WCW Club Season 2017 Games (34)

Monday, 23 October 2017 21:23

A second time for everything

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The 2017 Brawlers in happier times, before the start of play. From left: Jim O'Kelley, Bryan Pravel, Ali Adib, Chris Kelly, Christian Kline, Jake Trotta and Brandon Fogel.

More than 12 years into Windy City Weasels Diplomacy and we're still setting firsts. Yesterday at the Red Lion, for the first time in club history, one of our title games was settled by tie-breaker.

Defending champion Jake Trotta rallied for five centers in the final two game-years to catch Ali Adib at 11 centers. Trotta, the game's second seed, claimed the spot on Cockerill's Orb via the tie-breaker, which is reverse selection order. Trotta had the third choice of powers. Adib, the No. 4 seed, picked first.

The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn. The final center counts were:

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 20:37

Brandon the Builder

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For its 10th installment, the Weasel Royale club championship moved to John Gramila's home in the city from Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, its longtime venue. The change shortened the commute for the seven participants, perhaps, but the game was still the long, dramatic, angst-filled but fun slog that we've all come to expect from the club's most competitive tradition.

After 12 hard-fought years, top seed Brandon Fogel, the two-time Weasel of the Year, claimed the coveted Bull Weasel title, becoming only the second top seed to win the Royale. The final center counts were:

Monday, 04 September 2017 10:06

An Epic Pyle for an Epic Season

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Season 12 was so massive that it couldn't be contained by a mere 12 months. The annual season-ending Weasel Pyle, our club's oldest and happiest tradition, spilled into Labor Day weekend this year, making the 2016-17 year the first to be book-ended by two Septembers.

That wasn't the only first for Season 12. For the first time, the event was held in the city at Founder Jim O'Kelley's home in Little Italy after a memorable 11-year run at Founding Weasel Eric Brown's Castle Brown in bucolic Wayne.

We also set a new record for players at 84 while tying our previous high for games played at 44. Meanwhile, we fell just short of our all-time high for new recruits of 49, set in Season 7. We introduced 47 players to Windy City Weasels Diplomacy this year. Some of them are quick studies who have already elbowed their way into the club's rising Young Guard.

But back to the Pyle, we had four boards on the day, with one being a late-starting second-chance game. A total of 24 players participated in the games. Three of them crashed the Royale party by capturing board-tops: Matt Sundstrom, Christian Kline, and Prime Weasel Brian Shelden. Members of the club's vaunted Old Guard, Sundstrom and Kline advanced to the Royale from the same board at last year's Pyle. This year, they did it from separate boards on different floors.

Monday, 21 August 2017 16:11

An Evening of Ice and Fire

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The mosquitoes were pretty bad last Friday night in the gardens of Lake Point Tower. The Weasels, though, were even worse.  

Ray Trotta, the patriarch of the Diplomacy-playing Trotta clan, hosted two boards in the condo building's beautiful wooded space on August 18. Thirteen Weasels spent the evening strolling through the gardens while telling lies and stabbing backs. If you could tune out the bustle of Lake Shore Drive, it was easy to imagine that you were vying for the Iron Throne in the gardens of King's Landing or Pentos.

Speaking of, the two games were as different as ice and fire.

Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:05

You the (Spel)Man!

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Gus Spelman, one of the many promising new recruits from Seasons 11 and 12, bagged his first board-top last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. We suspect it won't be his last.

Game No. 347 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

Thursday, 03 August 2017 14:44

Always a Weasel

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Over the years, two boards' worth of dedicated, active players have stabbed the club by leaving town. Some are now playing with other clubs, others show up on the tournament circuit now and again. None of them are former Weasels. No, we call them ex-pats, because our club will always be their home. 

Last night, we welcomed back Christian MacDonald, who now lives in Vancouver. MacDonald joined the Weasels late in our third season and quickly took the club by storm. In our fourth season, the first one that featured a league with running standings, he finished third. He also ran for and was elected to the charter Sneak that year, tied for second in games played, and won the first tournament he ever attended (the Buckeye Game Fest).

MacDonald is a good guy, a great player, and a visionary. While serving on the Sneak, he drafted a statement that still serves as an excellent guide for what the North American hobby could and should be. So when he moved away in 2011, it stung.

Sunday, 23 July 2017 10:11

Walk off?

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Reigning Weasel of the Year Brandon Fogel knocked a batting-practice fastball out of the park earlier this month on Red Wednesday at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square to snatch the league lead from rival Jake Trotta. Fogel drew a Germany bordered by inexperienced players, and he teed off on them, posting the largest non-solo score in the club's Sum of Squares era, a whopping 82.571. With only two scheduled dates remaining--August 9 at the Red Lion and the Weasel Pyle on September 2--this ballgame appears to be over.

Played July 12, Game No. 345 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

Monday, 10 July 2017 21:07

A pack of rats

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We played a hastily arranged game of Diplomacy yesterday at the Red Lion in honor of visiting Weasel ex-pat Peter Lokken. Sporting a Rambo-style headband, Lokken drew Austria and proceeded to organize his fellow Eastern hipsters into a formidable and efficient RAT triple alliance. Ultimately, though, the RAT tilted in favor of Josh Heffernan, who now owns the season's Best Russia.

Game No. 344 ended by time limit after the Fall 1908 turn in the following center counts:

Saturday, 17 June 2017 13:40

Honor among Weasels

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If we've learned anything from 343 games of Windy City Weasels Diplomacy, it's that there is no honor among Weasels and that no good deed goes unpunished. Yet time and time again, those lessons must be relearned the hard way. Wednesday night at the Red Lion, it was the player who hosted the very first Weasels tilt nearly 12 years ago who flunked out of the club's School of Hard Knocks.

We managed seven years in Game No. 343, played at the Red Lion on Flag Day. The game ended by time limit in the following center counts.

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