The 2005 version of Block Party moved to a new location in Columbus, Ohio. The CABS guys did a great job in running and supporting the conference. Thirty gamers competed in the four tourneys offered. Most of the attendees were from the Midwest, but there were gamers from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and North Carolina as well.
Unlimited open gaming supplemented tournament play using all genres as well as other block games. Rommel in the Desert, Pacific Victory, We the People, Capitol, War of the Ring, Memoir '44, Friedrich, and Ticket to Ride were just some of the side games played between tournaments. Ferkin Doyle from Columbia Games was on hand to support their events.
It was also great to have the designer of Liberty there
as Mark Kwanzy visited with many of the gamers and played several
pickup games. Rick Young, one of
the designers of Europe Engulfed, was present to support that design and to demonstrate his new design Fast Action Battles: The Bulge which recently was added to the GMT P500 list. The guys from Face to Face Gaming brought in computers and servers to demo their upcoming online version of Hammer of the Scots which also made an appearance at WBC.
Rick Young was the big winner of the weekend as he took home
wood for Hammer of the Scots and Europe Engulfed.
Bruce Reiff captured another in his long line of plaques for Liberty
and then added the WBC version as well for good measure four monthes
later. Mike Sims was able to run the table in War of 1812.
We discussed the possible changes in the lineup for next year's
version of the meeting of the blockheads. The 2006 Block Party
will be April 28th through the 30th in
Columbus, Ohio (actually, the Radisson in Worthington).
Hammer of the Scots
We had 21 entrants for Hammer time resulting in 29 games played. We bid discards that could be used throughout the game to play the English, as we did the previous year. Most games had a bid, though a few players just chose sides. The format was a Swiss-elimination type tourney to have a final between two players with the best records. This year we had a match of two unbeatens for the crown. Rick Young challenged the reigning champ, Bruce Reiff. Rick played the English and was able to dominate the game from the outset to capture the wood. This was Rick's second championship of the weekend - having taken his own sparsely contested Europe Engulfed honors over five challengers.
Other laurelists were Rob Taylor, Bill O'Neal, Ric Manns and
Mike Zehnal who finished third through six respectively.
16 players vied for the "wood" wih 24 games played overall. It was great to have the game's designer Mark Kwansy join us on that Saturday. He talked about some rule clarifications that he was working on with the publisher and discussed his design philosophy and goals for the game.
We bid VP's for the American side and the average bid was 1.7 with a high of 4. Of the 25 games, 16 were won by the Americans. French entry was early this year with 19 games seeing them declare for the USA before 1779 with ten happening in 1776. This makes it tougher on the British, but once again there was an American victory without French support.
Bruce Reiff defeated Rob Taylor to take the wood. Bruce won as the British in 1778 as Rob had bid 2 to play the yanks. Rob was 3-1 and won the right to challenge Bruce by winning the tiebreaker against Bill O'Neal. Bill finished third with his only loss coming on the last turn. Bruce's win makes it three in a row for Liberty as he was the reigning champ at last year's WBC and successfully defended that title again this year.
Other laurelists were Terry Hollern (4th), Pete Stein (5th) and Barry Smith (6th).
War of 1812
Mike Sims took top honors in a 10-player event that generated 13 games played. After three rounds of swiss play, two undefeateds did battle. Kevin Rohrer chose the English. "Wet powder" was not an issue in this game. After losing ground in the East, the English attacked and crushed Detroit. The large English army swung eastward through the U.S. and met a massive American force moving west to meet them at Oswego. It was a bloodbath with plenty of 6's being rolled on both sides. In the end, Mike Sims' Americans prevailed. Only nine active ground units remained in play on the board at the end of 1812.
Other laurelists were Bill Place, Ric Manns and Charles Stucker who finished third through fifth respectively.