here I stand  

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Jeff Burdett, NY

2008 Champion


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Event History
2006    John Wetherell     56
2007     Bryan Collars     48
2008    Jeff Burdett     48

PBeM History
2008    Dan Gallagher     54

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bryan Collars      SC    07     62
  2.  Jeff Burdett       NY    08     60
  3.  Dan Gallagher      MD    08     60
  4.  John Wetherell     PA    06     60
  5.  Alan Sudy          VA    08     41
  6.  Ken Richards       SC    07     38
  7.  Rob Seulowitz      NY    08     36
  8.  Allan Hill         MD    06     36
  9.  Dennis Mishler     CT    07     30
 10.  Michael Rogazinski NY    08     24
 11.  Steve Caler        OH    08     24
 12.  Charles Hickok     PA    06     24
 13.  Chris Striker      PA    07     21
 14.  Rick Cambron       PA    08     18
 15.  Michael Brophy     NC    08     18
 16.  Justin Rice        VA    08     12
 17.  George Young       VT    08     12
 18.  Dan Hoffman        NC    07     10
 19.  Dave Cross         VA    08      6
 20.  Jeremiah Peterson  IL    08      6

2008 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists 

Alan Sudy, VA

Michael Rogazinski, NY

Rick Cambron, PA

Justin Rice, VA

Dave Cross, VA

Past Champions

John Wetherell, PA

Bryan Collars, SC

Jeff Burdett, NY


 Not all Here I Stand players took it as seriously as this color coordinated crew of glue sniffers. None of these ladies actually entered the tournament - or perhaps Ed closed the door when he saw them coming. From left: name withheld for his own protection. Jeff Paull, Jesse Boomer, Greg Schmittgens, Andy Maly and George Young.

Standing Room Only ...

In its third year at WBC, Here I Stand held up well, matching its attendance from 2007. However more players returned for a second heat and the semi-finals this year, allowing us to increase our total number of games played from 14 to 17 and hold onto our six-plaque status for yet another year. Demos were held before both the Tuesday and Thursday heats; several people wanted to immediately give the game a try and joined the directly following heat.

The first night there were 33 entrants, giving us five 6-player games and one 3-player. Our recent tweaks to improve play balance seemed to work right out of the gate: of the 6 games on Tuesday night, five different powers won. Only the Ottomans (a popular power, the first power chosen in the 2007 and 2008 Finals) ended the night without a win. The most remarkable opening round game saw David Long's French lose despite amassing a huge VP score of 26 VP. In that same game Jeff Pattison recorded a Protestant religious auto-win by converting 50 spaces. It was the first time that feat had ever been accomplished in a tournament scenario, and only the third time ever. Other winners of Tuesday night games included Nick Benedict (1-turn Hapsburg win), Justin Rice (England in the 3-player game), Phil Barcafer (2-turn Papal win), Dave Cross (Protestant) and Ed Beach (France).

Thursday night was even better as we had a perfect 36 players in attendance. Familiarity with the game has certainly improved over the past few years; the GM was able to play out in the Ballroom Lobby, only fielding the odd rules question every few hours. Just like on Tuesday, we had one 1-turn game, two 2-turn games, and three 3-turn games. Interesting pattern! Dave Cross was the only winner in both heats, this time gaining a Papal victory.

Ed O'Connor was playing in a very strong table with a Heat 1 winner (Nick Benedict), the eventual tournament champion (Jeff Burdett), and the GM/designer (Ed Beach). He still managed to bluff us into thinking others held Copernicus and then play it at the last minute for the win. Paul McCarthy, an opening heat winner in 2007, missed out on a Turn 5 French win by failing an exploration roll (a 7 or better on two dice would have given him the win). He was hit hard the next turn and Charles Hickok (England) claimed the victory. Other Heat 2 winners included Eric Landes (Protestant), Ken Richards (France), and Barry Setser (Protestant).

The winners of Round 1 games joined the at-large players with the highest total VP accumulation for the Friday morning semis. In the first semi-final, Dave Cross pushed his record to 3-0, winning with his third different power (Protestant, Papacy, Ottoman). The second game featured a quick one-turn Papal knockout win by Rick Byrens, despite a strong table that included four repeat semi-finalists. (Rick however would be leaving before the Final and couldn't continue). In the third semi, Jeff Burdett earned his second win of the week as the Hapsburgs, bluffing the other players into leaving his conquistador at sea claiming he could replace him with an explorer using his final card. The fourth semi-final was the closest of all, going the full three turns and entering the final turn with five powers all tied for the lead at 19 VP. Dan Hoffman's Papacy would probably have won (and scored Master of Italy VP) except for a massive city state rebellion in Florence. Rolling five dice, Jeff Pattison scored four hits to wipe out a full 4-unit Florentine garrison. At the end of the Action Phase, Kaarin Engelmann's English held the lead at 22 VP. Only a successful exploration by the French (needing a 10 on two dice) would stop her win. Rick Cambron made the roll, went ahead and advanced to the Final.

Going into the Final, the win totals by power were: Ottoman 2, Hapsburgs 2, English 2, French 3, Papacy 3, and Protestant 4. Improved balance to be sure! Dave Cross ignored these numbers and chose the Ottoman, leaving the Hapsburgs to Jeff Burdett for the fourth straight game. This proved unwise. First year players Rick Cambron and Michael Rogazinski chose the Protestants and French next. England was chosen last for the second straight year, falling to AJ Sudy, our only returning finalist. Our lineup (in order of choice) was thus:

1: Dave Cross (Ottoman)
2: Jeff Burdett (Hapsburgs)
3: Rick Cambron (Protestant)
4: Michael Rogazinski (French)
5: Justin Rice (Papacy)
6: AJ Sudy (England)

Here are the highlights of the three-turn Final

Hapsburgs ally with France; England allies with Protestant.
Henry VIII granted a divorce for two card draws; Anne Boleyn gives birth to a healthy Edward VI.
Ottoman gains 2 piracy VP on the first card play, leading to an unleashing of events against the Ottoman. We saw: both foreign wars, Janissaries Rebel, Unsanitary Camp, and the Knights of St. John. The Knights stole Copernicus from the Ottoman!
The Protestant took quick advantage of the Here I Stand Home card's abilities, seizing Copernicus for 2 VP.
Three independent/minor keys fell (English take Edinburgh, French take Milan & Metz). Trier also falls to a Protestant army.
Cartier explores the Great Lakes; DeSoto finds the St. Lawrence; Chancellor sails down the Amazon.
Protestants bide their time, gaining 0 spaces over the turn.

VP at end of turn: Ott : 19, Hap:18, Eng: 18, Fra: 18, Pap: 19, Pro:16.

Hapsburgs ally with France and Papacy; Papacy receives control of Munster, Breslau and Regensburg.
France declares war on Genoa.
Hapsburgs attack Buda and put it under siege, but for the second straight turn the camp there proves Unsanitary. What is with the Danube water?
France plays Printing Press to besiege Genoa; this card is quickly seized and used by the Protestant.
Hapsburgs use Treachery to take Buda.
France conquers Genoa, despite a Genoese alliance with the Papacy.
Protestants finish the English and French New Testaments, converting 8 of 12 spaces.
Hapsburgs siege Brandenburg to hold the Protestants back from a win (they had gained 22 spaces this turn).
Spain conquers the Inca.

VP at end of turn: Ott: 17, Hap: 20, Eng: 20, Fra: 20, Pap: 14, Pro: 22.

The Hapsburg player was quite busy during the Turn 6 Diplomacy Phase. He allies with the English, French, and Papacy, receives squadrons from England and gives a card to the Papacy (to help staunch the Protestant tide?) The French and Papacy also ally, with the Papal fleet helping France for the turn. The Pope receives a second card early in the turn through Diplomatic Overture.
Hapsburgs put Wittenberg under siege; it falls quickly.
Calvin is excommunicated; the Council of Trent also convenes and restores Catholicism to parts of France.
The Counter Reformation picks up more steam: the Spanish Inquisition arrives and burns all copies of the English Book of Common Prayer (which was in the Protestant hand). Then, Farel is burnt at the stake!
The English and French fight an inconclusive battle at Boulogne. Stymied in north France, Henry VIII sails for Bordeaux. But his invasion there is repulsed at great loss of English life.
Trier is the final electorate to fall to the Hapsburgs in the Schmalkaldic War.
The Hapsburgs send out a conquistador to try and conquer the Maya.
Loyola debates Olivetan and is stymied!
Entering the New World Phase, the English enjoy a 1-point lead. But Pizarro sails for the Hapsburg. If he can roll a 6, Jeff will conquer the Maya and win the game on the tiebreaker (higher score at the beginning of the game - the Hapsburgs and English had ended each of the previous turns tied). Pizarro succeeds, giving Jeff the win in a very tight tournament finale. AJ, our one returning finalist, moved up from a 6th place result in 2007 to 2nd this year.

VP at end of turn: Ott:19, Hap: 23, Eng: 23, Fra: 21, Pap: 17, Pro: 19.

Stats, Trivia & Misconceptions

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 as follows (with the 2007 number in parentheses):
Ottoman 2.0 (2.6)
Hapsburgs 3.2 (4.1)
England 3.5 (3.2)
France 4.3 (3.1)
Papacy 4.8 (4.6)
Protestant 2.6 (3.4)
So the Ottomans were the most sought after power; the Papacy the least preferred. The Hapsburgs moved up from 5th choice in 2007 to the third highest choice this year (maybe because they won four of 14 games last year)? Will the affinity for the Ottoman and Hapsburgs drop next year once people realize they only won two games each in 2008? The new natural enemies rule didn't seem to hurt the popularity of these powers.
Question: Did choosing early lead to victory?

For the entire tournament, the winning player chose third on average (the numerical average was 2.8 in 2007, but rose to 3.1 this year). So getting to play a power of your choosing was helpful, but not an overwhelming advantage. And less of a help this year than in earlier years (probably because of our improved play balance).
Question: Did earning a higher seed and choosing early in the semis and Final help?

It has in previous years, but not in 2008.
In the first two rounds (when selection order was random), the numerical choice average of the winners was 3.0. In the later rounds when players chose their power based on their seed, this number rose to 3.2. Rick Byrens semi-final win with the Papacy (the final pick at the table) definitely held this average down. And he did it in a single turn!
Question: Did the player choosing last ever win?

Yes, Rick Byrens did this as the Papacy (see above) and Ed Beach did as France in an opening heat game. But no player choosing 5th won a game this year!

The breakdown of wins by selection position over the 17 games were as follows:
First choice: 4
Second choice: 3
Third choice: 4
Fourth choice: 4
Fifth choice: 0
Sixth choice: 2

Sometimes the shirt sez it all ...

The finalists plot as Lampeter Hall empties out.

Here I Stand PBeM Tournament 2008 Results

After 22 games, the field of 54 players was whittled down to the six laurelists. The Final of the first HIS BPA PBeM Tournament reached a satisfying conclusion in late Sept. 2008.  Dan Gallagher's Turks were able to outwit, outlast, and secure five Pirating VPs to earn the first PBeM Tournament Championship.  Dan's Turn 5 victory was an outstanding accomplishment given the strength of the other finalists.  Key moments in Dan's march to victory in Turn 5 were the three key Piracy VPs the Turks earned to ensure the victory, the play of Servetus for an additonal VP and the straw stealing of two VPs when the Akinji Raiders snatched the Andrea Doria card from the Hapsburgs.  Rob Seulowitz's Hapsburgs held the Turn 4 lead but deft diplomacy on his part shifted the bullseye squarely on the back of his rival, Dan's Turks.  The diplomatic play in no way lessened Rob's chance at victory.  However, Dan's cards, luck, and overall strategy won out and brought home the coveted wood.  Spirited play by Mike Brophy's Papacy and Jeremiah Peterson's Protestants saw the religious battles sway back and forth.  Mike's Pope eventually prevailed in this conflict with the untimely burning of one of the Protestant debaters.  Meanwhile Steve Caler as the French and George Young as the English played a steady Tournament Final that saw them poised for a big Turn 6 that could have secured the victory, but alas it was not to be.  The final results for all the participants wee thus: 1st - Dan Gallagher 24VPs (Turks), 2nd - Rob Seulowitz 21VPs (Hapsburgs), 3rd - Stever Caler 21VPs (French), 4th - Mike Brophy 18VPs (Papacy), 5th - George Young 18VPs (English), and 6th - Jeremiah Peterson 17VPs (Protestant). 

The 2nd HIS BPA PBeM Tournament is already in the planning stages and should kick off early in 2009. Check the BPA newsletter and calendar for an announcement soon.

 GM      Ed Beach (3rd Year)  NA   NA

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