Winter Activation Meeting 2007 (WAM V)
Feb. 12, 2007

WAM 2007 Overall Results

1st: Chris Byrd
2nd: Dave Dockter
3rd: Michael Mitchell
4th: Melvin Casselberry
5th: Tim Miller
6th: Scott Moll

1st: Keith Wixson
James Terry
3rd: Stuart Tucker
4th: Bruce Monnin
5th: Doug Austin
6th: Charles Hickok

1st: Peter Reese
Bill Edwards
3rd: Keith Wixson
4th: Paul Gaberson
5th: Andy Maly
6th: Ken Gutermuth

1st: James Pei
George Young
3rd: Roderick Lee
4th: Paul Gaberson
5th: Terry Coleman
6th: Pete Reese

1st: Nick Anner
Pete Reese
3rd: Doug Mercer
4th: Paul Gaberson
5th: Scott Moll
6th: George Young

1st: Stuart Tucker
Jeff Finkeldey
3rd: Chris Bauch
4th: Ken Gutermuth
5th: Terry Coleman
6th: David Dockter


1st: James Pei
Mike Mitchell
3rd: Trevor Bender
4th: Henry Russell
5th: David Dockter
6th: Chris Byrd


WAM 2007 Write-Ups

Paths of Glory. Chris Byrd won his first PoG gold ring at WAM V in January 2007 over a field of 17 which included four former PoG champions. The field was swelled by a few qualifying games of Barbarossa to Berlin as well. Highlights included Michael Mitchell’s Trench Digging Russians building seven trenches in 10 attempts against poor Charlie Hickok. In the first round, Four sharks (three former PoG champions and Mr. Byrd) were paired against each other in the first round to cut the losers loose to pursue other wood (a WAM tradition). Byrd defeated Drueding, and then Scott Moll to advance to the semi’s, while Nick Anner lost an early game to Dave Dockter. In the other semi game, Dockter (AP) defeated Castlebury’s CP’s early blitzkrieg in the East to try to get the Tsar off.

The Final was a rematch of this summer’s WBC climax with a different result as Byrd’s CP defeated Dockter (AP —bid of 3—AP wins ties). The game went the distance—decided on turn 20—and VPs were razor thin. Chris played Guns. Tried a probe in the West, but AP held its ground. CP did clean out Balkans early (Putnick was AWOL this game). There was pressure on the Austrians in the east, but not enough to prevent a blitz against the Italians and their many French and British armies (who demonstrated a profound lack of gardening technology —missing the “magic” trench). CP then took most of Italy , but not Rome and the heel of the boot where the Italians and a lonely French army cracked the code on using shovels.

During theis time, the CP was pushed into defending Rhine and the trench happy Russians stopped the Germans and their lackeys in the East. The Near East was quiet most of the game (CP drew Bulgaria and Kemel first draw of Limited War), until very late when sloppy Allied leadership and strong CP play resulted in the Russian Army of the Caucasus getting OOS’d while attempting to defend the poor Brits in Iraq. About that time the Russian horde lunged forwarded under Brusilov and hammered the Austrians manning the mountain line. Romania entered very late, and the Allied HQ again allowed two Russian armies to be OOS’d. That, coupled with the turn of events regarding our old friend Yudenich, set up a nail biting Turn 20 in which there were a series of trench battles in the Austrian eastern VP, Polish VP and Konisberg to decide the game. The Russians lost them all, and, the game, giving Chris his fifth BPA championship wood.

Twilight Struggle. The five-round swiss tournament of Twilight Struggle was the big event at the Winter Activation Meeting this year, with 30 of WAM’s 43 players testing their mettle in the popular new game on the Cold War. Despite concerns of imbalance, the bidding for sides reflected caution—and a fair amount of inexperience, with the average bid being 1 VP to play as the Soviets. In 48 games, only twice did a player bid to play as the Americans, but the bids climbed as high as 3 VPs only four times. Many of the victories were so lopsided that early VP bidding had minimal impact. However, in one game where the Soviets gave away two VPs, they lost the game by one VP on Turn 10. In another game where the Soviets gave away a VP, they only managed to get to 19 VPs in mid-game—and later lost at the end by 1 VP.

In 29 of the 48 games, the decision came early: 17 Soviet automatic victories, one US automatic victory, five resignations, two times when the Soviets controlled Europe, one time when the Soviets caused Nuclear War, three times when the Americans won using the Wargames card, and the Quagmire card caused one defeat because a scoring card never got played (hmm, better check the FAQ to see if that is possible—and if so, beware holding those Scoring Cards too long!). Overall, the Soviets won two-thirds of all the games, including a majority of those that went to endgame scoring.

Because the Thursday night mulligan round allowed players to ignore a loss, after four rounds there were still three 4-0 players. Strength of schedule determined which two players faced each other for the plaque: Keith Wixson and Stuart Tucker. James Terry was left at the altar to play the top-rated 3-1 player.

Neither Wixson nor Tucker had a smooth road to the final round. Tucker was the beneficiary of one of the aforementioned Soviet overbids in one game, while Wixson was the beneficiary of the other. Tucker favored playing the Americans and racked up 25 percent of the weekend’s American wins. Wixson’s brush with near defeat as the Americans in Round 2 convinced him to stick to the Soviets for the rest of the tournament. Tucker had to salvage one game with a risky Brush War in Pakistan at the optimal moment in front of an Asian Scoring Card, seizing victory from the game’s lead playtester.

Tucker’s After Action Report of the Final shows just how much wear and tear occurs at a sleepless WAM weekend, as the synapses became fried toward the end. Wixson was gracious enough in the recounting of endgame victory points to only call Tucker a cheater in jest, when an error of mathematical sign was found for the Central American points to shift the victory into Wixson’s proper hands at -7 VPs as the Soviets.

Here are excerpts from Tucker’s AAR, explaining loss: “The Formosa Fade. That’s what I’m calling my disaster Sunday morning. In truth, the brain fade was bound to happen somehow after three days of non-stop gaming (I think I got a total of no more than 13 hours of sleep in all over the course of Thursday to Sunday).

I managed to play rather well all weekend long (10-4). However, in the Final against Keith on Sunday morning, I forgot that the Formosa Resolution would not count for the final endgame scoring of Asia. That cost me 4 points when I ignored Keith’s subtle takeover of Pakistan, thinking it didn’t matter that much. I also missed his reduction of my control of Greece at a time when I wasted a point in Mexico that could have recontrolled Greece. That mistake on Turn 9 cost me another 4 points when I couldn’t retain my domination of Europe. And I lost by a grand total of 7 points. The Formosa Fade will forever live in infamy for me.

Mind you, I could have lost that final MANY times before final scoring, due to my horrendous luck in the Space Race. He had two deals to get a Wargames victory (thankfully I got it on the turn 9 deal). On Turn 10, if he had been dealt the Central America scoring card, I was done in the Headline phase. As it was, I had to manage the play of that scoring card, as well as Africa in the final turn, putting me behind the curve on Ops. He also could have won on his space race play when he had 16 points and a chance to get 4—that was about the only roll I remember him failing—and of course, I failed my space race roll to get 1 VP during the previous three turns, which is why he was in that position. I needed the Africa Scoring points in Turn 10, even if I’d have preferred the card be dealt to him rather than me. Without the card at all, I might have lost to -20 VPs mid-turn.

Keith’s such a gentleman though. He pointed out the DEF CON effect of the Korea War on an early turn before I blundered into Thermonuclear War. I returned the favor when I noted that by playing Summit (despite his dr modifiers) he could himself blunder into Thermonuclear War.

Five games later, I’ve become very impressed with the subtleties of this design—for example, another reason I lost was that De Gaulle essentially gives the Soviets permanent access to Algeria (the only spot they could reach once I Voice of America’d them out of the continent). Now that’s pretty damn cool from the standpoint of history."

Congratulations also go out to the other 5-0 player, James Terry, whose only fault was that his defeated opponents failed to get quite as many wins as Tucker’s and Wixson’s. The final rankings for TWS players with winning records:

1. Keith Wixson, 5-0, 60 tournament points, 4 Soviet Wins, 1 American
2. James Terry, 5-0, 59 TPs, 4 Soviet Wins, 1 American
3. Stuart Tucker, 4-1, 52 TPs, 4 American Wins
4. Bruce Monnin, 4-1, 51 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
5. Doug Austin, 3-2, 44 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
6. Charles Hickok, 3-2, 42 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
7. Terry Coleman, 3-2, 41 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
8. Chris Bauch, 3-1, 40 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
9. Michael Mitchell, 3-1, 37 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American
10. George Young, 3-1, 36 TPs, 2 Soviet Wins, 1 American

...and 21. Pete Reese. At 1-0 he had other fish to fry. He went undefeated all weekend long (if we forget his Mulligan round loss in Twilight Struggle) and decided to play for the Wilderness War plaque instead.

Wilderness War. 17 players vied for the WAM 2007 Warclub provided by GM Keith Wixson. 19 games were played in the four-round Swiss, and the last man standing was Peter Reese. Reese defeated Ron Fedin (2005 WBC Champ), James Pei (2004 WBC Champ), Paul Gaberson (2003 WBC Champ) and Bill Edwards in the Final.

French dominance continued. The French won 13 games (68%) to the Brits’ six. There was a bid of 1 VP to play the French in 14 games and a bid of 2 VPs to play the French in one game (a Brit win). The other four games (all French wins) had no bid at all. The average French score in their wins was 5.7 VPs. On the other hand, the British wins almost all came in later rounds by top players. The Champ was 2-0 as the Brits, and played them in the Final. Also earning WNW laurels were Keith Wixson, Paul Gaberson, Andy Maly and Ken Gutermuth who finished third through sixth respectively.

Early 1757. Brits looked at their hand and concluded Janus the god of luck had annointed them. In their initial hand was the 3 Highlander, the 1 Highlander, a Brit Regular, a campaign card and an amphibious card. Was expecting a SHORT game. French started with drive to HCN and sieged it with their second card. Parliament had decided that North America was the critical theatre for 1757. The Brits played the regular card, got Amherst and sent him to New York with three Regulars, Then played the 1 Highlander card and sent Forbes to New York and the Highlander to Halifax. The French then started raiding. Card 3 the 4 x Highlander + Wolfe and Murray showed up in Halifax. With this play the French concluded Louisbourg was not a good place to be and evacuated it Wolfe and his mob then landed while Amherst took his mob to HCN. Wolfe too Louisbourg in two tries meanwhile the French started raiding with the first three tries successes (argh). Brits held over Vaudreill.

Late 1757. Fortune continued to smile on the Brits. First Montcalm was sent to Ohio for another Amphibous card (which just arrived this turn—the French had the other two so were not worried about a landing) permitted Wolfe and everyone to land at the gates of Quebec. The French had immediately started moving Montcalm back and when Wolfe landed they used a campaign card to put Montcalm and the army (which moved from HCN) together around Montreal. Wolfe then moved to siege Quebec (which looked like a real winner as the Brits also had a fieldworks card). Then disaster occured when Janus the fickle god of chance showed his favor to the French when the French made their desperate attack v. Wolfe sieging Quebec the dice result was French 6 British 1. To add insult to injury Monckton (who covering Wolfe’s bungled retreat) stuck his head up and was clipped with a musket ball. The Brits retreated one space less seven steps to five for the French. End of year the Brits went back to Albany, the French wintered in Quebec (they had destroyed the southern fort along the Lake Champlain route) and Wolfe slunk back with his forces to Alexandria (I could not stand another battle with Wolfe’s force). The French raids pretty much used up their indians (Brits were up to two militia in the southern zone) but they did end up with three points for raids for 1757. French held over Quiberon which turned out to be a very good choice as Brits played surrender causing a reshuffle.

Early 1758. Brits got last regular card, placed Bradstreet and three regulars in Alexandria along with Wolfe and Murray. French got a regular card placed them with Montcalm in Quebec. Montcalm deployed defensively to Winooski with his entire army (including a couple of French Marines (1-4s). Amherst with a gigantic pile of troops observed him from Albany (additionally provinicals had been added). Wolfe moved up to Allegheny South and built a fort. The French raided and picked up the marine detachments out west to avoid Wolfe.

Late 1758. Wolfe then moved to Upper Monogahela where disaster truely struck. A lone indian at Mingo Town intercepted and in the skirmish both Wolfe and Bradstreet were killed leaving Murray in charge of a BIG army he could not command. Still he managed to haul troops to Ohio Forks and finish the fort. Meanwhile the French did minor adjustments and began forming up a force to defend Niagara. Then with two cards left (the Brits had Foul Weather and Bigot) the French made a fatal error (the joys of face to face play). Instead of moving Montcalm and his troops into winter quarters they spent a card to further adjust their forces out west (looking at the map they could see the Brits needed two cards to get everyone out west to winter quarters) so they had no worries. However the British exposure was only two or three steps and the French exposure was on the order of 10 steps (including three regulars permanently lost). So the penultimate Brit card was Bigot and the French army got to starve and freeze over the winter in Winooski. At that point the French conceded.

We The People. This game served well again in its capacity as a time-filler among the rounds of the other events taking place at WAM. Twenty players entered the WTP event, run as a swiss, last-man-standing elimination event with the plaque going to the final player without a loss. In the winner’s bracket, the usual suspects knocked down contenders. By Sunday morning, four players remained undefeated: Paul Gaberson, George Young, James Pei, and Pete Reese. With the Wilderness War plaque also within his grasp, Reese decided to drop out of the WTP competition. This left Pei to match up against Gaberson for the right to play Young for the plaque. Pei reached this point via a draw against Randall MacInnis and wins over James Terry and Stuart Tucker. Gaberson had vanquished Chris Byrd, Pete Reese (in the mulligan round), and Terry Coleman. Young had defeated Terry, MacInnis, and Roderick Lee. Against Gaberson, Pei (bid 3 PCs to be the Americans) managed to draw Campaign cards in four of the first five turns. The Americans had four unanswered plays at the end of 1777. The British Regulars Advantage was lost in 1779. The War ended in 1780 without a single colony under British control.

In the Final, Young won the bid at 4 PCs to be the Americans, only to be hobbled by never seeing the Declaration of Independence and French Alliance. Benedict Arnold turned coat in 1777. The British Regulars advantage was lost in 1778, but on the turn it mattered most, the final turn (1779), Pei had a Campaign card and managed to control six colonies to win the game and the plaque.

Of 22 games played, the Americans won 11. There were draws and nine British wins. Over the course of the tournament, bids for the Americans increased, to 3 and 4. Bids averaged just under 3 for the event. After losing to Pei, Tucker heard Pei say that he believed 4 PCs was a fair bid to be the Americans. Certainly, Pei showed his proficiency in keeping alive Washington against Tucker. Tucker had established a four-pronged attack that established a loose ring around Washington in Albany. But Pei managed to maneuver his other generals on the flanks at the right times to catch the British advances in dangerous terrain, killing many of them due to lack of a retreat. Despite having overwhelmingly better cards than Pei, Tucker’s British managed to lose most of their CUs by 1778 and he resigned—all while Washington rested in Albany.

The top six WTP players earning WAM laurels were:

1. James Pei, 4-0-D, 47 Tournament Points, 3 American wins, 1 British, 1 Draw
2. Geoge Young, 3-1, 37 TPs, 2 American wins, 1 British
3. Roderick Lee, 3-1, 33 TPs, 1 American win, 2 British
4. Paul Gaberson, 3-1, 28 TPs, 1 American win, 2 British
5. Terry Coleman, 2-1, 23 TPs, 1 American win, 1 British
6. Pete Reese, 2-0, 21 TPs, 2 British wins

Hannibal. Fourteen top-notch Hannibal players made time at a very busy WAM to enter the Hannibal tourney. However, many didn’t have time to devote themselves fully to completing the event. The existence of Thursday’s mulligan in other events, plus a very popular Twilight Struggle new event, left several players in a now-common Saturday dilemma: what championship to pursue. The old favorite, Hannibal, just didn’t have the same luster as the inaugural Twilight Struggle championship or the coveted Wilderness War plaque.

Three undefeated players ceased their pursuit of the Hannibal crown early. The eventual winner by default, Nick Anner, pulled to an unchallenged 3-0 on Saturday evening. However, the path to victory wasn’t without its bumps. In his first round game, the once-upon-a-time WAM champ, Stuart Tucker in a game that was leaning towards Tucker’s Carthage until the turn 8 Messenger Intercepted favored Anner’s invasion of Spain. Then, a turn 9 deal of Syracuse, Numidia Revolts, and Diplomacy to Anner’s Romans left Tucker’s wiley Adriatic Pirates move coming up one province short.

In Anner’s second round game, his Carthage was blessed with a turn 9 Messenger Intercepted and Philip’s offer of Macedonian alliance, allowing him to salvage the 9-9 province count for victory against George Young.

Anner’s third round game found him begging for an opponent. Pete Reese (2-0) decided that his undefeated record would be sacrificed while he pursued the Wilderness War plaque. Doug Mercer (2-0) made a similar decision, while Charles Hickok (the last 1-0 remaining) decided early on Saturday to try the new games in the room. This left Paul Gaberson (1-1) as the most willing challenger to try to bring Anner back to the pack of those still willing to play onward. Here Anner’s Carthage excelled, with a turn 5 Philip, turn 6 Syracuse, and 3 Messenger Intercepts to put Gaberson on the verge of suing for peace for lack of PCs, when he threw in the towel and resigned on turn 8.

Once again, Carthage proved to be dominant (winning eight of 13 games). Bidding continues to almost universally favor Carthage by just under 2 PCs, though once Mercer bid 2 for the Romans. The top HRC players were:

1. Nick Anner, 3-0, 32 Tournament points, 2 Carthaginian wins, 1 Roman
2. Pete Reese, 2-0, 22 TPs, 1 win of each
3. Doug Mercer, 2-0, 20 TPs, 1 win of each
4. Paul Gaberson, 1-2, 14 TPs, 1 Carthaginian win
5. Scott Moll, 1-1, 13 TPs, 1 Carthaginian win
6. George Young, 1-1, 13 TPs, 1 Carthaginian win

For The People. We had a good turnout of 12 people in the FTP tournament, even though it was not an official event this year. A total of 14 games were played including two mulligans during the highly attended, early Thursday start. Things heated up on Friday as all the main tournaments started in earnest. Don Chappell, our Librarian, made the trek from Texas to play many games of FTP. Many long matches were observed over the weekend as more and more players became comfortable going the distance.

Most of the games were played using the new 2006 edition rules with all the optional rules. This year, with the inclusion of expansion cards and optional rules, the balance has swung slightly in favor of the Yanks, as eight Union and six Confederate victories were recorded. 1st through 6th place respectively were James Pei, Mike Mitchell, Trevor Bender, Henry Russell, David Dockter and Chris Byrd.

Highlights: Don Chappell played three consecutive turns of random discard from Chris Byrd’s Rebels. But alas, he was not able to stop Chris from winning when his Union hand went cold. Déjà vu for Chris when he ran into James Pei’s Union in the 2nd round. He suffered the same fate as in his previous game when James played Railroad Degradation, War in the West, and Locomotive Shortage in three consecutive turns. However, this time Chris was not able to surmount the Union steamroller. But to his credit, the young Byrd was able to pull off several raids against the Master. The Rebels resigned on Turn 8 when Lee’s army was finally trapped in Dayton Ohio without any LOC.

Trevor Bender, the only other person to hold the coveted WBC FTP plaque besides the Master, was able to attend due to a fortuitous business trip to the area. He played against the renowned Paths of Glory champ, Tom Drueding. In a grueling 7 hr match, Trevor’s Union was able to win by the State count victory condition. Final SW was Union 118 vs Rebel 7. Union blockade was at 4!

Henry Russell, the FTP iron man at WAM, played several games deep into 1864. In one game, against Roderick Lee, his Union won on Turn 11, forcing the Rebels to resign when Richmond was burned. In another game, against Tim Miller, Henry’s Union drove the Rebel SW down to 0 on the final turn even though he lost a high strength AoP in 1862. Then in yet another long game, this time against Doug Mercer, Henry lost on turn 13 when Doug’s Union won by the state count victory of 8 states and SW of 81.

David Dockter played perhaps the longest match against Trevor Bender in another grueling 8 hr+ game. David’s Rebel force was forced to resign on Turn 12 when the CSA SW went down to 0. Trevor once again raised the Union blockade to a very high level early on, ending with the rare level 5! His new nickname is now Blockade Bender!

David also played an early “grudge” match against Don “AA Cartel” Chappell to settle their different views. Don proved his point, but David won the match. Not exactly sure if any anybody’s thinking has been changed.

Mike Mitchell played a hell-raising game against Trevor Bender. On turn 7, Mike’s Union drew a perfect hand of major campaign and all 3 cards, which he used to good effect. Union was able to force the Rebels to concede in Spring 1863 when Federal forces took the CSA capital of Richmond, converted the State of Virginia, eliminated AoNV, and was about to torch Fayetteville and take MO. In addition, Blockade Level was raised to 3 with all the eastern ports blocked off. If this was not enough, Trevor was forced to play the EP card that turn with Mike holding the FI card that he did not have to play.

The resulting SW swing was huge. CSA lost Richmond -12, capital -15, VA -15, Fort -1, AoNV -5, Fortunes of War -3, EP card -10, and Fayetteville -3 for a total of 64 SW! The Union gained +12 for Richmond, +1 fort,  +2 for FoW, +3 for Fayetteville, and lose -5 -3 for EP for a total of +10 SW. A swing of 74 SW in one turn!

The big turning point was when Mike trapped a Rebel Army with Lee and 3 Cav generals in Illinois with no supply line.  Trevor also messed up placing Lee in an army where Lee was second in command so he was unable to use his 1-Op cards effectively without demoting ASJ. He spent over a whole turn correcting that mistake which costs him double attrition on his Army and about 9 card plays. Ouch!

March Madness. In the wacky, play anything that isn’t nauled down atmosphere of WAM, eght hardy (and perhaps partially tipsy) guys on Friday night struck up a quick and wet tournament of perhaps the all-time best card-driven sports game: March Madness. Sporting a field of eight teams all with identical 96 ratings, Terry Coleman, Chris Bauch, and Bruce Monnin crashed WAM again. While Stuart Tucker finished off another game of Wilderness War, he swept through the deck and rolled dice effortlessly, leaving the tough task of scoring to Terry. That proved to require an instant replay camera, but in the end it was determined that Tucker’s 1986 Kansas team had indeed won by 1 point over Coleman’s 1960 Ohio State. Top-ranked (how can identically-rated teams be differentiated?) Ken Gutermuth’s 2006 Memphis team won by 19 over Bob Heinzmann’s 1998 North Carolina. Bauch’s 2005 Louisville defeated Monnin’s 2003 Arizona. The hometown favorites, Jeff Finkeldey’s 2002 Maryland, despite heavy rooting counter-rooting, managed to slip by David Dockter’s 1989 Michigan. In the second round, Tucker’s Kansas managed to again win by a single point landslide against Bauch’s Louisville. Finkeldey’s Maryland defeated Gutermuth’s Memphis. In the championship, Tucker put aside his shaky beginning to run away with the Final by 15 points. Kellogg was named the tournament MVP on the basis of his hot 3-point shooting all tournament long.

1. Stuart Tucker, 3-0
2. Jeff Finkeldey, 2-1
3. Chris Bauch, 1-1
4. Ken Gutermuth, 1-1
5. Terry Coleman, 0-1
6. David Dockter, 0-1

Boardgame Players Association Last updated 2/12/07 by kae.
© Copyright 2007 by the Boardgame Players Association.
Trademarks are property of their respective holders.