britannia   

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report   

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Robert Malcomson, MN

2014 Champion

Event History
1991    Richard Curtin    39
1992    Duane Wagner    53
1993    Brett Mingo    91
1994    Scott Pfeiffer    73
1995    Randy Schib    69
1996    Scott Pfeiffer    55
1997    David Gantt    52
1998    Jim Jordan    49
1999    Scott Pfeiffer    46
2000    Ewan McNay    62
2001    Mark Smith    42
2002    Ewan McNay    42
2003    Nick Benedict    48
2004    Nick Benedict    34
2005    Richard Curtin    34
2006    Ewan McNay    45
2007    Mike Fox    35
2008    Ewan McNay    37 
2009    Rick Kirchner    37
2010    Randy Schilb    49
2011    Ewan McNay    41
2012     Barry Smith    33
2013    Jim Jordan    32
2014    Robert Malcomson    35

 Laurels

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    12    353
  2.  James Jordan        MD    14    200
  3.  Nick Benedict       PA    13    200
  4.  Barry Smith         NY    14    129
  5.  Randy Schilb        MO    13    120
  6.  Rick Kirchner       KY    14    108
  7.  Mark Smith          KY    14     90
  8.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    11     83
  9.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
 10.  Richard Curtin      NY    09     64
 11.  Matthew O'Connor    NJ    13     52
 12.  David Yoon          NY    06     41
 13.  Robert Malcomson    MN    14     40
 14.  Mike Fox            IL    07     40
 15.  Llew Bardecki       on    06     40
 16.  Jonathan Squibb     PA    00     40
 17.  Bruce Young         SC    02     36
 18.  John Morris         MD    08     24
 19.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    04     24
 20.  Gregory Hultgren    CA    11     20
 21.  Micah Hultgren      CA    11     20
 22.  Chris Trimmer       TX    10     20
 23.  Richard Jones       uk    02     18
 24.  John Henry          on    14     16
 25.  Thomas Morris       MD    12     15
 26.  Wooly Farrow        PA    13     12
 27.  Mike A. Mullins     MD    13     12
 28.  Sarah Sparks        nz    09     12
 29.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 30.  Michael Coomes      OH    12     10
 31.  Rajean Tremblay     on    10     10
 32.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 33.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 34.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 35.  John Emery          SC    04      4

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 

Rick Kirchner, KY
2nd

John Henry, on
3rd

Barry Smith, NY
4th

Mark Smith, KY
5th

Jim Jordan, MD
6th

Past Winners

Richard Curtin, NY
1991, 2005

Duane Wagner, NJ
1992

Brett Mingo, MD
1993

Scott Pfeiffer, SC
1994, 1996, 1999

Randy Schilb, MD
1995, 2010

David Gantt, SC
1997

Jim Jordan, MD
1998, 2013

Ewan McNay, CT
00, 02, 06, 08, 11

Mark Smith, KY
2001

Nick Benedict, CA
2003-04

Mike Fox, IL
2007

Rick Kirchner, KY
2009

Barry Smith, NY
2012

Robert Malcomson, MN
2014
 

Mark Smith and Steve Simmons seek to etch their names on the Britannia sword.

Ed O'Connor, Llew Bardecki and Chris Trimmer are also on a quest for the sword.

James Stanard and Alex Bell combat former champs Jordan and Kirchner.

The Britannia booty awaits the victors. The sword is a perpetual trophy bearing the names of past victors.

Encore ... 15 Years in the Making

It was a delightfully rousing year Britannia folks! As you can see, our participation increased and I'm now a firm believer in a Monday heat. Please let me know if you feel differently.

We had some great heats, a couple notable moments came up. Two that I noted in the third heat were about a couple of different leaders. In one game, Boudicca had a traditional attack upon Essex and took it down easily. She and her army then stood firm when three legions attacked them. The three legions all died and Boudicca went off quietly to retirement, denying the Romans points for killing her. Fergus was not so fortunate in a different game. Attacking through the mountains to Moray, Fergus left behind a force in Skye to hold the retreat path. The battle in Skye went first...and failed. Then Fergus attacked in Moray, 3 on 2 I believe it was. But a couple of kills by the Picts took away the Scottish advantage. With no retreat left, Fergus was left to attack again to win or die trying. Unfortunately for Fergus, die trying won out.

Fortunately, there were no adjudications in the heats this year, although one game went right down to the wire. I believe that rounds 15 and 16 were played, with some encouragement, in about 5 minutes all told. Let's not get to that much of a squeaker again!

Pleasingly, the usual balance of winning colors was maintained during the heats. We had four wins each for Blue and Red (and you all know how much I like it when Blue wins!) And three each for Yellow and Green. The high scores for the heats started out with a roar with Blue and Yellow high bars being set on Monday. Barry Smith racked up a 243 Blue score while newcomer Robert Malcomson put together a huge Yellow 259. The Blue score was challenged in the second round by Nick Benedict with 240, but despite three Blue wins in the second heat, Barry stayed on top. In the second heat, Ewan McNay pulled out a massive Red score of 297, easily grabbing honors there. Then, in the third heat, Rick Kirchner pulled off a 255 Green, easily eclipsing the hefty, but not high enough 240 by Chris Trimmer in the second heat.

My favorite Ethelraed the Unraedy award was a tie this year! Both Barry Smith and John Henry claimed the honors with 191 points each. I know one of these years the Ethelred will go to someone scoring over 200, as the competition is evening out nicely.

For the semifinals, we had 11 winners and a high runner-up running the gauntlet. With three semifinals being played, competition was fierce for not only first, but also second place, as onerunner-up would also advance. As it was, we finished with Ewan McNay, Robert Malcolmson, and Barry Smith winning. Ewan declined his seat at the Final in favor of another opportunity at the RoboRally Final. Thus, we had two runners-up advancing. John Henry from the game that Ewan won replaced him. The last finalist was not so easily decided; Mark Smith and Rick Kirchner tied for second. A quick roll of the dice gave Rick the right to advance. So we were left with, Robert Malcolmson, Rick Kirchner, John Henry and Barry Smith still standing.

Barry drew Yellow, Rick Green, Robert Red, and John Blue. Barry's Romans quickly rolled into the lowlands of England, after having made a deal with Rick's Welsh, and plowed through the Belgae with only one loss. The Belgae refused to submit on the initial invasion round anyway. Further persuasion convinced the Belgae to submit rather than being eliminated, but only after being reduced to North Mercia, Lindsey and Norfolk. The Romans then decided to vacation with the Brigantes after all of the fun they had with the Belgae. Again, there was but one loss for the Romans, when they decided to go skiing in the Pennines and fell down a bad slope.

Boudicca's rebellion was less than successful, taking four into York to fight two legions and a fort. Her generals served her poorly and none of the Romans were killed. Regrettably, the Romans did not take this lightly, and killed three Belgae with one roll of the dice. Boudicca's forces ran back into Lindsey to reconsider their options. The Brigante's then decided to have a conference to consider their options in Stratchclyde, and in doing so, shrank down to three areas. The Romans, conveniently, left Cumbria open for them to occupy again.

So, on Turn 2, there were still 14 Romans around and they decided to be ambitious, going for all of their objectives at once. Thus, the Romans adventured into Lindsey with four units, knocked off the Belgae, submitted the Brigantes with another couple of units, and then boldly sent seven units into the Picts and rolled well. The Picts immediately submitted, setting up very boring and quick Turns 2 and 3.

Turn 4 the Germans came on and the Saxons visited the swamp. Regrettably, they got lost in the swamps of Lindsey and one of their armies died when they ran into a Roman fort. The rest of the Germans declined to have any adventures after the example of the Saxon misadventuress.

Turn 5 and the Germans found some friends and decided to get frisky. The Saxons went into Suffolk and their dice were persuasive, killing the legion and the fort with one roll. Naturally, the Jutes went to Kent to explore the farmland and successfully set up a small homestead with one army and sending one army back to sea. Using the highway opened by the Saxons, the Angles went into the unguarded forts in South and North Mercia and easily burned them to the ground.

For Turn 6, the Romano-British went into hiding in their hills and swamp, with one in the Pennines, two in Lindsey and four in the Downlands. One lonely farmer of the Romano-British was sitting out in Hwicce wondering where all of his friends had gone. Well, that one farmer was attacked by eight Saxons. With Aelle. Needless to say, he died, but proudly took a Saxon with him. The Saxons then headed into Devon after hearing the word that the mysterious King Arthur was looking to pay a visit to Aelle. The Angles then had to land and decided that the Romano-British really didn't need to be in the Pennines. Four Angles were sufficient to find the Romano-British and exterminate them.

Given the lack of attacks on the Downlands and Lindsey, the Romano-British had six armies left and had to take some time to consider their options. Then they just decided on inaction. It was amusing having the Saxons and Romano-British carefully ignoring each other.

With Turn 7 the Irish decided to party in Wales again, going to Gwynedd and Dyfed, and making Wales look rather red. The Scots, on their invasion, decided that the Picts were anathema and kicked them back down to just Mar. The Saxons did take out one of the Romano-British, but Arthur was destined to die of old age. The Angles, angered by the excursions of the Scottish into the Pictish homeland, decided to send Ida on a royal visit to Scotland, killing two Scots in each of Dalriada and Skye.

Meanwhile, to the south, the Saxons decided that they really liked southern Wales and decided to do a little landgrab in Cornwall. Wales was really not looking very green.

The Romano-British woke up for Turn 8 and decided to support their friends the Scots and plow into the Angles in the south. Meanwhile, the Welsh decided to start dealing with some of their ...internal issues and attacked the Saxons in Devon and the Irish in Dyfed. Regrettably, only the Dyfed attack was successful. There were minimal movements the rest of the turn, but a huge number of Angles took out another Scot while heading south and leaving only one lonely Scot behind

With the Irish having taken Powys on Turn 8, the Welsh went back in on Turn 9 and were at last somewhat successful, kicking the Irish out. Turn 9 also saw the demise of the Romano British at long last, at the hands of the Brigantes, who didn't have anything else to do while respecting their peace with the Angles.

Alas, Turn 10 marked the demise of the Scots as the burgeoning Brigantes found nowhere else to go and incidentally brushed the one lonely Scot aside.

On Turn 11, the Norseman came ashore and kicked the Caledonians, who had earlier taken advantage of the Angles heading south, out of the Hebrides and Skye. The Danes then raided the shore of the English Channel from the massive but thinly settled Saxons as well as Norfolk. The Saxons and Angles, clearly terrified of the rumors of the Danes coming, contracted down to their cores. Unfortunately for the Brigantes, that meant that they happened to be in the way of the Angle contraction.

Turn 12 saw the Caledonians adventuring back into Skye to knock on some Norse doors. They decisively kicked Ketil back to the Hebrides.

For the Danish invasion, York, Lindsey, March, North Mercia, Norfolk and Suffolk were all empty, but with massive armies ringing the empty areas. So the Danes headed south to soften up the Saxons in Kent, Essex and South Mercia. The Angles breathed a sigh of relief. The Saxons melted away only causing the fierce Danes a couple of casualties. The remaining ten Danes then settled back around Lindsey with Ivar and Halfdan building themselves a fine place to stay in the swamp. In retaliation, Alfred took five armies to wipe out the two Danes in Essex.

Turn 13, the Caledonians triumphantly walked back into Hebrides and smacked the Norseman out. It was a long and drawn out battle though, with neither side finding a hit on the dice. Eventually, Lew Pulsipher was brought in to issue magic words while the dice were rolled. After Quetzalcoatl, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl were tried, a cry of abra-cadabra finally helped to deliver the roll of 6 for the Caledonians.

The Dubliners came aboard to no opposition and made a deal with the Danes to allow them to stay in York, in exchange for peace. Nonetheless, Olaf stayed in York as a bit of insurance. That freed the Danes to pile seven armies on to the four Saxon armies and Alfred in Essex. With an even trade of armies, the Saxons ran away. Edgar and the Saxons then decided to take the Angles out of Hwicce rather than chancing the monster army of the Danes. Then the Angles came down into Cumbria with four armies to knock the Dubliners out of one of their big point areas.

On Turn 14, the Brigantes decided that they weren't going to get Strathclyde back, so they might as well help protect the Norsemen and went into Skye. The Caledonians ran back out of Hebrides and kicked them out. The last Norseman looked out with desperation from his abode in the Orkneys. The three new Dubliners coming on decided to head into Galloway and Bernicia and successfully took both. For the Danish King run, the Danes decided that they must have a true King battle and went after 4 Saxon armies and Edgar with five armies and Cnut, Cnut won. The Danes then handily took down the Saxon burhs in Kent and Sussex. Kent went down easily, but Sussex started with misses all around. More magic, well, non-words, more of a verbal...frankly folks, I'm not even sure how to describe it, from Lew helped to squeeze a 6 from the dice. Making himself king, Cnut then swiftly left. The Saxons re-occupied three areas and the Angles decided to start their softening campaign against the south to help out the Normans with an excursion in force into the Downlands, successfully turning it blue and leaving supply line guardians in Hwicce and March.

Yes, on Turn 15, an amazing 11 Angles were still on the board. (Ahem, the side conversation on bad juju versus DoomStar was also entertaining. Lew and his games...) OK, but that didn't last long as the Dubliners went into Cumbria and Lothian, killing off one of the Angles and knocking another back into Strathclyde. The Norwegians looked to have an easy time of it, with only March occupied of their scoring areas. However, an army of nine Norwegians and Harald, while taking out the three Angles in March, were rocked back on their heels as the Angles also killed three. So the Norwegians retired to the north.

The Saxons decided that a retirement home in Gwent was a good idea and walked in with three armies, killing another of the already battered Welsh, who were down to Powys, Dyfed, Gwynedd and Clwyd. The Angles, wishing to further soften the resistance in the south, took their five southern armies into the four Danes in Suffolk. But they were bloodily repulsed when they missed completely and the Danes hit three times. The remaining two Angles retired to North Mercia to lick their wounds.

The Normans were then virtually unopposed and took an army of William, four cavalry and two regulars into the stack of four Danes in Suffolk. They were more successful than the Angles, killing them with the loss of just one cavalry.

On Turn 16, the Welsh crouched in Powys, Dyfed and Gwynedd, hoping to keep them. The Caledonians finally made it back to the Orkneys, killing off the last Norseman, but leaving Caithness for the Picts to occupy. The Dubliners piled into the remains of the northern Angles in Strathclyde and Galloway, handily killing them off. The Danes, with only Lindsey and Norfolk left, were in a quandary as to where to hide away from the maxed out Normans. For points, the Danes put a unit into empty Cornwall, but decided not to hide Svein, instead simply killing off the Norman in Essex and leaving only a guard of two Danes for Svein, just waiting for the Norman revenge.

The also maxed out Norwegians, with four Norwegians coming to reinforce from the sea, decided to kill off a couple of Saxons in March and a Norman in Hwicce taking both out easily. Harald meanwhile headed to his country home in Lothian. The couple of Angles left in the south tried to take out a Norwegian, but swiftly became one Angle as they were repulsed.

And that left the Normans to spread out while taking out Svein and also heading into Norfolk. Taking only three knights in to kill Svein, two hits on each side left William with just one cavalry left. In Norfolk and Hwicce the Norman battles ended in mutual destruction.

With all of the battling back and forth it was a close and low scoring game as the totals were counted. Only 10 points separated first and fourth. So a couple of die rolls one way or the other could easily have upended the finishing order. Barry Smith's Yellow's took fourth with 194, John Henry's Blues were third with 196, Rick Kirchner's Green's ended with 202, and newcomer (first WBC) Robert Malcolmson's Red's won the game with 204. Robert will thus be the fourth winner on the Britannia sword when we all come back next year.

My thanks to everyone for another great tournament and I hope to see all of you playing again next year!

GM Jim Jordan with his finalists and designer Dr Lew Pulsipher (second from right).

 GM     James M. Jordan  [16th Year]  NA 
   jmj@ieee.org   NA

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