up front  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

John Emery, SC

2014 Champion

Event History
1991

  
Mark Cohen

  
44
1992

  
Maria Hawthorne

  
43
1993

  
Bruce Young

  
53
1994

  
Bruce Young

  
53
1995

  
Herbert Gratz

  
48
1996

  
William Edwards

  
46
1997

  
John Emery

  
42
1998

  
John Emery

  
55
1999

  
Larry Davidson

  
42
2000

  
John Emery

  
34
2001

  
Bruce Wigdor

  
39
2002

  
John Emery

  
50
2003

  
Ray Stakenas II

  
38
2004

  
John Emery    30
2005

  
Bruce Young    33
2006

  
Paul Wright    30
2007

  
Ray Stakenas II    27
2008

  
Ed Kendrick    22
2009

  
Jeff Spaner    23
2010

  
John Emery    25
2011

  
Bruce Wigdor    27
2012

  
Richard Irving    25
2013

  
Ed Kendrick    31
2014

  
John Emery    28

PBeM Event History
2000    Jeff Matthews    32
2003    Jeff Matthews    24

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Emery         SC    14    227
  2.  Bruce Young        SC    13    177
  3.  Ray Stakenas II    MI    12    118
  4.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    13    112
  5.  Ed Kendrick        uk    13    100
  6.  Ray Stakenas Sr    MI    13     74
  7.  Richard Irving     CA    14     66
  9.  Jeff Spaner        MD    14     52
  8.  Paul Wright        PA    09     52
 10.  Ralph Gleaton      SC    11     48
 11.  Larry Davidson     CA    02     46
 12.  Herbert Gratz      at    09     34
 13.  Jeff Matthews      CA    04     30
 14.  Bari Wigdor        NJ    04     26
 15.  Bill Edwards       VA    05     24
 16.  Stefan Hess        NY    01     24
 17.  Wade Fowble        MD    14     22
 18.  David Wong         NJ    10     19
 19.  Robert Malcomson   MN    14     18
 20.  William Kendrick   uk    12     18
 21.  George Young       VT    06     18
 22.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     16
 23.  Ken Katano         MD    01     16
 24.  Andrew Maly        MD    14     15
 25.  Jeremy Billones    VA    11     12
 26.  Eric Taylor        NM    05     12
 27.  Mike Stachowski    NY    03     12
 28.  Jeff Paull         OH    00     12
 29.  Dale Martin        MI    04     10
 30.  Bill Alderman      VA    11      9
 31.  Kevin Emery        SC    09      9
 32.  Michael Johnson    MA    03      9
 33.  Nick Vlahos        IL    00      9
 34.  Jean-Luc Brouillet on    05      8
 35.  Erick Young        SC    01      8
 36.  Scott Russell      MI    00      6
 37.  Alan Arvold        IL    00      3
 38.  Don Greenwood      MD    00      3
 39.  Frank Arndt        MD    99      3
 40.  Brian Carr         VA    04      2
 41.  Brian Devitt       CA    00      2
 42.  Robert Mull        CO    00      1

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Robert Malcomson, MN
2nd

Richard Irving, CA
3rd

Andrew Maly, TX
4th

Wade Fowble, MD
5th

Jeff Spaner, MD
6th

Past Winners

Maria Hawthorne, VA
1992

Bruce Young, SC
1993-94, 2005

Herbert Gratz, at
1995

Bill Edwards, VA
1996

John Emery, SC
97-98, 00, 02, 04, 10, 14

Bruce Wigdor, NJ
2001, 2011

Ray Stakenas Jr, MI
2003, 2007

Paul Wright, PA
2006

Ed Kendrick, uk
2008, 2013

Jeff Spaner, MD
2009

Richard Irving, CA
2012
       

 William Kendrick and Wade Fowble battle in the swiss trenches with Wade emerging with a 4-1 record to make the playoffs.

And 1 makes 7 ...

One of the foundations of the WBC schedule around which everything else flows - for at least a few dozen grognards - has always been Thursday's Up Front marathon. This game has had a loyal following since the inception of the con and those players continue to make the pilgrimage year after year to vie for the title of best of the best. The 28-player field for this year included seven previous champions accounting for 15 shields. Keeping the field fresh were four new attendees seeking admittance to the brotherhood.

The initial five rounds of Swiss gaming featured quite a few "upsets". The term is used in quotes because of the overall quality of the players. While some are naturally considered more skilled than others, the old saying that anyone can beat anyone else on a given day truly is applicable here.

After the brass had been policed, the only man unhit with a perfect 5-0 record was 2012 champ Richard Irving. Joining Richard in the playoffs gauntlet with one loss apiece were regulars Wade Fowble and Andrew Maly, newcomer Robert Malcomson, and six-time winner John Emery. The new battle-tested 8-man field was rounded out by Jeff Spaner, Greg Courter, and William Kendrick - with two losses apiece. 1992 champ Maria Hawthorne had scored enough quality wins to prevent using the exclusive "man" in the field but resigned her position to compete in another tournament.

These eight players were seeded by record and the elimination rounds began. The quarterfinals saw no surprises as the higher seeds won out with Irving's Japanese defeating Kendrick's Russians in Scenario "A"; Malcomson's Germans beating Courter's Russians in "E"; Maly's British over Spaner's Japanese in"M"; and Emery's Americans taking down Fowble's Japanese in "A".

The semifinals saw newcomer Malcomson choosing the German attackers to beat Maly's American Defenders in Scenario "F", The Infantry's Iron Fist. The other game was easily the best of this year's tournament. Irving's German attackers went up against Emery's Russian defense in Scenario "L", Outpost Line. The game was on the line until the last card with John running out the deck before Richard could get a terrain card down on his advance group for the win.

This set the stage for a classic matchup between veteran and newcomer for the 2014 title. Malcomson asked for a repeat of the scenario and side he won in the semis and Emery, ever the gentleman, agreed. The first deck saw both players carefully sparring from the start. Both sides used their movement to get into terrain and then began long range fire. Emery's American got into good terrain but at the expense of several casualties to shorten the odds. The firefight got hotter at the end of the first deck. The US lost another man but his rifle was recovered by another who had lost his own. Another American died from a rare hit from the Sd Kfz 231. A Sniper then turned things around by hitting the AFV's commander and the Americans stopped taking and started causing casualties. Midway through the deck, the German was within one loss of a broken squad with only four men and a stunned AFV remaining but the American was within two losses of his squad breaking as well. In a final round of fire, the US used the bazooka to shoot at the infantry group instead of the AFV, got a hit, then drew a Black 6 for the game ending kill.

Emery had played well to earn his seventh plaque and Malcomson had showed his mettle by competing head to head with the best. It was a fitting end to another glorious day of Up Front by the best practitioners of the art.

Bruce goes up against the undisputed queen of Up Front - our only female champion - Maria Hawthorne.

The Murderer's row of Up Front - Young and Emery and any Mafiosa caught in their daily firefights.

Lookout Ralph,
he's got a Stream!

Geez ... you'd think he owned the thing.
Oh wait, I guess he does.

 GM     Jim Burnett  [9th Year]  NA
   jimallene@comcast.net   NA 

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