wilderness war  

Updated 2/18/2009

2008 WBC Report     

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

James Pei, VA

2008 Champion

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Event History
2002    Rob Winslow     50
2003    Paul Gaberson     30
2004    James Pei     35
2005    Ron Fedin     40
2006    Keith Wixson     30
2007     Paul Gaberson     35
2008     James Pei     27 

WAM Event History
2003    Tom Drueding     20
2004    Bruce Monnin     18
2005    Tom Drueding     20
2006    Keith Wixson     13
2007    Pete Reese     17
2009     Sean McCulloch     14

PBeM Event History
2003    James Pei     64
2006     John Buse     50
2008    James Pei     62

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  James Pei          VA    08    244
  2.  Keith Wixson       NJ    07    150
  3.  Ron Fedin          PA    08    141
  4.  Paul Gaberson      PA    09    130
  5.  Peter Reese        VA    08    111
  6.  Tom Drueding       MA    09     98
  7.  George Young       VT    08     91
  8.  John Buse          IL    06     75
  9.  Rob Winslow        NY    05     70
 10.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    05     48
 11.  Bill Edwards       VA    08     42
 12.  Bruce Monnin       OH    09     38
 13.  Stefan Mecay       TX    06     30
 14.  Bill Peeck         NY    06     29
 15.  Gary Phillips      MD    06     28
 16.  Adam Deverell Australia  08     24
 17.  Don Chappell       TX    08     21
 18.  Randall MacInnis   NJ    07     20
 19.  Jonathan Miller    DC    06     20
 20.  Jim Gutt           TX    04     20
 21.  Phil Burgin-Young  VT    08     19
 22.  Bryan Thompson     VA    04     18
 23.  Roger Taylor       VA    02     18
 24.  Bari Herman        NJ    04     15
 25.  Ken Gutermuth      TX    07     15
 26.  John Haas          PA    02     12
 27.  Doug Mercer        MD    09     11
 28.  Sean McCulloch     OH    09     10
 29.  John Vasilakos     VA    02      9
 30.  Andrew Maly        MD    07      6
 31.  Michael Ussery     MD    03      6
 32.  Dennis Culhane     PA    03      6
 33.  Doug Smith         PA    03      6
 34.  Michael Sosa       FL    09      3

2008 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

George Young, VT

Paul Gaberson, PA

Don Chappell, TX

Bill Edwards, VA

Philip Burgin-Young, VT

Past Winners

Rob Winslow, NY

Paul Gaberson, PA
2003, 2007

James Pei, VA
2004, 2008

Ron Fedin, PA

Keith Wixson, NJ

John Vasilakos shares his hand as Gary Phillips wonders what terrible fate awaits him.

GM Keith Wixson with some of his wonderful hand-painted donated prizes.

First to Two Titles

2004 Champion James "The Master" Pei, the top seed, became the second two-time winner in the event's history. Pei went undefeated in beating Randy Pippus, Chris Senhouse, Michael Ussery and Bill Edwards in the preliminary rounds, Don Chappell in the semi-finals and George Young in the championship game. Young was also undefeated entering the Final, having defeated Frank Mestre, Jason White, Philip Burgin-Young (his son) and defending champ Paul Gaberson twice. Gaberson was the other semi-finalist.

Here are some highlights of the tournament (or lowlights as the case may be): 

· Attendance was down considerably from last year's 35 to 27, necessitating the cancellation of the experimental quarter-finals as there were not enough players to justify the extra round. I guess that means that the experiment was a flop! It has been suggested that the decrease in attendance may have been caused by my decision to try out the extra round, arguing that some might have been scared off by the possibility of having to commit more time to the event. I really have no idea if that was the case, but rest assured, there will be no quarter-final round next year (assuming the event survives and I am the GM, of course).
· There were five new players this year (compared to six last year), so the attendance decline can mostly be traced to several regular participants from prior years who decided to skip the event. There were four newcomers in 2006 and ten in 2005.
· Half of last year's laurelists made it into the top six again this year, and three of this year's four semi-finalists were repeats. That was something of a break with the tournament's tradition of a complete or near complete turnover of the laurelists from year to year.
· The Top New Player Award went to Senhouse who defeated the GM and Grant LaDue, the second and sixth seeds respectively.
· The Pei-Young championship game was a rematch of the recent PBeM Tournament championship game which had only concluded with a Pei victory a week before WBC.
· The French won 67% of the games played (as compared to 61% in 2007, 52% in 2006, 56% in 2005, 71% in 2004 and 62% in 2003). The reality of French dominance is finally starting to be embraced by the players as the average bid to play the French shot up to 1.35 VPs from 1.02 VPs last year. The average bid was .93 VPs in 2006 and 1.11 VPs in 2005.
· There were four games with no bidding, 16 games with a bid of 1 VP to play the French and 17 games with a bid of 2 VPs. The French record in the 1 VP bid games was 13-3 and in the 2 VP bid games was 8-9. The four games without bids were all French wins.
· Prizes: In addition to the plaques, the Champ received a Plains Indian Medicine Lance and the runner-up received a Gunstock Warclub. A Ceremonial Medicine Arrow, books and some period 54mm toy soldiers were also awarded to the worthy.

 The Champ's AAR of the Championship Game with George Young follows. Both players bid 1 VP for the French but Pei won the roll off.

Early 1757

I had a decent card draw, including a Western Indians, the Iroquois Alliance, and the Victories in Germany cards.  With Victories in hand, I did not mind having combat immediately.  I started off by moving Montcalm to HCN. Webb failed the interception. George immediately moved the British army from New York to reinforce Webb at HCS. I then reinforced Monty with Levis' troops. George then played a BR reinforcement card. Luckily for me, Wolfe did not appear. Naturally, HCN fell on the next card play and VPs were now at FR5. 

Both of us settled down to realign and reinforce our positions. I decided to recruit the Iroquois, but George saw it coming and countered by moving a force to OCE and constructing a stockade. Stymied by his good play, I turned to recruit a couple of Western Indians with the plan to go raiding later. The British started forts at OCE and Canajoharie. I ended with holding the Victories card while George started moving a strong force towards Ohio Forks. 

Late 1757

I got an okay hand, but more importantly, the British did not have one. I started off by raiding with my available Indians.  The raids were failures, but there was not much else to do. George again countered by positioning Provincials at key locations to check my raiding options. He knew where I was heading and the likely raiding targets.  While I was busy moving auxiliaries, George continued his march on Ohio Forks. I countered by moving Villiers with two Regular battalions to Niagara with the intention of reinforcing and defending Ohio Forks.

My multiple attempts at raiding bore fruit as I finally got a hit late in the season, even as George played several event cards to move the Assemblies to Enthusiastic and raised Provincials and Southern Militias.  

The first year ended with all forces safely at winter quarters. The British had established forts along the OCE corridor and at Raystown. VPs were at FR6. 

Early 1758

I drew a great hand, with good defensive cards -- Courier Intercepted, Small Pox, Northern Indians, Fieldworks, and Ambush. With things all quiet along the Champlain valley, I moved Montcalm's army to Cataraqui to be in a position to either attack any British force at OCW or HCN. Also, from there Monty could detach a strong force to reinforce Ohio Forks. George played another BR reinforcement card, but again no Wolfe. I played Courier, but failed the roll. 

The focus then shifted to the West as George moved more units to Baltimore along with the British reinforcements. With the Ambush card as my ace in the hole, I recruited more Indians and positioned them for combat and raiding. However, George played another militia in the Southern Dept which effectively limited my raiding in the west.  

I then played Small Pox on the British army in the west under Murray. Undeterred, George started building a fort in Laurel Ridge North. I then used the Indian suicide tactics of attacking Murray's army, hoping to inflict hits on the Regulars as well as getting that lucky leader loss roll. The results were mixed as I got two hits and killed the subordinate leader, Webb. This caused a temporary halt on the British advance as George did some reorganization.  

The season was otherwise limited to raids into the Northern Dept., but for no effect. I saved the Ambush card for another turn. 

Late 1758

I drew a lousy hand with mostly 1-Op and 2-OP cards but I got one 3-Op, FR Reinforcements.  I figured I was due for a bad one since George hadn't drawn good cards thus far. He was not drawing the reinforcements and leaders that he needed to win, so I felt that time and luck were definitely going against him.

I was right as I played the FR Reinforcement first, waiting to see where the action would be this turn. George immediately upped the tempo by moving to HCN and OCW with a Campaign. With my forces nearly damage free and with a good VP cushion, I decided to send Montcalm's army to attack OCW. Monty won a close battle and VPs increased to FR7.

With George starting to build a fort in HCN, Monty shifted to meet that threat, leaving behind a few speed bumps. Monty eventually attacked HCN, winning another critical battle. More importantly, this ended the British threat to the Champlain Valley. 

Things quieted down with winter approaching. My few attempts at raiding failed, so I decided to conserve my remaining auxiliaries for the final year.    

Early 1759 

I got a below average hand, with only two 3-Op cards, but one was Ministerial Crisis. I immediately played it, hoping to fish out a nice card. George cursed (but in a nice way!) and discarded Troop Transports. He then played the big Highlander card, but once again Wolfe failed to appear. This would have a profound impact as the turn would reveal that George had a great hand.

Seeing as how I would need all the forces I could muster for the coming battles, I evacuated the Louisburg garrison, leaving behind the lone CdB. Amherst and Forbes moved up to Albany with the Highlanders. I recruited a few more Indians. With a massive army ready at Albany, the British lunged towards OCW once again. I shifted Monty's damaged army, managing barely 28 factors, to counter this threat. Then the hammer fell as the Vaudreuil Interferes card reared its ugly head. Monty was forced to switch places with Dumas at Ohio Forks, and Levis took over command of the main army. Not wanting to face the British army at Oswego, I moved Levis to La Belle Famille. That way, I could move Monty from Ohio Forks and reunite with Levis in one card play. 

George then played a Campaign to move Amherst with a sizeable army to siege Niagara, leaving behind multiple units along Lake Ontario to protect his supply line, but was foiled by a schooner operating out of Niagara. I didn't realize it at the time, but the Lake Schooner card sealed the fate of the British strategy to seize Niagara and ultimately decided the game. The second part of the campaign was to move another smaller army under Forbes north to block Carataqui and to attack Montreal from the back door. But one of my speed bumps at Oswegatchie, a lone Indian, inflicted enough damage to stop the British advance. 

 Monty hurried to join Levis, forcing George to build a couple of stockades along Lake Ontario in anticipation of another move on Niagara. But Monty stole a march and went around the northern shore of Lake Ontario to seek battle with Forbes at Oswegatchie. Forbes failed to evade, and his force was destroyed in the ensuing battle. This forced George to pull back Amherst to Oswego to secure the British supply line. Leaving behind some more speed bumps, Monty swung back around the lake to destroy the garrison at Tegynagerunde, the space east of Niagara. With his last card, the Surrender card, George started construction of forts at Irondequoit and Oswego. I finished the turn with a shuffling of scattered units.  

Late 1759

With the last deal, I got a nice hand with Victories in Germany, Ambush, Small Pox, and Foul Weather. My first move was to restore some of my battered units with the Victories card. The British finished their forts. Small Pox was then played on Amherst's army, flipping some units. Undeterred, Amherst dropped a small force at Naioure Bay, and then attacked Monty. But with the help of the Ambush card, Amherst's army was beaten back. It was at this point that George conceded, showing me the rest of his cards. They were average, nothing spectacular. He pointed out that the Lake Schooner card from last turn was the turning point as he was in a position to bottle my forces at Niagara. Then he could have used the Surrender card to take Niagara, thus forcing Monty to fight his way out from Ohio Forks. 

It was a little bit anti-climatic, but I was glad and relieved that I had won my second championship! Of course, it is always an honor to defeat such a worthy opponent as George, whom I consider to be one of the top aces among the CDG players.

Nobody outdoes Keith when it comes to providing neat period prizes like these handpainted miniatures for his players

Don't you just hate it when a photographer disrupts your concentration?

Wilderness War 2007-2008 PBeM Tournament Results

Final Standings:
1. James Pei
2. George Young
3. Adam Deverell
4. Ron Fedin
5. William Edwards
6. Peter Reese
Total Players: 62
Total Games Played: 118
2008 WBC Champ James "The Master" Pei bested a field of 62 players to win the 2007 Wilderness War PBeM Tournament, a six round Swiss-Elimination format competition which began in early 2007 and took approximately 18 months to complete. Pei defeated George Young in the Final to win his second PBEM crown. Pei defeated Henry Russell, Jim Winslow, Kevin Worth, Grant LaDue and Ron Fedin in his march to the championship game. Pei, Young and Fedin went undefeated in the four Swiss rounds, while Adam Deverell advanced to the semi-finals with one Swiss loss by earning the necessary tiebreakers in wins over Jim Lawler, Tom Thornsen and 2007 WBC Champ Paul Gaberson. Deverell's loss was to Fedin in Round 4. Young defeated Alan Poulter, Patrick Duffy, Bill Edwards, Rob Winslow and Deverell.
For his efforts, Pei was awarded a Buffalo Jaw War Club in addition to the plaque. Deverell defeated Fedin in the Consolation Match for 3rd place.
The 118 games played broke down as follows: 60 French wins and 58 British wins. In the French wins the higher rated player won 22 times, while in the British wins the higher rated player won 43 times. Bidding broke down as follows: one game with a bid of FR3 (French loss), ten games with a bid of FR2 (French record was 4-6), 95 games with a bid of FR1 (French record was 50-45), nine games with no bid (French record was 5-4) and three games with a bid of BR1 (French record was 2-1). In the Final Pei played the French with a bid of FR1 after Young, who had the initial bid, passed.
The tournament website is http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4bc94/index.html.

2009 WAM Wilderness War Tournament

The WNW tournament was a disappointment as 14 players (not bad) played only 12 games (sad). I called it after three rounds in favor of Ohio's Cabbie Sean McCulloch, who was the only unbeaten player. Despite the paucity of games played, his title has some merit atached to it because he defeated two former WBC champs, Paul Gaberson and Keith Wixson.

It was obvious during the general meeting on Saturday that this game was a poor choice for the last tournament. The interest was just not there and our methodology for choosing this was flawed. So this was the final year for WNW at WAM. It had a good run and it should live on at WBC for another year or two at least. Next year's WAM will have a new fourth tournament.

On the bright side I was able to test a new rule for WBC that I hope will address the play balance issue. Instead of having the players bid VPs to play the French, sides were determined randomly and the British player, starting with the Late Season 1757 turn, was given the option to retrieve one British Regulars or Highlanders card from the discard pile (at the beginning of EVERY turn—after the cards had been dealt and examined but before the first Action Phase) and place it in his hand after RANDOMLY discarding one card from his hand. Despite the usual lopsided win totals for the French, which I ascribe for the most part to several brand new players and rustiness by a few vets, I was pleased with how the test went and expect to adopt the new rule for WBC this year.

2009 WAM Laurelists

Paul Gaberson, PA

Tom Drueding, MA

Michael Sosa, FL

Doug Mercer, MD

Bruce Monnin, OH

 GM      Keith Wixson  [5th Year]   425 W. Price St, Apt B4, Linden, NJ 07036 
    Keith.wixson@verizon.net   908-862-4486

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