washington's war * 

Updated Nov. 10, 2014

 2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

George Young, VT

2014 Champion

* We The People
prior to 2010

Event History
1994    Andy Lewis      60
1995    Roger Taylor      56
1996    George Seary      54
1997    Thomas Drueding      40
1998    James Pei      40
1999    Marvin Birnbaum     32
2000    Brian Mountford     45
2001    Brian Mountford     32
2002    Marvin Birnbaum     54
2003    George Young     41
2004    John Poniske     43
2005     Chris Byrd     43
2006    George Young     45
2007     George Young     39
2008     Brian Mountford     38
2009     Marvin Birnbaum     34
2010    Keith Wixson     58
2011    Michael Mitchell     68
2012    Keith Wixson     51
2013    James Pei     49
2014    George Young     34

PBeM Event History
2004    Paul Gaberson      46
2008     Dan Leader     50
2012    James Pei     70
2014    David Rubin     61

WAM Event History
2004    Michael Ussery      16
2005    Marvin Birnbaum       24
2006    James Pei     13
2007    James Pei     20
2011    Tim Miller     28
2012     James Pei     22
2013    James Pei     19


Rank  Name                From  Last  Total
  1.  George Young         VT    14    338
  2.  James Pei            TX    14    301
  3.  Marvin Birnbaum      NY    13    271
  4.  Paul Gaberson        PA    12    198
  5.  Keith Wixson         NJ    14    190
  6.  Brian Mountford      NY    09    179
  7.  Dan Leader           MA    14     96
  8.  John Poniske         PA    09     91
  9.  Mike Mitchell        GA    13     65
 10.  David Rubin          NJ    14     60
 11.  Bill Peeck           NY    14     55
 12.  Chris Byrd           CT    12     52
 13.  Joe Collinson        MD    08     52
 14.  Tom Drueding         MA    11     46
 15.  John Faella          RI    14     45
 16.  Tim Miller           GA    12     42
 17.  Philip Burgin-Young  VT    12     38
 18.  Kent Tieman          TX    12     36
 19.  George Seary         NY    06     36
 20.  Jim Gutt             AZ    04     36
 21.  Eric Kleist          MD    10     32
 22.  Henry Rice           TX    14     30
 23.  Roderick Lee         CA    13     30
 24.  Michael Ussery       MD    11     28
 25.  Pete Reese           VA    08     27
 26.  Ron Jacobsen         OH    12     24
 27.  Michael Pacheco      CA    04     24
 28.  Anthony Burke        NJ    00     24
 29.  Trevor Bender        CA    14     18
 30.  Terry Coleman        CA    12     18
 31.  Jim Fardette         ae    01     18
 32.  Randy Pippus         on    14     16
 33.  David Dockter        MN    02     16
 34.  David Tianen         WI    00     16
 35.  Pat Mirk             FL    03     15
 36.  Randy MacInnis       NJ    14     12
 37.  George Galuschak     NJ    13     12
 38.  Bruce Monnin         OH    08     12
 39.  Rob Taylor           MI    05     12
 40.  Paul Barrett         uk    04     12
 41.  Ken Gutermuth        TX    05      9
 42.  Dan Hoffman          NC    13      8
 43.  Derek Landel         NJ    13      8
 44.  Jim Eliason          IA    05      8
 45.  Stuart Tucker        MD    04      8
 46.  Bruce Wigdor         NJ    02      8
 47.  Andy Lewis           DE    00      8
 48.  Jonathan Moody       OH    14      6
 49.  Jay Meyers           CA    12      6
 50.  Seth Fine            WA    04      6
 51.  Joe Stenken          KY    03      5
 52.  Bill Powers          VA    11      4
 53.  Mark Yoshikawa       CA    06      4
 54.  Bryan Thompson       MD    04      4
 55.  Randall Borra        NY    00      4
 56.  Jim Falling          IL    99      4
 57.  Rob Doane            MD    12      3
 58.  Greg Ottoman         VA    13      2
 59.  Matthew Bacho        MD    04      2

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Keith Wixson, NJ

Randy Pippus, on

John Faella, RI

Randall MacInnis, GA

Bill Peeck, NY

Past Winners

Andy Lewis, DE

Roger Taylor, VA

George Seary, NY

Thomas Drueding, PA

James Pei, TX
1998, 2013

Marvin Birnbaum, NJ
1999, 2002, 2009

Brian Mountford, NY
2000-01, 2008

George Young, VT
2003, 2006, 2007, 2014

John Poniske, PA

Chris Byrd, CT

Keith Wixson, NJ
2010, 2012

Michael Mitchell, GA

Three-time WTP champ Brian Mountford vs Michael Ussery

2005 WTP champ Chris Byrd vs Derek Landel

 Pandy Pippus vs Mark Yoshikawa

 George Galuschak relives the Revolutionary War.

Still the Master ...

George Young became the first 4-time champ in the event's 21 year history, although it took him 7 years to climb that 4th rung of the ladder. Young has reached the Final four times in the last five years, however, so it wasn't for lack of trying. Once again, GM Keith Wixson barred his way, the third time that they have met in the championship since 2010. This time Young avenged his losses to Wixson in 2010 and 2012, and as was the case previously, the game went down to the last card play and battle. Young also defeated Wixson in the semifinals last year in a close game.

Young was undefeated, beating Michael Webb, Rob Doane and Geoff Allbutt in the preliminary rounds, Bob Hamel in the quarterfinals and John Faella in the semifinals. Wixson was also undefeated, beating Peter Putnam, Paul Gaberson and defending champ James Pei in the preliminary rounds, Randy MacInnis in the quarterfinals and Randy Pippus in the semifinals. The other quarterfinalists were Geoff Allbutt and Bill Peeck. Young won 3 games with each side. Young and Wixson were the only returning laurelists from last year.

All games were played with the following "Special Rules" meant to address play balance and to speed play:

(a) The British player's at start For the King PC bonus was increased from 2 PC's to 3 PC's.

(b) The colony restrictions for the For the King PC's were eliminated.

(c) Whenever the British player played either the Declaration of Independence or the Benjamin Franklin: Minister to France Special Events, the event took effect normally but the player was allowed to draw a replacement card and immediately take another action using any card.

(d) In the very next turn FOLLOWING a turn in which the Continental Congress was dispersed. The British player, not the American player, decided which player went first in that turn.

(e) In the preliminary rounds the 1782 and 1783 War Ends cards were removed from play before the initial deal and set aside and all games ended with the conclusion of the 1781 turn if they had not ended sooner. This rule did not apply in the elimination rounds.

The Brits won 27 games and the Americans 24. There was a big difference in Round 1, when the Brits won 12 of 17 games played, but that was mostly a product of six of the eight seeded players winning their games as the Brits against weaker players than anything else. After Round 1 the Americans won 19 out of 34. In the elimination rounds the Americans won four of seven.

The tournament's "marathon" format was mostly unchanged from recent years. There were four rounds of Swiss play to determine eight quarterfinalists to advance to the elimination rounds. The four undefeated players after the first three rounds all received a bye in Round 4 and advanced automatically. The remaining players who had at least one loss played an additional round and the four players with the best scores after that also advanced. In the past we have utilized a roll-off to break ties, but after some grumbling last year I decided to use a tiebreak system based upon the AREA ratings of defeated opponents to break the tie, a system I have used in other tournaments. I heard no complaints, so in the future I will continue to break ties in this way.

Sadly, attendance was down 30% this year. I have no idea why, but perhaps the "new game" bump we got a few years ago with the transition from We the People has finally run its course and we can now expect to draw in the mid 30's as the norm (which it was in the last few years of WTP). The tournament was again run as a Class B event and the demo was well attended, but unfortunately only two people from the demo tried to play. There were also a handful of other new players, so we lost close to 20 players from last year, including many regulars. Perhaps it was just a 1 year glitch, but in any case, mid 30's is still sustainable and I can see no reason why the tournament won't be back in its traditional Saturday slot next year with yours truly as the GM.

Here is a short AAR of the championship game. With the semifinal games ending after midnight on Saturday, the Final was played at 0900 on Sunday.

Wixson drew very good cards as the Americans and quickly walled off most of the British coastal PC's. Cornwallis landed at Norfolk, marched north and was met and defeated by Washington at Alexandria, retreating by sea to Delaware (which had lost its American PC). At the end of the turn the Americans were able to isolate all of the British inland PC's in Virginia and the Carolinas.

Cornwallis fled Delaware for New York City, where he stayed for the remainder of the game, dispersing the Continental Congress along the way. Washington followed and ended up at Philadelphia, where he remained until the last turn. It became obvious that Young had decided to concentrate on a northern strategy, perhaps by default, as once again Wixson had better cards.

British fortunes continued to decline as the Americans solidified their hold on the South and Mid-Atlantic, which were never threatened again, and built up a strong presence in the North, aided in no small part by the Declaration of Independence. The turn ended with Britain in control of only three colonies and the Congress safely re-established in western Virginia.

A guerilla war developed in New England as small armies under Arnold and Greene battled larger British armies under Howe, Burgoyne and Carleton in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, while Clinton defended Canada and Cornwallis defended NYC. The Americans held their own.

The tide finally began to turn when Arnold switched sides and the American position in New Hampshire collapsed, ending the back door threat to Canada. Greene fought on, but Burgoyne was able to take Albany and secure control of New York for the Crown.

The American position in the North continued to deteriorate as the Brits consolidated their hold over New Hampshire and Massachusetts, capturing Greene. A struggle for Connecticut began.

Howe took New Haven early on, grabbing the sixth colony that the Brits would need to win. The Americans still held Westchester, however, so the final result was still very much in doubt. Also, unbeknownst to Wixson, Young had drawn another poor hand and had no other movement cards after Howe's advance. Washington had remained at Philadelphia since 1776, as Wixson had been unwilling to risk his capture, but was now forced into the fight. The Americans first brought on reinforcements at Westchester and then followed up with an attack at New Haven by Washington. The Continental Army was repulsed and fell back on Westchester, replacing its losses with the reinforcements previously placed. After Young provided his remaining reinforcements to Howe, Wixson saw that his best remaining chance was to attack Burgoyne at Albany. A victory there would have cracked open the British defense and allowed Washington to threaten Canada, upstate New York and New Hampshire. But disaster struck when Washington was beaten back again and this time rolled a 6 for casualties, retreating once again to Westchester. After Young played his final discard, the game came down to a final desperation attack by a weakened Washington on Howe at New Haven. After the leader rolls went Washington's way, the battle was a still a +3 for Howe. A 4-2 was rolled and Howe won the final battle by 1. Washington's inability to win a single battle in three tries on the last turn was the difference. The final score was six colonies for the Brits (CA, NY, NH, MA, RI and CT) to eight for the Americans.

Ass't GMs George Young and Keith Wixson battle in the semis with George downing the defending champ to advance.

The Master takes the measure of the GM in the other semifinal as James led throughout against Marvin.

 2014 PBeM Tournament:

The 7-round Swiss-Elimination competition began in February 2013 and ran for 16 months, generating 113 games among 61 players. Champion Dave Rubin was not among the favorites to win the tournament when it started to say the least. Indeed, in the 20-year history of We the People/Washington's War tournaments run by the BPA and Avaloncon he had won zero laurels prior to this. Rubin overcame a loss in Round 1 as the Americans to Jean-Louis Dirion to go 6-1. He defeated Tom Thornsen, Greg Gollaher and Andre Heller in the preliminary rounds and advanced to the elimination rounds on tiebreakers. He then defeated Henry Rice in the quarterfinals, Trevor Bender in the semifinals and Dan Leader in the championship, all three of whom were undefeated prior to opposing Rubin. He won three times with each side. In the quarterfinal against Rice he pulled out the win as the Americans in 1781 despite having had Washington captured in 1777. In the semifinal against Bender he won a rare automatic victory as the British in 1777 when he cleared the map of American combat units after capturing Washington.

Leader defeated Mike Kettman, Philip-Burgin Young, Kirk Harris and Bill Peeck in the preliminary rounds, Harris again in the quarterfinals and James Pei in the semifinals to advance to the championship. He also won three times with each side. Pei defeated Bender in a consolation match to earn third place. Rice and Jonathan Moody were the other laurelists based upon tiebreaker points earned in the preliminary rounds. An AAR of the Championship Game follows.

All games were played with the following "Special Rules" meant to balance the inherent American advantage:

(1) The British Players' at start For the King PC bonus was increased from 2 PCs to 3 PCs.

(2) The colony restrictions for the For the King PCs were eliminated.

(3) Whenever the British player played either the Declaration of Independence or the Benjamin Franklin: Minister to France Special Events, after the event took effect as it normally would, the British player drew a replacement card and immediately took another action using any card (not necessarily the replacement card).

(4) In the very next turn FOLLOWING a turn in which the Continental Congress was dispersed, the British player, not the American player, decided which player went first in that turn.

The 113 games played broke down as follows (eight of those games were declared forfeits due to slow play and are not otherwise included in the statistics compiled below): 53 British wins to 52 American for nearly an even split. In the first two rounds, the British dominated, winning 33 of 53 games played. But from Round 3 through the Elimination Rounds, the Americans rallied, winning 32 of 52 games played. I can see two possible explanations for this discrepancy. Firstly, perhaps it took some time for the players to adjust to the Special Rules, which had never been used before in tournament play. Special Rule 4 in particular created an entirely new dynamic which may have taken some time to appreciate. Secondly, in most tournaments the novice players tend to drift away after one or two rounds leaving the experienced players to fight it out. Perhaps the British edge early on reflects the struggle of new players to learn how to play as the Americans (the side with the generally accepted greater learning curve). Of course, the implication of this is that the game is still unbalanced in favor of the Americans even with the Special Rules. Only time will tell if the game is as balanced with the Special Rules as the complete tournament results would indicate.

There were five games that finished prior to 1779; four of which were British wins ­ three resignations by American players after losing Washington and one British autovictory. One British player resigned early. 22 games finished in 1779 (ten British wins and 12 American wins). 29 games finished in 1780 (18 British wins and 11 American wins). 30 games finished in 1781 (12 British wins and 18 American wins). 16 games finished in 1782 (eight wins each). three games finished in 1783 (one British win and two American wins). I am not sure what to make of that spread; it appears to be pretty even. We the People, the predecessor game to this one, definitely favored the Americans greatly in long games, but that does not appear to be an issue in this game, at least not to any great extent.

Washington was captured in 15 games. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those games (12) were British victories. The Americans did pull out three, however, including the aforementioned Rice-Rubin game in the quarterfinals.

The French entered the war in 46 games (44%). The American won 28 of those games (61%). In the 59 games where the French did not enter the war, the British won 35 games (59%).

The British Regulars Bonus was lost in 57 games (54%). The Americans won 33 of those games (58%). In the 48 games where the Bonus lasted the entire game the Brits won the majority (60%).

The tournament went off without any significant problems. Thanks to everybody who participated and especially to Paul Gaberson for being the Assistant GM.

An After Action Report of the Championship Game follows:

British: Dan Leader
Americans: Dave Rubin

Who won: Americans
Last turn: 1779
Declaration of Independence: 1776
Franklin: Never
British Regulars Lost: 1777
French Alliance: 1779
Washington Captured: Never
Colony Count: British 4, Americans 10
PC Count: British 22, Americans 34
CU Count: British 12, Americans 11

Committees of Correspondence:
Norwich, Falmouth, Newport, New Haven, New York, Morristown, Basset Town, Wilmington (DE), Baltimore, Alexandria, Wake, Camden, Savannah.
King's Men: Ticonderoga, Oswego, Fort Niagara

3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, Bancroft
Americans: 2, 1, 1, Minor Campaign, Brant, McRea, Marion

Action Summary: The Crown Holds the Initiative
The Americans lead off with McRea, but lack the wherewithal to halt Tory political inroads; the contest is especially vigorous in VA, NC, and NY. Lafayette appears in Fort Chiswell, Gates in Albany. Bancroft causes the discard of Brant which the British pick up and use; the Americans counter with a Minor Campaign, shifting Lafayette and Washington to Pennsylvania. The year ends with Cornwallis landing in Norfolk and marching to Delaware.

End of Turn Colony Status
Ca, NY, DE, NC
Americans: NH, MA, RI, CT, NJ, PA, MD, SC, GA
Neutral: VA

3, 3, 3, 1, Declaration, Rodney, Iroquois
Americans: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, Paine, Glover

Action Summary: Putting the "England" Back in New England
1776 begins with an attack by the Continental Army on Cornwallis before he can be reinforced, but Washington is repulsed. After politicking by both sides, Howe flanks and traps Greene at Newport. Arnold raises an army in Springfield. As the Patriots strive to limit the Crown's influence, the British bring Clinton to Montreal, then play the Declaration of Independence, drawing a Minor Campaign as a replacement card and holding it for the end of the year. Carleton marches from Quebec, attacking and defeating Gates at Albany. The Continental Army is built up as British-allied Iroquois raid Pennsylvania. Washington defeats Cornwallis in a rematch on the lower Brandywine; Cornwallis retreats alone to Montreal and relinquishes command to Clinton. Howe collects the detached flanking units from his earlier attack on Greene, returning to Newport, while Clinton takes a small force from Montreal to Concord.

End of Turn Colony Status
Ca, NH, RI, NY, NC
Americans: MA, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
Neutral: None

3, 3, 1, 1, North-1783, Knox, Marion
Americans: 3, 3, 3, 1, Major Campaign, Hessians, Bancroft

Action Summary: Carleton Has a Very Bad Summer
Carleton marches from Albany to Saratoga, capturing a solitary Gates, and then immediately returns to Albany before attacking Arnold at Springfield; despite being heavily outnumbered (5-2), Arnold emerges victorious. After further politicking, Greene raises an army in Fort Prince George and Cornwallis brings a new Royal Army into Wilmington (NC). The main body of the Continental Army shifts from Wilmington( DE) to New York, and His Majesty's Government announces a 6-year plan to end the war by 1783. The Patriots then launch a Major Campaign: as Lafayette marches from Pittsburgh to Fort Stanwix to cut off any retreat, Washington successfully attacks Carleton in Albany, forcing Carleton's surrender. Arnold follows up the Continental Army's victory on the Hudson with an invasion of Canada, occupying Montreal. Political turmoil in Delaware leaves the Colony in American hands, but allows the British to recruit battle-ready Hessians, which Cornwallis successfully employs on an attack against the isolated Greene (picking up a 2 OPS card for his trouble). Another Patriot Army answers Lincoln's call at Eutaw Springs. Cornwallis moves to Camden, and the Americans end the turn by discarding Bancroft to break the isolation of the western Carolinas.

End of Turn Colony Status
Americans: NY, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
Neutral: Ca, MA

: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, North-1779
Americans: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1

Action Summary: A Bloody Campaign Season and The Smuggling of the Delegates
The year begins with Cornwallis's defeat of Lincoln at Eutaw Springs, who retreats to Charleston with the survivors. Greene, returning yet again from captivity, raises an army at Ninety-Six. The Tories try persuasion in SC and MA while Arnold moves from Montreal to Quebec. The North Government becomes unstable as the Patriots complete their takeover of Canada. Burgoyne brings another large Royal Army to Norfolk; in response, Gates raises an army in Alexandria. Burgoyne attacks Gates and triumphs, with the remnants of Gates's force beating feet for Baltimore. Lafayette, in Fort Stanwix, marches to Fort Detroit and eliminates the persistent British garrison. Burgoyne marches around Gates, detaches a rear guard in Reading, and occupies Philadelphia, scattering Congress. Washington marches from Albany to attack Burgoyne, but is out-generaled by Gentleman Johnny and retires to New Brunswick. Cornwallis marches from Camden to Lynch's Ferry, scattering detachments to isolate American PCs in Eastern NC and VA. As in 1776, Washington responds to defeat by renewing the attack, this time reentering Philadelphia and forcing Burgoyne to retreat to Reading. To prevent the collapse of the Patriot Cause in NC, Congress exposes itself by reconvening in New Bern.

End of Turn Colony Status
Americans: Ca, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
Neutral: None

2, 2, 2, 1, Brant, Germaine, Jones
Americans: 1, 1, Hortelez, Steuben, Wayne, Arnold, Pitt

Action Summary: France Intervenes and Lord North's Government Falls
Having dispersed Congress, the Crown chooses to have the last move. Clandestine Franco-Spanish Aid becomes overt as France and Spain declare war on Britain; Rochambeau and army arrive at New Haven as the French Fleet takes up position in the South Atlantic off the British outpost of St. Mary's. Cornwallis gathers up his detachments from the previous year and defeats Greene in a bloody battle at Ninety-Six despite the audaciousness of 'Mad" Anthony Wayne, although the Americans pull an important 3rd 1 OPS card. Greene flees alone to Augusta, then takes Lincoln's small force from Charleston to Wilmington (NC). Burgoyne strategically withdraws from Pennsylvania, eluding Gates, and ending in Fincastle, while Lafayette moves from Fort Detroit to Norwich. Carleton lands at Falmouth with a scratch army. The Americans serially discard von Steuben and Arnold's Treason to substitute American control of Boston for British while the British discard Brant to flip Ninety-Six. Cornwallis marches to Charleston, scattering garrisons and capturing Lincoln, then returns to Savannah. Washington and the Continental Army march from Philadelphia to Richmond to resist the British threat to Virginia, detaching a small force to support the Patriot authorities in Delaware. An offer of Royal Amnesty weakens the Americans in MA & NC, and Pitt is discarded to replace what was lost in the latter. Jones is discarded to recover MA for the Crown, but Lord North's Government collapses, making Independence inevitable.

End of Turn Colony Status
Americans: Ca, NH, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC
Neutral: None

 GM      Keith Wixson [1st Year]  NA 
    keithwixson@paulhastings.com   NA

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