You sank my battleship ...
Nineteen admirals faced off in this year's
Naval War competition. This resulted in a three-table preliminary
and six-player final, with table winners and the top three scores
from the also-rans advancing.
The first table saw Debbie Otto grab
an early lead - almost always a bad thing, even if the leader
acheives that status by default. The rest of the table rewarded
her good fortune by eliminating her in each of the next three
hands, as Debbie managed to set a record by losing ships in more
different ways than anyone else in the tournament. Mines, carriers,
subs, destroyers and regular gunfire all contributed to her downfall.
Meanwhile, GM John Ellsworth languished near the bottom of the
pack but showed his knowledge of the game by scoring 53 points
on the last hand to win the table. Rolling a "6" with
his destroyer attack significantly aided the cause.
Table 2 proved to be a hangout for sharks, advancing four
players to the final while leaving past champion Greg Mayer out
of the running with 67 points. Newcomer Bill Beckman, taught
the game as it was being played, ended up with a negative score
but earned commendations for his upbeat mood throughout. Destroyer
attacks took out ten of his ships through the course of the game.
Ken Good and Sue Ellsworth earned a homemade "Shoot Here"
target, but still led the pack leaving the table.
At Table 3, last year's finalist Matt Evinger lost out to
a strength-5 minefield attack. His destroyers managed to sink
but one ship. Martin Svensson used a big last hand to edge Stuart
Sahl for the prelim victory.
The final round proved that the four players from Table 2
knew what they were doing, as they finished 1-2-3. Sue Ellsworth
and Ken Good jumped off to big early leads, while the GM drew
five additional ships before the first card was played and was
blasted by all of the mine cards thereafter. His ten-ship fleet
managed to score -4 points. In the second hand, Martin was soon
reduced to a fleet of carriers. He put them to good use, sinking
five ships with them. In a rarity for this game, the people who
were 1-2-3 at the end of the first hand finished that way, with
Sue Ellsworth edging out Ken Good and Roy Pettis in a game where
only 18 points separated first from last.