Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report     

  2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Andy Latto, MA

2008 Champion

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Event History
2001    Rebecca Hebner     27
2002    Steve Scott     29
2005    Bob Titran     38
2006    Dave Buchholz     55
2008    Andy Latto     69

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Andy Latto         MA    08     20
  2.  Dave Buchholz      MI    06     20
  3.  Bob Titran         NY    05     20
  4.  Steve Scott        CA    05     19
  5.  John Ellsworth     IL    08     12
  6.  Ken Lee            PA    06     12
  7.  Mark Love          MD    05     12
  8.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    05     10
  9.  Ed Beach           MD    08      8
 10.  Debbie Davidson    NE    06      8
 11.  John Poniske       PA    05      8
 12.  Donna Balkan       ON    08      6
 13.  Greg Courter       MI    06      6
 14.  Laurel Stokes      NJ    02      6
 15.  Rick Bass          NC    01      6
 16.  Bobbi Warczak      CA    08      4
 17.  Stefan Mecay       TX    06      4
 18.  Carol Haney        CA    05      4
 19.  Bob Runnicles      FL    02      4
 20.  Sean Vessey        VA    01      4
 21.  Eric Eshleman      PA    02      3
 22.  Forrest Speck      MD    08      2
 23.  David Duncan       PA    06      2
 24.  Chris LeFevre      AZ    05      2
 25.  David Sidelinger   CT    02      2
 26.  Michael Johnson    MA    01      2
 27.  Dan Hoffman        WA    02      1
 28.  Lee Price          NC    01      1

2008 Laurelists                                                  Repeating Laurelists: 0

John Ellsworth, IL

Ed Beach, MD

Donna Balkan, ON

Bobbi Warczak, CA

Forrest Speck, MD

Past Winners

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Steve Scott, CA

Bob Titran, NY

Dave Buchholz, MI

Andy Latto, MA


 Late night heats seem to be the ticket for Ivanhoe.

 Donna Balkan and Forrest Speck await Steve Scott's challenge.

A Jousting We Will Go ...

The 11 PM time slot worked well for Ivanhoe. Despite having to compete against late-night favorites like Can't Stop, Pro Golf, and Liar's Dice, Ivanhoe managed to garner a record 69 entrants this year and made the Century cut for the first time by being among the Top 25 WBC events in total attendance. Unfortunately, that success was apparently not enough incentive for the GM to honor his report obligation so we owe the following account to finalist Andy Latto who has authored it to save the event for 2009. However, Ivanhoe will need a new GM if it is to return in 2009.

The preliminary heats gereated 32 games and 18 of those winners appeared for the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon, resulting in two 4-player and two 5-player semis. The preliminary games had been 4-player to the extent possible, and the difference of adding one more person was interesting to see. While both 4-person semis were over in 40 minutes, the 5-person games took considerably longer. Not only are there more people who can win each tournament, so that it takes longer before a single person can win four in different colors, but when someone is playing that last tournament for the win, there are four opponents fighting to stop them, rather than only three, so they are more likely to fail. It was an hour and twenty minutes before the two 5-player games were finally resolved. This variation in game length as well as less-than optimum strategy variations in games using a different number of players as opposed to the optimal number is why BPA favors the use of tie-breakers to advance the optimum number of players to advanced rounds rather than the "win & you're in" philosophy favored by many. The latter is simply not an efficient use of player's time. And being relegated to a 5-person game while others get the considerably easier path to victory of competing in a 4-person game also brings up the question of fairness.

Some people come to WBC to play wargames, and some to play lighter Eurogames, but Ivanhoe seems to be in the category "games everyone plays". In the Final, we had: Here I Stand designer and tournament GM Ed Beach; Wilderness War developer Rob Winslow; Rail game expert and Eurogame afficionado Donna Balkan; and Andy Latto, who plays a mix of Eurogames and card-driven war games. I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that three of the four finalists in Ivanhoe play card-driven wargames: Ivanhoe is certainly card-driven, and is combat-themed, so it could be claimed to be a card-driven war game, although a bit lighter weight than most games of that genre.

In contrast to the drawn-out semi-finals, the 4-player Final took only 20 minutes. Andy won one early tournament cheaply, then withdrew early and often, staying out and letting the other players deplete their hands. He then swooped in and won three consecutive tournaments. The climactic tournament was a joust (purple) against Ed Beach. Ed had won his semi-final game by pulling a well-timed riposte from the top of the deck, and once again pulled a needed card from the deck in a do-or-die situation, but Andy had further reserves, and when Ed couldn't pull a second miracle off the top of the deck, Andy had won his fourth tournament of the game - and coincidentally - of the week, as he added the Ivanhoe championship to his haul.

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