The Family that Plays Together...
Jacob Hebner and Kevin Emery lower
the average age of the field. Beware grognards. Youngbloods on
Bruce Reiff defeats Rob Eastman but
the 2005 champion still has one more BCY title than Bruce.
It was family day at the Battle Cry world championships
in the Year of the Family at WBC. 12 of the 44 competitors were
related to someone else in the tournament. Quote of the day before
the semi-finals: "You mean I got to beat two Reiff's in
a row?" Answer: "No, you don't have to, just lose to
one of them!"
After five rounds of Swiss, three players emerged undefeated.
Last year's runner up, Ben Knight, had the best record at 5-0
in spite of having the toughest opponents (a combined 11-5 against
other players). Bruce Reiff and Scott Sirianna were also undefeated
at 4-0, choosing to skip the final Swiss round, having already
guaranteed their advancement to the playoffs.
The luck of the draw matched Bruce Reiff against Ben Knight
in the quarter-finals. In a close fought match, Bruce barely
out-diced Ben to become the new undefeated favorite. Meanwhile,
Bruce's 13-year old daughter, Nicole, beat the only other undefeated
player, Scott Sirianna, sending both Reiff's to the semi-finals.
In other quarter-final action among players with 4-1 records,
Jeff Cornett edged Mark Guttag, and Pat Mirk upset Eric Martin.
Pat's win counts as an upset because it was the only win for
the South out of six playoff games using the Pleasant Hill scenario.
Separating the Reiff's for the semi-finals, Pat drew Bruce
(bringing on the now infamous two-Reiff's quote above), and Jeff
faced Nicole. Bruce's dice whiffed at the critical moment, and
Pat advanced. Meanwhile, Nicole had to get past the only two-time
champion, Jeff. She did so convincingly as she boldly marched
forward crushing the center, while meeting only light resistance
on the flanks.
In choosing sides for the Final, Pat was influenced by his
win as the South in the Pleasant Hill quarter-finals. Nicole
won both the quarter and semi-finals playing the North at Pleasant
Hill, and understood its advantages. Both players got their choice
of sides without a bid.
Pat began with assaults on the right and center, creating
a strong fortified defensive position on both fronts and killing
the first unit of the game. He looked in control at this point,
but Nicole boldly marched forward assaulting Pat's terrain-fortified
defense. It was tense for a while, but her assault was relentless.
In a four-turn sequence, she attacked the middle with a force
march, assault, and then two more force marches, killing units
at will. In the end, Pat ran for cover with his last center unit,
but Nicole's coordinated attack finished him off for a convincing
6-2 win, and her first ever shield.
Scenarios for this year's tournament were all new and designed
by Richard Borg, Battle Cry designer. These scenarios were selected
from among those to be published when the game is reprinted in
late 2010. Most scenarios were well balanced, yet players could
bid extra card draws for choice of sides. The most imbalanced
scenario was the first Swiss round, the battle of Bethesda Church,
dominated by the South with 20 wins to just 1 for the North.
High bid was 3, but not enough for the North to win.
Bruce and Nicole also shared one other trait, bidding aggressively
for choice of sides. Bruce and Nicole gave away five card draws
for choice of sides in Rounds 2 (Kettle Run) and 4 (Averasboro)
respectively. Clearly, both bidding and attacking aggressively
runs in the family!
Eric Martin and Chuck Stapp exchange
volleys. Eric went on to earn sixth place laurels, but alas,
GM Jeff Cornett watches over the changing
of the guard as young Nicole Reiff schools Pat Mirk in the Final.
It must be in the genes.