paths of glory [Updated October 2002]

POG  6 prizes Experienced Swiss Elim Continuous 
   10  Round 2 14  Round 3 18
    Round 4 9  Round 5 17 Final   
  Guns of August Precon        


Peter Reese, VA

2002 Champion

2nd: Rob Hassard, NJ

3rd: Marvin Birnbaum, NJ

4th: Bob Heinzmann, IN

5th: David Dockter, MN

6th: Hank Burkhalter, GA

Event History
1999    Donald Stone     36
2000    Peter Reese     52
2001    David Dockter     34
2002    Peter Reese     49

AREA Ratings

GM: David Dockter

Omens: A strong turnout by a class group

In 2002, 49 players tried a split format: The first ever WBC pre-con (four rounds of the campaign game) and a scenario heat held on Wednesday to encourage first timers. The playoff round was held on Thursday, with Pete "the dominator" Reese defeating Marvin "scenario boy" Birnbaum at the end of turn 20. The final was a real white knuckle affair decided in the Balkans where both sides committed major forces. The crucial play was when Reece was able to cut off two Italian armies near Salonika preventing a Turkey KO. Other notable features of the game included Treaty of B-L and a strong American presence. The Germans were able to hold both Strassborg and Metz for the win, intact Italy and Ottomans only down 2 VP. Final VP total was 9 which would have been an allied victory but the bid was 2 giving the CP a paper thin win.

64 campaign games (896 hours) were played in the pre-con, 11 (44 hours) 1918 scenarios were played and in the playoff round, another three games (27 hours) for a total of 78 games at 1011 player hours.

Kicking off at 9 AM on Saturday, 38 gamers showed up for the first ever WBC Pre-con. Paul Skaabut won the first tourney prize, a T-Shirt with always desirable Mati Hari on the front, when his name was the first drawn for the pairings. Mr. Billones made his presence known as being the first player to get the Yanks in and also walking away with a highly coveted PoG iron-on T-Shirt. We played late into the evening Saturday and resumed early Sunday morning.

What worked? The pre-con ­ great turnout and friendship. The 50 page Players' Program, all 40 copies, sold out and an update for next year may be required. The campaign game (38 attendees) established its preeminence over a scenario format (16 attendees, with 11 participating soley in the scenario heat). Most of all, sportsmanship and "the PoG community", as evidenced by the significant bill we ran up in the bar discussing each days results.

What didn't work? The split format. Only the top qualifier from the Pre-con (out of three) could attend the play-off round on Thursday. Rob Hassard 4-0 during the Pre-Con and Jim Falling 3-1 (scoring an auto win as the AP over last year's champion) were unable to attend the playoffs. After talking with the qualifiers, and all the alternates, we decided to have the top Pre-Con finisher play the winner of the scenario round.

Listed in order of best record from the Pre-con and tie breaker points: Reese 4-0, Hassard 4-0, Burkhalter 3-0-1, Falling 3-1, Dockter 3-1, Heinzman 3-1, Doughan 3-1, Anner 3-1 and Billones 3-1. In the scenario round, Birnbaum beat Ussery to earn the title "Scenario Boy".

Regarding which side (AP or CP) has the upper hand:

1918 Scenario: CP victories (6), AP victories, (3), Draws (2)
Campaign Game: AP victories (37), CP victories (25), Draws (4)
70% of games ended turn 13 or sooner

However, I would add that there were all CP wins in the playoffs and 4 CP wins vs 2 AP wins among six top rated games in Round 4. My own belief is that among the stronger players, giving the CP a bid of 1 is a slight edge for the CP. Just based upon a sense from watching most of the games, the "Defend the Rhine" strategy was the preferred successful strategy of the stronger players.

Results of the survey:

If campaign game was used, what type of format would you prefer: Traditional (8), Expansion Cards (3), Historical (3)

What days would you attend the PoG event next year: Precon (10), Mon/Tues (7) Wed > Sun (4)

Which would you prefer: campaign game (11) or scenario (1)

Rate the PoG tourney 10=good, 1=bad: Avg: 9.3 (12 respondents)

My conclusion is that the Campaign Format is strongly favored by the vast majority of PoG players, even if it results in a significant time commitment. I anticipate a two-day (four preliminary rounds) tourney in 2003, with the semis/finals time sometime in midweek.

 GM      David Dockter  [1st Year]   NA  
    NA   (NA)

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