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7 Wonders Duel (7WD) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 18, 2016 Icon Key
86 Players Eric Wrobel, MD 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
  2016 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.


On a balmy Pennsylvanian Sunday, 86 players descended on the Ski Lodge to play four swiss rounds. Actually, nearly 130 players made their way to the Lodge, but most had broken WBC’s First Commandment: “Thou shalt bring a copy of the game”. With only 43 games on hand, a third of the potential field learned this lesson the hard way—a rough start to the first day of WBC for both newcomers and veterans alike.

After sorting out the haves from the have nots and turning away those who neither showed up early nor brought a game, your faithful GM and his amazing team of assistants sorted players into the first heat. A late detourĀ  into the bar area made for some interesting “table” selections as well as some precarious lighting, but WBC denizens are used to taking the conditions as they are and making the best of it.

Preliminary Highlights:

  • Jason Ley had amazing success with a 95-63 score in his third round, setting a record for most points. He also was the only 4-0 player with all of his wins by points, eschewing the GM set tiebreakers
  • 45 games in the swiss rounds were decided by an absolute victory (32%). Whether that was a result of players focused on tiebreakers or not is unknown.
  • Of the absolute wins, 27 were Science wins including 13 of the 14 absolute wins by quarterfinalists. It’s a small sample size, but an early indication that stronger players can manipulate Science.

Overall, the biggest issue to arise from the preliminary games is whether there is an advantage in going first. There is considerable discussion on BGG about whether going first is an advantage and my data suggests that it is. The starting player won 62% of the games (85 of 138 records). Furthermore, no one made the Final who went second more than twice. I think that next year a bid system will be required for the playoff rounds.

After four Swiss rounds we had 56 players remaining who had played all four games, leaving six undefeated and 15 3-1 players for eight playoff seats. I believe that this format might need adjustment as advancing only two of 15 possible players seems somewhat arbitrary and heartbreaking for the 13 3-1 players who were dismissed. It is also worth noting that six of the 3-1 players had their opponents go first three times. However, the two 3-1 players with three absolute wins joined the unbeatens in a tightly fought quarterfinal round. All matches were well contested but one stood out. Eric Wrobel and Jason Ley spent two hours (!) in their quarterfinal match before Eric scored a 56-52 win to advance to the semifinals.

The other three quarterfinal matches much shorter. Jean Younkin fell behind Jonathan Gemmel early and was unable to close the gap. Curt Collins was able to handle David Wolfe and Andy Lewis managed a Science win against George Young. Unfortunately, after those three matches finished, the Eric-Jason game was only entering Age II, so Curt and Andy could commence battle while poor Jonathan had to wait around for his opponent.

Curt eventually picked up a Science win of his own in the playoffs to down Andy and then the three of us waited, and waited, and waited. When Eric finally won, it was just before midnight and we got the semifinals started right away. Perhaps rusty after such a long break, Jonathan couldn’t handle Eric and the Final was set. Since it was past midnight the finalists were able to defer, but both wanted to finish the job that night so we sat down to a very late duel. In retrospect, your humble GM should have ended the marathon quarterfinal game long before it reached this point and in the future will ensure that reasonable time limits are followed throughout the tournament so no one has to wait so long.

The Final’s Age I passed with no military cards taken as the players both consolidated their resources and money. By early in Age II, Eric was able to build both the Lighthouse and Piraeus giving him access to all the resources while Curt had replied with the Temple of Artemis and the Appian Way, allowing him to have a sizable cash holding. At the end of Age II, Eric had gotten his other two Wonders out (the Library and Mausoleum) leaving Curt to complete only his Pyramids for the points.

Points on the board at this point were Eric: 12 in Wonders, eight in blue, three in green, and three for advances for a total of 26. Curt had 12 in wonders, 13 in blue, four in green, and seven in advances for a total of 36. Halfway through Age III, Eric had sold a couple cards to have a huge pile of cash on hand (21) and Curt had begun collecting gold point cards with extra blues. Late in the Age, Eric managed a science pair and a military advantage while Curt pulled a couple of guilds and tried to manage cards to block Eric’s advance.

It wasn’t enough. Eric finished with: 21 points in blues, seven in greens, nine in golds, four from guilds, 12 from wonders, 10 from advances, 12 from cash and two military points for a total of 77. Curt responded with 23 in blue, four in green, six in gold, 12 from guilds, 12 from Wonders, seven from advances and three from cash for a total of 67.

Congratulations to Eric on being WBC’s first 7 Wonders Duel champion and to all players for a solid tournament debut.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: NA

Curt Collins II, PA Jonathan Gemmell, MD Andy Lewis, DE Jason Ley, WA David Wolfe, PA
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Nicholas Henning and Angela McGavisk pony up to the bar.

Holiday Saccenti gets "carded" with Chris Gnech.

GM Andrew Drummnd can always be counted on to add period flair.

Andy Lewis and Richard Irving opted for more conventional seating.

Foggy Goggle is one of the biggest bars in the state and one of the busiest during the ski season,
but this summer we put it to a dryer use.
GM     Andrew Drummond  [1st Year]   NA
   Andrew.Ross.Drummond@Gmail.com    NA