1st: James Pei
2nd: Keith Wixson
3rd: Stuart Tucker
4th: Michael Mitchell
5th: Randall MacInnis
6th: Tim Miller
Write-up Event Page
1st: Chris Byrd
2nd: Keith Wixson
3rd: Michael Mitchell
4th: Larry Fryer
5th: Marvin Birnbaum
6th: Kevin Earle
Write-up Event Page
|| 22 players
1st: James Pei
2nd: Marvin Birnbaum
3rd: Chris Byrd
4th: Terry Coleman
5th: Paul gaberson
6th: Rob Doane
Write-up Event Page
After ten years, the annual get together of the "Card Sharks" is still
going strong—WAM X was held in Timonium, Md., on Jan. 26-29. Thirty-six CDG players made the trek this year. That was down two from last year,
but the total did include nine new faces. That made up for several regulars who were unable to attend this year. If the missing regulars return in
2013 we should be in very good shape going forward.
This year's formal tournaments with scheduled rounds were: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (HRC),
Twilight Struggle (TWS) and Washington's War (WWR). Combat Commander (CBC) was also scheduled, but disappointingly only four players signed
up to play. As per BPA rules, the CBC Tournament was therefore cancelled for lack of interest. The three remaining events were dominated by
James Pei (titles in HRC and WWR), Chris Byrd (a title in TWS and a 3rd place finish in WWR), Keith Wixson (runner-up in HRC
and TWS), and Marvin Birnbaum (runner-up in WWR and 3rd place in TWS). AARs for the tournaments are below. For updated laurel totals, see the associated WBC Event pages.
Players were asked to sign up for each tournament just prior to
the start of Round 1 and at the start of each successive round attendance was called off of that list. Each evening a detailed
schedule of the next day's events was displayed. We continued
the concept of Open First Rounds on Thursday (because it is a
travel day) and Round 5s (if required) being scheduled on Sunday
morning. TWS and WWR both had a Round 5 this year.
Outside of the tournaments there was much open gaming (a handful
of people only open gamed). Games that were played included Paths of Glory, Stalin's War, Labyrinth, A Few Acres of Snow, Atlantic
Storm and 1812 (a new Euro-type game). Games ran pretty much nonstop from 0900 in the morning to as late as 0200 at night.
Here are a few other highlights:
- We filled our room block with the Hotel and were therefore charged
less for the meeting room.
- This year we had 29 preregistrations and 7 walk-ons.
- I will conduct a poll of all of this year's attendees by email
this Summer to determine the line-up of tournaments for next year.
Due to its very poor showing this year, CBC has been dropped
and will not be offered again at WAM. At this point the leading
candidate to replace it is A Few Acres of Snow, which was
easily the open gaming favorite this year. On the other hand, Labyrinth looked like a shoe-in as a tournament at this
point last year, but it flopped when the poll was conducted. Time
will tell, but as in the past, any new game will have to be published
by the time of WBC to be included in the poll.
- All tournament winners can pick up their plaques at WBC in August.
- I have some WAM X t-shirts left over. They are blue with white
and red lettering. This year's theme was the American Revolution.
If you would like one, please send me an email. The cost is $13,
not including shipping. I will bring any extras I have to WBC
Thanks to everyone, both new and long-time WAMers, for the
friendly rivalries and camaraderie that makes this one of the
most fun weekends of the year. I would also like to thank Terry
Coleman and Paul Gaberson for serving as GMs and for otherwise
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
GM: Paul Gaberson
The breakdown of wins was even, with the Romans winning 12 games
to 11 for the Carthaginians. Ten Round 1 games yielded nine winners
(one game won by eliminator) but as luck would have it one winner
dropped out leaving a perfect number for resolution in four rounds.
Round 2 saw seven games played and produced our four 2-0 players;
Keith Wixson, James Pei, Stuart Tucker and Michael Mitchell. In
Round 3 five games were contested, and Pei defeated Tucker and
Wixson bested Mitchell to produce two unbeatens to vie for the
In the Pei-Tucker match, Pei's Romans were able to defend against
Tucker's patented island strategy until the last turn. Unable
to establish a foothold in the islands, Hannibal rushed across
the Alps in a final do-or-die bid to gain the ninth province.
In a close battle, Consul Paulus successfully foiled the Carthaginians.
Only one game was played in Round 4, Pei against Wixson. Lady
Luck smiled upon Pei and his Romans once again. Hannibal crossed
the Alps on Turn 1 but rolled a 6 on the attrition roll and was
further weakened on Turn 2 when Pei played Epidemic and rolled
a 6. On a Campaign move Consul Fabius attacked Hannibal in an
even battle, 15 cards to 14. At one point Hannibal failed his
counter roll six straight times! On the 13th battle card, unable
to match a Probe, Wixson played his last strategy card of Allies
Desert to take one of Pei's two remaining battle cards. In a screaming
outburst, he failed to pick the lone remaining Probe card and
Hannibal was defeated and trapped. Consul Nero, who had marched
up from Sicily on two Force March cards, then followed up and
finished off the now depleted Hannibal before he could flee Italy.
Wixson then resigned.
GM: Terry Coleman
Twilight Struggle isn't an original member of the WAM club;
the game wasn't even released until 2005. But in the past half-dozen
years, it has certainly been the most played event by far. This
year's tourney was no exception, as TWS had 30 participants.
While that number was shy of its all-time total of 35 at WAM,
it still means that more than three-fourths of this year's attendees
We played 2nd edition rules with two changes: 2 influence were
added to Canada regardless of whether players opted to use optional
cards from the Deluxe set; in an effort to avoid draws (we had
three last year) the holder of the China Card at the end of the
game was only awarded 1/2 point. The latter had a significant
effect in one of the very first games played, where Michael Mitchell
thus won by a half-point margin over Bruce Monnin. Michael went
on to take third in the event with a 4-1 record, while Bruce finished
just out of the running.
There were 42 games played overall, with the US triumphing
in over half of them, gaining a 22-20 edge. Exactly half of the
games were played using the optional cards, and those results
were split pretty much equally between US and Soviet wins. Only
a few games opted to use the Chinese Civil War rules, something
we will keep in mind for next year.
In addition to the usual TWS crowd, we had a number
of new players—at least they were new to WAM. TWS seems
to be gaining every year in popularity for online or online-assisted
play (ACTS, Vassal, etc.) and an increasing number of players
forged in the online crucible have decided to try their luck the
old-fashioned analog way. Tim Bina, for example, nearly won the
title at WAM last year. Although Tim was unable to attend this
time, the banner was carried with pride by a number of players
new to WAM. None of these was more successful than Kevin Earl,
who started fast out of the gate with wins over Greg Ottoman and
Jeff Finkeldey. His momentum was slowed by losses in the final
rounds, but Kevin's overall record was still good enough to give
him a 6th place finish; his stellar play shows that he will be
around for many WAMs to come. More importantly, by Kevin's own
enthusiastic admission, he had a great time.
In addition to the (welcome) invasion of newcomers, a number
of veterans distinguished themselves as well.
If we gave an award for most improved player, that would no
doubt go to Larry Fryer, who despite never before having managed
a winning record at WAM, blitzed through the competition to 4-1
and 4th place this year. Marvin Birnbaum, former winner of this
event, didn't quite reach the heights to which he is accustomed,
but still took 5th overall. With the absence of Stefan Mecay—winner at the last two WAMs—this year's Cold War struggle came
down to a Final between Keith Wixson, the 2007 champ, and Chris
Byrd, who is becoming a true WAM Renaissance man, winning titles
in Hannibal, Paths of Glory, 1960, Combat Commander, and
now Twilight Struggle. Byrd won as the US on Turn 9 by
playing Wargames after building up a comfortable lead.
GM: Keith Wixson
James "The Master" Pei added to his Hannibal tournament victory by besting a field that included defending
WAM Champ Tim Miller, the past two winners of the WBC tournament
and several other sharks to win the five-round tournament with
a perfect score. He defeated in order current WBC Champ Michael
Mitchell (as the Americans), Bill Edwards (as the Brits), Marvin
Birnbaum (as the Americans), Terry Coleman (as the Americans)
and Chris Byrd (as the Brits).
Pei had several scares along the way and enjoyed more than a little
luck. In the match against Edwards, on a game ending turn in which
Edwards held a Major Campaign, Pei's Cornwallis won an even odds
battle against Greene in Boston. If Greene had intercepted, or
won the do-or-die battle, then the Major Campaign would have sealed
Pei's fate. Pei had managed his downside risk by factoring in
a Minor Campaign, but not a Major. It was ironic as it was a Major
Campaign by Keith Wixson last year on the final card at the same
tournament that knocked Pei out.
In the game against Birnbaum, Pei drew a Major and two Minor
Campaigns on the same hand! Prior to that Marvin had him on the
ropes, but Pei deftly dished out the Campaigns and plugged all
the holes. You can imagine Marvin's reaction.
In the Final against Nest of Spies teammate Chris Byrd,
the players sparred toe-to-toe until the game ending turn in which
Byrd played a Minor Campaign as the last card. Lincoln with 1
CU attacked Boston defended by 1 British CU, on a 2 vs 4 die roll.
It was a close affair, but again Pei's luck held.
There were a total of 38 games played with the Americans winning
23 to the Brits 15. The Americans went 9-2 in Round 1, but thereafter
the results were pretty even. Sides were random with the exception
that each player was required to play both sides an even number
of times when possible.