The entries are approaching the starting gate. Stuart Tucker, the Handy Handicapper will be posting the odds for this year's competition as the field fills. Watch this space for updates as Post Time nears.
Here's the preliminary line for the Team Tournament (with 33 teams registered at this time). The defending champions (MAWS) are among the favorites, but are still rated slightly behind two teams loaded with wood-gatherers who are entering events they often win. Manly Men (owners of a whopping 37 woods) are still the team to beat, though they are neck-and-neck with Size Does Matter (multi-time Team champions under other names).
The convention director's We Ain't Dead Yet may be better than their odds indicate--a blend of age and youth, plus GMing your own fate--maybe that's the magic elixir.
Or perhaps it'll be the year of the Old Guard? Or what about St. Paul's Rejects? It always helps to be the game's designer ... or perhaps a six-time tournament champion. Of course, Packwood may be so good at 1776 that he scares away the competition, thus reducing his own team tourney point contribution.
While the registration process continues, a number of notable teams have not yet joined our ranks (including eleven of the top 25 teams from last year). The most notable missing team, last year's fifth place Squad Southwest, has already lost a key member to another team. This serves as a warning to the delinquent: don't whine when you try to register at the last moment only to find your ranks depleted by defection.
Half the teams contain new recruits (not to be confused as novices, though). Only two of the teams contain the same four members playing the same four events. Though membership may be relatively stable, teammates continue to juggle their events in that elusive search for the magic combination that will let them ride their successes in individual tourneys to the team championship. I particularly like the guys swapping entries in Titan and Titan Two. I'm guessing they played against each other a fair amount this year and discovered their biases.
The handicapper's own team last year managed a surprising seventh place (through no fault of his own). Again the Beltway Banditos will be anchored by the youthful Grand Slammer, Rebecca Hebner; but until the team's other members pick up the slack, the team must be considered only slightly better than average. I'm still smarting from my foolish wager last year--if you see me eating breakfasts (and a little crow) with the members of MAWS frequently this August, it certainly isn't because they're recruiting me!
With the addition of another 20 teams in the last two weeks
(making a total of 53 at this writing), the odds are lengthening,
but the three early favorites remain the teams to beat. Lookout,
however, for the newly-formed 3 Yanks & a Brit. They're loaded
with members who are defending champions in their events
(though they may succumb to the multiplayer game syndrome). Also, several more former Team Champs have returned to the fray near the top of the
favorites list, including Harbingers and Peripheral Reach.
I wouldn't count out Da Boys this year, despite a bad year
in 2001 which has hurt their odds rating. They once again tackle
events in which they usually
do well. Team PrezCon returns with its two anchors in Kingmaker and Panzerblitz. With a little luck in Settlers, they could take the championship. Another top contender is Team Delaware, which is loaded with players already owning woods in their events. This could be their breakout year. And don't count out Baby Seals, who can easily score in all four events.
Hurry to get in your final entries. A few of these teams still have unregistered members. The deadline is July 20 ... after which no substitutions are allowed.
|Rank. Name||Odds||Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Player 4||Points | Entrants|
|1. The Alliance||
||M. Day/SUC||W. Day/ SQL||D. Henry/VIP||H. Jones/WNW|
|2. Three Giants & a Dwarf||
||P. Weintraub/CME||F. Arndt/UPF||B. Burch/B17||J. Burch/ACS|
|3. Central FL Game Club||
||J. Cornett/NAP||S. Cornett/SCT||D. Galullo/ACV||C. Reece/8XX|
|4. Manly Men||
||B. Reiff/FBS||G. Sauer/KGM||J. Mullet/BCY||Gutermuth/PGF|
|5. We Ain't Dead Yet||
||B. Sinigaglio/B81||Bu Sinigaglio/QGB||F. Sinigaglio/CMS||D. Greenwood/BKN|
|6. GCOM Express||
||K. Levy/A&A||J. Weber/POF||S. Buckwalter/GXY||M. Goldstein/CAR|
||R. Winslow/WNW||S. Hess/UPF||B. Peeck/EPB||B. O'Neal/PDT|
||M. Rinella/BKN||J. Eliason/5FT||R. Curtin/UPF||D. Nicholson/MMS|
|9. Old Guard||
||B. Ryan/ ANZ||F. Pafenberg/TRC||J. Grant/ B81||R. Heller/ BWD|
|10. McKimmel Brutus Hand||
||S. Harris/ROR||D. Bleau/POG||M. Mularcki/TRC||R. Price/RBN|
||S. Koehler/AOR||A. Kutz/HWD||E.Rothenheber/TTN||B. Foy/8XX|
|12. Reservoir Dogs||
||J. Doughan/BKN||J. Tracy/ASL||P. Barcafer/SOA||H.Burkhalter/FTP|
|13. Me & Three Stiffs||
||M. Birnbaum/POG||R. Hassard/HRC||K. Wixson/WNW||T. Bender/FTP|
||B. Beswick/HWD||R. Manns/DIP||M. Sims/812||C. Stucker/GSR|
|15. Da Pretzelboys||
||A. Maly/WAS||J. Paull/SET||G. Courter/CAR||M. Stachowski/CME|
|16. St. Paul Rejects||
||M. Backstrom/UNP||S. Packwood/776||J. Pack/VIP||A. Daw/8XX|
|17. 3LumberBarons & Keith||
||P. Risner/B17||K.Hunsinger/WSM||J. Jordan/BRI||B. Monnin/WAS|
|18. Debbie & the Boys||
||D. Garver/EPB||K.Wojtaszczyk/GSR||S. Likevich/B81||M. Stanley/CMS|
|19. JAG Jersey Gamers||
||K.MacFarland/WTP||C. Storzillo/ABN||R. Dwyer/GC2||J. Schulte/WSM|
|20. Polish Lancers||
||J. Poniske Sr/WTP||J. Poniske Jr/DLW||P. Gaberson/WNW||R. Young/TIM|
||P. Perla/COG||M. Meier/BCY||T. Meier/MRA||R. Phares/DIF|
||B. Wolff/TT2||G. Petroski/WAS||B. Hamel/GSR||J. Sharp/VIP|
||C. Godfrey/FSE||P. McCarthy/HWD||R. Taylor/WNW||P. Rodrigues/BKB|
|24. Super Colossal Guys||
||D. Eshleman/MRA||R. Flowers/WAS||A. Gardner/VIP||J. Powell/A&A|
|25. Other People's Dice||
||B. Eshleman/WAS||P. Koenig/FSE||R. Woloszyn/ASL||J. Miller/RRY|
|26. Beltway Banditos||
||S. Tucker/HRC||K. Englemann/TTA||R. Hebner/MRA||T. Treadway/FTP|
|27. MIT SGS||
||A. Applebaum/BKN||A. Fueggi/TTN||D. Finberg/TT2||M. Sample/ACS|
|28. GCOM IGMABLY||
||P. LeBoeuf/8XX||D. Hoffman/TKL||J. Roberts/CAR||B. Stallings/TJM|
|29. Misery Burdens||
||T. Mullally/SET||P. Stein/MMS||C. Byrd/PRO||M. Mitchell/FDE|
|30. Eternal Gamers||
||H. Henning/EPB||I. Henning/RBN||N. Henning/AOR||K. Henning/PRS|
|31. Cardboard Heroes||
||S. Squibb/ACS||C. Ackman/BAT||K. Stroh/SET||B. Navolis/RRY|
|32. Nest of Spies||
||J. Pei/FTP||R. Kircher/OW2||D. Dockter/POG||B. Thomson/SQL|
|33. Guys From Greenville||
||S. Pfeiffer/BRI||M. Hazel/SSB||J. Emery/UPF||A. Field/TKL|
|34. Flip A Coin||100 to 1||B. Young/UPF||B. Beckman/MED||R. Jones/SUC||R. Gleaton/RRY|
|35. Brave Little Emchas||160 to 1||P. Shelling/WAS||B. Hildebran/ASL||J. Evich/WNW||S.Romanowski/GBG|
|36. GCOM Caboose||170 to 1||J. Tang/RA!||R. Shipley/RRY||H. Siegelman/PRO||S. Hilinski/ELG|
|37. Boarding Party||110 to 1||R. Eastman/FDE||R. Gibson/RA!||C. Kibler/WRS||B. Knight/BCY|
|38. Baby Seals||43 to 1||J. Levine/BAT||E. McNay/BRI||P. Reese/POG||G. Young/WTP|
|39. SSS & S||150 to 1||S. Simmons/PRO||T. Simmons/AOR||T. Stokes/MOV||L. Stokes/UNP|
|40. 3 Yanks & a Brit||40 to 1||D. Field/POF||N. Smith/GSR||J. Jaeger/CAR||K. Garber/TKL|
|41. Still Unknown||1900 - 1||S. Metcalf/TJM||M. Houde/ADV||M. Mahady/TTN||T. McGraw/RRY|
|42. The Other JAG||150 to 1||T. Green/AOR||T. Marvin/ABN||E. Mozes/RBN||S. Saha/ACV|
|43. One Point Wonders||70 - 1||K. Youells/WTP||J. Gundy/BAT||J. Brown/OW2||B.Passacantando/GC3|
|44. Koleszar Plat||46 to 1||S. Koleszar/TTN||L. Koleszar/MOV||D. Platnick/SET||G. Lientz/SCT|
|45. Ghosts||55 to 1||L. Lingle/TT2||D. Culhane/WNW||C. Hickok/SSS||J. Wetherell/UNP|
|46. Prezcon||39 to 1||J. Thompson/KGM||S. Wible/SET||T. Lightburn/RSK||B. Scott/PZB|
|47. Harbingers||26 to 1||A. Lewis/GXY||C. Lewis/MMS||J. Coussis/ABN||D. Metzger/A5A|
|48. Pond Scum||300 to 1||D. Steiner/RBN||M. Eoppolo/MRA||M. Zorrer/ABN||M. Kennel/WPS|
|49. Team Delaware IX||42 to 1||T. Hitchings/WAS||V. Meconi/GBG||W. Rohrbeck/WSM||V. Hitchings/TYX|
|50. Hungry Hungry Hippos||550 to 1||M. Guttag/MED||S.Hendrickson/POF||D Broh-Kahn/AHD||D. Talmage/RRY|
|51. Da Boys||63 to 1||H. Flawd/PDT||D. Flawd/MMS||A. Gugliemini/PRS||H. Anderson/FDE|
|52. The New Originals||300 to 1||K. Sudy/AOR||C. Severance/CMS||S. Katz/ABN||J. Dragonetti/HRC|
|53. Peripheral Reach||32 to 1||R. Cox/SSB||R. McGinley/PRO||P. Crandlemire/FI5||B. Cleary/FBS|
|54. 3/4 Texan||250 to 1||Jeff Ford/AOR||Marty Hoff/TJM||GSchmittgens/WNW||T. Tow/VIP|
|55. Game Knights||80 to 1||F. Hamrick/E&T||L. Price/POG||S. Brooks/BCY||R. Bass/IVH|
|56. Progress & Destiny||170 to 1||P. Hentz/EPB||D. Sidelinger/ATS||B. Crenshaw/AOR||S. Crenshaw/MOV|
|57. Barbarossa||700 to 1||F. Minard MED||T. Agostino/RSK||M. Lanza/POF||R. Paul/RA!|
|58. WEWAC||190 to 1||B. Carr/BRI||B. Edwards/SET||P. Murphy/RA!||C. Terrell/VNC|
|59. Strait from Bellevue||180 to 1||J. Bakalchuk/PRO||L. Presser/MOV||K. Rothstein/ABN||G. Stroud/GUE|
|60. Zorro 4||900 to 1||R. Fox/HWD||Dave Fox/SET||Dan Fox/ACQ||M. Fox/A&A|
|61. EPGS I||90 to 1||J. Heenehan/HRC||J. Smolens/ATS||S. Cameron/TTA||R. Sohn/ABN|
|62. EPGS II||250 to 1||E. Freeman/E&T||S. Salvatore/DIF||C. Moffa/SET||B. Flaxington/ELG|
|63. EPGS III||1900 - 1||T. Parauda/ADV||S. Hung/PRO||F. Cunliffe/WAS||DBohnenberger/FDE|
|64. Flanc Attack||60 to 1||P. Mirk/A&A||J. Clarke/WAT||J. Kwiatkowski/EPB||D. Ketchum/A5A|
|65. Family Affair||100 to 1||T. DeMarco/TYX||A. Norton/POF||C. DeMarco/SET||W. DeMarco/MOV|
|66. N & S Tribe||900 to 1||B. Thompson/BKN||L. Moquin/E&T||D. Kaufman/POF||S. Nolan/AOR|
|67. Band of Fools||52 to 1||T. Gregorio/BWD||G. Dickson/TRC||S. Dickson/DLW||R. Freeman/VIP|
|68. 13th Place||85 to 1||G. Rodgers/FBS||M. Wojke/BKB||J. Kilbride/TJM||R. Kilroy/GUE|
Self-Service Scoring: To improve the speed with which the standings are updated, we will use a Self-Service system this year. Every Team Member, whether he/she scores a point or not, should post his point total on the Team Tournament kiosk Standings Board in the Maryland Assembly as soon as it is known. The Point Schedule is listed on page 9 of your program. While those standings will be unofficial and subject to verification, they will allow attendees to gain a current sense of where they are in the standings as the week unfolds. Since the results of some events are not known until the very end (and later) of the convention, the official scoring will be done the following week and posted here. Self-Service scoring should allow contenders to get their pictures taken "just in case" and give everyone a better "ballpark" feel for how they are doing. All participants are urged to take part in posting their scores.
In what turned out to be a three-horse race, MAWS (Mid-hudson Area Wargaming Society), a 55 to 1 quasi-favorite claimed the top prize in the Team Tournament competition for upstate New York this year with wins in Age of Renaissance and March Madness supplying all of the firepower for the quartet in edging the Reservoir Dogs by virtue of 56 more entrants in the total entrant tie breaker. The wins were the third wood for Rich Curtin and the sixth for Dennis Nicholson in the eleven-year history of the convention. The Dogs, for their part, made a strong showing after being shutout last year and more than justified their 80-to-1 odds. Coming in a strong third was the Central Florida Game Club just a point and a tie-breaker off the pace. Last year's champs, The Avenel Hill Game Company, made another strong showing but fell back in the pack and had to settle for 11th place.
Also beating the odds by finishing in the Top Ten were longshots Misery Burdens which finished 10th at 130 to 1 and the stalwart handicapper's own Beltway Banditos who rode the coattails of young Rebecca Hebner's Grand Slam to claim 7th, also at 110 to 1. But the Banditos may have had the last laugh, winning our first Team Uniform contest with the outfits modelled at right by Rebecca and Stuart. The Banditos featured a bandolier of bullets bearing the three digit codes of the events they entered and stood out in a crowd beneath their distinctive sombreros. Each lugged a new Hasbro game home for their efforts. Lights Out, a California team complete with a close order drill routine finished second, ahead of Reservoir Dogs and the Central Florida Game Club.
The Polish Lancers won the award for consistancy as the only team to have all four members score points, but lacked a champion and finished 16th.
At the other end of the spectrum were the following "favorites" who were among 30 teams that whiffed without scoring a point: Show Me First State at 25 to 1, the 1998 champs, Barbarossa, at 40 to 1, The Old Guard at 49 to 1, Will Game for Food at 55 to 1, and the South Jersey Game Knights at 60 to 1. Team Tournament handicapper Stuart Tucker was nonetheless vindicated with his ratings as eight of the top ten teams were among his indicated favorites (if being quoted at less than 100 to 1 odds makes you a favorite).
The Central Florida Game Club settled for third but posed with their wood while awaiting the results of the scoring (from left to right, Scott Cornett, Doug Galullo, Jeff Cornett and Craig Reece.
2001: MAWS: Dennis Nicholson MMS 8, Jim Eliason 5FT 0, Roberto Sanchez 0 POG, Rich Curtin II AOR 9 = 17 
2000: Avenel Hill Game Company: Henry Richardson III ACS 4, Pat Richardson WAS 8, Andy Gardner VIP 8, Henry Richardson Jr B17 0 = 20 
1999: Me & Three Stiffs: Michael Rinella BKN 8, Brian Smith EPB 0, Marvin Birnbaum WTP 8, Marc Giddings AOR 0 = 16 
1998: Barbarossa: Fred Minard ABN 9, Steve Shambeda ACQ 0, Clifford Smith TT2 0, John Wetherell ACS 4 = 13 
1997: Pillage, Then Burn: Scott Pfeiffer AOR 0, Dave Gantt BRI 8, John Emery UPF 8, Earl Anderson PXB 0 = 16 
1996: Jerry's Kids: Byron Stingley TPS 6, Michael Arrighi BKN 0, Joe Bellas HCR 7, Jeffrey Otto RTG 0 = 13 
1995: Black Bear: Sean Cousins KRM 8, Michael Neal ACV 8, Andy Lewis MOV 1, Caleb Cousins RKL 0 = 17 
1994: Team Dixie: Ralph May ADV 8, Randy Cox SSB 7, Bobby Laboon ASN 7, Roger Cox DUN 0 = 22 
1993: Before Team Names: Bruce Young ATS 9, John Emery UPF 3, Dave Gantt ACQ 2, Earl Anderson BRI 2 = 16 
1992: Before Team Names: Wes Erni VIP 9, Peter Wilke BRI 4, Bruno Wolff TTN 3, Tom Mueller ASL 0 = 16
1991: Before Team Names: Byron Stingley TPS 10, Jim Falling RFT 10, Joe Bellas CVW 2, Jeffrey Otto UPF 0 = 22