It came down to another photo finish at the end of the last
round. Even after the last die roll, up until the final scoring
was done, it was unclear as to who was our champion, or who held
second thru fourth places. In a reversal of last year, Dan beat
his nemesis, Ed Menzel in the second round, but lost in the scoring
when he didn't play the fifth round. Ed Menzel managed to outscore
Dan on the final count for the big plaque!
A tad worn wouldn't you say? This
fleet no doubt has seen the bottom many times in the last 13
Even that didn't settle everything, as Mike Kaye and Charlie
Drozd followed close enough to contend with Dan for the second
place plaque. It was down to tie breaking tournament points to
finally give Dan second, Mike third, and Charlie fourth.
39 players registered. 75 games actually played. Six new players.
22 games went seven turns. 16 games went a full 8 turns! Seven
players stuck it out for all seven rounds. Bidding reached 5.5
John Sharp has agreed to GM for next year, giving me a break.
John expects to retain the same format, with just a bit of fine-tuning
to the scoring system. As of now, John is the GM with full and
final authority. He answers only to Don Greenwood, not to me
in any way. Send suggestions to John at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thirteen consecutive years! It has been a great epic! Friendship,
camaraderie, and an appreciation of each other "just the
way we are", and continually drawing in new friends.
Yet, a large part of it is the competition. Good, clean, competition,
to be sure, but the competitive spirit remains. We play every
game to win, as much to give our opponent a good game as to our
own satisfaction. Even our losses we can be proud of.
When the last die has been cast and the score counted, we
get up, shake hands, look each other in the eye, and say, "Wait
until the next game."
Yet, it goes beyond that. I have seen friendships grow over
the years. Friendships that have grown to proportions well beyond
the game board and tournaments. Friends that I know that I can
count on in time of need, or call at 3:00 am just 'cause I need
to talk. Friends of a depth and quality that seem rare in this
day and age of "too much in a hurry." Yea, I want one
more game, but it's not the victory that I am after, it is time
with a friend
Ed Menzel, Fullerton, California. Our Champion! 1 USN
win, 5 IJN wins, 1 IJN loss.
Until two years ago, Ed Menzel collected any number of VIP awards
and plaques including second and third places, Nagumo awards,
Halsey awards, and various other "pieces of wood".
But never a championship. In a short telephone interview with
Ed he told me that after WBC 2001 he made it a goal for himself
that over the coming two years he was going to win a championship
any championship in VIP. It had just been eluding
him far too long. He felt pretty good about his Midwest Open
victory in March 2002, but certainly did not rest on those laurels.
It simply became the first in a series, with this WBC 2003 championship
the crowning touch.
Since March of 2002 Ed has become nearly invincible. In August
2002 Dan Henry barely out-scored him for the championship at
WBC. In March 2003 Ed took the first consecutive year win at
the Midwest Open since Alan Applebaum in 1996. He then proceeded
to take the WBC email tournament, and is current VIP ladder champion.
But it still isn't over! Before I finished writing this, news
has come in that Ed has also taken "all the marbles"
at Conquest over Labor Day weekend!
In just two years Ed passes Alan Applebaum and Dan Henry as
titleholder to the winningest record on the VIP circuit. Ed's
WBC 2003 VIP championship plaque will be hanging with his
collection of lesser awards. Quite naturally, all of this puts
Ed at the top of the A.R.E.A. ratings for Victory In The Pacific,
but it also makes him the first player to break the 7000 rating
mark in any game other than Advanced Squad Leader. Is
there no stopping this guy?
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that Ed Menzel
has the very high esteem of his peers as a gentleman and sportsman.
Win lose or draw, Ed always displays the best attitude and behavior
that can be found anywhere in our hobby.
Gee ... ya think they use chess
clocks in this event?
Dan Henry, Chicago, Illinois. Second Place. 4 USN wins,
1 IJN win, 1 USN loss. Dan came on with a strong allied game
this year and pretty well showed us how it needs to be done.
In a reversal of last year, Dan beat his nemesis, Ed Menzel in
the second round, but lost the edge when he didn't play the fifth
Mike Kaye, Pasadena, Maryland. Third Place. 3 USN wins,
2 IJN wins, 1 USN loss, 1 IJN loss. Very close to out-scoring
Dan for that second place plaque. Mike is usually one of the
chief contenders. I expect that he always will be.
Charlie Drozd, Vernon Hills, Illinois. Fourth Place.
5 IJN wins, 2 USN losses. A virtual rookie! He cut his teeth
at the Midwest Open in March, then cuts nearly everyone else's
Ken Nied, Olathe, Kansas. Fifth Place. 2 USN wins,
2 IJN wins, 2 USN losses, 1 IJN loss. Always chasing the leaders.
One of these days
John Sharp Jr., Sarasota, Florida. Sixth Place. 1 USN
win, 3 IJN wins, 1 USN loss, 2 IJN losses. We expect to find
John in the top ten. Sixth is no shame in this crowd, but we
all expect to see John taking the big one sooner or later.
Larry Meyers, Peoria, Arizona. Seventh Place. 2 USN
wins, 1 IJN win, 1 IJN tie, 2 IJN losses. Larry has been playing
with us for some time, and keeps coming back.
Glenn McMaster, Troy, Ontario. Eighth Place. 3 USN
wins, 1 USN loss. Glenn has been with us only a few years, but
is certainly showing the kind of stuff that he is made of.
Bob Hamel, Newington, Connecticut. Ninth place. 3 IJN
wins, 1 IJN loss, 2 USN losses. Bob Hamel in ninth only shows
how tough the competition really is. Bob has done better, and
I know he will again in the future.
James Kramer Jr., Wiconisco, Pennsylvania. Tenth Place.
3 IJN wins, 2 USN losses, 2 IJN losses. Jim rounds out our top
ten with seven tough games.
I would be remiss if I did not publicly acknowledge Glenn's
efforts as a GM over the past 13 years. A Best GM Award and six
Top Six GM nominations speaks clearly as to what his players
thought of his efforts over the years. Glenn is a hard act to
follow - having always put being a GM above his own personal
playing time. But what else would you expect from someone whose
volunteer efforts kept AREA going after the demise of Avalon
Hill? Glenn will be sorely missed in 2004. I wish him the best
of summers with his departing brood and selfishly hope for the
days when he will return to his second family to vie for Victory
in the Pacific once again.