athens & sparta  

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Fred Bauer, VA

2008 Champion

Offsite Links


Event History
2008    Fred Bauer     13

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Fred Bauer         VA    08     20
  2.  Phil Rennert       MD    08     12
  3.  Harvey Harmon      NJ    08      8
  4.  Michael Dauer      TX    08      6
  5.  Brian Mountford    NY    08      4
  6.  Dave Metzger       NY    08      2

2008 Laurelists

Phil Rennert, MD

Harvey Harmon, NJ

Michael Dauer, TX

Brian Mountford, NY

Dave Metzger, NY

Fred Bauer takes on Brian Mountford. Perhaps the We the People champ is out of his element with blocks.

A row of Columbia's newest block game marks the opening round. In all, 14 games were played.

A Work in Progress ...

The WBC tournament featured 13 veteran wargamers who were competing for the first time at WBC in this recently published block wargame. Consequently, the tournament would favor those gamers who were best at learning a new game quickly.

The first two rounds were timed competitions with games being called after three hours of play. The best scoring half of the Athenian players and best half of the Spartan players advanced. In the first round, the cutoff for advancement turned out to be a scoring differential of +1 victory point in favor of the Spartans. In other words, Spartan players who were ahead by at least one point advanced. Likewise, Athenian players who were not trailing by more than one point also advanced. 

The closest game in the first round featured Fred Bauer matched against Phil Rennert, both of whom advanced with Phil's Spartans having only a one point lead at the end of three hours of timed play. Ironically, both players would meet again three rounds later in the Final.

In the second round, two Athenian players (Harvey Harmon and Fred Bauer) advanced while ahead by 17 and 9 points respectively at the end of three hours of play. The two best Spartan players (Michael Dauer and Phil Rennert) advanced to the semi-finals while losing by only 6 and 5 points respectively at the end of timed play.

Side selection in the first three rounds was determined by bidding for extra card draws. In the first two rounds using timed play, the typical bid was only one or two card draws. In the semi-finals where the game would be played out to a conclusion, the bid jumped to seven and eight extra card draws for the opportunity to play the Athenians. Nevertheless, even with these extra card draws, the Athenians won both semi-final contests.

In the Final, opponents agreed to bid victory points instead of extra card draws for choice of sides. Phil Rennert settled for playing the Spartans after Fred Bauer offered him six extra victory points, thus needing only 24 victory points for a Spartan win. 

In the first Olympiad of the Final, Fred's Athenians built an early lead with a strong opening hand card draw. He was able to hold onto this lead when Sparta proved unable to expand overseas. Phil's Spartans eventually conceded as Fred proved he was going to be able to hold onto Athens, his capital, against any possible end-game assault. 

The general opinion of this new game is that it is still a work in progress in terms of play balance alternatives, but with some more work on the victory conditions, should become a classic game about a fascinating war. The timed format worked quite well for the early rounds - leading to a natural play balance by virtue of having an equal number of Athenian and Spartan players advancing. The GM chose not play in this tournament, but based on previous playtesting, expected the bid for the Final to be around 14 extra card draws (two per turn) to transform the Spartans into the historical powerhouse that Athens would truly fear.

 GM      Jeff Cornett (1st Year)  728 Ashgrove Terrace, Sanford, FL 32771   901-326-0556

2008 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page