Beware the Tie Breaker ...
It appears the game designer, Ben
Knight (center) has Greg Schmittgens right where he wants him.
If its time for an Atlantic Storm
heat, then Balloom B must be filled. 2008 was its 11th straight
year with triple digit attendance.
This year's Atlantic Storm event welcomed a new member
of the family. Pacific Typhoon, the Pacific Theater sequel
to Atlantic Storm, made its debut. Players in the heats
and in the semi-final round were able to play their choice of
Atlantic Storm or Pacific Typhoon. While I expected
Pacific Typhoon to get more action, only 16 of the 40
preliminary games went to the Pacific. The trend continued in
the semis where only one of six semi-finals was fought in the
Pacific, but this wasn't as much of a surprise since familiarity
is a comfort the closer you get to the wood.
Some of the highlights from the heats included:
· Tim Evinger's three straight "3's rolled with
· Mike Masella winning his heat after learning the game
15 minutes previously
· A giant Battleship battle (Bismark & Tirpitz vs.
King George V and Duke of York) ends in a tie!
· A multitude of snake-eyes rolled by the Tirpitz in several
The Final was quite the "Murderer's Row" of veteran
gamers as Matt Evinger, Bruce Young, Stephen Cuyler, Garry Libby,
designer Ben Knight, and long time GM and Pacific Typhoon developer
John Coussis gathered around the table.
Bruce started out strong taking a 7-VP convoy on the second
hand by calling an air battle. The early hands continued relatively
calmly as everyone was reluctant to make any big moves and draw
too much attention to themselves. Bruce pushed out to 11 convoy
points after six convoys.
Hand 8 saw the first heavy action as Bruce led the round and
chose the mighty 7-VP convoy SC42. Having the Wolfpack that
is fated against that convoy in his hand made it an easy choice.
John, however, had other ideas as he followed up with Admiral
Tovey (to change to combined), an Allied carrier (two dice plus
3) and the Atlantic Storm which he successfully used to take
Bruce out of the hand. John managed to stay lucky at the end
of the round and rolled an 11 to bag the convoy.
John continued his roll the next hand by selecting a 3-VP
1940 convoy, calling a surface battle, and playing the Hood.
No one else could play, especially Stephen who gleefully played
the Bismarck thinking he could take out the Hood, only to be
left shaking his head when reminded that the Bismarck cannot
play in 1940. John took another three points uncontested.
At the midpoint Bruce, John and Stephen were all showing 11-12
convoy points (although John had been able to salt away a few
more spoils cards than the others).
Play continued relatively calmly. John managed to pull ahead
in convoy points, but not by much. The game came down to the
final hand, and it was a hand to remember for Bruce. Having
the lead and choosing a 6-VP 1943 convoy, Bruce played Admiral
Tovey, two British Battleships, and Raid on St. Nazaire to effectively
shut everyone else out of the hand. After the moaning and groaning
and head shaking was over, Bruce took the 6 VP's without challenge.
Those 6 points made the difference as Bruce overtook John
with 35 VP's. John finished with 31, followed by Stephen, Gary,
Ben and Matt.
Thanks to everyone for playing. I hope all those who played
Pacific Typhoon enjoyed that experience as much as Atlantic
Storm. The format will remain the same again for next year,
so everyone will get a choice again.