Back in the late 60s, Three Dog Night sang, “One is the Loneliest Number”. That axiom is no longer true, as that number kept close company with Jeff Miller, who kept rolling it. In rapid succession, Jeff lost single ship actions to Keith Onderko, Curtiss Fyock, and Katherine Hitchings, the Game Master’s wife.
It wasn’t until he played the GM, himself, that Jeff snapped his losing streak. The game was won on the last turn by marine musket fire, eliminating a crew square on Tim’s ship, for a stupendous 38-37 victory.
(Single ship actions that don’t end with a ship striking its colors can be won on points: two points for each hull square and one for each rigging, gun, or crew hit.
Paul O’Neil was another skipper who took a one point victory, in his case over Stephen Munchak, 27-26. Paul’s skillful use of the repair rule made the difference.
The free form format for this and several other tournaments allows players to play as many games as they desire (or have the endurance to play). Only their best three games count for tournament advancement (along with bonus points earned)
In the Wooden Ships & Iron Men tournament, players must win a single ship scenario (for 10 tournament points) before they may advance to playing a two ship scenario (for 20 points), and then three ship scenarios for thirty points.
Jeff followed up with a single ship win over Steven Proksch.
From there, Jeff took the go-ahead win with a victory over Paul O’Neil in a match pairing two frigates on each side. Paul’s 36 gun frigate gave up the ghost on Turn 5! Jeff was able to avoid further entanglements to preserve his victory.
Keith Onderko posted two early wins including a two ship win over Paul O’Neil (This wasn’t Paul’s year). Keith and Paul played a Russian v. Turkish scenario in which each player commanded one ship-of-the-line and one frigate. Keith was able to strike Paul’s SOL for the win.
For the landlubbers who may be reading this, a ship-of-the-line was the 18th century equivalent of a battleship, while a frigate was the equivalent of a cruiser.
Despite his misfortune in the tournament, Paul O’Neil contributed to this year’s event in a special way. As a long time tour guide on the U.S.S. Constellation in Baltimore’s inner harbor, Paul donated a pass for a free tour of the Constellation and three neighboring ships as an additional prize for the winner of the tournament. Thanks, Paul!
| Tim Hitchings [17th Year]
|| 330 Kemper Drive, Newark, DE 19702