barbarossa to berlin [Updated October 2003]  

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Nicholas Pei, CA

2003 Champion

2nd: Nick Anner, NY

3rd: Raynald Foret, France

4th: Tom Gregorio, PA

5th: David Dockter, MN

6th: James Pei, TX

Event History
2003    Nicholas Pei     34


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 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Nicholas Pei

CA

03
50
 2. Nick Anner

NY

03
30
 3. Raynald Foret

France

03
20
 4. Tom Gregorio

PA

03
15
 5. David Dockter

MN

03
10
 6. James Pei

TX

03
  5

Barbarossa to Berlin (BtB) - A - Thon

34 Entrants participated in the first WBC BTB Tournament. When the dust settled, the BTBer's had played 28 games and invested 392 hours (seven hours per game per player). Herr Nicholas Pei emerged as the winner, defeating Allied commander Nic Anner.

BtB, by award winning game designer Ted Raicer, follows on the heels of his highly successful WWI design, Paths of Glory. He has innovatively adapted that system to WWI, something most of us thought was not possible. Ted's elegant card driven game works very well in simulating the ebb and flow of WWII in Europe - from the deserts of Egypt to shores of Normandy to the Steppes of Russia. The game is highly popular, with a very active discussion board at http://talk.consimworld.com and usually more than 200 online games occurring at http://acts.warhorsesim.com (THE online card driven games {POG, FTP, WNW, WTP, HRC, SUC, TNW, BTB} place) - usually 600 games occurring at any moment of the day).

BTB has undergone a few tweaks since it first appeared on the wargaming scene. The living rules are assessable on www.gmtgames.com One item generating a fair amount of discussion has been the possibility of early Axis automatic victories, from trying to drive the Soviets off the map. In our first round of the tourney, 32 players slugged it out. There were one draw, three Allied victories, 12 Axis wins - many Axis early auto-victories. In subsequent rounds, and, consequently, probably better match-ups between more experienced players, victories were almost evenly split. This experience was similar to what we had at the BTB tourney at WAM (www.wamconvention.com) in February. Both tourneys provided evidence of a steep strategy learning curve to develop an effective Allied defense against an aggressive Axis player. Ted's subsequent game tweaks and a bidding system, where victory points are added to what is required for an Axis auto-victory AND subtracted from the Total Krieg card, should address any of these remaining issues.

Back to the tourney: In the second round, the allied winners were Tom Gregorio (from TRC fame), Raynald Foret (clearly the best and only undefeated Allied player of the tourney) and GM David Dockter. Axis winners were Nick Anner (eventual 2nd place finisher) and the Pei brothers (Nic and James - real panzer commanders!). Third round action witnessed fierce, barn burning match-ups. James Pei (Axis) squared off against Raynald Foret. The game was a very tense and fluid affair. Raynald managed to parley James' advances and defeated the renowned card shark. In the other games, Nic Anner captured Stalin and Moscow using the PGG card against Dockter and scored a midgame auto-victory. Nicholas Pei (Axis) dispatched of Tom Gregorio's strong Soviet defense. With three remaining undefeated players, Raynald Foret, demonstrating the strong sportsman he is, withdrew from the tourney, so that we would have only one more game and one more round. That left only two surviving undefeated players, who both had only commanded the Axis dark side.

N.Anner and N.Pei faced-off in a marathon championship BTB game, with Herr Pei commanding the forces of the German war machine. Herr Pei executed a straight German op strategy. Anner SR'd Stalin out Turn 1, 6th phase, and then later to Tbilsi. Herr Pei kept the pressure on, until the snow fell - at which point the Axis rebuilt the Wehrmacht. The Allies decided to play FDR as replacements, and, subsequently, FDR was not played until turn 10. Consequently, no orders were placed with the Soviet tank factories until very late in the game. In Spring 1942, the Germans performed a needed panzer refit and renewed the offensive with a fully rebuilt war machine. Stalingrad and Saratov fell, but the Allies were able to keep pressure going by utilizing the quagmire southern defense. A complicated dance of death ensued, with the Allies eventually suffering a number of permanently eliminated fronts (no corps in reserve). On turn 12, it became apparent that only German would be spoken in Europe from that point forward, October fest would come early and Herr Pei would be calling the shots.

The tournament was an enjoyable, competitive affair with Assistant GMs Paul Neid and Nic Anner providing strong assistance.

Next year? Same time and location. Based upon input from the players, we're planning on trying chess clocks - starting in the secod round - so bring them if you have them. Clocks are now used in many of the other longer, competitive wargame tourneys. Although no-one likes change, I've talked to GMs and players of those other tourneys (ex: VIP). Almost to a person, they all had initial reservations, but now cannot imagine playing without clocks. They cite these advantages: (1) Fairness: no more complaints about the slow play of one player in a game (2) Speed: no more waiting for slow-pokes to finish (3) Time: more time to play other games at WBC.

 GM      David Dockter [1st Year]   NA
   dd@hafconsulting.com   NA

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