Omens of Caesar ...
Ewan McNay faces a real legionaire
in the form of defending champ Jim Heenehan whose headware is
a camera magnet.
No one can accuse GM Stuart Tucker
of coasting with an easy schedule when he's facing ex-champ Pete
Pei First to Win Two
This year Rome restored balance to the conflict, winning 25
of 49 games. Bidding continues to favor Carthage, but this year
by only 1.2 PCs, with the maximum bid for Carthage at 3 PCs (seven
occurrences). Only twice did a pro-Roman need to bid away PCs
for his choice. However, the champion this year succeeded five
times as the Roman.
James Pei's road to become the first two-time WBC Hannibal
champion has been a long, arduous journey, filled with intercepted
messengers, unlucky initiative rolls, and years of near success.
Yet, it is no surprise that the first to accomplish this feat
would be the top AREA-rated player--and he'd do it by defeating
two former champions along the way.
James' first round victory was a bare 10-8 win over Ahmet
Ilpars, and came with an assist of the Messenger Intercepted
on three occasions, including the seventh and ninth turns. His
second round victory was a quick drubbing of Gary Dickson, who
called it quits after losing Hannibal in a Turn 3 battle in Massilia
after suffering heavy attrition to a pair of epidemics and two
Alps crossings. Pei faced former champion Keith Wixson in his
third round game. Here, Pei's Scipio Africanus barely survived
a double envelopment loss to turn around on the same turn and
double envelop and kill Hannibal, resulting in Wixson's resignation.
At the start of Round 4, three players remained undefeated.
Pei crossed swords with one of them in reigning champion Jim
Heenehan. This time, Pei aggressively invaded Africa early, gaining
control of the Numidias in Turn 3. After many lost battles reduced
Carthage's armies, Hannibal sailed back to Africa on Turn 5,
but despite a 12-9 card advantage against Marcellus, Hannibal
was defeated. Heenehan resigned, down 4-12 in the province count.
The final round matched Pei against newcomer Raymond Gorka,
whose 3-1 record and high tournament point standing stood as
the best among players Pei had yet to face. Pei yielded the choice
of Carthage to Gorka for a 2-PC price. On Turn 4, Philip joined
Carthage. Pei sent Scipio Africanus into Africa, where he survived
several nearly disastrous battles, but finally wiped out all
Carthaginian CUs from Africa. Hannibal sailed back to Africa
and after several battles managed to kill Africanus. However,
on the final turn, Pei's Nero was unstoppable as he secured an
11-7 province victory.
Once again, the GM managed to fall just shy of a plaque, this
time due to having not had the privilege of losing to Pei (who
contributed a strong strength of schedule tie-breaker to those
earning plaques ahead of Tucker).
During the convention, much discussion centered around the
overwhelmingly imbalancing effect of a late-turn Messenger Intercepted.
As a result, future conventions are likely to involve a tournament
rule designed to lessen the likelihood of such occurrences. Furthermore,
the tie-breaker points system will be modified to ease implemention.
With some 14 HRC tournaments in the AREA records, AREA ratings
are a satisfactory "strength of schedule" measure.
Top players (tourney pts., win-loss record, primary side):
1. James Pei, 63 TPs, 5-0, all Roman.
2. Jim Heenehan, 55 TPs, 4-1, 3 Roman wins.
3. Gary Andrews, 51 TPs, 4-1, all Carthaginian
4. Keith Wixson, 47 TPs, 3-2, 2 Roman wins.
5. Raymond Gorka, 43 TPs, 3-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
6. Ahmet Ilpars, 41 TPs, 3-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
7. Stuart Tucker, 41 TPs, 3-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
8. Roderick Lee, 40 TPs, 3-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
9. Ewan McNay, 40 TPs, 3-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
10. Randy MacInnis, 38 TPs, 3-2, 3 Roman wins.
11. Glenn McMaster, 33 TPs, 3-0, 2 Carthaginian wins.
12. Terry Coleman, 31 TPs, 2-2, 1 Carthaginian win.
13. Larry Luongo, 30 TPs, 2-3, 1 Carthaginian win.
14. Gary Dickson, 29 TPs, 2-2, 2 Carthaginian wins.
15. Tom Drueding, 22 TPs, 2-0, both Roman.
16. Bill Banks, 21 TPs, 1-4, 1 Carthaginian win.
17. Henry Richardson, 17 TPs, 1-3, 1 Roman win.
18. Pete Pollard, 14 TPs, 1-1, 1 Carthaginian win.
19. Scott Marcotte, 13 TPs, 1-1, all Roman.
20. Chris Trimmer, 13 TPs, 1-1, all Roman.
21. Lyman Moquin, 12 TPs, 1-1, all Carthaginian.
... Ten other players, all with no wins.