Blocks Bursting in Air ...
The 2003 tournament was a big success. We drew 26 gamers for
a three-round Swiss elimination format. This was a departure
from our original single elimination mode. There was some concern
that after the first round or two that we would have almost no
one left other than the winners. That did not happen as we still
had 22 players at the end of the third round. Only four players
dropped due to losing or scheduling conflicts. The gamers had
said they wanted to play more and I guess they weren't lying!
played three rounds qualifying four players for a single elimination
playoff round. Players could bid victory points for either side
and played the game trying for a +10 VP win. Games that ended
within the 10 VP margin were a draw as per the rules. That being
said there were few bids, although Matt Calkins did bid each
round for the Americans and rode them all the way to the finals.
The high bid for the tourney was 2. Tournament points were awarded
to players for a tiebreaking system for the qualifying rounds.
This encouraged players to finish games and as such we did not
have to adjudicate a single game.
We played 37 games during the course of the tournament. The
Americans won 20(54%). The American wins came early as usual
with 13 wins coming in 1812, six in 1813 and only one in 1814.
The basic strategy as the Americans is to attempt to win early
and not let the game go into the latter years. The British had
only one bid: a 1. Britain is the perceived weaker side and the
statistics backed up that perception. There were 11 total wins
for the British players equaling 30%. Six of the British wins
took place in 1814 and that keeps with the basic British strategy
of trying to delay the war until the reinforcements arrive in
1814. However, of the four other wins three were in 1812, which
rarely happens. The remaining six games were draws.
The four qualifiers were Matt Calkins with a 3-0 record, John
Poniske with a 2-0-1, George Young with a 2-0-1 and David Metzger
with a 2-0-1. David beat out Rick Young for the fourth spot by
one tie-breaker point. Matt Calkins and David Metzger each advanced
to the finals after eliminating George & John. David supplied
us with a glimpse of the finals.
In the final, Matt Calkins chose the American's with a bid
of 1 victory point. The Americans adopted an extremely aggressive
Eastern strategy with seven of their 12 units East of Lake Ontario.
The British used a more balanced strategy planning to stave off
the America's in the East while sweeping the Lake Erie front.
The British strategy immediately paid off as they easily captured
Detroit, thereby gaining their Indian allies while at the same
time cleverly surrounding and destroying an American army of
nine factors along Lake Champlain. While this appeared to give
the British a clear advantage, Matt quickly captured Montreal
with a force too powerful for the British to counterattack. The
British were then in the helpless position of seeing Montreal
solidly in American hands for the remainder of 1812. 1812 ended
with the Americans solidly entrenched in Montreal and the British
holding the entire Lake Erie and Lake Champlain fronts.
1813 began badly for the British. The American's immediately
destroyed the British reinforcements in Quebec with negligible
cost to the American forces. Throughout the remainder of 1813
the British easily captured most of the Northern United States
however, the American's skillfully used their control of Lake
Ontario to shuttle their troops into Canada to avoid confronting
British regulars and take control of most of Eastern Canada.
Although a few American units were hunted down, 1813 ended in
a stalemate with the British unable to bring the crafty American's
to decisive battle.
In 1814, the Americans won the critically important first
move and were able to bring six reinforcements into Montreal,
thus creating a stalemate where neither side could afford to
attack. Although the British had a clear advantage in victory
points, due to the likelihood that American units would reinforce
Montreal and enable the decisive defeat of the British army in
Quebec, the British used the possibility of two consecutive moves
to make one attack against Montreal with 20 factors against 21
with a planned second attack with an additional 14 factors. However,
the second attack was unnecessary as the audacity of the British
attack took the Americans by surprise, completely routing them.
After the loss of all 21 American factors, the Americans were
forced to surrender.
I want to thank David for his report of the final and congratulate
him on being a three-peat champion. Thanks also to Columbia Games
for their continued support of the WBC and the 1812 tournament.