down in flames [Updated October 2002]

DIF  3 prizes Experienced Swiss Elim Continuous 
   17 Round 2 19 Round 3 21 Final    


Andy Lewis, DE

2002 Champion

2nd: Ed Karpowitz, DC

3rd: Rich Phares, VA

4th: Kris Weinschenker, PA

5th: Charles Eastman, VA

6th: Roy Gibson, MD

Event History
1999    Roger Taylor     21
2000    Mike Lam     30
2001    Mike Lam     24
2002    Andy Lewis     32

AREA Ratings

GM: Mike Nagel

One Top-Six GM Nomination

Past Winners

Roger Taylor - VA

Mike Lam, CA

Down in Flames ...

After four years, the Down In Flames tournament still maintains its popularity, even while up against other excellent events. This year we had a record total of 32 entrants, a significant increase from last year owing to the event's move from Saturday morning to Friday evening. As Down In Flames is fairly low on the complexity scale, there were significant conflicts between other Saturday mornings fare, so the move was enacted. I'm happy to see that the decision was the right one!

For those unfamiliar with the game, Down In Flames is a series of World War II aerial combat card games published by GMT. There are two aspects to the game, the dogfight and the campaign. The former is quick-playing (a dogfight can be completed in under 30 minutes) where the latter is much more involved and can take several hours to complete. Given the time
constraints of the WBC format, the Down In Flames tournament was limited to a series of dogfights.

The tournament format was pretty straightforward. In the first round, participants were required to complete two dogfights against three different opponents. During the two dogfights in each pairing, participants were required to fly Axis aircraft in one and Allied aircraft in the other. Aircraft options were predefined, allowing players to select balanced elements (pairs of pilots and wingmen) from a set of five. Once an element was selected, it could no longer be used during the course of the round.

The first round was limited to roughly two and a half hours. The eight players who scored the most points in kills and damaged enemy aircraft advanced to the second round. This following round ran similarly to the first, but only two player pairings were required and the aircraft selections included more powerful options. The two highest scoring players from this round advanced to the final, where the hottest aircraft were available. After all, only the best pilots get to fly the best aircraft!

Although the tournament went smoothly, there were two complaints regarding playtime. In order to keep the length of the
tournament within a reasonable period, some players did not get a chance to finish their third match, and had to tally the points they had accrued up to that time. After running the event for four years, I still maintain that quick play and a heads-up attitude should be rewarded.

Among all the participants who played their best, two in particular bear mention. The first is Dave Fox, who garners this year's "Ace of Aces" award. This was the first time that Dave participated in the tournament and unless I'm mistaken, the first time he really played the game. Given that, Dave still managed to accrue an astounding 80 points in his first round! Sadly, he had to drop out of the tournament (making me the top seed going into the second round). In addition to Dave, I have to
credit Andy Lewis with his amazing and well-deserved tournament win. Andy came into the second round as the third seed, and managed to make mincemeat of my aircraft as well as all those who followed. Congratulations Andy!

Thanks to all the participants, and I hope to meet you in the skies next year!

Alas, Mike informs us that he will not be the GM for this event next year. The good news is that Chris Janiec and Mike Lam will combine efforts to co-GM this favorite offering in 2003.

 GM      Michael Nagel  [4th Year]   25 Tattersal Dr, Burlington Township, NJ 08016   (609) 239-6890

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