George, Braveheart and the Blocks
... Take 4
Suzanne Tuch and Lyman Moquin hammering
Joe Pabis gives that Englishman Nicky
Palmer what for.
"The Highlanders' Revenge"
First of all, a big THANK YOU for everybody that showed
-- it was tough carving out a space in the packed Lampeter Hall
this year, but I think (and hope) everybody had fun. . ..
As last year's tourney was marked by English domination, this
year showed vastly improved performances by the Scots -- with
nearly 50% going to the Highlanders compared to only 30% last
year. Most of the English wins happened in the first round,
with an evening of the split in the second, and complete domination
by the Scots in the third -- all the games played in the
third round were won by the Scots. The bidding has trended down
as well, with 2007 typical bids of 1 or 2 for the English, now
0 or 1, with some individuals bidding 0 for the Scots. And of
course, the reigning champ Gearge Seary, bidding more to take
his Highlander killing machine algorithms to the field.
Some of the change might be the slight tweaking of the rules
and blocks made last year, but more likely it is just that seasoned
players know how to play the Scots better ... and that the sides
are actually fairly balanced now.
We had a bit of a revival of the sport of Highland Battle as
well. 23 warriors showed up to battle, six more than last year.
Some of it due to better scheduling, some probably due to the
interactive demo we played all morning before the tourney started
which netted a few new players. Hopefully everybody new got a
good taste of HOS. Special note to Harvey Harmon, new to the
tourney, who hung in for the full three rounds before getting
his first win -- your dedication to the fight is acknowledged!
After three rounds of Swiss, four contenders emerged to enter
single elimination. Veteran players Lyman Moquin and Phil Rennert
squared off, while challenger Joe Pabis had the daunting task
of upsetting three-time defending champ George Seary.
The Moquin-Rennert game was over almost before the first battlecry
ended. Lyman took the English, but...well, as Phil can
attest, it was one of THOSE games for the Scots. Before Lyman
really got the English War Machine engaged, Phil's Wallace had
impaled himself on Athol's Ramparts in an epic "Wallace
Wiff" and a simultaneous "Big Noble Stick". The
game ended in Turn 1 with Wallace dead, and Bruce and Comyn firmly
in the English camp.
Joe, however, gave George a run for it. There were a few tense
moments, with the standard back and forth, but in the end, George's
Scots kept their winning streak intact.
Which led to a familiar setting: George and Lyman sitting
down for the Final, with George's Scots against Lyman's English. Unlike
last year, however, this was not the epic game that we would
have hoped for. There was a little drama on the first
turn with some resistance by the English against Wallace and
Morray's conversion attempts, with some significant English Knight
reinforcements, but some very aggressive English play left the
Hobi block gone after Turn 2 and by not patiently keeping the
King's army massed, some ineffective wintering. George, with
his standard guerrilla tactics, wore down the English resistance
deep into the south, with the English knocked out of Scotland
entirely. George keeps the Crown for yet another year.
Next year we are probably shifting to a single elimination format
with a Mulligan round the preceding day. This will likely yield
the same number of games, allow newbies to play two full games
without the pressure to win, and eliminate the somewhat complex
tie breaking algorithm we are employing now to advance tied records. Also,
the games vary in length, with many games going to the 4 hour
mark (Although, some last less than 30 minutes), so we are considering
allowing more time. W are also considering adding chess clocks,
as it is difficult adjudicating "slow play".
Rick Seciacca - S0L0
Justin Thompson - E0W14 S0L0
Keith Wixson - E1W14
Paul McGuane - S(E0)L0
Phil Rennert - E1W14 E1W9 Bye S(E1)L
Craig Melton - S(E1)L0 E1W14
Jeffrey Ameer - S0L0
Steve Lollis - E0W14 S(E0)W9 E0L2
Sue Tuch - S0W10 S0L6
Charles Eastman - E2L4 E2L5
Lyman Moquin - E1W14 E2W8 S(E1)W14 E1W E0L
Doug Mercer - S(E1)L0
Joe Pabis - E2W14 E1W13 E2L0 E2L
Daniel Collinson - S0L0
Bill Margal - S0L0
Nick Palmer - E0W14 S(E0)L1 E1L0
Harvey Harman - E2L0 E1L6 S0W14
Nick Benedict - S(E1)W14 E2W14
Chris Senhouse - E1L0
Mike Dauer - S(E0)W14 E1L1
Marvin Birmbam - S0W10 S0W8
Ric Manns - E1L3
George Seary - (Bye)W14
S1W13 S2W12 S2W
Key - Side, bid, win/loss, noble count at end. . . . .(S=Scot,
E=English), bid in parens = side other than played
First Round - 7 English Wins, 4 Scottish Wins, 1 Bye, Average
Bid: more English at 0 or 1, 2 with E2, some with S0. .
.. . lower than last year
Second Round - 5 English Wins, 3 Scottish Wins
Third Round - 3 Scottish Wins, 1 bye
Semi - 1 English Win, 1 Scottish Win
Final - Scottish Win
Total: 13 English Wins, 12 Scottish Wins
Hammer of the Scots PBeM Tournament 2008 Results
The second PBeM tourney of Hammer of the Scots is in the books. 30 players vied for dominance of the Scottish Nobles. 28 games were played on a website that handled the cards and the random draws of the blocks. The English won exactly half although the Scots dominated the last round with George Seary leading the way for the clans as he added the PBeM crown to his WBC trifecta of three straight HOS titles. Common perception paints the Scots as the underdogs but tournament statistics do not back that theory. The other laurelists were Suzanne Tuch, Bill O'Neal, Hank Burkhalter, Ray Freeman and Paul Barrett in that order.