Dice At Sea
Andy Gardner of Fairfax, VA won the 2002 War At Sea
Championship among a record breaking field of 51 entrants. Andy
went 6-1-0, achieving two other firsts as well. Having won WAS's
sister game Victory in the Pacific at the 2000 WBC, he
becomes the only person to win both events. And, he is the first
4th-seeded semifinalist to win the championship. Andy defeated
well known gamer Bruce Reiff (5-2-0) of Lewis Center, OH in the
finals. Third place went to two-time champion Ray Freeman (5-1-0)
of Berkeley, CA, who was the only player to win all five swiss
rounds, while AREA leader Jonathan Lockwood (4-2-0) of Reston,
VA took fourth. Before the semifinals could begin, Andy and Jonathan
had to win a strength of schedule tiebreaker over last year's
runner-up, Rob Flowers (4-1-0). All three had 4-1-0 ledgers and
40 victory points at the completion of the Swiss rounds. Unfortunately
for Rob, he had the lowest of the three schedule strengths and
took home the 5th place plaque as a consolation.
the semifinals, Andy Gardner's Axis forces defeated Ray Freeman's
Allies by seven POC (including a 2-POC bid), while Bruce Reif's
Axis flotilla edged Jonathan Lockwood's Allied navy by the exact
2.5-POC bid. Andy's Axis prevailed in the finals as well with
Bruce conceding after Turn 4. (Bruce had bid 1 for the Allies.)
Rounding out the top 10 were Mike Bailey, 4-1-0, (6th), Steve
Packwood, 4-1-0, (7th), Frank Cunliffe, 4-1-0, (8th), John Strand,
3-2-0, (9th), and defending champ David Finberg, 3-2-0, (10th).
Andy Gardner also copped Best Axis Player with a 5-0-0 log, while
Ray Freeman won the Best Allied Player award, for the third time,
at 5-1-0. John Strand was our Rookie of the Year.
The tournament was again conducted using a Swiss-elimination
format and chess clocks, with the Allies having 1 hour and 5
minutes and the Axis 50 minutes. Clock time expired in only one
of the 93 games. Most players prefer the clocks, but the feeling
is by no means unanimous.
The Axis won 48 games, the Allies 44, and there was 1 tie.
Players bid for the Allies in 44 games, the Axis in four, and
in 45 contests there was no bid. The Allies won the majority
of the games where there was no bid, but the Axis prevailed more
often in games where the Allies made a bid. Champion Andy Gardner
played most of his games, including his semifinal and final
wins, as the Axis. With the bidding system, it appears that we're
getting pretty close to complete balance. The 51 entrants, 93
total games, and 21 players who played all five swiss rounds
were all records. In fact, there were a record numbers of players
competing in each of the five rounds. This year's quartet of
finalists ought to bury forever the sobriquet "Dice At Sea."
that one can't win games with hot dice, but it wasn't by luck
that players with AREA rankings #1 (Jonathan Lockwood), #3 (Ray
Freeman), #5 (Bruce Reiff), and #12 (Andy Gardner) made it past
the preliminaries. Experienced veterans all, they lived up to
their ratings. It's especially impressive when you consider that
anyone can read Ray and Jonathan's recommended strategies in
the Gamers Guide to War At Sea!
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.