up front [updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report   

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Ray Stakenas II, CA

2007 Champion

Offsite links:

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Event History

Mark Cohen


Maria Hawthorne


Bruce Young


Bruce Young


Herbert Gratz


William Edwards


John Emery


John Emery


Larry Davidson


John Emery


Bruce Wigdor


John Emery


Ray Stakenas II


John Emery     30

Bruce Young     33

Paul Wright     30

Ray Stakenas II     27

PBeM Event History
2000    Jeff Matthews      32
2003     Jeff Matthews     24


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Emery         SC    07    155
  2.  Bruce Young        SC    07    141
  3.  Ray Stakenas II    MI    07    106
  4.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    07     68
  5.  Larry Davidson     CA    02     46
  6.  Paul Wright        PA    06     40
  7.  Ray Stakenas Sr    MI    07     37
  8.  Jeff Matthews      CA    04     30
  9.  Bari Herman        NJ    04     26
 10.  Bill Edwards       VA    05     24
 11.  Stefan Hess        NY    01     24
 12.  George Young       VT    06     18
 13.  Herbert Gratz    Austria 07     16
 14.  Wade Fowble        MD    06     16
 15.  David Wong         NJ    05     16
 16.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     16
 17.  Ken Katano         MD    01     16
 18.  Ed Kendrick        UK    00     15
 19.  Mike Stachowski    NY    03     12
 20.  Jeff Paull         OH    00     12
 21.  Dale Martin        MI    04     10
 22.  Michael Johnson    MA    03      9
 23.  Nick Vlahos        IL    00      9
 24.  Erick Young        SC    01      8
 25.  Scott Russell      MI    00      6
 26.  Alan Arvold        IL    00      3
 27.  Don Greenwood      MD    00      3
 28.  Frank Arndt        MD    99      3
 29.  Brian Carr         VA    04      2
 30.  Brian Devitt       CA    00      2
 31.  Robert Mull        CO    00      1

2007 Laurelists

John Emery, SC

Herbert Gratz, Austria

Bruce Young, SC

Bruce Wigdor, NJ

Ray Stakenas, WI

Past Winners

'91: Mark Cohen, NJ
'92: Maria Hawthorne, VA

Bruce Young, SC
1993-1994, 2005

Herbert Gratz, AUS

Bill Edwards, VA

John Emery, SC
'97-'98, '00, '02, '04

Larry Davidson, CA

Bruce Wigdor, NJ

Ray Stakenas Jr, MI
2003, 2007

Paul Wright, PA

Ray Stakenas, the unannoited champion-in-waiting. goes up against former champ Bill Edwards in the prelims. Life is tough in Up Front land.

 Two former champs vie for another title as Bruce Young (left) and Herbert Gratz renew old rivalries. Herbert took his first UPF laurels this year because his championship preceded the advent of WBC laurels and he has been playing World at War in the interim.

Eight Rounds of Glory ...

27 players, an alltime low for this event which has been slowly but surely reducing the field to increasingly grizzled sharks, reported for Up Front. duty.  Six new players were present and willing to be schooled by six former champions representing twelve plaques who had returned for the annual slugfest.  While last year's winner, Paul Wright, could not be present due to book research in Italy, it was plain that most other recent winners were anxious to carve another notch in their BARs (Boardgame Achievement Results).  Five Swiss Rounds and tie breakers would promote the best squad leaders up front to an eight-man single elimination gauntlet..

The perception of Up Front is that it is a game heavily driven by the luck of the draw.  Getting good cards is seen as more important than skill by many neophytes.  The results of the WBC tournament would seem to belie that notion.  There were 32 games played between former winners and the rest of the field during the tournament.  29 of those games resulted in wins for the champions - an amazing result, made even moreso when we note that last year's runner-up and perennial contender Ray Stakenas was responsible for two of the three "upsets".  If we deduct unannoited Ray's two games and assume that the game is even save for the luck of the draw, the odds of our former champions winning all but one of 30 games is about 30,000.000-1.  Maybe there is more to this game than mere luck. 

At any rate, the final field of eight contained five former champions ready to fight it out in the single elimination gauntlet.  After the first round, four former champions Bruce Young, Herbert Gratz, John Emery, and Ray Stakenas II were still around for the semis.  Even though Bruce and Herbert were not able to prevail, they still provided the audience with good games and then agreed to fight to the finish for third place.  In a close game using Scenario L (a particular favorite in the elimination rounds), The US attackers of Gratz were able to overcome Young's German defenders for the podium position.

In the Final, the players also selected the Outpost Line scenario with John choosing the Germans as Attackers against Ray's Russian Defense.  Ray was able to get better work out of his radio and hold off John's assault with artillery fire.  When the SPW 251 failed to perform in the assault, the German's fate was sealed.  Ray was able to cause too many casualties for John to continue and joined the ranks of multiple champions with his second plaque.  John improved from last year's third to second and still retains the overall lead with five shields.  Ray was also able to shame his teammates as this was his team game.

Two Brits come to the US to play Up Front, Nicky Palmer, who wrote his "An Introduction to Wargaming" before William Kendrick was born, schools young William who is playing - naturally - the Brits and appears to be a member of the Greenville Mafia's British chapter.

GM Jim Burnett observes his finalists in their Round 8 battle of champions as Alan Arvold watches in the background.
 GM      Jim Burnett  2nd Year]   NA
   jimallene@comcast.net   NA

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