8-0 on the 10th Anniversay of Triumph
Greg Courter vs Steve Vance
2001 champ Bruce Wigdor vs Bill Alderman
The 2011 Up Front tournament started its usual Thursday
run with another modest attendance increase. While most of the
usual suspects were present, several newcomers continued to swell
the ranks and demonstrated the popularity of this old classic.
The strength of the field was represented by a total of 15 "woods"
shared among seven contestants.
After the casualties were evactuated from the first five swiss
firefights, eight were left standing with records of 3-2 or better.
The 1991 vintage champ, Bruce Wigdor, led the field at 5-0. Frequent
champions John Emery and Bruce Young joined '09 Champ Jeff Spaner
and Jeremy Billones at 4-1. Journeymen Bill Alderman and Ralph
Gleaton managed to make the cut at 3-2 along with Kevin Emery
who represented the next generation. Not treated as kindly at
3-2 were Alan Arvold and former champion Ray Stakenas Jr. who
failed to make the cut due to a low strength of schedule. Despite
these cuts, the playoffs would include four former champs in
possession of eleven Up Front shields.
Four different scenarios were chosen for the Quarter-finals
as the four former champs paired off against those not yet so
anointed. Those left standing were Billones' Japanese attackers
in scenario "T", Alderman's Germans in "B",
Wigdor's Japanese in "A", and Gleaton's Germans in
"L" - all Axis winners that handed three former champs
their walking papers.
The semi-finals got underway with Gleaton's Americans versus
Alderman's Germans in scenario "C". A broken MG sealed
Bill's fate as Ralph advanced. In the other bracket, Wigdor's
Japanese broke Billones' British in a scenario "M"
fight that ended early in the third deck. The two vanquished
from those rounds were still game for a fight and fought it out
for third place with Jeremy's Japanese besting Bill's British
in a close scenario "N" match decided by time and Victory
All that remained was to determine the new champion with former
runner-up Gleaton's Japanese defenders taking on Wigdor's American
attackers in the "Outpost" scenario. The initial shuffle
was kind to Bruce as he received a Hill card on which to place
his AFV. It promptly killed three of Ralph's squad as he desperately
managed to pin it a couple of turns too late. This situation
repeated itself for the remainder of the game as the AFV would
briefly return to action, eliminate a couple of Japanese, and
then pin or malfunction. This was enough, however, to ensure
a return to grace for Bruce on the tenth anniversary of his initial
title. At the end of the second deck, the Japanese squad broke
- leaving Bruce with a perfect 8-0 slate and another "bridesmaid"
finish for Ralph.
Alan Arvold vs Jeremy Billones
Richard Irving vs 2009 champ Jeff