Defending champion Bob Heinzmann (left)
advanced over Melvin Casselberry in Round 1.
First Time Out of the Box
The Empire of the Sun tournament is now in its second
year and suffered a major slide in attendance - primarily due
to scheduling opposite the new heavyweight in the CDW realm:
Twilight Struggle. Nevertheless, a much smaller field
followed the war by playing the yearly scenarios in order (e.g.,
'42, 43, 44). In this single elimination tournament the winner
would have to fight out the war, year by year, for the 'wood'.
Sides are established by bidding with this year seeing almost
all neutral bids.
The Japanese took the edge 3 to 1 in the 1942 scenario with
the captain of the Peck of Pickled Peppers, Peter Perla, winning
with the Allies by preventing the Japanese from taking the requisite
resource hexes to establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity
Sphere. The other three matches with several newcomers in the
ranks saw the Japanese reach their historical expansion and victory.
The odds makers are calling for a +1 or +2 bid for the Japanese
in the future.
The 1943 scenario saw total Japanese dominance through the
conquest of the China-Burma-India theater. Allied counter tactics
are being explored for next year, but in the future the word
on the street is make the Japanese bid at least four victory
points for the pleasure of the initiative. Allied players must
cover Dacca in their early moves to protect against the Japanese
play of one of the three sisters (West Force, Central Force,
East Force) whose paratrooper capability can be devastating to
Allied supply lines.
The Final saw defending champion Bob Heinzmann as the Japanese
fighting a well practiced Dennis Culhane in the Allied corner.
Dennis had found a strong set of early moves for the Allies for
which he bid one victory point. His massive assault on Truk displaced
the South Seas HQ and placed the Japanese western Pacific forces
out of supply. This early loss spelled doom for the Japanese.
Bob Heinzmann took his loss with class and a stiff upper lip.
Dennis had dominated all three of his matches to become the second
Empire of the Sun champion.
Due to attendance decline this year, Empire of the Sun
will require a saving throw from the membership vote in December
to come back as a Trial in a less competiive time slot. Next
year the tournament will run in a similar manner with the Final
being focused on a full campaign game for the 'wood'. The campaign
scenario is seeing extensive play in the WBC sponsored internet
tournament, so next year promises to be even more exciting than
this year. The odds makers are saying that it is close to a coin
toss for sides in the '42 campaign start, with a slight edge
of less than one point for the Japanese. More play and the continuing
development of Allied tactics should see some interesting surprises
next year. See you all in Lancaster.