Quick Learner ...
The shipping lanes were brimming this
year with lots of high ranking skippers new to the game looking
for last shot laurels. Several got them.
Bruce Monnin battles Riku Riekkinen
as the Finnish navy puts in an appearance. Although Riku didn't
prevail, his Finnish teammate earned laurels.
Although the game has long been out of print, this tournament
has been trending larger of late. This year 40 submariners turned
out to play this quick cat and mouse game of modern submarine
Four emerged unbeaten from the three swiss rounds: Sceadeau
D'Tela, Mandy Mussman, David Buchholz, and Antero Kuusi. Tiebreakers
were used to add Karl Buchholz, Bruce Monnin, and two-time champions
Dan Hoffman and Bruce Young to the elimination rounds. Defending
champion, Alexander Lange, finished 2-1 and was eliminated by
tie breaker. So there would be a new champion this year. Two
looked to earn their yellow Boardmaster and join Bill Edwards
as a three-time champion, while the rest of the field was hoping
for their first ATS shield.
The first meeting of unbeatens featured Dan Hoffman as the
Soviets against Antero Kuusi as NATO in Scenario H: BOOMER. Both
sides played aggressively and it was over quickly, with less
than a single pass through the deck! Both sides achieved contact
early and torpedoes filled the water. No less than six attacks
were launched. Dan's fourth attack sank the Los Angeles
for the win.
The second match of unbeatens matched beginner Sceadeau D'Tela
against twice titled Bruce Young. Bruce chose Scenario E: REBEL
WITHOUT A CAUSE for the match, giving Sceadeau the choice of
side. Although new to the game, he analyzed that the surface
side would require more skillful play while the Boomer would
require luck. Recognizing Bruce as a two-time champion and #7
Laurelist in Attack Sub, he chose the Boomer to match
his luck against Bruce's skill. At first it seemed that was a
poor choice. Bruce relentlessly searched for the Boomer, steadily
increasing his contact level on the elusive target. Sceadeau
kept playing contact reductions and flushing his hand repeatedly
to try to make it through the first deck as quickly as possible.
Bruce finally was able to get off a strong attack, hitting the
target. But the big sub was able to absorb two sensor hits! Sceadeau's
luck would prevail as the boomer escaped in the second deck for
The third match pitted Mandy Mossman's British against Bruce
Monnin's Soviets in Scenario A: SUB DUEL. Mandy got off to a
quick start, sinking Bruce's Skvortsov with her first
attack. But Bruce retaliated immediately, taking out Mandy's
Swiftsure. The two remaining subs exchanged shots without
results. Bruce then opened the range to put both subs out of
contact. (Really Bruce - running from a little girl???). Mandy
is all of 12 and this is her first year in a senior tournament!
But to be fair, her father is an Attack Sub veteran and
she has learned her lessons well. Too well for Bruce. Mandy kept
the pressure on, using passive sonar to get the contact level
back to 2. She fired a contact 2 attack 3 and hit the Ivan
Rogov, scoring sensor and attack hits. On her next turn,
she put Bruce out of his misery for her fourth win of the tournament.
The fourth match of the quarterfinals was a battle of brothers
as David Buchholz's British took on Karl Buchholz's Soviets in
Scenario A: SUB DUEL. Karl drew first blood, sinking his brother's
Swiftsure. But David retaliated, sinking the Skvortsov.
The two remaining subs furiously exchanged torpedo attacks amidst
a great deal of sibling banter - including threats of forcing
the winner to find another way home! In the end, Karl emerged
the winner. There is no record of how he got home.
The first semifinal matched the two green newcomers as well
as the only remaining unbeatens, Sceadeau and Mandy. Mandy's
Soviets would oppose Sceadeau's British in Scenario A: SUB DUEL.
Sceadeau's run of luck continued as he sank the Skvortsov
on his first attack and the Ivan Rogov on his second.
It was a short and violent end to Mandy's winning ways. But third
place wood in her first tournament isn't too shabby!
The second semifinal pit the last former champ, Dan Hoffman,
against Karl Buchholz's NATO in Scenario H: BOOMER. Karl was
able to get his reinforcement Asheville into the fray
early and then aggressively closed the range with the Soviets.
The Asheville fired with a level 4 contact only to suffer
an attack malfunction! The Rogov then retaliated against
the Los Angeles, hitting with a dud torpedo! Asheville's
second shot on the Rogov sent her to the bottom. Another
Ashville malfunction and Los Angeles miss followed
before the Los Angeles was able to sink the boomer.
The Final thus pit Karl Buchholz's Soviets against Sceadeau
D'Tela's British in Scenario A: SUB DUEL. The malfunctions that
plagued Karl's attack systems in the semifinal would now transfer
to Sceadeau's sonars in this game. But despite that, Sceadeau
was able to draw first blood, sinking the Ivan Rogov.
In desperation, Karl's Skvortsov used active sonar, battle
stations, and a close range to increase contact on Valiant.
Moving into the second deck, Valiant fired on Skvortsov,
missed, and then used Battle Stations to try to open range but
Skvortsov countered with its own close range to keep contact.
Karl couldn't come up with a fire card to save his life. Sceadeau
continued to close range with both subs. Finally, Valiant
sank the Skvortsov to make Sceadeau D'Tela the 2013 champion!
Quite a feat considering he was taught the game just minutes
before the start by Dan Hoffman (showing that Dan is not only
an excellent player, but also a great teacher!)
Stanley Buck faces young Trevor Schoenen
as he gives a good account of himself in a year where several
newcomers to the event fared well.
Reigning Caesar Randy Buehler fishes
for laurels as WBC comes to a close vs Bruce Young while Jim
Eliason and Scott Pfeiffer duel in the background.