DIXIECON 35 - May 28-30, 2021

2019 Dixiecon Report

Memorial Day weekend 2019 saw the running of the thirty-third annual Dixiecon, which included the usual Diplomacy tournament and Iron Man event for non-Diplomacy gaming as well as the brand new, first ever, Terradipping Mars tournament.  We had fifty-three folk in total, including thirty-six who played at least one round of Diplomacy.  Other important stats:  we had five Dip players completely new to Dixiecon, as well as several returning after years away (including Keith West and his boys Colin and Christian as well as Diplomacy veteran Vince Lutterbie returning after over twenty years!)


The action began on Thursday afternoon as Congoers began to arrive ahead of the 6pm start time for the Terraforming Mars event.  Let's go ahead and discuss how that went.  TM is a very popular game at Diplomacy tournaments, so Bill Hackenbracht and I decided it would be good to feature a side tournament for the fun of it and also to give folk something specific to come for in addition to the Diplomacy itself.  The Terradipping went well, I think - we had 23 qualifying games played in addition to the championship board on Saturday night.  For those who had not seen the tournament rules, these are all four player games using the base game plus Preludes expansion.  In addition to the tournament itself, I kept track of everyone's individual scores and (for most games) the corporations played so that we can keep up with that over time, again mostly just for fun.


A quick aside - of the 19 games where we recorded the corporations played, Cheung Shing won 4, Mining Guild and Vitor 3 each, Credicor with 2 wins, and a slew with one win each.


Enough of that.  In addition to TM on Thursday evening, there were also games of Tichu and Bang played, so that's a pretty good variety for the opening night!


Friday during the day many more gamers began to arrive, and therefore so did many other boardgames hit the tables.  In addition to more TM and Tichu, there were games of Innovation, Skull, Azul, Family Business, Splendor, Mint Wars, and some obscure game that no one had ever heard of before called "Chess" or some such.  There were also several folk who arrived with really only one goal in mind - the Diplomacy starting at 6pm Friday evening.


The round started with the obligatory awarding of, well, awards, from past Dixiecons.  Still waiting on Adam Meldrom to come back and claim his I Got Hammered award from 2004 but I digress.  Four board of Diplomacy were announced, with all the usual comments about how "this" board or "that" board sure looked interesting.  In truth, they were all pretty interesting.  Game 1A featured Tanya Gill, Doc Binder and Emily Pollock in the west, facing off against an RT played by Edwin Turnage and Hudson Defoe.  Emily ended up out of the draw at the end, but it was still a pretty blocked up result as a 4way.    And the EXACT same result finished Game 1B, with the EFRT draw this time featuring Eric Erikson, Emmett Wainwright, Derek Hanlin and Todd Craig.  In another odd coincidence, the other two games finished with AET draws - including Bill Hackenbracht's England being stopped at 17 centers in Game 1D.


As far as Iron Man gaming on Friday night was concerned, of course more TM was played but in addition, we saw Hoax, Lotus, Coloretto, Castles of Burgundy, Lifeboats, Airlines Europe and the Great Dalmouti.  There were a lot of games new to Dixiecon, which just added to the fun I think.


Saturday morning saw Round 2 of the Dip event, which also doubles as the Team Tournament.  Adding a few more Dippers, the round swelled to five boards.  Results important to tournament standings included the AR in Game 2A between Hackenbracht and Emily Turnage, Brad Blitstein's France getting to 13 centers before being forced into a 4way in Game 2B, and the reasonably significant solo win achieved by David Miller as Austria in 2C.  Iron Man titles played during the day on Saturday included World's Fair 1893, Fox in the Forest, Twilight Struggle, Lifeboats, Settlers of Catan, Splendor and, I kid you not, "Pigtickler."  No, I have no idea.


By the time the 5pm BBQ started on Saturday night all the Dip games were over, so after there was MUCH eating of pork, chicken, hush puppies and a bunch of other stuff, the Sat Nite activities commenced  This included the Terradipping final in which Andy Bartalone took the inaugural trophy against a field of Ed Rothenheber, Greg Fairbanks and Graham Woodring.  This also included our Diplomacy variant game, Alex Ronke's 1812 Overture, which seemed to be just as much of a blast as it was when we played the earlier version during the 2016 Dixiecon.  And, of course, Iron Man gaming continued with newer games like Viticulture, medium age classics like Railroad Tycoon and Dominion, and blasts from the past such as Conquest of the Empire.  We also had a repeat of last year's big hit Stratomatic Baseball, which looks now to be a Saturday evening tradition.


Round Three of the Diplomacy tournament began AS IT ALWAYS DOES at 9:30 am Sunday, this time with three boards of hearty Dippers playing in the only time-limited game.  3A sealed the eventual tournament victory for David Miller as his Turkey got into the three way draw.  The other two games were also three ways in which the top participant was stopped at 13 centers, Brad Blitstein's Turkey in 3B and Tonya Gill's  Russia in 3C.  When all the dust settled, we had the results shown below over 12 games of Dip, which included Blitstein cracking the top three at his first Dixiecon (we call that the Hall of Fame) and Miller doing the almost unheard-of repeat winner thing as he also won last year's Dip event.  Kudos to all our Dip participants!


Dan Mathias won his first Iron Man championship, with Michael Lowrey coming in 2nd and Bill Morgan 3rd.  The other winners are listed elsewhere, but I did want to highlight Bill Hackenbracht winning the Players Choice award as the person most folk enjoyed playing Diplomacy with the most over the weekend.  Well deserved.


After the Sunday night dinner and socializing, the many folk who were staying on into Monday then settled down for even more open gaming.  Viticulture made a reappearance (was the most popular new-ish game this year I think) as well as 1846, Escape from Colditz, and others.  My brother John and I even got in a game of Swords and Sorcery with Mitch McConeghey, a game we probably haven't played together in decades.  So that was fun, particularly since I clearly, clearly won.


I hope everyone had a blast, and will return next year.  I also hope that everyone goes to others of our fine selection of tournaments this year - we are truly blessed to have some many chances, now, to play Diplomacy, see old friends, and make new ones.

1) David Miller 516

2) Bill Hackenbracht 416

3) Brad Blitstein 340

4) Peter Yeargin 328

5) Jeff Ladd 324

5) Edwin Turnage 324

7) Tanya Gill 320

8) Brian Ecton 308

9) Michael Doc Binder 296

10) Todd Craig 292

11) Emily Turnage 253

12) Derek Hanlin 185

13) Keith West 180

14) Emmett  Wainwright 166

15) Mitch McConeghey 162

16) Jason Mastbaum 158

17) Eric Erikson 154

18) Alex Ronke 148

19) Hudson Defoe 144

20) Vince Lutterbie 124

21) Dan Pollock 101

22) Clem Jayne 96

23) Scott Crook  89

24) Alex Mazlow 78

25) Rob Kohr 67

26) Vince Agosta  28

26) Christian West  28

28) Tim Richardson 20

29) Colin West  15

IN  Robert Koehler  162

IN  Dave Maletsky  154

IN  Tom Kobrin  138

IN  Andy Bartalone  126

IN  Graham Woodring  62

IN  Emily Pollock  40

IN  Jim Yerkey  0


Death With Dignity Awards:

Christian West, Brad Blitstein, Colin West, Vince Agosta, Tim Richardson, Jim Yerkey, Emmett Wainwright, Keith West


Team Champions:  "Overrated" - David Miller, Peter Yeargin, Andy Bartalone


Best Countries:

Austria David Miller

England Bill Hackenbracht

France Jeff Ladd / Edwin Turnage

Germany Todd Craig

Italy Jeff Ladd / Brian Ecton

Russia Emily Turnage

Turkey Brad Blitstein


Iron Man Tournament:

1) Dan Mathias

2) Michael Lowrey

3) Bill Morgan


Golden Blade Award:  Brad Blitstein

I Got Hammered:  Graham Woodring

Brick: Alex Mazlow

Players Choice:  Bill Hackenbracht


Terradipping Mars Final Board:

Andy Bartalone, Champion

Greg Fairbanks

Ed Rothenheber

Graham Woodring

Players Choice:  Bill Hackenbracht