kaiser's pirates  

Updated 1/26/2009

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Phil Barcafer, PA

2008 Champion

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Event History
2007    Joel Tamburo      33
2008     Phil Barcafer     41

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Joel Tamburo       IL    08     38
   2.  Phil Barcafer      PA    08     30
   3.  Rob Winslow        NY    08     13
   4.  Stan Buck          MD    08     12
   5.  Matthew Bacho      MD    07     12
   6.  Andy Lewis         DE    07      8
   7.  John Emery         SC    08      6
   8.  Steve Caler        OH    07      6
   9.  Bruce Young        SC    08      3
  10.  Frank Mestre       NY    07      2

2008 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists 

Joel Tamburo, IL

Stan Buck, MD

Rob Winslow, NY

John Emery, SC

Bruce Young, SC

Past Champions

Joel Tamburo, IL

Phil Barcafer, PA


John Emery and Roger Taylor tackle defending champ Joel Tamburo.

Bruce Young reloads as Paul Bolduc contemplates his response.

Sinking Ships During the Great War ...

For a second year an enthusiastic group of players matched their wits and skills in head-to-head competition to determine who was the most capable Kaiser's Pirate. They battled it out over four preliminary heats on Thursday and Friday in three player games to determine who would advance to the semi-finals and Final on Saturday.

The preliminary events included a 50-50 mix of experienced and inexperienced players. The inexperienced players learned the ropes quickly, thanks to the veterans helping them along without slowing play. 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 keeps some of the weaker German raiders out of the initial deal. That way each player starts with a German force of roughly equal strength. The Additional Damage rule speeds play by marking damage for every hit. Typically a ship may only have a single damage hit.

In a change from 2007, 12 players made it into the semi-finals, including 11 heat winners and one alternate. They then played in three four-player hands to determine who would advance further. The three winners of the semi-final hands plus the top runner-up scorer advanced. Advancing were Phil Barcafer (heats high scorer), Stanley Buck, Joel Tamburo (the defending champion) and Rob Winslow (semi-finalist high scorer).

These players then faced their biggest challenge -- a complete four-player game. Where they played only single-hands in the heats and the semi-finals, the finalists now had to prove their worth over a full game composed of three complete hands. In this situation, a single lucky hand would not be enough to carry them to victory. 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 eight expansion cards.

The four players each started with a powerful force of German ships: Phil -- the Königsberg, Möwe and Cap Trafalgar; Stanley -- the Dresden, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and Kronprinz Wilhelm; Joel -- the Nürnberg, Wolf and Cormoran; and Rob -- the Emden, Berlin and Prinz Eitel Friedrich.

Relying on capturing prize ships strategy, Rob won the first hand, outpacing the others by almost 30 points. However, the game's scoring system awards 4-round points for winning a four-player hand, thereby keeping all players in the game. There is only a 3-round point spread between the players for each hand.

Joel rebounded nicely, winning the second hand after finishing fourth in the first hand. Going into the last hand, only 3 round points separated the first and last place player; all four were still easily in striking distance of the wood. You could see the tension on all the players' faces throughout the hand as the play ebbed back-and-forth. When the last card was drawn, Phil emerged as the champion with a stunning hand with which he bested the next closest player by more than 60 points.

All four of the finalists demonstrated great skill and sportsmanship throughout the entire three days and were solid representatives of the spirit of the tournament. Next year should prove to be another great tournament. The revised format worked quite well and should maintain a high level of competition and challenge for all participants.


Designer Jim Day provided scale model miniature nautical props to enhance the mood.

Bruce Young (right) watches Tom Sessler, Phil Barcafer, and John Emery in Semi-Final play.
 GM      Jim Day [2nd Year]  NA
    jamesmday@aol.com   NA

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