britannia 

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report     

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Rick Kirchner, KY

2009 Champion

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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
2008    Ewan McNay     37 
2009    Rick Kirchner     37
 Laurels

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    09    293
  2.  Nick Benedict       PA    07    192
  3.  James Jordan        MD    08     96
  4.  Mark Smith          KY    08     82
  5.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    06     73
  6.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
  7.  Rick Kirchner       KY    09     64
  8.  Richard Curtin      NY    09     64
  9.  Barry Smith         NY    09     52
 10.  David Yoon          NY    06     41
 11.  Mike Fox            IL    07     40
 12.  Llew Bardecki       on    06     40
 13.  Jonathan Squibb     PA    00     40
 14.  Bruce Young         SC    02     36
 15.  Matthew O'Connor    NJ    09     28
 16.  John Morris         MD    08     24
 17.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    04     24
 18.  Randy Schilb        MO    00     24
 19.  Richard Jones       uk    02     18
 20.  Sarah Sparks        nz    09     12
 21.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 22.  Mike Mullins        MD    05      8
 23.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 24.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 25.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 26.  John Emery          SC    04      4
   

2009 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

Matthew O'Connor, NJ
2nd

Ewan McNay, NY
3rd

Barry Smith, NY
4th

Sarah Sparks, nz
5th

Rich Curtin, NY
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, 2008

Mark Smith, KY
2001

Nick Benedict, CA
2003-04

Mike Fox, IL
2007

Rick Kirchner, KY
2009
     

John Henry, Jim Jordan and Bernard Beckerman contest Britannia.

David Fritsch and Jeffrey Martin at work in the heats.

Feeling blue ...

Ok folks, apparently everyone forgot how to play blue in the new game.  While I was able to report that the new Britannia was quite balanced in 2008, this year it looked like the old Britannia!  There were six Red wins, five Green, and five Yellow (or Purple if you prefer.)  Meanwhile there were only two Blue wins (and that includes the semi-finals)!  Deep breath everyone, pull it back together and remember how to play those Angles

Now, in game news, Britannia has been reprinted, so folks can at last go out and get games again.  And if you want it in German, French, Spanish or Hungarian, those are available too!  So back to the con.

For the prelim rounds, I went back to the high score awards this year, while keeping my favorite,  Ethelraed the Unready.  The Ewan McNay memorial award, ahem, rather the Red High Score award, went to, naturally, Ewan McNay, with a score of 324 (yes, it is mathematically possible). Perhaps I should just put his name on it next year.   Next, Nick Benedict almost hit 300 with a 299 for Green High Score - again, mathematically possible.  Next, we had Rick Kirchner with the very respectable Yellow High Score of 244.  Rounding it out, Jim Lawler pulled out the single Blue win in the heats to get the High Blue Score of 229 (Go Jim!  As many folks know, Blue is my favorite color to play.)

Last, we had Llew Bardecki pulling a 180 in one of his heats to grab Ethelraed the Unready.  But Llew kept coming back to better his score and coming in 2nd by a point put Llew into the semi-finals.

Now, before getting to the playoff rounds, I must memorialize one event of the heats.  In an amazing show of solidarity, the peoples of England chose not to submit to Mark Smith's Roman Legions.  It started with the Welsh discovering modern weapons and beating up badly on the Romans.  Then the Belgae decided that three spaces were plenty,  so why bother to submit and then the Brigantes toughed it out after killing off a stack of Romans with panache.  All in all, a sad day for the legions.

There were 16 players in the semi-finals this year, with nine winners and seven runners-up advancing.  While the semi-finals were exciting in their own right, let us pass quickly to the Final, where three of the players repeated their semi-final colors.  We had Ewan McNay as Yellow (Purple), Matt O'Connor as Blue, and Rick Kirchner as Green.  Barry Smith played Red. 

The Roman invasion went reasonably well, although the Welsh were amazingly elusive, only losing one of four battles and running away in all the others.  On the recoil though, Boudicca wiped out Essex in fine fashion, killing two legions and a fort.  And to the north, the Brigantes came in force to Cheshire and destroyed another two legions and a fort in one fell die roll.

With everyone submitted, the next few turns were quiet, a few forts killed here and there.  The one anomaly was that one Belgae survived in Lindsey through offering not to attack the Romans, which the Romano-British later regretted as they lost a bolt-hole. 

The Romano-British came on and thinned themselves taking out a couple of Jutes and went north, but only forced some Angles to retreat rather than killing them.  The Romano-British, then restricted to only the north, and not able to reach Arthur, used some lawyerly talk with the Angles to secure a space for themselves in mid-England for the Turn 7 scoring round by claiming to move south.  Naturally, the Angles regretted that they didn't specify that the Romano-British should move more than one space to the south.

The Saxon major invasion had little resistance and rolled ashore, killing the couple of lonely Romano-British who were left to the south.  The Scot major was not as easy, with the Picts taking them out on the beaches.  At the end, the Scots were left with just three units.  Yellow (Purple) was saved, by a fortuitous deal with the Blue, and the overwhelming Picts left the small kingdom of the Scots alone.

Until Turn 10 then, the Saxons looked quite large and took out everyone around them.  But the Welsh and Angles kept nipping at them, and when the Danes came along for their raids they took out a couple more.

The Danish major invasion did have some empty spaces on the map, but empty or not, it didn't matter as they rolled ashore and only lost one on the first round outnumbering the Saxons 13 to 9.  Regrettably, the second round did not go as well with the Belgae taking out two Danes as they were assaulted in Lindsey.  And to the South some reaching by the Danes into Essex was met in kind with two Saxons killing three Danes.

With the Danish invasion coming unhinged, the Saxons came back to take out some more Danes and became King while building some Burhs just to add to the fun.

All of the fighting left the way empty for Yellow (Purple) to reestablish hegemony and make the final run to control the north of the country.  That plan became somewhat touchy when the Dubliners went to attack the Danes and Angles and managed to lose a couple more Dubliners than they would have liked.

And so the stage was set for the final invasions.  The Saxons spread out to maximize their growth, and incidentally become King again.  The Norwegians rolled in to minimal opposition.  They had so little to oppose them that they sent an expeditionary troop to knock out some Angles to the north in Lothian, wiping them out to a man.  One Angle remained, trying to survive in Dunedin.

The Norman invasion had substantially more resistance as the Saxons all came south, leaving the Norwegians alone in their northern domination.  The Normans took the southern shores and then stacked a huge force in Essex to overrun the three Saxons there.  The battle went well and the Normans ended up with 30 points and two of their reinforcement areas.

On the final turn, the Scots in Skye were targeted by the Caledonians and survived, but then fell as the Picts at last attacked them.  And then the Picts turned around and survived as the Norse came back at them.  Meanwhile, in an effort to protect their Danish brothers the Welsh moved into the lowlands to block moves against Svein as he came ashore.  The highlight of the final turn came as the Normans realized that they had the kingship in their sights.  They drove north, taking those last few territories to ensure that they relived history (and scored 10 points.)

But when the dust settled and the points were counted (and double counted) the quiet Green people, led by Rick Kirchner, had won the game.  And a tight one it was too.  Green came in at 227, Blue at 225, Yellow (Purple) at 223 and red trailed not far behind at 205.  Congratulations to Rick and to all of the finalists - former laurelists all.

This year, the extra prize awards for the finalists took a silly turn as they had a set of campy Viking movies to choose from.  I think I'll have to come up with something equally non-serious next year.  Of course, Rick has the finest award of all, joining the roll of champions inscribed on the Britannia Plate.  Another year and we'll need to retire the current plaque and start a new one.  Twenty names for one plaque is quite enough.

The GM is looking forward to seeing you all again next year!

Chris Trimmer, Michael Isgur, Scott Pfieffer and Mark Smith vie.

GM Jim Jordan (center) records the finalists' every move.
 GM      James M. Jordan  [11th Year]  NA
    jmj@ieee.org   NA

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