The Opening Guns ...
Dave Dockter displays his hand of
five Russian reinforcement cards - a rare happening of some note
I'm told - whilst his opponent displays a lone Mata Hari card.
After a gazillion dice rolls, the
only one that matters is the dice off of all 2-1 players for
the right to continue in the elimination rounds. Nine such hopeful
souls try their luck.
2008 POG moved its start date from Sunday Afternoon to Monday
morning and increased the number of players. A good group, we
had no rules disputes or, at least to my knowledge, any unhappiness
over rules or results. Sadly no one came up to the GM to make
a sportsmanship nomination - we are all too focused on the games
I guess. Six people advanced to the elimination rounds on points
and ten people took part in the ANNUAL DICE ROLLOFF for the final
two positions. It should be noted here that unlike many tournaments
POG, primarily because it is such a long game and therefore has
only three preliminary rounds, has a system wherein the players
who have two wins and one loss all get to roll dice to determine
the final qualifiers. It has eliminated the occasional unhappiness
over issues of strength of schedule and other similar tie breaker
systems which would be unfair with so few preliminary rounds.
Basically everyone who is 2-1 must brace the dice gauntlet for
the remaining quarter final slots. This keeps most players in
the running for the three preliminary rounds and eliminates the
problem at the preliminary stage of getting eliminated because
someone had the misfortune to draw the top ranked player (who
in any case this year himself went 2-1). It was a very festive
occasion this year with a lot of cheering and booing depending
on how the dice fell. One participant, last year's winner, broke
one of his dice in the roll off.
Competition in POG has gotten tougher. Three of the four semi-finalists
were previous WBC champs. The fourth was new to WBC but apparently
has won repeatedly in other forums and traveled all the way from
Finland to participate. Both semi-final rounds came down to Turn
20 with both games within one VP of each other. David Dockter's
AP defeated Pete Reese's CP. Riku Riekkinen's AP defeated Rob
Hassard's CP. Riku's bid was 3 for AP (I heard he said he would
never bid 3 for the AP again), no guns played, Rob held both
Metz and Strasbourg. Both sides knew that one point would decide
the game. Rob was looking to play High Seas Fleet, but Riku held
the card since Turn 8, Riku held on to win with a VP count of
The Final was set. David Dockter bid 3 for the AP (AP wins
ties). Riku opened with Guns of August, and fell back to defend
the Rhein over the next two turns, and was able to trench. The
Serbs were taken out by Turn 2, Italy came in by Turn 4, was
stabilized by both sides, and remained quiet. David loaded up
in the Near East, and launched an attack with the British and
Russians that captured Baghdad, while using Pleve combat card
to assist. A Russian Caucasus army pushed forward, after two
attacks, where the defender rolled a 1 to miss the army both
times. Riku meanwhile started attacking the Russians on the main
map, causing the Russians to melt away. The AP was quiet in the
west, as all effort was in the Near East. The CP took Riga with
the von Hutier combat card. The Tsar took command, and shortly
afterward the Tsar fell, the revolution was not far off. Riku
quickly brought in both Turkish armies, and threatened the Caucasus
armies supplies. The Caucasus army fell back, and the CP retook
Baghdad, and captured Ahwaz and Basra. Allenby came in, but was
blocked by strong CP forces in Gaza and Beersheba, including
a Turkish army in Beersheba. The end game saw the AP attack in
the west, but was too late, the Russians were already too weakened,
all but Russian Odessa VP space on the main map were CP controlled.
The treaty of Brest Litovsk would soon be played, so David ,
seeing the handwriting on the wall, threw in the towel and conceded
the game to Riku.
A great victory, but just the start of his WBC adventures.
He was not yet done bringing down the Nest of Spies. He had his
sights set on ending WBC's longest winning streak .... Check
out the For the People page for more of Riku's exploits.
GM and two-time champ Pete Reese (right)
schools a challenger on his way to a third place finish.
Finalists Dockter and Riekkinen playing
for all the marbles. The Finn would top the two-time champ and
deal Nest of Spies a fatal blow.
2009 WAM Paths of Glory Tournament
We had only 12 entrants
to the tourney this year. Most conspicuous of the absentees
were Herr DR and Pete "Rain Man" Reese. We had
the usual format of no draws and the AP winning ties, so players
were cautioned to bid accordingly. Again, as usual, the
mean bid was just over 2 to play the AP with one player bidding
4 to keep them from Tom Drueding! As it turned out to no avail
as Tom worked his way through the ladder to meet up with, who
else, Chris Byrd in the Final. Players were allowed to
select either Barbarossa to Berlin (BTB) or Pursuit
of Glory (PUG) as alternate games to POG with the default
being POG. We had one BTB and one PUG game played. The
POG games were very equally split between AP/CP wins. The
most notable POG win was Doug Austin as the AP player putting
the entire CP force out of supply in an early round!!! This
caused attrition for every CP unit on the board, a first for
WAM play. The Semi-finals saw Byrd and Charlie Hickok playing
and Drueding and Ken Gutermuth paired against one another. Ken's
stated goal was to last the entire game!!
As mentioned above we had a repeat of last year's Final with
Tom and Chris. Tom won the AP with a bid of 3. These
two pachyderms went at it Saturday evening. By Turn 5 it
was looking bleak for Chris. By Turn 10 he realized that
his CP forces were in an untenable position and, being the
sportsman that he is, conceded. This allowed them to test
drive PUG. I did not get any feedback on their experience. Even
given the reduced number of players we all still had a good time
and some BBQ!! Looking forward to next year.
|2009 WAM Laurelists
Chris Byrd, CT
Ken Gutermuth, NC
Charles Hickok, PA
Tim Hall, UT
Bill Pettus, NJ
of Glory PBeM Results
The "sharks were well represented among the 89-player turnout
with most of the top rated players cruising through the initial
rounds of what would be a 196-game, three-year marathon.
An interesting addition from past tourney's was a 6-member "Italian"
contingent who all did quite well with three of the six making
it to the 4th round (at which point the field had been reduced
to nine players). A new innovation this time permitted
all players to continue to the second round in either the lower
or upper division. Thus, regardless of how poor one's record
was in the first round, these players could continue without
any detriment in the lower division (although some chose not
to). Cinsequently, we still had 74 playing in Round 2.
Three of the lower division advanced to Round 3 together with
18 from the higher echelon.
Bidding - the game was standard POG with the extra AH corp at
Lutsk and Stanislaw. Probably because so many games have
been played, the bidding has become pretty predictable with the
average bid at 2 for the AP. The CP has pretty much gone to the
defend the Rhine, kill the Russians strategy. I will be starting
a new tournament with slightly different rules hopefully to change
this a bit.
In the Final Stefan Mecay got the CP and in both cases fell back
to the Rhine and crushed the Russians. In the other medal
game between Reese and Byrd the same thing was attempted but
the CP fell 1 short of victory for a draw. Following Stefan
in the Laurels totals were: Chris Byrd, Peter reese, Rob Hassard,
Mauro Gasbarrini, and marvin Birnbaum.
All in all, a lot of games over a long period of time.
The next tournament will have a shorter period for the games
(3-3 1/2 months) as it has been almost three years for this tournament
to reach completion.
Rules - sames as before with the following additions
- Use optional corps at Lutsk at Stanislaw as always;
- Use optional trench rolls and the 8 card hand;
- Use the optional historical setup/rules (on GMTs web site);
- Move VP spaces from Turkey (2 - Jerusalem and Kharput) to
Koblenz and Aachen and move VP spaces from Ahwaz and Venice to
BL and Sedan.
- CP will get one RP per turn if during TW (starting the
turn it draws its TW cards) so long as it has at least three
French Belgian spaces including (the three spaces must include
Sedan) during the turn interphase.
To enter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org before August 2009.