As Weasels, we take a certain pride in knocking the hell out of our defending champions. The club has five titles -- Weasel of the Year, CODCon champion, Alpha Weasel (Weasel Moot champion), Bull Weasel (Weasel Royale champion), and Brawl Star (Bar Room Brawl champion). The last and only person to successfully defend one of them was CODCon champion Mike French in 2008.
In the first seven Weasel Royale club championship games, we had seven different winners. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that we opened the next set of seven by recycling them.
Jim O'Kelley was the first to inscribe his name a second time in the permanent plaque at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove. Playing Russia, the country he won with in 2010 as well, O'Kelley seized control of yesterday's game with three decisive stabs of his Eastern neighbors -- Austria in Fall 1902, Turkey in Spring 1903, and Italy in Fall 1905.
After that, it was just a matter of hanging on--with help from a true janissary in the Turk, Black Jack Sundstrom, and from his inner Chris Martin (the three-time Alpha Weasel and former world champ, not the frontman for Coldplay)--against a furious counter-attack from the Grand Alliance.
The other six players in Sunday's Weasel Royale club championship game were so close to plahing without Matt Sundstom. He was on the outside looking in at the Weasel Pyle, the traditional final day of league play, after a subpar season by his standards. But he posted a large board top that day, aided somewhat by Christian Kline, and qualified for the Royale with the sixth seed.
This is the one game from the weekend that I’d really like to have back. I don’t think I’d play the other two much differently, but with this one, I can identify specific errors I made that prevented me from posting a big score. The opportunities were there, and my inability to take advantage of them exposed weaknesses in my game — for which I'm very grateful. This one was a good (if painful) learning experience.
Tempest 2016 was my second Diplomacy tournament and first tournament that I have traveled to. I chose Tempest for a couple of reasons. First, Brandon Fogel organized a road trip for some of the "New Guard" Weasels and that sounded fun. We could stay at his parents, and if that was too small Brian Shelden offered to let me split his room so it would be pretty inexpensive. Second, Brian said the Potomac Tea and Knife Society had very good players. Worlds 2016 at Weasel Moot probably had better competition overall, but he said at Tempest the competition would be more dense. I have been reading about the Pitkissers since the late 90s, so I was eager to see how I could do in a competitive environment.
For a couple of days, this game appeared to be memorable less for what happened during it than afterward, as the events of the final turn provided the Tournament Director (Peter Yeargin) the chance to play a deliciously mean trick on me during the awards ceremony. When the tournament scores were released a couple days later, however, I discovered that I had actually played the trick on myself. I suspect that in most Diplomacy contexts karma is a difficult concept to apply. Not in this case.
Five Weasels made the trip to Washington, DC, this past weekend for the 2016 Tempest in a Teapot. The tournament was a big success, with 42 players playing a total of 14 boards over three days. The Weasels had a respectable though not dominant showing, placing four in the top 16 but none higher than 10th (achieved by newly minted Prime Weasel Brian Shelden). The standings can be found here.
Jake Trotta took home the coveted Rusty Blade award for worst stab (for his second round game), while I made some news by failing to win Best Austria (in my third round game). See the after-action reports below for more details (links will be added as the reports are posted).