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This was Year 25 of our Dixiecon tournament in Chapel Hill, NC - but it started in the usual way. The Thursday before the Diplomacy starts on Friday, we gather for open gaming to whet our appetites for the weekend. For 2011 the games included Campaign Trail and Here I Stand, and the gamers included David Hood, Rich O'Brien, Bruce Allen, Peter Yeargin, Dave Maletsky, Doug Moore, and Adam Meldrom. Adam was one of the original Carolina Amateur Diplomats who first appeared at Dixiecon in 1988 and was making his first appearance in many years. Doug Moore, on the other hand, is a relative Dixiecon novice who has had some, ahem, limited success in the Diplomacy tournament over the years...
The Here I Stand was to be a feature for the rest of the weekend as there were 4 games played in all, with many different players. HIS has become a Dixiecon favorite over the past two years, but this year it was a real phenomenon. The Diplomacy players enjoy the diplomatic aspects of the game, while the non-Dippers appreciate the richness of both the rules and the historical simulation of a time period that does not get much exposure in other board games.
Friday morning saw the usual trickle of players showing up to swell the ranks, eventually leading to a downpour of arrivals right before the 6pm start time for the 3-round Diplomacy tournament. During the day on Friday a great number of games saw action, including 1826, Puerto Rico, Union Pacific, Dominion, Ingenious, Perpetual Motion Machines, 1880 Ticchu (another very popular Dixiecon game), Twilight Struggle, Small World, Ticket to Ride, AlHambra, Settlers card game, London and Furtensfurg. Yes, there were some people doing some stuff all day long.
When the Dip round finally got going we had 3 boards for Round One, which also doubled this year as the Diplomacy Team Tournament - teams of 3 players would combine their scores from that round to determine the team champion. There were several new Dippers at Dixiecon this year (Mike Zytkow, Vinal Lakhani, Scott Anthony, Roland Cooke and Christian MacDonald all played in the round) as well as people who have hung around Dixiecon far too long (like, um, Dave Maletsky.) Notable results from this round included the destruction of Mikey Hall by 1905 (coming all the way from Canada just to get creamed), the two-way daw voted in 1907 without inclusion of a 7-center Conrad Woodring's Austria, and some cat named Doug Moore who won his first round game, again, for like the third time at Dixiecon.
The non-Dippers were busy Friday night as well with a rousing game of Here I Stand on one end of the room and a host of other games played on the other side - this reporter saw more TS and Ticket to Ride, along with Washington's War, Last Call, Black Friday, Power Grid, Infinite City, Air Baron, San Juan and Donkey. And, in a reappearance of a game we once had a tournament in at Hickcon one year, there was actual Candyland played...
Saturday morning we had an event I have been looking forward to since last year when Bruce Reiff put the idea into my head - the All Time Greats tournament. Anyone who has finished in the top three spots at a past Dixiecon is considered to be in the Hall of Fame, and all those players were invited to participate in the All Time Greats. We ended up with two boards of Greats and three boards of other Diplomacy players, so the room was crowded (with the non-dippers we had 60 attendees on Saturday) but it was a lot of fun. One on Greats Board there was a two way with Chris Martin and Peter Yeargin, with a three way in the other than included Moore, Brian Ecton and Tom Kobrin. The top seven finishers by point total were to advance to the final All Time Greats board on Saturday night - more on that later. The other three boards all ended in three way draws, including an FAR which in my experience is an unusual board result.
Other games were certainly being played amidst all this Diplomacy hubbub - including 1861 from the dedicated rail gamers in attendence, and a number of the same titles as before. Games that hit the tables for the first time on Saturday included Mountain of Inferno, Bang, LeHavre, and South African Rails. Long time Dixiecon attendee Bob Odear also made his triumphal entry to the site before the day was out - Bob is the only one still active who was present at the first Dixiecon in 1987.
Barbeque starts promptly at 5pm at Dixie whether or not the first round games are over. This year was no exception. After much eating of hush puppies and consumption of very, very healthy food in general, the gaming recommenced with Through the Ages, Age of Steam, Worlds Without End, Outpost, Manifest Destiny, Chess, Railroad Tycoon and, of course, Poker - as well as many of the games already mentioned from earlier in the weekend. The All Time Greats final board also got underway, on a very cool large wooden board with specialized pieces, all courtesy of longtime Dixiecon staff member Dan Mathias. The game had some fits and starts, but by the end a truly "Great" result was reached - Chris Martin and Tom Kobrin, two of the all time great Dip players by anybody's standards, ended up tying with 10 centers apiece. There being no way to break the logjam, the players unanimously voted the game over, with no actual winner of the Tournament!
Sunday morning was much more sedate, as many players stayed in bed rather than compete in the final Dip round. Two games were filled out, and the fun began. Unlike the past several Dixes though, no third round game finished before time was called, so both ended as 5-way draws and thus largely irrelevant to the determination of the top few places in the tournament. No one was surprised to see Doug Moore take home yet another Dixiecon championship given his German win on Friday night, but there were some other surprises as Hackenbracht, Pedone and MacDonald all finished in the top board for the first time. And Brian Lee added another fourth place, which means no plaque for him. Again.
Not to be outdone, the Iron Man event continued on Sunday with even more competitors than the earlier days of the tournament. In addition to the games mentioned previously, other titles included Flux (for God's sake!), Detroit/Cleveland Grand Prix, Princes of the Renaissance, Pitchcar, Attika, Labrynth, Defenders of the Realm, Express, Golditz Castle, 1880 and Acquire. By the time Dan Mathias announced that the winner was, again, Kevin Brown, there had been an astounding 72 total games submitted, by 60 different players! Most popular games entered into the Iron Man tournament were Dominion and Ticket to Ride.
And, of course, Doug Moore was crowned as the one and only three-time winner of Dixiecon! After the awards, many folks went home, some stayed in the tourney site to keep playing, and others went to eat Mexican and decompress from the weekend gaming. When everyone got back to Granville Towers, more games were played, more fun was had, and there was much talk about starting yet another long Here I Stand game - but somebody finally got some sense and said no so people could actually drive home on Monday more safely...
Just a great time this year at Dixiecon 2011! It has been a true honor and pleasure to host the event and I hope to keep doing so as long as the players keep showing up in the Land of BBQ each Memorial Day Weekend. If you are interested in attending our annual Housecon in the western part of north Carolina, called Hickcon, please contact David Hood or the actual hosts now Debbie/Ken Gutermuth for more details. Hickcon 21 will indeed be held again at Gutermuth Manor in Hickory NC, exact weekend TBA but it is usually in mid to late October.
1. Doug Moore 512
INELIGIBLE (only one
Austria Christian MacDonald 3way, 8 centers England Christian Pedone 2way, 8 France Chris Martin 2way, 13 ...Germany Doug Moore Win Italy Peter Yeargin 3way, 11 Russia Christian Pedone 3way, 9 Turkey Peter Yeargin 2way, 9
Other Dip Awards:
Death With Dignity - Adam Meldrom and Christian Pedone I Got Hammered - Adam Meldrom Golden Blade Award - Jim Yerkey The Brick - Jim Yerkey Players Choice - Tom Kobrin Team Tournament winners - Slow Play (Kobrin, Moore, Pedone)
All Time Greats Tournament
Ended in no tournament winner as the top two finishers in the declared draw both had 10 centers (Tom Kobrin and Chris Martin) Other top board finishers - Adam Sigal, Peter Yeargin, Brian Ecton, David Maletsky, Doug Moore
Man Tournament (Non-Dip Gaming)
72 total games submitted,
most popular titles: Dominion and Ticket to Ride
Jim MacDonald, Bruce Reiff, Joe Wheeler, Craig Good, Debbie Gutermuth, Mary Prasad, Rahindra Prasad, Alison Blake, Carol Mathias, Jeremy Vipperman, Alex Mauris, Bob Odear, Amber Mathias, Nathan Turnage, Michael Lowrey, Erin and Corey, Aaron Dixon, Adam Nicewarner
Dip game results:
Game 1A ITE draw 1909
Game 1B EG draw 1907
Game 1C G win
Game 2A FT draw 1910 (All Time Greats prelim) A Steve Nicewarner 4 E Andy Bartalone 0 F Chris Martin 13 G Carl Willner 1 I Jim Yerkey 4 R Adam Sigel 3 T Peter Yeargin 9
Game 2B FIT draw 1907 (All Time Greats prelim) A Rick Desper 2 E Mark Franceschini 1 F Doug Moore 11 G Steve Koehler 2 I Brian Ecton 7 R Dave Maletsky 5 T Tom Kobrin 6
Game 2C GRT draw 1905
Game 2D EGT draw 1909
Game 2E AFR draw 1905
Game 3A AEFIR draw 1912 (time called)
Game 3B AEIRT draw 1910 (time called)
All Time Greats Final - No Winner, voted draw in 1908 A Tom Kobrin 10 E Peter Yeargin 7 F Adam Sigel 1 G Chris Martin 10 I Doug Moore 6 R Dave Maletsky 0 T Brian Ecton 0