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Friedrich» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Friedrich World Championship 2018 - my matches and some personal thoughts rss

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Martin Hoefer
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First of all: congratulations Anton! Finally, after a trophy drought of 11 years you won your second World Championship - and deservedly so. I believe there is no doubt that you are one of the most able Friedrich-players in the world, especially in the role of Prussia and at the same time you're a modest, kind and considerate opponent. It is always a pleasure to compete against you, except for the low probability to succeed in those matches... ;) This year I had the honour to lose against you playing the Prussian in the qualification round but I get ahead of myself...

For the second time the FWC took place in the St. Johannis Gemeinde in Berlin-Moabit. Sadly we couldn't use the "Gemeindesaal" as there was some construction work going on. While the "Konfirmandenraum" in which we played was big and bright enough there were only some very small trap windows so you'd better be some some anaerobic lifeform to survive the three Championship-days without severe damage to your (mental) health. Nevertheless the location offers good opportunities to provide yourself with food and drinks between and after the matches which is a drastic improvement over the situation in "Schloss Friedrichsfelde".


The "Konfirmandenraum" in St. Johannis

There were quite a few newcomers this year and there must go a special mention to the four youngsters from Berlin-Zehlendorf. Not only did they show up with their own customised FWC-Shirts but they took some unexpected Russian victories and were keen on playing another friendly game even during the finals. I was reminded of our own (Team Celle) first tournament in 2015 (those were the times) and I can only hope they will show up regularly from now on. They are a definite gain to the FWC and let's face it: young blood serves this tournament well!

For the first time since my first championship (2015) Richard could concentrate on his duties as organizer and jury because there were 32 participants so he didn't have to step in for missing players. I remember Richard playing two games with Prussia simultaneously in Schloss Friedrichsfelde and I can only say that he wasn't that relaxed and talkative back then as he was now. Well played, Richard! ;)

Game No. 1
My first game saw me as Elisabeth against the coming champion Anton as Friedrich, the first ever champion Joseph as Pompadour and the seasoned veteran Klaus Blum as Maria Theresia. Until now I had only played against Anton when I was Friedrich so this was a change of pace. I believe I did what I could to make his situation uncomfortable but just as I invaded the Kammin area with a full force of four generals fate struck on round 11 and Russia left the game with only six points. This was rather unpleasant as at that time also the Swedish had collected seven points and I felt I had a strong position with both of my nations. In addition this tournament saw many Russian victories and late Elisabeth fate cards so I was somehow the exception to this rule. Well, shit happens... Sweden left the game in round 13 (four points) and so I had the honour of controlling Hildi for the last five rounds. While Joseph managed to grab his ninth point just before the end which is quite pleasing with the French, Klaus only scored 4.17 points with the Austrians. As he didn't remove the objective tiles on the 2nd order cities when Hildi changed players he might not have had a good grasp of his rather low score and I couldn't quite understand why he didn't go for some of the other 1st order cities. All in all it was a deserved victory for Anton but I was rather disappointed with my somewhat less than perfect start.

Game No. 2
On Saturday morning I had to play my favourite role: Mme. Pompadour. Of my four games with France at the FWC so far I had won three times. One of these victories was the final in 2016. So I was looking forward to this game very much. I faced John as Friedrich, Guy as Maria Theresia and Christian (Yorck) as Elisabeth. John quickly prepared for the triangle defense with Hannover. Maybe I would have chased the Hanoverian general had it been the finals. In the qualification rounds I prefer to get as many objectives with France as soon as possible in order to secure at least 8 points with Pompadour. So I let John's Hanoverian general make his way south while I secured 7 points in only three rounds. Meanwhile Guy with the aid of his little mascot (so cute!) played very aggressively and soon it was obvious that the Austrians were the biggest threat for the Prussians. Although India came as early as round 8 Austria kept up the pressure. Russia and France never came close to winning although I managed to get my ninth point shortly before Austria took the win on round 14. This meant 15 points after two qualification matches. Well, at least that meant I could enter the last two matches of the qualification round without any pressure.


My table in game no. 2 (John, Christian and Guy)

Game No. 3
The second match on Saturday saw Maurice as the Prussian, Falk as Russia, Alberto as France and myself as Austria. I have to admit that I am not very good at making the Imperial army a serious contender for the win so I decided to enter via Silesia with three Austrian generals containing the maximum of 24 troops. In the end this might have given me victory as I managed to conquer my objectives in Silesia (Spades sector) and in Saxony (Diamonds sector) quite fast. Maurice opted for a major defense in the Clubs sector between Saxony and Silesia and as he had drained lots of Clubs of my Austrians with one of his Hanoverian generals Falk and his Russians came close to winning on round 14 where a decisive Hearts battle was fought for the last Russian objective. Luckily for me Maurice prevailed and so I managed to snatch my first victory of the tournament. 27 points after round three and a positive ending of the second tournament day. I believe there were five players with three wins each (36 points) after day two and if I remember correctly I found myself in position 15 on Saturday evening. Quite pleased with that...


Maria Theresia wins!

Game No. 4
On Sunday morning I finally played Friedrich himself and of all nations Prussia is the one I haven't won with yet in the FWCs I participated in. Additionally José would play as Elisabeth and this reminded me of my first entrance in the FWC in 2015 when José beat me with Sweden in round 7 after only 1 hour and 50 minutes. Another very good and analytic player - Johannes - took the role of Maria Threresia. To top it all off, the unpredictable Arnold as Mme. Pompadour completed the participants on our table. It was a tense match from the beginning and the one I remember best after the tournament.

Early on José put lots of pressure on me in East Prussia as well as in the Kammin-area. Luckily I had enough Clubs to fend off the early onslaught but soon I had to rethink my strategies against Russia as I simply didn't get enough Clubs to continue my Wangerin-defense. Meanwhile Austria showed up strong in Silesia with 24 troops. My main defense was in Saxony though (14 troops) and Keith and Schwerin both fled to Poland accompanied by the second Prussian supply train - always out of reach for the Austrian generals who remained in Silesia. By this I hoped I could prevent Johannes from entering Saxony at full strength and somehow this strategy worked. When the Russians became stronger and started their main attack on Kammin I withdrew one of the "Polish" Prussians and sent him northwards to threaten Russia's East Prussian objectives. This led to a funny situation where I could have blocked both Russian depot cities with my "Polish" forces. Turns out José wasn't interested in playing this sort of game and soon he managed to kill one of my generals in Poland. Luckily he spared my supply train so I could still threaten Johannes' Silesia forces with the remaining "Polish" Prussian. In round 10 "Poems" showed up and so my chances of collecting Clubs for the defense of Kammin suffered a setback. Just when I decided to head for a hearts defense against Russia they had to leave the game (round 12). Yes!

In the meantime Johannes had gathered his forces in Saxony and had started his first forays into the Diamonds sector to test the strength of my defense forces. I managed to surround his stack of three generals twice. In both cases Johannes took his generals off the board. Of course this had cost me some Diamonds but I had a good amount of them. Also, Austria only got four cards from round 9 (India) onward and wasn't able to bring their full force to Saxony as my Polish reinforcements still threatened Silesia. Also Cumberland bravely assisted in Saxony and managed to keep Hilde and the Austrians from threatening my Saxon supply train. Cumberland is worth a special mention because he singlehandedly had fought many Hearts battles with the French (winning a major fight on round 2 of the game), had kept the French occupied in Magdeburg and now finally assisted in the fight for the Saxon objectives. Arnold had conquered 8 objectives and was now waiting in front of Magdeburg. His many Hearts battles against the Hanoverians kept him from attacking the Prussians in Magdeburg until the very end of the game. Also he didn't attack the second Hanoverian general who threatened the french objectives in the south which was strange but hey, I liked it!

When "Lord Bute" came in round 15 I thought that might turn the tide as there might still be a long way to go. But after "Sweden" (round 18) and "America" (round 19) it was all over and I had won my first ever game with the good "Alter Fritz"! Aaahhh, sweet victory! It was a tense and nailbiting experience but I felt in control most of the time and only made some minor mistakes which didn't lead to desparate situations. All in all a perfect end to my fourth FWC.


The Austrian (Johannes) does some shopping! 126 points for 21 troops...

I finished in 8th position with 39 points and I am more than happy with the result especially as I didn't have a perfect start. When playing against John as the Prussian I found his method of keeping track which generals already had moved very helpful for my own game with Prussia and I believe that this track-keeping saved me some precious time on my turns. So thank you for the inspiration John! ;)


The finalists Anton Telle, Guy Atkinson, Peter Hannappel, Marcus Strassmann (from left to right)

The Final
I have to admit that I didn't follow the final as closely as others have done, but what I saw was quite interesting. I feel bad for Guy who played a brillant tournament only to leave the final with Russia after turn 6. That's really a shame! I really didn't know who to cheer for. All four of them would have deserved victory. When Marcus chose France being the first player to ever choose Pompadour as first option I had to smile and this bold move alone was worth the title. Peter's irredeemable "classic" choice Austria was funny as well as no player has ever won the final with Austria. If someone someday makes it, I hope it will be Peter! Guy had the cutest mascot and played a great tournament. And finally Anton... After 11 years and six participations in the finals without repeating his success from 2007 it seemed to finally be the time for a great evening. Anton deservedly won and I bet he was surprised that he was offered the chance of playing Prussia on a golden plate! Congratulations Anton!


We have a winner!

And congratulations to Richard as well. 30 years ago the idea to Friedrich was born. 14 years ago the game was published and today 32 people from around the world still gather to play this gem of a game! It may be niche, but it succeeds well at being niche and I hope I'll be a part of this niche community for a long time to come.

Fellow Friedrich players: Thank you once again for a great weekend in Berlin-Moabit! Hope to see you all again soon!
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Andrew Brown
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hoover2701 wrote:

When playing against John as the Prussian I found his method of keeping track which generals already had moved very helpful for my own game with Prussia and I believe that this track-keeping saved me some precious time on my turns. So thank you for the inspiration John!


John took inspiration from me on the track-keeping and now you've taken inspiration from him. It's great to see something of mine getting passed around.
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Martin Hoefer
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The British are an organized bunch!

Then I have to thank you as well. Good idea!
 
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Guy Atkinson
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Thanks for the great review! You have really caught the atmosphere of the FWM.

And don't worry, having got me to two finals, the (world's only) guinea pog will definitely be by my side next time too.
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