New Blood ...
Jim Eliason vs Lewis Ritter
Michael Ussery turns back Grant LaDue.
Paul Gaberson downed George Young
in a semifinal match between frequent opponents.
GM Keith Wixson tantalizes his finalists
with his special vintage weapon replica prizes.
Michael Ussery became the first new Champion since 2006, defeating
defending Champion Keith Wixson in the semifinals and three-time
champ Paul Gaberson in the Final. Gaberson defeated George Young
in the other semifinal. Young also fell in the semifinals last
Highlights of the tournament:
tournament abandoned its longstanding Class A status and was
offered as a Class B event for the first time and welcomed five
new players as a result.
Despite the new blood, attendance was down to 17 from 22 last
year, as several regulars were unable to fit the new Thursday
time slot into their schedules. Thursday was not my choice, as
I moved the tournament there to avoid a conflict with a new event
on Wednesday. That's what I get for being a nice guy. As the
saying goes, let no good deed go unpunished.
Four of last year's laurelists made it into the top six again
The games split almost evenly with the French winning ten
games and the Brits winning eight (that is 56% French wins as
compared to 54% French wins last year, 50% French wins in 2011,
69% French wins in 2010, 65% French wins in 2009, 67% French
wins in 2008, 61% French wins in 2007, 52% French wins in 2006,
56% French wins in 2005, 71% French wins in 2004 and 62% French
wins in 2003). However, the Brits won two of the three elimination
Additional Prizes: The Champ took home a Buffalo Jaw Warclub
and the runner-up won a French Style Warhawk.
No play-by-plays this year as the Champ's last two games were
anticlimactic. In the semifinal against the GM, Wixson's Brits
drew no reinforcement cards in the first two turns and lost a
reinforcement card to Ministerial Crisis at the start of Turn
3. Facing long odds as a result, Wixson gambled all on a stab
at Ticonderoga with his main army under Abercromby, without a
viable retreat route, before the French defenders could return
from winter quarters. Ussery immediately counterattacked with
the French main army in a low odds attack due to British fieldworks
but won the day, destroying the British force and drawing a concession.
The championship game was also quick. Gaberson's French were
crippled on the first card play of the game when Montcalm was
killed at Ft. William Henry. Ussery drew plenty of reinforcements
early and by late '58 was able to grind the French down in the
Champlain Valley. Gaberson then resigned a hopeless position.
I don't know what the future holds for this event. If we make
the Century cut, which appears unlikely, I will try to find a
better day and will simplify the format. The current Swiss Elim
system really doesn't work well with small tournaments. If we
finally do miss the cut I will not attempt to continue the event
as a trial and will bow out as GM. This event has had a very
good 12-year run, but perhaps it is time for it to end. In any
case, I will continue to offer PBeM tournaments for this game
and hope to start one next year.