Eliminator Crowns Champion ...
OK, two guys who really want their
picture taken. Satisfied?
Henry Richardson and Michal Ussery
cross the Alps.
Bill Edwards tries to teach
young Ben Gardner a few tricks.
The 4th-ranked Chris Byrd draws
Eric Brosius in the early rounds.
Ed Note: I've always maintained that this event is the
epitome of what the ideal WBC tournament should be: a well stocked
veritable shark pool of skilled players - any one of whom can
rise to the top in a given year. 2012 was again no exception
as two stalwart players battled their way to the Final for the
first time to enhace their resumes - but a return trip next year
will remain a challenge - as it should be.
Carthage and Rome once again fought to a virtual draw, as
Carthage won 39 of 77. 46 were present for Round 1, and four
latecomers enabled the field to reach 50 for the fourth straight
year. Seven former winners were present, including the reigning
champion. Eight of the top ten AREA-rated players also graced
the field with their presence. In short, the competition was
as tough as it has ever been. Even the spectre of a Finnish invasion
hung over the event, as several rookies from Eastern Europe crossed
the Atlantic to test their mettle.
PCs for sides resulted in an average Bid of 1.02 for Carthage,
down slightly from last year. There was no bid in a third of
the games. A bidding war occurred for Rome in only four games.
The highest Carthage bid was 3, twice by the same person ...
Rounds 1 and 2 brought the demise of half of the top six seeded
players. Chris Byrd's Romans fell to Eric Brosius in a 9-9 tie
forged by Hasdrubal's last-turn voyage to Sardinia. Keith Wixson's
Romans lost in Round 2 to Michael Mitchell 10-8 and, in the biggest
surprise, James Pei's Carthaginians fell to Michael Sosa 11-7.
In Round 3, Kyle Greenwood's Romans managed to kill Hannibal
on Turn 7, but Sosa still managed to emerge with an 11-7 victory.
Michael Ussery's Carthaginians gained two siege points on Rome,
but had to lift a 2-pt. Roman siege on Carthage before taking
Gary Dickson's resignation. Steve Worrel accepted Michael Mitchell's
resignation upon the death of Scipio Africanus in Turn 8. Defending
champ, Lyman Moquin's Carthaginians gained a large province advantage
in Italy, but Paul Gaberson besieged Carthage, got two hits,
that were relieved by sea, then got another hit before time expired
with him behind 12-3. Randy Pippus' Carthaginians managed to
prolong the siege of Syracuse long enough to gain an insurmountable
province advantage and Randall MacInnis' resignation when his
Turn 9 strategy hand had little naval strength. Stuart Tucker's
Carthaginians marched two armies over the Alps on Turn 6 to hold
Gaul and Samnium into Turn 9, forcing Jim Heenehan's resignation
when his armies could make no headway in Spain or against Hannibal's
entrenched position in Gaul.
Six players entered Round 4 undefeated. Worrel's Carthage
gained both Syracuse and Philip against Moquin, but lost both
by game's end, managing to hold on for a slim 9-9 win in which
Scipio failed to get siege points against Carthage. Sosa's Carthage
lost Hannibal in Turn 4, but held on for a 9-9 victory over Ussery.
Tucker's Carthage entered Turn 9 down a province, but managed
to take both Gaul and Sardinia, at which point Pippus used two
Force March cards by Africanus to sack Carthage with but one
strategy card left.
On the loser's side of the bracket, Byrd and Wixson recovered
to post 4-1 records. Wixson's first Sand plaque was especially
noteworthy, as it completed the rare plaque cycle with all six
woods for Hannibal.
In the last round among the undefeated, Worrel's Carthage
got off quickly against Pippus, with both Philip and Messenger
Intercepted events on Turn 1, and Syracuse on Turn 2. Mago relieved
the first siege of Syracuse, but while Marcellus finally arrived
to complete the job, Hannibal romped in Italy, eventually forcing
a concession on Turn 7. At this point, Worrel departed with a
5-0 record, hoping for a good result in the other key match in
which undefeated Sosa faced the 3-1 player with the strongest
schedule, Heenehan. The latter's Romans overcame early Philip
and Syracuse cards and then invaded Africa to draw the bulk of
Carthage's forces there. The Hanno Counsels Carthage card was
played on Turn 9 to pin them there, allowing Rome to mop up in
Spain for an 11-7 win. This left Worrel as the only unbeaten
player, and the event with yet another first-time champion.
Philip Yaure deals with Mikko Raimi
of the Finnish invasion ....
... as Thomas Drueding meets Juhana
Keskinen of the Finnish team.
Michael Sosa wins the battle
of the duelling hats in the semifinals over Jim Heenehan.
Randy Pippus is unable to stop
Steve Worrel in the Final as two more sharks emerge.
THE PERFECT STORM. James Pei defended his WAM X championship,
going undefeated. There were 23 games played, with a bid of 1
for Carthage being typical, and Carthage won 16 games. Two of
the few bright spots for Rome were the championship game, where
James Pei came back from being down 11 - 7 in provinces to take
a win from Michael Sosa's Carthage, and what may be a new record
for fastest victory as Rome by Keith Wixson over Randy Mac Innis
as Carthage. Marcellus was successful in taking Carthage by siege
before the end of turn 2! Keith began his blitzkrieg by playing
Numidia Revolts as the last Roman card of turn 1, forcing Randy
to play his carefully saved 3 Ops to repopulate the province.
Marcellus was elected consul for turn 2. By filling in the missing
spaces in Western Numidia and playing Diplomacy, Keith assumed
control of Western Numidia. Randy fell into the trap by sending
Hanno west to break the control, using his last 3 Ops card. Keith
then played a campaign card to bring Marcellus' army directly
into Carthage, using the consul's special ability to get a siege
hit on landing. The next card played was Treachery in the City,
and Keith borrowed James' dice to roll two sixes and end the
game. Pass the salt?
Keith Wixson, NJ 3-1
Michael Sosa, FL 3-1
Marvin Birnbaum, NY 3-1
Randall MacInnis, NJ 2-2
Tim Miller, GA 1-3