seven wonders   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Kelly Czyryca, MD

2013 Champion

Event History
2011    Matthew Beach     170
2012    Andrew Emerick     165
2013    Kelly Czyryca     128

Euro Quest BPA Event History
2011    Bill Zurn     80
2012     Luann Stubbs     61

 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Andrew Emerick     CT    12     58
   2.  Matthew Beach      MD    11     50
   3.  Kelly Czyryca      MD    13     40
   4.  Luann Stubbs       PA    12     30
   5.  Bill Zurn          CA    11     30
   6.  Dominic Blais      qc    11     30
   7.  Dan Shmueli        NY    13     24
   8.  Lissa Rennert      MD    12     24
   9.  Robbie Mitchell    VA    11     20
  10.  Randy Buehler      WA    11     18
  11.  David Platnick     VA    13     16
  12.  Chris Bert         PA    12     16
  13.  Chris Terrell      VA    11     15
  14.  Ed Ericson         AR    13     12
  15.  Jason Porta        PA    12     12
  16.  Ben Scholl         PA    12     12
  17.  Alyssa Poletti     NJ    11     12
  18.  Ken Schlosser      PA    11     10
  19.  Lawrence Solomon   VA    12      9
  20.  Rodney Davidson    AZ    11      9
  21.  Zach Snyder        PA    13      8
  22.  Mario Arnold       MD    12      8
  23.  Ian Streeb         NC    12      6
  24.  Chris Gnech        PA    11      6
  25.  Karl Henning       VT    11      5
  26.  Jeremy Lennert     CA    13      4
  27.  Patrick Murphy     CT    12      4
  28.  Dan Mathias        MD    12      3
  29.  Jacob Nixon        WV    11      3

2013 Laurelists                                                  Repeating Laurelists:

Dan Shmueli, NY
2nd

David Platnick, VA
3rd

Ed Ericson, AR
4th

Zach Snyder, PA
5th

Jeremy Lennert, CA
6th

Past Winners

Matthew Beach, MD
2011

Andrew Emerick, CT
2012

Kelly Czyryca, MD
2013

Erik Schlosser and Alyssa Gumkowski with no foreign adversaries.

Richard Shay and Canadian Maria Calandrino vie for supremacy.

Austrian Herbert Gratz presents the foreign opposition for Peggy Ng and Jeremy Lennert.

Rodney Bacigalupo had best be wary of Israel (Aran Warszawski) on his left.

Still Wonderful ...

Just as great civilizations rise and fall, so too must great tournament formats. This year, 4-player preliminary round games replaced the previous tradition of 7-player games in the 7 Wonders qualifiers. The change was introduced to enhance the game's strategic elements early in the tournament, allowing players to plan ahead in their first few building selections each round knowing that some of the cards they pass on may return to them later.

The format change, coupled with a switch to an advancement-point system, made for much tighter games in the preliminaries. Only nine players managed double wins in the two qualifier games, and only two scores of 70 were reported compared to many game-winning scores below 50. 2011 champ Matthew Beach, with a two-game combined score of 121, was the top finisher after the qualifying round.

A single quarterfinal match proved to be an even greater trial to the 40 players who advanced from the two-game preliminaries. While a first- or runner-up finish at a quarterfinal table would guarantee a player a spot in the semifinals, the quarterfinals featured yet another new challenge: 5-player games. Additional opponents and varied card distributions (particularly in the Science department) proved to be the undoing of a number of preliminary leaders. A number of tables saw second/third-place splits as two players competed for the increased Science count card only to fall short to those players eschewing Science for Civilization or Military development. Indeed, Susan Waterhouse walked away with the round's highest score of 65 as two of her opponents waged an epic battle of Apothecaries and Observatories, earning each of them 38 Science points but not enough to top Waterhouse's combined Civilian-Guild score of 40.

The semifinals saw a return to the 4-player game format of the preliminaries, but again only a single game would be played to determine the final slate of six. As the tournament entered its fourth consecutive hour of play, a weary field of 16 across four tables fought hard to secure the coveted first-place positions at each table--the only position that would guarantee advancement. The brutal semifinal competition saw all four tables with no more than 12 points between the top and bottom scores and only 2-4 points between first and second in each contest. Ed Ericson's 62 points--built heavily on a foundation of Science and despite military defeat at the hands of his neighbors--was the highest score of the round and earned him a seat at the final table.

The final two hours of the grueling six-hour tournament saw six surviving players - without a 7WS laurel between them - take part in a battle royale symbolic of the final centuries of the great civilizations the game depicts. The three-game Final, endearingly termed the "Gauntlet of Doom", started with a 6-player match and included the Leader cards from the 7 Wonders: Leader expansion. With Leaders in, the players prepared for what would inevitably be higher-scoring games knowing that all it took to advance to the Gauntlet's second round was a finish in the top four.

Jeremy Lennert started the game by arming himself with a Military defeat token-bouncing Tomyris Leader card to help protect against a well-predicted Military onslaught from the game's runner-up, David Platnick. On the other end of the table, Dan Shmueli threw down a Nero to reward his own Military card plays, while his neighbor Kelly Czyryca countered with a Military-discounting Leonidas. Innocent bystanders Zach Snyder and Ed Ericson played Phidias (victory points for basic resource cards) and Maecenas (free Leader card builds henceforth). The first play of regular cards saw all six build basic resource cards but strategies varied wildly from there. Platnick, boosted by a Vineyard build that netted him a critical eight coins, dominated Militarily 15-0-0 over his two neighbors for a comfortable second-place 67. Establishing an early Commerce-based civilization, Czyryca later went head-to-head with Ericson in the Scientific realm; but Ericson coupled his plays with Science-yielding Leaders, a strong showing on Civilian building cards, and middle-of-the-road Military might to trounce the table with a tournament-high score of 83. Czyryca's 66 was enough to secure him the third advancing position, and Shmueli followed right behind with a Military- and Civilian-powered 65 points. Snyder struggled to find a niche early, and his 24 points from Guilds wasn't enough to advance with a score of 61. Lennert's hefty resource stockpile never materialized into something bigger, and his singleton on Science and large remaining Treasury left him with a score of 60. Both Snyder and Lennert could only watch helplessly as their Altar-Temple combos never led to Pantheon builds in Age III; both Pantheons were buried under the Wonders of their first-and-second finishing neighbors.

Game 2 of the Gauntlet of Doom returned to the tournament's mainstay of basic 7 Wonders with the four survivors competing for the three spots in the subsequent deciding game. Ericson, as the winner of the previous game, received the bonus of choosing his Wonder (Alexandria) as well as his neighbors, opting to keep runner-up Platnick at the far end of the table. Platnick chose his Wonder--Halikarnassos and its discard-digging power--while Czyryca was dealt Rhodes and Shmueli received Babylon. Ericson once again followed more Scientific pursuits; but Platnick handily won that battle and, despite his total Military defeat, tied with winner Shmueli with 53 points. Shmueli, who ditched Science in favor of Military and Civilian buildings, won on the Coin tiebreaker. Czyryca trailed the leaders by only a single point, clinching the third seat at the next game with an assortment of resouce cards that allowed him the flexibility to achieve 22 points in the Civilian category alone. Ericson's Science gambit didn't pay off, landing him in fourth place with 49 points.

Yet another new challenge awaited our heroes as they entered the final game--the tournament's only 3-player competition. His previous victory earned Platnick the right to choose his Wonder, and he stuck with Halikarnassos once again. To Platnick's right, he seated Czyryca's Ephesos, and to his left played Shmueli with Alexandria. Czyryca showed his strategy from Turn 1, building Science early and often (and, ultimately, exclusively!) while Platnick and Shmueli engaged in a heavy Age I Military conflict. Platnick once again built an eight-coin Vineyard for some mid-game flexibility, but his Military battle with Shmueli also crossed into the Civilian building realm, and the two split points in almost every scoring category. With his opponents focused on their head-to-head competition, Czyryca easily coasted to a Science-based victory of 64-59-56, with Shmueli taking second.

Tournament contestants were briefly surveyed regarding their opinions on the new format, and the overall consensus seems to favor the newer, more strategic setup. So while the overall format will hopefully be retained in coming years, players can expect some new challenges and surprises in 2014 to help keep the tournament fresh, exciting, and... well... wonderous.

Playing games in Lilliput with the Asmodee display version.

Asmodee supported the tournament with numerous extra prizes.

 GM     Nick Ferris [1st Year]   NA
   nickferris@umbc.edu   NA

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