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Paths of Glory (POG) PBeM Reports Updated September 21, 2023

2022 PBeM Tournament

The journey is over! After ten rounds, Johannes Nordstrom (9-1) emerged victorious over the previously undefeated Jukka Hintikka (9-1) We had 133 contestants vying for global supremacy from February 2019 to March 2022. Yes, a three-year event can be very grueling and, like the real-world event, stamina and endurance were critical to getting through to the final rounds. No rest for the weary, of course; while many have 'fallen' and declined to join in on Round 1 of PBEM IX, many more are back in the trench lines!

The BGG summary of the match can be found here, thank you, Jukka!

The text summary of the match is as follows, thank you, Johannes!

  • Jukka took the AP with a 0 VP bid and claimed the early initiative as the French managed to recapture Sedan at the end of August. By the end of September the Germans reclaimed Sedan with but a single corps. Italy entered the war at the earliest opportunity, but their compulsive suicidal attacks throughout 1915 hindered rather than helped the AP cause. The Austrians were not able to take full advantage of the Italian overenthusiasm before other AP troops bolstered the Italian defenses, bu0t the distraction helped to stabilize the western front. 100% digging efficiency contributed to the Germans getting away with deploying a single reinforcing army in the west before 1916, two being instead sent east to repel Russian hordes.
  • After initial successes, the French mutinied for most of 1916, giving the CP the chance to make rapid progress in the east. Congested Russian supply lines and lavish expenditure of CP ops trapped RU3 out of supply. Allenby and Yudenitch, who had both arrived late, suffered step losses in a desperate attempt to cause a distraction while the western front was quiet. However, once the French worked up the courage to go over the top, they and the British managed to deliver a streak of hard-hitting attacks, and the western front did not stabilize until Lloyd George intervened at the end of 1917. The intense western action delayed the Fall of the Tsar. The start of 1918 saw Romania and the US enter the war in quick succession.
  • The MEF landed to further increase pressure in the Balkans, but missed a crucial chance to advance into Gallipoli against a single (admittedly Kemal led) corps. The Russians pushed into the Balkans too in force, but at this point the strain of three permanently eliminated armies began to tell (two more Russian armies having been tactically sacrificed OOS), and the Russians had to withdraw before Romania was cut off. While the AP's attention was temporarily consumed by bringing Greece into the war, a single Russian army was left to defend Odessa against two German ones, and in summer 1918 von Francois managed to take the resulting small chance of a glorious victory. The loss of Odessa put another three Russian armies OOS, breaking the AP's will to fight on.
  • Courtesy of Brian, an annotated Vassal log file of this match can be dowloaded here.

    The laurelists, in order, were Johannes Nordstrom, Jukka Hintikka, Richard Beyma, Tom Drueding, Tom Gregorio, ad Ted Torgenson.

    2020 PBeM Tournament

    After more than THREE YEARS, the BPA VII POG PBEM tournament has ended! Emerging from a field of 115 participants, Nick Anner defeated the GM, Tom Gregorio, to take home his second consecutive POG crown. An interesting aspect of the match was that Tom was coming in undefeated having bested nine prior opponents, including Nick in a twenty turn match in Round Five of the same event. The tables were turned in the finals, however, as Nick overcame some early misfortunes and then secured a twenty turn win by knocking out Russia and securing a CP line on the outskirts of Paris. The Allies had captured the Near East, excluding Medina and Constantinople, and had a commanding position in the Balkans, but it was not enough. Final standings for BPA VII are here. Well done, Nick!

    The Top Six Finishers:

    1. Nick Anner
    2. Tom Gregorio
    3. Tom Drueding
    4. Alex Gregorio
    5. Ted Torgerson
    6. Mike Dauer

    2016 PBeM Tournament

    After three long years in the trenches and 185 games in six rounds, the sixth BPA POG Email tournament has concluded with Nick Anner topping five-time WBC champion Stefan Mecay.

    Nick got the bid roll, and went 0 for AP, Mecay took the AP for 1. August saw initial split attacks, the 1st on BEF and 2nd and 3rd on Sedan, pulling out the withdrawl card and seeing two armies advance to Sedan. The turn saw some attacks on Nancy, the Austrians and German 8th taking a beating. Falkenhayen used for ops pushed Molke as an event. The CP took a 4 card for rps though so were able to keep up the pressure in September.

    September saw attacks on Nancy from Metz and Strassburg force a retreat. An allied line formed at c-t, bld, calais, dijon.

    Fall 15 saw Trench played by Limited War allies, the CP in 3rd turn of moblization keep reinforcing German armies and played events to Limited War while pushing to Cambrai, through Bar le Duc, but not taking c-t.

    The Early game saw the French dead pile high but the AP put as many T2s down as possible, including in c-t. Many ops were spent on nevers, with the CP finally getting a trench there. This occurred a bit too late to make a play for either trenchbusters on paris or closing out italy. So when total war came, HL was used for RPs and ops spent on the east front. Even with poor rolls the German armies punched through the Russian lines. Similar poor rolls for the Allies on the west front attacks meant that the Germans remained at full strength for the Tsar Takes Command.

    Mid game saw both sides fully mobilized, with Allenby never getting down to Egypt as his forces went directly to the west front from London. The near east remained mostly stagnant barring MO's. The serbs reduced to one army in Monastir were held by one AH army and some bu cp. MEF and Salonika remained unplayed, with the big cards being used for ops and rps. CP had to play War Status to get to Fall of the Tsar, which occured with Romania neutral.

    The final turns saw several 7 results against the Germans on the west front, the Russians rebuild and push back enough in Prussia to prevent Bolshevik. The Germans just played a lot of RPS and hung in for the Turn 20 ending, and with the lack of US armies and a commanding vp position the Allies didn't make enough gains in time.

    It was Anner’s first tournament win in a decade, but his eighth overall, proving that old soldiers still retyain the right stuff. Other laurelists in descending order were Michael Dauer, Italy’s Mauro Gasbarroni, Germany’s Moritz Eggert and UK’s Paul Hubbard.

    2011 PBeM Tournament

    The fifth BPA POG PBeM tournament has ended with with Stefan Mecay's successful defense of his title as he trimphed for the third time to pair with his three WBC titles. 64 players composed the field with 147 games played over five rounds. Nick Anner was the last man standing between Stefan and his title defense. In the beginning, Nick was aggressive in the west, threatening an early breakthrough of the Rhein defense, but the timely play of entrench in Frankfurt was able to stabilize things. Nick had used Blockade as ops to allow the aggressive pursuit, but was able to redraw it on T2 and finished with a surprise blockade, so both sides got to LW on T3.

    On T3-4, the CP got all needed WS cards and was able to get to TW on the start of T5. Italy was buried and didn't arrive until T6. The MEF appeared next to Gallipoli and was blocked with a few corps and Yudenitch arrived to put max pressure on the Turks. The CP pushed into Belgrade hammering on the Serbs but not quite finishing them off. Stefan was able to set-up for a push into Egypt with an early TK army, but was delayed by summer on T6. The allies got to TW on the start of T7. The CP was able to kill IT 3rd in Maggiore, but the last card play for the allies on T6 was IT 5th.

    T7 saw Nick with a poor hand, but he was able to race IT 5th down to help the Serbs, and he had broken through Muncaks to sneak one RUS army into Belgrade to bolster the Balkans. T7-T9 or so saw great trench rolling with Nick 3 for 3 with the Russians, including a key trench on the first try in Kovno to save an early GER breakthrough in the north, plus a couple of Italian trenches in Sofia and Belgrade. Only GER 11th (who was able to get between Salonika and Constantinople before Sofia fell to a combined IT/Serb push) plus 4-5 BU/GER corps were cut off but holding strong in the east part of Bulgaria with 3-4 BU c's in the NE itself helping to stabilize things there. Several AH armies, a couple of GER armies, and several German corps were sent down to try to break the stalemate. Several big rolls for the CP helped evaporate the Italians plus the rogue RUS army and several BR/FR/IT corps, and slowly push down towards Salonika. 2 RUS armies appeared on the Romanian border and the FR ORT was looming. However, the consistently good dice for the CP helped dissolve the threat and convinced the AP to save Romania and FR ORT for use as RP's.

    T12-14 saw a cleanup of the Balkans and a rebuilding of Italians/setting up of both sides for the impending Russian attack. A few light probes into the Grodno area were held in check by a transfer of a few Russian armies from the south, including the pair that had been patiently waiting on the Romanian border. Then T15-16 saw the big push. Again consistently good dice for the CP let them do lots of damage and eventually burst into Grodno at the end of T16. Romania entered on T15 or 16 and was quickly overrun by remnants from the Balkan push, but burned off precious CP ops. On T17 the Tsar took command and Zimmerman Telegram was launched. Lots of French hammered away in Italy and a general mass attrition was done by the AP in the west, forcing CP responses in SR's/ops when they really wanted to push on Russia. Both sides' dead piles grew a lot. Allenby tried a push in Beersheba on 6a+1 to 6a, but was denied on a 2-6 roll. (He would later redeem himself with a 6-1 combo later on T19, but being flipped was unable to push much in Turkey). Also Yudenitch tried one shot when Kemal was pulled and an attack on 4a-5c was just barely flipped on a 3-3 roll.

    On T18, the Tsar fell and On T19 Bolshevik Revolution and Treat of B-L came off with 6 RUS VP's. CP had also gotten off High Seas Flt., Lloyd George (drawn on the only time in the last 8-9 turns there was a BR MO), and captured Basra for a 12 VP total. AP tried to counter with an Italian push; good die rolls let them get to Salonika but couldn't push much farther, while the CP SR'd GER armies from the east and lots of corps from the NE to stabilize all lines. Germans tried a late push in the west, mostly denied by some great AP rolls, but too late to help and Nick surrendered when it became impossible to get the last two VP's needed for the win.

    Other laurelists were Mauro Faina, David Dockter, Tom Drueding and Nick Frydas in that order.

    2009 PBeM Tournament

    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). C0nsequently, 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.

    2006 PBeM Tournament

    Tom Drueding was the last man standing in a field of 64 competitors in BPA's third POG PBeM tournament. 135 games were logged in all, before Tom defeated the defending champion Stephan Valkyser to claim the championship and top laurels. Past champ Stefan Mecay finished third, followed by Peter Reese, Chris Byrd, and Holger Janssen respectively.

    2005 PBeM Tournament

    Stephan Valkyser defeated 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 finished third, ahead of James Pei 4th, Marvin Birnbaum 5th and Rob Hassard 6th.

    2001 PBeM Tournament

    The inaugural BPA Paths of Glory PBeM tournament ended with Stefan Mecay defeating James Pei becoming the first champion. The remiaing laurelists, in order, were Pete Reese, Rob Hassard, Marvin Birnbaum, and Paul Horvath.