Michael Dauer is the 2023 WBC Here I Stand champion, having used his Hapsburg hordes in familiar fashion to capture his third first-place title in the event. Dauer – who won the title in 2017 and 2019 playing the Hapsburgs in the final – had a free hand on Turn 5 of the campaign game and used his collection of cards and troops to smash the Protestants and cruise to the win with 28 victory points.
Dauer was followed in the final by Ted Lyng (England, 23 points), Justin Rice (Ottomans, 23), Llew Bardecki (France, 18), Nick Benedict (Pope, 18), and Evan Harris (Protestants, 18).
This year’s tournament featured 36 players, with 10 games in two heats (eight six-player games and one three and one five-player matchups). Heat winners included Michael Kiefte, Dauer, Lyng, Ron Jongaling, Lisa Brown (five-player game), Harris (three-player game), Chris Frey, Augustus Harris, Bardecki and Kirk Harris, claimed by the Hapsburgs (three wins), Protestants (three), Ottomans (one), France (one), England (one), and the Hapsburg-Pope combo in the three-player game.
The three Semifinal six-player games had wins by Dauer, Bardecki, and Rice. Benedict advanced with 24 semifinal VPs, and Lyng and Harris were selected by tiebreakers from among four players who finished the Semifinal with 23 points.
In the final, Dauer defeated in turn the Ottomans and French, and – with a pile of war-winner VPs – turned his attention to the Protestants to race away from the field.
The first turn saw the Turks take out Belgrade and the Knights of St. John, while the Hapsburgs and French each took Metz and Milan, and then negotiated a sue for peace arrangement.
The Hapsburgs captured Genoa on Turn 2, while England had a free hand to capture Edinburgh. In the New World, Cartier reached the Pacific Straits but failed to circumnavigate. Most importantly: The League formed near the end of the turn with the Protestants in control of all six electorates.
Concerned the Haps would use the opportunity to ravage Germany, the Turks built a coalition to battle Yellow. The Ottomans came out swinging, using a Comet and some big CP cards to take Buda and score a piracy VP. France declared war also and pointed towards Spain. England jumped in and captured Antwerp.
But Dauer ignored threats to his West and instead counterattacked and ravaged the Ottoman army and liberated Belgrade.
The Turks sued for peace on Turn 4. Facing now only the French, the Haps used Unsanitary Camp to kill an excessive number of French troops (helped because France had counter mix limitations), and then vaporized a whopping 18 French mercs with Mercs Demand Pay. Blue’s consolation prize was the capture of Barcelona.
Boosted with a baby boy, England prepared to reform his country on Turn 5, while the Ottomans turned on their allies to capture Venice from France. That left the Hapsburgs alone, and Dauer took Charles and troops marching through Germany to secure the winning points.
Dauer joined Rice as the event’s other three-time champion.
Several tournament changes were discussed and will be further explored in the coming months. Papal results continue to be a concern. There were also discussions about arranging teaching games in the heats, and a plan will be finalized before the 2024 tournament.
|Here I Stand in full force in Rathskeller.
|Contemplating their next moves.
|Ed Rothenheber attempting to return to the Finals.
|Finalists including GM Justin Rice.