Still on Trial ...
Although officially listed as Fifth Fleet, this event
actually allows tournament play in Seventh Fleet, Fifth Fleet,
and Third Fleet. The small field did not portend an easy
competition; entrants included three past National Champions.
Random first round pairings saw defending champ Jim Eliason
and GM James Fleckenstein square off in the Gulf of Aden Offensive
(5th). Eliason's Allied forces easily handled Fleckenstein's
motley coalition of Soviet and client state forces, handing the
elder Fleckenstein a substantive defeat. Ed Karpowicz's Soviet
submarines proved too much for Dennis Nicholson's US boats in
Undersea Showdown (5th), while Timothy Tow took the US to victory
over Aaron Silverman's Soviets in the same scenario; Jimmy Fleckenstein's
Soviet subs overwhelmed William Terdoslavich's Allied forces
and neutral oil tankers in Indian Ocean Wolfpacks (5th).
The second round saw Eliason pitted against the younger Fleckenstein
in Undersea Showdown. In what was to prove a prophetic outcome,
Fleckenstein's US subs scored a substantive victory over Eliason's
Soviets. Karpowicz's Allies won a marginal victory over Tow's
Soviets in Civil War in the Philippines (7th), while Silverman
eliminated Terdoslavich, scoring the tournament's only decisive
win with the US forces in the same scenario. The senior Fleckenstein
drew a bye.
Silverman followed up by eliminating Eliason in the third
round. Playing U.S. Assault on the Komardorskye Islands (3rd),
Silverman converted a one in ten die roll to sink Eliason's US
amphibious assault ship Kearsarge, effectively securing
his marginal victory. Tow's massed SSM attacks from Soviet patrol
craft eliminated GM Fleckenstein in Return of the Dreadnought
(7th), while Jimmy Fleckenstein's US forces ruined Karpowicz's
Soviets' tropical vacation, handing them a substantive loss in
Soviet Raiders in the Carribbean (3rd).
In the semis, Jimmy Fleckenstein's Allied forces rolled over
Tow's Soviets in Gulf of Aden Offensive for yet another substantive
victory, while Silverman's luck finally ran out as his Allied
forces fell to Karpowicz's Soviets in Indian Ocean Wolfpacks,
setting up a rematch between Karpowicz and the younger Fleckenstein
for the wood.
Jimmy Fleckenstein completed his perfect run of substantive
victories by commanding his Indian and Soviet forces to victory
over Karpowicz's Allies in Battle of the Flattops (5th) in the
final. At game's end, the US supercarrier Abraham Lincoln
was afloat but vulnerable, badly damaged and without escorts.
Karpowicz had sunk the two Indian carriers in return, but when
the points were totalled, Fleckenstein had earned his second
Fleet National Championship.