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Amun-Re (AMR) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated March 6, 2023
37 Players Alex Bove Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Year Of The Camel?

Attendance dipped slightly for the second straight year, but in the end, this Reiner Knizia classic drew 37 players over three heats. Scores also seemed to be a bit lower than usual this time around, with a 45-point finish (achieved by two players: Eric Freeman and Keith Dent) leading the pack in the Heats. Lexi Sheaburns posted the lowest winning score (36), with two other game winners posting 37-point victories. The closest game in the Heats was Jack Wolff’s one-point win over Dan Adams, but Dan advanced to the Semifinals after all, no doubt easing the sting of such a narrow defeat.

The Amun-Re Semifinal is structured to get us to a 5-player Final table, so 12 qualifiers advanced to three Semifinal tables, with the top 2nd place finishers (by percentage of winner’s score) advancing to the 5-player Final. Given that Amun-Re games are often decided on tiebreakers, or by 1 point, it is often the case that a “2nd place” finalist played equally as well as a “1st place” finalist. That was certainly true this year.

Semifinal table 1 featured three former laurelists (Alex Bove, Keith Dent, and Eric Freeman) and some wünderkid named Jack Wolff. In the end, Alex, who had arisen from his COVID quarantine to win on demand in his only heat, continued his hot streak and booked his Final ticket by edging out Keith by 1 point. Table 2 saw Jefferson Meyer advance to his second straight Amun-Re final, with Lexi Sheaburns taking 2nd ahead of Andy Latto and Sam Wolff. Former champion David Platnick prevailed in a barnburner at the third Semifinal table, taking down Rich Meyer by 2 points, with hard-luck Dan Adams taking 3rd on tiebreaker (perennial finalist Rob Flowers was close behind the leaders but could not quite make a comeback).

An unfortunate scheduling conflict resulted in David Platnick being unavailable for the Final, but Lexi Sheaburns, the next-best Semifinal finisher, valiantly stepped into the lion’s den for her second Amun-Re Final table appearance. There she was joined by former champions Alex Bove and Rich Meyer, last year’s finalist Jefferson Meyer, and two-time finalist and WBC juggernaut Keith Dent. As might be expected of a Final table filled with previous finalists, this one was a tense, hard-fought battle.

The tone was set early as everyone bid mightily to avoid taking Mendes in Round 1. Even Amarna went for 6! Keith, who had taken Mendes for free, bid boldly in the sacrifice, raising it to level two to bolster his 6 farmers. This was the only time in the game that the sacrifice would reach level 2. Without much money flowing into the game, a cash crunch ensued, and scores at the halfway point were low and close. Jefferson and Lexi had 10, Keith and Rich had 9, and Alex trailed the field with 7 points.

Round 4 saw everyone bidding to avoid Buto. The other four provinces went for 10 each, which left players fairly cash-strapped heading into the pivotal Round 5. Alex, who was behind on the score track but had been building up his treasury thanks to payoffs from Avaris and Sawu, was able to win Memphis and its more than 3 pyramids for 15. This meant that if he could complete a double-set of pyramids and hold on to the most-pyramids bonus in Memphis, he would be in a good position to close the gap between himself and the leaders. Round 6 featured some big bids to secure scoring card synergy and some wily bargain hunting. Keith bid 15 to return to his roots in Mendes, counterfeiting Jefferson’s bid blockade card and forcing him to the pyramid-less Abu. Baharya’s precious free farmers cost Rich 10 gold. Alex and Lexi took the money-earning provinces, betting that in such a low-scoring game, having the most money at the end might be decisive. Everyone completed their double sets of pyramids except for Jefferson, who was hoping his two scoring cards would help compensate for those missing points.

Since temples also scored a paltry 1-point each in both scoring rounds, and province locations didn’t portend a lot of scoring from cards, we all knew the final scores would be low and this game would be a photo finish. In the end, Rich’s big bid on Baharya cost too much, leaving him out of the running with a final score of 24. Jefferson had the most diversified scoring portfolio, gaining 2 points for money, 6 points for cards, 8 for pyramids, and 1 for his temple en route to a 4th place finish at 27. Second place came down to a tiebreaker, with Keith having 1 more brick than Lexi to earn that beautiful blue plaque with a score of 30. When the dust settled, Alex’s 6 points for most money and 18 points for pyramids were enough to get him to 31 and secure the win. Alex was unable to fulfill a single scoring card but having camel provinces and money-earning provinces in a low-money game turned out to be more important than having card-scoring synergy.

This was Alex’s second Amun-Re title and his first undefeated performance in this tournament. Thanks to everyone who played. Hopefully, we will be back next year to see if we can make all these camel bandits pay!

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Keith Dent Lexi Sheaburns Jeff Meyer Richard Meyer Dan Adams
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Board Member Andy Latto building pyramids. Laurelist Rich Meyer in actione.
Posing for the photographer. Finalists including GM Alex Bove.
GM  Alex Bove [2nd Year]