twilight struggle   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Riku Riekkinen, fi

2012-13 Champion


Event History
2006    Stefan Mecay     70
2007     Stefan Mecay     66
2008    Stefan Mecay     54
2009     Chris Withers     66
2010    Stefan Mecay     57
2011    Stefan Mecay     55
2012    Riku Riekkinen     64
2013    Riku Riekkinen     53

WAM Event History
2007    Keith Wixson     30
2008    Marvin Birnbaum     35
2009     Stefan MeCay     28
2010     Chris Byrd     21
2011    Stefan MeCay     27
2012    Chris Byrd     30
2013    Marvin Birnbaum     20

PBeM Event History
2008    Stefan Mecay     86


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Stefan Mecay       TX    13    428
  2.  Chris Withers      CA    12    161
  3.  Keith Wixson       NJ    13    143
  4.  Riku Riekkinen     fi    13    110
  5.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    13    108
  6.  Rick Young         NC    09    100
  7.  Chris Byrd         CT    12     82
  8.  Randy Pippus       on    13     72
  9.  Bill Edwards       VA    13     60
 10.  Bruce Monnin       OH    11     46
 11.  Paul Sampson       OH    12     43
 12.  Michael Mitchell   GA    13     37
 13.  James Terry        NJ    11     37
 14.  Rob Hassard        NJ    10     32
 15.  Stuart Tucker      MD    08     31
 16.  John Emery         SC    06     30
 17.  Steven Brooks      FL    10     29
 18.  George Seary       NY    08     28
 19.  Sean McCulloch     OH    09     25
 20.  Roderick Lee       CA    11     24
 21.  Darren Kilfara     uk    08     24
 22.  George Young       VT    10     21
 23.  Patrick Neary      NY    13     20
 24.  Phil Rennert       MD    08     20
 25.  M. Pare-Paquin     qc    12     18
 26.  Kevin Hammond      WA    11     16
 27.  Tim Bina           CA    11     16
 28.  Mike Wallschlaeger WI    09     15
 29.  John Buse          IL    06     15
 30.  Jeff Finkeldey     OH    13     12
 31.  Larry Fryer        MD    12     12
 32.  Scott Burns        uk    13     10
 33.  Bruce DuBoff       NJ    08     10
 34.  Derek Landel       NJ    11      8
 35.  Doug Austin        VA    07      8
 36.  David Amidon       PA    12      6
 37.  Suzanne Tuch       NY    08      6
 38.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    13      5
 39.  Dave Gerson        CA    09      5
 40.  John Wetherell     PA    09      5
 41.  Michael Sosa       FL    08      5
 42.  Kevin Earle        VA    12      4
 43.  C. Georgantzas     NY    11      4
 44.  Charles Hickok     PA    07      4
 45.  Randy MacInnis     NJ    13      3

2013 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists:

Randy Pippus, on

Pat Neary, NY

Stefan MeCay, TX

Scott Burns, uk

Bruce Wigdor, NJ

Past Winners

Stefan Mecay, TX
2006-08, 2010-11

Chris Withers, CA

Riku Riekkinen, fi
2012, 2013

Jeff Finkeldey and Michael Rogozinski head a long row of Cold War combatants.

Christina Hancock was one of just two ladies to try her hand in the event.

Those Nasty Russians send US back to the drawing board ...

Twilight Struggle continued to draw well despite dropping to its smallest field in its eight-year run. That decline was compensated for by a significant number playing in multiple rounds of swiss play as opposed to the earlier elimination format. Even after all these years, TWS is still attracting new participants as well, something few of the other CDWs can boast.

The game has generally been seen to favor the Russians, particularly in the early going, unless adjustments are made. In past years we have tried bidding or the addition of the Chinese Civil War variant, which prevents early Russian play of Red Scare and has other balancing effects, with bidding as well. After discussion with a number of experienced players, this year we played with a standard adjustment - US received three influence. But players were also required to switch sides each round. This approach was well received and is largely consistent with the balancing adjustment used by the online ladder. Games were all played using the Deluxe edition rules, without the optional cards.

The tournament was resolved in five rounds, even with 53 players. This was the result of the odd winners each round consistently losing to the randomly selected opponent among those with one loss. The final four unbeatens were Riku Riekennen, Stefan Mecay, Randy Pippus, and Chris Byrd. Former champions Riku and Stefan were matched in one bracket, while the two uncrowned contenders settled the other bracket. Randy got off to a good positional advantage by taking out Italy on Turn 1, but Chris was able to maneuver the scoring cards to minimize the early damage. But on Turn 4, the cards moved decisively in favor of the Russians, with Russia scoring We Will Bury You for 3, followed by Cultural Revolution for 1, OPEC for 5 and Arab-Israeli-War for 2 to push the VPs up to 15. The trend continued at the beginning of Turn 4, with Randy scoring five points in the first couple of card plays to end things.

In the other semifinal, Riku took advantage of Red Scares on Turns 2 and 3 to gain position, but Stefan was able to offset this enough with timely scoring to still take a substantial US VP advantage (15) by Turn 4. On Turn 5, the Russian positional advantage began to take over with the Russians headlining Allende causing the US to drop South America scoring for a bunch of USSR VPs. Scoring of Africa and Central America on Turn 6 sent the VP count over to the Russian favor. Stefan managed to limp along, but Russia headlined Ames on Turn 10, which effectively ended any comeback threat.

The Randy-Riku Final was effectively over quickly. Riku took advantage of Red Scare and the fact that the US held Arab-Israeli and Korean Wars to pick up a bunch of early points and take positional advantage by using De-Stalinization to move into France, Thailand, South America. After Turn 1, VPs were already at 8. Mideast scoring and a shortage of military operations made it 13 VPs at the end of the second turn. Europe scored 5 for the USSR to start Turn 3. The US tried to fight back on Turn 4 and managed to use Ask Not to dump a number of adverse cards (South America as well as South African Unrest, Portuguese Empire and Willy Brandt) but Randy drew Africa Scoring as a replacement, which gave the game to Riku.

The game play, as usual, favored the Russians; disappointingly, the Russian edge was stronger than usual with the Russians winning 46 games and the US 21. This trend maintained itself among the players who won a lot of games. Of course, it also meant that the alternating sides approach did not work as well as intended since in later rounds, both sides had often played the Russians previously. Clearly, there will be another discussion of balancing options before next year.

The two past champs in the field met in the semifinals with Stefan suffering a rare loss.

GM George Young watches Randy Pippus vainly attempt to stop the Riku express.
 GM      George Young (5th Year)  NA   802-578-3774 

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