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pirate's cove (PRC) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Oct. 31, 2016 Icon Key
110 Players Jodi Folk, PA 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
  2016 Champion      

Loyalty Pays Off

Avast! From the Seven Seas to the Seven Springs, 2016 showed that even a mountain resort isn't safe from the plundering pirates of the WBC. This year marked new highs and lows over our former port. Captain Jason ‘Chainlink’ Fisher returned as GM, again assisted by Captain (retired) Larry Lingle and Captain Ron Fisher.

Heat 1 on Monday evening started the high points with 79 scoundrels eager to test the new waters, a marked increase over our first heat in 2015. It seems the expanded convention schedule suits sea dogs just fine. Captains Jason and Larry set the tone in standard Cove fashion distributing special awards to returning crew. After securing her second tournament win in 2015, Stefany Speck was awarded the title of Rear Admiral, joining Commodore John Elliott as the second pirate to earn that rank. Unhappy with loose ends, namely a tie for the deadliest lady pirate in 2015 but only one medal in hand, Captain Larry awarded Jodi Folk with a medal of her own to commemorate her bloodthirsty performance last year. He then informed the assembled sailors that in all of his time supporting Pirate's Cove only one pirate had attended all of the heats through the years. In recognition he awarded a one-time plaque for Most Loyal Crew to Jodi as well! And if two plaques and a medal before a shot was taken weren't enough, Captain Jason also revealed that the finalists would each be taking home a plush pirate's companion chosen from four different parrots and a pirate monkey! Admiral Speck immediately laid claim to the beautiful white cockatoo as the crew settled in to officially start plundering. Industrious scallawag Alex Bell impressed the crowd with a stunning custom game set, replete with unique player ships and beautifully detailed island. Veteran pirate John Wobbeking lamented leaving his hard earned Chain o' Shame at home (perhaps reminded by seeing Captain Jason bedecked in his six... how did he ever become a captain?) but cleverly worked around the issue by earning another, the only mutiny of the heat. The assembled throng earned 16 victories, including Rear Admiral Speck, still eyeing the cockatoo.

Enthusiasm remained high in Heat 2 with 64 cutthroats aboard, putting the pirate census over 100 for the seventh straight year. Crews were a bit more cannon-shy resulting in an increase of retreating and three Chains o' Shame: another to veteran pirate Carol Haney and astoundingly two for Haakon Monsen, continuing the trend of "aggressive discretion" started by Steve Shambeda the previous year. Equally astounding, Rear Admiral Speck came in fifth! The cockatoo wouldn't even look at her after that performance.

Heat 3 introduced a low for the tournament. Similar to prior years, the 9:00am heat appeared to be the bane of the crew's existence, netting only 20 pirates awake for duty. While some were seen later mumbling about too much grog and oversleeping, others had purchased their tickets to ride (and plunder?) trains, maintaining they were merely ships of the land. The diminished crew remained an orderly lot and refused to mutiny a single time.

Heat 4 had the decks again manned at respectable levels with 40 rogues present, raising the total pirates roster to 110, up 4% even in light of the reduced overall convention attendance! More and more pirates grew weary of the fight and fleeing abounded, but Haakon’s chains caught John Speck’s eye. He showed that two could play that game, earning himself two Chains of Shame of his own. Maybe Captain Jason knows something about pirate fashion after all? 

Out of 41 preliminary voyages only three pirates brought two victories back to harbor:  Jodi Folk, Eric Buetikofer, and Anna Rinko. That left 38 qualifiers for 25 semifinal berths, but Sunday morning had historically been plagued with desertions as the convention wound down and crews abandoned ship. This year only half of the qualifiers returned for the semifinals and the remaining six seats were filled with alternates, a far cry from 2015’s semi-final roster. There was also the possibility of a Speck/Wobbeking dynasty Final with Stefany and John Speck, Faith and John Wobbeking all aboard for Round 2. The round started somber as everyone focused on earning a spot to compete for their own plank to take home, but by the end of the games the normal pirate shenanigans were making appearances. Harried Joe Collinson hardly had a chance to admire Alex’s custom islands as he faced combat in 11 of 12 turns! He won five of those fights but sadly fell short of victory. At his table Captain Larry pushed hard at the end, sinking the Flying Dutchman in one volley (with the help of a powder keg). Sure, he sank himself as well, but the glory lives on and the sudden rush of sea water helped put out all of those powder burns.
A family final was not in the cards either. Of the four, only John Wobbeking survived although the other three all earned alternate status with runner-up voyages, opening a chance for one of them to claim sixth place. Captain Ron helpfully pointed out that if John won then none of his siblings would earn laurels. No pressure! The Final voyage would be crewed by Jodi Folk, Haakon Monsen, 2011 champion RJ Gleaton and Chris Trimmer. In the stone count the men saw Captain Larry in the lead with 19 but both John and Haakon entered the Final with 18 apiece while Jodi removed any chance of a women’s co-victory this year with 16 stones and no competition at the table.

The Final was all a knave could hope for when he makes his mark. Captain Larry’s special Legendary Pirate and Tavern decks were used, adding in fan-made cards. Of the new cards almost all were used, and used effectively. The new Random Pirate card was drawn for the Legendary Pirate and that uncertainty was enough to earn a wide berth throughout the game. On Turn 2 Jodi played the Challenge card to continue her pirate-hunting and add another stone. Turn 8 was a flurry of activity, including Sabotage in combat (earning RJ a stone), a Hurricane, and a parrot swap. In Turn 9 Jodi got revenge on RJ for the Sabotage and then cashed in her Secret Stash. In Turn 10 RJ used the Consort to prevent Haakon from cashing in significant treasure and fifth place was separated from 1st by a mere three points! Finally rid of that infuriating Consort, Haakon used a Treasure Map as a decoy to avoid combat on Turn 11. Turn 12 saw multiple Fame cards at outer islands making the Random Pirate less appealing to risk. Jodi, Chris, and John all found combat at Tavern Island. In an attempt to include more pirates in the fun, Jodi thoughtfully informed the Royal Navy of Haakon’s location. The Tavern Island fight was epic! Chris was armed with Long John Silver’s Parrot. Jodi answered with a Smoke Screen. Both negotiated heavily to enlist John’s aid in tackling the other. John, treacherous rogue that he is, changed sides several times but had the good sense to focus on the parrot first. Elsewhere, Haakon showed no fear and sank the Royal Navy in one shot!

When the decks cleared, the last Tavern card was purchased and each contender revealed two or three Fame points in cards. Jodi clenched the victory to finally earn the big payoff for being present at every voyage. Haakon stole second from RJ by three points - less than Haakon earned for his Royal Navy encounter. Jodi’s win secured sixth place for Faith, giving the Wobbekings another share of the laurels swag. Pirate companions were chosen from 5th place to 1st. Chris chose the pirate monkey, allowing John to acquire the cockatoo, presumably for his sister. Jodi finished with 20 stones earning her a second medal but Haakon and John both ended with 21 stones. After a brief dice-off John Wobbeking went home with the Sea Dog medal, although if this year is any indication Haakon can probably expect his own next year. Overall, we couldn’t ask for better hunting from our new home port!

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Haaken Monsen, no RJ Gleaton, SC John Wobbeking, MD Chris Trimmer, TX Faith Wobbeking, MD
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Cap'ns Larry and Jason promote Stefany Speck
for her double titles.

Jodi Folk, the wench what never missed a voyage,
is also recognized.

Mate Crenshaw best keep an eye out for that cabin boy.
Sam Wolff is everywhere!

Alex Bell trains his crew in the intricacies
of his new scratch built 3D set.

Brandon Bernard, burdened by his chains of shame,
hoists sail to board Andrew George and Bryan Berkenstock.

John Wobbeking and Matt Evinger give
the thumbs up signal to swing 'em from the yardarm.

Cap'n Jason oversees his nastiest cutthroats in their Final voyage.
GM  Jason Fisher [2nd Year]  1614 Burnley Drive, Cary, NC 27511
 JEFisher@pobox.com  NA