Updated 11/17/2011

 2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment

David Finberg, MA

2011 Champion


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Event History
1991    Steve Rareshide      43
1992    Kevin Quirk      48
1993    Brian Sutton      58
1994    Chuck Kaplan      67
1995    Steve Koleszar      65
1996    Ben Foy      66
1997    Dave Finberg      72
1998    Jung Yueh      78
1999    Dave des Jardins     51
2000    Rich Atwater     60
2001    Steve Koleszar     55
2002    Ed Rothenheber     51
2003    David Finberg     60
2004    Aaron Fuegi     39
2005    David des Jardins     51
2006    Kevin Hillock     38
2007    Aaron Fuegi     45
2008    Jason Ley     37
2009    David Finberg     42
2010    Aaron Fuegi     38
2011    David Finberg     43

Rank  Name             From  Last  Total
  1.  Dave Finberg      MA    11    269
  2.  Aaron Fuegi       MA    11    263
  3.  David des Jardins CA    11    185
  4.  Jason Ley         GA    10    146
  5.  Rich Atwater      WA    11    123
  6.  Brian Sutton      MD    10    117
  7.  Dan Strock        PA    11    102
  8.  Kevin Hillock     VA    11     90
  9.  Steve Koleszar    VA    08     84
 10.  Ed Rothenheber    MD    04     70
 11.  Joe Harrison      KY    08     48
 12.  Michael Pustilnik NY    07     47
 13.  Robert Masso      NY    08     36
 14.  David Gubbay      TX    05     36
 15.  Chuck Nail        GA    01     36
 16.  Arthur Wines      NJ    09     34
 17.  Tom Johnston      IL    06     30
 18.  Andrew Gross      WA    03     30
 19.  Akihisa Tabei     jp    10     25
 20.  Jonathan Barnes   CA    09     20
 21.  Kevin Quirk       FL    00     20
 22.  Russ Cleaveland   WA    04     15
 23.  Kyle Moore        WA    04     10
 24.  Justin Childs     FL    99     10

2011 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

Dan Strock, PA

Aaron Fuegi, MA

David des Jardins, CA

Kevin Hillock, VA

Rich Atwater, WA

1991: Steve Rareshide, VA
1992: Kevin Quirk, PA

Brian Sutton, MD

Chuck Kaplan, IL

Steve Koleszar, VA
1995, 2001

Ben Foy, VA

Dave Finberg, MA
1997, 2003, 2009, 2011

Jung Yeah, MA

David des Jardins, CA
1999, 2005

Rich Atwater, WA

Ed Rothenheber, MD

Aaron Fuegi, MA
2004, 2007, 2010


Kevin Hillock, VA


Jason Ley, WA

Kris Giesing, Richard Goldbaum and 2000 champ Rich Atwater

2006 champ Kevin Hillock, Clifford Smith and Rick Northey

Patience Pays off ...

Akihisa "Aki" Tabei donated old style counter sheets to all of the players in the multi-player Final. He also donated three sets to hand out next year, in case he is unable to repeat his long trek across the Pacific from Japan. Aki continued his aggressive play again this year. In one of his preliminary games he attacked Nick Klercker on Turn 2. It didn't work, but when he's in the game, you don't want to give him a shot at your titan legion if he'll have any kind of edge.

We had 32 preliminary matches with 14 3-player, 16 4-player and two 5-player games for 116 player starts in the preliminaries. While a number of players had secured early virtual locks on a semi-final slot, several regulars were still scrambling for the last slots in Friday evening games. Nick Klercker held on to his spot, and Steve Koleszar, while not winning moved up enough to earn his. Kris Giesing, Peg Mecham and Bruce Rae all fell a win short. Jason Ley who spent much of his time taking third in the Titan Two-player tournament, already had a win but was unable to finish high enough to get the last semi-final spot.

The first semi-final featured Dan Strock, Ken Nied, Bob Masso and 1993 champ Brian Sutton. The first key battle was Brian attacking with titan(8), two cyclops, two angels, and two rangers with an angel to call against behemoth, guardian, three cyclops, and two gargoyles in a jungle. Dan was able to recruit a behemoth and Brian was unable to bring in his angel. The last cyclops killed Brian's titan putting Dan over 200 points and the lead. Dan's lead eroded a bit with Bob getting teleport first. However Bob had only two legions for most of the end game. Ken was the first to recruit a serpent which arguably put him ahead of Dan at that time. Dan's recruiting picked up and he took the recruiting lead with serpents and hydras. Dan caught Bob's titan legion first and gained an archangel and titan teleport and then Ken resigned a few turns later when his titan legion was trapped.

Match 2 matched two-time champ David des Jardins, Nick Klercker, Jonathan Barnes and Charles Coats. David killed Charles' titan with an angel, minotaur legion in brush. Then he killed Jonathan's titan with a titan, wyvern, gorgon legion in the hills. And then rolled a 6 and teleported to kill Nick's titan in a plains waiting for a roll to get a dragon.

Semi-final 3 grouped defending champ Aaron Fuegi, 2006 champ Kevin Hillock, Akihisa Tabei and Rick Northey. Aaron attacked Aki's titan legion and at the end Aki risked giving a troll a swing at his titan which had already taken five of its seven hits in order to keep it from swinging at a dragon that had taken eight of nine hits. Aki had another dragon that was going to survive the battle and was due two angels for points, but judged that he really needed to come out of the battle with both dragons intact. Unfortunately for him, Aaron's troll got two hits to eliminate him. Rick didn't recruit well and was chased by Aaron into Kevin's area of influence who eliminated him. Aaron ended up teleporting onto Kevin's titan legion and the battle came down to Aaron's 11 point titan versus Kevin's 10 point titan. Aaron won the battle cleanly (no mutual roll off was needed).

The 4th pairing earned the heavyweight bout billing with four former champions (David Finberg, Rich Atwater, Steve Koleszar and Sean McCulloch). Sean's title was in the two-player event but it was still an impressive resume by any measure. The game didn't start well for David as he mulligan'd a 2 and got a 5 on the re-roll and a 2 on his next turn. Sean jumped out to a lead with an early hydra from wyverns in his titan legion. While waiting in a hills with a one third chance for another hydra, Steve attacked with a griffon and some lions and rangers. Steve lost but stripped the recruiters from Sean's legion. David then moved into the lead getting two giants into his titan legion. He then went on to miss seven chances to get a colossus. This provided time for Sean and Rick to get serpents. David had gotten over 400 points by this time. Both he and Rick were trying to catch Sean's titan. Just as Rick was about to close in for the kill, David teleported on Sean to get his points. Rick then won a pyrrhic victory in a tundra battle with his titan legion. David then teleported into a plains under the mountains and beat a strong legion of Rick's losing only one giant. Soon after he replaced it and Rick conceded.

In the Final, again things started poorly for Finberg. He was last and mulligan'd a 2 only to re-roll another 2. One of his legions didn't recruit until Turn 3. A bit into the game Fuegi made an attack on one of des Jardins' legions. Though des Jardins had about a 33% chance to kill Fuegi's titan, he missed. Aaron ended up with titan(8), two angels, warlock, gorgon, and cyclops. A bit later des Jardins teleported to get a second wyvern in his titan legion but shortly afterwards was trapped by Aaron. des Jardins then attacked Strock's angel legion with his angel legion to try to clear a way though. des Jardins tried to make a run for it but was caught and killed by Aaron. At this point Aaron had titan (11), two angels, warlock and cyclops for his titan legion and another legion with a hydra. Things were looking very good for him. Aaron then attacked Strock's two behemoths, gorgon, and three cyclops in the jungle. Aaron later said that given his position, he should never have made this attack. Things went wrong in the battle and Strock eventually got a serpent and Aaron had to make a bad choice of likely being killed outright or needing good rolls to kill everything fast enough. In the end he ended up losing the battle on time. Strock had 397 points, but wasn't able to exceed 400 until after it was an immediate win to teleport. Finberg had few points, so it took a long time for him to recover. He recruited very well, eventually recruiting all 10 colossus in the game. He eventually got 400 points and was able to teleport on Dan's titan for the win and his fourth Titan title. This game was an example of being patient to give oneself a chance to win.

Since a question came up about seeding for the semi-final games, I thought I'd go through a bit of the history for the multi-player tournament to explain how we got to using the current scheme. The first three years Bill Scott ran the tournament and used a 6-player Final with no semi-final. When I took over, I felt we had enough participants that we could support having 16 semi-finalists. In 6-player games, typically two people get eliminated early through bad rolls and not really any fault of their own. With 4-player games players getting eliminated early due to bad rolls is much less frequent. As such I thought 4-player games would be better for the playoff rounds.

In my first year, seeding was based strictly on how players did in the preliminaries. I also tried to have consolation games for the semi-final players who didn't win their table. That turned out to be a mistake. Note to anyone thinking of being a GM: people tend not to appear for consolation games. I also had mutuals resolved by having the player with the higher seed advance.

I ran this way (minus the consolation games) for a few years, but there were some issues that still needed to be corrected. Players didn't like having the seeding affect who one mutuals. So I eventually switched to having a 50-50 roll off to see who advances. (That has worked out well and I also am now using it in the preliminary heats.)

The seeding itself had a few issues. One is that strict seeding could result in Team Tournament players being in the same semi as a team member. While I don't think anyone ever threw a game, it is best to defer these match-ups as long as possible to avoid any semblance of impropriety. A similar issue is that people from the same game club were asking to not be paired with each other as much as possible.

Along a different front the seeding was a bit misleading. People who were good players would sometimes win two games fairly quickly and then play in other events until time for the semis came. This and normal randomness resulted in the seeding not really matching up with player skills. And it was also noted by some players that near the end of the preliminary part of the tournament the players could look at the preliminary seeding results and perhaps have incentive to throw an in-progress game or to not play another game in order to get a lower seed which would get them an easier semi-final game.

So I then used the preliminary ranking just for deciding who was in the semis. I also started allowing groups of up to four mutually consenting players to be split in the semis. This was to avoid being matched with frequent opponents from the same area (as by that point most of the regular players were friends at some level), or to avoid playing with those who had styles they didn't like (generally involving what kinds of deal making are OK). This solved the problems above, but went too far in that the seeding information wasn't being used at all to help fairly divide the semi-final participants.

So several years ago, I started breaking up the semi-final participants into four groups, based on seeding, that all needed to be split apart in the semi-finals. This retained some randomness, the ability to split friends apart, split up teammates and use the information from the seeding to fairly evenly divide the players for the semi-final games. And the uncertainty keeps people from being able to game things at the end by deliberately finishing with a lower seed.

Robert Masso, Bruce Rae and Ken Nied

Bruno Wolff in his 17th year as Titan GM oversees his finalists.
 GM     Bruno Wolff III  (17th year)   NA 
    bruno@wolff.to   NA

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