hannibal: rome vs carthage [Updated October 2006]  

Omens: 2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Jim Heenehan, PA

2006 Champion

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Event History
1996    Thomas Drueding      58
1997    James Doughan      52
1998    Karsten Engelmann      52
1999    Jung Yueh     46
2000    James Pei     41
2001    Aaron Fuegi     35
2002    Peter Reese     41
2003     Keith Wixson     44
2004    Chris Byrd     46
2005    Nick Anner     39
2006    Jim Heenehan     34

PBeM Event History
2001     Aaron Fuegi     37

WAM Event History
2003    Stuart Tucker    11
2004    James Pei    19
2005    Chris Byrd    21
2006     Jim Heenehan    12


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  James Pei          VA    05    186
  2.  Chris Byrd         CT    06    157
  3.  Keith Wixson       NJ    06    142
  4.  Jim Heenehan       PA    06     98
  5.  Peter Reese        VA    06     94
  6.  Nick Anner         NY    05     60
  7.  Aaron Fuegi        MA    01     60
  8.  Jung Yueh          MA    99     50
  9.  Doug White         PA    04     44
 10.  Mark Giddings      NY    01     40
 11.  Scott Moll         VA    06     36
 12.  Derek Miller       VA    05     36
 13.  David Dockter      MN    02     36
 14.  Craig Melton       VA    03     34
 15.  Stuart Tucker      MD    06     34
 16.  Charles Hickok     PA    03     30
 17.  Jim Doughan        PA    06     24
 18.  Eugene Lin         WA    05     24
 19.  Jim Eliason        IA    03     24
 20.  Tim Hall           UT    05     22
 21.  Randall MacInnis   NJ    06     25
 22.  George Seary       NY    99     20
 23.  Gary Andrews       NY    06     18
 24.  Doug Mercer        MD    04     18
 25.  Henry Rice         NM    04     18
 26.  Ed Rothenheber     MD    02     18
 27.  Phil Barcafer      PA    99     15
 28.  Lyman Moquin       DC    05     12
 29.  Scott Moll         VA    05     12
 30.  Matthew Bacho      MD    04     12
 31.  Jim Heenehan       PA    06     10
 32.  Robert Vollman     ALB   00     10
 33.  Jim Heenehan       PA    05      9
 34.  Paul Gaberson      PA    06      8
 35.  Thomas Richardson  VA    06      6
 36.  Ahmed Ilpars     Turkey  03      6
 37.  Robert Hassard     NJ    02      6
 38.  John Rinko         VA    99      5
 39.  John Firer         WI    01      3
 40.  Trevor Bender      CA    01      2

2006 Laurelists

Scott Moll, VA

Jim Doughan, PA

Gary Andrews, NY

Chris Byrd, CT

Thomas Richardson, VA

Past Winners

Thomas Drueding, PA

James Doughan, PA

Karsten Englemann, VA

Jung Yueh, MA

James Pei, TX

Aaron Fuegi, MA

Peter Reese, VA

Keith Wixson, NJ

Chris Byrd, CT

Nick Anner, NY

 Young Tom Richardson (left) made his mark by carrying away 6th place laurels to prove that the family plays more than just War At Sea.

 GM Stuart Tucker was unable to get away from work for WBC this year but that didn't stop him from sandwiching both weekends to get in both HRC and WPS.

 Craig Melton (left), who returned to Omens after a long absence, and regular Charlie Hickok vie for ancient supremacy in the Mediterranean.

Omens of Caesar ... Deal Me a Championship

Carthaginians Pull Away

This year's Omens pre-con witnessed a solid field of gamers vying to maintain the record of never having a repeat champion. Last summer's defending champ declined to attend so the problem of anyone racking up two in a roll was solved immediately, but the field remained strong, containing a half dozen former champions or WAM winners. The earlier start for this pre-con lost a few veterans, but pulled in eight rookies, to produce a field comparable to prior years. With only three players (all with losing records) opting to abandon us on the second day to play in the Victory in the Pacific pre-con, the general concensus was that Hannibal players like the Saturday afternoon start. Furthermore, the overlap with POG remains minimal, so perhaps next year they'll run simultaneously, if we can get enough table/floor space.

As in previous years, the first round involved many veterans teaching the rookies just how Carthage really does have the edge, when played properly. Round 1 went to Carthage 9-6. The Romans bounced back to win Round 2 8-7, but it was advantage Carthage throughout Sunday to produce an overall record of 39-31 in favor of Hannibal's boys. That said, many a pro-Carthaginian veteran found his bidding/playing style well-known, such that only two games saw the winning bidder choose Rome, while the bids for Carthage went to an average of nearly 2 PCs in the final round of play. Overall, the average bid was 1.3 for Carthage. Apparently, the PC bid may not be having a significant impact on Carthage's chances of victory. In those games where the bid went to 3 PCs for Carthage, the game winners were 2-1 Carthage, though all were close10-8 province counts. Clearly we need to be pushing the Carthage Proficient players to higher bids.

Round 1 witnessed the advance of two former champions and two WAM victors. The return of Craig Melton to the tourney spelt doom for former champ Chris Byrd (on a 9-8 count). Meanwhile, hothand reigning WAM king Jim Heenehan beat the always tough Charlie Hickok, despite Rome intercepting the messenger and killing Hannibal on Turn 9. The secret to his success must be the helmet. Always a contender, Keith Wixson survived an unusual attempt by Ken Nied to trap Hannibal in Gallia by marching Scipio across the alps from the west. Card-driver extraordinaire David Dockter survived a late strike on the Carthaginian capital by Lyman Moquin, relieving the 2-point siege with a smashing double envelopment victory. Former WAM champ, Stuart Tucker survived a tough match against Michael Ussery's Romans.

In the underside of the brackets, Scott Moll eked out a 9-9 tie over Pat Mirk, while Rob Hassard survived five siege rolls against Carthage by newcomer Keith Butler's Romans. Long-distance traveller Ahmet Ilpars took down Roger Whitney's Carthaginians.

Round 2's memorable moments included Hassard nearly losing, despite having killed Hannibal on Turn 3. Ilpars took down past champion James Doughan in his return to the tournament by virtue of killing Scipio on the beaches of Sardinia on Turn 9. Wixson defeated Bill Morse by sacking Carthage on Turn 7, after having survived a 13-13 battle in which Hanno lost when his 13th and final card was matched by Marcellus' last card. Thomas Richardson sacked Melton's Carthage on Turn 5. Heenehan defeated Dockter by virtue of Scipio defeating Hasdrubal at Croton. Randall MacInnis survived Tucker's Carthaginian occupation of Sicily and Gallia Cisalpinia for much of the game, then won by defeating Hannibal's reserveless army in Gallia and converting it on the last card play for a 10-8 Roman victory. Moll rolled over Matt Bacho in five turns.

Round 3 dawned on eight undefeated players, including two former Omens/WAM champs. Wixson's Romans took down MacInnis by parrying Carthaginian thrusts: Hannibal evacuated Gallia on Turn 2, and Hasdrubal's Turn 4 and Turn 7 invasions of S. Italy and Corsica both failed. Heenehan again thanked Tanit upon squeaking out a 9-9 tie to defeat Tom Richardson, whose game has improved signficantly over last year (enough to earn the coveted Sand this year). Hassard survived two lost Messengers to defeat Peter Card 10-8. Moll recovered from a 6-12 province deficit on Turn 6, killed Hannibal's 8 CU army and salvaged a 9-8 victory over Ilpars.

This set up the Round 4 feature match of the weekend, reigning WAM king Heenehan against 2003 champ Wixson. Wixson's Romans took Gades on Turn 3 and had Carthage on the ropes, eventually forcing Hannibal to return from Gaul. But by the end of Turn 7, the Romans are limping out of Spain. The Syracusans ally on Turn 8, and survive Longus' siege (at 2 points at end of game), giving Heenehan victory, and securing that still there would be no two-time champion of this event--a new face would appear on the Hannibal kiosk at next year's convention. In the other match of 3-0 players, Moll's Carthaginians put Hassard behind the eight ball, leading to a desperation Turn 6 invasion of Africa by Scipio, which is pushed back into the sea with a Probe victory by Hanno; Hassard resigned.

With about a dozen players still in the hunt for wood, and no other gaming distractions at the hotel, the fifth and final round drew a solid field of 22 players, all finally convinced that Carthage is the side to select (except perhaps Randall MacInnis). The championship between Heenehan's Romans and Moll's Carthaginians began with Hannibal crossing the Alps on Turn 1, and two Messengers lost to Rome in the next three turns, with Marcellus forcing Hannibal out of Italy. The Marcellus/Nero invasion of Africa is beat back by Hasdrubal. Syracuse joined Carthage on Turn 5, only to fall to Scipio's two-year siege. Hannibal's second invasion of Gallia is squashed by Scipio in Turn 8. Then Cato hampers Roman options from Turn 7 onwards. Mago's invasion of Sicily is repelled by Marcellus and Paulus on Turn 7. Hannibal is run down by Scipio's forced march on Turn 8, allowing (with the aid of Philip making peace on Turn 9) a conversion of northern Iberia and a 10-8 Roman province count at game end. Our congratulations to Jim Heenehan who showed that though Tanit may be helpful, his WAM championship was no fluke. He joins Chris Byrd as our second serial champ in this twice-per-year tournament series.

One note on sportsmanship: I always enjoy this band of brothers, no matter how many times I get criticized over the rule edition used. I'm constantly amazed at how players with few wins will continue to play onwards--and even volunteer to tutor a latecomer. I have the greatest respect for this field of players. I'd like to nominate the entire group for the sportsmanship award.

Hannibal will not be a "featured" event at WAM this year, but it will still be played by the hardcore, and can earn a plaque if enough join us next January. The competition at both these events always remains tough, and those who win any of our event plaques earned them in the forge of fierce and grueling fire.

 GM      Stuart Tucker  [5th Year]   NA 
    econedit@aol.com   NA

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