wooden ships & iron men [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report     

 2008 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

William Rohrbeck, NH

2005-07 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
2007     William Rohrbeck     14


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  William Rohrbeck   NH    07    116
  2.  Tim Hitchings      DE    07     57
  3.  Keith Hunsinger    OH    07     50
  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.  George Deutsch     MD    07     11
 10.  Paul Risner        FL    99     10
 11.  Mark McCandless    LA    03      9
 12.  Stephen Field      IL    02      9
 13.  Kevin Boles        AL    04      9
 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.  Dale Long          NC    07      4
 20.  Verity Hitchings   DE    05      4
 21.  Michael Bergt      FL    03      3
 22.  Joseph Abrams      CT    00      3
 23.  Stuart Smart       NY    99      3
 24.  Stephen Shedden    TN    07      2
 25.  Rob Doane          MA    06      2
 26.  Joe Doughan        NJ    05      2
 27.  Jim Jordan         MD    04      2
 28.  Frank CZawlytko    MD    01      2

2007 Laurelists

Keith Hunsinger, OH

Dale Long, NC

George Deutsch, MD

Stephen Shedden, TN

Tim Hitchings, DE

Past Winners

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

William Rohrbeck, NH
1994, 2002-03, 2005-07

Larry York .CA

David Cross, VA
1996, 2000

David Metzger, NY

Michael Brannaman. SC

Paul Risner, FL

Curtis Dietrich, FL

Arthur Davis, MI

The first of six rounds of head-to-head action finds the GM maneuvering for a broadside.

Exuberance of youth vs Experience as Andrew Chitwood tries his hand against Reverend Hunsinger.

sailing, sailing ...

While old salts keep returning to the helm, each year sees green midshipmen assemble to ride the waves.

This year saw the return of Steve Shedden, fabled as the player with the most devastating broadside in the history of the tournament.

One missing regular was the GM's wife, a casualty of appendicitis. 

The newest of the new players was young Andrew Chitwood who challenged five players, including veterans up to five times his age! While his won-loss record was not great, everyone who played or observed him can testify to his sportsmanship. 

The action began with players facing off with elite British 64-gun ships of the line, vessels with enough firepower to do some damage, but slow enough to enable new players to get a handle on the basics of sailing and shooting.

From there, players with a need for speed moved on to sailing French 44-gun frigates. The French 44 is best known for its enormous crew. It was this match that saw Andrew Chitwood's only win, against one of the eventual semi-finalists. Next year, he may be a contender. 

Match # 3 gave our captains their first command of two ships each: a crack British 40-gun frigate and a crack British 36-gun frigate. With an additional ship, players can learn the fine art of maneuvering two ships to concentrate on one enemy. Concentrating superior firepower on a narrow portion of an enemy's defenses is a principle applicable to almost all military-themed games. Not surprisingly, no veteran player lost a match 3 game to a landlubber.

The fourth match gave each player two British 74-gun ships of the line. Historically, the 74 was the backbone of the British navy during the Age of Nelson. It was the most economical big ship to deploy in large numbers, yet hearty enough to hold its own in battle with larger vessels. By this point in the tournament, most players still slogging it out were in contention for one of the four semi-final slots.

After maneuvering and target acquisition, the skill that separates admirals from captains is choice of ships. Therefore, Match # 5 gave players the opportunity to display their strategic vision. Each player could choose two or three ships, ranging from heavy frigates to 84-gun ships of the line, from British, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Russian navies.

When the smoke cleared, perennials Bill Rohrbeck and Keith Hunsinger had qualified for the semi-finals, along with returning veteran George Deutsch. New to the playoffs was Dale Long, who had eliminated the GM in Match #5. Dale and Bill entered the semis undefeated.

The semis gave players even wider freedom to design their own squadrons, a further test of their grasp of the interplay between ship selection and on-board maneuver. 

For the third year in a row, the Final was a head-to-head clash of titans Bill Rohrbeck and Keith Hunsinger, with Bill edging Keith for the hat trick.

For anyone eager to see the ebb and flow of an actual match, below is the Naval Gazette account of the Hunsinger-Long semi-final, as reported by Keith.

Both sides selected three crack Russian 74's. Dale entered in an open line ahead with one space between each ship.  Keith kept his ships closed up, bow to stern. That proved important from the beginning as the two players turned parallel to each other but with Dale slightly ahead.  Keith concentrated fire on the third ship in Dale's line and dropped a mast. As Dale's first two ships pulled ahead, his third vessel, repairing rigging as rapidly as possible, was effectively left out of the fight.

Keith used the Nelsonian tactic of splitting the enemy line and pulled between Dale's lead two ships.  The high hit values ensured lots of damage to both sides, but Keith's 3 to 2 superiority was telling. Still, it was not without cost.  His lead ship was pummeled on both sides and, as the last hull square was marked off, instead of striking its colours, it blew up, damaging both his own sister ship and the second of Dale's vessels. 

Ironically, though causing heavy damage, it cleared the way for Hunsinger to pour fire into Long's leading two ships and within three turns of the explosion both of Long's lead ships struck their colors, with all their hull squares checked.

The 90-minute time limit arrived at the same time and the 2:1 destruction advanced Hunsinger to a third consecutive Final meeting with Bill Rohrbeck.

 GM      Tim Hitchings  [6th Year]   330 Kemper Dr, Newark, DE 19702 
    hitchings@juno.com   302 836-3088

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