And 1 makes 7 ...
William Kendrick and Wade Fowble
battle in the swiss trenches with Wade emerging with a 4-1 record
to make the playoffs.
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.
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
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
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.
he's got a Stream!
Geez ... you'd think he owned the
Oh wait, I guess he does.