leader off the starboard bow ...
Naval War benefits from being
scheduled during peak attendance time (weekend) when relatively
few new events are available. Other quick playing events would
do well to schedule during the weekend as well.
remain popular in convention settings because they are quick
and easily learned on the fly.
Thanks to its being slotted as a self-contained Saturday night
event, Naval War has enjoyed a resurgence the past two
years for those seeking wood, but wanting to have fun at the
same time. 43 players turned out this year, making for a simple
tournament progression where only the winners at each of seven
tables advanced to the second round Final.
Table 1 was arguably the most competitive of the seven, with
Matt Evinger advancing with 80 points in four rounds of play
after managing to barely stave off the challenge of GM Lockwood,
who used a destroyer squadron to eliminate defending champion
Stephen Cuyler, in combination with a series of successful carrier
strikes against the rest of the field to score 48 points and
finish with 77 points, just three shy of catching Matt, who had
his fleet sunk out from under him for a 10-oint penalty, but
had sunk enough ships to compensate. James D Long would finish
with 69 points, followed by Stephen Cuyler 61, Randall MacInnie
53, and perennial Caesar contender James Pei with 50.
Table 2 was decided more quickly, with Rich Trub triumphing
in three rounds of play with 95 points to eliminate 2005 Champion
Bill Place with 87 points. Rounding out the field were Jim Mehl
with 79 points, Tim Miller 71, newcomer Stefany Speck with 39
and Jonathan Squibb with 32. Table 3 finished quickly in just
two rounds, with Greg Wilson dominating with 77 points. His battered
opposition was Ernie Czyryca at 32 points, two-time champion
(and previous GM) Jim Fleckenstein 25, Phillip White16, Rob Brode
9, and Kevin Hohn 3.
Table 4 took four rounds to decide who would advance, since
all of the players were familiar with the game's governing strategy
to identify the leader and sink his/her fleet first. Dale Long
managed to emerge from this four round ordeal with 88 points
after capitalizing on an excellent 35-point fourth round, followed
by Forrest Speck with 82, Carolyn Brown 72, and the remaining
field of Robert Hamel, Chris Mather, and Stephen Squibb all knotted
Table 5 also required four rounds because Daniel Pappas and
13-year-old Kelly Czyryca (the youngest player in the field)
tied at 87 points after three hands, which forced a fourth round.
It also made them the mandatory targets for the other four players
who were trying to catch up, and had been given a second life.
Kelly managed to avert disaster by sinking enough ships to offset
the penalty for having his fleet sunk by four points, increasing
his total to 91. Daniel was not as fortunate losing three points
after the penalty to finish fifth with 84 points behind Jerry
Cantrell, whose 32-point round left him just two shy of catching
Kelly. Hard on his heels was Andrew Long with 86 points and prior
Caesar Marvin Birnbaum with 85. Cliff Ackman trailed the pack
Table 6 also required four rounds to decide the victor, with
perennial War at Sea contender James Kramer, fresh off
a 5-0 performance in the swiss round of that event, still sinking
ships left and right with 92 points over Ben Collinson with 86,
Terri Wicks 79, Chad Gormly 74, Jack Morrell 70, and Craig Yope
69. The Table 7 match was a relatively close affair for three
rounds, until Nathan Trent blew the lid off with a HUGE 59-point
fourth round to advance with 92 points. He would be followed
by capable newcomer 15-year-old Danielle Zack with 58, Phil Bradley
56, John Speck 32, Alan Arvold 22, and John Elliott with 17.
The Final followed true to form, with all participants being
wary to avoid the lfire-attracting label of leader. Jim Kramer
was the early leader after round 1, and paid for it in the second
round by having his fleet sunk, as the lead changed to Dale Long
with 34 points, followed by Trent 31, Trub 29, Kramer dropping
back to 22, Evinger 20, Kelly 6, and Wilson at 12 points. Round
3 saw several players scoring aggressively trying to get in striking
range for the win, while at the same time focusing their efforts
on both Long's and Trent's fleets. Trub and Evinger emerged tied
for the lead at 50 points each, followed by Long at 36, Czyryca
and Kramer at 30, Wilson at 29, and Trent at 27. Trub and Evinger
in turn paid for their leads in Round 4, with both losing their
entire fleets. The entire field was now within striking range
of victory, with Wilson having the big round to lead with 56
points, followed by Czyryca and Trent at 51 each, Long at 49,
Trub and Kramer with 44, and Evinger at 40 points, trailing but
not out of contention.
Most games go no longer than five rounds, but this year would
be different, as none of the field were able to secure victory.
Rich Trub came closest with 70 points, followed by Long 66, Czyryca
64, Evinger creeping back into contention with 60, Wilson at
58, Kramer 56, and Nathan Trent dropping back to 45 after losing
his fleet for a second time. In Round 6, something had to give.
Using his aircraft carrier to maximum effectiveness, young Kelly
Czyryca's time had come, scoring 20 points to best the field
of six adults and become the youngest WBC Naval War champion
ever, finishing with 84 points. He would be followed by Nathan
Trent, who made a heroic comeback from last place with a 31-point
round to finish second with 76. Dale Long would take home the
third place plaque with 73 points, despite having his fleet sunk
a second time. Rounding out the field were Matt Evinger 72, Jim
Kramer 70, Greg Wilson 67, and Rich Trub 63. Kelly achieved victory
by following the game's strategy to perfection, all the while
being careful not to draw attention to himself. The six-round
final was the longest in the event's history.