First Two Time Champ ...
Matt Evinger seems to be enjoying
the ninth Atlantic Storm tournament which has proven to
be among the most consistent WBC draws - always attracting triple
Designer Ben Knight (standing)
oversees the Final round of his creation's ninth WBC tournament
as Finalists (clockwise from left) Bill Place with his back to
the shot, John Elliott, Keith Hunsinger, Craig Melton, John Coussis
and Roy Gibson battle it out.
He almost did it again. GM John Coussis came within a whisker
of winning his own tournament for the second time, and being
subject to all the subsequent abuse that would have followed.
Alas, it was not meant to be, but that didn't diminish what was
another great Atlantic Storm tournament.
121 brave sailors ventured into the North Atlantic this year.
As in previous years, the seas were fraught with many dangers
and even more bizarre stories.
* Mike Coombes sweeping 16 VP's in a single hand (yet still
not winning his game)
* Game designer Ben Knight's 0 for 4 record in the heats
In the end, Bill Place, John Elliott, Roy Gibson, Keith Hunsinger,
Craig Melton and yours truly met to play what would be one of
the closest, and most cautious, games of Atlantic Storm
The Final commenced relatively calmly. Elliott, Coussis and
Place each took points on the first hand. Two air battles followed
with Gibson taking points unopposed and then Place benefiting
from coussis's roll of 1 to take a convoy for himself. Small
convoys seemed to be the way things went during thefirst half
as no one felt confident enough in their hand to put big points
After ten convoys, the visible (convoy) scores were Melton
10, Gibson and Elliott 8, Hunsinger 5, Place 4, and Coussis 0
(but building a nice stack of face-down spoils cards).
The mid-game started with two combined battles. Coussis reversed
his earlier die-rolling fortunes by rolling a 6 (the only roll
that would win him the convoy) to take SC118. He.led the next
hand by calling a combined battle for a 1VP convoy and then discarding
his entire hand.
Coussis continued his "mini-streak" by winning the
air battle for HG76 with the fated card for that convoy which
earned him spoils points as well as the convoy on that hand.
The game continued to see very few points put into play as,
again, everyone played close to their vests. The low-scoring
game continued right up to the last hand as Place put a 6-point
convoy up for grabs, called a surface battle, and then played
Ultra to allow him to play last. Coussis, knowing he was close
to, if not in, the lead got excited as he had one of the 6-point
British battleships and since Place was playing last, getting
that card down before him could be the difference in the hand
and the game. Alas, it was not meant to be for our hero as Melton
also had a British battleship in reserve, got it down first,
and took the last convoy.
Now came time to total the scores, That large pile of spoils
almost made the difference for the playing GM, but in the end
it wound up costing him. The final scores were Gibson 20 (18
convoy points), Coussis 20 (only nine on convoys), Place 19,
Elliott 18, Melton 17, and Hunsinger 14. Roy Gibson becomes the
first two-time Atlantic Storm champion on the convoy points
Thanks to all for playing again this year, and we'll see you
back on the water, or over or under it, again in 2007.