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DIXIECON 35 - May 28-30, 2021

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2016 Dixiecon Report

Dixiecon 30 (2016) Report - David Hood


It was in 1986 that we first decided, as a group, that our Carolina Amateur Diplomats, or CADs, would host a Dip tournament in Chapel Hill. Given that I had some limited experience with debate tournaments in college, I figured I could lead the effort and put on some semblance of a Diplomacy event for the local crowd as well as a few travelers. So, in 1987 we held the first Dixiecon over Memorial Day Weekend at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. It was a three round event over two days, and involved mostly Carolinians along with a few Virginians.

As the years rolled by, the event added features which have become standard through our 30th Dixiecon we just held in May 2016. Eastern NC-style barbeque on Saturday afternoon. Draw-based scoring system. Side tournaments for the non-Dip gaming that has always been a Dixie feature. Unlimited time for each game except the Sunday round. Thursday night gaming for early arrivals, which this year consisted of a rousing Battlestar Galactica game including Dave Maletsky, Peter Yeargin, Bruce Allen, Andy Bartalone, Mark Franceschini and David Hood. As you would expect from backstabbing Dip players, of course the Cylons won...

Since Dixiecon 1 in 1987, we have had 414 different attendees, from twelve different countries and over half the states in the US. We have hosted World Dipcon 3 times (1990, 1998 and 2014) and Dipcon 4 times (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002). As I announced at this year's event, we have 11 players who have played in at least 15 Dip tournaments at Dixiecon (and a number of people who have attended far more Dixiecons but have not always played in the Dip event). The three Dippers who have participated in the Diplomacy event the most times are Dan Mathias (21), Tom Kobrin (20) and Steve Koehler.(19)

Dixiecon winners are added to the list of what we call the Order of the Knife. At this year's event, all Knifers in attendance received, in the opening ceremony, a medal with the player's name engraved, just as a fun way to start the 30th annual event. After a little history of Dixiecon, similar to the above, the tournament began in earnest with five boards in Round 1.

Four of the five boards ended in three-way draws, with some of the usual suspects included (Sigal, Kobrin, Richardson) as well as newer entrants at Dixiecon such as Andrew Goff, Danny Grinnell and Randy Lawrence-Hurt. I think my personal favorite, though, was the draw in Game 1B because it included one of the most experienced sharks in the tank (Jim Yerkey), one of the youngest sharks in the tank (Emily Pollock) and a shark returning to the tank after many years lost in the open waters (Jeff Dwornicki.)

In Game 1E, though, the consistently dangerous Chris Martin decided to start off his Dixiecon with an Italian win, featuring a 4-center stab of Russia in 1909 that would also net him the Golden Blade award for the weekend. Little did any of us know that this win would only be the first of four wins for the weekend!

At Dixiecon, folk who play games other than Diplomacy are playing in their own tournament, called the Iron Man of Gaming. This was GMed this year by Michael Lowrey, who scored all the game based on a system developed by Dan Mathias, awarding points based on the length and complexity of the game and the number of players bested by the winner. During the Friday night round, Iron Man games played included Isle of Skye, Coup, Ticket to Ride, Avalon, Patchwork, Pirates Cove, Nations, Catan and Puerto Rico.

Saturday morning saw Round Two of the Dip tournament, which also doubles as the Team Tournament. Out of the four boards, we had two winners - Emily Pollock as Austria in 2A and Peter Yeargin as Austria in 2D. Yes, this was a good round to be Austria, as Keith West got into the three-way draw as Austria in Game 2C. Keith, by the way, made his return to Dixiecon after many years - but was an original CAD from way back in 1984 when we started to play Diplomacy! Keith also brought his two sons to play this year, just one of many examples of young players brought to the Con by dads or friends at this year's Dixiecon (which also happened at this year's WDC in Chicago, so good news for the hobby.)

In Iron Man action that Saturday morning, we had about as many non-Dip gamers playing during the round as the Dip players. Titles included Settlers of Catan, Firefly, Here I Stand, Outpost, and Concordia.

After the always-yummy barbeque late Saturday afternoon, we had two very special events during the evening hours. First, we had a variant event for the first time in many years - this time a design by local Dipper Alex Ronke called 1812 Overture. This is a six-player variant where three of the players control fixed sets of powers, with those combos being England/Canada, Federalists/Republicans (the US, basically) and France/Rhine Confederation, and then the other three players have a random combo of one power in Europe and one power in the New World. Claude Worrell played the Brit/Canadians, Rick Desper played the French/Germans, Keith West the Danes/Mexicans, Randy Lawrence-Hurt the Federalists/Republicans, Todd Craig the Austrians/Shawnees and David Hood as the Russians/Cherokees. Lots of hijinks commenced - suffice it to say that we would need to playtest this thing a few more times to figure out the best strategies. I will say this, though: in how many other games can I write "My Russian fleets conquered part of northern Canada in conjunction with their Cherokee allies on land."

The other fun was our Truly All Time Greats board, in which the top-ranked Dixiecon winners in attendance battled it out to see who is, truly, the All Time Great. With a board filled with Peter Yeargin, Adam Sigal, Tom Kobrin, Brian Ecton, Mark Franceschini, Chris Martin, and Jim Yerkey, you just know things were going to happen! And they did. In the end, Yerkey's 11-center Austria edged the 10 center France of Franceschini and 10-center Germany of Sigal for the victory.

In addition, the Iron Man event continued that evening as well, with games of Combat Commander, Churchill, Acquire, Suburbia, Ticchu, Settlers, Ultimate Werewolf, Roll for the Galaxy, Nations and Isle of Skye. And, of course, with this crowd there is always Poker being played - I'm sure the chips were just chips, no actual money at stake...

Sunday morning saw four board of Dip as folk jockeyed for final position in the Dixiecon standings. There were more 3-way draw results, but the most important result was the French win in 3D that would catapult Tom Kobrin to yet another Dixiecon championship! Wins in the Sunday timed round are rare indeed. The Iron Man tourney also finished during the afternoon with games of Outpost, Nations, St Petersburg, Concordia and Firefly.

After the awards ceremony, some of the attendees left while others went to dinner and then back to the site for late-night gaming until early Monday morning. I'd like to thank Mike Lowrey for his work scoring both tournaments, all the folks who helped with airport runs, Andrew Goff and David Norman for making coming all this way to make the event a truly international one, and everyone else for coming to make this a Dixiecon 30 that I certainly enjoyed immensely!

Diplomacy Tournament Results:


1. Tom Kobrin 540

2. Chris Martin 524

3. Emily Pollock 520

4. Peter Yeargin 512

5. Randy LawrenceHurt 352

6. Adam Sigal 348

7. Andrew Goff 332

8. Jeff Dwornicki 328

9. Tim Richardson 268

10. Jeff Ladd 244

11. David Miller 202

11. Dave Maletsky 202

13. Jason Mastbaum 193

13. Danny Grinnell 192

15. David Norman 189

16. Greg Myers 183

17. Keith West 178

18. Hudson Defoe 176

19. Christian West 174

20. Andy Bartalone 170

20. Ken Peel 170

22. Ken Mathias 162

23. Brian Lee 118

24. Brian Shelden 112

25. Marc Hurwitz 84

26. Claude Worrell 71

27. Alex Ronke 62

28. Dan Pollock 53

29. Brian Ecton 37

30. Eric Grinnell 30

31. Colin West 25

32. Todd Craig 20

IN Jim Yerkey 178

IN Tony Bilzi 46

IN Ike Porter 20

IN Justin Thompson 0


Best Countries:


Austria Peter Yeargin and Emily Pollock Wins

England Emily Pollock and Randy Lawrence-Hurt 3w -11

France Tom Kobrin Win

Germany Randy Lawrence-Hurt 3w-12

Italy Chris Martin Win

Russia Andrew Goff and Adam Sigal 3w-11

Turkey Greg Myers and Chris Martin 3w-12


Team Tournament:


Team Kiwi - Goff, Yeargin, Lawrence-Hurt


Golden Blade - Chris Martin

I Got Hammered - Todd Craig

The Brick - Brian Ecton (4 elims in a 3-round tournament)

Death With Dignity - Marc Hurwitz, David Norman, Dan Pollard, Claude Worrell, Ike Porter, Danny Grinnell, Christian West, Colin West

Players Choice - Colin West


Iron Man Tournament:


1. Kevin Brown 45.5

2. Dan Mathias 23

3. Nicky Koehler / Steve Koehler 18

51 players overall, 36 played in the Diplomacy tournament and 26 played in the Iron Man.

Game 1A - AFG Draw - 1908

A Adam Sigal 11

E Alex Ronke 0

F Jason Mastbaum 7

G Randy Lawrence-Hurt 12

I Ken Peel 0

R Peter Yeargin 4

T Brian Ecton 0

Game 1B - EFT Draw - 1908

A Eric Grinnell 0

E Emily Pollock 11

F Jim Yerkey 12

G Justin Thompson 0

I David Norman 0

R Marc Hurwitz 1

T Jeff Dwornicki 10

Game 1C - AEF Draw - 1908

A Tom Kobrin 17

E Hudson Defoe 9

F Tim Richardson 7

G Greg Myers 0

I Brian Shelden 1

R Ike Porter 0

T Claude Worrell 0

Game 1D AIR Draw - 1907

A Andrew Goff 7

E Jeff Ladd 9

F Keith West 1

G David Maletsky 2

I Ken Mathias 8

R Danny Grinnell 7

T Dan Pollock 0

Game 1E I Win - 1912

A Tony Bilzi 3

E David Miller 6

F Christian West 0

G Todd Craig 0

I Chris Martin 19

R Brian Lee 6

T Andy Bartalone 0

Game 2A A Win - 1909

A Emily Pollock 19

E Tim Richardson 10

F Ken Peel 0

G Brian Lee 0

I Jeff Ladd 5

R Tom Kobrin 0

T Christian West 0

Game 2B EFT Draw - 1906

A Colin West 0

E Randy Lawrence-Hurt 11

F Andy Bartalone 10

G Dan Pollock 1

I Hudson Defoe 0

R David Norman 0

T Greg Myers 12

Game 2C AER Draw - 1905

A Keith West 7

E Chris Martin 9

F Eric Grinnell 0

G Brian Ecton 0

I Alex Ronke 7

R Andrew Goff 11

T Jason Mastbaum 0

Game 2D A Win - 1907

A Peter Yeargin 16

E Claude Worrell 4

F Todd Craig 0

G Jeff Dwornicki 2

I Danny Grinnell 0

R David Miller 12

T Marc Hurwitz 0

Game 3A FGT Draw - 1911

A Brian Ecton 0

E Colin West 0

F Peter Yeargin 12

G Jeff Ladd 11

I Emily Pollock 0

R Todd Craig 0

T David Norman 11

Game 3B FGR Draw - 1906

A Jason Mastbaum 5

E Andrew Goff 5

F Jeff Dwornicki 7

G Christian West 6

I David Miller 6

R Ken Peel 5

T Ken Mathias 0

Game 3C FRT Draw 1908

A Tim Richardson 0

E Greg Myers 0

F David Maletsky 11

G Danny Grinnell 0

I Keith West 0

R Adam Sigal 11

T Chris Martin 12

Game 3D F Win 1909

A Brian Lee 0

E Dan Pollock 0

F Tom Kobrin 18

G Marc Hurwitz 3

I Randy Lawrence-Hurt 7

R Eric Grinnell 0

T Brian Shelden 6


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