BURLINGAME, Calif., May 31 — The Bay Area Diplomacy Association welcomed 22 walk-ins, newcomers and Hobby outsiders at their springtime minor tournament at KublaCon Saturday and Sunday. In a lofty perch at the Hyatt Regency’s Atrium Overlook, with LARPers and grognards duking it out in the convention below, tournament director and BADAss regular Andy Hull ran three rounds of four boards under the C-Diplo 1907 scoring system, along with two unscored novice boards.
First place went to Adam Berey, a recent transplant from Chicago, and the current number-two ranked player on the Windy City Weasels’ leaderboard. Berey landed top countries in every round played, including Italy, Russia and England. Arthur Wallis won Outstanding Play for his first-round Austrian board-top, and Outstanding Debut went to Andrew Tishler, who learned the game on a novice board Saturday and finished Sunday with a board-top and second-place finish overall.
The tournament kicked off with two boards Saturday morning. KublaCon advertises as a family-friendly event, so it was no surprise that Board 1 saw Turkey, France, Austria and Russia split respectively between David, Linda, Jonathan and Matthew Arnold. Father David, clearly the experienced member of the group, gave son Jonathan’s Russia an early spanking before leading the clan against a strong alliance between David Wan’s Germany and an England commanded by Graham Sninsky of the Bentley School Diplomacy Club. As the game’s 1907 stop time approached, Papa Arnold pulled off stabs of his remaining kin for an 11-center win and Best Turkey. Wan and Sninsky each landed best countries for their effort.
Board 2 saw the board run by a solid A-G-I-R coalition. BSDC member Evan Fitzgerald found his England an early leader and game-long target after 1901 gains in both Norway and Belgium carried him to 7 centers in 1902. Local wargamers Wallis in Austria and Robert Glenn in Russia made quick work of novice Jerry Sandberg’s Turkey, while Mike Calhoon’s Germany fended off England and Don Del Grande’s France. Meanwhile, Berey’s Italy turned around a French attack to nab him second place and his first of three best country spots. Wallis pulled off a 1907 stab of Germany for a board-topping Best Austria and reduced Calhoon to third place.
The single board in Round 2 was led by a Juggernaut of Glenn’s Turkey and Berey’s Russia. The pair guaranteed a long-lasting alliance and a split board-top with the transfer of Rumania and voluntary disband of Russia’s southern fleet, all with help from an unwitting Andy Schwarz in Austria. Sandberg’s Italy managed a big portion of the ensuing Austrian elimination, while Sninsky’s France got the lion’s share of a deadlocked west. The game ended unexpectedly in a successful draw vote in Spring 1906, leaving a R-T tie for first and F-I for second, and a convention rarity —an early night’s sleep.
The final round on Sunday morning was a hotly contested board. Berey and Glenn again teamed up in an E-G alliance to dismantle Sandberg’s Russia and reduce Wan’s France to a lonely army in Paris. Italy made heavy inroads into Hull’s Austria before Turkish intervention allowed him to bounce back to 5 centers. A timely rush into the neutral zone established an Austro-Turkish stalemate line and diverted Germany from the final French center, leaving Wan for a sixth-place survival. 1907 opened with a three-way tie with England, Germany and Turkey at 9 each. But the split was not to last — after a failed draw vote, the Wicked Witches went for game-ending stabs, giving newcomer Andrew Tishler 2 from Austria and the win, with Berey failing to keep pace due to a misordered fleet.
But F ENG-HOL wasn’t enough to keep Berey from claiming top England for a best country trifecta and the overall win. The final standings had Tishler splitting second place with David Arnold, who was awarded Best Turkey on a tournament director decision. Wallis (best Austria), Glenn, Wan (best Germany) and Sninsky (best France) rounded out the top seven.