Updated 11/14/2008

2008 WBC Report     

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Ewan McNay, NY

2008 Champion

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Event History
1991    Richard Curtin      39
1992    Duane Wagner      53
1993    Brett Mingo      91
1994    Scott Pfeiffer      73
1995    Randy Schib      69
1996    Scott Pfeiffer      55
1997    David Gantt      52
1998    Jim Jordan      49
1999    Scott Pfeiffer     46
2000    Ewan McNay     62
2001    Mark Smith     42
2002    Ewan McNay     42
2003    Nick Benedict     48
2004    Nick Benedict     34
2005    Richard Curtin     34
2006    Ewan McNay     45
2007     Mike Fox     35
2008    Ewan McNay     37 

Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Ewan McNay          CT    08    277
  2.  Nick Benedict       PA    07    192
  3.  James Jordan        MD    08     96
  4.  Mark Smith          KY    08     82
  5.  Scott Pfeiffer      SC    06     73
  6.  David Gantt         SC    03     70
  7.  Richard Curtin      NY    05     60
  8.  David Yoon          NY    06     41
  9.  Barry Smith         NY    08     40
 10.  Mike Fox            IL    07     40
 11.  Llew Bardecki       ON    06     40
 12.  Jonathan Squibb     PA    00     40
 13.  Bruce Young         SC    02     36
 14.  John Morris         MD    08     24
 15.  Rick Kirchner       KY    05     24
 16.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    04     24
 17.  Randy Schilb        MO    00     24
 18.  Richard Jones       UK    02     18
 19.  Jonathan Price      NJ    00     12
 20.  Mike Mullins        MD    05      8
 21.  Brett Mingo         MD    02      6
 22.  John Strand         CO    03      5
 23.  Matthew O'Connor    NJ    08      4
 24.  Sarah Sparks        ON    07      4
 25.  James Tyne          OH    05      4
 26.  John Emery          SC    04      4

2008 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

John Morris, MD

Jim Jordan, MD

Mark Smith, KY

Barry Smith, NY

Matthew O'Connor, NJ

Past Winners

Richard Curtin, NY
1991, 2005

Duane Wagner, NJ

Brett Mingo, MD

Scott Pfeiffer, SC
1994, 1996, 1999

Randy Schilb, MD

David Gantt, SC

Jim Jordan, MD

Ewan McNay, CT
2000, 2002, 2006, 2008

Mark Smith, KY

Nick Benedict, CA

Mike Fox, IL

The new version published by Fantasy Games Unlimited has freed the game from "out of Print" status and revitalized the tournament with new blood.

Finalists pose for posterity with designer Lew Pulsipher (2nd from right).

Reborn ...

In the third year of its rebirth, apparently we've learned to play the new edition of Britannia, and it's quite balanced. Or this year was a fluke. In any case, with 15 wins in the preliminary heats, there were four wins each for Yellow, Green, and Red, while Blue trailed slightly with three.

Three awards were offered this year in the preliminary heats. Stepping away from the usual high score awards, a single award was presented for highest score, the William the Conqueror. Ewan, in his quest for an ever higher score, managed to pull in around 300 points in Green, Red and Blue to become the Conqueror.

The second award offered, Cnut the Great, Conqueror of the Waves, was given for siezing an unusual chance. Duane Wagner garnered this award with his intrepid snatching of Lindsey!! by the Welsh so that they could later pop into York for a quick visit and 12 points.

The third award, and my perennial favorite, Ethelraed the Unready, for the lowest score by a semi-finalist, was also garnered by Duane. Sometimes the dice are not with you persistently throughout the entire game.

We only had three semi-final games last year as a number of winners did not return. However, we garnered a few more players this year and managed to easily reach the16 needed to play our usual four semi-final games. Alas, our biggest issue was finding four boards. We're eagerly awaiting the reprinting of Britannia in time for next year!

The semi-finals were manned by many of the usual suspects, and that was reflected in the winners for the most part as Ewan McNay, Jim Jordan, and Mark Smith won their way to the Final. A surprise winner (at least he surprised himself), John Morris joined the crew as well when a knife fight between the other players in his game gave him an opening to take control.

And so the Final was set. The card draw gave Ewan Red, John Blue, Jim Green and Mark Yellow. The game opening move actually happened offboard as Ewan and John agreed to a peace deal dividing England between the Angles and Saxons.

The Romans did rather well to start and Mark did a great job of controlling Boudicca's revolt. In the prelims, the Romans averaged 115, Mark pulled in 136, making it up to Pict land handily. Meanwhile, the Belgae, who had averaged 22 points in the prelims, scored only 10 points.

Meanwhile, in the north, things were not going well for the Caledonians ... a shooting war erupted with the Picts, and the Caledonians seemed unable to win a single die roll. Thus, by the time the Romans had swept back to their homeland, the Caledonians were huddled only in the Orkneys.

And then the invaders rolled onto the board. The splendid preparation by the Romans did not translate into their descendants the Romano-British doing well. The Romano's were swept off the board almost immediately, although they did manage to take some Saxons with them. The Saxons alliance with the Angles saved them though as the Blue hoards, with few Brigantes to oppose them, stopped north of the demarcation line.

In Wales at this time, the Welsh were having Irish problems compounded by their inability, like their brothers in spirit the Caledonians, to roll a winning battle. So the Irish grabbed southern Wales and held at least part of it for the duration.

The game then settled into détente for a few turns as the Angles and Saxons filled England and prepared for the coming of the Danes and Dubliners. A dismaying full board seemed to face the mid-game invaders, but the Angles and Saxons both withdrew in the face of the Danish force at their shores. With too many opponents on the board, the Danes also cut a deal with the Saxons. This one to maintain a kingdom around Lindsey and Norfolk.

The Dubliners came aboard then and, seeing a Red victory in the offing, dove into the Brigantes and south into the Saxons, seeking to even the game. They made inroads and the Brigantes exited while the Saxons took sufficient hits to allow the Danes to claw out a kingship with Cnut on Turn 14.

Nonetheless, a surfeit of peace in the mid-game did not bode well for the Norwegians and the Normans. By the time they arrived, there were still far too many units around for them to have an easy time of it. Kings fell left and right as the game closed, and no one had dominance with a very balkanized board telling the tale.

In the end, Ewan pulled out a narrow Red win with 224 points, while Green and Blue tied with 213 each (a tie unbeknownst at the end of the game but discovered when it was noticed that the green player and score keeper, had forgotten to record the 12 point visit to York earlier in the game), and Yellow came in with 196 points. All in all, a well played and exciting game. With much play acting on the part of certain players that Lew spent some time wondering over in later emails.

It was extra awards from England again this year, but rather than from Hastings, the finalists took home books from the other end of the timeline in Britannia. Readings from the reputed location of the isle of Avalon and speculations on Arthur went along with the plaques. And Ewan garnered a record, and much coveted, fourth spot on the shiny Britannia Plate.

The GM is looking forward to seeing you all again next year!

 GM      James M. Jordan  [10th Year]  NA   NA

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