BPA's third genre mini-con is now in the record books. A small but enthusiastic field of 33 players gathered for the first BPA gaming conference held outside of Maryland and judging by the requests to do it again, Block Party must be considered a success in its goal of bringing BPA style competitive gaming conferences to other areas. Five tournaments were held, five champs crowned, and 16 players added laurels to their credit in the quest for this year's Caesar title.
The Columbia Games hit Hammer of the Scots was the big draw of Block Party with 23 of 33 attendees participating. The Scots and British battled it out over the course of four rounds. 30 total games were played with the English winning 21. Through the first four rounds only one player, Troy Daniels, a convention newcomer from Akron was the only undefeated player. Bruce Reiff was the highest scoring 3-1 player so he provided the competition in the final.
Troy bid four discards to take the English in the final. He drew the King on turns 2 and 3 but was unable to gather enough strength to winter Edward. The third turn was especially bad as a big battle with Wallace left the king's forces badly damaged and unable to prevent Wallace's escape.
Turn 4 saw the Scots Herald successfully call Comyn and Wallace go on the offensive. The final straw came on turn 7 as the Scots again used the Herald card to successfully call Bruce, who the English fought so hard for on turn 6. From tthat point forward the game was just a matter of the Scots playing defense for the win. Bruce Reiff had the first Block Party Hammer Plaque to add to his record total of 25 BPA wood. Also scoring laurels were: Jeff Mullet (3rd), Sean McCulloch (4th), Rick Young (5th) and Barry Smith (6th).
Many positive comments were received on the unique scoring system used including some suggestions for improvements which will be incorporated for next year.
With 19 players, one more than the original WBC event, Block Party's Liberty tournament would have to be considered a success. In all, 28 games were logged. The perception before the tourney was that the Americans were favored, so we would bid to play the Americans. There were only five bids total in the tournament; the highest was a bid of two. The Americans finished with a slight advantage at 15 wins vs. 13 defeats. Bruce Reiff pulled the most impressive win as the Americans winning in 1781 without the support of the French and their eight blocks.
We played a four round Swiss elimination tourney to set up a Sunday morning final. After the four swiss rounds, Barry Smith of NY was leading the pack with a 4-0 record. Three other players were tied at 3-1 for the right to challenge Smith in the final. Ric Manns (IN) advanced over Bruce Reiff (OH) & John Cousis (IL) on the fourth tiebreaker. Ric had played the British in the previous rounds winning two of the games when the French entered early for his American opponent.
Ric bid one to play the Americans in the final. Barry began the game by abandoning Canada and concentrating on the Mid-Atlantic States by landing in Philadelphia. The Americans responded by bringing Gates to New York to face the threat. The French decided that their best interest lied with the rebellion. The American pursued a conservative strategy building up all his forces and taking the British West Indies. With time running out, the British invaded Hartford. The hope was that the American couldn't have another large card left, but Ric played the "3" in his hand. The British thus trapped in Hartford secured Liberty for the colonists and the wood for Ric as another unbeaten player tasted defeat in the final round and was robbed of wood. Also garnering laurels were Reiff and Coussis in 3rd and 4th respectively, Mike Sims (5th) and Pete Stein (6th).
The War of 1812 event which has fared consistently well at WBC due to fortuitous scheduling was less fortunate at Block Party where it drew only 13 players. That baker's dozen managed to play 17 games, of which four were draws. The British claimed 11 of the other 13. Rick Young, the sole representative of the south, took top honors, as the North Carolina resident defeated hoosier Charles Stucker in the final. The other laurel winners were David Carroll (3rd), Michael Sims (4th), Bruce Monnin (5th) and Ric Manns (6th).
13 wanna be Wizards tried their luck in the Wizard Kings tournament. The scenario played was "If an Orc dies in the forest does anyone hear it?" You bid the number of turns it would take for the Orcs to fulfill their victory conditions. The scenario was short and designed to be played between rounds of the more 'glamorous' events. In all, there was time for 15 such "filler" games. When time to play games ended on midnight Saturday, Bruce Reiff and Jeff Mullet were left standing.
Jeff won the bid for the Orcs and had to win in just three rounds. He feinted to the right and drove to the left. Bruce's forces met him at the gates to the city, his Rangers, Gladers and Pixies on hand. Jeff brought Orges, Goblins and Trolls. A massive battle ensued which came down to the last few pieces. Jeff's only chance was to roll three 1's in four rolls. Bruce was sizing up the space on the wall for his 25th plaque when Jeff produced the required dice roll and closed the gap on Caesar leader Pei. Also picking up laurels were Mike Zehnal (3rd), Nate Hoam (4th), David Carroll (5th) and Todd Surgoine (6th).
The new kid on the block - Europe Engulfed - could muster only seven players - not enough for full tournament status but that didn't prevent Mike Lochtefeld from going home with BPA wood. Seven players decided to risk the cold of Soviet Russia and play in the one-map Europe Engulfed Tournament Scenario. This Scenario covers the action in the Soviet Union from July 1942 through October 1943. Average playing time was just under tthree hours per game.
The Top two finishers, Mike Lochtefeld and Rob Mull, played in all four rounds. The Third place finisher, Kevin Rohrer, played in two rounds. The also-rans, Rick Young, Ric Manns, Charles Stucker, and Joe Rossi, played in one round each.
In all seven games of EEG were played over the four rounds, with the Soviets winning six of the seven contests (look for the Scenario to be slightly tweaked in the German's favor for next year's event). Even though the Soviets were clearly showing as favored by the third round, no one felt they were so favored that they were willing to bid more than zero (0) Victory Points for the priviledge of playing that side.
There was no Dominating victor, and the games were hotly contested.
Mike Lochtefeld and Rob Mull each went 2-2 over the course
of the event.
Kevin Rohrer was 1-1
Rick Young & Ric Manns were 1-0
Charles Stucker & Joe Rossi were 0-1
The final scores were:
Mike Lochtefeld - 4.2
Rob Mull - 3.8
Kevin Rohrer - 2.9 (his win was against the first place finisher)
Rick Young - 2.8 (his win was against the second place finisher)
Ric Manns - 2.6
Charles Stucker - 2.4
Joe Rossi - 2.3
In all, CABS/BPA honcho Bruce Reiff was the big winner for the weekend ... garnering 48 laurels in all and moving him onto the leader Board in the Caesar race in 4th place. Jeff Mullet picked up 22 laurels to edge closer to leader Pei but remained in second place, while Ric Manns 31 points earned him a spot on the leader board for the first time as he moved into 24th place. But rumor has it that everyone was eager for more and initial plans are to do it all again next May 13th-15th at the Radisson Hotel in Worthington, OH. See ya there when next we convene the meeting of the blockheads.