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Hannibal (HRC) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated October 27,2023
31 Players Randy Pippus Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Upsets Open Path For A New First-Time Champion!

The Hannibal tournament recovered a few of its entrants over last year’s pandemic-dampened field. Seven of the top 12 seeds in the world and five former champions turned out to face a tough, veteran-filled field and four rookies in a field totaling 31 entrants. Most participants played two or more rounds. A total of 40 games were played, with Carthage winning 22 versus Rome’s 18 victories. Average playing time was 3.3 hours per game, although 20% of the games went over 4 hours. The player winning the bid for sides took Carthage in 34 out of 40 games, with an average winning bid of 1.4 PCs. The highest bid for Carthage was 4 PCs.

In 60% of the games, Syracuse remained neutral, showing that in perhaps 15% of the games, Carthage is reluctant to play Syracuse early in the game. When joining the war, Syracuse was reconquered by Rome two-thirds of the time. Philip allied in 22 of the games, but defected in 23% of those, often with decisive effect late in the game. Intercepted Messengers occurred 1.6 times per game, favoring Rome significantly. Turn 9 intercepts occurred seven times, helping the victor every time. Africanus died six times, usually leading to Roman defeat. Hannibal died eight times, but Carthage still won in one of those games. Unusually, Carthage and Rome were never sacked this year. But once, Hannibal had Rome under 1 siege point before dying in his 4 battle in Latium. Carthage won once due to Suit for Peace for lack of PCs. Rome resigned early in nine games; Carthage resigned in eleven games. Seventeen of the games were tight to the end, with province count victories of 2 or less. Five times the game ended in a tied count (for Carthaginian victory).

Round 1 witnessed 25 participants enrolling, and James Pei accepted the bye. Nathan Wagner got off to a strong start as Carthage, winning by 5 provinces, despite suffering a late-game Messenger Intercepted. Tim Miller’s Romans chased Chris Trimmer’s Hannibal out of Italy, but could not regain Sardinia, losing the province count. Randy Pippus escaped defeat narrowly, as his Romans took 10 siege rolls to sack Syracuse on the final turn. He then evaded Hanno’s interception in Numidia to gain a 9-8 province count victory over Sean McCulloch. Michael Mitchell’s Romans retook Syracuse on turn 6 and built up a 6 province lead when Marc Berenbach resigned. Aaron Fuegi’s Carthaginian forced Larry Sisson into resignation on turn 7. Similarly, Alex Gesing advanced over newcomer John Spinello. Ed Rothenheber’s Romans sacked Syracuse on turn 7, then made peace with Philip on turn 8, and gained a Messenger Intercept on turn 9 to force newcomer Scott Harris’ resignation. Another tournament rookie, however, succeeded, Charles Kreuger’s Carthaginians defeated David Pepin by 2 provinces. Randy MacInnis’ Gisco defeated Africanus in Spain on the final turn to retain a province-count victory over Llew Bardecki. Chris Byrd’s Carthaginians defeated Geoff Allbert. One big upset of the round was Aaron Byrd’s defeat of former champion Andy Latto by virtue of a nearly infallible Hannibal rolling up a large province count lead when Andy resigned. Another impressive upset was inflicted by Bob Woodson’s Romans on GM Stuart Tucker, who was down by 6 provinces when he resigned.

Round 2 witnessed a surge of Roman victories, and a number of upsets in the winner’s bracket. Tenth-seeded Fuegi fell to Pippus’ invasion of Spain. Eleventh-seeded Trimmer’s Hannibal suffered from unruly elephants and a later defeat to Longus, giving Aaron Byrd a 2-province victory. Second-seeded Chris Byrd went down in defeat to Ed Rothenheber’s Romans. The biggest upset, however, was defending champion and top-seeded James Pei losing Hannibal in Cisalpinia on turn 3 and eventually losing by six provinces to Randy MacInnis (for the first time ever). Wagner’s Romans used a Messenger Intercepted to gain a province edge over Krueger. Mitchell’s Romans sacked Syracuse on turn 6 to force Woodson’s resignation soon thereafter.

In Round 3, MacInnis continued his march forward, killing Wagner’s Hannibal in Cisalpinia and sacking Syracuse both in turn 7, going on to a 9-8 victory. Pippus remained undefeated by escaping with an even province count against Mitchell’s Romans. Aaron Bird’s Carthaginians with the aid of a Messenger Intercept forced Lucas Rhodes to resign on turn 9. Trimmer’s Romans killed Tucker’s Hannibal at Argigentum on turn 8 and then sacked Syracuse on turn 9 to gain victory. Chris Byrd’s Hannibal died on turn 9, but Mago’s raids in Italy preserved a narrow victory over Berenbach. James Pei’s Hannibal double-enveloped Flaminius in Italy, leaving few Roman CUs left, forcing Larry Sisson’s resignation.

In Round 4, with three remaining undefeated players, Chris Trimmer played spoiler, as the 2-1 player with the highest tiebreakers, based on strength of schedule. Trimmer’s Carthaginians faced MacInnis, who saw very few 3-point strategy cards in the second half of the game. MacInnis sacked Syracuse on turn 8, but Trimmer’s two campaign cards on turn 9 helped him secure a 9-8 victory. Pippus faced dire circumstances late against Aaron Byrd’s Romans. Pippus used Messenger, Syracuse, and Diplomacy on turn 9 to swing the province count and gain a 10-8 victory. Chris Byrd secured a 9-9 victory over Wagner’s Romans. Pei’s Carthaginians left David Amidon with few CUs in turn 8, forcing resignation.

Round 5 witnessed four matches to determine who would win the five available prizes. Wagner’s Romans took Spain on turn 7. With Africanus threatening Carthage, Tucker sent Hannibal to Africa to kill Africanus. Then Hannibal slipped past the Roman navy into southern Italy and marched on Rome. Hannibal defeated Roman armies four times and managed to get 1 siege point on Rome before losing to Nero and having no retreat. Tucker’s resignation secured Wagner the fifth place plaque. Trimmer’s Carthage defeated Chris Byrd, securing the third-place plaque, and pushing Byrd into sixth (alas no Sand Plaque this year). This thrilled Aaron Byrd, Chris’ son, who secured second place by defeating top-seeded James Pei’s Romans by virtue of having a 9-9 count with an unbreakable Truce. With the Wood at stake, Randy Pippus bid 2 for Carthage. A close game came down to slow-moving Romans trying to chase down Gisco in Italy on the final turn. MacInnis opted to play Messenger not as an event, but for the 3 Ops activation, but Bad Weather stops the Romans in their tracks, allowing Gisco to tie the province count for the victory. Randy Pippus thereby secured his first Hannibal championship, having escaped a number of close games.


2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Aaron Byrd Chris Trimmer Randall MacInnis Nathan Wagner Chris Byrd
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM Stuart Tucker taking on laurelist Nathan Wagner. The Master having fun during Hannibal.
Trimmer and Byrd pausing battle for the camera. Battle of the laurelists.
GM  Stuart Tucker [20th Year]