dominion  

Updated 11/22/2010

2010 WBC Report  

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Arthur Field, SC

2009-10 Champion

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Event History
2009    Arthur Field     236
2010    Arthur Field     140

Euro Quest Event History
2009    Sceadeau D'Tela     52
2010    Edward Fear     52
 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Arthur Field       SC    10     90
   2.  Sceaudeau D'Tela   NC    10     32
   3.  Rob Renaud         NY    10     30
   4.  Edward Fear        NY    10     30
   5.  Andy Latto         MA    10     26
   6.  Edward Fu          NY    09     24
   7.  Haim Hochboim      is    10     20
   8.  John Fanjoy        VA    09     16
   9.  Jason Pollock      PA    10     15
  10.  Bill Crenshaw      VA    10     12
  11.  Helen Powell       MD    09     12
  12.  Lee Nguyen         PA    09     12
  13.  Luke Koleszar      VA    10     10
  14.  Michael Eustice    PA    10      9
  15.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    09      8
  16.  Dan Gottlieb       NY    10      5
  17.  John Ostrander     NY    09      4
  18.  Alexandra Henning  PA    09      4
  19.  Ziad Munson        PA    10      3
  20.  Donna Dearborn     MD    09      2

2010 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists 

Rob Renaud, NY
2nd

Haim Hochboim, is
3rd

Jason Pollock, PA
4th

Luke Koleszar, VA
5th

Dan Gottlieb, NY
6th

Carol Haney is wondering where that gold went.

Be thankful there's no trades in this game, Jeff.

Ruling a smaller Dominion ...

The tournament format changed drastically this year by moving to a single preliminary round, and adding a Quarter-Final round. Despite these changes which reduced entry opportunities, Dominion remained one of the most popular WBC events.

Preliminary Round:
The preliminary round had 35 4-player tables competing in the new two-game/round format - despite having to turn away enough players to fill another three tables due to a lack of games! There were a number of interesting developments in this round.

The first trend that I noticed has to do with how the games ended at each table. Five of the tables did not record the ending condition. Of the 30 that did however, 23 of them ended both games in the same manner (either by provinces in both games, or by three piles in both games). Only seven tables actually had one game end by provinces, and another end by piles.

The second trend that was obvious revolves around the effect of Starting Turn Order that first surfaced last year. 2009 demonstrated clearly that it was a lot harder to win from the fourth position. While it remained true that there were fewer wins from the fourth position (only 16 out of 70 games), there were also 19 second place finishes. So half of the players who had the fourth starting position, ended up first or second in their games ­ which suggests that things were more balanced this year. The new format and scoring system meant that these second place finishes would not hurt a players chance to advance if they could do well from the 'more advantageous' starting position in the other game.

Two tables even pulled the really rare trick of having the fourth position player win both of their games.

Quarter-Finals:

64 players were qualified to advance to the quarter-finals -- including 11 with two wins, 24 with a first and second, 16 with a win and a third, and eight with a win and a fourth. There were also ten players with two seconds, the top five of whom were eligible to automatically advance, leaving five alternates. Surprisingly only 53 of the 64 qualifiers returned, allowing the only two alternates who came to advance. So a word of advice to alternates -- don't lose heart. Those who come often get to advance.

With the 16 semi-tables already set up, the number of no shows required the quarter-finals to be played with nine 3-player tables and seven 4-player games -- since it left a fairly equal number of 3- and 4- player games. In retrospect, the number of tables should have been reduced to the minimum number of three player games -- and that is how any similar circumstance will be handled next year.

Semi-finals:

The quarter-final round produced six two-game winners, including Jason Pollock who became the only undefeated player through the first two rounds. They were joined by eight players with a win and a second, which left us with ten players tied with a first and third fighting it out for the last two spots -- the first of which went to Sceadeau D'Tela. Because of the number of three-player games, the scoring difference between 3- and 4-player games came into play for the last ticket to the semi-finals -- allowing Haim Hochboim to advance over Marty Bishop.

Haim and Rob Renaud each dominated at their respective tables -- with Haim claiming two wins, while Rob captured a first and second -- allowing both to advance easily. Jason Pollock continued his impressive showing though by taking the second victory at Rob's table, along with a third place finish. The third table had a close battle with Daniel Gottlieb taking a victory in the first game, only to fall to fourth in the second. That game was won by Luke Koleszar who had only managed a third in the first game. Christian Moffa was actually the most consistent player at the table with two second place finishes, but that still left him behind Daniel and Luke in the order to advance.

The last table was another hotly contended affair where Sceadeau D'Tela took the first game, but then fell to fourth in the second contest that was won by defending champion Arthur Field. Arthur had managed a third place finish in the first game, putting him in a tie with Jason and Luke. The tie was broken by total victory points in the two games, and that left Luke with the low total of 42 VP, compared to the 46 VP that both Jason and Arthur had accumulated -- leaving Luke in fifth place. Sixth place was determined in a similar manner where Daniel Gottlieb's 48 VP handily beat Sceadeau's 40 VP for sixth place laurels.

The Final:

The random seating order for the Final saw Arthur Field getting seat one in the first game, followed by Jason Pollock, Haim Hochboim and Rob Renaud. The cards featured in the first game were Cellar, Chancellor, Laboratory, Mine, Remodel, Smithy, Thief, Throne Room, Village and Workshop.

A Smithy and either a Silver or a Village were the options taken by the players in the first two turns (with two buying the Silver-Smithy, and two buying the Village-Smithy). Rob continued to concentrate on Smithies, buying another one on each of the next three turns. Jason and Haim both went for a Mine, a Throne Room and a Laboratory in their next turns, while Arthur took a different strategy with a Mine, a Remodel and another Silver.

Turn 6 saw two interesting plays. The first was by Arthur, who used Remodel to turn an Estate into another Remodel. In my mind, that ended up being a critical play later in the game. Turn 6 also saw the first Province purchase (by Haim).

Turn 7 then saw the first Gold purchases (by Arthur, Jason and Rob).

Turn 10 saw the run on provinces start as Arthur, Jason and Haim all bought one. Arthur also continued to use his Remodel effectively, as he used it to upgrade the Remodel (that he upgraded on Turn 6) into a Gold.

Provinces, Gold and Duchies were the leading purchases over the next four turns -- with Arthur, Jason and Haim all fairly close in score.

Turn 15 let Arthur complete his Remodel progression though, as he was able to Remodel a Gold (perhaps the one he had upgraded to on Turn 10) to take the last Province and ending the game. Arthur's score of 33 VPs led Haim with 25, Jason with 24 and Rob with 13.

The kingdom cards for Game 2 were Bureaucrat, Council Room, Feast, Festival, Gardens, Library, Moat, Village, Witch and Woodcutter.

In a surprising twist, Rob, Jason and Arthur all ended up with 5-2 copper splits in this game, allowing them each to pick up a Witch-Moat combo. Haim seemed to be at an early disadvantage, taking a Woodcutter and Feast.

The next six turns consisted of a high number of Witch plays (with a variety of Moat reveals along the way), followed by purchases of Silvers, Villages, Feasts and Festivals. The key purchases in this game, I feel, were Rob purchasing a second Moat on Turn 3, followed by a second Witch the net turn. Haim also bought a second Moat on Turn 4.

Turn 8 saw that start to change as Arthur bought the first Gardens, which precipitated a rush on Gardens over the next few turns.

After both Curses and Gardens were eliminated, the game took on a 'rush' type feel as Estates were bought in a rush to end the game quickly.

When the decks were counted, the Gardens came out to be worth two or three points for everyone. What really made the difference were the curses. Rob had the fewest curses of all (because he had the extra Witch to give them out to everyone else), while Haim also had a lower number (due to the second early Moat purchase). Rob led the reduced scoring with 13 VPs, followed by Haim with nine, Arthur with seven, and Jason with four.

Third place in the game though was enough combined with Arthur's Game 1 victory to allow him to repeat as Dominion champion. Rob's victory earned him second place, while Haim's consistency of two seconds earned him third, and Jason's impressive showing up to this point still earned him fourth overall.

The Future:

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this year's tournament, and especially thank all of those who volunteered to help as assistant GM's for me. Overall, the new tournament format was received favorably, and considered by most a vast improvement over the previous year. The two games in two hour slot worked well -- with only a couple games needing to be warned of time in the preliminary round, and no table having any time issues in the later rounds. The two-games with the reversed turn order seemed to also successfully address concerns about the disadvantage of having a fourth place seating position. So look for this format to continue next year.

One area that is going to see some change though is the advancement criteria/scoring. There was some confusion on this matter because two seconds actually scored "more points" than a first-third or first-fourth, but actually were ranked lower for advancement. So I will be doing some revising of the advancement scoring to more clearly indicate who will advance. It's not going to really change how the tournament works -- just some tweaking of the scoring numbers so that advancement calculation will be simpler and clearer.

The second change, and the one I had the most questions/requests for, is going to have to do with expansions. YES -- next year will start to include some of the Dominion expansions. I am still not sure yet which ones I'll use, or how I will incorporate them -- but I will start using some of them next year. In addition to answering the request for the expansions, I hope this will also address some of the concerns that some of the set choices felt very similar to other rounds (even though they were randomly determined). Hopefully with more choices available, it will better differentiate the games in players' minds.

Perrianne is waiting for all that copper.

GM Tom Browne rides herd on his finalists.
2010 Euro Quest Laurelists

Edward Fear, NY
1st

Andy Latto, MA
2nd

Sceadeau D'Tela, NC
3rd

Michael Eustice
4th

Bill Crenshaw, VA
5th

 GM      Tom Browne  [2nd Year]   NA
   thomas.browne@gmail.com   NA

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