Pei for the three-peat ...
The 2003 For The People tournament was the largest
ever with 32 participants logging in over 350 hours in hard fought
campaign scenarios. The tournament this year used the upgraded
version 2.6 rules available free on the Official For The People
key rule changes were focused on adding more history into the
game reflecting Union advantage in fort construction and reduced
Confederate raiding impact on border states. The overall effect
of these changes is the sides were chosen randomly as bidding
was not necessary.
All of the name FTP players showed up ready and itching for
a fight. The first amongst equals was the current reigning champion
James Pei who has stacked up an impressive record in this event.
Also present was a former champion Trevor Bendor, who celebrated
his 36th birthday while engaged in the most intense game of the
event versus David Dockter in the quarter finals. David has taken
2nd place on numerous occasions. Also included were Ed Beach
(former 2nd place holder), Don Chappell, Mike Welker, and the
designers son, Grant Herman plus many other high end FTP players,
such as the up and comer Bill Thoet (of ACTS fame).
The first round saw all of the seeded players advance to the
2nd round with ten Union and six Confederate victories logged.
This is a significant improvement over last year when the CSA
dominated all of the statistics. The second round saw the strongest
players, through random draw, receiving the Union side with a
consequent outcome of Union Union and one Confederate victory.
The quarter finals saw a Union Mark Giddings (sportsmanship
nominee) go up against the aggressive Confederate Bill Thoet.
The CSA came within one die roll of taking DC on the first turn.
Giddings AoP sacrificed itself for the Union giving the Confederates
an early advantage. The conflict see sawed back and forth until
Giddings scored a huge turn in the summer of 1863 when the Union
converted Kentucky, Florida, and proclaimed the Emancipation
Proclamation. Riding on this momentum, the Union hammered on
the South, who honorably conceded in the spring of 1864 when
Richmond could no longer be defended.
Also in the quarter finals, James Pei with the Confederacy
defeated newcomer Keith Butler who put up a great fight with
the Union. However, successive Confederate concentration cards
in the hand of the master were too much for the Union defenses
leading to an early 1862 Union defeat.
The Bendor (Union) versus Dockter (Confederate) game was a
marathon slugfest with the outcome in doubt until the last game
turn. Early in 1862, using a tactic made famous by James Pei,
Dockter amassed three armies in the East and played a Major Campaign
card that rocked the Union, but did not put Bendar away. A very
effective Union blockade (level 4) coupled with poor blockade
running resulted in the South losing 57 strategic will points
over the course of the game. This coupled with strong Union play
ultimately led to the defeat of the Confederacy, but only after
Lincoln won a very close election in 1864. The game ended on
the last turn when Reynolds and the Army of the Missouri conducted
a "march to the sea" that put old Dixie down.
In a forced march finish, Mark Giddings (Union) fought into
the wee hours of Saturday night to defeat Trevor Bendor (Confederate).
In another hard fought contest the Union prevailed at 4:30 Sunday
morning. In an extraordinary display of stamina and good humor,
the FTP sportmanship nominee immediately launched into the finals
game with the current champion James Pei. James playing the Confederates
took the final and repeated as FTP champion when in the Fall
of 1862 the South doubled the Union up in strategic will. Next
years FTP tournament should be even larger as the top seeded
players train to take on Master Pei for the title.