After a hard-fought battle, in 1915 a five-way draw was finally agreed upon, resulting in Jim O’Kelley being crowned our new Bull Weasel. Congratulations to all the combatants, whose fine play during the recently-completed season earned their participation in our championship event. And special congratuations to our War Weasel for some fine play. It was a great time.
John Gramila prevailed at the undercard with a 12-center Turkey, and he now leads the pack for a spot at Weasel Royale 2011. More reports, statistics, and commentary are sure to follow a fun-filled day in Downers Grove.
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Well played, all.
I need to make time to write my endgame statement, as I’m sure the world is dying to hear my thoughts on the game. For now, let me just briefly say that we have some great events and traditions in this club. Three of them are in the span of six weeks this year, with the Pyle, the Royale and the Moot. What a great time of year to be a Weasel.
Dan did his usual fine job of hosting, and again this year, he welcomed a second board — plus a couple of onlookers — into his home. I think I can speak for the other Royale combatants when I say that we appreciated the audience for parts of our game.
The chili was delicious; the beer, even better; the games, taut and occasionally grueling but above all fun; and the cigars and drinks around the fire pit were the perfect way to wrap up the day.
Next up, the Moot. Can’t wait!
Congratulations to Jim for a great game and the Bull Weasel title. He played the best game and the supply center chart shows it. We never really cut into his total. Also, thanks very much to Dan for hosting. It’s a great venue. Real-time maps in the conference rooms, handcrafted beer and the fire pit…nice.
Like Jim, I hope to get an EOG down sometime soon, but it’s a busy week for me. Wanted to get these thoughts out there.
I started to write a typically blustery endgame statement for this one, but I couldn’t even keep [i]my[/i] interest. So, I scrapped that effort and instead will just make a few comments.
I’ve played in all three Royales, and I learned a couple of things at the other two. To start with, I resolved not to overanalyze my power selection. Instead, I’d simply pick my favorite country among those remaining.
The selection order held pretty much to seed order, with the only change being Adam Berey dropping to fourth from second. Matt picked France first, and Peter took Italy second. Picking third, my two favorite powers were available: England and Russia. I chose Russia because I’m not very good at defending England, and Matt loves to grab tempo in Fall 1901 by convoying to Portugal. I didn’t want to be put on the defensive so early in the game.
Adam picked England, and then Nate Cockerill chose Austria. Turkey fell into Pete McNamara’s hands in the sixth spot, and poor Germany went last to Sam Bassett.
Probably the most significant move in Spring 1901 was Austria’s supported attack on Galicia. That’s a suspect move in my book, because it yields control of Serbia, which is the linchpin to the Balkans. To compound that, he held in Trieste, which meant he couldn’t get Greece. And to complete the disastrous start for Austria, Italy opened to Tyrolia and Venice.
Predictably, Austria didn’t build in 1901. He picked up Serbia as the Turks dropped armies into Greece and Bulgaria, but Italy forced his way into Trieste. Pete, Peter and I eliminated Nate in 1902, with each of us taking a dot.
In the post-Austrian world, I opted to work with Turkey. We were off to a good start and working well together. But by the end of 1903, France was pushing into the Mediterranean. Italy was about to be squeezed between two seapowers, and the game looked to be heading toward an East-West battle for control of the stalemate line.
I learned at last year’s Royale that stalemated top boards make for ugly endgames. I was determined to do my best to keep this game fluid, so in Spring 1904, I stabbed Turkey. That freed Italy to turn around to face France. In 1905, Matt’s Western neighbors turned on him.
By 1906, I had Con and Ank, and should have had Smy if not for a stupid misorder. In Spring 1907, I took Smy, and in the Fall, I dotted Italy for Trieste to go to 10.
I picked up three centers the next year, and from 1909 on, I fluctuated between 12 and 14 as I sparred with F/I in the south and E in the North. England and France both started growing at Germany’s expense, which forced him into my camp. At the end of the game, his lone unit in Berlin was a vital piece of my stalemate line.
I generally prefer to play with the lead if I can get it. Patience is not a virtue of mine. But from this game, I learned that no matter how carefully you try to keep the board fluid, you’ll lock it down if you grow too quickly.
I hit Peter in Fall 1907 because he was about to get a couple of builds. I didn’t want to give him the chance to consolidate his Balkan position, which was fairly strung out. I might have been better served to play more patiently.
But, overall, I’m pretty happy with the way I played. I grabbed control of the game in 1907 and never relinquished it. The other players finally conceded that in Fall 1915, and we all retired to Dan’s deck for beers and cigars.
I’d like to thank Dan again for hosting and the other players for playing so hard. Although I stayed in the lead for the last half of the game, they really made me work for it. It was a fun challenge.
Just reread my endgame statement. There was some great advice in there that I ignored five years later…