Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report     

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Bill Dyer, IL

2013 Champion


Event History
1992    Paul Saunders      12
1993    Ray Carpenter      23
1994    Paul Weintraub      22
1995    James Garvey      23
1996    Bruce Bernard      22
1997    Matt Fagan      28
1998    Brad Johnson      43
1999    Steve Koehler     38
2000    Jay Schlaffer     35
2001    Tony Burke     29
2002    Steve Koehler     33
2003    Bill Dyer     34
2004     Andrew Clark     33
2005     Phil Barcafer     25
2006     Anne Marie Dilworth     33
2007    Bill Dyer     28
2008    Glenn McMaster     28
2009    Glenn McMaster     24
2010    Jean-Francois Gagne     27
2011    Ty Hansen     30
2012    Jacob Dyer     38
2013    Bill Dyer     31


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bill Dyer          IL    13    188
  2.  Glenn McMaster     on    12    115
  3.  Phil Barcafer      PA    10     93
  4.  Joe Abrams         CT    10     70
  5.  Steve Koehler      NC    02     70
  6.  Joe Harrison       KY    11     58
  7.  JeanFrancois Gagne qc    10     55
  8.  Benoit Groulx      qc    09     48
  9.  Stephane Dorais    qc    10     45
 10.  Matt Fagan         NJ    11     43
 11.  Brad Johnson       IL    07     42
 12.  Jacob Dyer         IL    12     40
 13.  Ty Hansen          DC    11     40
 14.  Andrew Clark       AZ    04     40
 15.  Jay Schlaffer      DC    00     40
 16.  Wray Ferrell       NC    13     37
 17.  Lee Proctor        IL    13     36
 18.  Anne Marie Dilworh NY    06     30
 19.  Tony Burke         NJ    01     30
 20.  Chris Bodkin       NY    03     26
 21.  Peter Stephanouk   PA    02     24
 22.  Brian Jones        NC    05     21
 23.  Ken Keller         AZ    99     18
 24.  Rachael Day        AZ    13     16
 25.  Steve Cuccaro      MD    02     16
 26.  James Denam        NC    12     12
 27.  Paul Saunders      VA    00     12
 28.  Rob Barnes         WV    08      9
 29.  Ray Carpenter      CT    99      9
 30.  Michael Day        AZ    13      8
 31.  Joe Doughan        NJ    11      8
 32.  Jeff Cornett       FL    04      8
 33.  James Hopkin       CA    02      8
 34.  Bruce Bernard      PA    00      8
 35.  Joel Tamburo       IL    06      6
 36.  Chip Collins       TX    01      6
 37.  Jeff Clark         AZ    99      6
 38.  Carl Krosnick      PA    13      4
 39.  Chris Bennett      MD    12      4
 40.  Kevin Sudy         VA    05      3

2013 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists: 

Lee Proctor, IL

Rachael Day, AZ

Wray Ferrell, NC

Michael Day, AZ

Carl Krosnick, PA

Past Winners

Paul Saunders, VA

Jean Francois Gagne, qc

Paul Weintraub, MD

James Garvey, NY

Bruce Bernard, PA

Matt Fagan, NJ

Brad Johnson, IL

Steve Koehler, NC
1999, 2002


Jay Schlaffer, NJ

Tony Burke, NJ

Bill Dyer, IL
2003, 2007, 2013

Andrew Clark, AZ

Phil Barcafer, PA

Anne Marie Dilworh, NY

Glenn McMaster, on

Ty Hansen, DC

Jacob Dyer, IL

Quinn Dyer and Matt Fagan still sporting his Avaloncon shirt. Would that I could say the same.

2005 champ Phil Barcafer, Paul Saunders (our first Dune champ) and Stephane Dorais

The Spice of Life

Still in the Family ...

We started the 2013 tournament with only one significant change: the elimination of 3-player alliances. There was some uncertainty as to whether that might lead to longer or shorter games, but those fears were apparently unfounded. The average game this year lasted 7.0 game turns over 4.3 hours, actually slightly under the overall 13-year average. Only two games were required to be adjudicated; the majority were able to finish within the allotted 5 hours.

However, this year we saw the greatest disparity in win percentages among factions that we have ever had. The Emperor, normally a mid-tier faction, led the way with a 73% win rate, the second-highest recorded. (Behind the BG at 75% in 2008.) On the other end of the scale, the Atreides, also frequently a mid-tier faction, recorded the second-lowest win rate of all time at 8%. (That's only one win out of 12, beating only the Fremen in 2001 when they were shut out.) The BG, Guild, Harkonnen, and Fremen were spread fairly evenly, in that order, across the span in between.

Taken year by year, there is quite variance in individual faction performance. One year, one faction may be at the top, and the next year it's at the bottom. However, some distinctive trends have emerged. The overall average win rates (taking into account equally wins of all types) of the various factions show some definite disparities:

Bene Gesserit.........49%

The middle four factions (Harkonnen, Emperor, Guild, and Atreides) are really not that far apart statistically. But the BG appear to have a fairly significant advantage, and the Fremen, despite our addition of the "free full-strength combat in desert" house rule, have an obvious disadvantage. Naturally, this has led to many discussions about potentially "nerfing" the BG somehow, probably by weakening the Voice, at least when used by allies, and/or "buffing" the Fremen further, ideally by giving them an alliance power that will actually make them an attractive ally. However, I am also considering introducing a bidding system to replace random faction assignment, if I can find one that will work well for us. Rather than endlessly trying to balance the inherently asymmetric faction powers (and further departing from standard Dune rules), it may be best to just acknowledge the imbalance and let players bid for their favorite factions. I am open to comments and suggestions for the coming year.

At times, it seemed the theme for this year's tournament had become "youth vs. experience". Eighth grader Rachael Day waded into the shark-infested waters for the first time and ended up registering wins in all three heats, the only person to do so this year. She took on the full gauntlet of experienced players and four former champions and managed to negotiate alliance wins as the Emperor (twice) and as the Atreides (the only Atreides win of the tournament). And our youngest-ever newcomer, sixth grader Aidan Powers, soon to have his Battle Cry hopes by that dastardly villain Pete Stein, single-handedly demolished yours truly with a frightening display of diplomatic ability, deploying his Emperor's ample supply of spice and cards to wipe my Harkonnen from the board.

Best Faction plaques returned this year, with a set being retroactively distributed to last year's winners, as well as this year's: Rachael Day, both best Atreides and best Emperor; Michael Day (Rachael's father), best BG; Matt Fagan, best Fremen (working on his second set of plaques); Phil Barcafer, best Guild; and Wray Ferrell, best Harkonnen.

The championship game shaped up to be another great match, with six players recording parts of two or more wins apiece to advance. Carl Krosnick, a relative newcomer in the tournament, but an expert in Dune rules, drew the Atreides (his first time playing them,or so he claimed). Wray Ferrell returned for the third time in four years to take the BG. Lee Proctor returned for the second year running to get the Emperor. Two-time champion Bill Dyer drew the Fremen and received a number of condolences on his upcoming loss. Up-and-coming star Rachael Day took the Guild, and her father, Michael, stepped in as first alternate for the absent Ty Hansen to play the Harkonnen. At the start, it was agreed that the game would be terminated after the scheduled eight hours, rather than playing to the bitter end if it went long.

Three worms in Turn 3 saw an interesting development: The Emperor and BG, the two strongest factions of the year, allied and looked like an immediate threat. The Atreides and Fremen responded with an alliance also in very good position, leaving the Guild and Harkonnen together. However, a second worm gave the Fremen a free ride and apparently the extra momentum needed to try for a solo win, because he dropped the Atreides. Then, the third worm caused the Fremen to run back to the Atreides, after he heard fragments of the other players' plans to block his solo win attempt, to the Atreides' visible glee. Even with a close eye on the clock, gameplay became much more involved and slowed down significantly at this point. In an amazing twist, the Atreides and the BG each decided to abandon their current allies and publicly agreed to ally with each other at the next Nexus. They then proceeded to deny their current allies all aid and essentially played as if they were already allied, leading to some very interesting board dynamics. (For example, the Atreides, sitting to his ally's left, repeatedly moved to spice blows first, denying his Fremen soon-to-not-be-ally access.) When the next worm appeared on Turn 5, the Atreides and BG consummated their new alliance, putting the Emperor and Fremen together and leaving the Guild-Harkonnen alliance intact. This arrangement would persist until the last turn of the game. For five turns, crucial blocks and narrowly-won battles kept the game going with no real clear winner emerging -- the advantage shifted back and forth turn-by-turn among the three alliances. Finally, in Turn 10, with the time limit fast approaching, the Fremen were able to take and hold three strongholds (including thehouse-rule Shield Wall), combined with the one held by their Emperor ally, and the game was able to conclude with a legitimate victory just in time!

Congratulations to Bill Dyer for his 3rd Dune championship, and with the underdog Fremen to boot! Bill likes to claim that any faction can be a winner, and maybe he's right. But in the end, all six players said they had a great time, and that's what's important!

Opposite ends of the experience spectrum: Brad Johnson 13 years as a Dune GM and Aidan Powers 11 years of life.

GM Brad Johnson and his finalists. Rachael and Michael Day are mugging with their best faction awards.
 GM      Brad Johnson  [13th Year]   NA
    tempus42@sbcglobal.net   NA

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