Sundstrom wins his second CODCon Open

They say the best baseball players fail two-thirds of the time. That same math applied at this year’s CODCon Open, played April 21-22 at the College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn. 
The tourney field did a fair job of containing Matt Sundstrom, the 2009 champion and two-time Weasel of the Year. In Round 1 on Saturday morning, we held his Italy under 6 points. And in Round 3 on Sunday, we sent his France to an early shower. But in Round 2 Saturday night, Sundstrom drew Turkey, got a pitch he could hit, and for the third time with our club, knocked it out of the park. Sundstrom also soloed as Turkey at Weasel Moot III in 2009 and at a game at his home in 2010.
He grabbed his 17th and 18th centers (Tunis and Marseilles) in 1911. Meanwhile, in the only remaining game of the round, John Gramila was driving toward his own solo as France. (The competing bids entertained those of us from the other board who had the good sense to draw in Spring 1908.)  Gramila’s bid fell short, however, and he settled for a draw in Spring 1913.
Gramila and Amanda Baumgartner had the best shots at catching Sundstrom on Sunday. Baumgartner’s Austria was on the verge of breaking out in 1903, but she was beaten back and finished on one center. Gramila’s Turkey almost escaped the box, but he was shoved back in. He finished with three centers, and Sundstrom won the tournament by a comfortable margin.
We fielded a total of seven boards in the three-round event, with 21 unique players participating. The top seven were:
  1. Matt Sundstrom
  2. Aash Anand
  3. Peter Lokken
  4. Amanda Baumgartner
  5. John Gramila
  6. Jim O’Kelley
  7. Nate Cockerill

While Sundstrom finished first by more than 30 points, only 1 point separated third and fifth place. The Best Countries went to:

Austria: Jim O’Kelley
England: Peter Lokken
France: John Gramila
Germany: Amanda Baumgartner
Italy: Don Glass
Russia: Aash Anand
Turkey: Matt Sundstrom

Check out the complete standings, as well as supply center charts for each game, here.

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Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jim O'Kelley

    One of the things I enjoy most about CODCon are the pre- and after-parties at the crash pad in Oak Brook. Friday night, Nate Cockerill, Ben DiPaola, Peter Lokken, Ryan Whalen and I got in a game of Avalon Hill’s Civilization. It was a ton of fun. We stopped playing at about 1 a.m., with Lokken’s Cretians on their way to victory.

  2. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    The sordid road to Best Russia: In round 1, I got a strong start and got all the Turkish centers, but simultaneously lost War, Mos and Stp to the Anglo-Saxon alliance that was sweeping across the board. Miraculously, I kept Sev and even managed a build one year. Played as Turkey for the rest of the game and, least exposed to the Western alliance I finished ahead of Austria (Ted McClelland) and Italy (Matt Sundstrom). The other board in round 1 saw Russia eliminated.

    In round 2, I was France and couldn’t do much about Russia in my game (Ben DiPaola). He ended up surviving in 5 SCs (Nwy, Swe, Ank, Smy, Con) and 4 fewer points than my 13 from round 1. The other two Russias in round 2 didn’t do so well. I think one ended on 1 center and the other got eliminated.

    Going into round 3 as Germany, I swung East early on and managed to partake in the dismantling of Russia. Ok, I’ll admit, I metagamed and attacked Russia in part just to keep the plaque. But it looked to be in vain as the Russia on the other board was board top at 9 centers. Somehow he managed to go down to 8, and then to 4 in two consecutive years. By the end he was all but eliminated.

    So it goes. Jim O’Kelley wrote an article on this site once talking about how Russia used to be one of the best countries in the club but over the years it has seen a decline in performance. I think our experience at CodCon definitely attests to that. It might be that good Russia strategies are mostly aggressive, but that the club culture does not reward aggressive behavior often.

  3. Ted McClelland

    Remember that SNL skit in which all the Bond villains said, “If you have James Bond, kill him?” If you have Matt Sundstrom playing Turkey, kill him.

  4. Michael Whitty

    Aash, I’m glad to know it was metagaming and nothing personal when you came after my Russia in Round 3!
    For a while I almost felt like this unlucky Diplomacy player (Caution: Strong Language):

  5. Matt Sundstrom

    Well then, I have to comment on this. I wanted to anyway because I had two games that were much more than tactics. Guaranteed death 1 out of 7 games is also not good. Very much worth watching this video to follow up on Ted’s analogy. I looked for the Austin Powers scene but didn’t find it. Went something like…”Just shoot him!” This still works.

    Game 1 is irrelevant save for the 5+ points I got. Sounds small, but it makes it a lot harder to catch someone if you need 40-50 to do it. 5 is easy. An extra 5 on top of 40-50 is not.

    I liked my draw in game 2 as Turkey. I’ll skip the tactics as they weren’t all that interesting. What was interesting was the endgame. I was at 13 and keeping Italy alive. Needed him to help me in the west. At this point, the solo was not available in my mind. Italy got bored and asked me to attack him as he wanted to attack me. Fine-I would get two. But my line wasn’t solid. The western triple that was in place all game took advantage.

    As an aside…Nate asked me how “hard” I was when I saw the western. In the words of Lt. Frank Drebin, “I came as soon as I heard.”

    Draws began to be proposed. I voted in favor because my game was just going to get worse. Italy was happy to be alive. But FG saw opportunities to grow and vetoed. Out loud.

    So (E)FG went for their growth. Draws continued to be proposed and rejected. I believe I voted for every one of them. I was losing anyway and had a decent result.

    To my mind, England was getting nothing in the process. I was biased, but England agreed with me at some point. I also must have seemed neutered at one point while FG were completely overextended. Then…England stabbed Germany. Pretty hard. I’d even call it a good stab. Yay!

    So the kaiser turns around and I recover. Draw votes continue and get vetoed. Not sure which ones I vetoed, but I didn’t veto all of them. Pretty sure I was ok with 15. Still didn’t expect to win.

    In the south, France is holding the line against me in the Med. Too far-England hits him too. Moscow and Warsaw are available with two English units in Russia while France is ticked. I take War and Mos while leaving France alone. The EFG war continues and France declares he’s giving me the solo. Walk into Mar for 18.

    In a regular season game, I might argue with France. But I agree with him in a tournament. The French game was over after the English stab. He would get next to nothing or zero with a 17 center Turkey. The solo threat becomes credible in his case. France’s point was to keep England from getting any points out of the stab. Not what I’d planned, but I was fine with it.

    So there was nothing evil, brilliant, diabolical or anything about this one. Something to be said for patience in a solo. I’m told John would have soloed if wasn’t going to take til 3AM. I know people not from the Midwest who would do that. Never seen it proven though. That should happen come August.

    Game three deserves its own write-up. If you know someone has a target on their back, use it to your advantage.

    Tournament was really well done. Looking forward to making a big impression at the Worlds. Glad you’re well Dan. Thank you gentlemen.


  6. Matt Sundstrom

    OK-I have to do the Hitler Trifecta. Watch all three of these in a row.

    The Keg was a very important institution in NU life for several years. My bar was the Holiday Inn. Very sad. But I was a good customer.

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