britannia [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report     

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Mike Fox, IL

2007Champion

Offsite links:

  

Event History
1991    Richard Curtin      39
1992    Duane Wagner      53
1993    Brett Mingo      91
1994    Scott Pfeiffer      73
1995    Randy Schib      69
1996    Scott Pfeiffer      55
1997    David Gantt      52
1998    Jim Jordan      49
1999    Scott Pfeiffer     46
2000    Ewan McNay     62
2001    Mark Smith     42
2002    Ewan McNay     42
2003    Nick Benedict     48
2004    Nick Benedict     34
2005    Richard Curtin     34
2006    Ewan McNay     45
2007     Mike Fox     35

 Laurels

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    07    237
  2.  Nick Benedict       PA    07    192
  3.  James Jordan        MD    07     80
  4.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    06     73
  5.  Mark Smith          KY    06     70
  6.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
  7.  Richard Curtin      NY    05     60
  8.  David Yoon          NY    06     41
  9.  Mike Fox            IL    07     40
 10.  Llew Bardecki       ON    06     40
 11.  Jonathan Squibb     PA    00     40
 12.  Bruce Young         SC    02     36
 13.  Barry Smith         NY    07     32
 14.  Rick Kirchner       KY    05     24
 15.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    04     24
 16.  Randy Schilb        MO    00     24
 17.  Richard Jones       UK    02     18
 18.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 19.  Mike Mullins        MD    05      8
 20.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 21.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 22.  Sarah Sparks        ON    07      4
 23.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 24.  John Emery          SC    04      4
        

2007 Laurelists

Nick Benedict, CA
2nd

Ewan McNay, CT
3rd

Barry Smith, NY
4th

Jim Jordan, MD
5th

Sarah Sparks, ON
6th


Past Winners

Richard Curtin, NY
1991, 2005

Duane Wagner, NJ
1992

Brett Mingo, MD
1993

Scott Pfeiffer, SC
1994, 1996, 1999

Randy Schilb, MD
1995

David Gantt, SC
1997

Jim Jordan, MD
1998

Ewan McNay, CT
2000, 2002, 2006

Mark Smith, KY
2001

Nick Benedict, CA
2003-04


Sarah Sparks, the only lady in the tournament, proved she could play with the boys by becoming the first woman to earn laurels in the event.

"Honestly, the Welsh are just peaceful farmers looking for a homeland." Ewan's Final opponents and GM Jim Jordan iseem unconvinced.

Reborn ...

'Twas the second year of the new edition of Britannia.  We've all played with the new game for a year, and we're still learning.  Play balance started to drift this year.  While last year in the preliminaries the wins per color were very even, this year Green and Red reigned supreme.  Green has an amazing six victories, Red five, while Blue and Yellow came in at a miserly two apiece.

High score honors showed again Ewan's ability to score prodigious sums that might not be thought possible.  Ewan had the high Green and Red scores with 293 and 292 points respectively.  Blue and Yellow high scores were won more modestly by Rick Kirchner with a 245 point blue game and Kevin Sudy with a 241 point yellow game.  It may be that next year I'll replace the high score plaques with closest score plaques for each color.  Just to lend some suspense to who will win the awards. ;-)

Closest win honors in the three rounds were won by Ted Drozd in the first round with a 223-218 win.  Mike Fox took the honors in Round 2 with a 235-221 win and Nick Benedict really shaved a close one in the third round, 237-236 as green.

With 11 winners from the preliminaries and a couple not returning, we had to settle for just three semi-final games.  While many of the usual suspects were present, we also had first timers Sarah Sparks, Mike Fox, AJ Sudy and Christopher Trimmer.  Welcome!

And also this year we welcomed one of our new semi-finalists as a new player to the Final, Mike Fox.  Mike won his heat in fine fashion and then went on to come from behind in the semi-final game with a huge Norman invasion into a virtually empty England.  Naturally, William was king.

In the Final, Mike went from having the last invasion to having the first with the Romans.  Ewan came out in fine fashion with the Welsh declaring that he would hunker down to five spaces and submit if not attacked, thus guaranteeing the maximum growth for the Welsh by preserving his lowland areas clear of Roman forts.  Barry's foray with Boudicca managed to burn London once again and also garnered the Sussex fort on an overrun.  Meanwhile, Nick's Brigantes huddled in the Pennines, Galloway, and Strathclyde, waiting for the Romans to submit them.

Boudicca's reign was short, with the Roman's sending in four legions to remove her from the game.  Meanwhile, with the way opened to the north, the Romans marched handily into Dalriada on the second turn and stomped on a Pict.  Naturally enough then, the third turn started with the pogrom against the rest of the Picts.  Although the brave Picts destroyed one legion, they also lost a unit and realized the inevitability of submitting.

Then Turns 4 and 5 and the Romans ran back to huddle in their forts before the invasions began.  The Angles helped their Pict brethren by taking a fort out in far Mar.  Meanwhile the Irish kicked the Welsh out of their lowlands and the Saxons washed up trying to take Wessex.  The Jutes had a breathless moment taking Kent, losing four armies in the process.  The Angles were not so lucky on their second foray, losing armies while the fort held.  Interestingly, the Scots were talked into killing a couple of Brigantes, and did so, while only losing one.

So the Germanic people were quite weakened for their major invasions.  And naturally, the lone Jute in Kent was crushed by the revenging Romano-British looking for good farmland.  Otherwise, the Romano-British took up their usual outposts in Lindsey and the Downlands while leaving scouts out in Hwicce and North Mercia.

With the lack of armies, Nick's Saxon invasion was quiet, the Jutes were killed handily in the Downlands and Kent and then huddled up in the South with Aelle in Wessex.  Barry's weakened Angles made a deal with Nick's weakened Brigantes to haughtily ignore each other and settled.

King Arthur came onto the board and decided that Avalon was indeed arising from the mists and calling him home.  So he went there, killed the Saxons, and looked to be able to stay there with wo cavalry and an army.  King Arthur of course signaled Turn 7 and thus the Irish need to look for a home.  Nick settled them in Devon after some cross nation dealing to allow the Jutes to live in Kent for some unspecified amount of time.  

The Scots came to the shores seeing Dalriada and Dunedin already empty.  They marched proudly into Skye, forgot their swords, and had the Picts kill two of the armies.  Thus left with only five armies, they returned to sea, came back in with four armies again and again lost two armies.  With some justice they then killed the Picts.  But they had only a toehold in Scotland with just three Scots.  The Angles invasion was similarly peaceful, except for the poor Romano-British killed in Lindsey and North Mercia.

Although Arthur died in Turn 8, his magic lived on with the Romano-British in Avalon expanding their kingdom to Hwicce.  Ewan's Welsh then discovered that Barry's Angles were not going to be friendly about the little Welsh sightseeing tour of York, so the Welsh abandoned the lowlands and came out with four Welsh to kill some Angles in March.  And thus the fighting started.  The Caledonians got their seventh man and marched into Alban in revenge of the Welsh.  Of course, when the Picts promptly killed two Caledonians, the Caledonians decided that the better part of valor was to return to defend Caithness and to let the Welsh brethren fend for themselves.

In Kent, Nick's Saxons very kindly helped the Jutes from this mortal coil.  Then Barry's Angles settled themselves into the task of fending off the attack by the Welsh, putting six Angles into March.  The Angle diplomats also worked furiously to attempt to convince the Romano-British to go south instead of north, given that the Angle attack on the Welsh left the rest of their lands bereft of armies.  The battle was might with an Angle and two Welsh losing their lives on the first roll of the dice.  So the Welsh retreated to Clwyd.

By Turn 9, Avalon was populated by Irish and losing it's appeal to the Romano-British, so they marched into North Mercia while maintaining their hold on Hwicce.  At this point though, the Saxons and Angles became tired of the Romano-British and agreed which of them each got to slaughter, which they did.  A fortified border settled down to smolder uneasily between Barry's northern Angles and Nick's southern Saxons.  The massively populated land of England was not looking promising for the coming Danish invasion.

The border flared on Turn 10 though, with Nick's Saxons being over-populated and looking for a place to go.  They decided that attacking Barry's huge Angles was pointless and sent a small expeditionary force into Gwent.  The attack was quickly turned back, much to the relief of Ewan's beleaguered Welsh.

With Turn 11 opening, Ewan's infuriated Welsh decided to lash out in return, although it was Barry's Angles that felt their anger as they were kicked out of Cheshire and March by the inspired Welsh armies.  Undoubtedly the Welsh heard the pleas of their Dane brothers who were looking bleakly at a heavily populated shoreline. When Nick's Norsemen came ashore it became evident that the inspiration of Ewan's green armies had spread far and wide, with the Caledonians killing three Norse armies and limiting Nick's Norse to taking only the Hebrides and huddling up in fear of anyone kicking them back off their lonely island.  So the Danes attacked Lothian and Bernicia, losing three armies.  A noble effort and the Angles were much weaker, but was it enough?

Nick's Norse did manage a small comeback in Turn 12, managing to visit the Orkneys.  But with the Norse expeditionary forces so weakened, they decided that a visit was sufficient and went back to hold their Hebrides fastness.  Ewan then had to puzzle out what to do with his Danes.  They were coming ashore into the English equivalent of the Maginot Line.  But Ewan's Danes had no Belgium to walk through.

The Danes took York, but also went with a southern strategy aiming to establish a Lindsey-Norfolk-Suffolk homeland.  But with Nick's Saxons threatening retribution, the Danes turned north on their second phase.  Lindsey was theirs, but the rest of Ewan's Danes were scattered.  And so Nick's Saxons spread out all over southern England, grabbing King while they could.  Barry's Angles, knowing their time had ended, hunkered down in the Pennines to plan for the future.  And then Ewan and Nick argued over how much the Saxons were going to grow in Turn 13.

Turn 13, and now Mike was able to get back into the game with the Dubliner invasion.  With the other powers butchering each other, the Dubliners dropped Olaf and four armies in York, hoping to hold it.  And they did with the Angles deciding that their fortresses were quite fine where they were and the Danes working hard to maintain their hold on Lindsey and a middle kingdom.

Mike's Dubliners then looked for a place to hide on Turn 14 while everyone else looked for a place to defend against the coming storm of Mike's Norwegians and Barry's Normans.  The Dubliners decided that hiding was out of the question and settled in Lothian, Bernicia, Cheshire, Cumbria and Gwent.  The strength through diversity approach!

With kingship looking hopeless for Cnut, Ewan's Dane's faced single combat battles in six areas.  The dice fell heavily for each battle but the attempt ended in Sussex with the armies destroying each other, the same result in South Mercia slammed the door on Cnut.  When the defeated Cnut and his expeditionary forces left England there were only five lonely Danes left.

Northern England was extremely empty by Turn 15.  Mike's Norwegians were contested only by a lonely Angle in Cheshire.  Naturally, that speed bump didn't last long, and the Norwegians peacefully settled in Barry's fine Angle Pennine fortresses after kicking the Angles out.  For Barry's Normans it was a different story.  The Saxon shield wall was alive and well and Harold was piled high with armies in the Downlands.  The Normans bravely killed many Saxons, but at a terrible cost, losing all but one cavalry and three infantry.  Their hold upon the new kingdom was tenuous and William was nervous.

The game ended in exhaustion.  With the intensity of the combat on the board, there were few armies left.  A few sallies were made though, the Norwegians attempted to knock the Brigantes out of the Strathclyde homeland, but failed, running to save the life of their king after being savaged by the Brigantes.

The Saxons, seeing in William a tasty and ill defended target, removed him from the game, that last daring move put Red in second place, but as the game wound to it's end, the stunning conclusion put Mike Fox's Yellow in the winning spot with 233 points, Nick's Red in second with 229, Ewan's green in 3rd with 217 and Barry's Blue in last with 204.  The conclusion was all the more stunning for the Final being Mike's fourth game of Britannia.

As I had gone to England this year for vacation, in addition to the usual plaques and the inscription of the winner on the Britannia plate, the top four also took home a guidebook from the Hastings battlefield and Mike, as winner, took home a book about the THREE battles of 1066, Stamford Bridge, York, and Hastings.  I'll have to see what I can do to top those honors next year.

 GM      James M. Jordan  [9th Year]  NA
    jmj@ieee.org   NA

2007 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page