wooden ships & iron men  

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report     

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Derek Whipple, WA

2009 Champion

Offsite Links


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
2008     Evan Hitchings     16
2009     Derek Whipple     19

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  William Rohrbeck   NH    07    116
  2.  Tim Hitchings      DE    09     75
  3.  Keith Hunsinger    OH    07     50
  4.  Arthur Davis       MI    04     41
  5.  Evan Hitchings     DE    09     28
  6.  Derek Whipple      WA    09     20
  7.  Larry York         CA    02     20
  8.  Curtis Dietrich    FL    01     20
  9.  David Cross        NJ    06     18
 10.  Dale Long          NC    08     16
 11.  Ron Glass          FL    09     12
 12.  Wade Fowble        MD    03     12
 13.  George Deutsch     MD    07     11
 14.  Rob Doane          MA    08     10
 15.  Paul Risner        FL    99     10
 16.  Benoit Groulx      qc    04      9
 17.  Mark McCandless    LA    03      9
 18.  Stephen Field      IL    02      9
 19.  Bill Thomson       TX    06      6
 20.  Joe Pabis          VA    05      6
 21.  Kevin Boles        AL    04      6
 22.  Ed Majeski         IL    02      6
 23.  Mark Sciera        NY    09      4
 24.  Kathy Hitchings    DE    08      4
 25.  Verity Hitchings   DE    05      4
 26.  Michael Bergt      FL    03      3
 27.  Joseph Abrams      CT    00      3
 28.  Stuart Smart       NY    99      3
 29.  Brian Wool         DE    09      2
 30.  Keira Herzfeld     DE    08      2
 31.  Stephen Shedden    TN    07      2
 32.  Joe Doughan        NJ    05      2
 33.  Jim Jordan         MD    04      2
 34.  Frank Czawlytko    MD    01      2

2009 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

Tim Hitchings, DE

Evan Hitchings, DE

Ron Glass, FL

Mark Sciera, NY

Brian Wool, 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

Evan Hitchings, DE

It's been a long time since I've seen a row of Wooden Ships games in progress.

The event attracted enough new blood to remake the Century for the first time in years.

newby wins it all ...

The Wooden Ships & Iron Men tournament got comfortable in its second straight year of free form scheduling, allowing players to drop anchor or set sail almost at will, ranging in age from 14 to -- let's just say retirement age. The single largest age group was the twenties.

For single ship actions, players squared off with either British 64 gun ships-of-the-line or French 44 gun frigates. More confident tars ventured forth with two-on-two actions. Double frigate actions featured a British 40 and 38 gun frigate per player. Double ship-of-the-line actions gave players a menu of British, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, and French ships. The French 74s proved the most popular choice.

Only the old salts dared undertake three-ship, three-hour, slugfests, wherein each player designed his own squadron.

In the semi-finals, Ron Glass made his first appearance at the convention in a decade and was barely outlasted by Derek Whipple, a first time WBC attendee.

In a rematch of their semi-final match of last year, GM Tim Hitchings reversed fortune on his son, Evan, the defending champ and reclaimed family braggin' rights.

The tournament ended with a bang during the Final when Derek Whipple gained a critical hit on one of Tim Hitchings' ships of the line, detonating the magazine and blowing it out of the water.

Congratulations to Derek in his first appearance at WBC. For Tim, it's another, "wait 'til next year."

Derek agreed to favor us with a retellin' of his experience without even the threat of the lash.

"The WBC 2009 was the first game convention I have ever attended, and it was a very memorable experience. Playing "Wooden Ships & Iron Men" at WBC was a blast. The caliber of the opponents was high, and I had a number of very intense games with Ron Glass, Dan Long, Mark Sciera and the GM, Tim Hitchings.

I was fooled a couple of times by opponents dropping in for a quick game who claimed, "Oh, I remember this game, I played it once about ten years ago." They then proceeded to school me, even while I was attempting to teach them a few intricacies of the game. I later came to realize that what they really meant to say was, "I last won the tournament 10 years ago."

My favorite opponent was Joseph Belyeu, a 14-year old who spent a lot of time with us in the "WSM" room. Joseph seemed relatively new to the game and, even though he was beaten often, he always returned for more action. He even suffered the worst defeat of the tournament, having his lone ship explode from a critical hit after only 10 minutes of play; yet, he was able to smile, shrug it off and return to the action for another game.

The "Fleet Action" held on Saturday [in the open gaming area] was a clever scenario and a great deal of fun, with the British leading a raiding party including frigates, bomb ketches, a fire ship, plus a few infantry and cavalry units against an unsuspecting, unprepared French fortified port. I got the pleasure of both marauding across the countryside with a British cavalry unit, blasting some fortifications with a bomb ketch's mortar and guiding the fire ship safely past the shoals and shore batteries into the harbor to set-up for an eventual collision with the French flag ship."

Champ Derek Whipple, midshipman Joseph Belyeu, and all the sailors in between made the 2009 Wooden Ships & Iron Men tournament another success. Whether played for high honors or just a good time, there was camaraderie for all!

The four finalists gather for the elimination rounds.

GM Tim Hitchings again falls short of the mark in the Final.
 GM      Tim Hitchings  [8th Year]   330 Kemper Dr, Newark, DE 19702 
    hitchings@juno.com   302 593-4404

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