New Art ... Same Game
Enemy in Sight had its smallest turnout since the initial Avaloncon
and may be nearing the end of its run. If it returns, a move
to Saturday night is a possibility with only the Final taking
place in the traditional Sunday slot.
The empty hall behind them reveals
its "get away" day at WBC. A four-deck preliminary
game in the first round made the Final the last one to start
at WBC this year. The two-deck Final finished in half the time.
This tournament was the last official one using the rules
for the Avalon Hill version of the game. Next year the official
version will be the 2006 edition republished by Lost Battalion
Games which features spiffy new art and most of the old rules.
Please note that I sure did miss the Philly contingent this year.
Next year, guys, I expect to see you come back into the fold.
One of the first round games took a full four decks to complete
(and almost as many hours) and a mere three victory points separated
first and second place. Say what you will, but I do not like
time limits. Every year I try to avoid them, but next year I'll
have to grudgingly implement a time limit to avoid the delays
of a long game or else set the Victory Point level slightly lower.
Sunday is when most players have leaving on their minds. So
why not just limit the game to three decks maximum?
The defending champion, Wade Fowble, failed to get past the
121-point first round performance of John Izer. Five players
advanced to the second and final round. The first step in any
game is to establish a fire break by putting a slight amount
of damage on the player to the right. This year's Final was no
different as three players did just that. Eventually it paid
off as JM's Brittania suffered from two active fires. The Brittania
was within one point of exploding when it struck its colors and
then disappeared under the waves as no one had the guts to steal
it with a Boarding Party.
This year saw a complete breakdown among the Spanish Fleet.
If a player attempted to board with a Spanish ship as the attacker
it was guaranteed that player would lose his ship. If a Spanish
ship defended against a boarding party it was automatically lost
or at least it just seemed to work out that way. Of 16 boarding
attempts in two rounds, nine were successful, four were no effect
and three ended up in the loss of the attacking ship. Of the
nine successful attempts, four were converted into prize points
and those players represented the top three players at the end
of the game. After the first deck the point spread was just 13
points from first to fifth. Only one point separated first from
second with a tie for third and fourth place. It was a very tight
Izer gained most of his points through sinking ships. Burch
gained his points through a mixture of sunk and prized ships.
Long was hamstrung by starting and ending with the lowest class
fleet, sinking only one ship in the last round. When all was
finished his largest ship was a fifth rate. Mehl started last
and ended last finally scoring on the scraps from the other sharks
by sinking the Insurgente. With the lead from the very
beginning, Hitchings prized both the Ville De Paris and
the burning Temeraire which he had captured just one turn
before with a -1 modifier, to gain 60 VP. This occurred with
less than five cards remaining. The other four players only got
one play each to attempt to knock him back and one of those cards
was red. It was not to be. They sniped each other, not Hitchings,
trying for second place. Burch tried to gain the necessary VPs
to place him in second as he gambled on a last turn boarding
party only to loose the Indefatigible to Izer. This insured
the latter's second place finish as Burch fell to third. Hitchings
had sunk one additional ship worth nine points which pushed him
over the required 100 point limit after just two rounds to become
this year's champion.
Final Round Scores
Evan Hitchings 35 69 104
John Izer 30 60 90
Bill Burch 30 44 74
Dale Long 34 11 45
Jim Mehl 22 9 31
Bill Peeck * 6th based on best runner up scores in 1st round