Battles for the Iberian Peninsula
Martin Sample, Pete Reese and Henry
Russell stir up the Spanish countryside.
Keith Wixson, Melvin Casselberry and
Francis Czawlytko wage war on the Iberian peninsulia.
For the 2010 Wellington tournament 26 players ran the
hard-fought campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula to see whether
the forces of the Allies or of France would be victorious. 13
players, exactly half the field, had never played in a Wellington
tournament before, and many were new to the game. One of these
players went all the way to the Final.
In the mulligan round, four games were fought to see who would
get an early chance at a semi-final spot (and who might show
up for Round 1 the next day). At each table, players saw the
unexpected events that are the hallmark of Wellington.
Carl Copeland moved six Spanish troops against two northern
French, only to have Matthew Russell play artillery and win despite
3:1 odds. The game ended Turn 1 in a Peace roll, with the French
In another game, Andy Joy's Spanish troops marched with Castanos
to roll eight 6's as Spain to eliminate Marty Sample's Soult
and accompanying troops from the Armee du Sud. The roll was deflated
by a card play so that Soult escaped, but the Allies went on
to win the round.
Tracey Casselberry's Armee du Sud successfully took Gibraltar
in two rounds of a single siege (and rolling five 6's before
the defender matches your 5's and 6's with five dice is no easy
For Melvin Casselberry as Spain, the mulligan round was filled
with excitement. At the end of 1812, there were no French forces
in Southern Spain. Soult had fled to Valencia and British generals
sat in Madrid. In 1813, the British moved on Valencia to finish
off Soult and Drouet. Spain played all but two of his cards to
affect the battle, and in the end, only the Hand of God card
saves Soult. By the second Spanish impulse, Spain has no cards.
The Allies hold on to win the game, with the victory going to
Pat Duffy, who played the British.
The mulligan round also helped to demonstrate how any side
can win in Wellington. In fact, of the four players who won in
the Mulligan, each carried a different power to victory: one
each for Britain, Spain, Armee du Nord, and Armee du Sud.
With a number of returning players from the mulligan round
and new players added to the mix, there were five full games
for Round 1. The Allies took three of the five, with Britain
winning two of the three Allied victories. The Armee du Nord
and Armee du Sud split the two French wins.
Melvin Casselberry won his game as Britain and provided such
a great learning experience on how to play the game to the other
players that a number of them noted it to the GM. For Peter Reese
and Pete Gurnean who played Armee du Sud and Armee du Nord respectively,
sieges ended up being the big challenge on their way to victory.
Valencia, in particular, was problematical as it withstood six
sieges with a full Soult before eventually falling.
For many who come to the WBC to play Wellington, having
a chance to play a number of games with people who obviously
enjoy the game is a great time. Still, in the end there can be
only one overall winner of the event, and the purpose of the
Round Two semi-finals was to determine which four of the advancing
16 players would meet in the next day's Final.
All four games were hard fought. The GM was eliminated in
a close heat where the armies of France had the Allies on the
run, so much so that the Allies conceded in 1813. The Armee du
Nord had more keys to work with, however, advancing first-time
tournament player Al Hurda to the next round.
At another table, Melvin Casselberry and Jesse Boomer played
France neck and neck, until in the end, Jesse's Armee du Sud
slipped ahead by half a victory point to advance.
Defending champ Pete Reese and Larry Burman took the Allies
to victory, but it was Pete's British army that carried the day.
And at the last table to finish, 2008 champ Henry Russell
and Steve Pack ran the Armee du Nord and Armee du Sud respectively.
Henry edged ahead at the end of the game to complete our quartet
going to the final round.
In the roll off to see who would select which power, Jesse
Boomer selected Britain and Al Hurda took Spain, allying the
two former champions with the forces of France.
In the early going, things looked very good for the Allies.
An early defeat of Suchet at Valencia by Blake had the forces
of Spain knocking on the doors of France in 1812. Wellington
built forces and had a very successful march towards Madrid.
Both Pete and Henry had to sacrifice a number of cards to keep
the battles from overwhelming them. But somewhere in the early
part of the second hour, things changed, decidedly in favor of
Henry Russell played The Eagles Come South, which gives each
French player four strength points to help bolster the home front
as well as an additional home card. In two or three quick card
plays, the situation on the board changed from an early Allied
victory to a French stranglehold in Portugal. Still holding Madrid
and the necessary keys in Spain, the forces of Napoleon won the
day by taking the keys of Portugal, satisfying the conquest of
Portugal victory conditions. At the end of the victory point
count, Peter Reese retained his Wellington title to become
the first repeat champion. The Final was over in two hours and
15 minutes on good dice, great cards, and excellent play by all.
With all that goes into running a tournament at WBC, I would
like to thank my assistant GMs Mike Buccheri and Andy Joy, without
whom the rounds would not have kicked off on time as they did.
One demo was just before the first round, and there were no tables
available for Wellington, so Mike and Andy rolled them
out and got them set up for the five games that were played while
I demonstrated how to play on the other side of the hotel.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2011.
Peter Gurneau negotiates with defending
champ Pete Reese.
2008 champ Henry Russell and his son
Matt battle with Steve Peek.