Three Time Winner ...
Chris Byrd vs Gary Dickson
Stuart Tucker and Jim Heenehan vs
Nicholas Pei and Ben Gardner
James Pei vs Michael Ussery
GM Stuart Tucker with his last two
Ed Note: I've always maintained that this event is the
epitome of what the ideal WBC tournament should be: a well stocked
veritable shark pool of skilled players - any one of whom can
rise to the top in a given year. 2013 was again no exception
as two stalwart players battled their way to the Final to enhance
their resumes - but a return trip next year will remain a challenge
- as it should be.
Carthage and Rome met on the field of battle for 66 games,
with Rome prevailing in 37 of them. 24 players arrived in time
for Round 1, a significant dip from the previous year, perhaps
due to the altered start day. Consensus prevailed that the pre-con
should return to a Saturday start. A total of 33 veterans (including
five former champions) and ten newcomers played during the tournament.
Bidding PCs for sides resulted in an average Bid of 1.15 for
Carthage, up from last year. In 22% of the games, the PC bid
was zero. A bidding war occurred for the choice of Rome in only
three games. The highest bid for Carthage was 3, done four times.
Rome was sacked twice, Carthage thrice. In one case, Carthage
was sacked while Rome was under siege. In eight games, Carthage
won by a 9-9 tie in the province count. Carthage forced resignations
before Turn 9 on ten occasions, while Rome forced such resignations
11 times. Ten games ended before the arrival of Africanus. Hannibal
died in 18 games, with Carthage recovering to win four of them.
Africanus died in seven games, all of which Rome lost. Syracuse
joined Carthage 34 times, and was consequently sacked by Rome
13 times. On four occasions, Syracuse joined Carthage on Turn
8 or 9, resulting in victory three times. Philip joined Carthage
29 times, only to make peace with Rome on ten occasions. The
Messenger Intercept occurred on Turn 9 in eight games, only half
of which were won by the Intercepting side. The player with the
Messenger Intercept in Turns 7 or 8 was the winner two-third
s of the time. Once the Messenger was lost to Philip Makes Peace.
Overall, Rome enjoyed the Messenger two-thirds of the time it
card gods blessed the eight top-seeded players in Round 1 with
victories, but looked with disfavor upon three of them in Round
2, including GM Stuart Tucker. Third-ranked Jim Heenehan fell
in Round 2 to Grant LaDue while seventh-seeded Lyman Moquin lost
to Randy Pippus. Keith Wixson survived a close scare against
Michael Ussery when his Carthage drew Syracuse on Turn 9 and
survived the Messenger Intercepted to secure a 9-9 count with
the Truce played on Turn 9.
Nine players entered the third phase of the gauntlet undefeated.
Reigning champ Steve Worrel had returned to defend his crown,
but fell in Round 3 when matched with top-ranked James Pei. Worrel's
Carthaginians gained Syracuse on Turn 9, but resigned. Last year's
runner-up, Michael Sosa fell to second-ranked Keith Wixson's
Romans by an 11-7 province count after the death of Hannibal
in Turn 5 and the fall of Saguntum in Turn 8. Henry Rice's Romans
defeated George Young by a 10-8 count benefitting from a Turn
8 Messenger Intercept and despite the death of Africanus in Turn
9. Chris Byrd's Romans sent Africanus and Marcellus into Idubeda,
and Hannibal was killed on Turn 9, resulting in an 11-7 count
over Randy Pippus. Tim Miller's Romans benefitted from a Turn
9 Messenger Intercept to seize the last three moves and a 10-8
victory over Grant LaDue.
This left four unbeatens for Round 4. Pei played Carthage with
a 1 PC bid against Wixson. An unusual Turn 1 invasion of Iberia
led to the fall of Saguntum on Turn 4, but eventual expulsion.
A second invasion failed with heavy losses, leading Africanus
to invade and sack Carthage on Turn 7. 4th-ranked Chris Byrd
played Carthage with a 1 PC bid against #17, Henry Rice. Philip
joined Carthage on Turn 3, Syracuse on Turn 6, and Carthage ran
the count up to 5-13 when Rome resigned in Turn 9.
To bring his record up to 3-1, Heenehan's Carthage survived by
relieving Sosa's siege of Syracuse on Turn 9 with an extraordinary
naval expedition by Hasdrubal in the face of Storms at Sea. Larry
Luongo achieved 3-1 over Pippus's Carthage by virture of three
Messenger Intercepts. LaDue also reached 3-1 over Tucker's Carthage,
with the sack of Massilia and much activity in Idubeda playing
a large role. Worrel improved to 3-1 by defeating Tim Miller's
Carthage 9-8, after retaking Syracuse on Turn 5 and making peace
with Philip on Turn 6.
In Round 5, four games remained significant in determining medals.
Pei's Hannibal DE'd P.Scipio's army at Arminium on Turn 2, and
killed Africanus and Fabius on Turn 6, leaving Rome with few
CUs and forcing a resignation by LaDue. Pei thus earned fourth
place, and LaDue the sixth place Sand plaque. Heenehan's Hannibal
failed at the gates of Rome on Turn 8 and couldn't engineer a
long Truce, with Pippus forcing resignation in Turn 9. Pippus
thus placed fifth and put Heenehan to the sword metaphorically
speaking and out of the laurels. Rice's Carthage won a 9-9 tie
against Luongo to gain runner-up by virtue of his 4-1 record
and a strength of schedule tie-breaker.
The Championship was at stake when two former champs clashed
once again. Wixson's Hannibal crossed the Alps on Turn 1, and
fought three battles on Turn 2, killing many Romans. On Turn
3, Hannibal defeated Fabius at Falerii, with heavy losses. On
Turn 4, Fabius' counterattack met with heavy losses, and Syracuse
joined Carthage, while Corsica opted to revolt. Byrd, with few
CUs remaining, retired to Capua to admire his third place plaque
and dream of what might have been.
David Metzger vs Bill Edwards