8 Rounds unhinged on one roll of
the die ...
Bob Hamel vs two-time champ Ed Menzel
Jim Eliason vs Pat Richardson
The semifinalists up the ante in the
playoffs as bids escalate for the favored Japanese.
GM Charles Drozd and his finalists
- a pair of multi-year past champions.
55 games were played during the 2014 Rising Sun Pre-Con, a
20% decline from last year's figure. Many long-time participants
(including three from last year's top eight) were not in attendance.
Three games were played with "Special" options, five
games utilized the NT1 Variant, and another two games were played
without any optional rules (including the Final). 45 of the
games used some form of options 1 and 2. The average bid (in
games with bids) was 4.87 POC , a slight increase from last year's
4.81. Despite all of that, the IJN winning % increased to an
alarming 70.9% this year. Despite the current optional rules
in play, the IJN continues to hold a significant advantage in
on-going discussion has been taking place on the Consimworld
forums regarding whether the current adjustments are enough to
balance the game (players would need to get comfortable bidding
higher) or if some tweaks to the second edition rules are necessary
to bring the game into balance.
Additionally, there is a lively debate as to whether standardizing
the various optional rules currently in use would be a benefit
or a detriment to the long term health of the game. Currently
the tournament rules allow players to negotiate optional rules
that can be used only if both sides are in agreement. The Default
rules if players cannot agree is a game using unadjusted second
After five swiss rounds; Andy Gardner, Ed Paule, Patrick Richardson,
and John Pack all had four wins. The remaining playoff slots
went to Daniel Blumentritt, Jim Eliason, Ed Menzel, and John
Sharp (all 3-2) by virtue of Schedule Strength. Bob Hamel, also
3-2, was the odd man out who missed the cut.
The quarterfinals yielded only one upset this year with #5
Blumentritt's USN over #4 Pack's IJN, this would also be the
only USN victory during the playoffs. In the remaining quarterfinals
#1 Gardner's IJN over #8 Sharp's USN in eight turns, #2 Paule's
IJN over #7 Menzel's USN in seven turns, and #3 Richardson's
IJN over #6 Eliason's USN in seven turns.
In the semifinals Gardner bid 8.5 POC for the IJN vs. Blumentritt
and despite the impressive bid secured a mathematical lock after
Turn 7. In the other bracket Paule bid 9.5 POC for the IJN vs.
Richardson and at the end of Turn 6 Richardson's USN conceded.
The Final thus pit 2011 champ Paule against 2012 Champ Gardner.
Given how the bidding had gone in previous rounds, we expected
another high bid; Gardner stated that he would like to play an
unadjusted game and opened with a bid of 10.5, after several
minutes this was accepted. Paule's USN found itself in a hole
early as an American CV was lost on Turn 1 when Group W showed
up in the CPO. Sensing that the writing was already on the wall,
he committed everything to the defense of Pearl Harbor on Turn
2. A first round night action was a disaster for the USN, and
when dawn arrived the IJN had smashed the USN Fleet decisively,
resulting in an immediate USN concession. Thus, Gardner won
his fifth WBC VIP title in record time thanks to one die
roll on the second Turn of the 8th round of the tournament.
Henry Richardson and Dave Gubbay trade