Four for Five
GM George Young signs in the still
large field although TWS ceded its claim as the largest CDW to
the new Washington's War.
Chris Yaure and Ron Fedin enjoy the
Cold War more in hindsight than the old getting under the desk
drill in their school days.
Attendance remained strong for the event which is now in its
fifth year and no longer drawing the usual assortment of curious
first timers, although there are still some of those to be had.
The field included many skilled players, including both of our
former champions and the top six would admit no new names to
the Laurels list as each recipient was already a claimant to
previous honors. In short, newcomers had best know their stuff
to score here.
This year, the tournament used the Deluxe Edition, with the Chinese
Civil War variant, as the default game, although players who
did not have these were permitted to use earlier editions. This
was intended to dampen the perceived Russian advantage where
bids of 3 and 4 additional influence for the US had become commonplace.
It seemed to have had a small effect, with the Russians winning
38 of 67 (down from 39 of 56 the previous year).
The event moved at a good pace, with the majority of games completing
in slightly over two hours. On the plus side, there were fewer
Defcon 1 victories, although a number of players still got themselves
trapped into blowing up the world. Play eventually reduced to
a final four made up of three-time champ Stefan Mecay,defending
champ Chris Withers, and perennial contenders Rob Hassard and
George Young. Surprisingly, given the Russian edge, three of
the four had won his quarterfinal match as the US; Chris repeated
last year's pattern by playing the Russians each round.
In the first semi, Chris again took the Soviets with a bid of
3. Using early game plays of DeStalinization and DeColonization,
the Soviets were able to gain a favorable board position. This
held up and Rob's Americans finally succumbed to Wargames on
Turn 9. The other semi was over quickly. Stefan took the Soviets
and rapidly took Italy (by coup) and France. Meanwhile, George
(who played the US every round) engaged in parallel play, managing
to gain a favorable position in Asia and scored both Asia and
the Middle East, pushing the VPs up to 13!! But, in a bonehead
play, George tossed his last 3 card into space; Stefan then dropped
Blockade, clearing West Germany and George conceded.
For the Final, Stefan took the Soviets with a bid of 4 (forcing
Chris to take the US for the first time in two years). The US
was saddled with all three Scoring Cards on Turn 1 while the
Soviets couped them out of both Iran and Panama. DeStalinization
on Turn 2 then gave the Soviets the rest of the Americas, which
the US was never able to impact significantly. The US continued
to get most of the Scoring Cards and was able to time them to
keep the score close, but board position was solidly Soviet.
On Turn 9 the US was able to temporarily stave off defeat by
snagging Wargames with Terrorism, but inevitably was decisively
beaten in Final Scoring by well over -20 VPs as Stefan regained
his title for the fourth time.
Andrew Fedin puts into practice lessons
learned in scrimmages with his dad.
Keith Wixson and James Terry renew
WAM acquaintances while waging the Cold War.