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Axis & Allies (A&A) WBC 2017 Report
Updated February 15, 2018 Icon Key
16 Players Scott McClurg 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
  2017 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

New GM Finally Makes Elimination Round But Falls Short in Final

Sixteen hardy souls braved the long trek to the Foggy Goggle level of the Ski Lodge to partake in the first round of the Axis & Allies tournament. The eight games produced five Allied winners (Scott McClurg, Joe Powell, Pat Mirk, Sam Packwood, and Eric Zielinski) and three Axis winners (Russell Schilb, Craig Yope, and Steve Packwood). Three of the games ended early in concessions but the rest went the full time frame and all six rounds.

Four players left for greener gaming pastures and this left just twelve to continue on. The eight winners matched up to see who had the chops to get to 2-0 while the remaining four looked for redemption and a chance to get back into the advancement mix. The Allied tide was riding high in the second round as five of the six games went their way. Scott McClurg and Russell Schilb rolled to big wins while Sam Packwood and Eric Zielinski squeaked out narrow victories. Kevin Keller and Kevin Burns (the lone Axis winner) rebounded with wins to stay in the contention for the single elimination portion of the event.

After adjourning for a night of celebration (or licking of wounds), the eight remaining contestants reconvened for the final preliminary round of play. The four remaining 2-0 players squared off with top ranked Scott McClurg (34 TVTs) against fourth ranked Sam Packwood (25 TVTs) and second ranked Russell Schilb (33 TVTs) facing third ranked Eric Zielinski (27 TVTs). Then there were the three 1-1 players who still held out hope of sliding in with a good enough Victory Territory total if they could get to a 2-1 record. Joe Powell had the best TVTs of the three and got to play 0-2 Randy Schilb while the trash talking Kevin Keller finally got to face his nemesis Craig Yope in an actual tournament game.

Scott McClurg’s Allies got a quick concession from Sam Packwood’s Axis as every single first round roll went against Sam. Truly an amazing sight! On the other end of the spectrum, Eric Zielinski’s Allies won an eight round speed match against Russell Schilb. With the crushing concession defeat of Sam Packwood, the door was opened for one of the 1-1 players to step through. Kevin Keller was the furthest back and would need not only to win his game but to have Randy Schilb knock off his buddy Joe Powell. As fate would have it, Randy played spoiler and took down Joe for the only Axis win of the third round. So as time wound down, things were looking good for Kevin and his Axis hordes. But Craig Yope was able to crack the outer perimeter of the Japanese empire and take enough VTs to secure the win and earn a place in the semifinals.The player rankings based on the three games from the preliminary rounds (Name/Record/TVT/IPC %>) were:

  • 1. Scott McClurg 3-0/53/80.20
  • 2. Eric Zielinski 3-0/41/29.17
  • 3. Russell Schilb 2-1/43/30.21
  • 4. Craig Yope 2-1/43/28.82
  • 5. Sam Packwood 2-1/30/-27.23
  • 6. Joe Powell 1-2/41/9.29
  • 7. Kevin Keller 1-2/37/-2.20
  • 8. Randy Schilb 1-2/32/-3.67
  • 9. Pat Mirk 1-1/24/-10.18
  • 10. Kevin Burns 1-1/23/-8.57
  • 11. Steve Packwood 1-1/21/-30.00
  • 12. Caroline Hopkins 0-2/20/-11.46
  • 13. Al Hurda 0-1/9/-24.29
  • 14. Carl Copeland 0-1/5/-31.25
  • 15. Rejean Tremblay 0-1/5/-42.86
  • 16. Noah Engelmann 0-1/5/-42.86

Semifinal play then began with a bit of a switcharoo. As per the rankings above the pairings should have been Scott McClurg against Craig Yope and Eric Zielinski against Russell Schilb. Russell and Eric agreed that since they had just played in the third round it would be nice not to have to play again right away. So I reset the pairings and that meant Scott got to play Russell while Eric and Craig would play.

In semifinal #1, Scott’s Allies got a +4 bid and pulled out a tight 13-11 VT victory. As I was busy playing in the other semifinal, I was unable to catch any of the action. But the fact that this was Scott’s fourth straight win with the Allies didn’t go unnoticed.

In the second semifinal, GM Craig Yope actually made the elimination rounds of play for the first time!, and with a certain amount of trepidation, sat down across from the unknown Eric Zielinski and his 3-0 record. Craig was ready to take the Allies with a low bid to keep Eric from once again winning with them as he had won with the Allies three times also. But the bidding worked out that Eric got the Allies with only a +3 IPC amount which Craig was willing to live with.

The game eventually went Craig’s way as individual battles continued to slightly favor him across the board. Eric commented that many of the tactics he employed had been successfully for the first three rounds but were not working for him this game. After six rounds of play, the game ended with Craig scoring a 15-9 VT win.

These two results set up a final between #1 seed Scott McClurg and #4 seed Craig Yope. Again Craig was aware of his opponents’ track record of Allied victories and was trying hard to either keep the bid low or keep him from play the Allies again. Craig ended up with Allies +3 IPCs. Craig’s placement of an extra infantry in India was the beginning of a series of interesting moves in the first turn.

After a pretty straight forward USSR turn that saw light losses for the Soviets, the Germans eschewed any kind of naval purchase and went all land units. Then a big early stumble occurred in that Germany failed to take Egypt. An interesting non combat move coming on the heels of the desert debacle was the shifting of a fighter to French Indochina to support his Axis partner. The UK then had an interesting set of choice available to it when the dust had settled. Instead of the standard Indian Ocean fleet attacks against the IJN, Craig choose to go full power against the German Mediterranean fleet. Feeling that the loss of the Africa IPCs to the German war machine would be too much to overcome, Craig went with a full on Europe strategy. The UK cleared out both the Baltic and Med fleets with little loss to itself, but the attack out of India into FIC had been postponed. The Japanese were more than happy to celebrate the fact the SZ 59 transport was alive and well. The full weight of the surface fleet went east and was powerfully ensconced around the Hawaiian Islands with back up in the Solomon Islands. The US was cautious and moved their remaining Pacific fleet to SZ 20 while building up on the East Coast for the European adventure.

The second round saw the USSR move the vast majority of its forces forward into the Ukraine confident that it could withstand any German onslaught. They were wrong! In what was the pivotal battle of the game, German armor spearheaded an attack the almost cleared the defending Soviets in one turn. From then on, the USSR was a battered shell of its former self fighting just to survive. All the resources denied the Germans in the “Dark Continent” were easily balanced by the IPCs gained in Russia. The Japanese then added their pressure from behind while taking down India, Australia, and China. The complete lack of pressure on them by the US in the Pacific allowed them free reign to run roughshod across Asia.

By the time the UK and US were finally able to launch their attacks on the European continent, the Soviets had been beaten down to almost nothing and the beaches of Western and Southern Europe became a killing zone for multiple Allied expeditionary forces. After approximately four hours and almost six rounds of play, Craig stopped the bloodbath and asked for terms. Scott had pushed his lead out to an 18-6 VT score and there was no way it was going to get any better for Craig in the little amount of time left to play.

Congratulations to Scott McClurg on winning the WBC A&A event. I would like to thank all who participated in the event and as always a special thank you goes out to Joe Powell and Kevin Keller for not only being my assistant GMs but for being the GMs of this event for the last six years.

Tournament statistics, the value in parentheses is the number of concession wins that occurred as part of the total amount of wins in each instance:

  • Axis Wins
    • Round 1 – 3 (1)
    • Round 2 – 1 (0)
    • Round 3 – 1 (0)
    • Semifinals – 1 (0)
    • Finals – 1 (0)
    • Totals - 7 (1)
  • Allied Wins
    • Round 1 – 5 (2)
    • Round 2 – 5 (1)
    • Round 3 – 3 (1)
    • Semifinals – 1 (0)
    • Finals – 0 (0)
    • Totals – 14 (4)
  • Average VTs in a Win (Allies) - 15.43
  • Average IPCs in a Win (Axis) - 81.14
  • Average IPCs in a Win (Allies) - 110.71
  • Average IPC % (>) in a Win (Axis) - 15.92
  • Average IPC % (>) in a Win (Allies) - 15.33
  • Average Rounds in a Win (Axis) - 5.43
  • Average Rounds in a Win (Allies) - 5.14
  • Axis Wins
    • No Bidding – 0
    • Axis Bid – 0
    • Allied Bid – 0
  • Allied Wins
    • No Bidding – 1
    • Axis Bid – 1
    • Allied Bid – 12
  • Average Bid
    • Axis – 4 IPCs
    • Allies - 3.95 IPCs

    Quality Games Statistics - “Quality Games” (games that don’t end in a concession or become a “runaway”/blowout game):

    • Axis Wins
      • Round 1 – 2
      • Round 2 – 1
      • Round 3 – 1
      • Semifinals – 1
      • Finals – 0
      • Totals - 5
    • Allied Wins
      • Round 1 – 3
      • Round 2 – 3
      • Round 3 – 2
      • Semifinals – 1
      • Finals – 0
      • Totals – 9
    • Average VTs in a Win (Axis) – 14.60
    • Average VTs in a Win (Allies) – 13.44
    • Average IPCs in a Win (Axis) – 76.80
    • Average IPCs in a Win (Allies) – 102.33
    • Average IPC % (>) in a Win (Axis) – 9.72
    • Average IPC % (>) in a Win (Allies) - .60
    • Average Rounds in a Win (Axis) – 5.80
    • Average Rounds in a Win (Allies) – 6.11
    • Axis Wins
      • No Bidding – 0
      • Axis Bid – 0
      • Allied Bid – 6
    • Allied Wins
      • No Bidding – 1
      • Axis Bid – 0
      • Allied Bid – 7
    • Average Bid
      • Axis – N/A
      • Allies – 3.62 IPCs

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2

Craig Yope Russell Schlib Eric Zielinski Sam Packwood Joe Powell
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Making strategic moves in Axis & Allies

Past 7 year's Axis & Allies GM Kevin Keller playing
the new GM Craig Yope

Scott McClurg advancing through the rounds

Axis & Allies final round with assistant GM Kevin Keller
with Scott McClurg and GM Craig Yope as finalist
GM     Craig Yope [1st Year]   NA
    craigyope@comcast.net    NA