atlantic storm   

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Bill Place, PA

2014 Champion

Event History
1998    Ric Manns    155
1999    Roy Gibson    116
2000    Bob Eastman    129
2001    John Coussis    126
2002    Robert Barnes    126
2003    Scott Buckwalter    140
2004     Rob Winslow    122
2005     Brad Jones    126
2006    Roy Gibson    121
2007    Steve Scott    118
2008    Bruce Young    124
2009    John Elliott    120
2010    John Coussis    138
2011     Justin Thompson    114
2012    Patrick Mirk    117
2013    Stephen Squibb    110
2014    Bill Place    104

 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  John Coussis       IL    13    168
   2.  Roy Gibson         MD    06    100
   3.  Scott Buckwalter   MD    03     96
   4.  Rob Winslow        NY    04     95
   5.  Rob Eastman        NV    14     92
   6.  Pat Mirk           FL    12     85
   7.  John Elliott       MD    09     84
   8.  Bruce Young        SC    11     68
   9.  Bill Place         PA    14     64
  10.  Marty Sample       NH    14     60
  11.  Henry Richardson   VA    01     60
  12.  Jeff Heidman       NY    14     50
  13.  Andy Gardner       VA    11     50
  14.  Robert Barnes      WV    02     50
  15.  Ben Knight         MD    08     49
  16.  Steve Squibb       PA    13     44
  17.  Justin Thompson    VA    11     44
  18.  Stephen Cuyler     NY    08     40
  19.  Steve Scott        CA    07     40
  20.  Brad Jones         FL    05     40
  21.  Gary Libby         RI    09     36
  22.  Steve Cameron      PA    13     24
  23.  Jeff Spaner        FL    12     24
  24.  Tom Bissa          MI    11     24
  25.  Carol Caler        OH    05     24
  26.  Eric Stranger      OH    99     24
  27.  Tony Musella       VA    10     20
  28.  Keith Hunsinger    OH    10     19
  29.  Dan Mathias        MD    03     18
  30.  Josh Gifford       MD    00     18
  31.  Scott Driessen     MD    14     16
  32.  Paul Risner        FL    12     16
  33.  Ben Collinson      MD    09     16
  34.  Rob Kircher        RI    07     16
  35.  Peter Reese        VA    05     16
  36.  Scott Fenn         MD    04     15
  37.  Jamie Tang         MD    02     13
  38.  Jesse Boomer       KS    14     12
  39.  Ron Glass          FL    13     12
  40.  Keith Layton       NJ    12     12
  41.  Stan Buck          MD    03     12
  42.  Peter Busch        OH    99     12
  43.  Ross Jones         SC    04     10
  44.  Rob Mull           CO    02     10
  45.  Dwayne Curry       OH    01     10
  46.  Eric Buetikofer    OH    12      8
  47.  Eric Monte         NY    11      8
  48.  Carmen Petruzelli  PA    09      8
  49.  Craig Melton       VA    06      8
  50.  Ron Wuerth         VA    05      8
  51.  Cliff Ackman       PA    03      6
  52.  Joel Tamburo       IL    10      5
  53.  Kevin Brownell     ME    04      5
  54.  Lawrence Hiemenz   MD    12      4
  55.  Matt Evinger       PA    08      4

2014 Laurelists                        Repeating Laurelists:

Marty Sample, NH
2nd

Jeff Heidman, NY
3rd

Jesse Boomer, KS
4th

Scott Driessen, MD
5th

Rob Eastman, NV
6th


Past Winners

Ric Manns, IN
1998

Roy Gibson, MD
1999, 2006

Bob Eastman, OK
2000

John Coussis, IL
2001, 2010

Robert Barnes, WV
2002

Scott Buckwalter, MD
2003

Rob Winslow, NY
2004

Brad Jones, FL
2005

Steve Scott, CA
2007

Bruce Young, SC
2008

John Elliott, MD
2009

Justin Thompson, VA
2011

Patrick Mirk, VA
2012

Stephen Squibb, PA
2013

Bill Place, PA
2014

Is Coussis gonna win his third Atlantic Storm shield? Naah ... he's not the GM this year.

With a club name like the Mafia can you blame Greg Courter for watching the dealer like a hawk?

104 still in convoy ...

Year 17 of the event once again drew over 100 players, and 2014's field included 10 of 14 former champs. Participants favored the original game, Storm, with only eight of 42 tables opting for Pacific Typhoon. The average number of players per table was 5.6 for Storm and 5.1 for Typhoon.

Heat 1 drew the usual Tuesday night crowd and had several highlights. In one game, Dacey Collinson rolled boxcars to smash Ewan McNay's Hood +2 and snatch victory from his grasp. She won the convoy and outscored Ewan 41 to 40 (the next highest scorer in their 6-player game only had 18 VPs).

The always-affable Scott Nerney placed 2nd at his table in a tight 6-player game where final scores ranged from 14 to 26. What makes Scott's achievement worthy of mention is that there were three former champions at the table--Pat Mirk, Rob Winslow and John Coussis (2-time champ and winner of their game). And this was not the only table where the odds were long! Chad Manna similarly placed 2nd at a 6-player table that included three other former champions--Justin Thompson, Roy Gibson (2-time champ) and Stephen Squibb (defending champion and ultimate winner of their game). Chad and Scott deserve praise for their solid showings against such top-rated convoy hunters.

During Heat 2, Ben Gardner not only won his game of Storm but, at 44 VPs, laid claim to this year's high score for the event. He achieved his high score by alone winning a battle that had been pushed along with a good crop of spoils, which he didn't have to share. His 44 VPs even bested the scores made in the tournament's Typhoon games, which typically score higher overall.

In Heat 3 2000 champion Robert Eastman won at his 5-player table of Storm against two other champs: John Coussis and John Elliott. Robert secured the lead on the last convoy by victimizing Audacity to earn 2 VPs, which gave him 28 VPs total--enough to defeat Coussis and Thomas Milton, who both finished with 27 VPs.

During Heat 4, the outcome of one 5-player game of Storm was determined on the first tie-breaker (most convoy VPs) when Carmen Petruzzelli and Travis Nesmith each finished at 34 VPs but Carmen had 27 convoy VPs to Travis' 24.

Six qualifiers did not show for the semifinals, which left 29 present to fill five tables. To qualify for the semifinals, a player has to win just one of the four heats, so Katie Elliott drew applause for winning both heats she played. Douglas Landon was randomly selected from the qualifiers to receive a free copy of Pacific Typhoon.

The tightest scoring table of the event occurred during the semifinals in a game of Storm where only a 7-VP spread separated 1st from 6th place--this is damn good in a game where a single convoy can be worth 7 VPs. Scott Driessen won that table, which earned him a seat in the next round.

The other finalists were, in seating order, Bill Place, Jeff Heidman, Jesse Boomer and Marty Sample, with Scott Driessen pulling the 5th seat at random. Scott had been in last year's final, fiishing in 5th place--would he make progress this year? His 5th-seat omen was not good. For Marty, Bill and Jeff, 2014 was actually their third trip each to the Final. Only Jesse was breathing the rarified air of the Final table for the first time.

Bill won the first convoy battle -- a full one, which gave him a 7-card hand for the duration. Jeff chose the next convoy, an Arctic one, and then tried to play an Atlantic-only card. His error was pointed out by the others, so he asked to see both convoys again, but still he almost repeated the same mistake. This harmless fumbling by Jeff prompted Scott to remark, "How did you get here?" which made everyone laugh and set the tone for a friendly game.

Jeff proved why he deserved that seat several battles later when Jesse called Surface for PQ 18, a 1942 Arctic 4-VP convoy, and played Tirpitz. Marty responded with the Duke of York which Bill supported with Bomber Command +1 after Scott flushed his hand. Jeff negotiated an assurance from Jesse that he would give Jeff the Duke if Jeff supported him. Jeff then played a U-boat and successfully rolled an Arctic Storm against Bill, giving the Germans an edge of two dice +1 against Marty's 6. Jesse took the convoy and Jeff got his 5-VP spoil.

At the halfway point of the game (after 12 battles for 10 convoys), Jesse was leading with 12 face up VPs plus hidden spoils, Bill had 9 face up VPs plus spoils, Scott had 7 face up VPs plus spoils, Jeff had only hidden spoils including the 5-VP Duke, and Marty had only a 5-VP full convoy plus one spoil. However, the next series of battles favored Marty and Bill who both gained significant VPs while others at the table earned zero. Bill was now in the lead, and the 17th battle pulled Marty into a close second when Jesse, Marty and Scott joined against Jeff's wolfpack, but Jesse and Scott each rolled 1's, allowing Marty to grab the 7-VP full convoy.

Jeff as last player in the 18th battle used Tovey to play two cards and a bonus, winning a 7-VP empty convoy and starting his run for the top. For the 21st (and penultimate) battle, Bill gambled on a 6-VP full 1943 convoy, calling surface and playing Renown with Raid, but Jeff supported with a bigger British battleship and everyone else discarded, so Jeff claimed it.

If any of the players had been tracking hidden VPs in this game, they would have known that Jeff now had the lead at 25 VPs, Bill 24, Marty 21, Jesse 18 and Scott 16. Because of the two pushes early in the game, Jeff in seat 2 was the round leader for the last battle. To guarantee his victory, Jeff would need to gain more VPs than Bill in this last battle or try to send VPs in Jesse or Scott's direction. Unfortunately for Jeff, Bill was in the potential kingmaker's seat for the round, so if the battle were to develop evenly between German and Allied strength, Bill as the last player in the round might be able to play on either side to influence which side would win the battle--in which case, he might be inclined to play against Jeff's side or whoever he perceived as being the biggest threat at the table. Of course, not every battle develops evenly.

Statistically, the round leader has a better chance to win the battle than any other player at the table has. Some of the reason for this is because he plays first and wins ties, but mostly it is because he has a choice of convoy and suit. However, this statistical margin is only slight, and when it is the last convoy of a game, players who are behind will take greater risks in a last hurrah, which can mean more chaos and more spoils on the table. Therefore, this was a challenging decision for Jeff.

Jeff tossed away ON 166 and chose PQ 17, a 1942 Arctic 4-VP battle. He called surface and played German, which may have been sensible since the previous battle had seen two British battleships go home. In my opinion, however, calling surface without some way to guarantee your victory in the last battle is risky because it invites too many spoil VPs into play. Of course, I was not a finalist here nor do I know what was in Jeff's hand. But I have seen several games end in an upset on the last battle because the round leader called surface.

Jeff played Zerstorer +1, a decent German play. Jesse went for broke and played Hood. Without hesitation Marty played Bismarck to victimize Hood and have a better than average chance over Jeff. The 4-VP Hood brought Marty's score up to 25, enough to tie Jeff and momentarily give Marty the lead with more convoy VPs. Scott flushed his hand (so he would once again finish in 5th place), and Bill brought out the Tirpitz. Historically, PQ 17 was a disaster for the Allies, and this battle was no different as the German warships lined up to fire. Jeff's single die with the bonus became strength 6, which gave him a 17% chance to win. However, Marty rolled 7-- the expected average for two dice - surpassing Jeff and giving Marty a 58% chance to win unless Bill rolled 8 or higher, which Bill did. Welcome, Bill, to the long line of Atlantic Storm champions!

GM & designer Ben Knight (and an all around good guy for a Viking) with his finalists.

 GM    Ben Knight [2nd Year]  NA
   benknight@msn.com   NA 

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