There’s a been a lot of talk among the Chicago regulars lately about which generation of Weasel the new class is. I think it’s the fifth. But, to simplify and as a courtesy to our out-of-town guests, I thought I’d classify the Weasels who will be participating in the World Diplomacy Championship at Weasel Moot X in three (well, four) groups, as follows:
The Old Guard
The Old Guard has been playing Diplomacy with us since our first season back in 2005-06. These battle-scarred vets include, in order of apperance: me (your humble TD for WDC), Dan Burgess, Nick Rohn, Christian Kline, Kevin O’Kelly (no relation), Paul Pignotti and Matt Sundstrom.
That’s a board’s worth of guys with 10 years of experience in the Chicago trenches. Most have traveled. Two have won Weasel Moots in the past; three have won the Weasel Royale league championship game.
Missing this year will be one of our Founding Weasels, Eric Brown, the co-author of our Battle Hymn and the regimental choir’s top tenor.
The Middle Guard
The first of the Middle Guardsmen appeared on the scene in our fourth season. Most had played Diplomacy prior to joining our ranks, but some cut their teeth in our league games. Their ranks include a former Weasel Moot champion, a participant on the top board at the 2012 WDC, the two-time defending champion of our Bar Room Brawl championship game, two former Rookies of the Year, the youngest player ever to compete in the Weasel Royale, and a former Royale champion.
The Middle Guardsmen, in order of appearance, are Sam Bassett, Don Glass, Tony Prokes, Amanda Baumgartner, John Gramila, Peter Lokken, Chris Kelly, Ben DiPaola, Brad Harrington, Mike Whitty, Josh Heffernan and Kevin O’Kelley (relation).
(In addition, out-of-towners Christian MacDonald, Peter Yeargin and Nate Cockerill all were Middle Guardsmen who moved on to greener pastures.)
The New Guard
In our 10th season last year, a new breed of Weasel burst onto the Windy City Diplomacy scene. Young. Brash. Eager to learn and quick to challenge the existing order. One of them played his first game ever last July but recently won our minor tournament, the CODCon Open. Another is running away with the Season 11 title. They’ve all breathed new life into our club.
The New Guardsmen, in order of appearance, are Ali Adib, Carlos Trevino, Brandon Fogel, David Spanos, Brian Beck, Ian Trotta, Jake Trotta and Bryan Pravel.
Three other local players are more difficult to classify. By defnition, they’d be New Guardsmen, but…
Fred Townsend started playing with us last year, but if you Google him and Diplomacy, you’ll find that he was writing for the hobby press back in the 1980s.
Longtime tournament player Brian Shelden moved here in January and has jumped in head first, playing lots of games and joining our tournament committee.
Jorge Zhang started a Diplomacy club at his high school, played in three of our tournaments, and traveled to Philadelphia last summer for the North American Championship, but he has yet to play a league game with us. Therefore, he technically doesn’t qualify as a Weasel. I suppose he’s more of a WINO.
There you have it. You probably won’t see any of these players in a fancy video profile, but you may encounter them on your boards. And like so many other attendees at this year’s WDC, most of them are capable of winning the tournament if the boards break their way.