Our top vote getter in the 2002
Century new event vote
second WBC Wilderness War tournament was full of surprises.
None of last year's top six finished in the top six this year.
On top of that, the two finalists, who each had one loss in the
tournament up to that point, were only ranked 52nd and 83rd in
the AREA ratings, having upset, respectively, the previously
undefeated 10th and 3rd ranked players in the semi-finals. The
Champion's Warhawk (shown at right) went to Paul Gaberson. The
Warclub (shown below) went to runner-up Bruce Wigdor. Another
surprise, and a somewhat distressing one, was the sharp drop
off in participants from 50 last year to 30 this year. I don't
know what to attribute this to, but scheduling conflicts with
For the People and Saratoga may have hurt.
switch to a Swiss Elimination format went off smoothly enough
and was an improvement in many people's eyes over last year's
Single Elimination format. There were four rounds of Swiss play
on Friday with the top four players advancing to the semi-finals
on Saturday night. There was some controversy over the tie break
system I used to determine which two of the six players with
one loss after four rounds were to advance. I used a system based
upon the victory points each player earned in the four Swiss
rounds. Some liked this system, while others would have preferred
a system based upon strength of schedule. The debate is on as
to whether changes will be made for next year.
A statistical break down of the games also reveals some unexpected
things. The French won 28 of the 45 games played (62%, up from
52% last year). More significantly, the combined record of the
four semi-finalists was 14-2 as the French and 3-3 as the Brits.
While in the past the consensus has generally been that the AM
Scenario is well balanced, these numbers seem to cast doubt on
that. Indeed, in the ten games in which VPs were bid for sides,
in nine of those games the winning bidder was the French player.
I personally believe that the French have a distinct edge (my
only loss came as the Brits and my one regret in the tournament
was not forcing Bruce Wigdor to bid one VP to play the French
in that semi-final match - it would have given me the win). The
Brits have a hard time getting a VP edge in most games, which
means that victory for them almost always comes down to control
of two "victory spaces", and experienced French players
have learned the tricks that can foil such victories. I would
expect to see more players bidding for the French in the future.
And finally, I would like to extend thanks to my Assistant
GMs, Gary Phillips and Rob Winslow, for their support.
It's all in the wrist action don't