war at sea  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

 2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Bruce Monnin, OH

2014 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
2014    Bruce Monnin    35

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
2014    Robert Drozd    37

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    14    207
  2.  Andy Gardner       VA    14    195
  3.  Bruce Monnin       OH    14    161
  4.  Pat Richardson     FL    11    158
  5.  Ed Menzel          CA    14    152
  6.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    14    147
  7.  Vince Meconi       DE    14    136
  8.  Ray Freeman        CA    04    133
  9.  Robert Drozd       IL    14    118
 10.  Darren Kilfara     uk    12     99
 11.  Ewan McNay         CT    10     80
 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.  Ben Gardner        VA    14     28
 27.  Greg Berry         VA    05     28
 28.  John Pack          CO    12     21
 29.  Glenn McMaster     on    06     19
 30.  Michael Ussery     MD    13     18
 31.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    09     18
 32.  Andrew Maly        TX    14     16
 33.  John Elliott       MD    07     16
 34.  Rob Day            KS    06     16
 35.  Phil Rennert       MD    99     16
 36.  Jim Laws           WA    12     15
 37.  Joe Collinson      MD    03     15
 38.  Ron Dietz          OH    00     15
 39.  Jow Powell         VA    13     12
 40.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    06     12
 41.  John Strand        CO    03     10
 42.  Michael Knautz     WI    00     10
 43.  Phil Watkins       au    13      9
 44.  Karl Bodenheimer   MO    10      9
 45.  Mike Brophy        NC    06      8
 46.  Scott Beall        OR    08      5
 47.  Kevin Shewfelt     CA    04      5
 48.  Mike Bailey        VA    02      5
 49.  Dave Streamo       OH    00      5
 50.  Rob Flowers        MD    14      4
 51.  David Rynkowski    NY    13      4
 52.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    01      4
 53.  Bob Hamel          CT    99      4
 54.  Dan Henry          IL    01      3
 55.  Nick Markevich     CA    99      3
 56.  James Pei          TX    99      2
 57.  Sean McKenzie      AK    99      1

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Jonathan Lockwood, VA
2nd

Andy Gardner, VA
3rd

Ben Gardner, VA
4th

Dennis Nicholson, NY
5th

Vince Meconi, DE
6th

Past Winners

Bruce Monnin, OH
1991, 1993, 2004, 2014

Phil Rennert, MD
1994

Ray Freeman, CA
1995, 1999, 2003

Steve Packwood, MN
1996, 2011

Tim Hitchings, DE
1997

Mike Kaye, CA
1998

Pat Richardson, FL
2000, 2009

David Finberg, MA
2001

Andy Gardner, VA
2002, 2007

Dennis Nicholson, NY
2005

John Sharp, FL
2006

Jonathan Lockwood, VA
2008, 2012

Vince Meconi, DE
2010

Andrew Choptiany, PA
2013
 

Devin Dausin expands her repertoire vs Robert Drozd.

Ex-champ Jon Lockwood vs defending champ Andrew Choptiany.

Another battle of ex-champions: Steve Packwood vs Vince Meconi.

Randy MacInnis vs 2006 champ John Sharp.

35 Still in Convoy ...

Bruce Monnin lived up to his standing as a charter member of the War At Sea Hall of Fame by claiming his 4thWBC/Avaloncon championship; no one else has more. Bruce finished 6-1-1 and hardly had an easy path to the title, besting Jonathan Lockwood (6-2) in the Final. The Gardners, dad Andy (5-1) and son Ben (5-2) placed third and fourth, respectively. Andy was the only player to go undefeated in the five Swiss rounds. Dennis Nicholson (4-2) finished in fifth and was awarded the coffee table book Battle for the North Atlantic, given to the highest finisher who did not win wood. The other playoff contenders were Vince Meconi, the GM (4-2), in sixth, Darren Kilfara (3-3) in 7th and Bob Hamel (3-3) in 8th. Rounding out the top 10 were defending champ Andy Choptiany and Alan Zasada, both at 3-2, but on the losing end of the all important tiebreakers.

At the conclusion of the five Swiss round games, the top six automatically qualified: 1) Andy Gardner, 40 Victory Points/4-0, 2) Ben Gardner, 40 VPs, 4-1, 3) Dennis Nicholson,40 VPs & 4-1, 4) Jonathan Lockwood, 4-1, 38 VPs, 5) Vince Meconi, 36 VPs, 4-1, and 6) Bruce Monnin, 35 VPs and 3-1-1. Jonathan made the playoffs for the sventh year in a row, a record. A strength of schedule tiebreaker was needed for the last two playoff slots, with Darren Kilfara and Bob Hamel edging Andy Choptiany and Alan Zasada. Bob's 6.7000 strength of schedule nosed out Andy's 6.6956 by the narrowest margin on record. All four finished with 3-2 marks and 30 VPs.

In the quarterfinals, the Allies won all four games. Top seed Andy Gardner edged #8 Bob Hamel, #2 Ben Gardner bested #7 Darren Kilfara, #6 Bruce Monnin upset #3 Dennis Nicholson, and #4 Jonathan Lockwood easily handled the #5 GM. The latter game was notable for the fact that when the Axis conceded, they still had every German ship afloat and undamaged. In the semifinals, Jonathan Lockwood's Allies, bidding 2.5, never lost the blockade in cruising past Ben Gardner's Axis. On the other board, Bruce Monnin's Axis topped Andy Gardner's Allies, who bid 2.

The Final rematched Lockwood and Monnin; Jonathan had already bested Bruce in the Swiss rounds. Bruce was reprising his appearance in the Final from last year. Jonathan took a 6-0 record as the Allies into the game and got them again for a bid of 2.5. The game was not close, however, asJonathan's Allies, after failing multiple speed rolls and already in a hopeless position, resigned on Turn 3.

In a short pre-tournament induction ceremony, Dennis Nicholson became the sixth member of the War At Sea Hall of Fame, joining previous inductees Alan Applebaum, Ray Freeman, Andy Gardner, Jonathan Lockwood, and Bruce Monnin. Among his other achievements, Dennis is one of only two players to have won the "triple crown" of War At Sea - the WBC, PBeM Ladder, and BPA PBeM Championship tournaments.

This year's field was comprised of 35 players who played 64 total games. The favorite opening Allied strategy was again Barents on 1 by a wide margin. Best Axis player was Andy Gardner at 2-0 while Jonathan Lockwood claimed Best Allied Player honors at 6-1 - the fifth time he has been so recognized in the last seven years. Rookie of the Year was Devin Dausin, who was taught the game right before Round 1 by fellow competitor Richard Beyma. Devin finished 14th, which is also the highest finish ever by a female player. Finally, Jim Kramer was our sportsmanship nominee. In addition to being one of those players who's always a pleasure to sit across from, when he faced a brand new player, he made the game a teaching experience, even though it ended up jeopardizing his own playoff chances.

Play balance continues to yo-yo. This year's WBC had 26 Axis wins (40.6%), 37 Allied wins (57.8%), and a tie (1.6%). The soon-to-be-concluded BPA PBeM Championship, in contrast, currently shows a 54% Axis win rate to only 40% for the Allies. 59 of this year's WBC contests had an Allied bid with just five games without a bid. The average bid this year was 1.80 for all games and 1.95 for games with a bid, both increases over last year.

As always, putting on the War At Sea tournament is a teameffort. My thanks go to Assistant Gamemasters Rob Drozd and John Sharp; Charlie Drozd and Bob Hamel also helped as needed.

GM Jonathan Lockwood checks out the progress of his finalists in their 8th round of the day.

 Play By Email 2014

The tenth BPA War At Sea PBeM Championship saw 37 players fight it out in a slightly changed format. While the tournament was still conducted with five Swiss rounds, which resulted in six players who finished 4-1 or better to advance to the single elimination portion of the event. However, unlike previous events where bidding of POC determined the sides, the GM assigned sides for each game and the Axis player was given 2 POC at the start. This forced players to try their hands at both sides. The Axis won 48 of the 84 games played (57%), with the Allies taking three of the five elimination games.

Rob Drozd triumphed to win his first BPA War At Sea championship plaque, finishing 4-1 in the preliminary Swiss rounds. After defeating Jim Bodenheimer and Scott Beall, he lost in the third round to Andy Maly's Axis, the only player to go a perfect 5-0 in the Swiss rounds. Rob rebounded to defeat Andrew Choptiany and Karl Bodenheimer to advance to the single elimination portion of the event.

In the quarterfinals, Rob used the Allies to defeat perennial contender Jonathan Lockwood. He lost a battle in the Barents on Turn 3, but sank five Germans to make the Allied fleet ascendant the rest of the game.

In the semifinals he again encountered Andy Maly, this time he had the Axis and avenged the earlier loss. Rob's Axis grabbed a 6 POC lead without losing a German ship in the first three turns, then clinched victory with a Turn 7 clash in the South Atlantic.

Reaching the Final, Rob vowed to improve on his second place finish in the prior PBeM event, and again receiving the Axis side, he defeated Ed Menzel, third place finisher last time and the 2000 PBeM champion. Rob's Axis sank three carriers on Turn 1 (via LBA, U-boats and surface fleet). With those ASW gone, Rob was able to survive three close ASW/U-Boat battles to keep the North Sea open twice, which the German fleet used to earn the championship by 1 POC (3 POC after the handicap).

Andy Maly (with a 5-1 record) placed third, while Dennis Nicholson (fourth with a 5-2 record), Jonathan Lockwood (fifth place; 4-2) and Rob Flowers (sixth; 4-2) were the other laurelists.

Rob went 4-0 while playing the Axis side and 3-1 while playing the Allies.

I plan to start a new event in early 2015 and continue with the two month time limit per round. The rest of the format is still to be determined. The vast majority of the players prefer a Swiss-elimination format, so that will remain. The number of Swiss rounds is still to be determined, as the possibility of having just four Swiss rounds with 12-16 advancing to single elimination has been proposed, as has expanding to six Swiss rounds and only advancing four to single elimination.

The set POC handicap worked well and was popular, though differing opinions on where the handicap should be set may make me return to bidding for sides.

Final Results (37 Entrants ­ 84 Games Played):
1st - Rob Drozd (7-1)
2nd - Ed Menzel (5-1-1)
3rd - Andy Maly (5-1)
4th - Dennis Nicholson (5-2)
5th - Jonathan Lockwood (4-2)
6th - Rob Flowers (4-2)

 GM     Vincent Meconi  [12th Year]  105 Churchill Ln, Wilmington, DE 19808-4355 
   vmeconi@verizon.net  NA

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