war at sea [Updated August 2001]

WAS  5 prizes Beginners Swiss Elim Continuous 
 Demo 17
    9, 11, 13, 15, 17  Round 2 19 Semi    Round 3  21 Final   

  Valley

David Finberg, MA

2001 Champion

2nd: Pat Richardson, VA

3rd: Rob Flowers, NC

4th: Michael Ussery, MD

5th: Glenn McMaster, ONT

6th: Bruce Monnin, OH
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

AREA Ratings:

GM: John Pack

Dice At Sea

David Finberg ruled the waves this year after a 1 PoC victory in the final - denying Pat Richardson's bid to become the first repeat champion in War at Sea. David played only one tournament game before this year's performance! He certainly proved that last year's win was no fluke!

Under temporary GM, John Pack, two changes were introduced. The first, the use of a head-to-head tie-breaker, had no effect on the semi-finalists selection at all. In fact, despite continued high attendance, this was the first year since 1998 that everyone who scored 40 VPs or more made it into the semi-finals! The head-to-head tie-breaker did keep Bruce Monnin (38 VPs) from collecting a plaque - as Glenn McMaster (also 38 VPs) edged him for fifth place by defeating Bruce directly in the fourth round before leaving to play Dune! Glenn's early and unexpected departure (a "spice" addiction?) ultimately left him as the only undefeated player of the day!

Chess Clocks: The second (and more significant) change was the introduction of chess clocks! With 1:45 on the clocks for each round, the preliminary Swiss rounds completed on time (though we played catch-up for the first three rounds given the first round's longer time for sign-ups and pairings). The normal need to adjudicate several games per round was eliminated! Flags dropped in just two games - with only a single result affected (a draw by virtue of both flags dropping). Previous experience with clocks in VIP helped many of the entrants adjust easily (albeit with a quicker pace than normal)! Praise for the clocks and the timeliness of the tournament was widespread!

On the other hand, there was also a general sentiment that five more minutes per player per game would be very welcome. Even the GM thought so! No flags would have dropped at all with the additional time. John and Vince are discussing the issue (along with the desire to keep a two-hour format) and will bring it to Consimworld shortly. Join in and let us know what resolution you think is best!

The GM began the day by promising that he'd keep his position atop the all-time "Most Losses" chart. I fulfilled that promise easily by losing two more games - including one to the runner-up loser, Bruce Monnin! On the other hand, I did win my first game after my opponent responded to my 0 bid for the Axis with a bid of 3! Now if only I can figure out how to get my other opponents to bid 3...

A big welcome back for Mike Brophy - who entered WAS at the first Avaloncon in 1991 and then didn't come back until this year - ten years later!

This year's event was particularly hard on some of the former champions: Ed Menzel (who just won the BPA PBEM) went 1-4, Tim Hitchings 0-2, Tom Scarborough 1-2, and Mike Kaye 0-2. Mike returned during the semi-finals to play whomever he could find - determined to win one before leaving. It took three more tries! The all-time winning percentage holder, Greg Berry, went 0-3. The other members of the all-time best percentage list didn't fare so well either - combining for 17 wins and 22 losses (and that includes Bruce Monnin at 4-1 and Pat Richardson at 5-2).

This year's sportsmanship nomination went to Nick Markevich - without whose help running the scoring and pairings, the tournament would have been much slower and less enjoyable for all of us!

Rob Flowers took home the Rookie of the Year honors though his subsequent finish in the PBEM tournament shows that he'll be a future force to contend with! Rob finished the Swiss preliminaries with 45 VPs (the best total) and a win over defending champion, Pat Richardson. The other finalists, all with 40 VPs, were Mike Ussery, David Finberg, and Pat Richardson (who won his first four Swiss rounds).

Since Pat had played both David and Rob previously, he was paired with Mike for the semi-finals. Pat took the Axis when Mike offered a bid of one for the Allies. Meanwhile David squared off with Rob and took the Axis for no bid.

Both Allied players opened up with the same configuration (North Atlantic 3 BB/1 CA/1 CV, Barents 3/7/1, South Atlantic 3/0/1, North Sea 5/0/1). Both Axis players responded by putting one 225 in the Baltic and heading to the South Atlantic with everything else (with David sending the three U-Boats and losing one 225 to speed rolls and Pat holding the U-Boats in reserve).

Both Axis players lost three small ships and had a crippled ship in the neutral port. David also lost two U-Boats. On the opposite side, Rob's Allies lost one BB and the Eagle while Mike's lost only a single 336! Both Axis players took a three PoC lead - but paid heavily in attrition!

Both Axis players attempted to speed roll their crippled 357s from the neutral port into the North Sea (with the hopes of failing and porting in Germany for repairs). Both made their speed rolls and quickly died!

Thereafter, the games began to look just a little bit different! David challenged a 2/3/1 placement in the North Atlantic with a 225, 127, and four Italians. The 225 and three Italians were lost while a lone Italian survived (with damage) to win the area and kill the CV! The Axis took a 5-PoC lead. On Turns 3 and 4, the Axis sat behind the blockade losing another U-Boat along the way but also taking out a CV with the Luftwaffe. However, 1A arrived to take the Axis lead down to two. On Turn 5, the Kriegsmarine again hides in the Baltic but the Luftwaffe sink 2B. Five U-Boats and the lone Italian try for the North Atlantic but fail to take the area against three American CAs! PoC remains at 2. On Turn 6, the U-Boats get serious and deny control of both the Barents and South Atlantic while sinking two CAs (while the Allies completely whiff on their ASW)! The Axis lead goes to three. On Turn 7, the last Russian puts nine damage on the Bismarck before sinking! Meanwhile, two U-Boats deny the South Atlantic and sink a CA while five U-Boats deny the North Atlantic vs. eight ASW. The Luftwaffe finishes off Allied hopes and draws a surrender by sinking 3C.

In the other semi-final, the Axis decide to fight against the damaged Brits on Turn 2 in the South Atlantic. The British lose three BB but take a U-Boat, a 225 and two Italian CA with them plus deny the Axis control of the area - leaving PoC at 3. On Turn 3, the remaining Axis ships from the South Atlantic debacle head to the North Atlantic where heavy fighting leaves the area completely empty! Both remaining Italians and a 225 are lost - with the last Italian taking down the convoy before being sunk in return! The rest of the Axis pound a Russian. On Turn 4, the U-Boats head to the North Atlantic while the fleet hides in the Baltic. Ten ASW only manage to sink one and disable one U-Boat. In return, the U-Boats sink 2B! The PoC stays level at 3! Two turns of blockades later, the U-Boats have managed to move the PoC up to 4 without loss. The Allies need a miracle to get back into it. On Turn 7, seven U-Boats try to break the North Sea vs. 13 ASW. Two kills and five disables plus an arriving convoy later, the PoC is back to 0! On Turn 8, however, the U-Boats deny the South Atlantic while the fleet fails its attempt in the Barents Sea (securing only the free PoC in the Baltic and the Med). The PoC ends at 0 - but Pat's Axis win by the1 PoC bid setting up a re-match with David in the final!

With David's 5-0 record as the Axis (and his one loss in the preliminaries coming as the Allies vs. Pat), he selected the Axis in the final while Pat opted for the Allies (thus preventing any bidding).

Turn 1: North Atlantic 444, 3x443, 0162; Barents Sea 447, 336, 6x117, 0273; South Atlantic 4x444, 117, 1241; North Sea 2x553, 2x443, 117, 0162

Axis send everything except the U-Boats to the Barents. Allied LBA kills one Italian CA while airstrikes do 1 damage to a 225. Axis air sinks the Hood. The Axis lose two 225s in exchange for four CAs and the Ark Royal to go up one PoC!

Turn 2: NA: 2x444, 2x443, 117, 0162; BS: 2x456, 444, 336, 3x117, 0272; SA: 553, 443, 1241; NS: 553, 2x444, 2x443, 0162

In a gusty move worthy of Pat, David's Axis respond by sending every ship available to the Barents Sea again and four U-Boats and the three remaining Italian CAs to the South Atlantic! This time all airstrikes miss. In the South Atlantic, one U-Boat is sunk, but in return, the three U-Boats disable two BBs! The Italians lose a CA while disabling the Eagle. In the Barents, the Axis lose both 357, a 225, and a 127 while sinking four BBs and the CV. The Axis win the area with a single 127 remaining! That takes the score to six PoC!

Turn 3: NA: 2x456, 2x444, 443, 133, 0162; BS: 456, 336, 4x117, 0272; SA: 553 [-5], 2x443, 1241; NS: 553, 2x444, 2x443, 0162; Baltic: 333

The Axis sail 2x496 and 2x127 to sink the Russian for no loss. Meanwhile, the remaining two Italians and four U-Boats go for the South Atlantic. ASW disables one sub but a 443 and the Eagle are disabled in return. In the fighting, the Nelson is sunk while the Italians are disabled. PoC stays at 6. One American CA arrives.

Turn 4: NA: 456, 444, 443, 2x117, 133, 0162; BS: 2x456, 336, 3x117, 133, 0272; SA: 444, 2x443, 1241; NS: 553, 2x444, 2x443, 0162

Axis seek shelter in the Baltic while the six U-Boats and last two Italians try the South Atlantic again! ASW disables two and sinks one. In return, the Eagle is torpedoed and sunk. Both Italians are lost in the ensuing salvos. Convoy 1A arrives to reduce the Axis lead to 3!

Turn 5: NA: 456, 444, 2x117, 0162; BS: 3x456, 336, 2x117, 133, 0272; SA: 444, 443, 0162; NS: 553, 2x444, 4x443, 117, 0272

The available Russian decides Leningrad is much nicer than the Axis fleet! The Axis stay in the Baltic while seven U-Boats try to break the blockade in the North Sea. Three U-Boats are sunk while two more are disabled. Convoy 2B arrives to tie the score! In the excitement, all five remaining Americans join in!

Turn 6: NA: 554, 2x456, 2x443, 3x117, 133, 0162; BS: 3x456, 336, 3x117; SA: 444, 3x443, 117, 0162; NS: 553, 3x444, 2x443, 0272

All Axis ships (2x496, 2x127, 1282) plus seven U-Boats and the LBA head for the Barents Sea! ASW sink one sub and disable another. In response, the U-Boats disable a 456, 336, and 117! The Luftwaffe joins in to disable another 456! In the surface action, the Allies lose a 456 and a 117 while the Axis lose nothing! It's a total Axis victory - returning the Axis to the lead by a PoC!

Turn 7: NA: 554, 4x443, 3x117; BS: 2x456, 336, 3x117, 133, 0272; SA: 2x456, 2x444, 443, 0162; NS: 553, 3x444, 2x443, 0162; Baltic 333

The Axis repair one ship while the others take out the Russian - who puts five damage on Tirpitz! Meanwhile, seven U-Boats and the Luftwaffe try to stop Convoy 3C. ASW sinks one sub and disables three more. In return, the U-Boats take out 3C and the Luftwaffe puts max damage on a CV. The PoC remains at 1!

Turn 8: NA: 554, 4x443, 3x117; BS: 2x456, 336, 2x117, 0272 [-2]; SA: 456, 3x444, 443, 0162; NS: 553, 444, 2x443, 117, 0162

Despite their best effort, eight ASW simply couldn't stop seven U-Boats in the Barents Sea. So, despite the weakness of the Axis fleet after so much attrition, the U-Boats come through to keep the PoC at 1. With no bid, David Finberg's Axis win by one!

Bids & Play Balance: After a few years of Allied dominance, the pendulum shifted back a little toward the Axis. The Axis won 39 (including all the semi-finals and final!), the Allies 35, and there were three ties. Bidding still favored the Allies and, for the second time, occurred in most games - with 32 Allied bids vs. 11 Axis bids and 34 with no bid. Only three games changed as a result of the bid - all becoming Axis wins (two by 1 PoC or less).

Bids Allies Axis
0.5 4 4
1.0 14 5
1.5 12 2
2.0 2
3.0 1

David Finberg easily wins the "Best Axis Player" award for his 6-0-0 record. Runners up are: Bruce Monnin 3-0-0, Glenn McMaster 3-0-0, Jim Kramer 3-0-0 and Pat Richardson 3-1-0. The "Best Allied Player" was won by our rookie, Rob Flowers, who logged a 4-1-1 record. Runners up are: Mike Ussery 4-2-0 and Glenn Petroski and Rob Kircher with 2-0-0 records. Nobody else did better than 2-1-0.

Will the Allies return to domination next year and make the world safe for democracy? Or will tyranny prevail or even extend its dominance? Come and help decide!

The official War At Sea FAQ and Errata in effect for this event can be found at: http://www.markevich.com/was/rules99.html.

For the best of War At Sea strategy, discussions, Email play, etc visit: http://www.markevich.com/was/index.html.

 GM      John Pack [1st Year]   1216 E. Tamara St, Sandy, UT 84094 
    john@gameaholics.com  NA

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