The People’s Champion

Josh Heffernan, the self-proclaimed People’s Champion, showed us why the moniker fits last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square.

Playing Italy, Heffernan spent the first two years in a boxer’s stance, ready to strike at any opportunity. When he finally threw a punch at France in Spring 1903, the stab was so perfectly timed that he was able to walk into Marseilles and Spain unopposed in the Fall. By game’s end in 1906, players were lining up to help him take centers.
Game No. 229 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

Austria (Don Glass): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Nate Cockerill): 1; 0.352 points.
France (Keith Ammann): 5; 8.803 points.
Germany (Matt Sundstrom): 8; 22.535 points.
Italy (Josh Heffernan): 12; 50.704 points.
Russia (Matt Kade): 1; 0.352 points.
Turkey (Jim O’Kelley): 7; 17.254 points.

You can check out the supply center chart here. It only tells a part of the story, and it’s especially misleading about that 1903 turn. Looking at the chart, you’d probably assume that Italy’s two builds came at Austria’s expense. Despite losing those two dots to the Italian attack, France picked up both Low Countries and Liverpool for plus one.

That year was indicative of how the game went. Fortunes swung back and forth in both heartlands throughout a game that saw a British convoy of an Italian army from Spain to Brest and a rare Sundstrom misorder. But wouldn’t you know that even when a player of his stature misorders, it works out in his favor. His blunder thwarted an excellent defensive guess by Kade and allowed him to take Warsaw for his eighth dot in the Fall.

Sundstrom was fortunate on that turn, but this was the People’s Champion’s night. From the moment he threw that first punch, fortune never frowned on him.

Speaking of fortunes, we spent a lot at the bar as the fun lasted well past the 11 p.m. deadline. Sometime around 1 a.m., we thought it would be a good idea to do it again next Thursday. Four people are already signed up.

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