Keith Wixson’s attempt to defend his title, and to win his fifth title in the last nine years, was thwarted by Brian Mountford. Mountford won his fourth title and his first since 2008; his three previous titles being in the “We the People Era”. Mountford became the third four time champ, joining Wixson and George Young with that distinction. Mountford defeated Derek Landel in Round 1, lost to Wixson in Round 2, then defeated Paul Gaberson and Young in Rounds 3 and 4. He advanced to the Semifinals on tiebreakers, where he defeated John Faella, before meeting Wixson in a rematch for the Championship. Wixson was undefeated entering the final game, defeating Mark Gutfreund, Mountford, Randy Pippus and Bill Peeck in the preliminary rounds and James “The Master” Pei in the Semifinals.
Mountford, Faella and Pei all advanced to the Semifinals on tiebreakers with 3-1 records. Bill Peeck also had a 3-1 record in the preliminary rounds but failed to advance due to weak tiebreakers. Evan Walter had a 3-0 record after three rounds, but then dropped out. Wixson and Pei were the only returning laurelists from 2017. There were two new players at the tournament this year. I plan to return as GM in 2019 and to schedule the tournament in its traditional Saturday time slot.
The games were split almost evenly with the Brits winning 20 and the Americans 19. Despite the anomaly of last year, when the Brits won only 8 games out of 45 played (18%), this year’s results are consistent with the results of the recent WBC past and the results of the Ladder run by Bill Peeck. The game continues to appear to be well balanced since the tweaks to the rules were officially put in place in 2014.
Here is a short AAR of the championship game between Mountford (British) and Wixson (Americans). In Round 2 Wixson, also as the Americans, defeated Mountford 8-5.
The Americans went first and concentrated on clearing out the British PC’s in the Southwest, while the Brits laid down PC’s in NY and NH. Cornwallis/3 landed at Montreal while Gates raised an army at Brattleboro in response. Bancroft was playing leading to the Brits having the final two card plays (Iroquois Uprising followed by PC placement in NY). Washington wintered the Continental Army at Springfield.
The Brits went first and used a Minor Campaign to move Howe/5 into Rhode Island (Greene evaded to Hartford) and to take Wilmington/DE with a Landing Party. Arnold raised an army at Philadelphia in response followed by Clinton/5 landing in DE as reinforcements. Lincoln raised an army at Albany while British PC pressure in the North continued. The final British card was a Major Campaign: Carleton/4 destroyed Lincoln’s force at Albany, Cornwallis/1 took Ticonderoga and a Landing Party took Savannah/GA to reestablish a British presence in the South. The American PC at Falmouth was isolated. The British position in the North at the end of the turn was strong, with NY, NH and RI controlled and MA under threat (Washington stayed at Springfield for the entire turn).
The Brits went first and pushed Clinton’s Army in Delaware into Philadelphia, defeating Arnold (who retreated into NJ) and dispersing the Continental Congress. Lee raised an army at Reading and Arnold was reinforced in response, while Burgoyne/3 landed in Delaware as reinforcements. Lincoln detached a CU from Lee and set up a blocking force at Fredericktown. Washington attempted to relieve the pressure in the North by attacking Carleton at Albany twice, but lost both times despite having favorable odds. Howe/5 pushed into Hartford, forcing Greene to evade to New Haven. Cornwallis/1 moved down from Ticonderoga to relieve Carleton and reinforce his army and then counterattacked Washington/2 at Springfield. Washington evaded into Brattleboro, absorbing Gates/1. Washington then escaped with 3 CU’s to the vacated Albany. The American PC's at Brattleboro and Lexington/Concord were isolated and the British position in the North had grown stronger was reaching critical mass. The Continental Congress fled to Bassettown, PA at the end of the turn.
The Brits opted to have the Americans go first. Both sides had poor hands this turn, with the Americans having 5 discards and the Brits drawing 2 War Ends cards. The Brits solidified their position in the North by filling in the empty spaces in NH and MA. Carleton returned from London, after being knighted by the King for kicking Washington’s ass, with 5 CU’s at Montreal. Washington/3 fled to Wyoming Valley as the American position in NY continued to deteriorate. The Americans were able to isolate the British PC’s at Ft. Detroit and Pittsburgh.
The British went first and started with a Major Campaign: Carleton/5 moved down to Westchester, a Landing Party secured New York and Howe/5 advanced into New Haven, where Greene was now trapped and captured. The North was now essentially locked down by the Brits, who also secured NJ for the Crown. The Americans concentrated on securing the South, raising armies under Gates and Lafayette in the Carolinas. In an indication of how strong the British position was, they played a Minor Campaign at the end of the turn as a reorganization move. The American PC at Long Island was isolated.
The British went first and landed 5 reinforcement CU’s at Savannah without a leader. The Brits otherwise had a poor hand with several discards and only one other OP’s card. The Americans continued to concentrate on operations in the South to set up a possible late game offensive to recover something in the North. Unfortunately, an army raised and led by Greene was repulsed at Savannah by the newly landed Brits.
Wixson drew a hand with several discards and an early War Ends card. All the other War Ends cards were in the discard pile, so this would be the final turn. Realizing that there was no way to make a comeback this turn with such a poor hand, he resigned. The final score was 9 colonies for Mountford’s Brits (CA, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, DE and GA) to 5 colonies for Wixson’s Americans (PA, MD, VA, NC and SC).