wooden ships & iron men [Updated August 2001]

WSM   2 prizes Beginners Swiss Cont Heats 
 Rnd1 Heat1 18-23   
    Demo 9  Rnd1 Heat2 10-21
  Rnd1 Heat3 9-16 


Curtis Dietrich, FL

2001 Champion

2nd: Keith Hunsinger, OH

3rd: Larry York, CA

4th: Bill Rohrbeck, NH

5th: Tim Hitchings, DE

6th: Francis Czawlytko, MD
Event History
1991    Jim Truit      23
1992    John Boisvert      29
1993    John Boisvert      36
1994    William Rohrbeck      28
1995    Larry York      21
1996    David Cross      16
1997    David Metzger      20
1998    Michael Brannaman      20
1999    Paul Risner      8
2000    David Cross     16
2001    Curtis Dietrich     26

AREA Ratings:

GM: William Rohrbeck

sailing, sailing ...

A call from the Admiralty for ship captains brought 26 eager to inherit the mantle from Lord Nelson. Once outfitted with ship(s) and crew they took to the high seas to see who among them would best the enemy and the sea. The user-friendly format from last year was continued allowing players to choose between shorter single ship actions or longer multiple ship actions. Players could play as little or as much as they wanted, receiving points for the matches with the top two scorers meeting in the finals. Newcomer Curtis Dietrich took the wood in a 150 point DYO final. His four American 74's proved to have too much firepower for Keith Hunsinger's five British 74's. Revised Tournament Edition rules were again used cleaning up the 2nd Edition Rules as well as adding a different flavor. New for this year was a Tuesday night heat.

Predictions from the Meteorologists at the Admiralty for fair winds in direction 1 proved faulty as the sea was rather fickle with a large number of wind changes affecting the action. One match had three such changes in a seven-turn span. Also very apparent was the high degree of training in gunnery. One captain through the course of the evening inflicted waterline damage criticals on both opponents he faced. Several matches were faced with the distinct possibility of both ships going down on the last turn. The end of action Friday saw four players vying for the two slots in the finals with the Fleet Action left.

Again, the highpoint of the tournament was the Fleet Action on Saturday using actual miniatures. Each player controlled a squadron of two-four ships. This year's action was based on a Russian night attack on the Swedish naval base at Helsinki. The map detailed the outer harbor area of Helsinki. The scenario starts with the Swedes at anchor, totally unaware of the Russian approach until alerted. The Russians have several channels through the outer islands in the harbor to choose from for their assault. Their goal aside from damage to the Swedish Fleet and its visiting British Allies was the bombardment of the naval base and its stores. The Russian Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Larry York had chosen to take the most direct route bringing it through the narrowest of the main channels. The Swedes under the command of Vice Admiral Curtis Dietrich were arranged to cover the main channel entrances. The channel selected by the Russians was covered by the British Allies in the person of Keith Hunsinger and his two 64's.

Action started immediately with the Swedish floating battery posted at the channel giving the alarm on the first turn as well as firing the opening broadside of the battle. This did nothing to slow the advance by the Russian van consisting of squadrons and fireships under Jim Miller and Bill Rohrbeck. Jim Miller in the lead pressed home his attack on the lead elements of the Swedish Fleet, which happened to be the British. His lead fireship drew adjacent to the two British 64's and blew up, igniting both British ships while his squadron opened up on the 64's. However, the fires were quickly brought under control. Meanwhile, disaster struck the Russians. Needing to get in quickly while the Swedes were still hoisting sail; the combination of high speed and the narrow channel lead to a series of collisions and resulted in several ships fouling, blocking the channel. Further, this led to delayed deployment of ships which resulted in a fireship exploding which in addition to igniting the Swedes/British also led to several fires on board Russian ships to add to the conflagration. This confusion bought the Swedes valuable time to get their sails hoisted and underway while the British showed their mettle facing down the Russian Fleet on its own. Their heroic sacrifice gave the Swedes more valuable time in addition to giving their commander Keith a place in the finals. By this time, the muddled situation with the Russian Fleet had cleared, but now the Swedes were under way and eager to avenge their allies loss. Action broke out up and down the entire line as the Swedes moved to engage the Russian Squadrons as they moved up the Swedish line. But time ran out before the Swedes could completely avenge the British, giving the Russians a hard fought tactical win. Of course, the London newspapers reported this as a Strategic win for the Swedes as the Russians failed in its objective to bombard the naval base or its stores.

 GM      William Rohrbeck  [7th Year]   17 Mill St, Goffstown, NH 03045
    beck33@juno.com   NA

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