empire of the sun   

Updated 11/15/2011
2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
Antero Kuusi, fn
2011 Champion


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Consimworld GMT Games Recommended

Event History
2005    Bob Heinzmann     26
2006    Dennis Culhane       8
2007    Mark Popofsky     10
2008    Dennis Culhane     11
2009    Dennis Culhane       8
2010    Mark Popofsky     20
2011    Antero Kuusi     26

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Dennis Culhane     PA    11     59
  2.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    08     48
  3.  Mark Popofsky      DC    10     36
  4.  Antero Kuusi       fn    11     30
  5.  John Chabonneau    NH    05     24
  6.  Craig Yope         MI    11     16
  7.  Pablo Garcia       ch    10     16
  8.  Paul Gaberson      PA    09     16
  9.  Steve Campbell     NH    05     16
 10.  Dave Casper        CA    05     12
 11.  Mark van Roekel    VA    11      9
 12.  John Leggat        CA    05      8
 13.  Matt Ellis         uk    11      6
 14.  Jim Mehl           VA    10      6
 15.  Peter Perla        VA    10      6
 16.  Chris Byrd         CT    07      6
 17.  Mark Herman        MD    09      4
 18.  Frank McNally      MA    05      4
 19.  Tom Thornsen       NY    11      3
 20.  Jay Meyers         CA    07      2

2011 Laurelists                                         Repeating Laurelists 

Dennis Culhane, PA

Craig Yope, MI

Mark van Roekel, VA

Matt Ellis, uk

Tom Thornsen, NY

Past Winners

Bob Heinzmann, FL

Dennis Culhane, PA
2006, 2008-09

Mark Popofsky, DC
2007, 2010

Antero Kuusi, fn

Evan Brooks drops a Round 1 game to Craig Yope as the ex-A&A GM pushes his new passion for EOS to a third place finish.

Bill Pettus, my Bel Air neighbor, loses to Tom Thornsen in Round 1. We'll get around to playing smething someday.

It's never too late to learn ...

The tournament turned back the calendar to return to an attendance level it hadn't seen since its debut seven years ago . Balance was roughly equal in terms of wins and losses for each side, but with so many new players, I don't put much store in the numbers. The one consistent element throughout was that the more experienced players won with either side in the 1943 scenario.

The defending champion and runner-up from 2010, Mark Popofsky and Pablo Garcia, were not present this year, so the Final came down to a tussle between three-time champion Dennis Culhane against a seasoned CSW contender but first time WBC attendee, Finland's Antero Kuusi. Like our last visitor from Finland, he was determined to make some waves.

Dennis gave Antero a VP to play the Allies in the 1943 scenario. My own view is that nether side is favored, so I commented to Antero that it was a generous bid. I would and usually do bid zero to play the Allies. Antero bid one VP for the JP but was outbid by Dennis's 2 VP bid for the Allies. Based on that alone I thought Antero had the edge.

Here is the Final in the words of our new champion:

"I started with Ichi-Go (China Offensive) in hand, so my goal was to play it and Kai-Shek from FOQ as events on T5 and have the Northern India airfields isolated to shut down the Hump during T6 for a shot to knock out China. I was obviously going for offense in CBI, but the Allies went for strong offense there and almost all cards were spent there during T5. Dennis had some success with his attacks, but the Japanese kept feeding more units into the theater. By the end of the turn there were strong Japanese forces (a full and a flipped division both) in Akyab and Rangoon with the Akyab force surrounded, but barely clinging to supply via the sea through Rangoon. However, the Allies had taken heavy losses to get to these positions and were starting to fall behind the Japanese in ground strength in the area. Outside the CBI, the Allies took one of the lesser Marshall islands, which together with the advance in CBI was enough for the PoW. Attu had been reinforced early and remained in Japanese hands for a PW hit. Outside the theater, the Allies had great successes against the Germans, driving the WiE track all the way to the very end at +3. This was, however, followed by an immediate Japanese raid against Panama Canal, delaying the reinforcements.

T6 began with Combined Fleet HQ deploying to Mania due to Fuel Shortages. That helped a lot with CBI operations and would help later responding to Allied attacks. Thus, Northern India fell into Japanese hands. The Allies simply did not have the forces to prevent it and the result was sealed when worker strikes inspired by Gandhi prevented timely deployment of the 7th Armored Brigade. So, that gave me a chance to knock out China. I needed a roll of 0-7 (I had taken no China Divisions and Hump was now out of play). Of course, the roll was a 9.

So, the game was still on. The Allies had landed in Surabaya and Bali and were setting up for an Offensive with a majority of the US Navy deployed there. So, to throw a wrench into the works, I launched an invasion of Australia with Naval Brigades landing in Broome and Derby and one army in Wyndham - all empty - and sent air units to Wyndham and Koepang, cutting Bali and Surabaya out of supply. However, soon after this Allies landed in Koepang, putting the DEI force back in supply and cutting off the Japanese in Australia. Other events during the turn included several Allied raids against Japanese air-naval assets near Rabaul and Japanese matching the last turn's Allied play of two WiEs with two of their own, pushing it back to 0 and causing the Allies to have their reinforcements delayed again.

T7 seemed to be an endless succession of Allied high-powered events and the air and naval forces near Rabaul were whittled down as the Allies landed two full strength US Army corps on New Britain (4/6 of their ASPs), preparing for overland assault on Rabaul. However the 17th Army in Rabaul was not going to just wait until the Allies were ready, instead attacking the Allies on the beaches (with Colonel Tsugi). The 17th Army was wiped out, but it took out three of the four Allied ground steps. Rabaul still held one flipped Japanese army, so the remaining step was not enough to take it. Consequently, the Allies had to burn one more ASP to have the Marines help with taking Rabaul.

So, near the end of the last turn the score was: +5 for Northern India hexes, +2 bonus for holding all of them, +1 for India Unrest, +1 for closed Burma Road, +1 for PW, +1 for bid, -3 for Australian Mandates, -1 for Resource Hex (Soerabaja). So, the Allies needed two VPs, but had just one ASP left after Rabaul. That meant the Allies needed to capture a port within 11 hexes for victory, but all of them were garrisoned in expectation of this situation. So, it came down to a last card, one-division invasion against a 9-12 after some preparatory raids. To win, the Allies needed surprise (50% chance) and luck in ground combat. However, the Japanese succeeded with their reaction roll, allowing them to ship in another 9-12 and wiping out the invasion, ending the Allied drive for victory."

I love a Final that comes down to the last card play. My congratulations to all the players and I look forward to next year's event with players learning from their 2011 experiences.

GM and designer Mark Herman pushes cardboard in Round 1 as a new B rating and associated demo attracts beaucoup new players.

Antero Kuusi defeats three-time champ Dennis Culhane in the Final to recall the recent victorious exploits of another visiting Finn.
 GM      Mark Herman [7th year]   NA
   NA   NA

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