kaiser's pirates [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Joel Tamburo, IL

2007 Champion

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Event History
2007    Joel Tamburo      33


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Joel Tamburo       IL    07     20
   2.  Matthew Bacho      MD    07     12
   3.  Andy Lewis         DE    07      8
   4.  Steve Caler        OH    07      6
   5.  Rob Winslow        NY    07      4
   6.  Frank Mestre       NY    07      2

2007 Laurelists

Matt Bacho, MD

Andy Lewis, DE

Steve Caler, OH

Rob Winslow, NY

Frank Mestre, NY


GM and designer Jim Day oversees a preliminary heat.

GM Day keeps score for his four finalists.

Sinking Ships During the Great War ...

The commanders of the dreaded Kaisers Pirates took to the high seas in head-to-head competition to determine who would emerge as the most skillful captain. The participants slugged it out over four preliminary rounds on Thursday and Friday where they played single, three-player hands to determine who would eventually advance on Saturday to the semi-finals and ultimately the four-player Final.

During the preliminary events, the basic game system was used with the addition of two of the published optional rules: 6.4 Tournament Balance and 6.8 Additional Damage. The Tournament Balance rule assures that each player's initial German force contains at least one warship of equal capability as the opposing players. It also holds out some of the weaker German raiders in the initial deal. That way, each player starts with a German force of roughly equal strength. The Additional Damage rule helps to move play along by marking damage for every hit. Typically, a ship may only have a single damage hit.

The preliminary events included a mix of experienced (25%) and inexperienced players (75%). Those inexperienced players were able to quickly pick up the rules without holding up game play. In fact, the top-scoring player from the preliminary rounds (121 points in sunk ships!) had not seen the game before he walked up to the game table on Friday morning.

Six players made it to the semi-finals where they again participated in two, three-handed rounds. The top four players advanced to the Final. To demonstrate how luck ebbs and flows, the top qualifying player unfortunately finished in sixth place. Maybe the other two players at his table were gunning for him.

The four top scoring players (two from each semi-final) advanced to the Final --Matt Bacho, Andy Lewis, Steve Caler, Joel Tamburo. These players were now going to face their biggest challenge-- a complete four-player game. Where they played only single-hands in the preliminary rounds and the semi-finals, the finalists now had to prove their mettle over a full game composed of three complete hands. A single lucky hand would not be enough to carry them to victory in this case. The format for the Final retained the structure of the qualifying events with the addition of optional Rule 6.7 Warship and Raider Retention and the use of six of the new promotional cards that were handed out to all players of the event.

The first hand featured tense back-and-forth action that ended with Andy (four points) leading the pack, followed by Joel (three), Matt (two) and Steve (zero). Steve had the misfortune of not sinking any ships during the hand (therefore, he scored 0 points for the hand). That really put him at a disadvantage going into the second hand.

After the feeling out period of the first hand, the players now started to really demonstrate their skill and style of play. Joel (four points, seven total points) emerged out of the smoke of the second hand in the lead, followed by Steve (three points) in an excellent comeback from his first hand, Matt (two points, four total), and Andy (one point, five total).

Going into the final hand, only four points separated the first and last place player. Three of the four players were still easily in striking distance of the wood. Only Steve faced the greatest uphill challenge being four points behind the leader. Tense action dominated the final hand. A rarity in the game, Steve started the final hand with a force composed entirely of German Warships. That initially raised a few eyebrows at the table. A great deal of back and forth action dominated play with Joel understandably the primary target. That did not stop the players from eliminating Matt's entire German force halfway through the hand.

One of the greatest turns of bad luck occurred when the warship Dresden was attacked in what appeared to be a sure thing. The Dresden had heroically weathered six previous attacks, and now had four damaged markers dotting her card ­ a minus "8" die-roll modifier. After the defense roll, the only thing that could have possibly saved her from a watery grave was if the attack roll resulted in two "1s" on a d10 and a d8 ­ it did. A hush initially fell over the table followed by a great deal of laughter from all parties.

As the last card was drawn, Joel (4 points, 11 total) won the hand (and the eventual championship) barely edging Matt (3 points, 7 total), followed by Steve (2 points, 5 total), and Andy (1 point, 6 total). All four of the final players demonstrated great skill and sportsmanship throughout the entire three days and were solid representatives of the tournament.

Next year should prove to be another great tournament. The format worked quite well and should maintain a high level of competition and challenge for all players.

 GM      Jim Day [1st Year]  NA
    jamesmday@aol.com   NA

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