twilight struggle [Updated Feb. 2007]  

2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Stefan MeCay, TX

2006 Champion

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Event History
2006    Stefan Mecay     70


WAM Event History
2007    Keith Wixson     30




Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Stefan Mecay       TX    06     50
  2.  Keith Wixson       NJ    07     40
  3.  John Emery         SC    06     30
  4.  James Terry        NJ    07     29
  5.  Rick Young         NC    06     20
  6.  Stuart Tucker      MD    07     16
  7.  John Buse          IL    06     15
  8.  Bruce Monnin       OH    07     12
  9.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    06     10
 10.  Doug Austin        VA    07      8
 11.  Charles Hickok     PA    07      4

2006 Laurelists

John Emery, SC

Rick Young, NC

John Buse, IL

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

James Terry, NJ

Twilight Struggle was the hottest new game this year, The dual track space race and political control subject had "crossover" potential that interested both wargamers and Euro fans.

You could tell which players had already logged considerable time with the new release - they had customized their games by replacing the control counters with colored wooden blocks.

Standing Room Only ...

The Supreme People's Designers are proud to announce that the capitalist bourgeois convention organizers yielded to world opinion and included Twilight Struggle in their so-called World Boardgame Championships.  The competition was short, brutal and successful—like the attacks of our heroes at Stalingrad. As predicted, by Comrade Lenin, the scarcity of natural resources—in this case wood—lead to intense competition among 70 members of the oppressive class. After five rounds of see-saw struggle, we can report that the world remains safe for the worker's paradise.   

Our Supreme Leader has singled out two workers for praise. Comrades Rick Young and Doug Austin are models of the New Soviet Man to which we all must aspire. While battling masterfully in the tournament, Comrade Young also led the workers movement in central tournament planning. He anticipated every effort by counter-revolutionaries to derail the competition.  Comrade Austin overcame even greater hurdles to assist with the tournament. While fighting for the motherland on the home front (a marriage and move), he nevertheless volunteered for this arduous and dangerous duty.  

These models of Soviet accomplishment had the desired effect on the capitalist participants. Worker harmony was everywhere in evidence.  Imperialist propaganda had suggested that a tournament of workers with a new card driven game and unfamiliar rules could never work. They were proven wrong. Worse, some counter- revolutionary swine on Consimworld, claimed that the People's work product had been rigged.  They brazenly claimed that the People's victories in Twilight Struggle were due to imbalance rather than our superior social system. However, the lies of these Tsarist Cossacks have been revealed for all the world to see.  In the first round of the tournament, the capitalist dogs won 45% of the time. In the second round, the dictatorship of the proletariat opened up a sizeable lead with 69% of the wins. The third round is known as the golden round, as the People's Soviets won every game. Sadly, through espionage and deceit, the lapdogs of western imperialism staged a come back.  In the semi-final round, half of the heroes of the Revolution fell to Yankee capitalists. Even more disheartening, comrades, in the Final, the Americans prevailed against our valiant party of worker unity. Not since Lake Placid has our shame been greater.

The great enemy of the People is known as Stefan MeCay. This was his "first time" at the WBC under this alias. Yet mysteriously, he was able to win the People's game Twilight Struggle, and gain the Final in Wilderness War. We have asked the authorities to test MeCay for the illegitimate use of performance enhancing drugs.  As Comrade Lenin taught us, a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Here then, is the account of the enemy of the People, Stefan MeCay, concerning his "victory:"

"The start was wild right from the headline phase as John Emery played the Red Scare and I had containment for a push, otherwise I'd have been in trouble early. I also had a powerful starting hand, so was able to grab the Middle East early and get three points and one point for Europe. Turn 2 saw us both racing for Asia as the last scoring card left, but it didn't come until Turn 3 when I was able to purge him back. This let me get an early jump on Africa and the western hemisphere.

A common theme for John as for all my opponents was horrible luck on Coups. It seemed like whenever he would coup me, he'd get a "1" or "2" and he had a lot of "5's" and "6's" on the space race. My luck was average, but compared to terrible, average is pretty good.

I had the early momentum, but John did a great job of battling and keeping the game close until turn 7 when the score was US+7. I had the Alliance for Progress in the headline phase for five points and as we reshuffled, I knew he had both the S. America Scoring card and SE Asia scoring card which I controlled for five and six more respectively. He tried a quick coup in Argentina, but as was the norm of the game rolled a 1 so I was able to fill it back up. He went ahead and scored it as he had no choice, so it was US+17. He rallied late in the turn by successfully doing a Brush War in Thailand which pushed the VP's back to +16 and only +3 for SE Asia, but I used the China card to contest control. He put more influence into it, and I coughed up the Muslim revolt to contest it again and he was forced to score SE Asia as his last play which gave me the auto-win.

It was a fun game, very well played by both, and John is a great guy and a lot of fun to play with."

Finally, despite these setbacks, players flocked to the Soviet cause. The average bid tournament wide was 0.7 for the Soviets side during the tournament. This is further proof that the allure of the worker's paradise proves irresistible to those who are exposed to it. Thank you, comrades for your kind attention. We look forward to victory next year and long live the revolution!

 35 first round games stretched from aisle to aisle.

 Stefan Mecay (right) had Marvin Birnbaum on the ropes.

The five-round swiss tournament of Twilight Struggle was the big event at the Winter Activation Meeting this year, with 30 of WAM's 43 players testing their mettle in the popular new game on the Cold War. Despite concerns of imbalance , the bidding for sides reflected caution--and a fair amount of inexperience, with the average bid being 1 VP to play as the Soviets. In 48 games, only twice did a player bid to play as the Americans, but the bids climbed as high as 3 VPs only four times. Many of the victories were so lopsided that early VP bidding had minimal impact. However, in one game where the Soviets gave away two VPs they lost the game by one on Turn 10. In another game where the Soviets gave away a VP, they only managed to get to 19 VPs in the mid-game, never quite able to reach automatic victory--and later lost at the end by 1 VP.

In 29 of the 48 games, the decision came early, 17 by Auto victory to the Soviets at -20, one to the US at +20, five resignations, twice the Soviets controlled Europe, the Soviets caused Nuclear War once, three times the Americans won with the Wargames card (none by the Soviets!), and interestingly, the Quagmire card caused one defeat because a scoring card never got played (hmm, better check the FAQ to see if that is possible--and if so, beware holding those Scoring Cards too long!). Overall, the Soviets won two-thirds of all the games, and even won a majority of those that went to endgame scoring.

Due to the Thursday night mulligan round allowing players to ignore an early loss, the field after four rounds still had three 4-0 players. Strength of schedule determined which two would face each other for the plaque: Keith Wixson and Stuart Tucker, leaving James Terry at the altar so-to-speak to play the top-rated 3-1 player. Neither Wixson nor Tucker had a smooth road to the final round. Tucker was the beneficiary of one of the aforementioned Soviet overbids in one game, while Wixson was the beneficiary of the other. Tucker favored playing the Americans and racked up 25 percent of the weekend's American wins. Wixson's brush with near defeat as the Americans in Round 2 convinced him to stick to the Soviets for the rest of the tournament. Tucker had to salvage one game with a risky Brush War in Pakistan at the optimal moment in front of an Asian Scoring Card, seizing victory from the game's lead playtester. Tucker's After Action Report of the Final shows just how much wear and tear occurs at a sleepless WAM weekend, as the synapses became fried toward the end. Wixson was gracious enough in the recounting of endgame victory points to only call Tucker a cheater in jest, when an error of mathematical sign was found for the Central American points to shift the victory into Wixson's proper hands at -7 VPs as the Soviets. Here are excerpts from Tucker's AAR, explaining loss:

"The Formosa Fade. That's what I'm calling my disaster Sunday morning. In truth, the brain fade was bound to happen somehow after three days of non-stop gaming (I think I got a total of no more than 13 hours of sleep in all over the course of Thursday to Sunday).

I managed to play rather well all weekend long (10-4). However, in the Final against Keith on Sunday morning, I forgot that the Formosa Resolution would not count for the final endgame scoring of Asia. That cost me 4 points when I ignored Keith's subtle takeover of Pakistan, thinking it didn't matter that much. I also missed his reduction of my control of Greece at a time when I wasted a point in Mexico that could have recontrolled Greece. That mistake on Turn 9 cost me another 4 points when I couldn't retain my domination of Europe. And I lost by a grand total of 7 points. The Formosa Fade will forever live in infamy for me.

Mind you, I could have lost that final MANY times before final scoring, due to my horrendous luck in the Space Race. He had two deals to get a Wargames victory (thankfully I got it on the turn 9 deal). On Turn 10, if he had been dealt the Central America scoring card, I was done in the Headlines phase. As it was, I had to manage the play of that scoring card, as well as Africa in the final turn, putting me behind the curve on Ops. He also could have won on his space race play when he had 16 points and a chance to get 4--that was about the only roll I remember him failing--and of course I failed my space race roll to get 1 VP during the previous three turns which is why he was in that position. And I needed the Africa Scoring points in Turn 10, even if I'd have preferred the card be dealt to him rather than me. Without the card at all, I might have lost to -20 VPs mid-turn.

Keith's such a gentleman though. He pointed out the DEF CON effect of the Korea War on an early turn before I blundered into Thermonuclear War. I returned the favor when I noted that by playing Summit (despite his dr modifiers) he could himself blunder into Thermonuclear War.

Five games later, I've become very impressed with the subtleties of this design--for example, another reason I lost was that De Gaulle essentially gives the Soviets permanent access to Algeria (the only spot they could reach once I Voice of America'd them out of the continent). Now that's pretty damn cool from the standpoint of history."

Congratulations also go out to the other 5-0 player, James Terry, whose only fault was that his defeated opponents failed to get quite as many wins as Tucker's and Wixson's.

The final rankings for TWS players with winning records:

1. Keith Wixson, 5-0, 60 tournament points, 4 Soviet Wins, 1 American
2. James Terry, 5-0, 59 TPs, 4 Soviet Wins, 1 American
3. Stuart Tucker, 4-1, 52 TPs, 4 American Wins
4. Bruce Monnin, 4-1, 51 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
5. Doug Austin, 3-2, 44 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
6. Charles Hickok, 3-2, 42 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
7. Terry Coleman, 3-2, 41 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
8. Chris Bauch, 3-1, 40 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
9. Michael Mitchell, 3-1, 37 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
10. George Young, 3-1, 36 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
...and 21. Pete Reese, well, at 1-0 he had other fish to fry, going undefeated all weekend long (... ahem, if we forget his Mulligan round loss in Twilight Struggle) and deciding to play for the Wilderness War plaque instead.

 GM      Jason Matthews (1st Year)  NA   NA

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