Conquering a Dominion
Andy Latto was unable to repeat his
four-title year in 2009.
Tom DeMarco, Chris Trimmer and Carol
Caler join the crowd.
Dominion drew one of the largest fields ever for a
WBC event with 106 games played in three preliminary heats.
Heat 1: Money Cards
Heat 1 had 38 tables competing with a set of cards meant to provide
options for generating money without having to buy treasure cards
-- either by providing more money directly, or through improving
a players hand. The cards for this round were Cellar, Chancellor,
Woodcutter, Bureaucrat, Moneylender, Smithy, Throne Room, Festival,
Mine and Market. Provinces were the primary card of this round,
with all but one table finishing because Provinces ran out.
For most games, Provinces were the only deck to run out, but
other popular cards were Duchy, Festival, Market and Cellar.
The sole exception to this high scoring round was the table won
by Richard Sciacca, where Bruce Hodgins' six markets helped
the table run out of Markets, Estates and Duchies.
Heat 2: Deck Management
Heat 2 had only slightly lower attendance resulting in 35 tables
competing with a set of "deck management" cards.
Players in this heat were presented with a tableau consisting
of Moat, Chancellor, Village, Feast, Gardens, Moneylender, Militia,
Spy, Library and Adventurer. Gardens provided an option
for building a large deck (with cards like Library and Adventurer)
for a way to bypass extra cards, while other cards like Feast
and Moneylender helped to thin a deck. While Provinces were
still the most common ending condition, this set showed a much
greater variety in how the games ended with nearly a third of
the tables ending from three cards being bought out. The
most common configuration was Gardens, Moat and Duchy - which
happened at three separate tables.
Heat 3: Chain Deck
After Heat 2, there were six two-time winners - none of whom
played in Heat 3 so as not to hurt their chances of advancing.
Given the expected need for two victories to advance, Heat 3
had the fewest participants, with only 28 tables competing in
a set of cards that allowed for continuous chaining of draws
The tableau for Heat 3 consisted of Moat, Cellar, Village, Workshop,
Feast, Remodel, Spy, Council Room, Laboratory and Markets. Provinces
were the determining factor in most games again, but there were
a number of interesting games. Lee Nguyen won at a table
that ended their game by running out all three victory point
piles. Another table had a lower scoring game where cheaper
cards such as Estates, Duchies and Feasts were the order of the
day. Villages and Remodels were also popular at a number
After the preliminaries were over, there were 15 two-time winners
for 16 spots. Only 11 of these double winners appeared
though. This allowed a number of one-time winners to advance.
It ended up coming down to a die roll amongst five players for
the last four spots, and Tom De Marco was the unfortunate loser
of the roll off. The semi-finals consisted of a deck of attack
cards and cards that are meant to counter some of those effects. The
set consisted of Chapel, Chancellor, Workshop, Bureaucrat, Remodel,
Spy, Thief, Festival, Laboratory and Witch. Three of the tables
ended up with low scores as the Witch proved popular, allowing
the Curse pile to run out. The sole exception was at a
table where each player went for a different strategy at the
start, and witches were few - resulting in a high scoring game
where Provinces and Remodels were the only piles exhausted Arthur
Field, Lee Nguyen, John Fanjoy and Edward Fu emerged as the victors
to move on to the Final round.
Final: Money Set #2
Because two people had conflicts at the scheduled time, all of
the finalists agree to delay the Final for one hour. When
the new time came though, Lee Nguyen was still involved in his
other tournament -- given the choice, he decided to forego the
Dominion Final. Since it was not possible to find a replacement
from our other laurelists, Lee was awarded fourth place, and
a three-player Final was held. It was played with another
set of "high money" cards - Moat, Woodcutter, Workshop,
Bureaucrat, Militia, Moneylender, Smithy, Throne Room, Mine and
Edward Fu randomly received the first seat position, followed
by John Fanjoy, and Arthur Field in third. All three players
started out with Moneylender and Silver purchases. In the
third and fourth turns though, John started to fall behind as
Arthur and Edward both picked up Gold and Smithy, while John
only managed a Silver and a Smithy. Arthur took an early lead
as he purchased the first Province on Turn 7. Edward countered
quickly with his first Province on Turn 8, and John bought his
on Turn 9. Arthur kept building his engine though with
another Gold, and a Militia purchase on those turns. On Turns
10 and 11 though, a pair of Smithy plays allowed Arthur to pick
up two more Provinces. While Edward and John both tried
to counter on Turn 12, Arthur maintained his lead and added a
Duchy to his pile as well. The next four turns had all of the
players purchasing Duchies or Provinces with the game ending
when John bought the last Province, leaving Arthur with one turn
less than the other two finalists. In the end, Arthur's
purchase of victory points on every turn from 10 through 15 allowed
him to pull out a three-point victory over Edward 36-33-30 despite
the turn disadvantage.
I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this year's tournament,
and especially those who volunteered to help as assistant GM's.
I'd also like to thank everyone who provided feedback to me in
person, as well as the approximately 20 players who took the
time to fill out my survey about what they'd like to see next
year. I am still going through all of the surveys, and don't
have any firm decisions yet - but rest assured that I already
plan on a number of changes to the format that I HOPE will make
the tournament fairer and more fun for everyone involved.
One of the primary focuses will be on the issue of turn order.
There were 95 4-player games in the preliminary rounds.
Victories were pretty much split evenly amongst the first through
third positions (with 27, 26 and 26 victories apiece), but there
were only 16 victories from the fourth position. I have
not decided on how to address this discrepancy yet, but it will
be one of my top concerns in developing next year's tournament.
Another major change will be the tiebreaker structure, which
inadvertently had exactly the opposite effect of what I was going
for because I failed to account for players not playing the same
number of heats. This will also definitely be addressed
Playing a Euro in a Giants jersey
in August in the year of the Yankee's 27th World Championship?
Who are you and what did you do with Dennis Nicholson?
The ballroom is overflowing with Dominion
games in the convention's biggest tournament. Next year's format
will play several games in each heat.
Euro Quest Laurelists
Sceadeau D'Tela, NC
Tom DeMarco, NJ
Bill Crenshaw, VA
Alexandra Henning, PA
Donna Dearborn, MD