Monday, Monday ... not the answer
Three-time champ Paul Gaberson vs
Bills Edwards vs George Young
James "The Master" Pei became the first four-time
winner in the event's history. Pei was undefeated, beating Chris
Jones, Bob Jamelli, and Michael Ussery in the preliminary rounds,
George Young in the semi-finals and Ussery again in the Final.
Ussery defeated Ernie Chambers and Doug Smith in the preliminary
rounds and advanced to the semi-finals on tiebreakers despite
losing to Pei in Round 3. He defeated Grant LaDue in the semi-finals
to advance to his rematch with the Master. Young and LaDue were
each unbeaten in the preliminary rounds. In Round 3 LaDue knocked
out Paul Gaberson, the defending champ, while Young outlasted
GM Keith Wixson, 2010's other finalist.
* This year I cancelled the fourth round because of the light
turnout, a large number of dropouts after Round 2 and a general
lack of interest.
* There was only one new player this year, down from four lin
2010. It has been suggested to me that I should have a demo if
I want to attract new players. I have resisted the idea in the
past for various reasons, but I will have to reconsider in the
* Half of last year's laurelists made it into the top six again
this year, including the defending champ.
* The best British player was Pei with four wins. Ussery had
three wins with the Brits. Several players had two wins as the
* The rule changes I have implemented to address the game's inherent
French advantage may have finally hit home. British players are
now allowed to retrieve a reinforcement card from the discard
pile at the start of each turn (if conditions permit), the French
Marine Detachment units have been reduced to only one loss step,
the starting French VPs have been reduced to 3 and side selection
has been made random in order to eliminate specialization. This
year the games split evenly with each side winning 16 (as compared
to French advantages of 69% last year, 65% in 2009, 67% in 2008,
61% in 2007, 52% in 2006, 56% in 2005, 71% in 2004 and 62% in
2003). Along with similar results from the current online tournament,
this is good news indeed. But time will tell if this isn't just
a statistical anomaly.
Prizes: The Champ received a warhawk and the losing
finalist received a spiked ballhead warclub. The losing semi-finalists
each received a book.
Attendance was up only slightly in the new Monday timeslot.
That was a disappointment but not really surprising in hindsight.
I had hoped that the heavy competition from other tournaments
in the old Wednesday timeslot would be lighter on Monday, but
if there was less competition it did not really matter. This
game has been around for a long time, and it has become apparent
that new players in significant numbers are probably not going
to be drawn to it, while veteran players are going to continue
to drift away to new games. That is understandable and it appears
unlikely that attendance will ever rise above the mid 20's again.
I have my doubts whether that is enough for a viable tournament.
Assuming this game survives the Century cut for 2012, I have
no idea at this point about what I will do next year. Since the
switch to Monday was pretty much a flop, if there is a tournament
in 2012 a move back to later in the week is possible. Also, a
change in format is probably warranted as the current format
was meant for a larger field.
Ernie Chambers vs Scott Beall
The Master picks up his fourth WNW
title vs Michael Ussery.