wooden ships & iron men   

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Ron Glass, FL

2013-14 Champion

Event History
1991    Jim Truit    23
1992    John Boisvert    29
1993    John Boisvert    36
1994    William Rohrbeck    28
1995    Larry York    21
1996    David Cross    16
1997    David Metzger    20
1998    Michael Brannaman    20
1999    Paul Risner     8
2000    David Cross    16
2001    Curtis Dietrich    26
2002    William Rohrbeck    23
2003    William Rohrbeck    27
2004    Arthur Davis    22
2005    William Rohrbeck    19
2006    William Rohrbeck    21
2007    William Rohrbeck    14
2008    Evan Hitchings    16
2009    Derek Whipple    19
2010    Tim Hitchings    25
2011    George Deutsch    20
2012    Dale Long    22
2013    Ron Glass    27
2014    Ron Glass    37 


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  William Rohrbeck   NH    07    116
  2.  Tim Hitchings      DE    13    105
  3.  Ron Glass          FL    14     62
  4.  Evan Hitchings     DE    12     60
  5.  Keith Hunsinger    OH    07     50
  6.  Dale Long          NJ    13     44
  7.  Arthur Davis       MI    04     41
  8.  George Deutsch     MD    11     31
  9.  Jeff Miller        PA    14     30
 10.  Derek Whipple      WA    10     28
 11.  Paul Owen          VA    13     26
 12.  Larry York         CA    02     20
 13.  Curtis Dietrich    FL    01     20
 14.  David Cross        NJ    06     18
 15.  Brian Stuck        FL    14     12
 16.  Wade Fowble        MD    03     12
 17.  Robert McKinney    VA    14     11
 18.  Joseph Belyeu      AL    11     10
 19.  Rob Doane          MA    08     10
 20.  Paul Risner        FL    99     10
 21.  Benoit Groulx      qc    04      9
 22.  Mark McCandless    LA    03      9
 23.  Stephen Field      IL    02      9
 24.  Bill Thomson       TX    10      8
 25.  Nicholas Chepaitis PA    14      6
 26.  Malcolm Smith      VA    14      9
 27.  Bill Place         PA    12      6
 28.  Isaac Clizbe       VA    10      6
 29.  Joe Pabis          VA    05      6
 30.  Kevin Boles        AL    04      6
 31.  Ed Majeski         IL    02      6
 32.  Mark Sciera        NY    09      4
 33.  Kathy Hitchings    DE    08      4
 34.  Verity Hitchings   DE    05      4
 35.  Michael Bergt      FL    03      3
 36.  Joseph Abrams      CT    00      3
 37.  Stuart Smart       NY    99      3
 38.  Brian Wool         DE    09      2
 39.  Keira Herzfeld     DE    08      2
 40.  Stephen Shedden    TN    07      2
 41.  Joe Doughan        NJ    05      2
 42.  Jim Jordan         MD    04      2
 43.  Francis Czawlytko  MD    01      2

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Jeff Miller, PA

Brian Stuck, PA

Rob McKinney, VA

Nicholas Chepaitis, PA

Malcolm Smith, VA

Past Winners

William Rohrbeck, NH
1994, 2002-03, 2005-07

Larry York, CA

David Cross, VA
1996, 2000

David Metzger, NY

Michael Brannaman. SC

Paul Risner, FL

Curtis Dietrich, FL

Arthur Davis, MI

Evan Hitchings, DE

Derek Whipple, WA

Tim Hitchings, DE

George Deutsch, MD

Dale Long, NJ

Ron Glass, FL

A well prepared demo is the best way to recruit new sailors. The event hosted its largest field ever.

One of Rob McKinney's 12 matches paired him against young Nick Chepaitis.

Jeff Miller and Brian Stuck trade broadsides in the semifinals with Jeff advancing.

GM Tim Hitchings oversees his finalists in his biggest tournament field to date.

Master & Commander II ...

In Nelson's Shadow ...

Our first ever newsletter helped recruit 37 sailors, making the 2014 Wooden Ships & Iron Men tournament the largest in the 24-year history of WBC and Avaloncon. Also, more players were in serious contention for the semifinalist berths than ever before, with the last pairings not being decided until Saturday afternoon in the Fleet Action.

Players could sail in single ship actions, two-on-two ship actions, and with three-ship squadrons, for variable tournament points. Players may play as many games as they can manager, but only their three top scoring games count toward tournament standings. Bonus points are awarded based on the performance of defeated opponents.

Some highlights and lowlights:

~ Rob McKinney edged Ron Glass in one of the closest single-ship matches by a score of 59 to 54 damage points. (In the qualification stage of the tournament, no one played more games than Rob McKinney's 12.)

~ Of course, the closest match of all was Paul Owen and Tim Hitchings squaring off (or is it hexing-off?) in a single-ship match. Both players' ships struck their colors simultaneously, for a draw. They might as well have shook hands at the start and called it a day!

~ Colin Laird, defeated his dad, Bob, in a single-ship action. (One wonders about the conversation on the ride home.)

~ Malcolm Smith defeated Rod Coffey in a two-ship match, but not without losing one of his ships to Rod's gunnery.

~ Defending champ Ron Glass and 16-year-old Nicholas Chepaitis slugged it out with two ships of the line per side, ending in a draw, with both players losing a ship.

~ Nick was an easy pick for rookie of the year. Despite having never played before, he won five games, including three larger scenarios - enough to put him into the laurels.

~ Brian Stuck endured a series of bloody engagements on his way to the semifinals. Brian and Steve Munchak stumbled through a single frigate duel of green captains. The players managed to collide their ships several times. Both ships suffered heavy damage and casualties from fire and musketry. Although Steve put up a good fight, Brian carried the day. Chivalry played no role in Brian's match against Bertha Torres-Harris, detonating her magazine to end the match. On Wednesday, Bill Thomson defeated Brian in a duel of four frigates, in which Brian declared that he was "out-gunned, out-damaged, out-everything". The luck was with Nick Chepaitis in a second two S.O.L. match against Brian, as his marine musket fire killed Brian's captain on one turn and grapeshot took out the first mate on the next! (Nick killed yet another captain in a later match.)  One might wonder how Brian managed to get into the semifinals at all, what with his repeated misfortune. He actually won three ship matches against Nick and Dale "Dan" Long, and a two ship match against Malcolm Smith. It's just that his wins were more prosaic than his losses.

Saturday saw 11 players gather for the annual Fleet Action, with two additional players entering as reinforcements.

The scenario was a blended version of the two engagements from 1795, in which the French fleet pursued a British squadron until the British Channel Fleet came to the rescue.

Ron Glass and Dan Long were awarded "best captain" honors for their respective fleets, each receiving a book on naval warfare in the age of sail from the GM's collection. Here is Dan's romanticized memoir of his performance:

"On the command deck of the French ship of the line, Droits de L'Homme, stood Captain Jean 'Mad Dog' Bertrand. Bertrand was a firebrand and a bit of a pariah among other French officers of his rank (though a Loyalist, he was rumored to have revolutionary sympathies) but he was loved by his crew. Always favoring boarding actions (harnessing the revolutionary zeal of his crew), Bertrand had taken prizes before and was quite generous with shares for the crew. When Bertrand saw the British squadron initially retreat on that fateful day, against orders, he put up full sails and charged full speed ahead. His spotters noticed two 74 gun ships of the line moving sluggishly towards the right of the British line and immediately set course for them. After a brief exchange of gunnery, Bertrand gave the order to ram one of the British ships, subjecting his ship to a half broadside rake from the Brits. The ramming went well, fouling the rigging, and the follow up grapple was successful. As always, Bertrand was at the head of his men, sword in hand leading the way across to the enemy ship. The melee was brutal, but Bertrand was confident his men would prevail. Bertrand killed a British sailor and was exhorting his men forward when a British Marine noticed him, took aim, and fired. The shot was true; Bertrand was struck in the forehead and killed instantly. The effect on the French crew was immediate and disastrous....Mad Dog was dead, what now? French officers, throats parched from the acrid smoke were hoarsely barking orders to push forward but the damage was done, the French retreated to their ship, and the British cut the grapples. Later in the engagement, the British ship struck colors (no small part due to fire from Bertrand's ship) but the crew was never the same without their beloved captain."

Ron's performance in the Fleet Action was enough to put him over the top and into the semifinals, where he was able to outmaneuver Rob McKinney to advance. (In addition to the larger scenario that secured his semifinal berth, Ron also proved to be the winningest single ship captain with five wins, two losses and a draw.)
Jeff Miller defeated Brian Stuck in the semifinals to set up a rematch against the defending champ.

Once again, it was Ron for the win, making him the first repeat champion since Bill Rohrbeck's hat trick of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Will Ron equal Bill's accomplishment in 2015 or will Jeff finally do him in? Maybe an also-ran from this year will come out of nowhere to steal the prize.

All semifinalists were awarded two miniature ships in recognition of their performance.

Seeking adventure? Contact Tim Hitchings to get on the list for the next newsletter and request a copy of the tournament rules.

 The fleet action awards bonus points in tournament scoring.

 GM     Tim Hitchings  [13th Year]  330 Kemper Dr, Newark, DE 19702 
   hitchings@juno.com   302-593-4404

2014 Previews | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page