On the fast and furious first board last night at Diversey River Bowl–a new location for the Weasels and the future home of Weasel Moot XI (June 23-25!)–the center counts were as capricious as John Gramila’s beard. All three Westerners experienced wild and unruly growth only to have their leads vanish a year later.
Chris Kelly (France) climbed into the lead at six centers by 1902 but was back at three in 1903. Brian Shelden (England) nabbed three centers in 1903 to take the lead at seven but lost three the following year. And Matt Sundstrom (Germany) took two in 1904 and had the lead at eight, but was down to seven and tied for second by 1905.
Special guest Chris Martin (Russia)–the 1998 world champ and three-time Alpha Weasel, not Coldplay’s frontman–managed to avoid the wild swings despite misordering F St. Pete to the Barents Sea in Spring 1901. He weathered the swirling west winds and eventually climbed from five centers in 1903 to a board-topping 11 by the time limit after the Fall 1907 turn. The final center counts for Game No. 331 were:
Austria (Bryan Pravel): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Brian Shelden): 3; 3.571 points.
France (Chris Kelly): 1; 0.397 points.
Germany (Matt Sundstrom): 6; 14.286 points.
Italy (Jake Langenfeld): 7; 19.444 points.
Russia (Chris Martin): 11; 48.016 points.
Turkey (Chad Carson): 6; 14.286 points.
The entertaining supply center chart is here. Martin, who lives in the DC area, was in town on a sales visit and may be back. By the end of the night, he was awfully interested in the Bar Room Brawl standings. Carson, meanwhile, was playing his first game with the Weasels but is no stranger to Diplomacy. He found us on Meetup.
Speaking of John Gramila, he and his beard showed up about 30 minutes late, which is not bad for Gramila time. His tardiness coupled with the presence of two of the club’s most deliberate players in Ali Adib and Christian Kline meant that Game No. 332 was anything but fast and furious. We managed just five game-years by the time limit. The final center counts were:
Austria (Gus Spelman): 3; 5.000 points.
England (Jim O’Kelley): 4; 8.889 points.
France (Brian Sheridan): 5; 13.889 points.
Germany (Brandon Fogel): 3; 5.000 points.
Italy (Ali Adib): 6; 20.000 points.
Russia (Christian Kline): 7; 27.222 points.
Turkey (John Gramila): 6; 20.000 points.
Again, the supply center chart is here. Although the pace of both play and growth was slow, it was still an exciting game. In the final year, Kline, Adib and Gramila all had equal chances to top.
Sheridan was playing his first game ever. He saw us playing at the Red Lion a couple of weeks ago and spent much of the evening shadowing one of the players. We’re glad he joined us.
So it was a good night for the Weasels. A couple of new guys, an old traveling friend, two more boards–our sixth two-board bar night of the season!–and a great new venue that’s going to be a fantastic home for Weasel Moot XI. Can’t wait.