Bruce, Braveheart and the Blocks
Well, at least we are consistent. We had the same number of
entries this year as last, 29. A total of games were played altogether,
a slight incrrease, as more people played in all three rounds
of the swiss, but not many more. Where we were not consistent
was in the players who reached the elimination rounds, with the
exception of George Seary. This year, instead of advancing eight,
we only advanced the top four to single elimination.
As with last year, the English were bid for almost exclusively,
with most bids being of the 1 or 2 variety to play the English.
Some players bid zero for the Scots, but no one actually bid
a point to play them. The results of the early rounds were almost
even vis-a-vis number of victories for each side, just as happened
last year. There was only one draw, as opposed to last year,
when there were several.
What was different was how lopsided the victories were. Players
crushed or were crushed. There were few close games.
The theme of this year's tournament was smash Wallace, as
many players who took the English aggressively attacked on the
first turn, hoping to pin Wallace and eliminate him. Many succeeded.
All three of the GM's games had Wallace go on the first turn.
He was on the receiving end once and the giving end twice.
At the end of three rounds of swiss play, we narrowed the
field to only four. One semifinal pitted Rick Young's English
at a bid of 2 versus Ric Kirchner's Scots. Young took the fight
straight to him and eliminated all the Scots in 1298.
The second game pitted George Seary against Bill O'Neal. Both
bid zero for the Scots and Seary got them by virtue of a die
roll. They then proceeded to slug it out, with the game going
the full length and Seary winning by a 10;4 margin.
This set up a Final of Seary and Young. Both offered the same
bids as in the semi's, so Young got the Brits. Young's draw was
not great on the first turn, so rather than go after Wallace,
he chose to get control of the south and by the end of the turn
had Bruce converted. Seary meanwhile was up north, grabbing Angus,
Atholl, and Comyn with Wallace and sending in his infantry to
get Mar. All in all, a great start for the Scots.
Turn 2 went to the English, as Galloway fell and Argyll defeated
a major attack that weakened the Scots and allowed the Brits
to get back into things. On one turn, Wallace had to be eliminated
due to stacking and the Scots had to make do without him. It
took a couple turns for him to come out of the draw pile. The
Norse also made their presence felt, conquering Mentieth in 1300.
The English made another tremendous defensive stand in 1301 in
Atholl, as three blocks held off eight. It seemed that Young
always had Edward and always had bad cards.
In 1304, Young had Edward and seven units together, ready
to attack, only to face a truce on the last card. They wintered
over in Scotland, while Wallace had to run to Selkirk Forest
to refresh. Edward surrounded and killed Wallace in 1305, then
turned north trying to win back enough nobles to pull out a victory.
He faced two large groups, one in Lennox and one in Mentieth.
He got through one group, but as he prepared to attack the next,
he again faced the Truce card and the game ended with Seary winning
Wood, by a margin of 9:5
PBeM Tournament commenced October 1st, 2004: