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Kaiser's Pirates (KPR) WBC 2017 Report
Updated March 3, 2018 Icon Key
46 Players Andy Lewis 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
2017 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Century Status Leads to Chaiman Win

2017 marked the return of The Kaiser’s Pirates to the Century, and we celebrated in grand fashion. Jim Day, the designer, provided celebratory bottles of Kaiser’s Pirates-labelled wine to the members of the final table, not forgetting the GM and publisher, and we had our biggest turnout ever. Without a couple of last-minute drops, this would have been the year we had to leave some single-game winners out of the semifinals.

Once again, we had a good collection of former champions, winners of seven of the last eight years were on hand, and experience turned out to be one of the major themes of 2017’s tournament, along with an ugly reminder that, in KPR, it doesn’t matter how many high-scoring German ships you sink if you can’t also sink the low-point merchantmen that allow them to score.

Because The Kaiser’s Pirates rewards careful hand management and card play in the long run and the luck of the dice on any given turn, we nearly always have a first-time player in the finals. Not this year. Perhaps the closest we came was 13-year-old Aidan Lawall who, despite being edged out in each of his games, scored the most cumulative victory points during the heats. He advanced to the semifinals as an alternate and managed to sink two potentially high-scoring German ships but, because he lost both of his own German raiders on the first turn followed by his warship, he was unable to sink any merchantmen and ended his semifinal with the only goose egg of 2017’s competition.

Instead, 2017’s top seeds included long-time dedicated players like Jim Day and Michael Ussery, with the final table featured the most experienced group of competitors to date. There were the last two WBC champions, Bill Beckman and Karl Buchholz, the game’s publisher Andy Lewis of GMT, and the assistant GM Melody Loder. Competition was fierce. As is often the case, the game started with a couple of card draws and then the early play of some powerful cards. Bill played Surprise Attack to sink a 9-point merchantman for first blood. Melody played Recon Aircraft to steal an AMC and an Interrogate out of Bill’s hand followed by Shipping Lanes, fruitlessly responded to by another AMC, to sink one of Bill’s merchantmen. Andy then, who had many good cards early in the game, hit Melody’s ships hard, damaging her warship and two merchantmen before leaving her in a Fog Bank and causing her to lose a turn. Neither Bill nor Karl could capitalize on Andy’s near misses.

On his next turn, Andy sank Melody’s Dresden but left one of the merchantmen double-damaged to be scooped up by someone else. Andy’s strong start helped him survive the misplay of a second Fog Bank onto the wrong opponent and kept him near the top. Needing five points to win the round on his final play, he attacked Melody’s merchantmen, forgetting the AMC she had accidentally revealed earlier. The AMC chugged out to trade shots with Andy’s warship but faltered and Andy sank it to take the round.

In the second round, Andy came under repeated attack by everyone, losing his powerful raider, the Wolf, early to an Interrogate from Melody followed by an attack by Karl, and then having cards stolen out of his hand by Bill. Karl threatened to catch him, sinking three German ships, but lost out on 43 points because he couldn’t sink any merchantmen to cover them. In the end, Andy won the second round handily, leaving his championship almost guaranteed as either Bill or Karl would need to win the third round while Andy came last just to force a tie-breaker.

The final round began as a low-scoring affair. 40% of the way in, Andy had 19 points and no one else had any. Two-thirds of the way through the round, Andy was still the only player with points. Melody and Karl had sunk German ships but not yet sunk any of the merchantmen that would let the German ships score. Everyone managed to score in the final card plays and Karl snuck past Andy to win the third round and second place overall. Andy joined Matt Bacho as the two people to earn Centurion shirts in KPR.

Thanks to everyone who came and played The Kaiser’s Pirates this year. It was a great tournament and we filled our room! I’m looking forward to an even better event in 2018.

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Karl Buchholz Bill Beckman Melody Loder Jeffre Spaner Roger Taylor
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Andy Lewis, Ralph Gleaton, Bill Beckman,
and David Buchholz having fun as pirates
The Mafia exploiting pirates
Bruce Young trying to keep the Mafia alive Kaiser's Pirates Finalists with GM Tim Rogers
GM  Tim Rogers [6th Year]  NA