wilderness war [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report     

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Ron Fedin, PA

2005 Champion

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Event History
2002    Rob Winslow     50
2003    Paul Gaberson     30
2004    James Pei     35
2005    Ron Fedin     40

WAM Event History
2003    Tom Drueding     20
2004    Bruce Monnin     18
2005    Tom Drueding     20

PBeM Event History
2003    James Pei     64


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  James Pei          TX    04    114
  2.  Ron Fedin          PA    05     77
  3.  Tom Drueding       MA    05     71
  4.  Rob Winslow        NY    05     70
  5.  Peter Reese        VA    04     69
  6.  Keith Wixson       NJ    05     54
  7.  Paul Gaberson      PA    05     48
  8.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    05     48
  9.  Bruce Monnin       OH    04     35
 10.  Bill Peeck         NY    05     23
 11.  Jim Gutt           TX    04     20
 12.  Bryan Thompson     VA    04     18
 13.  Roger Taylor       VA    02     18
 14.  Phil Burgin-Young  VT    05     15
 15.  Bari Herman        NJ    04     15
 16.  Ken Gutermuth      TX    05     12
 17.  John Haas          PA    02     12
 18.  Gary Phillips      MD    05     11
 19.  Don Chappell       TX    05      9
 20.  John Vasilakos     VA    02      9
 21.  Doug Mercer        MD    04      6
 22.  George Young       VT    04      6
 23.  Michael Ussery     MD    03      6
 24.  Dennis Culhane     PA    03      6
 25.  Doug Smith         PA    03      6

2005 Laurelists

Bruce Wigdor, NJ

Peter Reese, VA

Philip Burgin-Young, VT

Rob Winslow, NY

Bill Peeck, NY

Past Winners

Rob Winslow, NY

Paul Gaberson, PA

James Pei, VA

Rebounding Again

The tournament continues to thrive in its Wednesday timeslot. Here are some of this year's highlights:

a. For the second year in a row, there was an increase in attendance (up to 40 from 35).
b. There were ten new players, including three teenagers (one of whom was a Laurelist).
c. Only two of last year's Laurelists made it into the top six this year, and the two finalists were among the four new Laurelists.
d. John Wetherell won the biggest upset of the tournament, defeating the GM, who was seeded second, in the first round.
e. New champ Ron Fedin eliminated defending Champ James (the "Master") Pei in the fourth round on the final die roll of the game.
f. Fedin's semifinal victory against newcomer Philip Burgin-Young also went down to the final roll.
g. The Sunday Morning Fedin/Wigdor Championship Game was incredibly exciting, with Fedin's French pulling out the victory from a seemingly lost position while his sons cheered him on. It was clearly the most devastating British defeat in WBC history.
h. The Prizes for the Laurelists were a warhawk for the Champ, a gunstock warclub for the runner-up, "Empires at War" by William Fowler for third place, a DVD of the PBS Special "George Washington's First War: The Battles for Fort Duquesne" for fourth place, Parkman's "Montcalm and Wolfe" for fifth place and an Osprey history of the 1758 Louisbourg Campaign for sixth place.
i. New Award - The winner of the first annual Wilderness War Sportsman's Award was Michael Ussery who was awarded a hand painted 54mm tin French Infantryman. Michael played in all four preliminary rounds even though he had no chance of advancement after the third round, when he corrected an opponent's error, which may have cost him the contest.

Fedin, Pete Reese and Wigdor (the 2003 Runner-Up) advanced to the semifinals with perfect scores in the four preliminary rounds. Burgin-Young advanced with one loss, earning the necessary tiebreakers by defeating the GM in the fourth round. In the semis, Fedin defeated Burgin-Young and Wigdor defeated Reese. An AAR of the championship game follows:

Pre Game: Both bid one VP to play the French. Fedin won the roll-off.

Early 57: On its first two card plays, the Brits brought on four Highlander and three Regular battalions, the bulk of which went to Halifax under Wolfe. Montcalm took Ft. William Henry on the second French card play, but was hit with the Massacre card. The Brits then successfully played Courier Intercept and stole an Indian Reinforcement card. The end of the turn saw two British Campaign cards and a successful landing and siege of Louisbourg by Wolfe.

Late 57: The first Brit card was another three Regular battalions and Amherst at New York. The second card was Quiberon, putting the French at seven cards for the rest of the game with no further reinforcements from Europe. The year ended with an army under Wolfe force at Louisbourg, an army under Amherst at Albany and an army under Forbes camped out south of Ohio Forks. French raiding was light, gaining no VPs.

Early 58: The French Commander admitted later on that at this point he was on the verge of surrender - the French cause seemed hopeless. Incredibly, however, the British Commander did not press home his advantage and began to play hyperconservatively. After adding Provincials, the last Highlander battalion and Bradstreet, he passed up an opportunity to land Wolfe in the French rear to mount a campaign against Quebec and instead returned Wolfe and half his army to New York, where he was sent to the Mohawk Valley (a/k/a the "Trail of Tears") to cultivate an alliance with the Iroquois (all five tribes came in). The other half of Wolfe's army sat at Louisbourg doing nothing for the rest of the game. The French, whose total reinforcements to this point were a couple of Indian war parties and some militia, evacuated Ohio Forks and torched Ft. Duquesne.

Late 58: The Brits continued to waste precious time with relatively pointless events. Wolfe built a string of forts along the Mohawk towards Niagara. Amherst stayed near Albany the entire year. The French built up their militia, pulled back everywhere, torching forts and stockades along the way, and husbanded their resources for 59 - with no hope of reinforcements from Europe, they were simply happy that they weren't being attrited. Once again, the French raided lightly, gaining no VPs

Early 59: Forbes finally occupied Ohio Forks, and Amherst began an advance towards Montreal. Wolfe was poised to strike at Niagara. VPs now stood at +3 for the British. At the perfect moment the French struck. With an Indian screen in place to slow down Amherst, Montcalm boat moved down to Oneida Carry West and in desperation attacked a small army under Wolfe and defeated it, taking a point. On the next French card play, the fort there fell for two more points, bringing the VPs to zero. Bungling, however, was not limited to the Brits (fatigue was probably a factor at this point for both sides), as Forbes was able to take a stockade at Venango which the French had inexplicably neglected to torch. Importantly, though, Forbes had failed to leave anything behind at the unfortified Ohio Forks.

Late 59: Early in the turn the French had successfully raided Deerfield, which meant that VPs stood at zero - the Brits needed another VP. Amherst fought his way through Indian pickets to threaten Montreal from the Champlain Valley, forcing Montcalm to return there, and with Niagara relatively well defended, Wolfe approached Montreal from the other side. Montcalm holed up in Montreal to avoid a fight and the French auxiliaries were spread out across all avenues of approach, causing delays and interdicting supplies. The British Commander, who failed to see the potential of a Ranger raid led by Wolfe and didn't notice how bad his supply situation was, finally ran out of time before Montreal could be sieged, even though he was up on cards. To add insult to injury, the French slipped an auxiliary into Ohio Forks on his last card and won with a VP cushion of 1.

Morale: Never give up as the French. Never take anything for granted as the Brits.

In order to address French dominance of the tournament in recent years I gave written and verbal notice to all players of the imbalance. This appears to have had the desired effect as the average bid to play the French went up from .27 VPs last year to 1.11 VPs this year, an increase of over 400%! In the 55 games played the bidding breakdown was as follows: 18 bids of 2 VPs for the French, 25 bids of 1 for the French and 12 games without a bid. Nevertheless, the French continue to have an edge, winning 31 of the games played this year (56%, but down from 71% last year and 62% in 2003). Also, the French winning percentage was higher in the later rounds, as the better players battled it out for wood and the less experienced players dropped out. The combined record of the four semifinalists was 11-0 as the French (down from 14-0 last year) and 6-4 as the Brits (up from 3-4 last year). The Champ won five games as the French and one as the Brits. Therefore I think it is safe to say that, although progress is being made in this area, there is considerable room for improvement and that the average bid is probably still too low.

2003 PBeM Tournament Results

James Pei topped a field of 64 by defeating Pete Reese in the finals of the very successful (and quickly played) Wilderness War tournament. Ron Fedin took third, followed by Bill Peeck, Bari Herman and George Young respectively who all claimed laurels for their efforts - swelling the ranks of those who have already scored in the 2004 Caesar race to a total of 118 players.

 GM      Keith Wixson  [3rd Year]   NA 
    NA   NA

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