The Opening Guns ...
39 vicarious Great War Generals battled for three Swiss preliminary
rounds and the right to be numbered among the best eight to advance
to the quarter finals and hopefully, the two rounds beyond. .
Nick Anner, suitably attired in period head dress, won the
overall tournament with five wins and a draw. Nick bid two VP
to play the Allies against Tom Drueding's Central Powers. This
was a marathon 12-hour match between two very good players. The
action began in France with enough pressure by Tom to cause Nick
to resort to mixed FR/BR stacks down the line in France. Nick
put up a strong forward defense of Sedan, a key space for any
CP advance. The "Everyone into Battle" card was used
to good advantage by Nick to tidy up the line while saving at
least a dozen ops points in one turn. Action then moved to Italy,
with a long campaign resulting in the CP overrunning the north
of Italy, but a lone French army and the Italians holding onto
Rome and the boot.
Tom was able to play the "Tsar Takes Command" and
the "Fall of the Tsar" cards, albeit one turn after
Nick's play of Romania. The game ended with a very static West
Front, Allies retaking Venice, and little effective action in
the Near East, except for the ANA unit taking Medina on the last
turn of the game. Given the bid of "2" and the fact
that the Allies win draws in the last three rounds, Nick won
with an ending VP tally of 12.
The tournament format allowed draws and even the controversial
Peace Terms rule during the prelim rounds. Of 51 games played,
Peace Terms were offered in three with two of these resulteing
in accepted terms and drawn games. Two of the accepted Peace
Terms games were by four of the top eight advancing players,
suggesting that discretion is the better part of valor in tournament
The betting man would do well to put his money on the Allies.
65% of the non-drawn games ended in Allied victories. If the
first round of above average CP wins is discounted, then 74%
of the games in rounds 2-6 were Allied wins. The average bid
to play the Allies was 1.5 victory points ceded to the CP player,
but this ranged from 0 to 4. It may be that this average bid
should be higher given the preponderance of Allied wins.
Although POG between experienced players can take on an almost
Chess-like or Bridge-like quality, plenty of newer generals still
suffered supply attrition because of openings in their lines.
While many games were played under the gentlemanly "warnings"
conventions, the rest were still "no quarter-given"
matches. ... somehow fitting in an era that saw the end of chivalry.
VALKYSER TRIUMPHANT IN POG: Stephan Valkyser of Germany defeated
Virginian John Brown in the final of BPA's 2nd PBeM Paths
of Glory tournament to claim top honors in the 68-player
field. Defending champion Stefan Mecay of Texas finished third,
ahead of James Pei (TX) 4th, Marvin Birnbaum (NY) 5th and Rob
Hassard (NJ) 6th.