world at war [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report     

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Eric Thobaben, WI

2006 Champion

Offsite links:


Event History * = Global War/ **A3R
1992    Joe Brophy**       8
1993    Conrad Struckman**     20
1994    Jason Moore**     17
1995    James Sparks**     41
1996    Bruce Harper*     17
1997    Rob Carl*     26
1998    David Middleton*     27
1999    Greg Wilson*    19
2000    Herbert Gratz**    25
2002    Jon Hogen**    17
2003    Vic Hogen**    20
2004    Bill Moodey     24
2005    Jason Moore     16
2006     Eric Thobaben     22


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jason Moore        NY    05     96
  2.  Bill Moodey        PA    05     96
  3.  Eric Thobaben      MI    06     72
  4.  Herbert Gratz    Austria 00     66
  5.  Vic Hogen          CA    03     60
  6.  Greg Wilson        NJ    99     60
  7.  Brock Heathcote    AZ    00     48
  8.  Bruce Harper       BC    06     37
  9.  Eric Schuelin      GA    04     36
 10.  Tim Francis        MD    99     36
 11.  Jon Hogen          CA    03     34
 12.  Brian Conway       NY    05     30
 13.  Randy Scheers      TX    06     24
 14.  Rob Carl           MD    05     24
 15.  Alvaro Martin    Spain   04     24
 16.  Conrad Struckman   NH    99     24
 17.  Ryan Scoville      NY    00     21
 18.  Charles Kruger     MA    00     21
 19.  Tor Abrahamsen     BC    06     18
 20.  Tim Francis        MD    05     18
 21.  Mike Crowe         VA    03     18
 22.  Tim Schroeder      TX    06     12
 23.  Ernest Copley      ME    04     12
 24.  Ernie Faust        CT    99     12
 25.  Mike Mitchell      GA    00      9
 26.  Randall MacInnis   GA    00      9
 27.  Kenneth Cruz       CA    06      6
 28.  Jeff Mathis        FL    05      6
 29.  Jim Sparks         MD    04      6
 30.  Graham Keys        WA    03      6
 31.  Boyd Piper         BC    02      6
 32.  Mike Stone         OR    99      6
 33.  Don Moody          MN    02      4
 34.  Joe Brophy         MN    02      3
 35.  Keven Leith        VA    02      2

2006 Laurelists

Bruce Harper, BC

Randy Scheers, TX

Tor Abrahamsen, BC

Tim Schroeder, TX

Kenneth Cruz, CA

Past Winners

Joe Brophy, NY

Conrad Struckman, NH

Jason Moore, NY
1994, 2005

James Sparks, MD

Bruce Harper, BC

Rob Carl, MD

David Middleton, MD

Gregory Wilson, NY

Herbert Gratz, Austria

Jon Hogen, CA

Vic Hogen, CA

Bill Moodey, PA


 Counter clippers got nothing on Kenneth Cruz and his magnetized set. Magnetizing a game as large as this is a major time investment but does make it sneeze and bump proof.

 This event has always been more of a glorified playtest than a tournament, but to each their own. It is certainly unique and logs more endurance hours than any other WBC event.

Making the Transition to A World At War ...

This year 22 people attended the tournament, which featured five full campaign games. For the first time in recent memory, one game actually finished in both theaters, while one game finished in Europe, with a few turns to go in the Pacific. The final outcome was pretty clear in each of the five. Many people stopped by to discuss the games, and several participated in a demo of the Coral Sea scenario, which introduces players to the naval combat system.

Eric Thobaben was awarded the plaque. This match, between Eric Thobaben and Steve Voros as Allies, and Ken Cruz and Bruce Harper as Axis, was a draw in the European Theater, and a one point Allied victory in the Pacific. Ken drove far into Russia, but Eric managed to come back, activating Turkey in the process and creating a major distraction in Rumania. Bruce achieved a naval DRM for Japan, a feat many thought impossible, and fought a massive naval battle with Steve involving six task forces on both sides. Steve pulled out a win by invading China and bombing Japan into submission from the mainland.

The tournament provided a good forum for playing with the new rules for Russia (Russian surprise, Russian winter), as well as rules to reduce excessive Axis casualties prior to the fall of France, research changes to reduce frustration over low rolls on crucial long-term projects, and a variety of Pacific and sub warfare changes designed to make the Pacific more interesting to play. The general consensus was that the changes worked well. Russia gets hammered in 1941, but can usually survive 1942 as she did historically. The research changes were invoked only occasionally. Pacific naval combat was more interesting and more frequent. In the game that finished, the result was a tie in Europe, and a one turn victory by the Allies in the Pacific. That's about as balanced a result as one could expect (short of a tie in both theaters!).

Bruce Harper, the game designer, suggested only minor changes. The changes motivated by the end game in Europe were as follows: (1) Prohibit the stockpiling of submarines or transports. In one game, nine German u-boats made their first appearance in 1944. Now they must appear on the force card each year. (2) Remove Russo-Allied cooperation restrictions if the Allies control Berlin, so that the Berchtesgaden redoubt can be reduced without resort to nuclear weapons!

In the Pacific, the most interesting proposal was to make the limitation for building ASW, destroyers and transports apply to ALL major powers, and to remove submarines from this category. Thus Japan, Germany and Italy are now also subject to spending no more than half (rounded up) of their shipbuilding in this way. Japan is the most affected by this. The objective was to remove some of the scripting from Japanese pre-war shipbuilding (since everyone always built destroyers with any spare SBPs), and motivate the Japanese to build more capital ships, as they did historically. In compensation, the Japanese start with more transports now (20, rather than 18), and don't have to send destroyers with the Pearl Harbor strike force. In addition, the Japanese are given one extra RP per year for intelligence-only projects, as many players neglected these, and investing in some of these projects increases game variability and makes Japan more interesting. As a counter-balance, the Indian and Chinese national army force pools have been capped well below the number of counters provided. Other adjustments included preventing the proliferation of airbases in New Guinea, and letting the Thai units enter enemy territory, but not attack enemy forces (i.e., they can walk into an undefended Rangoon).

On a final note, satisfied with the stability and balance of the game, Bruce is planning to start work on the prelude to A World at War, titled Gathering Storm. This will be a short game lasting around two hours, which will allow players to explore alternate diplomatic, research, shipbuilding and mobilization strategies in the years leading up to the war. This will let players begin with varying starting situations.

 GM      Mike Crowe  [8th Year]   5507 Callander Dr, Springfield, VA 22151   703-978-3528

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