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For The People (FTP) PBeM Reports Updated November 1, 2018
 
 

2018 PBeM Tournament

The 2017-2018 For the People PBEM tournament is over. A new champion is crowned, with Nick Pei climbing to the top for the first time. A total of 42 participants entered, each playing two games at a time for a total of four games. After that, the top eight players engaged in single elimination. When the dust settled, only 2 elites remained standing. The championship featured a Top 5 Player in Nick Pei against Robert Champer, a newcomer who has only been playing for a few years and now climbed all the way to the top.

Unfortunately for Robert, Nick drew good cards early on, exerting extreme pressure on the South, using a strong Anaconda strategy combined with Campaigns in the Border States. With the East Gulf closed, Texas and Florida invaded, Columbus burned, it was desperation time for the Confederacy. Later on, CSA had a good sequence of cards and attempted to take the fight to DC. A timely interception by the Army of the Potomac and winning the large battle put rest to that plan. As a result, the South resigned in 1862, thus reestablishing the Union.

2017 PBeM Tournament

The 2016-2017 For the People tournament garnered 52 entrants who played a total of 181 games. Participants played two games at a time for a total of four games. After that the top eight players engaged in single elimination. The top eight players were: Warren Day, Rodererick Lee, James Pei, Nick Pei, David Sherwood, Tim Tow, Michael Ussery, and George Young. The final four included: Warren Day, Nick Pei, James Pei, and Tim Tow. In the end it was Warren Day as the Union vs. James Pei as the Confederacy. James skillful offensive by the Army of Northern Virginia, helped by a major campaign card, broke through the Union line and captured Washington DC at the end of turn two. The Army of the Potomac was in disarray and an early decisive victory by the CSA was achieved.

2016 PBeM Tournament

The BPA’s Fifth PBeM For the People Tournament ended with a familiar champion as James Pei successfully defended his PBeM title to coincide with his current 7-year winning streak at WBC. The field of 64 players generated a staggering 160 games played and was reinforced by a high school contingent from Arizona that played for the first time with one of their number, Jesus Zamora, making it into the single elimination rounds with an undefeated record. Competition was fierce and nearly every qualifier for the Phase 2 single elimination rounds had at least one loss. After three eliminations rounds, Phil Buckler, a first-time finalist, squared off against James Pei for the second time in the tournament. Phil’s CSA had been defeated by James’ Union forces in Swiss Round 5. In the rematch, the sides would be reversed.

The Union was blessed with good cards early in the Final, trapping Rebel forces in VA. With good dice luck, AOP was able to take Richmond by Fall 1861, and almost converted VA. CSA consoled itself by converting KY and MO. Fortune changed in 1862 as the Union drew two very bad hands. The CSA reformed under Lee and managed to beat back all Union incursions in VA. With a Major Campaign, CSA forces were able to cut off NE rail reinforcement and achieved several raids by the end of 1862. The CSA continued its pressure in the East, trading attrition with Union forces under Grant. However, in so doing, one CSA army was destroyed and another trapped in Philly. But the damage was done as Union reinforcement was less than CSA in all three turns of 1863. On T9, a re-constituted ANV under Lee won a large battle and broke thru to Frederick. The Union scraped together every available SP under Grant to outflank Lee. But Longstreet in the newly created AOT was able to outmaneuver Grant and cut Union AOC’s supply. With no more reserves, DC was easily taken and CSA raided further, thus doubling the Union SW.

Also scoring laurels were Mustafa Tolga Corapci, Nicholas Pei, Ed Beach and Alberto Molina who finished third through sixth.

2015 PBeM Tournament

A field of 81 players could not derail the Master's express in the latest For The People PBeM tournament. After 116 games, only Bill Pettus stood between the BPA laurels leader and reigning Caesar and another shield for his collection. Others winning laurels in the truly international field were Domenico Licheri, Dominique Marchal, Tolga Corapci and Tim Tow.

2014 PBeM Tournament

Tournament newcomer Sean Dolbee has unseated James Pei as the reigning FTP Champion. James, holder of 722 BPA Laurels in FTP alone, has defined the word dominance in Card Driven Games since FTP's original publication over a decade ago. While he has been defeated in tournament play twice before, this marks his first loss during a championship PBeM Final and caps an extraordinary run for any wargamer.

Nor can it be said that Sean managed to "get lucky". Certainly, luck was involved, it is a wargame afterall; but Sean bested a number of top quality players for the right to meet James in the Final including Gary Kirk (other than Pei and Dockter the only undefeated player in the Swiss rounds), Jon Gautier (2 laurels), Tom Drueding (18 laurels) and perennial FTP second seed David Dockter (186 laurels). Sean did lose his opening round to CDG grognard George Young (12 laurels), but obviously did not lose heart and resign from the tournament; instead he went on to qualify for the drawing into the finals bracket.

Additionally, the Pei/Dolbee contest was one of the most watched and commented on in CDG history. Fortunately before the on-line commentary got too far out of hand, our next GM, Tim Tow, moved it to its own, closed, website on ComsimWorld. The viewing audience was treated to a game much like any super NFL-like football bowl game whose name cannot be uttered without risking lawsuits. By that I mean that the play of the apparent David vs. Goliath contest did not seem to match the excitement level the fans desired. Both players played aggressively, but were always aware of and managed their downside risk. In the opening turns, early distractions by Pei in the West seemed to match Dolbee's desire to establish more depth to his defense there as well as to threaten invasion of the Union midwest. Soon enough however, the CSA moved into the Eastern theater in force. There Dolbee both waited for opportunity and took a bold chance when it presented itself and ended the game with a three-state raid. At the fundamental level, Dolbee played a very Pei-like game and it paid off. Hardly flawless by either player, but still very well played and a worthy contest.

In the meantime we have three matches left to complete in the current tournament. Jeff Donald and Gary Kirk are still battling it out for the 3rd and 4th place laurels. In the Trans-Mississippi (consolation) bracket, Alberto Molina and Michael Mitchell have suddenly found themselves in a close contest. This is a game that players who believe that it is over by the end of 1862 should really take a close look at. An "early resigner" would have already folded, but this one is now too close to call. The winner of that game will play Nick "Padawan" Pei for bragging rights in the consolation bracket.

The official order of finish for the 2011-2013 BPA FTP PBEM Tournament is:

  • 1st: Sean Dolbee (60 Laurels earned)
  • 2nd: James Pei (36 Laurels earned)
  • 3rd: Jeff Donald (24 Laurels earned)
  • 4th: Gary Kirk (18 Laurels earned)
  • 5th: David Dockter (12 Laurels earned)
  • 6th: Jean Louis Dirion (6 Laurels earned)
  • 7th: Tom Thornsen
  • 8th: Doug Pratto

Additionally we had a Consultation Bracket made up of players who qualified but were not drawn for a spot in the Championship Bracket. The order of finish for this bracket is:

  • 1st: Michael Mitchell
  • 2nd: Nick Pei
  • 3rd: Alberto Molina
  • 4th: Tim Tow
  • 5th: Mike Pacheco
  • 6th: Grant LaDue
  • 7th: Mike Kunin
  • 8th: Steve Likevich

BPA Sponsor and For The People publisher, GMT GAMES, provided additional prizes. Sean Dolbee will receive two in print games. James Pei, Michael Mitchell and Nick Pei will all receive one in print game of their choice. The Gamemaster provided additional prizes to those finishing third and fourth in each bracket. Jeff Donald and Tim Tow will receive books on Civil War topics and our international winners, Alberto Molina and Gary Kirk, will have their BPA Associate membership dues covered. (Shipping costs to Spain and Australia respectively are prohibitive, and this makes it easier for these players to retain their membership as transferring funds to the USA for dues is not easy either.)

53 BPA members played 96 games in this tournament. Hopefully all had fun. I'd like to once again recognize our Assistant Gamemasters, Tom Thornsen and Michael Mitchell, for their support. Without their help this tournament would not have run as smoothly and successfully as it did. They are good friends and real pros!

2004 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
  • 1999 PBeM Tournament

    The inaugural BPA For The People PBeM tournament ended with James Pei becoming the first champion.