In a distant galaxy, far, far away
No plan survives first contact with the enemy, or teenagers.
Adam Gugliemini proved that to Phil Barcafer by edging out the
older marine to gain the plaque at this year's Princess Ryan's
Star Marines "senior" tourney. The "senior"
is actually a misnomer as nearly half of the players in this
year's contest were teens.
of the teens, however, are veterans. Most played in the junior
tournaments and many were victors in those campaigns of yesteryear.
Of the top six finishers this year only one, Phil, is an adult.
The others four -- Nick Henning, Jeremy Gibson, Jeff Ribeiro
and Jordan Flawd are all still in high school. There were
a lot of adult players, including the ever-popular and jovial
Paul Bolduc, who earned the coveted, if dubious, distinction
of being the only player to end the game without any points.
The grand old marine is a past champion (1999 WBC), and is the
man who gave us the famed "thwacking" phrase that has
become a staple remark when a marine squad gets toasted.
Another veteran adult marine, Paul Saunders, came up without
any points in one game as a marine. In round 2, however, he scored
84 points as the Guard the best Black Guard score of the
day. While not enough to get him into the top six finishing spots,
he counted himself a winner of sorts this year, by noting that
"at least I had positive points this year!"
Among other notable quotes of the day, is the declaration
by Ashley Collinson that she felt like she was in command of
"Princess Ryan's Powderpuff Marines." She gave her
marines this appellation after reaching the third space on the
board with more than half of them dead, captured or in sick bay.
Nick Kramer and his team had similarly bad luck on their board.
"I'm just playing for fun and I'm NOT HAVING ANY!"
he barked after the tenth of his team's 24 marines bought the
farm. David Sidelinger lost three marines dead in three combats
in a row. As Devin Flawd said later "that was the UGLY table"
for the marines. Jordan Flawd really inspired confidence in his
team when he bellowed that "All my marines SUCK, so I want
to blow them off."
Not all of the marine teams had such bad luck. Nick Henning
and Jeff Ribeiro advanced without a lost combat on their table,
with three other marine players along for comic relief. They
climbed Mt. Yamaguchi, charged in through the back door and both
guessed correctly where the princess was hidden. As Nick won
the last skirmish, however, he squeaked out the victory. That
gave him third place, and left Jeff back in fifth.
juniors tourney was equally combative. Alexandra Henning had
a particularly good day, and won the prize despite close competition
from Angela Collinson (does the designer's heart good to see
girls playing and winning this game). Nick Darr and
Scott Urich, who came in third and fourth, both won games on
"Do or Die" attempts. One of those succeeded without
the marines getting a scratch.
Two other games also ended in desperate "Do or Die"
rides to glory. In one of those the marine's starship Schenectady
was shot down with all hands by starfighters. In the other, the
marines had starfighter support, preplanned bombardments and
a handful of other dispatches ready to play only to watch
their ship explode in a fireball.
But as everyone who plays Princess Ryan's Star Marines
knows, "It's better that way."