John prevailed and was joined at the Final by veterans Bill Beckman and Ernie Chambers and newcomer Dan Overland, who narrowly bested defending champion Karl Buchholz. Herewith a well deserved shout out to Karl, whose WBC team was called “The Kaiser’s Pirates,” and who, with his brother David, made and donated a spectacular trophy for the Attack Sub tournament.
The Final started quickly. Bill, on the second play of the game, sent out a raider with “Good Hunting” against John’s merchantmen. John responded with an AMC, which Bill promptly sunk for 20 points. On his turn, John attacked Bill’s Dresden and recognized Berlin, then “Fog Banked” Bill, forcing him to lose a turn and saving any damaged ships for John to attack a second time. The ploy was not particularly effective as, at the end of his third card play, Bill had 48 points despite having lost a turn. The round ended with him still in first place, followed by Dan, John, and Ernie. John had miscounted points and expected to end the round higher, a mistake that distracted and haunted him throughout the second round.
That second round was very much Dan’s; he ended far ahead in victory points, with Bill in second. The two were tied with seven round points going into the third round with Dan holding the tiebreaker, followed by John with four and Ernie with two. One of the leaders was guaranteed the plaque. John had an outside chance to creep into second, and Ernie’s best hope would be third.
John kept the Wolf and drew two German warships to start the last round, giving him massive amounts of firepower. Despite this, the round actually began with everyone playing “pass chicken” for the first three turns, passing on actions and simply drawing a card to end their turn. Finally, Dan broke the stalemate and started playing. John pushed hard with his powerful German ships to claim the round and end the tournament in second but fell short as he left too many wounded vessels for Ernie to grab. Bill took the round and the tournament.
The Kaiser's Pirates
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The Kaiser's Pirates WBC 2016 After Action Report
By Tim Rogers
Return to the Century
The Kaiser’s Pirates reconvened in 2016 a tad more above sea level than the norm. WBC numbers may have been down, but you couldn’t tell it by our event which drew many returning veterans including every champion since 2009 and an eager group of new recruits. The room was a bit warm, and the lights a little dim, but the tables and elbow room were better than ever before. In the end, we had three less players than 2015 but they played more heats, giving us an increase in seats filled. Whether it was the lower tide caused by our move to the highlands or increased participation, it worked to our advantage as KPR beat the numbers in the magic formula to return to the Century for only the second time. This GM is particularly grateful since he inadvertently managed to schedule KPR against other naval card games—an oversight we hope to correct going forward.
Every year, the tournament seems to feature one or two recurring themes. In 2015, ships the world over were constantly low on supply. In 2016, this GM was repeatedly called upon to bear witness to the failures of would-be sharks who, having navigated up to a wounded warship or freighter, needed a single 2 or better to sink their target but rolled only 1s in their dice pool. Such a result put game designer and two-time champion Jim Day last in his second heat.
As mentioned above, 2016 was a good year for player commitment. On average, players played more games than previously, and only one of the 16 semifinal slots had to be filled by an alternate. Bill Dickerson, that alternate, found himself seeded at a semifinal table with #1 seed John Emery who had relegated him to runner-up status in each of his previous heats. John’s son, 2010 champion Kevin, was also at the table.