Ho-Hum, Pei Again ...
Chris Byrd (left) and George
Young, a pair of accomplished CDW champs in their own right,
lead the challengers to the slaughter in the first round of
In a rite of passage as regular
as the swallows returning to Capistrano, Dave Dockter (left)
can be found losing to James Pei in the FTP Final every August.
The eighth rendition
of the tournament, was one of the toughest fields ever despite
being scheduled opposite the big draw in the CDW field this year:
Twilight Struggle. Of the 27 participants all but four
had competed in three or more years in this war for the Union.
As has been the case in the past the box score results continue
to show no bias for side (e.g., Union or Confederate), unless
James Pei is playing, in which case what ever side he plays is
strongly biased to win. Reminiscent of the famous K versus K
chess championships (Karpov versus Kasparov), James won his 7th
FTP championship in another D versus P (Dockter versus Pei) Final
One of the exciting things about WBC is it causes more year
round competition, which means that popular competitive games
get played and by definition CDG games seem to foster competitive
play. Games like For The People have now been around and
continuously played, so like chess, strategic theory and tactics
have reached a very high level over the last eight years. Here
is a brief summary of some of the tournament's highlights:
1. Dockter in the Final asked the GM to roll the die to determine
the sides between himself and Pei hoping that the GM would give
him better luck in getting the CSA. The GM rolled a '4', which
was Union. There was a huge roar in unison by the small crowd
gathering around the table. The look on David's face was priceless,
as James is deadly with the South.
2. Foreign Intervention was achieved twice. One was by Bob
Sohn in his Round 1 match against Carl Copeland. The other was
by Pei in the Final. This event card is such a rare occurrence
that many people have never actually seen it played.
3. Greg Schmittgens used the Monitor card as an event to remove
the Virginia ironclad in Aquia Creek in his Round 2 match against
Pei. Pei had DC bottled up in the Potomac, preventing the Union
from doing any naval adventures. Greg's card play came just in
time too as Rebel forces were threatening to cut DC supply.
4. Mark Giddings, in his Round 3 match against David Dockter,
survived several gut-wrenching moments when DC was open with
two CSA armies maneuvering nearby. At one point, four armies
were operating at close quarters in Pennsylvania with DC empty
of any garrison. Giddings saved that situation, but eventually
fell to Dockter's daring and risky tactics.
5. Tom Thorensen, in the Round 3 match against Nick Pei (younger
brother of James), survived another critical moment when Nick's
Rebels almost doubled the Union SW late in 1862. Through judicious
and deliberate play, Tom mounted a comeback 1863, but the Union
eventually fell when CSA doubled the SW early '64.
6. Chris Byrd, a card shark on the rise, used a combination
of Draft Riots, Forward to Richmond, and a Major Campaign to
resuscitate the lost Rebel cause by capturing DC from James Pei's
Union forces. Chris has won championships in We The People
and Hannibal, and now is eyeing For The People
. His CSA forces were reeling on all fronts against the onslaught
of the Union's anaconda strategy. The timely play of those event
combos gave him a glimmer of hope. But in late '62, he resigned
due to the rapid collapse of the Confederacy and the imminent
arrival of Unconditional Surrender Grant.
7. David Dockter survived two consecutive turns of hair-raising
card plays in the Final. His Union forces successfully fought
against Bobby Lee's Army, and rolled back the Rebel incursion
into Ohio. He weathered the play of a Major Campaign and Choctaw
Indians cards by James that saw the destruction of the Army of
the Cumberland under Little Mac. Moreover, DC was saved and never
lost due to the excellent defensive tactics that David employed.
However, David made several crucial errors in his placement of
leaders and forces that gave James enough time to gain the upper
hand and eventually the championship.
See you all next year for the ninth running of the For
The People tournament.
2002 PBeM Tournament
Stefan Mecay of Texas proved the best of a field of 46 in
winning the second BPA PBeM tournament of For The People.
Other laurelists were:
2nd: Baron August, PA
3rd: James Pei, VA
4th: Mark Giddings, NY
5th: Tim Hughes, UK
6th: Paul Risner, FL