war at sea   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

 2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Andrew Choptiany, PA

2013 Champion


Event History
1991    Bruce Monnin      20
1992    Tom Scarborough      23
1993    Bruce Monnin      28
1994    Phil Rennert      18
1995    Ray Freeman      33
1996    Steve Packwood      27
1997    Tim Hitchings      33
1998    Mike Kaye      32
1999    Ray Freeman     45
2000    Pat Richardson     42
2001    David Finberg     43
2002    Andy Gardner     51
2003    Ray Freeman     47
2004    Bruce Monnin     51
2005     Dennis Nicholson     55
2006    John Sharp     46
2007    Andy Gardner     44
2008    Jonathan Lockwood     50
2009     Pat Richardson     43
2010    Vince Meconi     46
2011    Steve Packwood     42
2012    Jonathan Lockwood     47
2013    Andrew Choptiany     39

PBeM Event History
1999    Vince Meconi      22
2000    Ed Menzel      39
2001    Jonathan Lockwood      43
2004    Don Greenwood      44
2006    Andy Gardner     46
2008    Darren Kilfara     46
2010    Jonathan Lockwood     43
2012    Dennis Nicholson     50
2013    Timothy Tow     41


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Andy Gardner       VA    12    179
  2.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    12    175
  3.  Pat Richardson     FL    11    158
  4.  Ray Freeman        CA    04    133
  5.  Vince Meconi       DE    13    132
  6.  Ed Menzel          CA    13    128
  7.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    12    127
  8.  Bruce Monnin       OH    13    121
  9.  Darren Kilfara     uk    12     99
 10.  Ewan McNay         CT    10     80
 11.  Robert Drozd       IL    13     78
 12.  Andy Choptiany     PA    13     72
 13.  Bruce Reiff        OH    10     71
 14.  Don Greenwood      MD    12     70
 15.  Steve Packwood     MN    11     70
 16.  Michael Kaye       CA    10     64
 17.  Charlie Drozd      IL    12     60
 18.  Alan Applebaum     MA    10     52
 19.  David Finberg      MA    01     50
 20.  Tim Tow            WA    13     45
 21.  Rob Flowers        NC    06     44
 22.  John Sharp         FL    06     40
 23.  Jim Kramer         PA    12     38
 24.  Tim Hitchings      DE    04     30
 25.  Bill Thomson       TX    03     30
 26.  Greg Berry         VA    05     28
 27.  John Pack          CO    12     21
 28.  Glenn McMaster     on    06     19
 29.  Michael Ussery     MD    13     18
 30.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    09     18
 31.  Ben Gardner        VA    13     16
 32.  John Elliott       MD    07     16
 33.  Rob Day            KS    06     16
 34.  Phil Rennert       MD    99     16
 35.  Jim Laws           WA    12     15
 36.  Joe Collinson      MD    03     15
 37.  Ron Dietz          OH    00     15
 38.  Jow Powell         VA    13     12
 39.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    06     12
 40.  John Strand        CO    03     10
 41.  Michael Knautz     WI    00     10
 42.  Phil Watkins       au    13      9
 43.  Karl Bodenheimer   MO    10      9
 44.  Mike Brophy        NC    06      8
 45.  Scott Beall        OR    08      5
 46.  Kevin Shewfelt     CA    04      5
 47.  Mike Bailey        VA    02      5
 48.  Dave Streamo       OH    00      5
 49.  David Rynkowski    NY    13      4
 50.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    01      4
 51.  Bob Hamel          CT    99      4
 52.  Dan Henry          IL    01      3
 53.  Nick Markevich     CA    99      3
 54.  James Pei          TX    99      2
 55.  Sean McKenzie      AK    99      1

2013 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists:

Bruce Monnin, OH

Ben Gardner, VA

Joe Powell, VA

Rob Drozd, IL

David Rynkowski, NY

Past Winners

Bruce Monnin, OH
1991, 1993, 2004

Phil Rennert, MD

Ray Freeman, CA
1995, 1999, 2003

Steve Packwood, MN
1996, 2011

Tim Hitchings, DE

Mike Kaye, CA

Pat Richardson, FL
2000, 2009

David Finberg, MA

Andy Gardner, VA
2002, 2007

Dennis Nicholson, NY

John Sharp, FL

Jonathan Lockwood, VA
2008, 2012

Vince Meconi, DE

Andrew Choptiany, PA

GM Vince Meconi checks his standings board.

Three-time champ Ray Freeman vs Bob Hamel

Joe Powell vs Rod Drozd

Jim Kramer vs John Elliott

39 Still in Convoy ...

Andy Choptiany won the 2013 War At Sea Championship with an overall record of 6-1-1. Andy was competing in just his fourth full tournament. He defeated three-time champion Bruce Monnin (5-3) in a tense Final. Two-time champion Ben Gardner finished third with a record of 6-1and was the only player to go unbeaten in the five swiss rounds. Joe Powell took fourth with a 5-2 mark. Rob Drozd (4-2) finished fifth to grab the last (AC bonus) plaque. Sixth place laurles went to DavidRynkowski (3-2), who received a copy of the book Mussolini's Navy, given to the highest finisher not winning a plaque. The additional playoff contenders were 7th, defending champion Jonathan Lockwood (3-3) and Bruce Reiff (3-3-0). Rounding out our top10 with 3-2 records were current PBeM Ladder Champ JohnPack in and Charlie Drozd respectively.

At the conclusion of the five Swiss rounds, the eight qualifiers were set, with, unusually, no tiebreaker needed: 1) Ben Gardner, 48 Victory Points, 2) Rob Drozd, 40 VPs, 3) Andy Choptiany, 37 VPs, 4) David Rynkowski, 36 VPs, 5) JoePowell, 36 VPs, 6) JonathanLockwood, 32 VPs, 7) Bruce Monnin (32 VPs and 8) BruceReiff, also 32 VPs.

In the quarterfinals, top seed Gardner's Allies handled #8 seed Reiff', #3 Choptiany's Axis blew out #6 Lockwood, #7 Monnin's Allies outlasted #2 Drozd, and #4 Powell's Allies maxed out against #5 Rynkowski. In the semifinals, Andy Choptiany's Axis used the 2.5 bid they received to edge Ben Gardner by the razor-thin 0.5 POC margin; Monnin's Allies, bidding 1.5, killed lots of Germans in a big Turn 2 battle and used the resulting momentum to defeat Powell's defanged Axis.

The Final rematched Choptiany and Monnin; Andy had already bested Bruce in the Swiss rounds. This time, Bruce took the Allies for 2.5. Andy took the early lead, winning a North Atlantic battle on Turn 1 to gain 2 POC at a cost of two ships while sinking three British battleships. POC remained motionless for the next few turns; Allied LBA could not hit Italian cruisers while Axis LBA managed to sink an Allied ship every turn. Ineffective Allied ASW allowed the U-boat fleet to remain largely intact and sink another Allied ship per turn. However, Bruce managed to carry the game to the last turn. His Allies had convoys in both the North Atlantic and Barents, and needed to land both for the win. Bruce's 10 ASW in the North Atlantic removed all four remaining U-boats enabling him to put that convoy into England for a single POC. The game thus came down to the last die roll against the Barents convoy; the Axis needed to sink or disable the convoy to preserve their 2.5 POC margin. The deciding LBA roll was a 5, disabling the last convoy back to the USA and handing the win to Andy's Axis.

In a brief pre-tournament induction ceremony, Jonathan Lockwood became the fifth member of the War At Sea Hall of Fame, joining previous inductees Alan Applebaum, Ray Freeman, Andy Gardner, and Bruce Monnin. Jonathan is a two-time WBC champ, a two-time BPA PBeM Champion, and the all-time leader in tournament playoff appearances, games played, total wins, Allied wins, top 4 finishes, and many other statistical categories. Despite the bulls-eye on his back, Jonathan made the playoffs again this year for the sixth year in a row, another record.

The 39-player field was the smallest since 1998, but still managed to log 72 games played. The favorite opening Allied strategy was again Barents on 1 by a wide margin, with a few Mediterranean strategies sprinkled throughout the tourney. Champ Andy Choptiany added to his winnings by scoring the Best Axis Player nod with a 3-0 log, while Ben Gardner earned Best Allied Player props at 5-1. Finally, RobDrozd was our sportsmanship nominee. Facing a new player, he chose to use the game as a teaching exercise, displaying great patience, heedless of his own playoff chances. It was not the first time he has done so. My favorite quote of the tourney came from newcomer Rob Hammand, who lamented, "My dice were so bad I'd have been better off ramming my opponents' ships!"

After last year's perfect play balance between the Allies andAxis, this year's Axis competitors apparently rested on their laurels, with theAllies scoring 41 victories to just 30 for the Axis (and one tie). 56 of the 72 games featured an Allied bid ranging from 1.0 to 2.5 POC (a much lower percentage than last year); 16 had no bid and no player bid for the Axis. The average bid this year was 1.38 (all games) and 1.77 (games with a bid), both down from last year's record highs.

As always, putting on the War At Sea tournament is a team effort. My thanks go to Assistant Gamemasters Rob Drozd and John Sharp; chess clocks were provided (and largely set up) by Charlie Drozd with an appreciative nod to Alan Applebaum for the original purchase.

Is two-time champ Jon Lockood ready to pass the torch to young Ben Gardner?

Three titles availed Bruce Monnin nothing as Andrew Choptiany won it all.

 Play By Email 2013

Tim Tow won his first BPA championship, besting a field of 41 in the Ninth BPA War At Sea PBeM tournament. Tim went 5-0 to win the Smgle Elimination event. He began with a win over Jim Laws, and then added Ken Gutermuth, Phil Watkins and Ed Menzel to his victims before bestowing runner-up honors on Robert Drozd in the title game. Ed Menzel (3rd with a 3-1 record), Vince Meconi (4th, 3-1), Phil Watkins (5th, 3-1) and Michael Ussery (6th, 2-1) rounded out the laurelists.

Tim showed versatility in the tournament, winning three times as the Axis and twice as the Allies. Overall, the Allies enjoyed a 22-17 advantage in the tournament, with the average bid to play the Allied side going for 1.7 POC.

The bids broke down as:
0.0 POC: Axis 1-0
0.5 POC: Axis 1-0
1.0 POC: Allies 3-0
1.5 POC: Allies 10-4
2.0 POC: Allies 9-8
2.5 POC: Axis 3-0

Tim took the Allies in the Final with a bid of 1.5 POC. A Barents on 1 strategy was challenged when one of the British battle cruiserss failed its speed roll. A triple nickel air strike roll by the Allies sent three of the heaviest German ships back to port, but the Luftwaffe countered by sinking the Renown and disabling the Hood. However the Allies were able to hold the area while sinking a couple of German ships. The German fleet licked its wounds on Turn 2 while the Luftwaffe shone again, crippling the Ark Royal and sinking the Repulse.

On Turn 3 the Germans contested the Barents when two slow British battleships failed their speed rolls. The resulting battle left the Formidable alone in the Barents maintaining the blockade, with the Allies up 4 POC.

On Turn 4, three Italian cruisers and seven U-boats sortied to the South Atlantic against two battleships and the Eagle, but ASW accounted for four of the U-boats. The remainder managed to sink a battleship. The Eagle's airstrike disabled one cruiser and after the ensuing battle, again a lone carrier remained. Convoy 1A pushed the Allied lead to 7 POC.

On Turn 5, the British left six battleshipss in the North Sea drawing the Axis fleet for a losing fight, and the British maxed out POC at +10. After a failed attempt to break the North Sea blockade with five U-boats against 18 ASW on Turn 6, the Axis conceded.

I plan to run the next event in a Swiss-Elim format with a two month time limit per round. Instead of bidding for sides (which can lead to specialization in one side or the other) I plan to gives the Axis 2.0 POC at the start of each game. Sides will be randomly assigned in the first round, and in any other matchup where both players have played each side an equal number of times. When one player has played a side more often than his opponent, his opponent will be assigned that side.

We will probably start either not long before or not long after WBC.

 GM      Vincent Meconi  [11th Year]   105 Churchill Ln, Wilmington, DE 19808-4355 
    vmeconi@verizon.net    302-234-1415

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