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DIXIECON 35 - May 28-30, 2021

2017 Dixiecon Report

Dixiecon 31 (2017) Report


For the 31st year in a row, a bunch of gamers appeared in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the Dixiecon tournament for Diplomacy and other games. As usual, the fun started the Thursday night before the Con officially kicked off on Friday evening. The open gaming consisted of 10 folk playing a game of Nations with the Dynasties expansion and several boards of Terraforming Mars. By my count, there were at least 15 boards of Terraforming played over the weekend, and I may well have missed a few. So yeah, for the non-Diplomacy action, that was the Con Game for 2017, clearly. Even Buffalo Bartalone, who sometimes resists the non-Dip gaming call, got into some Terraforming action.


Perhaps that focused him for the rest of the weekend to come. (Yes, people, that is foreshadowing.)


Friday morning saw the appearance of a special guest for the weekend - Lew Pulsipher, prolific game designer perhaps best known for his Britannia game and, in Diplomacy circles, for being quite the Hobby Variant Master back in the 70s and 80s. Lew decided he ought to make a Dixiecon before his projected move to Florida took him too far away from the event. His presence through Saturday evening was great fun for all involved, we got to play-test a number of games he has in production. These included God's Will, Mandate of Heaven, and Age of Expansion. Other Non-Pulsipher gaming during the day Friday included Paperback, Vye, Splendor, and another bevy of Terraforming Mars games.


Once the Diplomacy crowd began to assemble for the six o'clock start, it dawned on me that in addition to the normal, recurring crowd we actually had an entire board of seven Dixiecon newcomers, most of whom were new to face-to-face tournament play entirely! We recognized them to begin with, took a group photo, and generally enjoyed our new players very much throughout the whole weekend. Pretty awesome really, and we only lost one after the Friday night round (who sent me an email saying FTF was just NOT for him, which obviously we all understand.)


Round One of the Dip tournament included four boards. Game 1B is of note simply because former World Champ Doc Binder was able to get his Turkey up to 15 centers before the others stymied him into a four-way draw. I also paid attention to Game 1A, where Hudson Defoe shared a three-way draw at 11 centers each with David Miller and Tom Kobrin. Longtime attendee Defoe is an absolute blast to play with (he and I shared a game negotiation one time that ended up in the Washington Post believe it or not) but he had not broken into the Dixiecon Hall of Fame with a top-three finish until this weekend of gaming. (Yes, more foreshadowing.)


For our non-Diplomacy gamers, Friday night also began the Iron Man tournament, where the results from all other titles are scored in a secret-sauce type system that allows us to crown an overall non-dip winner for the weekend. So the fourteen folk not in a Diplomacy game that evening tried their skills at Family Business, Outpost, Railroad Tycoon, more Terraforming, and Ticket to Ride.


Saturday morning saw another five new folks show up for the Iron Man tournament (bringing total tournament attendance to 47) and the titles played during the day included Nations, Amazing Labrynth, Battlestar Gallactica, Splendor, Seven Wonders Duel, Ticket to Ride, Finstere Flure, Castles of Burgundy, and lotta Chess matches, and even more lotta Terraforming. Round Two of Diplomacy started then as well, with three boards and the coinciding Team Tournament. Obviously the most significant event was Andy Bartalone's English win in Game 2A over Bill Hackenbract's Turkey - you just don't see many 18-16 results any more in today's hobby. It was something to behold. Two other Turkeys in Round Two, Tom Kobrin and Peter Yeargin, each pushed towards 18 as well but were stopped at 17 and 15, respectively.


Saturday at 5pm rolled around, and at Dixiecon that means one thing - Barbeque. After we all ate, like, a lot, there was more gaming that evening in the Iron Man tournament since there is no Saturday night round at a normal Dixiecon. That old favorite from the early years of Dixiecon, Dune, was brought out of mothballs to the great delight of my twin brother John, who was ALSO brought out of mothballs to win as the Harkonnens. There was also an epic, and I actually mean EPIC ten-player game of Twilight Imperium which from what I can tell lasted like 30 hours or some such. Also fun was a teaching game of Britannia being played within several feet of Lew Pulispher, who designed that classic game in the 80s. Rounding out Saturday night fun were games of Plague and Pestilence, Family Business, CarWars card game, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, Bang, Dresden Files, and, you guessed it, Mars had apparently not been Terrformed enough already. In addition, of course, to the annual Poker game where I am positive the chips are just for fun, not for profit.


Going into the Sunday Diplomacy round, the tournament was obviously Buffalo's to lose. And he didn't, sharing as four-way draw as Russia in Game 3B. The other two games threatened to be decided by the time limit, but in each case draws were passed before the Sword of Damocles was to fall and declare draw-include-all-survivors results. The full Dip results are below. One other item to mention is relatively new player David Miller breaking into the top seven for the first time at Dixiecon. Kobrin coming in second at a Dip tourney is old news, although he comes in first a lot too!


The Iron Man tournament ends at 2pm on Sunday, but several more games were completed prior to the deadline, including more Outpost, Terraforming Mars, and Dresden Files, along with games of Navagador and Roborally. After the award ceremony, some left, some stayed to play games, and some went to eat pizza and then came back for more games. I think we all had a pretty good time - and yes, Terraforming Mars was played on into Sunday night, including the last game of the Con starting at about 2:30am and ending about 5am. Absolutely and completely nuts.


Thanks to all for coming, and I hope to see y'all back next year!

Diplomacy Tournament Results:


1. Andy Bartalone 464

2. Tom Kobrin 372

3. Hudson Defoe 360

4. Joe Wheeler 336

5. Tim Richardson 328

6. Peter Yeargin 324

7. David Miller 320

7. Brian Shelden 320

9. Michael "Doc" Binder 316

10. Clem Jayne 308

11. Bill Hackenbracht 304

12. Andrew Katcher 220

13. Chris Martin 197

14. Jeff Ladd 180

15. Ken Mathias 176

16. Michael Ambinder 172

17. Todd Craig 168.7

17. Brian Ecton 168.7

19. Eric Tilberg 38

19. Zach Yost 38

21. Greg Myers 30

22. Steve Wilcox 25

23. Claude Worrell 20

24. Stephen Mondak 15

IN Dave Maletsky 162

IN Alex Ronke 28

IN Daniel Casey 0

IN Graham Woodring 0


Best Countries:


Austria David Miller 3w-11

England Andy Bartalone Win

France Hudson Defoe 3w-11

Germany Tom Kobrin 3w-11

Italy Hudson Defoe 3w-14

Russia Chris Martin 3w-12

Turkey Tom Kobrin 3w-17


Team Tournament:


Deplorable Me's - Wheeler/Bartalone/Yeargin


Golden Blade - Andy Bartalone

I Got Hammered - Stephen Mondak

The Brick - Bill Hackenbracht

Death With Dignity - Claude Worrell, Greg Myers, Zach Yost, Ken Mathias

Players Choice - Clem Jayne


Iron Man Tournament:


1. Bruce Duewer 49

2. Dan Mathias 26

3. Adam Sigal / Chris Martin 22

47 players overall, 28 played in the Diplomacy tournament and 43 played in the Iron Man (which featured 20 different game titles played.)

Game 1A - AFG Draw - 1908

A David Miller 11

E Daniel Cody 0

F Hudson Defoe 11

G Tom Kobrin 11

I Greg Myers 0

R Zach Yost 1

T Claude Worrell 0

Game 1B - EGIT Draw - 1907

A Todd Craig 0

E Brian Ecton 7

F Eric Tillberg 2

G Clem Jayne 7

I Peter Yeargin 3

R Jeff Ladd 0

T Doc Binder 15

Game 1C - ERT Draw - 1906

A Andy Bartalone 0

E Joe Wheeler 11

F Stephen Mondak 0

G Steve Wilcox 0

I Michael Ambinder 2

R Chris Martin 12

T Tim Richardson 9

Game 1D EGR Draw - 1905

A Brian Shelden 0

E Dave Maletsky 8

F Alex Ronke 2

G Bill Hackenbracht 10

I Andrew Katcher 5

R Ken Mathias 9

T Graham Woodring 0

Game 2A E Win - 1907

A Zach Yost 0

E Andy Bartalone 18

F Todd Craig 0

G Andrew Katcher 0

I Brian Ecton 0

R Greg Myers 0

T Bill Hackenbracht 16

Game 2B EGT Draw - 1909

A Ken Mathias 0

E Brian Shelden 10

F David Miller 1

G Tim Richardson 8

I Doc Binder 0

R Stephen Mondak 0

T Peter Yeargin 15

Game 2C EFT Draw - 1909

A Claude Worrell 0

E Clem Jayne 9

F Joe Wheeler 8

G Hudson Defoe 0

I Jeff Ladd 0

R Michael Ambinder 0

T Tom Kobrin 17

Game 3A EGIT Draw - 1909

A Chris Martin 1

E Michael Ambinder 6

F Zach Yost 0

G Todd Craig 7

I Clem Jayne 9

R Bill Hackenbracht 1

T David Miller 10

Game 3B EFTR Draw - 1908

A Stephen Mondak 0

E Jeff Ladd 10

F Peter Yeargin 7

G Greg Myers 0

I Tom Kobrin 2

R Andy Bartalone 4

T Brian Shelden 11

Game 3C EGI Draw 1908

A Joe Wheeler 0

E Andrew Katcher 9

F Brian Ecton 1

G Doc Binder 5

I Hudson Defoe 14

R Tim Richardson 5

T Steve Wilcox 0

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