Updated 11/21/2010

2010 WBC Report     

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Randy Schilb, MO

2010 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
2010    Randy Schilb     49

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    10    298
  2.  Nick Benedict       PA    07    192
  3.  James Jordan        MD    10    126
  4.  Mark Smith          KY    08     82
  5.  Randy Schilb        MO    10     74
  6.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    06     73
  7.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
  8.  Rick Kirchner       KY    09     64
  9.  Richard Curtin      NY    09     64
 10.  Barry Smith         NY    09     52
 11.  David Yoon          NY    06     41
 12.  Mike Fox            IL    07     40
 13.  Llew Bardecki       on    06     40
 14.  Jonathan Squibb     PA    00     40
 15.  Bruce Young         SC    02     36
 16.  Matthew O'Connor    NJ    09     28
 17.  John Morris         MD    08     24
 18.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    04     24
 19.  Chris Trimmer       TX    10     20
 20.  Richard Jones       uk    02     18
 21.  Gregory Hultgren    CA    10     15
 22.  Sarah Sparks        nz    09     12
 23.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 24.  Rajean Tremblay     on    10     10
 25.  Mike Mullins        MD    05      8
 26.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 27.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 28.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 29.  John Emery          SC    04      4

2010 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists 

Jim Jordan, MD

Chris Trimmer, TX

Greg Hultgren, CA

Rajean Tremblay, on

Ewan McNay, NY

Past Winners

Richard Curtin, NY
1991, 2005

Duane Wagner, NJ

Brett Mingo, MD

Scott Pfeiffer, SC
1994, 1996, 1999

Randy Schilb, MD
1995, 2010

David Gantt, SC

Jim Jordan, MD

Ewan McNay, CT
2000, 2002, 2006, 2008

Mark Smith, KY

Nick Benedict, CA

Mike Fox, IL

Rick Kirchner, KY

Richard Curtin, Greg Romano and Llew Bardecki in the Preliminaries.

Gordon Stewart, Barry Smith and Chris Trimmer vie to advance.

Fresh Blood ...

It was a year of rebirth for Britannia! We had the highest turnout ever for the demo with a dozen folks staying for the entire presentation. And then, the first heat had 10 games! All in all, we enjoyed our best attendance in ten years. I have no idea why the 35% increase in one year, and designer Lew Pulsipher was equally mystified, but everyone was pleased to see the interest in the game. I'd say we're still going strong after 20 years of tournament play.

And a corollary note of thanks on that massive first heat. John Henry and Tony Newton were not able to make it to play in that first heat, but they thought I might need their games, so they dropped them off with me to use as needed. And we did indeed need them! That's the kind of unselfish act that really helps to make the Britannia group an actual community. So John, Tony, thanks!

And here's another note on how the Britannia tournament really is a community. We had four father-son pairs playing in the tournament this year, and two of them made it into the semi-finals. Congratulations to the O'Connor's and the Hultgren's for placing one quarter of the semi-final participants. And lastly, my thanks to John Rinko and Samuel Covington for gaming with our two youngest participants and having a rousing game in the process.

We had 19 preliminary games and yellow had an amazing number of wins with four in the first heat and ten overall Coming in next was blue with four wins (which is a great improvement from last year when there was only one blue win in the heats. Following up were red with three prliminary wins and green with two.

We had the usual closest win plaques for each round, as well as the high score plaques. The close win plaques were taken by Mark Smith, me and Randy Schilb with wins of 9 points, 5 points, and 13 points respectively (yes, I do like games that go down to the wire.)

For the high score plaques, we had only one huge score this year. Ed O'Connor topped the red pile with an impressive victory of 315 points. Chris Trimmer did notably with green taking the top score with 266 points. Tony Newton then came in with a fine blue score of 252. And, last but not least, the yellow high score was taken by Ewan McNay with a 277 point win in the third heat.

Now, I saved the yellow high score for last because it was amusingly notable. We thought we had tied yellow high score winners after the first round when Micah Hultgren and Matt O'Connor both hit 276, a very tidy score, in their yellow wins. Matt was then playing in the game which Ewan won in the third heat. And the nation that tipped Ewan over the top to get that 277 point high score in the end...some Romano-British who were still around in Turn 16 in Lothian of all places.

Naturally, having a tied yellow high score plaque is a notable event. We've not had even the possibility of that before. But, then losing that high score by one point, and to turn 16 Romano-British?! That I had to memorialize, so I created special "Battle of Stamford Bridge" awards for Micah and Matt and shipped them off after the WBC. Congratulations folks, and keep up the great play next time, your turn will come!

Last, of course, from the heats, my perennial favorite award, Ethelred the Unraed, was taken by Greg Hultgren for his 126 point game where his green Welsh, Caledonians and Jutes were pretty much all wiped out. Congratulations Greg! And Greg had the very nice consolation of making it into the Final anyway based on his first heat win.

Now, for the semi-finals, we had some spectacular games. With the larger number of players, we had a record number of winners advancing to the semi-finals this year with 15 winners and only one alternate participant. Perhaps most interesting was how little the color wins in the heats predicted the semi-finals. In the semis, we had three blue and one green win. All of the games were tight, with an average of 15 points separating first and second, and an average of 33 points separating top from bottom. One of the semi-final games was particularly interesting in that the cards dealt three of the 2009 finalists to the same table which explains why only one 2009 laurelist managed to repeat in 2010. Not surprisingly, that game had the tightest spread at 19 points.

And so, Greg Hultgren, Randy Schilb, Chris Trimmer and I advanced to the Final. We started a little early Sunday morning, as Randy had a plane to leave for at 1, so at 8:30 AM, with coffee providing some alertness, the Romans marched forward. The cards had dealt me Yellow (ahem, not my favorite color.) My Romans were marching against Trimmer's Blue, Schilb's Green, and Hultgren's Red.

The Romans encountered immediate losing legions. There were five of Rome's bright boys dead on the first turn and stellar dice rolling by Blue and Green took down a total of 12 legions by the time the Romans pulled their tired patrols back across the channel. Meanwhile, the North Country was proceeding to demonstrate that it was going to be wild and wooly throughout.

On the first turn, the Brigantes moved into Dunedin against the Picts and proceeded to deal with the decimated Romans to try to get five spaces to grow into, although the bellicose Romans allowed only four. Meanwhile, the Welsh had also decided to hold off submitting to the Romans and ended up taking back the fort in Devon before humbling themselves to the Roman masters, although probably mostly because they were laughing too hard behind their hands at how the Romans were going to fight them.

And so the Romans withdrew south, leaving the hapless Romano-British behind to be swiftly taken apart by Greg's Saxons. The Saxon invasion went sufficiently well that by Turn 8 the Romano-British had departed the world, garnering only six points total. The final smashing of the Romano-British left the Saxons weak enough though to give the Jutes a continuing foothold in Kent, leaving them to score their four points there in Rounds 7 and 10.

Up to the North, my Scots decided to persecute the Caledonians in the Hebrides. This proved an ill-advised venture as Randy's Caledonians kicked them right back off the islands. So the Scots ended up dealing with Chris's Picts and just going for their usual territories of Skye, Dalriada and Dunedin. Unfortunately, the hapless Scots were led by the same dull witted leader as the Romans and, while making peace with the Picts, forgot to round out the negotiations by including the Angles in the quest to keep Dunedin free of Blue. So naturally, the Angles came in and smacked the Scots right back out of Dunedin, killing them to a man heedless of the presence of Fergus.

A quiet middle game, with a dearth of Bretwaldas, followed. Well, there was one Bretwalda, although I suspect that something was happening at the polling stations as the Saxons all voted for the Brigantes, giving them the four points. ;-) Meanwhile, there was just enough in-fighting between the Green, Red and Blue forces to thin the midlands. Thus, the Danes had a fairly empty middle board to come ashore to as everyone pulled back at the sight of the Danish invasion fleet sailing in. Even with the emptied center, Randy's Danes did only moderately well on points, scoring 32 on Turn 12. That score was also influenced by the Danes admirable eye on force preservation. They were ensuring that they would not fade away immediately after their invasion as so frequently happens.

Back up in the North, Greg's Norse came on and blitzkrieged the Orkney's and Caithness, losing only one man in the process. Randy's Caledonians and my few remaining Scots were quaking in their boots waiting for the onslaught to continue. But it was not to be for the mighty Norse, as a clutch roll in Skye by the Scots felled two Norse and the wounded Vikings decided they had had enough.

Back in the South, Greg's Saxons were setting up for a mighty Turn 13, adeptly targeting point maximization for the scoring round. Unfortunately, in going for King, the Saxons counted the Danes at only four spaces, and learned to their chagrin that they actually had five to the Saxons nine. Nonetheless, it was an impressive round for Red as they racked up 52 points on Turn 13 (31 Saxon, 12 Brigante and 9 Norse.)

The Danes came back strong on Turn 14 and used their strength on the board and the thin spread of the Saxons to grab the Kingship before Cnut sailed away to the homeland.

For the endgame, the Danes strength also led them to put three armies in York to bravely defend against the incoming Norwegians. Meanwhile, to the south, the weakened Saxons played cover for Harold, who occupied the traditional citadel in the Downlands, awaiting the onslaught of the Normans and their cursed horses.

The Danes served as little resistance to the Norwegians, but took out enough that the Norwegians were forced into a peace settlement with the remaining Angles in the north in order to maintain the integrity of their armies. The usual 28 points were scored and enough reinforcements were coming to make close to the full tally of Norwegians. The spread out armies of the Norwegians ensured that the last of the troops would come aboard.

In the south, the Normans traipsed around the Harold in the Downlands with little opposition, garnering 28 points, but losing enough infantry and cavalry to slow their advance. Nonetheless, they did manage to put four reinforcements on the board.

There were minor dramas around the board as various nations fought for their border territories on Turn 16, but the real denouement to the major invasions of Turn 15 occurred with Harold in the Downlands. The Norwegians had made a bold move to the south to try to gain territories to become king. But kingship was denied, with admirable political acumen as the Danes managed to swing Harold in to taking out the southernmost Norwegian stronghold in South Mercia. After that the Normans spread out a bit and the game was done.

With the smoke clearing, Randy Schilb and his Greens, in his first time back to the convention in five years, earned his second Britannia crown with 239 points some 15 years after scoring his first, proving yet again that we gamers just get better with age. Meanwhile, my Yellow troops claimed second with 232 points, Trimmer's mighty Blues took third with 219 and Hultgren's brave Reds settled for fourth with a solid showing of 193 points.

The final four chose from books of Welsh history and folk tales as their special gift this year, Wales being one of the few areas not covered in the recent extras. Now I have to come up with a new idea for the Finalists of next year's game.

And, on a last note, after many years of service, the Britannia silver plate will be retired with honor and the names of 20 winning years on it. It will show up for one more year to make the tour with the full 20 names. And for next year's winner...well, we'll have to see, I'll come up with something to affix the names of the next 20 years of winners to. See you all next year and thanks for making it another great year for Britannia!

Thomas Melton and John Rinker with an up and comer ...

Paul Risner, David Fritsch and Ewan McNay repaint the board ...
 GM      James M. Jordan  [12th Year]  NA   NA

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