealing Karama ability a bit, but opinions on the relative strength of the BG still vary considerably. I may consider beginning some sort of bidding system for faction selection next year ­ all opinions on that subject are welcome.

The other house rules in play continued to receive good feedback in general. The semi-variable appearance of the Shield Wall as a sixth stronghold, combined with some minor limits on inter-player spice exchanges seem to be doing a good job of preventing stalemate situations, helping tournament games end in a reasonable time.

Best Faction plaques were awarded to the players who gave the best single-game performance with each faction during the preliminary heats, measured in terms of strongholds controlled per turn. Dan Hoffman received Best Atreides; Ty Hansen, Best BG; Joe Abrams, Best Emperor and Best Harkonnen; Rob Barnes, Best Guild; and Matt Fagan, Best Fremen. Of note is the fact that this is the third time Joe has taken home Best Harkonnen, and also the third time Rob has taken Best Guild. Make sure you watch out if you run into one of these guys playing those factions!

Five of the six finalists were returnees, with Rob Barnes being the only newcomer, and happily drawing his favorite, the Guild. Phil Barcafer, 2005 champion, drew the Emperor. Then, in a bizarre twist of fate, all four members of the "Three Men and a Canadian team" advanced to the Fnal: Bill Dyer, 2003 champion, drew the Atreides; Brad Johnson, 1998 champion, drew the Bene Gesserit; Glenn McMaster drew the Fremen; and Joe Abrams drew the Harkonnen. (One may very well question the validity of the GM and all three of his teammates advancing, but my records are open to all! In the interest of full disclosure, Dune was Glenn's team event, but the rest of us had already lost our team events, so Glenn's performance did not matter, and in fact, we had more interest in making sure he did NOT score!)

The Final was off to a relatively dynamic beginning, with a number of battles over available spice blows erupting quickly. The Guild snapped up two stronholds in Turn 1, and the BG sent advisors to all corners of the planet. House Atreides and House Harkonnen allied in Turn 2 and were almost immediately contending for the win, with the Harkonnen pushing the Guild out of Tuek's Sietch. The other factions were forced to ally and cooperate against the leaders to keep the game going. A lot of tokens were sent to the tanks in the next two turns, and the Harkonnen in particular took significant damage and loss of position. By Turn 4, despite the Atreides/Harkonnen alliance controlling the bulk of the battle cards and working carefully to maintain critical gaps in the other players' hands, Sietch Tabr lay unoccupied and the BG controlled Tuek's Sietch. The Atreides and Harkonnen were reduced to their home cities and the Emperor continued to hold the last stronghold. With the appearance of a critical worm in Turn 5, the Atreides abandoned his weakened Harkonnen ally and offered an alliance to the BG. The combination of the Voice and Prescience makes for a fearsome opponent, particularly with the various gaps in battle card ownership known by the Atreides. With relatively large treasuries, careful analysis, and a little luck concerning the hidden cards in the Harkonnen's hand, the BG and Atreides were able to take control of the requisite four strongholds to win a fairly short game. The Atreides held three of the four to take first place.

Congratulations to all, and especially to Bill Dyer on his second Dune championship. I think this was the first year since I took over as GM that I was able to play more than one heat myself, and it was great to face some of the players whom I haven't had the pleasure of opposing in some time. I received a lot of good feedback about the format and style of the tournament, but as always, suggestions for improvement are always welcome. See you again next year!

 GM      Brad Johnson  [7th Year]   1517 Driftwood Ln, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
    tempus42@sbcglobal.net   815-477-7706

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