here I stand [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Bryan Collars, SC

2007 Champion

Offsite links:

 Rio Grande Games

Event History
2006    John Wetherell     56
2007     Bryan Collars     48


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bryan Collars      SC    07     62
  2.  John Wetherell     PA    06     60
  3.  Ken Richards       SC    07     38
  4.  Allan Hill         MD    06     36
  5.  Dennis Mishler     CT    07     30
  6.  Charles Hickok     PA    06     24
  7.  Chris Striker      PA    07     21
  8.  Dan Hoffman        NC    07     10
  9.  Alan Sudy          VA    07      5

2007 Laurelists

Dennis Mishler, CT

Ken Richards, SC

Chris Striker, PA

Dan Hoffman, NC

Alan Sudy, VA

Past Champions

John Wetherell, PA

Is Martin Luther figurine providing divine inspiration?

The finalists plot while GM/designer Beach records the action.

Standing Room Only ...

Here I Stand returned for its sophomore year at WBC and was able to repeat its strong first-year showing.  Demos were held before both the Tuesday and Thursday heats and were well-attended again.. Many people wanted to immediately give the game a try and joined the tournament heat that followed directly after.

The first night there were 29 entrants; the GM played as an English-Protestant eliminator at one table to arrive at the ideal number of 30. One of these opening round games featured three of the subsequent finalists (Ken Richards, Chris Striker, and Dennis Mishler).  These three were able to keep Matthew Beach's Hapsburgs from winning by 1 VP in each of the first two turns.  When the last heretic had been burned, Chris Striker's French had prevailed with 25 VP on the final turn.  Three of the games that night did go the full three turns, including two games that each featured five players with final scores between 20 and 23 VP.  The other two games were first-turn knockouts.  Bryan Collars' Hapsburgs took Venice and Metz, and held on to two German electorates.  In the New World Phase he conquered the Inca for a Domination Victory.  Peter Card's one-turn Protestant victory was even more impressive.  With a loan from the Fuggers that financed Copernicus' revolutionary publication, Peter rolled to 24 VP on the first turn, a full 7 VP ahead of any other player.

Wednesday night ran longer than Tuesday; there were no first turn wins.  Three of the five games went to the last turn and enjoyed some wild lead changes at the end. The most incredible such game saw Ed O'Connor's Hapsburgs end the game at 24 VP holding a tie-breaker edge over Kirk Harris' Ottomans (also with 24 VP).  But they were edged out by Nick Benedict's Protestants, who trailed by an amazing eight VP going into the final card play of the game.  But what a card play it was Nick had staged things so he finished all three bibles on his final move.  With near perfect Reformation results, he picked up an amazing eight VP, soaring into a tie with Ed and Kirk that Nick won based on the tie-breaker of scores two turns earlier.  Nick's simultaneous publishing of bibles in all three languages has to be the most incredible single Here I Stand impulse ever.

When the preliminaries ended, we had nine different single game winners (GM Beach's win as an eliminator was thrown out):
Chris Striker
Peter Card
Jeff Pattison
Bryan Collars
Paul McCarthy
Charles Hickok
Nick Benedict
AJ Sudy
Dennis Mishler

These winners joined the at-large players with the highest total VP accumulation for the Friday morning semis. All three games finished in just two turns. With the games finishing in rapid succession (and with many players hovering near 21 VP), the race for the three at-large slots in the Final was extremely close.  In the first semi-final, Barry Setser burnt Cranmer at the stake for a first-turn lead.  But Dennis Mishler, playing the Protestant for the third straight time, came roaring back and edged out Barry for the win.  The second game featured some wild diplomatic maneuvering by Hapsburg Dan Hoffman, who traded away two keys to the Papacy for two card draws at the start.  It paid off as Dan's second-place score (behind AJ Sudy's French) was enough to advance.  In the third semi, three of last year's finalists battled it out: Chris Striker (Ottoman), Ken Richards (Hapsburgs) and Bryan Collars (England).  Ken prevailed this time, stealing the 2 VP of Copernicus from Bryan with the Cloth Prices Fluctuate event.  All three qualified for the Final.
Going into the Final, the win totals by power were: Ottoman 2, Hapsburgs 3, French 3, and Protestant 5.  Ken Richards ignored these numbers and chose the Ottoman, leaving the Protestants to Dennis for the fourth straight game.  AJ Sudy made a surprise choice of the Papacy next, leading the power selection to fall out as follows:

1: Ken Richards (Ottoman)
2: Dennis Mishler (Protestant)
3: AJ Sudy (Papacy)
4: Bryan Collars (Hapsburgs)
5: Chris Striker (France)
6: Dan Hoffman (England)
Here are the highlights of the three-turn Final
·        Hapsburgs ­ Ottoman make peace (this was prevalent throughout the week)
·        Henry VIII granted a divorce for a card draw and 1 mercenary; Anne Boleyn gave birth to a sickly Edward VI
·        Five independent/minor keys fall (Hapsburgs take Metz, English take Edinburgh, French take Milan, Papacy takes Florence, and Ottoman takes Tunis).  These last four fell in a span of just five impulses!  Trier also falls to a Protestant army.
·        Indulgence Vendor is played as an event by the French, depriving the Protestant player of the VP from the Michael Servetus card.
·        Roberval explores the Mississippi while the Hapsburg gains VP from the Great Lakes and Maya.
·        Protestants gain 12 spaces over the turn, following the Affair of the Placards with the New Testament in French.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 18, Hap: 20, Eng:18, Fra:16, Pap:14, Pro: 20.
·        Hapsburgs ally with France and Papacy; England allies with Protestant but has four other proposals rejected!
·        Ottoman declares war on Genoa and the Papacy.
·        Spanish Inquisition forces a Protestant discard of a 5 CP card (Diplomatic Overture); the Knights of St. John force another 5 CP card (Calvin's Institutes) to be lost by the Ottoman.
·        Jesuit universities appear in Lyon and Shrewsbury, just before the Papal Inquisition strikes.  A debate ensues in England, but Tyndale defeats the hot-head Aleander for the second straight turn.
·        England DOWs the Hapsburg and marches on Antwerp.  The attack is repulsed when England's mercenaries are bribed just before the battle.
·        Ottomans successfully capture Ravenna.
·        The Papacy excommunicates Cranmer, and once again Tyndale takes the stand to defend the Protestant cause in England.  Pole bests him at every turn (3-0 debate result).  Tyndale is burnt at the stake!  England and Scotland have completely returned to Catholicism.  Overall in the turn, the Reformation loses seven spaces.
·        Late in the turn, the English take a loan from the Fuggers and take one more shot at Antwerp.  This time it falls!
·        Michael Servetus appears and publishes his scientific works for France. France also picks up VP from a chateau and Cartier's exploration of the St. Lawrence.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 20, Hap: 19, Eng: 18, Fra: 19, Pap: 17, Pro: 17.
·        The Turn 6 Diplomacy Phase is where this game gets quite interesting.  England makes peace with the Hapsburgs and French.  England allies with the French, Papacy, and Protestant.  Papacy cedes Siena, Ancona, and 1 mercenary to the English! France allies with the Papacy and swaps Rouen for Florence.
·        The Ottoman DOWs the English to get access through Ancona to Rome. Hapsburgs and French both DOW Genoa.  A race is on for that city!
·        Both England and France deploy armies to Grenoble to help the Papacy fight off the Ottoman army.
·        A renegade Ottoman cavalry leader reinforces the army in Ravenna.
·        In a critical move, the Hapsburgs play their Home Card to bring Charles to Barcelona.  They make a preemptive strike on the French fleet, wiping it out.  Charles then transports an army to Genoa to put that key under siege before the French can react.  The key falls on the next Hapsburg impulse.
·        The Knights of St. John steal another 4 CP of riches from the Ottoman.  The active knights allow the Papacy to finish St. Peter's by the end of the turn.
·        So desperate for aid in Italy against the Ottoman, the Papacy plays Dissolution of the Monasteries as an event.  The Pope is giving the English permission to loot the churches of England to finance the war effort against the Ottoman.
·        The English and French armies reach Pavia and Milan, respectively.  The Ottoman continues to reinforce, building regulars in Coron and taking out a loan.  The English army attacks in Ravenna, but is ambushed by a surprise attack and is repulsed.
·        Dragut takes over the Ottoman fleet and scores 1 piracy hit.  On the final impulse he tries again and fails with a roll of  four "1"s!
·        England declares war on the Hapsburg and makes a play on Metz.  With a final effort, the English mine under the walls of the town, but it holds in the end.
·        The Council of Trent is held and Dennis' Protestants come out gaining concessions from the church council.  Combined with the publication of the Bible in French, the Protestant score grows.  Hapsburg sieges of Wittenberg and Papal book burnings at two electorates all fail, leaving the Protestant VP total at 22.
·        Entering the New World Phase, the Protestants enjoy a 2-point lead.  But Orellana sails for the Hapsburg.  If he can roll a 7, Bryan will pick up the discovery of the Amazon and win the game on the tiebreaker (higher score at the end of the previous turn). Orellana succeeds, giving Bryan the win in a very tight tournament finale.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 21, Hap 22, Eng: 18, Fra: 20, Pap: 17, Pro: 22.


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:

Ottoman 2.6
Hapsburgs 4.1
England 3.2
France 3.1
Papacy 4.6
Protestant 3.4

So the Ottomans were the most sought after power; the Papacy the least preferred (unchanged from last year).  It is interesting that the Hapsburgs are the next least favorite, given that they won four of the 14 games, including the Final.  Perhaps that will change next year.

Question: Did choosing early lead to victory?

For the entire tournament, the winning player chose third on average (the numerical average was 2.8). So getting to play a power of your choosing was helpful, but not an overwhelming advantage.  This stat has held up iboth years

Question: Did earning a higher seed and choosing early in the semis and Final help?

Yes, a bit.

In the first two rounds (when selection order was random), the numerical choice average of the winners was 2.9. In the later rounds when players chose their power, this number did drop to 2.5. In the semis the three winners were players that chose their power 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  But then in the Final Bryan Collars won with the 4th pick (Hapsburgs).

Question: Did the player choosing last ever win?

Yes, for the first time this was true.  Again it was Bryan Collars who pulled off this feat; his table allowed him the Hapsburg with the final pick of a Tuesday heat.  This game was the first to finish that night.  Bryan won with a Turn 4 Domination Victory.
The breakdown of wins by selection position over the 14 games were as follows:

First choice: 5
Second choice: 1
Third choice: 3
Fourth choice: 3
Fifth choice: 1
Sixth choice: 1

 GM      Ed Beach (2nd Year)  6418 Waveland Way, Columbia, MD 21045   NA

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