For the first time ever, we had fewer than 20 people make it to the opening round on Thursday morning. Most keenly felt was the absence of the Kendricks, last year’s winner William, four-time winner Ed, and the up-and-coming James.
Normally, there aren’t any significant upsets in the first round, if only because the majority of this group are so evenly matched. However, this wasn’t going to be another typical year. John Emery lost his first game to relative newcomer Phil Watkins as John’s Germans were unable to successfully Assault a Fortification being held by Phil’s Russians.
The big surprise at the end of round 2 wasn’t that John Emery lost to Jeremy Billones in the jungle, since Jeremy is a top-tier player in his own right, but that this loss put John at 0-2 with the very real possibility of not making the elimination round.
After 3 rounds, we were down to 2 at 3-0 – Ray Stakenas and Nathan Wagner. But with only 11 players still active, it’s looking like everyone at 3-2 will be advancing.
After 4 rounds, there are 5 players with 3 wins – Jeremy Billones, Andy Maly, and Bruce Young joining Ray and Nathan in the final 8. That left 5 others fighting for the last three spots. Richard Irving’s attacking Germans defeated John Emery’s Russians defending an Outpost Line, ending John’s come-back of the afternoon. Ralph Gleaton’s Germans successfully defended their Fortification against Jeff Spaner’s attacking Americans. And to round out the field of 8, Kevin Emery defeated Alan Arvold.
The elimination round started after dinner with Jeremy’s Japanese defeating Ray’s Americans in the jungle. Ralph’s Americans wrested control of the city from Nathan, Richard’s Germans managed to evade Andy’s Russian armor recon patrol, while Kevin’s Russian armor recon patrol defeated Bruce’s defending Germans.
With the final 4 set, Ralph’s Japanese patrol defeated Jeremy’s Americans while Richard’s attacking Germans defeated Kevin’s Russian Outpost line.
For the bronze medal match, Jeremy’s American armor recon patrol defeated Kevin’s defending Japanese giving Jeremy third, and Kevin’s fourth. To the extent of the records that I can find, it’s interesting to note that I believe they have matched each of their best finishes. This is Jeremy’s third third-place finish and Kevin’s third fourth-place finish.
At center court the stage is set. Richard’s American Iron Fist was all set to attack Ralph’s Japanese. Unfortunately for Ralph, the game didn’t turn out as close as he may have liked, as Richard appeared to draw a never-ending string of fire cards with his attacking groups in advantageous terrain. While Ralph did eventually manage to kill the American Greyhound, it wasn’t nearly enough as the overall American firepower was more than enough to eventually break the Japanese squad and give him the win!
Congratulations to Richard for his second win, and to Ralph for his third second-place finish.