42 Still in Convoy ...
Jon Lockwood faces Reiff the younger.
Even War At Sea ... Nicole really is a chip off the old
block who obviously gets a lot of training bouts with her dad.
Joe Powell, still glowing from his
Football Strategy title prepares for another opponent while Ray
Freeman and Ben Collinson mix it up in the background.
Steve Packwood won his second War At Sea championship
15 years after taking his first! Steve (6-2) defeated Charlie
Drozd (6-1-1) in the 8th and final round. Charlie also was runner-up
in Victory in the Pacific, narrowly failing to become
the first player ever to win both at the same con. He should
have tried horseshoes instead. Andy Choptiany repeated in third
place with a 4-2-1 tally and Dennis Nicholson nabbed the fourth
and final plaque with a 4-3-0 log. Pat Richardson 4-1-1, finished
fifth and received a copy of the book The German Navy at War:
Vol. 1, The Battleships, given to the highest finisher
not winning a plaque. The remaining playoff contenders were sixth,
Bruce Monnin, (4-2), seventh, Jonathan Lockwood (4-2), eighth,
Ray Freeman (3-3), Chuck Stapp and Jim Kramer (3-2).
At the end of the five Swiss rounds, automatic playoff qualifiers
were as follows: 1) Charlie Drozd, 45 VPs/4-0-1, 2) Pat Richardson,
43 VPs, 4-0-1, 3) Bruce Monnin, 40 VPs & 4-1-0, 4) Jonathan
Lockwood, 38 VPs/4-1-0, 5) Andy Choptiany, 35 VPs, 3-1-1, 6)Steve
Packwood, 34 VPs & 3-2-0, and 7) Dennis Nicholson, 32 VPs/3-2-0.
Ray Freeman won a tiebreaker over Chuck Stapp and Jim Kramer
for the eighth and final playoff slot; all three had finished
3-2 with 30 VPs. Jonathan Lockwood became the only player since
the single elimination rounds were expanded to quarter-finals
to make the playoffs four years in a row.
In the quarter-finals, top seed Charlie's Axis cruised past
Ray, Dennis's Axis upset Pat, Andy's Allies were .5 better than
Jonathan, and Steve's Axis crushed Bruce. In the semi-finals,
Charlie's Axis overcame Dennis using only nine ASW to sink his
first seven U-boats and won anyway. Meanwhile, Steve's Allies
In the Final, Charlie took the Allies for a 2.0 bid. Key events
included Turn 1, when the Germans sailed to the South Atlantic.
Gniesenau and Admiral Scheer were crippled and
disabled; Scharnhorst and Blucher failed to oil.
On Turn 4, the Axis deployed to the Barents, where they won the
area and sank Convoy 2B. Finally, on Turn 7 eight Allied ASW
rid the South Atlantic of six U-boats, but Axis LBA preserved
the win by sinking Convoy 3C. At this point the Allies surrendered,
unable to close the gap with a single turn remaining. The Allied
bid of 2.0 flipped an Allied 1-POC victory to an Axis 1-POC victory.
The favorite opening Allied strategy was again Barents on
1 by a heavy margin. Charlie Drozd copped Best Axis Player with
a 5-0-1 scoreboard, while Jonathan Lockwood nabbed Best Allied
Player laurels at 4-1-0, the sixth time he has been so designated.
Veteran gamer but first-time War At Sea contestant Jim
Fardette won Rookie of the Year with a 12th place finish and
2-0-1 mark. Finally, Rob Drozd was our sportsmanship nominee.
Playing a very new and very young player, Rob chose to make the
game a teaching experience for his opponent. For the eighth year
in a row, no chess clock expired.
The Allies won 43 of the 76 contests, or 56.6%; the Axis won
only 30 (39.5%) with three ties. These results contrasted with
last year's, when the Axis won a majority of the games. However,
this year the Axis won six of the seven playoff contests and
the Final was contested by two players who played (and won) most
of their games as the Axis. 67 of the 76 games featured an Allied
bid. The average bid this year was 1.51 (all games) and 1.72
(games with a bid). The latter was actually down microscopically
from last year; on the other hand, bids of 2.5, once unknown,
occurred 15 times this year.
As always, putting on the War At Sea tournament is
a team effort. My thanks go to Assistant Gamemasters Rob Drozd,
Ewan McNay, and John Sharp; John also provided the chess clocks,
with an assist from Charlie Drozd.
1997 champ Tim Hitchings looks to
recapture that magic against Ken Nied.
Jonathon Lockwood and James Kramer
finished 7th and 8th respectively.