leader off the starboard bow ...
The finalists are all smiles before
the shooting begins. Remember these happy times.
The six Round 1 winners prepare to
do battle in the Final. Pick a leader and fire away.
players already know the single governing concept of Naval
War strategy: be aware of who is in the lead at any given
moment and concentrate on sinking that person's fleet (thus imposing
the ten-point penalty). The few new players quickly took this
strategic axiom to heart.
Table 1 featured six veteran players, including GM Lockwood,
who after having his fleet sunk in the first round to trail the
field, took full advantage of his two aircraft carriers in the
second round to sink nine ships for a 56-point round and the
lead. Alas, this earned him the undivided attention of the table
in Round 3, and he had his fleet sunk out from under him again.
The redoubtable James Kramer was able to take advantage of this
to score big with a 65-point round, finishing first with 89 points
to earn his spot in the Final. Randall MacInnis 50, Walter Hnatiw
48, and GM Lockwood, Mack Willingham and Patrick Maloney tied
with 42 completed the scoring.
Seven experienced players plied the waters of Table 2, as
evidenced by it taking four rounds to produce a winner. Dave
Dentel made the mistake of coming close to paydirt with 71 points
at the end of Round 3, but close only counts in horseshoes and
hand grenades. Instead, it earned him the dubious honor of top
priority target in Round 4, and his fleet was soon sunk when
hostilities resumed. Dave Anderson was able to claim a spot in
the Final with a solid 27-point performance to finish first with
77 points. Doug Richards was also able to punch his ticket with
the best runner-up finish at 75 points. Two runners-up would
advance based on overall point performance. Completing the scoring
were Dave Dentel at 64, Michel Rogozinski 56, Craig Yope 54,
Ruth Evinger 50, and Alan Arvold 37.
Table 3 played a rather sedate and predictable game with Bill
Banks seemingly in control at 50 points after Round 2. But then
Ben Collinson Sr. came from out of nowhere in Round 3 with a
spectacular 80-point naval blitzkrieg in Round 3, the best of
the night, giving him the win with 99 total points, followed
by Bill Banks and John Coussis with 53 points, Stephen Squibb
51, Bruce Monnin 43, and Geoff Allbutt clinging to a life raft
Table 4 was arguably the toughest environment in the first
round, with two former champions (three-time champ Jim Fleckenstein
and 2005's Bill Place) mixing it up with four other veteran players.
Consequently, this was also the hardest fought preliminary game,
taking five rounds to produce a victor. At the end of Round 4,
Matt Evinger and Scott Beall were in near-miss mode at 73 and
70 points respectively. This only made the rest of the table
unite against them in Round 5, sinking both their fleets. It
would be Brian Goodwin, taking full advantage of his relatively
lower profile position at 65 points, who would advance with a
solid, if unspectacular, 21-point performance to win the match
with 86 points. Fleckenstein, however, was able to earn the last
berth in the Final by parlaying an excellent 34-point closing
kick to finish second with 82 points. Tim and Matt Evinger followed
with 77 and 72 points, followed by Scott Beall with 70, and Place
The Final: Round 1 saw Fleckenstein's three titles
work against him, as the table united to sink his fleet, giving
him a -7 for Round 1. Anderson, one of the few newcomers, took
the early lead with 32 points, followed by Goodwin at 20, Richards
and Collinson at 17 each, and Kramer at 15. Round 2 saw the rest
of the table unite against the leaders, and Anderson and Goodwin
both lost their fleets, pulling them back into the pack. The
burden of the lead shifted to Richards with 46 points followed
by Collinson at 44, Anderson 35, Kramer 29, Goodwin 20, and Fleckenstein
19. Round 3 found Fleckenstein continuing his comeback with his
best round of the night and 34 points. Unfortunately, this again
aroused the fear of the rest of the table, and they united to
sink his fleet AGAIN. Anderson was best able to exploit the situation
to take the lead with 61 points at the end of Round 3, followed
closely by Collinson 54, Richards 46, Fleckenstein 43, Kramer
42, and Goodwin 35. Round 4 once again had all players correctly
following the game's guiding principle, as they united against
Anderson to sink his fleet and bar him from breaking the 75 point
threshold. As a result, all six players would anchor within striking
range at the end of this round. Collinson led with 70, followed
by Richards 62, Kramer 58, Goodwin 56, Anderson 51, and Fleckenstein
Round 5 proved to be decisive, but although many Naval
War matches in this situation tend to degenerate into a free-swinging
melee, the players still had the presence of mind to concentrate
on the leaders, sinking both Richards and Collinson to take them
out of contention. But who among the rest would best exploit
the situation to claim the Wood? As it turned out, it was newcomer
Dave Anderson, who struck from his fifth place position with
a 28-point performance to claim the win with 79 points. He was
followed closely by Goodwin 75, Fleckenstein 74 points despite
two sunk flets, Collinson 65, Richards 63, and Kramer rounding
out the laurels with 63 points, making this among the most hotly
contested Naval War ever.
Ruth Evinger, Dave Dentel, Alan Arvold
Craig Yope wait for blood in the water.
Pick a target: Geoff Allbutt, Stephen
Squibb, or John Coussis.
When in doubt, fire at Coussis!