Standing Room Only ...
Ken Richards seems a little dejected
by his position. There a lot of that to go around during this
John Emery demonstrates the correct
amount of wristage for John Wetherell, John Vasilakos and AJ
In its fourth year at WBC, Here I Stand grew by almost
30% to a field of 62 players, despite the fact that the game
has now been out-of-print for a year and defying the normal trend
of new games losing attendance in their subsequent years. The
Tuesday night heat attracted 42 entrants, giving us seven games
in a heat for the first time. We continued to use the play balance
adjustments to the tourament scenario that had evened out the
win totals by power in 2008. But that trend didn't
extend into this year, somehow we had six Protestant winners
in the seven games this night. Several noted that
it was probably a side effect from this summer's celebration
of the 500th anniversary of Jean Calvin's birth. Others
who were less into this "Jubilee theory" noticed that
a host of experienced players were using the Protestant's ability
to quickly catapult from the back of the pack into the lead to
get themselves into the semi-finals. Winners of this
night's games included: Mark Mahaffey, Roger Whitney, Dave Cross,
John Emery, Ken Richards, Tim Rogers, and Pete Corrigan (who
won as the Hapsburgs).
Thursday night we set another record for heat attendance with
45 players. This time the Protestants were held back;
the distribution of wins was: one Ottoman, three Hapsburg, one
French, two Papal, and just one Protestant. The most
notable game was our three-player contest in which Mary I made
her first WBC appearance. The extra burnt debaters
in England propelled Jeff Burdett to a Papal win (and seemingly
built up his Catholic kharma for later in the week, see below). Nat
Pendleton scored the only one-turn preliminary round win (with
the Hapsburgs), needing only 90 minutes to polish off his foes. Amazingly,
all the players at this table felt a need for more Here I
Stand action: they immediately set up the full, campaign
game and proceeded to play it until 2am that morning! Rounding
out the Thursday winners were Justin Rice, Bryan Collars, Adam
Sigel, Dennis Mishler, Darren Kilfara, and Ted Drozd.
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 ran his two-year HIS tournament
record to an amazing 5-2, capping a one-turn win with successful
expeditions to the Amazons and Inca. He also accomplished
the feat with the Hapsburgs -- the fourth different power he's
won with over this two-year span. The next semi-final to finish
was a French victory by Kirk Harris, who rode New World explorations
by Cartier and Roberval to a two-turn victory. The
final two semi-finals went the full three turns, leaving the
composition of the Final in doubt until the last die was cast. Nat
Pendleton prevailed again as the Hapsburgs in the first of these
games, knocking back Mark Mahaffey in a brutal Schmalkaldic War
that dropped the Protestant from first to fourth place. Tim Rogers
won the last game with a come-from-behind Protestant win that
left three players tied for second at 22 VP. One of
those players would qualify for the Final - defending champ Jeff
Burdett - sneaking in based on his seeding from the preliminary
rounds to keep his title defense alive.
With first pick going into the Final, Tim Rogers stuck with
the Protestants; after all he had won two games as that power
earlier in the week. Choosing second, Dave Cross elected
to play the Ottoman in the Final for the second straight year. Our
full lineup (in order of selection) was:
1: Tim Rogers (Protestant)
2: Dave Cross (Ottomans)
3: Nat Pendleton (England)
4: Kirk Harris (French)
5: Chris Striker (Hapsburgs)
6: Jeff Burdett (Papacy)
Here are the highlights of the three-turn Final
* Hapsburgs ally with Papacy (receiving a squadron);
England allies with Protestant. Pope's asking price for divorce
(two cards and two mercs) is too much for England.
* Ottoman gains two piracy VP on the first card play, but
the Hapsburgs quickly retaliate and destroy Barbarossa's fleet.
* A fluctuation down in cloth prices causes the Hapsburg to
lose Diplomatic Overture; Protestants retrieve this card from
discard later in the turn.
* Three independent keys/electorates fall (English take Metz,
French take Milan, Protestants take Trier).
* Michael Servetus appears and aids French science.
* Anne Boleyn repulses Henry and they never consummate the
* England discovers the Amazon.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 18, Hap: 17, Eng: 13, Fra:16, Pap:16,
* Papacy and Ottomans cut a deal: two cards of tribute leave
Rome for Istanbul. In return the Ottomans start a phony war against
Venice (bringing it into the Papal camp) and release the architect
Michelangelo for work in Rome. He isn't a big success;
it seems he'd rather just carve sculptures.
* The Ottomans also help the Protestants by dumping Printing
Press early in the turn during their move on Tunis (which does
fall to the Turkish army).
* Henry marries Jane Seymour, but again no heir is born.
* The religious war is turned up a notch with the start of
inquisitions. This turns nasty for the Protestant:
both Bullinger (2VP) and Latimer (1VP) are burnt at the stake.
* Hapsburgs really start to press the Schmalkaldic War; Protestant
is forced to play Printing Press for CP late in the turn to ward
off this threat and finish the German Bible.
* Finally, late in the turn, Edward VI is born to the renowned
and lovely Anne of Cleves.
* England conquers the Inca! Cartier and Orellana
pick up minor discoveries for France and the Hapsburgs.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 21, Hap: 19, Eng: 20, Fra: 20, Pap:
21, Pro: 17.
* Alliances galore:
Hapsburgs with England, France, Papacy (receives the Venetian
England with Protestant
France with Papacy
Protestants even yield a card to the Hapsburgs
* However despite the alliances, the turn starts on a bloody
note: the Ottoman and Hapsburgs have major battles in Austria
and Hungary (won by the Hapsburgs) and England invades France. Henry
VIII's army is defeated moving on Paris, so he turns his attention
on Rouen instead.
* Ottomans begin pirating the undefended Papal coasts, managing
to steal a card and a few VP from the Pontiff.
* About halfway through the turn, Nat decides the Reformation
must reach England. So he publishes the Book of Common
Prayer, even though most of England is still Catholic. The
Reformation attempts fail and the entire island erupts in revolt! Henry,
unable to deal with the widespread chaos, soon dies and leaves
the realm to Edward.
* The Papacy then seals the deal by having Eck burn Coverdale
to push the VP from burnt debaters to 5.
* Other mainstays of the Reformation period die as well: Luther
and Francis I. France fails in their final attempts
on Metz, but the Hapsburgs are able to conquer Buda.
* The Hapsburgs also conquer the Maya, but it is too little,
too late -- the Papacy is too far in front to be caught.
VP at end of turn: Ott : 21, Hap: 21, Eng: 20, Fra:
21, Pap: 25, Pro: 18.
Jeff Burdett wins his second game of the week based on the
strength of burnt debaters, this time without the aid of Bloody
Mary. With the win he becomes the first two-time Here
I Stand champion and the first to record back-to-back championships. And
he was playing the Papacy only because all five other players
had passed on that power!
Stats from this year's tournament
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 2008 number in parentheses):
Ottoman 2.55 (2.00)
Hapsburgs 3.40 (3.24)
England 3.50 (3.53)
France 3.90 (4.29)
Papacy 4.58 (4.76)
Protestant 2.63 (2.65)
So the Ottomans were once again the most sought after power;
the Papacy the least preferred (unchanged throughout all four
years of the tournament). However this was the first
year it was close enough that I had to add another decimal of
precision to see if the Ottomans or Protestant were the players'
overall first choice. The Ottomans lost a lot of ground this
year and all the other powers except the Hapsburgs gained popularity. Perhaps
we're seeing an effect of having the Natural Enemies rule only
affect the Ottomans and Hapsburgs this year? Regardless,
it is a good trend. The popularity of various powers
is evening out.
Question: Did choosing early lead to victory?
For the entire tournament, the winning player chose third
on average (the numerical average was 3.2 this year, a slight
rise from the 3.1 from 2008). So getting to play your power of
choice was still somewhat helpful, but not a significant advantage.
Question: Did earning a higher seed and choosing early
in the semis and Final help?
Yes! The winning power in the five games of the
later rounds had an average choice number of 2.8, lower than
the 3.2 listed above. But this hasn't been a significant
trend; only in two of the four years has this held true. And
this year's Final was won by Jeff Burdett who was stuck with
Papacy as the least desirable choice! In fact this average choice
number for our four Finals is 4.3; could it possibly be a disadvantage
to choose your power early???
Question: Did the player choosing last ever win?
Yes, Jeff Burdett did this as the Papacy in the Final (see
above) and Ken Richards did this as Protestants in an opening
The breakdown of wins by selection position over the
20 games were as follows:
First choice: 5
Second choice: 1
Third choice: 8
Fourth choice: 2
Fifth choice: 2
Sixth choice: 2
Not much luck for those picking second this year!
Here I Stand is one of the few wargame
events which has grown in the years following its debut at WBC.
The event has outgrown the Kinderhook
room with several tables in the Terrace called upon to handle