atlantic storm [Updated August 2000]

    18-20    10-12
    20-22    17-19
    16-18     18-20     

   Maryland 3  Maryland 1-2   Salon B

Robert Eastman, OK

2000 Champion

2nd: Scott Buckwalter, MD

3rd: Henry Richardson III, VA

4th: Josh Gifford, MD

5th: Ben Knight, MD

6th: Marty Sample, NH
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    Ric Manns      155
1999    Roy Gibson     116
2000    Robert Eastman     129
AREA Ratings
 1    Robert Hamel      1691
 2    Brian Hedrick      1545
 3    Diana Hamel      1522
 4    David Large      1515
 5    Gene Barrett      1467
 6    Timothy Greene      1403
 7    Mathew Hamel      1307
 8    None      -
 9    None      -
10    None      -

Everyone knows Oklahomans make the best sailors ...

Atlantic Storm once again proved itself to be one of the most popular tournaments at the WBC, drawing 129 eager naval commanders to the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

As in previous years, there were four qualifying heats leading up to the semi-final round. Each winner of a heat game automatically qualified to play in the semi-finals. Once again there were plenty of strange happenings in the North Atlantic during the qualifying heats. Some of the highlights included:

  • Two games being decided by the second tie-breaker (lowest convoy card number, one player won with convoy card C19 as his lowest)
    Andy Gardner rolling the dreaded "snakes" with the Bismarck costing him an opportunity to take 10 VP's all by himself
    Mike Arnold taking the last convoy of the game for a three point swing and beating Don Chappell by two points
    Keith "Boom-Boom" Hunsinger taking out the Bismarck with the Rodney and then swiping the six point convoy (an 11 point hand)
    The Gneisenau, Lutzow, and Tirpitz all going down as spoils in one battle
    Roy Gibson's whopping 54 points scored in one 5-player game
    Ben Knight rolling "Boxcars" with the Tirpitz to claim PQ18 and the Rodney
    Carl Damcke getting bitten by the "snake" with the Tirpitz to give Steve Arcidiacong a 10 point hand

Twenty-nine of the 35 preliminary qualifiers came for the semi-final round on Saturday afternoon. This gave us enough to set up six games to advance six players to the final. When the semi-finals were over, Henry Richardson III, Ben Knight, Scott Buckwalter, Josh Gifford, Marty Sample, and Robert Eastman sat down to do battle for the Atlantic Storm title.

GM John Coussis (left) and designer Ben Knight (center) plot the fate of an Atlantic convoy while the pack gathers.

As was the case in 1999, this year's final also began with a "storm" of Arctic convoys. The first three convoys played were all in the Arctic. Ben decided to make enemies early as he played the Arctic Storm card on the first hand to take Marty out of the play. Some justice was served as Ben had his play for the second convoy taken out by Josh's play of the fate card. Ben then followed up with the line of the tournament "At least the sixth place player gets a plaque". A couple of convoys later Josh took a short lead by out-rolling Henry for a 7 VP convoy.

As the game approached the midpoint Scott chose to play convoy HX79 (1940 Atlantic) and called air as the suit. He then proceeded to discard a card since he had no 1940 cards to play. One by one the other players all discarded as well until it came to Ben, who was last to play. Ben calmly placed the Admiral Hipper down (air value of 1) to steal the convoy. So, after ten convoys the visible (i.e. convoy points) scores were as follows: Josh-13, Scott-12, Ben-9, Henry-2, Marty-1, and Robert-0.

Marty started the second half of the game by choosing convoy PQ12, QP8 and calling a combined action. He then played the Victorious (which not only gets two dice +3 in a combined action, but is fated against this convoy). Needless to say no one dared oppose him and he quietly walked away with it. A couple of hands later Marty got the Victorious back and tied up the battle for convoy SC118 sending it around a second time. Marty then played an escort group in the second hand and out-rolled Henry to take the convoy.

As the second half of the game rolled on, Robert made a steady charge. At one point he took 13 VP's in two hands. Helped by Henry rolling a 1 (and only needing a 2 to tie the hand) and giving Robert seven VP's at one shot. Robert then had the lead in the second to last convoy of the game. He chose a juicy seven-point convoy and played the Atlantic Storm card in addition to his regular card. Robert rolled a two and promptly took Scott out of the hand since he was leading the game at the time. Incredibly. no one else could challenge Robert for the convoy and he took it with no opposition. The last convoy of the game was SC48 and drew out all the big ships. Josh began the hand by leading the Hood. Henry added to the allied total with the Duke of York. Marty then swiped four VP's for himself by playing the Bismarck to sink the Hood. Unfortunately for Marty. Ben next played the Rodney to take fiveVP's for himself. There was not much that Scott or Robert could do to affect the outcome so Henry took the convoy with the Duke of York.

It was now time to add up the numbers. In the end, Robert's late game charge made the difference as he won with a total of 27 points. Scott finished second with 22 points (20 convoy) and Henry third also with 22 (14 convoy). Josh took fourth with 17, Ben was fifth also with 17, and Marty had to settle for sixth while only scoring 15 points.

All in all the Atlantic Storm tournament was a great time. I was pleased to see the participation level rise and I'm looking forward to more excitement in the North Atlantic next year.

 GM      John Coussis  [2st Year]  1978G Kenilworth Circle, Hoffman Estates, IL 60195   (847) 490-1504

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