WAM III Results

Despite the threat of snow on Sunday that cut short a few campaigns, WAM III drew the heartiest response yet to the mid-winter doldrums as CDW fans came out in record numbers to compete in five events.A hearty congratulations to hosts Stuart Tucker and David Dockter with a tip of the hat to Keith Wixson as well for a fun weekend had by all who braved the elements.


Marvin Birnbaum, NY

Nick Anner, NY

PATHS OF GLORY: 16 PoGer's showed for the third WAM PoG tourney. As with previous years, we allowed die hard BtB fans to play within the PoG tourney. Three such matches were played for a total of 21 of these marathon games. The first round witnessed two past PoG champs being eliminated (by other PoG champs). Round 2 saw defending WAM PoG champion, Rob "Defend the Rhine" Hassard eliminated by the eventual champ. Nick met legendary Scenario Boy, Marvin Birnbaum, in the finals - with the original Caesar capturing his first PoG Gold after several near misses. Counting Nick, Marvin had three former PoG champs' hides nailed to the wall. Ed McGran earned third place laurels and Chris Byrd took fourth.

The final was not decided until Turn 20, Action Phase 5. The bid was 3 for AP. Nick began by pushing in the west but played Falk on Turn 1. Marvin countered with Moltke on Turn 2 and backed out of Nancy to avoid an attritional battle anywhere except Verdun. Nick's deck had eight cards left so he could not guarantee Falk on Turn 3, and joined AP in LW. Turn 3 was crucial. Cau army showed up with cloak and dagger, CP didn't get Bulgaria or Falk. AP took tempo for next three turns but didn't accomplish much with it, Cau was stopped cold after taking Trebzion. Both sides concentrated on WS and CP got to TW a turn early as Italy showed up late. Nick set a big trap on the Italians and ended up getting Venice and Bologna, AP was fortunate that before Bologna fell it was able to get two Br armies to hold the boot. So the situation stagnated with French entrenched in Genoa, Brits and It entrenched in Florence.

In the mid to late game, the Russians pushed the Austrians to the brink of extinction. Nick was only able to commit two to three Ge armies to this front. The high watermark of Ru was acheived, entrenched and held for the game at Drebecan, Uzhgorod, Prymesl, Ivangorod, Warsaw, Lonza, Tannenberg. Though Konigsburg was not taken until Turn 20, Action Phase 5. Allenby showed up between the 1st and 2nd Tu armies and made a push that failed big, ultimately leading to its elimination. However the lack of allied CP corp combined with no H-L kept Egypt from being pressed. In fact despite a hugh number of operations the NE was a stalemate.

The final phase of the game was an all-out assault by CP into the west on Turns 19 and 20. The front line for CP was Belfort, Nancy, Verdun, Sedan, Koblenz, Achen. The AP was hamstrung by the location of five AP armies in Italy. Ge assault was flush with troops but lacked stosstroopen. Marvin sacrificed the entire AP army to hold the line which became impossible once the no-mans land of Cambrai was taken. On CP 5 Action Phase of Turn 20, Nick's attack on C-T 5-2 attack resulted in a 3-3 result to hold the space. Nick did take Brussels and was threatening, Calais, Ostend and Antwerp. He had also taken Milan and was threatening Genoa, now down to 2 fliped Fr armies with no reserve corp.

Nick would have had a chance except Marivn noticed that Nick's only chance of advancing after combat into Calais was if the AP inflicted a 3lf in defense, so he pulled out the army guarding Calais - leaving a corp, screened Antwerp with a corp making futher progress in the west impossible. Spare op was used to conquer Konigsburg rather than chance siege roll. On CP final phase only VP possible was Genoa, where 6-5 attack failed. AP did its MO and failed to recapture Brussels on a 6-5 attack. Final score was 8VP + 3 bid for 11VP with draws going to the AP.

Both players tried to take unusual positions. The effect was to slow the pace and create a lot of mistakes in response to these unusual positions. On the final turn Nick flipped the wrong army which definitely cost him a VP. On Turn 19 Marvin failed to advance after combat with the RU which probably cost him one or two VP. The fluidity in the west late was almost the decisive feature of this game as Nick gained three VP on the final turn in west / Italy, and with slightly better luck, cards and taking the flip could have easily garnered three more. The game took ten hours, ending at 2:30 AM.


James Pei, VA

David Dockter, MN

FOR THE PEOPLE: It was another humbling experience for those who tried to oppose the reigning Caesar who now has seven straight WBC and WAM titles in this game. James Pei was pressed into service as GM to replace Mark Herman who had been called out of the country on business at the last minute. James was ably assisted by Don Chappell, our "librarian". Very few questions were raised, mainly by inexperienced players.

We had 17 players, one more than the other big CDG being played, POG! This is very encouraging as the game is gaining ever more support and play from many gamers. We even had several new players (all the way from Maine and California no less) participating in the tourney. Always welcome new blood into the hobby. Even Stuart Tucker - a diehard Hannibal fan - is now interested in playing after seeing all these people in FTP.

25 games were played over the three days with 15 Confederate victories. Sides were determined at random. Seems the better player wins, regardless of sides chosen. After seven years, FTP is still so finely balanced.

In the final, David Dockter who relishes a challenge, met James Pei for the fourth time for all the marbles. David led the Union and things were pretty even till turn 5 when Little Mac's Union army failed in its crucial intercept, thus allowing a Reb army to get off its first raid in PA and opened a hole in the Union defense line. Turn 6 proved decisive when a CSA army under the dream team (Lee, Forrest, Jackson) was able to destroy two Union armies and storm DC for the win.Laurels were earned by James Pei (5-0), David Dockter (4-1), Bill Pettus (3-2), Tim Miller (3-1), Mike Mitchell (2-2) and Don Chappell (1-1).

The Final as viewed by the vanquished ...

We'll, I'm 0-4 vs James. Just back from WAM III. Played James in the final. Very enjoyable game as always. Rolled die to determine sides.
A 4 results. Neither James or I can remember what side I called (a function of the WAM party till 3 AM on Saturday nite, and trying to play our 5th game of FtP Sunday morning at 8 AM)..reroll...James gets the CSA (dang! - he has had it three times in our four matches).

First turn cards. My USA hand. No 3 cards, no CCs. No surprise here - I'm playing James. I do have two naval moves, a blockade and one crummy 1 card. Must play conservative since I can't even move a leader. Decide to take a little risk and invade Fort PJ - leaving open a move to Sabine - but they would leave Northeast exposed. James responds with a move to Sabine (I think). Next, I send 2 SPs from Pitt to Frederick - to block the CC or concentration or Road to Ruin James will have. James pulls back to around Richmond - but sets up in a puzzling manner. Something is afoot. Ok, I decide to play Blockade now and stick with the lowly 1 card (the fort builder for the USA - when in doubt, before Big Boy comes - build a fort - and, then make sure you can roll 5's or 6's!).

Road to Ruin (Richmond) makes its ugly appearance. AoP goes south. Bangs head on Richmond...now 1 SP left. James uses last move to cut it off - but no kill.

Turn 2. I got a good hand. A CC and 3 and some 2's. It has possibilities. Almost all my reinforcements went East - since the AoP is a dead man walking. First things first - I think I built an army under a 1-1 3 leader (didn't want to take a tempo to reshuffle leaders). This would prove costly later. My first mistake. I used the CC to attrit (ran leaders with 1 SP vs James newly formed AoNV to try to get some 5 or 6's on the medium table). That resulted in getting two leaders killed (of course, rolled a 1 on my leader rolls).

James sets up in East to prepare for a blitz - and manages to take KY to close out the turn. I secure the East (forts, position, etc). Really disgusted with myself that I didn't make better use of the CC - but the AoP (trapped near Richmond) was very costly, since it robbed me of one of the hammers. Oh well, them's the cards.

Turn 3. I get another Minor CC (this has possibilities). Not much happens. Positioning in the east till late in the turn. I spring my CC as last card play. First, I move the AoP (that has a SP of 1 - still trapped near Richmond). I'm using the thing as bait. I want James to try to intercept (and get him out to Manassas). He tries to intercept, but misses a 50/50. AoP moves west to W VA to cut off (OOS) a CSA raiding force setting up in Pittsburgh. With the the other move, I take MO. So James (it turns out he has no CC) has to choose between letting me have MO or re-establishing supply to Pittsburgh and killing AoP. He kills the AoP.

Turn 4. SW is good. Blockade is 2. I like my position in the East. Have a fort in Bloomington blocking the usual highway. Three turns till Big Boy. Lee arrives and promptly starts a second army in the east. I form a second army in east under McC with the 1-2 cav leader. So, he will have a defense of a 4 (6 on a fort or 8 if intercept onto a fort). And I pack that army full and leave it in Frederick. Additionally, I set up forces in Ohio to harass any raiding coming from W VA/Pittsburgh lane. Late in turn, a CSA army tries to re-enter Manassas (I had retaken that - left a SP there - didn't have time to build a fort). McClellan's moment of glory... 1-4 to intercept...would have been a Major battle, me with a +6....shake a 5. CSA army promptly enters Manassas, then swings West through Strasburg. A door is now open to the Northeast. James gets off his first raid of the game (PA).

Turn 5. Still like my position (ready to kill McClellan - the son of a X%$#! - I even gave him the good cav and a monster army - and he fails the crucial intercept roll. I get TWO blockade cards - so I could push the blockade level to 4. Seems like a no brainer, but with the CSA turning my position at Strasburg - Chambersburg - I must address that. Here is where not having a leader commanded by a 2 general in the East really hurts. This was the critical mistake I made in this particular game. (I had Pope killed off early - by the end of the game I had four leaders killed, James had one - Polk).

So... lots of cat and mouse around W VA - trying to force any Pei moves in the Northeast thru McClellan's big army. I burn one of the blockade cards activating Burnside (who is operating in Ohio - James still controls Pittsburgh). Burnside takes 6 and attempts to cut the W VA supply line to CSA at Pittsburgh. James fails to intercept on a 50/50...hmmmm...I have two choices: either block W VA or take about a 30% chance at Richmond (he has 1 SP there, I would hit him with 6 SPs for a +4 under Burnside)...I decide that blocking W VA is the better move. He reacts by having to clean out W VA. Things looking good - I have 10 cards (three left this turn - seven next) before Big Boy. SW about the same. Decide, that as much as I would like to play the blockade and push to level 3, I've got to reposition things. I activate a leader (Pope was killed, Burnside displaced this turn in a foolish 1 point attack).

James 5th card...THE CSA CARD...Indians..of course, pulling my other blockade card and giving him the final two moves - ouch. Well, got to move McClellan to guard against the worst. I put him in Baltimore (other army is in DC). James moves North on Frederick. McClellan's second moment of glory...1-4 to intercept - would be a plus 8 (intercept...a fort...and cav) in a major battle...the KEY roll....another 5. James gets off another PA raid and takes Philly (which had a fort...rolled a 2) - 5 or 6 would have held (since it is treated like a resource space). Dang.

Ok...Turn 6. One turn till Big Boy. Blockade level 2. SW decent (although James did get it up to 113+ and then made all his blockade rolls...dang!...and I'm at 89 - not great, but not bad). Ok two valuable 2 leaders arrive. I place one in Ohio and 1 in the East. In a really bad break, Burnside arrives in the east, in an army, and becomes highest rated general - so will have to reorganize if I want to move him. Well, maybe I won't need to - depending on the cards - no law to say that my USA vs Pei's CSA - Turn 6 hand - The Do or Die hand for the USA - that I can't get a good hand. Right?

I pick up my 6th hand. NO THREE CARDS. Now, I got real problems. I won't be able to move any of my armies in the east. To cut to the chase, finally, James runs around the east and hammers my two armies (a series of me inflicting one or two losses to his three)...it's over - well, I do manage to take Richmond in a desperate move - and he takes DC (and my armies are both destroyed) and resulting massive SW swing (raids tossed in also in the east) - end the game.

Looks like my time in the school of Hard Pei FtP Knocks continues.


Tom Drueding, MA

Paul Gaberson, PA


WILDERNESS WAR: 20 players vied for the WAM 2005 Warclub, a prized replica of an Indian weapon of the period, donated by GM Keith Wixson. This was a slight improvement over last year's attendance. 27 games were played in the five-round Swiss, and the last man standing was Tom Drueding. Drueding recovered from a first round loss to James Pei (the reigning WBC Champ) to win four straight and claim a second WAM crown, crushing Paul Gaberson (the 2003 WBC Champ) in the championship game. Tom also defeated Bruce Monnin (the defending WAM Champ), Bob Jamelli and Gary Phillips. In the Final, Drueding's Brits under Amherst steamrolled the French in a drive up the Champlain Valley. With Montcalm dead, most of his Regulars eliminated and Montreal about to be lost, Gaberson resigned after the E58 turn.

Notwithstanding the final game, the recent trend of French dominance in BPA tournaments continued. The French won 20 games (74%) and the Redcoats only seven. Players are starting to realize the French edge, as there was a bid of 1 VP to play the French in 13 games. The record in those games favored the French as well, although not to the same extent (eight French wins - 62%). In the 12 games without bidding the French won 10 (83%). Surprisingly, there were two games with a bid of 1 VP for the British! Not so surprisingly, the French won both of those. The average French score in the French wins was 5 VPs.

On the other hand, the Champ was 3-0 as the British, so the debate about whether or not the Annus Mirabilis Scenario is "broken" will no doubt continue. Maybe I can get Tom and/or Bruce Monnin (another good British player) to offer a tutorial on how to play the British before the next tournament! Completing the laurel roster were Ken Gutermuth, Don Chappell, Keith Wixson and Gary Phillips in third through sixth respectively.


Chris Byrd, CT

Pete Reese, VA

HANNIBAL: Chris Byrd made it two titles in a row by successfully defending the Hannibal title he won at the 2004 WBC is a showdown with past champ Pete Reese in the last of 29 games by a field of 21 players. Other laurelists were tim Hall, Sott Moll, Jim Heenehan and Keith Wixson in third through sixth respectively.


Marvin Birnbaum, NY

Keith Wixson, NJ

WE THE PEOPLE: Marvin Birnbaum was the big winner at WAM III as he took home top honors for both the longest and shortest games by adding We The People wood to his Paths of Glory honors. Methinks the original Caesar has designs on a comback as his double win puts him among the leading contenders for Caesar 2005. Marvin topped Keith Wixson in the last of the 35 games played in the weekends biggest event (by headcount and number of games played).

Also chalking up laurels in third through sixth place were the defending champ, Paul Gaberson, Ken Gutermuth, Bruce Monnin and Mike Mitchell.