Manly or Not ....
The 2003 Battleline Tournament got underway Friday
evening in the Valley Ballroom having been booted from it's prior
location by the new expanded dealers room. We used terms like
"phalanx" and "flank" a lot and fit right
in even though some look at Battleline as a euro game.
A lot of the usual suspects - former champs Pete Staab and Kevin
Youells, Team Tournament goose egg boy Jason Lavine, Manly Men
Ken Gutermuth, Bruce Reiff, and Dave Metzger plus several new
faces were among the 44 who turned up for a rousing contest of
Everyone's breath was held as the names for the group pairings
were drawn. Jason Lavine was thrilled when he was not put in
the same group as Bruce Reiff who last year ended his Battleline
and Team Tourney chances. However, Jason, despite not drawing
his nemesis, failed to get out of group play - again. Former
Champ Pete Staab wasn't so lucky though, drawing the feared Reiff
in his foursome.
The event uses a system partially stolen from Andy Lewis and
his Battle Cry tournament where four people are placed
in a group and play a round robin. The person with the best record
from each of the groups then advances to single elimination with
byes granted to those with 3-0 records over those with 2-1 (excepting
prior champs). In addition the scoring format heavily weights
breakthroughs (three flags in a row) to, hopefully, minimize
the number of tiebreakers used. Of course the best way to make
sure you advance is to, as Al Davis always says, just win, baby.
The winners of the group play were Aaron Fuegi (group 1),
Barrington Beavis (2), Lance Fogel (3), Carol Caler (4), Steve
Koleszar(5), Ken Gutermuth(6), Philip Burgin-Young(7), James
Gundy (8), Mike Stanley (9), John Emery (10) and Bruce Reiff
(11). Aaron, Carol, and Bruce all had three breakthroughs in
advancing from their groups, while Steve, Philip, James and John
all managed to slip through at 2-1 in their groups.
Those 11 advanced to the single elim portion of the program
and through some close games (ask Bruce Reiff about his narrow
escape from Steve Kolezar) we were left with a final four of
2002 runnerup Aaron Fuegi vs Barrington Beavis and Manly Men
teammates Ken Gutermuth vs Bruce Reiff. Ken and Bruce went back
and forth in their titanic struggle with Ken pulling out the
5-4 victory over a disappointed Bruce. Why was Bruce so disappointed?
Because Ken had picked another game for the team tourney and
failed (yet again) to score team points! Aaron won his game handily
to set up the chance to improve over last year's second place.
Alas it was not to be as Ken won the game and his second plaque
of the convention. Ken would go on to win three plaques this
year - of course none of them were in his team event!
A great time was had by all and we look forward to seeing
everyone (and a few more) next year for this great game!