twilight struggle  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Chris Byrd, CT

2014 Champion

Event History
2006    Stefan Mecay    70
2007     Stefan Mecay    66
2008    Stefan Mecay    54
2009     Chris Withers    66
2010    Stefan Mecay    57
2011    Stefan Mecay    55
2012    Riku Riekkinen    64
2013    Riku Riekkinen    53
2014    Chris Byrd    45

WAM Event History
2007    Keith Wixson    30
2008    Marvin Birnbaum    35
2009     Stefan MeCay    28
2010     Chris Byrd    21
2011    Stefan MeCay    27
2012    Chris Byrd    30
2013    Marvin Birnbaum    20

PBeM Event History
2008   Stefan Mecay    86

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Stefan Mecay       TX    13    428
  2.  Chris Withers      CA    12    161
  3.  Keith Wixson       NJ    13    143
  4.  Chris Byrd         CT    14    122
  5.  Riku Riekkinen     fi    13    110
  6.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    13    108
  7.  Rick Young         NC    09    100
  8.  Randy Pippus       on    13     72
  9.  Bill Edwards       VA    13     60
 10.  Bruce Monnin       OH    11     46
 11.  Paul Sampson       OH    12     43
 12.  Michael Mitchell   GA    13     37
 13.  James Terry        NJ    11     37
 14.  Rob Hassard        NJ    10     32
 15.  Stuart Tucker      MD    08     31
 16.  John Emery         SC    06     30
 17.  Steven Brooks      FL    10     29
 18.  George Seary       NY    08     28
 19.  Sean McCulloch     OH    09     25
 20.  Antony Russo       MD    14     24
 21.  Roderick Lee       CA    11     24
 22.  Darren Kilfara     uk    08     24
 23.  George Young       VT    10     21
 24.  Patrick Neary      NY    13     20
 25.  Phil Rennert       MD    08     20
 26.  David Amidon       PA    14     18
 27.  M. Pare-Paquin     qc    12     18
 28.  R. Evan Woodham    TX    14     16
 29.  Kevin Hammond      WA    11     16
 30.  Tim Bina           CA    11     16
 31.  Mike Wallschlaeger WI    09     15
 32.  John Buse          IL    06     15
 33.  Jeff Finkeldey     OH    13     12
 34.  Larry Fryer        MD    12     12
 35.  Scott Burns        uk    13     10
 36.  Bruce DuBoff       NJ    08     10
 37.  Kevin Lewis        DC    14      8
 38.  Derek Landel       NJ    11      8
 39.  Doug Austin        VA    07      8
 40.  Suzanne Tuch       NY    08      6
 41.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    13      5
 42.  Dave Gerson        CA    09      5
 43.  John Wetherell     PA    09      5
 44.  Michael Sosa       FL    08      5
 45.  Andrew Doughan     PA    14      4
 46.  Kevin Earle        VA    12      4
 47.  C. Georgantzas     NY    11      4
 48.  Charles Hickok     PA    07      4
 49.  Randy MacInnis     NJ    13      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 0

Antony Russo, MD
2nd

E. Evan Woodham, TX
3rd

David Amidon, PA
4th

Kevin Lewis, DC
5th

Andrew Doughan, PA
6th

Past Winners

Stefan Mecay, TX
2006-08, 2010-11

Chris Withers, CA
2009

Riku Riekkinen, fi
2012-13

Chris Byrd, CT
2014
 

 Bruce Bernard tells Brad Raszewski to "take that".

Doug Smith runs into newcomer buzzsaw Antony Russo.

Geoff Allbutt and Fred Finkenbinder fight the cold war.

Those Nasty Russians still kicking butt ...

Twilight Struggle had a new champion this year as Chris Byrd defeated Anthony Russo to win the title. Chris has consistently placed well, but was unable to break through against perennial victors such as defending champion Riku Riekennen (who was absent this year) and Stefan Mecay.

We experienced a heavy falloff in attendance this year to a record low, but still netted 45 participants. As usual, we employed a swiss format, with rounds continuing until there was only one undefeated player. Positions 3-6 in the ranking were determined based upon record. Many players took advantage of the option to play all five rounds. The tournament also drew a few new players who were given the option of playing a teaching game in the first round.

Twilight Struggle
has generally been seen to favor the Russians, particularly in the first part of the game, unless adjustments are made. In past years we have tried bidding or the addition of the Chinese Civil War variant, which prevents early Russian play of Red Scare and has other balancing effects, with bidding as well. After discussion with a number of experienced players, this year we played with a standard adjustment - US received 3 influence. But players were also required to switch sides each round. This approach was well received and is largely consistent with the balancing adjustment used by the online Twilight Struggle ladder. Games were all played using the Deluxe edition rules, without the optional cards.

Even with the balancing rules, the game play, as usual, favored the Russians; Russian players enjoyed a 37 to 25 advantage This was an improvement over last years' 46-21 lopsided margin, but suggests that further balancing work is needed. Significantly, though, among the four players who ended up with four wins, the US and USSR win totals were virtually even (9-8 US), with none of them losing as the Americans.

One advantage of a smaller field is that the tournament resolved in five rounds. We had two noteworthy newcomers Tony Russo proved tough for everyone. He had not previously played at WBC, but had extensive online experience with our 4th place finisher, David Amidon. He managed to take out havy favorite Stefan Mecay in the third round and only lost in the Final. Evan Woodham also made his first appearance and went undefeated. Unfortunately, he skipped the first round (which counted as a loss in the rankings), so could not compete with Chris for the championship. Nonetheless, his performance put him in the top four with Byrd, Russo, and Amidon. The top six were rounded out by Kevin Lewis and Andrew Doughan, each of whom had three wins - they edged three other players based upon head-to-head matchups and strength of schedule.

In the Final, Containment and Red Scare offset each other as headline events and Byrd's Americans took an edge by winning the coup/counter-coup in Iran, allowing early play into Asia. Marshall Plan simultaneously enabled American dominance in Europe. Over Turns 2 and 3, Antony's Russians struggled to keep pace, hampered by scoring cards and generally lower operations values. The Americans even managed to get rid of Decolonization and Destalinization on the space race.

The early positional edge allowed the US to assume a VP advantage as Europe scored twice over the first four turns. Meanwhile, the normal infighting in Central America and Africa provided no net gain as the VPs offset one another. But the US continued to improve its relative position by playing higher value cards.

Over the next two turns, the US continued to augment its point lead, first taking advantage of OAS to pick up a quick 4 VPs in South America and then playing Dr. Strangelove for a further 3 VPs. Russian counter efforts took a favorable position in South America, but it was too late. At the beginning of Turn 7, the US had 19 VPs and Alliance for Progress scored a mere VP, but it was enough for the win.

Bill Edwards and Paul McCarthy plot coups.

Chris Byrd finally wins the big one vs Antony Russo.

 GM     George Young (6th Year)  630 Greystone Drive, Richmond, VT 05477 
   gyoung20@aol.com   802-578-3774 

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