The Opening Guns ...
34 Paths of Glory Generals battled for three Swiss
preliminary rounds and the best eight advanced for the quarter
finals and the remaining three rounds.
Tom Drueding won
the overall tournament with five wins and one draw, beating the
up-to-then undefeated GM, Jim Falling. Jim bid a whopping four
VP (the average bid being "two") to play the Allies
against Drueding's Central Powers. Jim based the higher bid on
the fact that a draw counted as an Allied win in the Final. Tom
had also played the CP powers in the 2004 WBC finals, albeit
coming in second to Nick Anner in that contest.
Tom opened with the Guns of August event. (The GOA event was
popular this tournament with 86% of the CP players leading with
this card.) The CP took a defensive position in the West but
were unprepared for an early Turn 4 entry of Italy. Although
the CP did make a foray into Italy it was quickly stopped and
the front settled down to the mountain line for the rest of the
The Serbian armies held out in the Skopje mountains until
the middle game with the help of Italian reinforcements. Eventually,
they fell when German armies were SR'ed into the Balkans. The
Balkan front made a return with the Greek Entry and Salonika
events. At one point in the fighting near Salonika, a total of
nine different nationalities were in the area of a six space
Jim was exasperated when a sixth action surround attack on
a German army and two corps at Monastir failed due to a 1/6 chance
miss on the attack. This calculated gamble was at the expense
of a BR reinforcement card, which slowed down the Allied attrition
Yudenitch arrived early but never got momentum to become any
factor in the game. A lot of time and energy was spent in the
Near East fighting with Allenby's Army which was able to break
the line but never got further than Jerusalem. The game was decided
in the East where the CP eventually concentrated their efforts
to get the revolution going. Although the Russian armies quickly
evaporated, the CP was helped by good card draws to get the Fall
of the Tsar and finally the Treaty of Brest Litovsk off on the
last turn. The CP never played either Walter or H-L Take Command
and was able to cycle these "5" Ops cards through the
deck very often. This was Tom Drueding's fourth trip to a WBC
Finals in five years but his first victory. Jim Falling had played
and lost in the 2000 Final.
In the semifinal round between Jim Falling and Pete Reese,
an aggressive and lucky Plan 17 attack by Jim's Allies was able
to push Pete's Germans back towards the Rhine. This fit into
Pete's withdrawal overall plan except for the need to play Place
of Execution for war status against a French fort. Given that
the Guns of August was not played as an event and that Jim was
able to entrench quickly in Koblenz and Strasbourg, this meant
that the CP would be mathematically unable to reach Total War
status. Former champion Pete Reese offered a concession on Turn
This year the tournament pitted the top half of the field
ranked by AREA ratings versus the bottom half. Of the 17 opening
games, 14 were won by the seeded players. The three other games
proved that you can't always judge a player by his AREA cover.
The tournament format allowed draws and even the controversial
Peace Terms rule during the prelim rounds. Of the 57 games played,
Peace Terms were offered in only one game and were not accepted.
There were six drawn games, which provided a better tournament
point record than an outright loss for those players.
Bid average 2.06 VP to play the Allied side. The victories
were divided 50% between CP and Allied sides, although the Allied
side won at a greater percentage in the earlier rounds.
VALKYSER TRIUMPHANT IN POG: Stephan Valkyser of Germany defeated
Virginian 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 of Texas finished third,
ahead of James Pei (TX) 4th, Marvin Birnbaum (NY) 5th and Rob
Hassard (NJ) 6th.