Greg Smith battles second-ranked and
five-time champ Vince Meconi. GM Vince, the once dominant player
in this event has not won for a decade.
Four-time champ Kevin McCarthy opposes
sixth-ranked Dave Zimmerman. Like Vince, Kevin has been absent
from the Final for over a decade.
One for the Thumb ...
Four-time champ Ed Menzel topped Richard Beyma to claim his
fifth title. Ed, who finished 7-2 for the week, won the tournament
four years in a row from 2006-2009, but missed the playoffs the
last two years. For his part, Richard (10-2 this year) won in
2010 and reached the Final for the fourth straight year. Frequent
playoff contender Greg Smith took third at 7-8 and three-time
champ Kevin McCarthy finished fourth with a 3-4 log. The 30 entrants
and 56 total games played were lower than last year, although
the number of games played was still the fourth highest in tournament
history. How much the declines in entrants and games played were
due to the tropical rainforest conditions prevailing in Lampeter
is hard to say.
games were played at the Grognardcon from Saturday through Sunday,
and at the WBC proper from Monday through Friday. Friday night,
the 13 players who had played the required three games to qualify
for the Final 4 were ranked, with four advancing to the single-elimination
rounds. The qualifiers were, in order, Richard Beyma (9-1, 64
points), Ed Menzel (5-2, 62 points), Greg Smith (7-7, 60 points),
and Kevin McCarthy (3-3, 54 points). Richard Beyma was the only
player to return from last year's final four. Fifh place was
secured by John Sharp (3-4). He took home the coffee table book
The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865 for being the
highest finisher not to win a plaque. Other top finishers were:
Dave Zimmerman (3-3) 6th, Vince Meconi (3-3) 7th, Jeff Lange
(3-1) 8th, Charlie Drozd 9th, and Ted Drozd 10th.
In the semifinals, #1 Richard Beyma faced #4 Kevin McCarthy
and #2 Ed Menzel squared off against #3 Greg Smith. Richard's
Confederates, bidding 5.5, secured a turn 15 resignation from
Kevin, in advance of a near certain July 2 Rebel knockout (the
Grey was leading 48-22.5). Meanwhile, Ed Menzel's Rebels rolled
over Greg Smith's Federals; even a bid of 10.5 could not keep
the boys in Blue on the field past Turn 11.
In the Final, Richard again took the South for a bid of 11.
The Confederates were forced to hand over the chit to Ed on Turn
6 when suffering a double flip in an all-infantry assault on
Cemetery Hill. The reroll resulted in a single flip against the
Grey. With the chit in hand and no reason to hand it back, Ed
then proceeded to slowly grind down the CSA, leading to an eventual
July 2nd concession. Ed's 4-0 mark with the gray won him the
Best Confederate Player designation on a percentage basis over
Richard's no less impressive 9-2 tally. Jeff Lange's 3-0 record
as the Blue edged Vince Meconi's 3-1 log for Best Union Player
One notable feature of this year's tournament was the introduction
of a Revised Order of Appearance for both sides. In the revised
version, the game begins on the 10 AM turn, or Turn 2. The Confederate
troops which in the current rules arrive on Turns 2, 3, 4, 5,
and 6 now are delayed one turn, to Turns 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 respectively.
Union troops arriving on Turns 1, 2, and 3 arrive on Turns 2,
3, and 4 instead. Its usage was optional this year, and it was
not used in the playoffs. However, reviews were unanimous that
this change improved play balance by reducing the Confederate
edge. For this reason, the Revised Order of Appearance will become
standard for Scenario 5, our default scenario (3-Day Campaign)
at future WBCs. It is not advisable to use the Revised Order
of Appearance for the July 1 scenario, which already favors the
This year, the South won 30 games to 26 for the North. 47
games used the campaign scenario, with the Confederates winning
30. Nine games used the short July 1 scenario, with the Federals
winning all nine. Six of those nine July 1 scenario games were
played in pairs, with the best total score determining the winner
for Victory Point purposes and AREA reports. In the campaign
scenario games, there were 40 Confederate bids ranging from 1.0
to 12.0 Victory Points, no Union bids, and seven games in which
neither side bid. There was one Union bid of 2 among the July
1 scenario contests. The average bid was 4.32/Confederate for
all games and 5.75/Confederate for games in which there was a
bid. The former average equaled last year and the latter was
slightly lower, no doubt due to the usage of the Revised Order
Average game length clocked in at 3 hours and 41 minutes,
the longest by 20 minutes since we began timing games in 2004.
Game length ranged from an 8.5-hour ultramarathon between the
GM and Mark Gutfreund down to a 60-minute skirmish between Bert
Schoose and George Karahalios.
Again this year, thanks go to Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse
for running the Grognardcon portion of the event. Thanks also
to Assistant Gamemasters Ted Drozd, Ed Menzel, Greg Smith, and
Bill Thomson for helping run the tournament. Finally, Bill Morse
deserves continued appreciation for completely automating the
WBC scoring for all the Grognardcon games, including Gettysburg
Defending champ Ted Drozd tackles
A pair of familiar adversaries meet
once more in the Final.