dominant species   

Updated 11/15/2011
2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
Dennis Mishler, GA
2011 Champion


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Event History
2011    Dennis Mishler     46

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Dennis Mishler     GA    11     30
   2.  Tom McCorry        VA    11     18
   3.  Lane Hess          PA    11     12
   4.  Tracey Casselberry VT    11      9
   5.  John Emery         SC    11      6
   6.  Kevin Emery        SC    11      3

2011 Laurelists                                               

Tom McCorry, VA

Lane Hess, PA

Tracey Casselberry, VT

John Emery, SC

Kevin Emery, SC

Thomas Vickery, Craig Melton, Kevin Emery and Tom Eskey check their dominance in the second heat.

Dennis Mishler, Thomas Melton and AJ Sudy evolve as Dennis begins his evolution to the event's inaugural champion.

A Late Thaw ...

Balance was the watchword of the tournament. The 13 preliminary games in the three heats generated 13 different winners, and each order of animals won at least one game, with the Reptiles scoring three wins, and the Birds and Amphibians a pair each. Regretably, two games failed to report who played what.

The first heat was played Tuesday evening, with 30 players competing in six different games. Each was given an opportunity to bid for their animal, rather than accept the vagaries of Random Selection. Bids were for a victory point deduction at the end of the game, after final scoring. Bids generally ranged from zero to two, with a high bid of five. Heat 2, on Wednesday morning, drew 18 players, equally divided between new faces and returnees from the night before. The third heat started an hour after Heat 2 finished, and drew 14 players, again equally divided between new and repeat players to reach our final total of 46, with 16 repeaters.

Eventual champion Dennis Mishler claimed the highest score in the heats, nailing down a 212 while John Emery claimed the silver medal score with a 207 for the Insects, and his son Kevin taking the bronze with a 199 as the Arachnids. John and Kevin joined Assistant GM Tim Rogers in not only being Made Men in the Greenville Mafia, but winning the unofficial Iron Men Award, participating in all three heats. Tim, while he did not advance out of the preliminaries, was nominated for the Sportsmanship Award, as his Heat 1 table found him grouped with four players who had never played before and had just come from the Demo. Rather than exploit his superior experience for a likely chance to advance, Tim 'coached' his opponents so well that he finished fourth.

The semi-finals were supposed to advance 16, but only eight of the 13 qualifiers appeared, and but two alternates, so play proceeded with only ten players. In the first semi, Alternate Tom McCorry laid back in the early going with his Arachnids, before staging a furious rally to win his table. In the other game, John Emery again rode the Insects to victory. The four other seats went to the highest scorers so Kevin Emery, Dennis Mishler, Tracey Casselberry, and Lane Hess also advanced.

McCorry, Emery, and Mishler each bid 3 to have first choice in the Final. Tom won the random selection and took the Insects out from under John, who, picking second, selected the Amphibians. Dennis chose the Arachnids. Tracey Casselberry bid two and got the Reptiles, who she had steered to victory in Heat 1, while Kevin Emery got the Birds for one leaving Lane Hess with the Mammals for free which doesn't speak well for our evolutionary chances.

Tom's choice of Insects was fortuitous, as Parasitism was the very first Dominance card revealed, and he jumped on it to give him a quick action pawn advantage, while also placing a target on his back. Immigrant Species also made a devastating appearance, killing off 20 different species. On Turn 2, the main event in the Domination phase was Kevin's play of Evolution to swap out two species on the Tundra to garner the Survival card for his birds.

Turn 3 saw Tom Blight a wetlands, which gave him dominance on that terrain tile, which in turn let him score the tile and choose Catastrophe, hurting the Amphibians. John turned right around, and using Mass Exodus, migrated three insects right off the Wetland onto a barren tundra, which led to their extinction.

Turn 4 was the pivotal point of the game. Dennis had grabbed the first player away from Tom, and when Omnivore came up, he was well positioned to rectify the action imbalance by grabbing that card. Tracey, who had been lagging behind, started her comeback by scoring seven points off a fertile card. Her comeback continued in a major way on Turn 5, when she grabbed the Intelligence card, giving her and Lane an extra action. However Dennis made the best use of his scoring, adding 12 points from Ecodiversity as well as grabbing the Survival Card to vault into a 72-63 lead over Tom's insects.

Turn 6 saw only three cards left to be played. Lane grabbed Predator. Kevin then chose Habitat after debating whether to trigger the Ice Age card. At that point, Kevin had seven dominance cones, which would have netted him a very nice score, but Habitat, let him get two more dominances. The last two scoring actions belonged to Tom, who scored a neutral sea zone where no Animal Order dominated, and then he chose to PASS his last scoring opportunity by choosing a vacant tundra, stunning all his opponents. Tom explained later that he felt he was not secure in his current second place scoring, and that he wanted a chance to chase down Dennis.

So we went on to a last, unexpected turn. Dennis' possession of the Survival Card was too much for Tom to overcome, and Tom's choice did hurt the Amphibians, who he viewed as his main threat for second. However, adroit play by the two higher orders - Reptiles and Mammals - almost cost Tom. Lane's Mammals scored an impressive 60 points in the final round + Ice Age + Final Scoring, but he was outdone by Tracey's outstanding 88 points in the last round. Kevin, who, if he had chosen Ice Age, might have made the huge leap, was hurt by the gutsy call by Tom to extend the game.

So, after the ice had thawed, Dennis was the inaugural Dominant Species champ, with a score of 160. Tom held onto second by three points with 124. Lane and Tracey both netted 121 points with big final rounds, with Lane taking third due to the Food Chain tiebreaker. The father-son duo of John and Kevin finished with 97 and 96 points respectively, and I believe I heard muttering about Dennis' bed being stuffed with a horse head from the Mafia nation. Or maybe it was 'Congratulations, Well played.'

In closing, I, want to thank all the participants, as each and every player displayed outstanding sportsmanship. It was a pleasure to helm this tournament, and I hope next year will see more of the same.

Craig Moffitt, Rob McFadden, John Emery, Joel Tamburo and Tom Bissa play in the second of three heats. The Emerys were two of only three players to play in all three heats - all Mafia members - which suggests a lot of evolving in Greenville lately.

GM Dave Long rides herd on his six dominant finalists. The Emery father & son duo played in more heats (six) than the other four finalists combined (five). There were a total of 16 games played in the tournament - 13 during he heats.
 GM      Dave Long  [1st Year]   NA   NA

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