a few acres of snow   

Updated Nov. 23, 2012

2012 WBC Report  

  2013 Status: pending 2013 GM commitment

Nick Page, on

2012 Champion

Event History
2012    Nick Page     33


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Nick Page          on    12     30
   2.  Nick Henning       DC    12     18
   3.  Kevin Lewis        DC    12     12
   4.  Patrick Mirk       FL    12      9
   5.  Alexandra Henning  NC    12      6
   6.  Claire Brosius     MA    12      3

2012 Laurelists                                               

Nick Henning, DC

Kevin Lewis, DC

Patrick Mirk, FL

Alexandra Henning, NC

Claire Brosius, MA

UK's Peter Card runs up against Alexandra Henning.

Nick Page polishes off Chaley Hickok on the way to the title.

British Arms Prevail ...

The debut of any WBC tournament is always full of surprises, and FAS was no exception. Going into the event we had anticipated a shortage of games so made efforts to borrow a few spares but almost every player brought a copy in stark contrast to most two-player events I've experienced.

Another concern was that games would run long as they invariably do for new games and at first this appeared to be the case as the Mulligan and Round 1 games were requiring more than two hours. However, once the field was reduced play speeded up considerably with the Final requiring only 45 minutes. No games had to be adjudicated which was a relief to all concerned.

The issue of game balance has been discussed in great depth on various gaming forums with the verdict strongly favoring the British. Martin Wallace, the games designer, has addressed this with a second edition set of rules changes that were in effect at WBC. Also employed was a fairly standard WBC bidding system and while this was on the event preview it seemed to come as a surprise to many players. The tournament rule is that you are bidding how many draw and discards you will give your opponent to have choice of sides. Being able to cycle cards can be decisive, so the idea is to establish how many of these opportunities you will concede in order to command the British. I don't think the correct range was established this year, and I expect future bids to evolve accordingly.

Attendance was a rather robust 33 for a game that has been touted as "broken" by the card sharks and a total of 34 matches were played. All were played in an atmosphere of good humor and friendly competition. I also appreciate the patience shown to a very rusty GM by all. The 34 games played produced 17 wins for each side. Point victories were dominated by the French 17-10. However, the British enjoyed a 7-1 advantage in Military wins. The average bid for side was 1.97 with the bids topping out at 7. The highest British point total was 63 while the best the French could manage was 60. Of the 27 Point wins, five were by three points or less. Twelve games were won by 11 points or more. Given that the majority of players were inexperienced the results cannot be seen as typical. It is clear that it takes a few games to get to grips with the unique systems and see the strategies that favor each side. By next year, French players are going to have to adjust their bids if they are to counter the British Military Strategy.

Mulligan Round - Sunday 9pm
Having an optional extra round of games preceding Round 1 allowed both players and the GM to get a refresher in the game and the mechanics of running a tournament. All players can still play in the official first round on Monday after having had a chance for a practice game. The advantage to players who win in the Mulligan round is that they automatically advance to Round 2, gaining schedule flexibility on Monday.

16 players started the Mulligan Round where it quickly became obvious that many were playing for the first time. A lot of explanation of the rules and the changes made in the 2nd edition was conducted before everyone settled down to play. One humorous incident stood out. One player who hadn't played the game before was having a great time against another first time player who clearly was not taken by the game system. After a long game, the losing (and unimpressed) player promptly offered his copy for sale to the games latest convert to much general amusement - especially after his offer was accepted. Otherwise, it was a British night with five wins (two by Military) against three losses.

Demo - Monday 11am
The interest in the game was still high a year after its initial appearance in the Showroom as the darling of the Open Gaming crowd. This curiosity extended to the demo immediately before Round 1 with a good turnout of people interested in how this euro-style wargame played.

Round 1 - Monday Noon
The first round saw 12 games played with many of the same faces from the Mulligan round returning for more. As in the Mulligan round we had mostly new players and lots of questions concerning the game and the tournament format. However, this time the French won the day with eight wins against four losses. Two of the four were Military defeats.

Round 2
The second round fielded 14 players who had won in either the Mulligan or Round 1, yielding seven games. The pace was quicker with far fewer questions although the bidding was in the main still pretty light. The earlier French advantage was upheld, but barely ... 4-3, and again with two British Military wins.

Round 3
With seven surviving players, the GM was pressed into service as a spoiler to field four quarterfinal games. In the unlikely event the GM succeeded, a random chosen loser would get a second life in the semifinals. The only French Military victory of the event was scored against the GM who tried and failed to execute a British expansion strategy against a very belligerent (in game terms) French player. The other three games were all British point wins with, even at this late stage, little bidding to gain the British side.

Patrick Mirk (British) vs Nick Henning (French) Bid 4
Nick Page (British) vs Kevin Lewis (French) Bid 5
The pace quickened in the semis with both winners demonstrating the strengths of their chosen sides. Henning guided the French to a points win while the other Nick took the Military route with the British. All four players had obviously studied the game and played frequently prior to WBC. The bidding was higher also reflecting the players understanding of each side's value.

Nick Page (British) vs Nick Henning (French) Bid 6
The French started a siege of Permaquid - a good way to slow down the British while building up settlements. However, the British ignored this siege (other than to keep it going) in favor of a siege of Port Royal. This had the effect of tying up some French military assets that could have been used elsewhere.
Both sides built their military with the French frequently able to ambush the British Regulars or Artillery. After winning the Siege in Port Royal, the British moved on to Louisburg and the pattern was set.

The British siege was slowed by French ambushes while the French expanded their settlements. The French used the card draws from bidding at critical moments to keep sieges alive. The British tuned their deck to keep their coffers fueled with 6 money turns to fund a military purchase. The siege of Louisburg grew until the French were forced to abandon the Permaquid siege to free up their military assets. The fall took several more rounds but the British prevailed.

During the lull between sieges the French continued to expand while the British prepared for the next siege. The British started a siege at Trois Rivieres that became the game winner as all the French points beyond Trois Rivieres were now out of supply. Much of the French deck becomes useless and they soon concede.

Bruce Hodgins's Redcoats run up against the French of everyone's favorite Ticket to Ride GM.

GM Roy Gibson oversees his finalists. Page's win prevented Nick from getting his fourth championship of the week.
 GM      Roy Gibson  [1st Year]   NA
    RoyGibson@me.com   NA

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