The 7-round Swiss-Elimination competition began in February 2013 and ran for 16 months, generating 113 games among 61 players. Champion Dave Rubin was not among the favorites to win the tournament when it started to say the least. Indeed, in the 20-year history of We the People/Washington's War tournaments run by the BPA and Avaloncon he had won zero laurels prior to this. Rubin overcame a loss in Round 1 as the Americans to Jean-Louis Dirion to go 6-1. He defeated Tom Thornsen, Greg Gollaher and Andre Heller in the preliminary rounds and advanced to the elimination rounds on tiebreakers. He then defeated Henry Rice in the quarterfinals, Trevor Bender in the semifinals and Dan Leader in the championship, all three of whom were undefeated prior to opposing Rubin. He won three times with each side. In the quarterfinal against Rice he pulled out the win as the Americans in 1781 despite having had Washington captured in 1777. In the semifinal against Bender he won a rare automatic victory as the British in 1777 when he cleared the map of American combat units after capturing Washington.
Leader defeated Mike Kettman, Philip-Burgin Young, Kirk Harris and Bill Peeck in the preliminary rounds, Harris again in the quarterfinals and James Pei in the semifinals to advance to the championship. He also won three times with each side. Pei defeated Bender in a consolation match to earn third place. Rice and Jonathan Moody were the other laurelists based upon tiebreaker points earned in the preliminary rounds. An AAR of the Championship Game follows.
All games were played with the following "Special Rules" meant to balance the inherent American advantage:
- (1) The British Players' at start For the King PC bonus was increased from 2 PCs to 3 PCs.
- (2) The colony restrictions for the For the King PCs were eliminated.
- (3) Whenever the British player played either the Declaration of Independence or the Benjamin Franklin: Minister to France Special Events, after the event took effect as it normally would, the British player drew a replacement card and immediately took another action using any card (not necessarily the replacement card).
- (4) In the very next turn FOLLOWING a turn in which the Continental Congress was dispersed, the British player, not the American player, decided which player went first in that turn.
The 113 games played broke down as follows (eight of those games were declared forfeits due to slow play and are not otherwise included in the statistics compiled below): 53 British wins to 52 American for nearly an even split. In the first two rounds, the British dominated, winning 33 of 53 games played. But from Round 3 through the Elimination Rounds, the Americans rallied, winning 32 of 52 games played. I can see two possible explanations for this discrepancy. Firstly, perhaps it took some time for the players to adjust to the Special Rules, which had never been used before in tournament play. Special Rule 4 in particular created an entirely new dynamic which may have taken some time to appreciate. Secondly, in most tournaments the novice players tend to drift away after one or two rounds leaving the experienced players to fight it out. Perhaps the British edge early on reflects the struggle of new players to learn how to play as the Americans (the side with the generally accepted greater learning curve). Of course, the implication of this is that the game is still unbalanced in favor of the Americans even with the Special Rules. Only time will tell if the game is as balanced with the Special Rules as the complete tournament results would indicate.
There were five games that finished prior to 1779; four of which were British wins three resignations by American players after losing Washington and one British autovictory. One British player resigned early. 22 games finished in 1779 (ten British wins and 12 American wins). 29 games finished in 1780 (18 British wins and 11 American wins). 30 games finished in 1781 (12 British wins and 18 American wins). 16 games finished in 1782 (eight wins each). three games finished in 1783 (one British win and two American wins). I am not sure what to make of that spread; it appears to be pretty even. We the People, the predecessor game to this one, definitely favored the Americans greatly in long games, but that does not appear to be an issue in this game, at least not to any great extent.
Washington was captured in 15 games. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those games (12) were British victories. The Americans did pull out three, however, including the aforementioned Rice-Rubin game in the quarterfinals.
The French entered the war in 46 games (44%). The American won 28 of those games (61%). In the 59 games where the French did not enter the war, the British won 35 games (59%).
The British Regulars Bonus was lost in 57 games (54%). The Americans won 33 of those games (58%). In the 48 games where the Bonus lasted the entire game the Brits won the majority (60%).
The tournament went off without any significant problems. Thanks to everybody who participated and especially to Paul Gaberson for being the Assistant GM.
An After Action Report of the Championship Game follows:
British: Dan Leader
Americans: Dave Rubin
Who won: Americans
Last turn: 1779
Declaration of Independence: 1776
British Regulars Lost: 1777
French Alliance: 1779
Washington Captured: Never
Colony Count: British 4, Americans 10
PC Count: British 22, Americans 34
CU Count: British 12, Americans 11
Committees of Correspondence: Norwich, Falmouth, Newport, New Haven, New York, Morristown, Basset Town, Wilmington (DE), Baltimore, Alexandria, Wake, Camden, Savannah.
King's Men: Ticonderoga, Oswego, Fort Niagara
British: 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, Bancroft
Americans: 2, 1, 1, Minor Campaign, Brant, McRea, Marion
Action Summary: The Crown Holds the Initiative
The Americans lead off with McRea, but lack the wherewithal to halt Tory political inroads; the contest is especially vigorous in VA, NC, and NY. Lafayette appears in Fort Chiswell, Gates in Albany. Bancroft causes the discard of Brant which the British pick up and use; the Americans counter with a Minor Campaign, shifting Lafayette and Washington to Pennsylvania. The year ends with Cornwallis landing in Norfolk and marching to Delaware.
End of Turn Colony Status
British: Ca, NY, DE, NC
Americans: NH, MA, RI, CT, NJ, PA, MD, SC, GA
British: 3, 3, 3, 1, Declaration, Rodney, Iroquois
Americans: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, Paine, Glover
Action Summary: Putting the "England" Back in New England
1776 begins with an attack by the Continental Army on Cornwallis before he can be reinforced, but Washington is repulsed. After politicking by both sides, Howe flanks and traps Greene at Newport. Arnold raises an army in Springfield. As the Patriots strive to limit the Crown's influence, the British bring Clinton to Montreal, then play the Declaration of Independence, drawing a Minor Campaign as a replacement card and holding it for the end of the year. Carleton marches from Quebec, attacking and defeating Gates at Albany. The Continental Army is built up as British-allied Iroquois raid Pennsylvania. Washington defeats Cornwallis in a rematch on the lower Brandywine; Cornwallis retreats alone to Montreal and relinquishes command to Clinton. Howe collects the detached flanking units from his earlier attack on Greene, returning to Newport, while Clinton takes a small force from Montreal to Concord.
End of Turn Colony Status
British: Ca, NH, RI, NY, NC
Americans: MA, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
British: 3, 3, 1, 1, North-1783, Knox, Marion
Americans: 3, 3, 3, 1, Major Campaign, Hessians, Bancroft
Action Summary: Carleton Has a Very Bad Summer
Carleton marches from Albany to Saratoga, capturing a solitary Gates, and then immediately returns to Albany before attacking Arnold at Springfield; despite being heavily outnumbered (5-2), Arnold emerges victorious. After further politicking, Greene raises an army in Fort Prince George and Cornwallis brings a new Royal Army into Wilmington (NC). The main body of the Continental Army shifts from Wilmington( DE) to New York, and His Majesty's Government announces a 6-year plan to end the war by 1783. The Patriots then launch a Major Campaign: as Lafayette marches from Pittsburgh to Fort Stanwix to cut off any retreat, Washington successfully attacks Carleton in Albany, forcing Carleton's surrender. Arnold follows up the Continental Army's victory on the Hudson with an invasion of Canada, occupying Montreal. Political turmoil in Delaware leaves the Colony in American hands, but allows the British to recruit battle-ready Hessians, which Cornwallis successfully employs on an attack against the isolated Greene (picking up a 2 OPS card for his trouble). Another Patriot Army answers Lincoln's call at Eutaw Springs. Cornwallis moves to Camden, and the Americans end the turn by discarding Bancroft to break the isolation of the western Carolinas.
End of Turn Colony Status
British: NH, RI, NC
Americans: NY, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
Neutral: Ca, MA
British: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, North-1779
Americans: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1
Action Summary: A Bloody Campaign Season and The Smuggling of the Delegates
The year begins with Cornwallis's defeat of Lincoln at Eutaw Springs, who retreats to Charleston with the survivors. Greene, returning yet again from captivity, raises an army at Ninety-Six. The Tories try persuasion in SC and MA while Arnold moves from Montreal to Quebec. The North Government becomes unstable as the Patriots complete their takeover of Canada. Burgoyne brings another large Royal Army to Norfolk; in response, Gates raises an army in Alexandria. Burgoyne attacks Gates and triumphs, with the remnants of Gates's force beating feet for Baltimore. Lafayette, in Fort Stanwix, marches to Fort Detroit and eliminates the persistent British garrison. Burgoyne marches around Gates, detaches a rear guard in Reading, and occupies Philadelphia, scattering Congress. Washington marches from Albany to attack Burgoyne, but is out-generaled by Gentleman Johnny and retires to New Brunswick. Cornwallis marches from Camden to Lynch's Ferry, scattering detachments to isolate American PCs in Eastern NC and VA. As in 1776, Washington responds to defeat by renewing the attack, this time reentering Philadelphia and forcing Burgoyne to retreat to Reading. To prevent the collapse of the Patriot Cause in NC, Congress exposes itself by reconvening in New Bern.
End of Turn Colony Status
British: NH, MA, RI, NC
Americans: Ca, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, SC, GA
British: 2, 2, 2, 1, Brant, Germaine, Jones
Americans: 1, 1, Hortelez, Steuben, Wayne, Arnold, Pitt
Action Summary: France Intervenes and Lord North's Government Falls
Having dispersed Congress, the Crown chooses to have the last move. Clandestine Franco-Spanish Aid becomes overt as France and Spain declare war on Britain; Rochambeau and army arrive at New Haven as the French Fleet takes up position in the South Atlantic off the British outpost of St. Mary's. Cornwallis gathers up his detachments from the previous year and defeats Greene in a bloody battle at Ninety-Six despite the audaciousness of 'Mad" Anthony Wayne, although the Americans pull an important 3rd 1 OPS card. Greene flees alone to Augusta, then takes Lincoln's small force from Charleston to Wilmington (NC). Burgoyne strategically withdraws from Pennsylvania, eluding Gates, and ending in Fincastle, while Lafayette moves from Fort Detroit to Norwich. Carleton lands at Falmouth with a scratch army. The Americans serially discard von Steuben and Arnold's Treason to substitute American control of Boston for British while the British discard Brant to flip Ninety-Six. Cornwallis marches to Charleston, scattering garrisons and capturing Lincoln, then returns to Savannah. Washington and the Continental Army march from Philadelphia to Richmond to resist the British threat to Virginia, detaching a small force to support the Patriot authorities in Delaware. An offer of Royal Amnesty weakens the Americans in MA & NC, and Pitt is discarded to replace what was lost in the latter. Jones is discarded to recover MA for the Crown, but Lord North's Government collapses, making Independence inevitable.
End of Turn Colony Status
British: MA, RI, SC, GA
Americans: Ca, NH, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC
James "The Master" Pei bested a field of 70 players to win the Third WTP/Washington's War PBeM Tournament, a six-round swiss competition which began in May 2010. Pei ran the table, going 6-0 to add to his legendary championship total, including his recent win in the WAM X Washington's War tournament. He defeated (in order) Andre Heller, Kirk Harris, Kent Tieman, Paul Gaberson (the 2004 We the People PBeM champ), George Young (a three-time WBC We the People champ) and Jay Meyers. His six wins included two as the British. In the unofficial championship game against the previously undefeated Meyers in Round 6 he won as the Americans despite Washington being captured in mid-game.
The other laurelists all went 5-1. Kent Tieman and Ron Jacobsen each finished with 13 tiebreak points and Tieman won the roll off to finish in second place. Tieman's only loss was to Pei in Round 3. He defeated Don Chappell, Henry Russell, Steve Caler, Pete Reese and Kirk Harris. Jacobsen's only loss was to Marvin Birnbaum in Round 1, but he then won the rest of his games, defeating Chris Leary, Gilbert Collins, Henry Rice, Paul Pawlak and Dan Leader (the 2008 We the People PBeM champ). Meyers fell to sixth place after the championship game due to poor tiebreakers. Gaberson also went 5-1, but finished out of the laurels entirely.
The 185 games played broke down as follows: 74 British wins to 89 American wins for a 55% American win rate (22 games were declared forfeits due to slow play and are not otherwise included in the statistics provided in this report). In Round 4 the Americans won 20 of the 26 games played to a conclusion, accounting for almost all of the difference. In the other five rounds the wins were split almost evenly.
Generally, the earlier a game finished, the more likely the result was to be a British victory. Eight games finished prior to 1779; all British wins by American resignation after losing Washington. 37 games finished in 1779 (14 British wins) and 54 contests ended in 1780 (29 British wins). The late games tended to favor the Americans. 42 concluded in 1781 (27 American wins) and 17 games finished in 1782 (13 American wins). Ironically, however, of the five games that finished in 1783 the Brits won four.
Washington was captured in 26 games. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those games (22) were British victories. The Americans did pull out four wins, however, including the aforementioned Pei-Meyers game for all the marbles.
The French entered the war in 69 games (42%). The American won 42 of those games (61%). In the 94 games where the French abstained, each side won 47 games.
The British Regulars Bonus was lost in 91 games (56%) with he Americans winning 55 (60%). In the 72 games where the Bonus lasted the entire game the Brits won the majority (53%).
The tournament went off without any significant problems and was completed in about a year and a half. Thanks to everybody who participated and especially to Don Chappell for being the Assistant GM. The tournament website is http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4bc94/waw/index.html.
An AAR of the Pei-Meyers Round 6 Game follows:
American Player: James Pei
British Player: Jay Meyers
After a long uphill struggle, the American colonists won their independence from the British Crown at the end of 1782. It was a very close affair as American and French generals maneuvered tirelessly in a desperate attempt to gain control of the colonies after General Washington was captured in early 1779.
The British focused mainly on the New England strategy throughout the game. Both sides sparred evenly for the first three turns, with neither side gaining much advantage. Then things went downhill for the Americans in 1778 when the Brits used the most powerful card in the deck, Major Campaign, to trap an aggressively positioned Washington in Delaware. He survived a hair-raising battle, plus a few more breakout attempts, but was finally captured when Lord Howe cornered the Continental Army in Westchester. The resulting PC loss was disastrous, causing a rippling effect on subsequent plays as the colonials tried unsuccessfully to plug leaking PC holes. The year ended with Brits holding an 8-3 edge in colonies, with many American PCs isolated.
1780 opened with the Americans trying to fill in PCs. With the loss of Continental Army, Greene and Arnold were entrusted with leading the fight. It was a difficult task as the Americans now waged guerrilla warfare using 1 CU forces to harass and support the political war, but could not hold territory against any significant British force. The only glimpse of hope for the Americans was that the 1782 War Ends Card was played, giving the rebellion more time to regroup. The British used the turn to consolidate and expand southward into Virginia.
1781 was the Annus Mirabilis (Year of Miracles) for the beleaguered colonials. The Declaration of Independence, Franklin, and von Steuben event cards finally appeared in rapid succession, bringing the French into the war and enabling the Americans to contest a number of colonies. With a renewed spirit, the Americans penetrated into British controlled areas, securing New Hampshire and two southern colonies. The 1783 War Ends Card was played by the Brits, further pushing back the peace talks and giving the American-French alliance more time to re-establish control. The year ended with American control of seven colonies to six for the British.
1782 was unnerving, with heavy fog of war as the deck was reshuffled. All types of cards were back in play, including Campaigns, discarders, and War Ends. The French entry gave the American guerrilla forces a field army once again. With it, the Alliance went on the offensive, battling the Brits for control of Maryland. When the Brits were forced to play the 1782 War Ends Card, tension was ratcheted up another notch. The Americans strove to deny the Brits their sixth colony, and the focus was Frederick Town where several battles were fought. The Brits eventually won the fight for Maryland but lost the war when Lafayette was able to deny Virginia to the Crown on the last card play of the game. The final colony count was 8-5 in favor of the Americans, who also enjoyed a favorable 29-24 PC count.
Meyers leveraged his limited cards early on into a dominant position when he got better cards in the mid-game. Several times he maneuvered and played events in ways that forced Pei to go first on the next turn. It was only in '81-82 with arrival of very good cards that Pei was able to turn the tide.
Congratulations to Dan Leader for winning the second PBeM We the People Tournament. Leader, who was a relative unknown among veteran WTP circles, compiled a perfect 6-0 score in the six-round Swiss format. He defeated, in order, Kevin Klemme, Brian Mountford, Ken Gutermuth, Pete Reese, James ("The Master") Pei and Henry Rice and recorded an impressive four wins as the British along the way (the Americans are generally thought to have a not inconsiderable edge in the game). Check out the final standings here: http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4bc94/wethepeople/index.html.
The laurelists were as follows:
1. Dan Leader
2. James Pei (only loss was to Leader)
3. Pete Reese (only loss was to Leader)
4. Bill Peeck
5. Henry Rice (only loss was to Leader)
6. Bruce Monnin
The tournament began in the Spring of 2006 with 50 players (including five past WBC champs) and was played via ACTS. A total of 133 games were played with the British winning 44 games (17 were automatic victories), Americans winning 74 and 15 games being draws. The average bid to play the Americans was 2.93 PC markers added at the start of play, which given the poor 33% British win percentage should probably have been higher.
The best British player was the Champ with his perfect slate of four wins. The best American player was Bill Peeck (five wins against a lone loss), who was able to avoid playing the British entirely (shame on his opponents for not bidding him up!). The best sportsman was Andrew Maly, who cheerfully compiled a "perfect" 0-6 record.
An AAR of the Round 6 game between Leader and Rice follows:
Americans: Henry Rice
British: Dan Leader
Bid: 4 PCs for the Americans
1775: The British had a definite advantage in strategy cards with five ops cards to only three for the Americans (plus Jane McCrae). As usual, most cards were used to place PC markers on both sides, but the final British move put Cornwallis in Delaware poised to disperse Congress in the beginning of the new year. The British achieved control of NC, VA, DE and MA.
1776: This time the Americans had the card advantage with a total of seven ops cards to five for the British. Because Cornwallis could not be easily stopped from taking Philadelphia, the Americans elected to go first to get some PC markers down. Cornwallis dutifully dispersed Congress, but his attempt to capture Maryland was rebuffed, resulting in his retreat to York without an army. With Washington still in New England, Clinton ended the turn by moving from Delaware to New York to convert NY to the British and put some pressure on Washington. SC and NY were added to the British total.
1777: Clinton's harassing move to New York increased greatly in importance when the British were dealt both the major and a minor campaign. Starting the year with the major campaign, all exits from New England were successfully sealed off, trapping Washington inside. However, Greene was still in Newport to provide support, and the Americans still controlled much of the area. Despite having only three ops cards, the Americans made excellent defensive moves to prevent Washington's capture. Several battles raged back and forth, particularly in New Haven, with the Americans holding the tactical advantage but Washington still unable to escape. An attempt at a British flanking move by landing Burgoyne in Barnstable resulted in nothing but winter attrition losses. However, NH was added to the British fold and Arnold was lost to treason.
1778: At last, Washington was able to break out on the second card play when Howe's attempt at a counterattack to reseal the barrier was defeated. Washington immediately headed south to Philadelphia. With all British generals but Cornwallis in New England and Cornwallis in York without an army, the situation quickly looked promising for the Americans to reclaim mid-Atlantic and southern states. Cornwallis picked up a CU that had been left in Baltimore and was subsequently reinforced while the Americans put new armies into Virginia and North Carolina, retaking Virginia. The DOI provided extra help for the Americans. On the last play of the year, Cornwallis attempted to capture Maryland by advancing to Fredericktown from an American PC marker. He was home-free as long as Lee couldn't intercept. However, the interception roll was the needed "1", and with the battle cards 4-6 for the Americans, the Americans amazingly managed to match all four British cards and win the battle, capturing Cornwallis.
1779: The deck had not yet been reshuffled and four "War Ends" cards had already been played. Both "War Ends in 1779" and the French Alliance cards were still in the deck and likely to be drawn. The British player had neither. But, the British were blessed with both the last remaining minor campaign and "Lord North Royal Amnesty", two killer cards, and could afford to lose some ground and still win. American armies continued to operate in North Carolina, so Cornwallis moved south, leaving a CU in Norfolk and recapturing New Bern to isolate a pocket of American PCs. When the Americans played the "War Ends" card, it was time for decision. The Americans had been saving the French Alliance card for a late flanking move into North or South Carolina, but the move by Cornwallis thwarted the advance, and Lord North protected British PCs from isolation in the south. Washington recaptured Delaware, but it was not enough. In the end, the British pulled out the victory by controlling SC, NC, NY, RI, MA, NH, and Canada.