war at sea

Updated Nov. 16, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

Bob Hamel, CT

2015 Champion

Event History

1991 Bruce Monnin 20
1992 Tom Scarborough 23
1993 Bruce Monnin 28
1994 Phil Rennert 18
1995 Ray Freeman 33
1996 Steve Packwood 27
1997 Tim Hitchings 33
1998 Mike Kaye 32
1999 Ray Freeman 45
2000 Pat Richardson 42
2001 David Finberg 43
2002 Andy Gardner 51
2003 Ray Freeman 47
2004 Bruce Monnin 51
2005 Dennis Nicholson 55
2006 John Sharp 46
2007 Andy Gardner 44
2008 Jonathan Lockwood 50
2009 Pat Richardson 43
2010 Vince Meconi 46
2011 Steve Packwood 42
2012 Jonathan Lockwood 47
2013 Andrew Choptiany 39
2014 Bruce Monnin 35
2015 Bob Hamel 49

PBeM Event History
1999 Vince Meconi 22
2000 Ed Menzel 39
2001 Jonathan Lockwood 43
2004 Don Greenwood 44
2006 Andy Gardner 46
2008 Darren Kilfara 46
2010 Jonathan Lockwood 43
2012 Dennis Nicholson 50
2013 Timothy Tow 41
2014 Robert Drozd 37

Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    14    207
  2.  Andy Gardner       VA    14    195
  3.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    15    177
  4.  Bruce Monnin       OH    15    176
  5.  Pat Richardson     FL    11    158
  6.  Vince Meconi       DE    15    156
  7.  Ed Menzel          CA    14    152
  8.  Ray Freeman        CA    04    133
  9.  Robert Drozd       IL    14    118
 10.  Darren Kilfara     uk    12     99
 11.  Ewan McNay         CT    10     80
 12.  Andy Choptiany     PA    13     72
 13.  Bruce Reiff        OH    10     71
 14.  Don Greenwood      MD    12     70
 15.  Steve Packwood     MN    11     70
 16.  Charlie Drozd      IL    15     65
 17.  Michael Kaye       CA    10     64
 18.  Bob Hamel          CT    15     54
 19.  Alan Applebaum     MA    10     52
 20.  David Finberg      MA    01     50
 21.  Tim Tow            WA    13     45
 22.  Rob Flowers        NC    06     44
 23.  John Sharp         FL    06     40
 24.  Ben Gardner        VA    15     38
 25.  Jim Kramer         PA    12     38
 26.  Tim Hitchings      DE    04     30
 27.  Bill Thomson       TX    03     30
 28.  Greg Berry         VA    05     28
 29.  John Pack          CO    12     21
 30.  Glenn McMaster     on    06     19
 31.  Michael Ussery     MD    13     18
 32.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    09     18
 33.  Andrew Maly        TX    14     16
 34.  John Elliott       MD    07     16
 35.  Rob Day            KS    06     16
 36.  Phil Rennert       MD    99     16
 37.  Jim Laws           WA    12     15
 38.  Joe Collinson      MD    03     15
 39.  Ron Dietz          OH    00     15
 40.  Joe Powell         VA    13     12
 41.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    06     12
 42.  John Strand        CO    03     10
 43.  Michael Knautz     WI    00     10
 44.  Phil Watkins       au    13      9
 45.  Karl Bodenheimer   MO    10      9
 46.  Mike Brophy        NC    06      8
 47.  Scott Beall        OR    08      5
 48.  Kevin Shewfelt     CA    04      5
 49.  Mike Bailey        VA    02      5
 50.  Dave Streamo       OH    00      5
 51.  Rob Flowers        MD    14      4
 52.  David Rynkowski    NY    13      4
 53.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    01      4
 54.  Dan Henry          IL    01      3
 55.  Nick Markevich     CA    99      3
 56.  James Pei          TX    99      2
 57.  Sean McKenzie      AK    99      1
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 4

Dennis Nicholson, NY
2nd

Vince Meconi, DE
3rd

Bruce Monnin, OH
4th

Ben Gardner, VA
5th

Charlie Drozd, IL
6th

Past Winners

Bruce Monnin, OH
'91, '93, '04, '14

Phil Rennert, MD
1994

Ray Freeman, CA
1995, 1999, 2003

Steve Packwood, MN
1996, 2011

Tim Hitchings, DE
1997

Mike Kaye, CA
1998

Pat Richardson, FL
2000, 2009

David Finberg, MA
2001

Andy Gardner, VA
2002, 2007

Dennis Nicholson, NY
2005

John Sharp, FL
2006

Jona Lockwood, VA
2008, 2012

Vince Meconi, DE
2010

Andrew Choptiany, PA
2013

Bob Hamel, CT
2015

Former champs Jon Lockwood and Michael Kaye in pursuit of another title.

GM Vince Meconi dresses the part for the 25th Anniversary of the War At Sea tournament.

2006 champ John Sharp gives Devin Dausin some pointers.

Bob Hamel vs 2013 champ Andy Choptiany.

And it only took 16 years ...

Bob Hamel is the WBC War At Sea Champion for 2015. Bob made the playoffs for the first time in 15 tries last year and won it all this year. He finished 5-2-1 and defeated Dennis Nicholson (6-2) in the closest Final the tournament has ever seen. How close was it? Bob’s Axis disabled Dennis’ convoy on the last die roll in the last sea area on Turn 8, preserving a tie score. By rule, a playoff tie is an Axis victory.

Vince Meconi took third with a 6-1 mark. Defending Champ Bruce Monnin missed becoming the first player ever to win consecutive WAS crowns, finishing with a 5-2 record in fourth place. Bruce has finished in the top four for the past four years—something nobody else has ever done. Ben Gardner finished fifth and was awarded the coffee table book Mussolinis Navy: A Reference Guide to the Regia Marina, given to the highest finisher who did not win a plaque. The other playoff contenders were 6th and7th, the Drozd family (son Charlie, 4-2, and dad Rob, 3-2-1), and 8th, Ray Freeman (3-3). These three finishers received copies of frequent WAS player Darren Kilfara’s wargaming novel, Do You Want Total War? Rounding out the top ten were, 9th place, Jonathan Lockwood (3-2), who missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years, and 10th, Mike Ussery (3-1-1).

At the conclusion of the Swiss round games,the top six finishers automatically qualified: 1) Meconi, 44 Points/5-0, 2) Ben Gardner, 42 VPs, 4-1, 3) Dennis Nicholson, 40 VPs & 4-1, 4) Bruce Monnin,4-1, 38 VPs, 5) Charlie Drozd, 38 VPs, 4-1, and 6) Rob Drozd, 35 VPs and 3-1. A strength of schedule tiebreaker was needed for the last two playoff slots, with Bob Hamel and Ray Freeman edging Jonathan Lockwood. it was the second straight year Bob made the playoffs via tiebreaker. All three finished with 3-2 marks and 32 VPs.

In the quarterfinals, the top seeded Meconi continued his good karma vs #8 Freeman when Ray sent his entire Axis fleet into the South Atlantic on Turn 1. Ten minutes later the Germans had two failed speed roll ships back in Germany, six sunk, and all the rest disabled in the Neutral Port. The Allies had lost one ship and controlled the South Atlantic. As the Axis player, you know it’s all over when the Eagle starts taking out your battle line. #7 Hamel’s Axis maxed out for the other side against #2 Gardner. #4 Monnin’s Allies sank all three U-boats on Turn 1 and cruised to a 7-POC victory over #5 Charlie Drozd. #3 Nicholson’s Allies prevailed over #6 Rob Drozd.

In the semifinals, both final margins were four POC, but with opposite results: Hamel’s Axis stopped Monnin, while Nicholson’s Allies ended Meconi’s perfect day.

The Final matched Hamel and Nicholson, with Bob’s Axis besting Dennis as described in the opening. The POC marker hovered at zero throughout despite three battles in the Barents on the first four turns.

This year’s field was comprised of 49 players who logged 86 games, both totals rebounding sharply from 2014 All of the entrants must have missed my pre-convention newsletter requiring formal attire for the competition, so I was the only one wearing a tux. However, I generously declined to disqualify them all and claim the wood myself. The favorite opening Allied strategy was again Barents on 1 by a wide margin. Best Axis Player was Hamel at 4-2-1, while Meconi took Best Allied Player honors at 5-0. Greg Smith is our Sportsmanship nominee for being willing to be the odd man out not just for one round, but every round, no questions asked. Chet Makuch was Rookie of the Year.

The Allies again had the better of it. We are now generally seeing the Allies win at a higher rate in face-to-face play, while the Axis are prevailing more often in PBeM play. I have no explanation for this phenomenon. This year’s WBC had 37 Axis wins (43%), 43 Allied wins (50%), and six ties (7%), tied (pun intended) for the highest number of ties ever. 69 of this year’s WBC contests had an Allied bid with just 17 games going without a bid. The average bid this year was 1.41 for all games and 1.76 for games with a bid, both down marginally from last year. All seven elimination games bid 2.0 for the Allies.

As always, putting on the tournament is a team effort. My thanks go to Assistant GMs Rob Drozd and John Sharp. Charlie Drozd and Bob Hamel also helped as needed, especially with anything that required better knees than Rob, John, and I have!

Matthew Makuch vs Bruno Passacantando

GM Meconi oversees the final battle.
GM Vincent Meconi [13th Year] 105 Churchill Ln, Wilmington, DE 19808-4355
vmeconi@verizon.net NA

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