through the ages   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

   2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Joel Lytle, NY

2013 Champion


Event History
2008    Jason Ley     39
2009    Raphael Lehrer     32
2010     Randy Buehler     38
2011    Jason Ley     53
2012    Randy Buehler     69
2013    Joel Lytle     72


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Randy Buehler      WA    13    164
  2.  Jason Ley          WA    13    132
  3.  Joel Lytle         NY    13    114
  4.  Zvi Mowshowitz     NY    12     60
  5.  Raphael Lehrer     CA    09     52
  6.  Andrew Emerick     CT    13     48
  7.  Aran Warszawski    il    13     40
  8.  Rob Flowers        MD    10     26
  9.  David Metzger      NY    08     24
 10.  Alan Sudy          VA    10     20
 11.  Sceadeau D'Tela    NC    12     18
 12.  Eric Brosius       MA    08     16
 13.  Bll Herbst         NY    10     15
 14.  Haim Hochboim      il    13     12
 15.  Cary Morris        NC    12     12
 16.  Dominic Duchesne   qc    11     12
 17.  Joe Lux            NJ    09     12
 18.  David des Jardins  CA    08      8
 19.  James Denam        NC    12      6
 20.  Charles Hickok     PA    11      6
 21.  Mike Rogozinski    NY    10      5
 22.  Rich Atwater       WA    09      4

2013 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists: 

Aran Warszawski, il

Jason Ley, WA

Randy Buehler, WA

Haim Hochboim, il

Andrew Emerick, CT

Past Champions

Jason Ley, WA
2008, 2011

Raphael Lehrer, CA

Randy Buehler, WA
2010, 2012

Joel Lytle, NY

Eric Eshleman, Robert Cranshaw and Rob Flowers

Winton Lemoine, Jeff Cornett and Rich Atwater

No Longer a Bridesmaid ...

45 3-player preliminary games generated four triple-winners and eight double-winners, so it once again took a 1st and a close second to advance to the semifinals. Two-time champion Jason Ley returned to the Final by virtue of a 16-point semifinal win over Andrew Emerick, who seemed quite content to have lost by just enough to earn the much-coveted 6th place sand plaque. The other two-time champion, Randy Buehler, won his semi by a comfortable 63 points. Aran Warszawski had the most talked about semifinal win because he deployed the little-used Age 1 champion Frederick Barbarosa to tremendous effect and leveraged his early military advantage into a 57-point win over triple-heat-winner Sceadeau D'Tela. Joel Lytle, who had twice finished second in this event twice, had the closest semi but his patented come-from-behind strategy was just enough to edge Haim Hochboim by 5 points.

The Final started with all focused on military. By the end of the Age 1 arms race players had combined to build nine Swordsmen, five Warriors, two Knights, and a Great Wall (not to mention two Bread and Circuses). Like any good arms race, this one ended in a détente where no one gained a meaningful advantage but no one managed to build much infrastructure either as all resources got funneled into military.

Aran pulled ahead early in Age 2 when Columbus discovered an Inhabited Territory 2 and then on his next turn he was able to upgrade his Legion tactic to a Classic Army. However, his Robespierre didn't find a government until an early Age 3 Republic so he wasn't able to forge an insurmountable lead. Randy had the culture lead for most of the game, but Jason defensively drafted Michaelangelo away from him so the lead was minimal. Between a continued focus on military by everyone and an early Age 3 Rats event that ate a total of 20 food (7+7+3+3), no one managed to develop a good infrastructure or a meaningful culture engine.

Aran used Einstein to good effect in Age 3, and when he followed up with First Space Flight (for 26), he seemed to be in position to win. Randy was sitting a close second on culture with two turns to go, but he had never managed to upgrade his mines above Bronze so his rock supply was very low. Meanwhile, Jason was in third, and Joel trailied by about fifty (84-82-71-30). Randy could have built military to lock up 2nd by making sure nothing could go wrong, but he decided instead to play to maximize his chances of winning and thus on the last turn of Age 3 he sank his last rocks into culture in an effort to catch Aran.

Joel was sitting in the 4th seat and as Age 4 began, he was able to declare a War on Culture against Randy plus use the rocks he had previously plundered from Jason to build an Air Force to supplement his two Napoleonic Armies. Randy was prepared for aggressions with a handful of defense cards, but he had no answer to the war. It wasn't a huge war - only 18 points - but the game was so close, and so low scoring, that losing 18 culture was enough to drop Randy from 1st all the way down to 4th. More importantly, gaining 18 culture pulled Joel into a tie for 2nd going into the Impacts (90-79-79-73).

With so little separation, the game was clearly going to come down to the Impacts. Joel spent some time on his last turn trying to anticipate which Impacts other players had seeded, and he built just enough military strength to move 1 point ahead of Aran (who he guessed had probably seeded Impact of Strength). Aran had in fact seeded Impact of Strength so that last point of strength turned into a 10-point culture swing in Joel's favor, and Joel was able to come all the way back to win by 6!

Joel 144

Aran 138

Jason 124

Randy 113

After two runner-up finishes in previous years, Joel finally got the shield he really wanted. His come-from-behind strategy had worked for him in a heat win over Aran, in the semifinals against Haim, and once again in the Final. It was a very well-played game all around, and Joel had to do everything right down the stretch to win it, but that's exactly what he did. Congratulations to a very worthy champion!

Bonus section: Here are stats for all the wonders that were built during the 3-player heats. Popularity shows what percentage of games each wonder was built in, and average finish is what you think it is (so 2.0 is par and smaller numbers are better).

Popularity/Average Finish:

Age A

Pyramids 84% /1.76

Hanging Gardens 70% /2.13

Library of Alexandria 43%/2.00

Colossus 32%/2.36

Age I

St. Peter's Basilica 50%/1.77

Universitas Carolinas 34%/2.07

Great Wall 25%/1.91

Taj Mahal 9% /2.25

Age II

Transcontinental Railroad 80%/1.83

Eiffel Tower 43% / 2.11

Ocean Liner 18% /2.13

Kremlin 9% /2.25


First Space Flight 61% /1.19

Fast Food Chains 52%/1.96

Internet 20% /1.78

Hollywood 0% / n/a

When you consider that Pyramids doesn't always come out of the deck, it is by far the most popular Wonder, and its finishes would seem to justify that. Speaking of finishes, First Space Flight winning 23 of the 27 games it was built in is pretty absurd, though (to be fair) building FSF is sometimes a symptom of a game that has gone well rather than a cause. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, you should probably think twice before you build Colossus, Taj Mahal, or Kremlin.

The finalists, including two past champs, gather for one more romp through the ages.
 GM      Randy Buehler (3rd Year)  NA   NA

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