wooden ships & iron men [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report     

 2007 Status: pending December Membership Vote

William Rohrbeck, NH

2005-06 Champion

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Event History
1991    Jim Truit      23
1992    John Boisvert      29
1993    John Boisvert      36
1994    William Rohrbeck      28
1995    Larry York      21
1996    David Cross      16
1997    David Metzger      20
1998    Michael Brannaman      20
1999    Paul Risner       8
2000    David Cross     16
2001    Curtis Dietrich     26
2002    William Rohrbeck     23
2003    William Rohrbeck     27
2004     Arthur Davis     22
2005     William Rohrbeck     19
2006    William Rohrbeck     21


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  William Rohrbeck   NH    06    106
  2.  Tim Hitchings      DE    05     56
  3.  Keith Hunsinger    OH    06     44
  4.  Arthur Davis       MI    04     41
  5.  Larry York         CA    02     20
  6.  Curtis Dietrich    FL    01     20
  7.  David Cross        NJ    06     18
  8.  Wade Fowble        MD    03     12
  9.  Paul Risner        FL    99     10
 10.  Mark McCandless    LA    03      9
 11.  Stephen Field      IL    02      9
 12.  Kevin Boles        AL    04      9
 13.  George Deutsch     MD    06      8
 14.  Benoit Groulx      QC    04      8
 15.  Bill Thomson       TX    06      6
 16.  Joe Pabis          VA    05      6
 17.  Ed Majeski         IL    02      6
 18.  Ron Glass          FL    00      6
 19.  Verity Hitchings   DE    05      4
 20.  Michael Bergt      FL    03      3
 21.  Joseph Abrams      CT    00      3
 22.  Stuart Smart       NY    99      3
 23.  Rob Doane          MA    06      2
 24.  Joe Doughan        NJ    05      2
 25.  Jim Jordan         MD    04      2
 26.  Frank CZawlytko    MD    01      2

2006 Laurelists

Keith Hunsinger, OH

George Deutsch, MD

Bill Thomson, TX

David Cross, VA

Rob Doane, MA

Past Winners

'91: Jim Truit, MA
'92-93: John Boisvert, NJ

William Rohrbeck, NH
1994, 2002-03, 2005-06

Larry York .CA

David Cross, VA
1996, 2000

David Metzger, NY

Michael Brannaman. SC

Paul Risner, FL

Curtis Dietrich, FL

Arthur Davis, MI

 Not a conventional tournament - players may play duels ...

or multi-commander fleet actions.

sailing, sailing ...

More new players enlisted as midshipmen than in previous years, joined by veterans and a couple of old salts playing in the WBC tournament for the first time.

The new format allowed players in both Wednesday's and Friday's heats to warm up with single ship duels before tackling two ship squadron combat. Each scenario featured different ships from the previous. All scenarios were played with metal miniatures provided by the GM.

Many of the new players set sail on Wednesday after the standing-room-only demo. Rookies Daniel Pappas and Bart Brunschein each earned a win against players with much more experience.

Verity Hitchings proved that her three-win hat trick in 2005 was no fluke, with an early win over Keith Hunsinger who had been playing the game since before Verity was born.

Frequent champion Bill Rohrbeck squared off with his old sparring partner, GM Tim Hitchings, for one of their traditional long range minuets, ending in a draw.

Wednesday's heat ended with Bill Thomson and Bill Rohrbeck battling to a draw in a squadron match that, combined with three earlier wins, earned Thomson a berth in the semi-finals.

Friday's heat was won by Rohrbeck, with Hunsinger securing a wild card berth in the semi-finals. The determination of the remaining wild card berth awaited the result of Saturday's fleet action.

The fleet action saw a modified reenactment of the 1809 British attack on the French at Basque Roads, near Rochefort.

French admiral Hunsinger directed his subordinates to anchor on either side of the island of Aix, the better to guard three transports sheltered alee.

British admiral Rohrbeck led the Brits in a headlong assault with ships of the line, a fireship, and a small squadron of boats armed with Congreve rockets (red glare included).

The British advance quickly went awry with navigational errors leading to ships running aground on rocks and shoals.

Nevertheless, Rohrbeck's flagship and the ships of George Deutsch skillfully closed the gap upwind of the island and commenced to trade broadsides with the French, costing Napoleon one of his frigates.

Downwind, the British received the timely reinforcement of a squadron commanded by Paul Risner who engaged Dave Cross and Verity Hitchings.

The British rockets proved ineffectual but made for a nice light show.

The French line commanded by the steady hands of Keith Hunsinger, Tim Hitchings, and Benoit Groulx (the only French player actually fluent in
French) turned back the British with heavy casualties. As the Brits sought to withdraw and redeploy, Hitchings counterattacked with a ship of the line onto which French regulars had been transferred. This "melee monster" was able to capture a British ship of the line.

George Deutsch's skillful ship handling and well-aimed broadsides enabled him to inflict enough damage to snag the remaining semi-final berth as a wild card.

The semi-finals saw Bill Thomson square off against Keith Hunsinger and perennial champion Bill Rohrbeck against George Deutsch.

Due to a collision and fouling in Thomson's line, the crews of all three of Hunsinger's ships were able to board one of Thomson's before he could bring another ship to bear. One of Hunsinger's crews died to the last man in the boarding duel. Thomson's win proved a Pyrrhic victory when Hunsinger's other ship took both of Thomson's in one melee.

Having drawn in an earlier heat, Rohrbeck and Deutsch approached each other cautiously in their semi-final with their respective fleets of American 74 gun ships of the line. With neither initially gaining an edge in the movement phase of the action, it came down to a firepower duel as the players exchanged broadsides. All ships took heavy damage, with Bill eventually prevailing over George on the strength of his fleet maneuver, which allowed him to frequently concentrate his fire on one of George's ships (alas, not always the same ship), causing one to eventually strike, while George fired one on one.

The Final was a rematch of 2005's head-to-head between perpetual challenger Keith Hunsinger and defending champion Rohrbeck with multi-ship squadrons. However, instead of last year's "never mind maneuvering; go right at 'em" strategy, Hunsinger matched Rohrbeck's game of cat and mouse. The only problem was that both players wanted to be the cat!

When it became obvious that a decision was not likely to be reached before midnight, sometime in 2008, the GM consented to allow the veterans to settle their differences with a single ship face-off. After several turns of telling broadsides, Bill got the better of Keith to keep the crown for the fifth time.

 GM      Tim Hitchings  [5th Year]   330 Kemper Dr, Newark, DE 19702 
    hitchings@juno.com   302-836-3688

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