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Battleline (BAT) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 25s, 2016 Icon Key
50 Players Owen Kyrollos, NJ 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Denying CABS

The move to Seven Springs proved to be a boon to Battle Line, as we drew 50 players for the first time in a decade, and with it, achieved Century status at last. The grouping into pods, while random, led to some intriguing revenge scenarios. In 2015, “Big Jim” Kramer lost to Sean McCulloch, but still won the pod (and the tournament) after Rob Kilroy took Sean out in their game. This year, against all odds, the three met again in the same pod. This time, Jim went 0-3 in the pod - apparently being seen as a defending champion is as bad in Battle Line as it is in Naval War.  Sean also took his revenge on Rob, moving on to the single elimination bracket.  Revenge was also served in another pod where last year’s “Most Popular Battle Line Player”, Sara Ward, was unable to repeat her 2015 feat of knocking Bruce Reiff out of the tournament, and Bruce moved on to the pleasing moans and lamentations of all present.

In all, 13 pod champions moved on to the bracket, leading to byes being handed out to prior champions Bruce and Sean, and randomly given to Joe Yaure. In the non-bye games, we had the following results:

  • 2015 runner-up Lyman Moquin beat Mr Manoeuvre: Bjorn von Knorring
  • Chris Kizer (having just learned the game that week) beat 2015 double winner Ryan Romanik
  • Derek Landel beat Tom Knapp
  • Owen Kyrollos beat Cally Perry
  • Aiden Powers beat Dave Wolfe

That left eight players and perfect brackets for a three-round gauntlet to the title.  Some players were sensing laurels or wood, and the “Ohio Duo” were starting to count their chickens a tad early, planning on bringing the Battle Line title back to Ohio.

In the first quarterfinal game, Bruce handled Lyman and moved on.  In the next, Chris (did we mention that he just learned the game that week?) beat Joe Yaure.  Owen beat Derek to secure his semifinal berth.  The last game was an epic confrontation between young Aiden Powers and Sean McCulloch. Aiden, better known to CABS members as “The kid Pete Stein ruthlessly stepped on to win the Battle Cry tournament a couple of years ago” had been on an impressive streak, winning all three games in his pod by 6-0 breakthrough and then dispatching Dave Wolfe to reach the semifinals. In the next game, he had good cards and played them well, but failed to notice an unopposed flag claimed by Sean at a critical moment, costing him three possible card plays. This came back to haunt him at the end when he ran out of spots to play cards and had to sacrifice flags.  Even then, Sean had to scramble for the win by playing the Redeploy card in an unusual way to extend the game. It was a very close game that turned on one moment of inattention. I’ll be campaigning the CABS nickname board to get Aiden christened as “The future of Battle Line”.

Thus, the final four was set. In the first semifinal, Chris’s inexperience cost him against Bruce as he played an early (and probably unnecessary) tactics card that allowed Bruce to work around Chris’s play and exploit the tactics card discrepancy and move on.  In the other semifinal, Sean again found himself behind early, and scrambling to salvage the situation. Owen was having none of it, though, and slammed the door on Sean, eliminating the Buckeye guarantee of a title return.

The Final was thus set - five-time champion Bruce Reiff against newcomer Owen Kryollos.  Vegas refused to post a line. However, things started badly for the favorite as Owen lead with a 9-8-7 straight flush on the middle flag, claiming it on the fourth turn before Bruce could lay down three cards on it.  Bruce fought to recover from that early setback and the game went on long enough to deplete the troop deck.  But in the end, Owen’s early advantage plus timely tactics card plays were enough to give him the victory and keep the Battle Line plaque out of state for a second year. More importantly, it left Bruce still without wood in Seven Springs.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Bruce Reiff, OH Sean McCulloch, OH Chris Kizer, NC Derek Landel, NJ Lyman Moquin, DC
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
The Ballad of Big Jim Kramer had a sad second verse in 2016. GM McCulloch oversees the David & Goliath Final.
Kevin Youells, Barrington Beavis and Mike Stanley head a long battle line in 2016.
GM  Sean McCulloch [2nd year]  NA
 Stmccull@owu.edu  NA