atlantic storm [Updated October 2002]

ACS  5 prizes Experienced Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
  Rnd1 Heat1  18   Rnd1 Heat2 10
  Rnd1 Heat3  20   Rnd1 Heat4 12
  Round 2  16  Round 3  18 Final    

  Rnd1 Heat1 Rnd1 Heat2 Round 2 Round 3 Maryland 1  Rnd1 Heat3 Rnd1 Heat4  Maryland 4  

Robert Barnes, WV

2002 Champion

2nd: Pat Mirk, FL

3rd: John Elliott, MD

4th: Rob Winslow, NY

5th: Rob Mull, CO

6th: Jamie Tang, MD

Event History
1998    Ric Manns      155
1999    Roy Gibson     116
2000    Bob Eastman     129
2001    John Coussis     126
2002    Robert Barnes     126

AREA Ratings

GM: John Coussis

1 Top-Six GM Nomination

Past Winners

Ric Manns - IN

Roy Gibson - MD

Bob Eastman - OK

John Coussis - IL

one crowded ocean ...

2002 proved to be another exciting year in the North Atlantic as 126 of the WBC's finest ventured out into the harsh seas to take part in the Atlantic Storm tournament. As in previous years, there were four preliminary heats followed by a semi-final round and a final, five-player game.

There was no shortage of strange happenings in the frigid waters during the preliminary and semi-final rounds. Here are a few samples:

- Daniel Hoffman taking the Bismarck and Tirpitz in the same round
- Charles Stucker making a dominant play of a sub card, three bonus cards, and the 2nd Happy Time only to be wiped out of the hand by an Atlantic Storm
- Lee Rodrigues leading a hand with the Tirpitz. Everyone went against him, but Lee had the last laugh as he rolled a 12 with the Tirpitz to take 13 VPs in one shot.
- James Pei only managing to score 3 points in his semi-final game
- Marty Sample being denied a place in the final game by John Elliott's one in six chance with the die.

When the semi-final round ended, John Elliott, Rob Mull, and Robert Barnes joined repeat finalists Pat Mirk and RobWinslow in the five-player final game. (In the interest of clarity, I'll be referring to everyone by last name since there were three people named Rob/Robert in the final. No offense is intended.)

This year's final began with an Arctic Convoy (PQ17). It went around the first time and wound up in a tie. It was eventually won by Barnes with help from Mirk, Mull, and Elliott. However, there were not enough spoils to go around and Elliott was the odd-man out. Round 4 saw another Arctic Convoy (PQ13) go around twice. Elliott took the prize by playing the Bismarck. Barnes, however, had played the Belchen and calmly put the Bismarck into his hand for later use.

Round seven saw a tight battle over SC87. Winslow led the hand with some German Play. Mirk played the Ultra card in order to play last. Mull played Allied and then took Elliott out of the hand with the Atlantic Storm card. Mirk put up a couple more Allied points to complete the Mull/Mirk tag-team for SC87.

Round 8 saw the juicy SC42 convoy head out. Barnes, knowing that the Rodney had already been sunk, led the surface battle with the Bismarck. Only Elliott offered any challenge as he played the Gneisenau, hoping that Barnes would roll poorly. Unfortunately for Elliott, Barnes tossed the dice to a tally of 9, and took the convoy.

Round 12 marked the half-way point in the game (as there were two tied convoys early on). SC26 was up for grabs and Winslow took it unchallenged as no one had any German strength to offer.

At the midpoint of the game, the visible (convoy) scores were Mirk 15, Barnes 11, Mull 4, Winslow 2, and Elliott 1.

Barnes got the second half of the game started by choosing convoy SC121 and playing the Westmark wolfpack which is fated against SC121 as well as the 2nd Happy Time. Both Mirk and Elliott tried to slide in with German cards, but Barnes rolled well enough to take the convoy.

Mirk thought he was in a strong position in round 14 as he chose PQ18 and had the KG26 card (which is fated against PQ18). Unfortunately, the Arctic Storm found its way to Mirk and he was left with nothing. Mull wound up taking the convoy with a strong Allied play.

As it got to round 18, Barnes, Mirk, and Elliott were pulling away from Winslow and Mull. However, neither were ready to pack it in just yet. Barnes called for a surface battle over convoy SC130. He played Admiral Tovey, Duke of York, and the B-17 for a 7-point allied play. Mirk also played Allied, but in the end it was Winslow's play of the King George V and the Azores (for 8 points) that took the prize away from Barnes.

Round 19 saw a newly shuffled force deck deal the King George V right back to Mirk. He played it in the surface fight over HG53. Mull played Ultra to see what else would happen. Elliott discarded and Winslow tossed out a weak 1-point German card. Barnes followed up with the Bismarck and then Mull put out 1 allied point. Barnes rolled a 9 with the Bismarck to not only win the convoy, but the King George V as well as he only had to give the 1-point card to Winslow.

Round 20 saw a bit of controversy in a strong surface battle over convoy ON67. After Mull's play of the Tirpitz ,Elliott followed up with Admiral Tovey, Duke of York, and Rueben James. Barnes put out the Hudson and then the "fun" began. Mirk continually tried to get Elliott to make a deal over who would get what if Mirk played allied. A long back and forth ensued (with much commentary from the other players) until finally Elliott gave in. Mirk played the Hood and was given the convoy while Elliott took the Tirpitz.

The final convoy was HX79. Winslow was the round leader and called a combined action and promptly discarded his entire hand (indicative of his luck during the game). Barnes followed with only 4 points for the Germans and due to HX79 being a 1940 convoy, no one else could play anything. Thus giving Barnes the last five VP's of the game.

Those five points proved to be decisive as when the final scores were tallied, Barnes came out on top with 36 points. Mirk finished 2nd with 32, and Elliott's 28 were good enough for 3rd. Winslow and Mull never really could get it going as they only managed 14 and 13 points respectively.

So, congratulations to Robert Barnes on winning a very demanding Atlantic Storm tournament. I hope everyone had as much fun playing as I had in running this great event.

 GM      John Coussis  [4th Year]  1978G Kenilworth Circle, Hoffman Estates, IL 60195   (847) 490-1504

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