Updated 11/15/2011
2011 WBC Report     

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
Ewan McNay, NY
2011 Champion



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
2011    Ewan McNay     41

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    11    348
  2.  Nick Benedict       PA    07    192
  3.  James Jordan        MD    11    156
  4.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    11     83
  5.  Mark Smith          KY    08     82
  6.  Randy Schilb        MO    10     74
  7.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
  8.  Barry Smith         NY    11     67
  9.  Rick Kirchner       KY    09     64
 10.  Richard Curtin      NY    09     64
 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.  Gregory Hultgren    CA    11     20
 20.  Micah Hultgren      CA    11     20
 21.  Chris Trimmer       TX    10     20
 22.  Richard Jones       uk    02     18
 23.  Sarah Sparks        nz    09     12
 24.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 25.  Rajean Tremblay     on    10     10
 26.  Mike Mullins        MD    05      8
 27.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 28.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 29.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 30.  John Emery          SC    04      4

2011 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

Jim Jordan, MD

Micah Hultgren, CA

Barry Smith, NY

Scott Pfeiffer, SC

Greg Hultgren, CA

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
00, 02, 06, 08, 11

Mark Smith, KY

Nick Benedict, CA

Mike Fox, IL

Rick Kirchner, KY

Sean McCulloch, Ed O'Connor, Chris Trimmer and Mark Smith compete in the second heat.

GM Jim Jordan, Lewis Pulsipher (the game's designer) and eventual champion Ewan McNay.

Fresh Blood ...

It was a year for the bean counters! In 2010, the closest preliminary contest was a game decided by five points. This year, there were two games in the first heat with 1-point wins! Another 1-point victory was recorded in the second heat, and a fourth in the semi-finals where the spread from top to bottom was only 14 points. But I get ahead of myself...

As another indication of the increasing competitiveness of the WBC Britannia community, we managed a bit more balance in color wins during the heats. Last year, Yellow had ten wins in 19 preliminary games. This year, the field managed to reduce that to six wins in 17 games. Meanwhile, there's still some balancing work to be done. While Red also had six wins, Blue only managed three and Green but one. Amusingly, in the semi-finals, just as last year, Blue won three out of the four semis, while Red pulled out the last. Of course, Yellow was second in that 1-point semi-final. <sigh> ... getting ahead of myself again.

Anyway, for the preliminary closest wins, we had an excellent story for the first heat. There, Ewan McNay's Blues had just pulled out a tight 1-point win over Rick Kirchner's Greens for one of those three scarce Blue wins. Final score 226/225 for the top two. Ewan was looking forward to his first closest win in the heats award when another game finished. And as the dust settled in that game, we realized that Rich Curtin's Greens, with their score of 229 over Greg Hultgren's Yellows with 228, had managed to pull out the closest win in the first heat! And remember, I calculate the closest second places as percentages of the winner's score. I had to calculate this one to four decimal places to find a difference. Greg's second was 0.995633, Rick Kirchner's 0.995575. Rich Curtin had the closest win by 0.000058 over Ewan.

In the second heat, Steve Smith pulled in with another of the 1-point wins as his Reds held on with 233 points over Llew Bardecki's Yellows. Steve's Saxons definitely helped there, scoring a huge 41 points on Turn 13. For the last heat, your GM claimed the last closest win plaque with another of those Yellow wins. That game ended with a 12-point differential 231/219 over Ed O'Connor's Greens.

The second heat also sported an interesting game in which the Roman Legions demonstrated their impressive ability to get, every once in a while, beaten up badly by the Belgae. On the first turn Ewan's Yellow stalwarts from Rome lost eight legions. James Sulven's Belgae took out six of that total. Of course, after that the legions once again displayed their invincibility by not bothering to lose any more. The dice periodically like to remind us that they will have their say.

To round out the preliminary heats, we, of course, have the Ethelred the Unraedy award. There was a bit better showing this year as Llew Bardecki garnered another Ethelred award with 186 points as the low score for a semi-finalist in the heats.

OK, now I can finally catch up with myself and discuss the semi-finals. For whatever reason, Blue seems to be a winner in the semi-finals, again racking up three victories, with one red tailing along. We had typically larger victories for the winners in the semis, with point top-to-bottom spreads from the three Blue wins averaging 51, and first-to-second averaging 18. In the last game, your GM's Reds eked out, by dint of a couple of lucky rolls, a 1-point win (in keeping with the theme of 2011) over Scott Pfeiffer's Yellows. Everyone was in the hunt until the end. So we had Ewan McNay, myself and Barry Smith advancing to the Final, with, again this year, representation from the Hultgren's. This year though it was Micah's turn to play while Greg watched (and tried not to comment) from the sidelines.

The Final started Sunday morning with a fine selection of colors (I finally got to play Blue!). Meanwhile, Ewan had pulled Red, Barry Yellow and Micah Green. That was interesting for a couple of reasons. I had Blue, which would be enough to worry Ewan. Meanwhile, he had Red, which was enough to worry me. Barry tends to be a bit of a wildcard, so his having Yellow lessened the ability of that tendency to affect the flow of the game. And then Micah with Green was another bit of a wildcard because he's not been playing at the WBC as much as the rest of us, so his style is not as well known.

Barry's Roman invasion was relatively uneventful. The most notable events were the Brigs getting a decent number of kill points to put Ewan's Reds slightly up. Meanwhile, Barry headed to the Hebrides, which put Micah's Greens slightly down in the scoring.

The action started getting hot with Ewan's Saxon invasion. The Jute in Kent refused to make any deals for survival. Meanwhile, Barry's RB's had setup in usual fashion, occupying the Downlands with 4 and some of the lowlands to balance out the population. Ewan's Saxons took out the lowlanders and headed for the hills to take out the RB infestation. On the first round of the invasion, the Saxons were thrown back with a couple of losses almost immediately and retreated to lick their wounds and regroup. On the second turn of the invasion they came back refreshed and yet, Barry's mighty army of Romano-British wiped out the entire expeditionary force of Saxons in the Downlands, leader and all.

That left only three Saxons remaining. Only one had been killed by the Jute. And then there were murmurings of amazement as the Romano-British declined to eliminate those three Saxons in the next turn.

Meanwhile, to the North, the Brigantes were refusing, under any circumstances, to submit to the Angles. Given that they were fully populated, that left my Angles with a couple nasty choices. Submit the Brigantes and risk a rather severe hit to my forces, or take out a couple of Brigantes and then spread out for a large number of points. I opted for spreading out. Sadly, continuing the lack of dealing in the game from anyone, Micah's Welsh immediately came out and headed for York. My Angle empire was then split and threatened with quick decline as the additional four Saxon reinforcements came on and started growing quickly.

The mid-game proceeded with lots of three-way sniping between the Welsh, the Saxons and the Angles as each tried to gain an upper hand in preparing for the Danish invasion. All that really happened though was the weakening of each of those three forces such that the Danes had a full, but skeletally manned board as they prepared to launch their invasion. Barry's Romano-British were eventually eliminated by the Saxons by Turn 11, but only after taking out 19 Saxon armies on the way to their departure.

And so, on came the Danes and the Dubliners. Micah's Danes rolled well against the Angles and seemed to be in excellent position to score well and keep a reasonable force. Unfortunately, they encountered some tough holdouts in trying to take the Angles in the Pennines and the Blues gained six points or Ivar/Halfdan from the weakened Danes. The fierce battle there sapped the Danish invasion force and left them spread thinly on the board. Barry's Dubliners then had to decide what to do. Cumbria and York were both thinly protected after the Danish invasion, and the Danes weakened forces made it unlikely that they would threaten Dubliner point scoring. But, Ewan's Saxons had come back substantially, and his Brigantes were still numerous and had never been submitted.

Ewan's Brigantes then were gleeful when the Dubliners headed south to take out some Saxons in HWI. It did weaken the Saxon position, but it left the Brigantes to collect ten points for Strathclyde on Turn 13, and was a definite turning point in Red's fortunes. The Dubliner expeditions went reasonably well and they also were to score well on Turn 13. In taking their point though, the Dubliners spread themselves among the Brigantes, Danes and Angles, who took advantage by sniping away Dubliners in the following turns.

Another benefit to Red at this point were Ewan's Norsemen. They easily fought their way into the Hebrides and then were able to create a small kingdom for themselves by occupying the Orkneys and Caithness.

And thus we come to the endgame. My Blues, Ewan's Reds, and Micah's Greens all appeared to be in the hunt, with a few points advantage to the Red with their Brigante and Norse Turn 13 scores. Barry's Yellows were not terribly far behind, but enough that they appeared to be a longshot unless the Norwegians did incredibly well. The Norwegians were faced by Danish opposition though and struggled in combat, losing enough in their invasion to be fragile. In another blow to Yellow, Ewan's Norsemen continued their romp through the north, eliminating the Scots in a final stand in Skye, after the Brigantes did their share attacking the Scots in Dalriada.

After the Norwegian invasion, Ewan had to decide what to do with the disposition of his Saxons in facing the Norman invasion. He was most concerned about the scoring potential of my Blues. Thus, Harold went off on a mission with one unit to speak with Harald in the north about the Norwegian's misdeeds. Naturally, the discussion was short and points for Harold went to Barry's Yellows. My Norman's then faced a scattering of Saxons in the south, as well as a few last holdouts among the Danes in the Suffolk and Norfolk regions.

My Norman invasion went well, and all of the reinforcement areas were captured along with most of the point scoring areas. The gap with the Red score was closed to within a few points. The last turn was setup with just the usual minor maneuvering for point spaces as everyone waited to see what the Normans would do in the last move. Everyone else stayed to the north, although the still powerful Welsh did take an area from the Normans. As the points were analyzed, it became evident that my Blues could win, but only through a series of desperate battles. William easily conquered in the Downlands, but the Norman cavalry had a tougher challenge, needing to win three battles between single cavalry units and two infantry. One space fell...but the other two did not.

When the last body was buried, Ewan's Reds had hung on for victory with 242 points. My Blues trailed five points behind, while Micah's Greens stood at 228. Barry's Yellows trailed with 217 points. Ewan will be the first name on the new Britannia plaque, and then we're set for another 20 years.

Steve Smith, Llew Bardecki, Gregory Hultgren and Rick Kirchner were gung ho - filling 11 out of 12 heat slots.

Finalists Micah Hultgren, Ewan McNay, Barry Smith and Jim Jordan in the 21st tournament.
 GM      James M. Jordan  [13th Year]  NA   NA

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