twilight struggle  

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report  

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Chris Withers, CA

2009 Champion

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Laurels ConsimWorld WAM

Event History
2006    Stefan Mecay     70
2007     Stefan Mecay     66
2008    Stefan Mecay     54
2009     Chris Withers     66

WAM Event History
2007    Keith Wixson     30
2008    Marvin Birnbaum     35
2009     Stefan MeCay     28

PBeM Event History
2008    Stefan Mecay     86

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Stefan Mecay       TX    09    275
  2.  Chris Withers      CA    09    101
  3.  Rick Young         NC    09    100
  4.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    09     70
  5.  Keith Wixson       NJ    09     60
  6.  Bill Edwards       VA    09     42
  7.  Bruce Monnin       OH    08     42
  8.  Stuart Tucker      MD    08     31
  9.  Randy Pippus       on    09     30
 10.  John Emery         SC    06     30
 11.  James Terry        NJ    07     29
 12.  George Seary       NY    08     28
 13.  Sean McCulloch     OH    09     25
 14.  Darren Kilfara     uk    08     24
 15.  Phil Rennert       MD    08     20
 16.  Steven Brooks      FL    08     20
 17.  Rob Hassard        NJ    07     20
 18.  Mike Wallschlaeger WI    09     15
 19.  Paul Sampson       OH    08     15
 20.  John Buse          IL    06     15
 21.  Bruce DuBoff       NJ    08     10
 22.  Doug Austin        VA    07      8
 23.  Suzanne Tuch       NY    08      6
 24.  Dave Gerson        CA    09      5
 25.  John Wetherell     PA    09      5
 26.  George Young       VT    08      5
 27.  Michael Sosa       FL    08      5
 28.  Charles Hickok     PA    07      4

2009 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists:

Randy Pippus, ontario

Rick Young, NC

Stefan Mecay, TX

Mike Wallschlaeger, WI

Dave Gerson, CA

Past Winners

Stefan Mecay, TX

Chris Withers, CA

Twilight Struggle remained the most popular CDW event at WBC for the fourth straight year. Mike Wallschlaeger and Robert Davidson played early on.

A couple of heavyweight laurelists in other events, neither Phil Rennert nor Kevin Sudy have put much of a dent in the Twilight Struggle rankings.

No Four-peat

The 2009 Twilight Struggle tournament enjoyed an increase in participation, with 66 players (up from 54 last year.  The tournament employed a new balancing rule this year, with Early War scoring cards shuffled back in the deck on Turn 4 rather than Turn 3.
The challenge for the field this year was to dethrone three-time champion Stefan Mecay.  Early on, Stefan proceeded to mow down the opposition as usual.  But in the round of six, he finally met his match.  Chris Withers bid 4 for the Russians, then proceeded to defeat Stefan who blew up the world in his anguish as he was finally backed into the same corner which he had painted so many others others into the past three years.  The other pairings in that round were familiar faces who have done well in the past.  Rick Young, having finished as runner-up several times, defeated Dave Gerson, also in a Defcon 1 victory.  Meanwhile, Randy Pippus knocked off Mike Wallschlaeger. 
With the field reduced to three, Dave Gerson volunteered to play the spoiler roll, which the final three preferred to granting a random bye.  As luck would have it, Dave was randomly assigned to play Rick again.  Dave bid 4 for the Russians, then proceeded to knock out Rick with an AV on Turn 7.  That meant that the last remaining game between Randy and Chris was for the Championship.  Chris once again got the Russians (another 4 bid).  Randy's best efforts weren't enough.  The Russians jumped off to an early lead, headlining Vietnam Revolts and rolling a 6 on a coup of Iran.  Russia also was able to take Thailand and South Korea.  Russia's positional advantage was enhanced by De-Stalinization into South America and three plays of Red Scare (Turns 3, 6 and 7) including a Blockade Combo that ruined West Germany.  The US never recovered and eventually succumbed to Wargames on Turn 8.
After several years of relatively even results, this year, Russians prevailed 39 to US 17.  Bids were also up, particularly as the rounds went on.  The last several rounds saw almost exclusively bids of 3 or 4 for the Russians.  Obviously, some additional look at balance is necessary.
Our Sportsmanship nominee was Randy Pippus.  On four occasions, Randy's opponent made the mistake of playing a card that increased Defcon, even though Defcon was already at 2.  In each case, Randy graciously allowed the opponent to redo the move. 

Randy Pippus downed Steve Parrish in this match.

Ken Lee and Steve Dickson enjoy an early pairing.

Three-time defending WBC Champ Stefan Mecay made his WAM debut and surprised nobody in besting a field of 28 to win the five-round Swiss tournament with a perfect score. He defeated in order Christopher Yaure (Wargames on Turn 8), Mark Yoshikawa (Autovictory on Turn 8), Keith Wixson (Wargames on Turn 9), Bill Edwards (Final Scoring) and John Wetherell (Autovictory on Turn 6). Mecay played the USSR in all five games, bidding 3 IPs thrice and 4 IPs twice. Perhaps his biggest scare was in his Round 3 match against Wixson. On the first turn of Late War in a close game the US played "Chernobyl" in Europe followed by "Tear Down this Wall" (VPs were at -9 but the Soviet position was vulnerable in several places). Mecay's position had all but collapsed by the end of the turn and Wixson was poised to gain Control of Europe at the start of the next turn. But Stefan drew Wargames and was able to claim victory on the second action round of Turn 9. After both players revealed their remaining cards, Mecay agreed that he probably would have lost otherwise. 

Bill Edwards won the book "From the Shadows" by Robert Gates, a history of the Cold War, for finishing in second. The Best Soviet Player award went to Mecay (no additional prize since he won the plaque)and the Best American Player award (Robert Kennedy's "Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis") went to Sean McCulloch. The tiebreakers used to determine the final standingswere (i) strength of schedule, (ii) head to head results, (iii) most US wins and (iv) most WAM t-shirts bought from the GM. The first criteria proved sufficient in all cases.

There were a total of 59 games played with the USSR winning 32. The Soviet wins broke down as follows: 15 autovictories (20+ VPs), five by nuclear war, seven by Wargames and five at Final Scoring. The American wins were 12 autovictories, four by nuclear war, five by Wargames and six at Final Scoring. Players bid influence points to be added to the US setup before the start of play for the right to be the USSR. There were four bids of 4 IPs (two of these by the champ), forty bids of 3 IPs, fourteen bids of 2 IPs and one bid of 1 IP.


Bill Edwards, VA

Keith Wixson, NJ

Sean McCulloch, OH

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

John Wetherell, PA

 GM      George Young (1st Year)  NA   802-578-3774

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