paths of glory  

Updated 3/14/2009

Guns of August Pre-Con
2008 WBC Report    

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Riku Riekkinen, Finland

2008 Champion

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Event History
1999    Donald Stone     36
2000    Peter Reese     52
2001    David Dockter     34
2002    Peter Reese     49
2003     Rob Hassard     40
2004    Nick Anner     39
2005    Tom Drueding     34
2006    Dave Dockter     48
2007     Stefan Mecay     35
2008    Riku Riekkinen     42

WAM Event History
2003     David Dockter     32
2004     Rob Hassard     11
2005    Marvin Birnbaum     16
2006     Tom Drueding     17
2007    Chris Byrd     17
2008    Tom Drueding     20
2009    Tom Drueding     12

PBeM Event History
2001    Stefan Mecay     40
2005    Stephen Valkyser     68
2006    Tom Drueding     64
2009    Stefan Mecay     89



Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Tom Drueding      MA     09    350
  2.  Peter Reese       VA     09    240
  3.  David Dockter     MN     08    226
  4.  Chris Byrd        CT     09    202
  5.  Rob Hassard       NJ     09    181
  6.  Marvin Birnbaum   NY     09    174
  7.  Stefan Mecay      TX     09    172
  8.  Nick Anner        NY     06    126
  9.  Jim Falling       MI     07    117
 10.  Stephan Valkyser  GE     05     96
 11.  Riku Riekkinen    FN     08     60
 12.  John Brown        VA     04     36
 13.  Bob Heinzmann     FL     05     30
 14.  James Pei         TX     04     30
 15.  Ken Gutermuth     TX     09     28
 16.  Steve Brooks      FL     08     25
 17.  Tom Gregorio      PA     08     24
 18.  Rick Byrens       CA     07     24
 19.  Josh Alexander    MI     04     24
 20.  Charlie Hickok    PA     09     21
 21.  Steve Worrel      NC     03     18
 22.  Michael Mitchell  GA     07     16
 23.  Ed McGran         WA     05     16
 24.  Mauro Gasbarroni  IT     09     12
 25.  Mel Casselberry   PA     07     12
 26.  Pat Mirk          FL     05     12
 27.  John Emery        SC     00     12
 28.  Michael Johnson   MA     01     10
 29.  Don Stone         NC     99     10
 30.  Andrew Maly       MD     00      9
 31.  Tim Miller        GA     07      8
 32.  Tim Hall          UT     09      6
 33.  Steve Parrish     VA     08      6
 34.  Lance Roberts     AK     06      6
 35.  Holger Janssen    GE     05      6
 36.  Pete Rohn         IL     04      6
 37.  Hank Burkhalter   TN     02      6
 38.  Nick Firer        WI     00      6
 39.  Don Johnson       VA     99      6
 40.  Ric Manns         IN     01      5
 41.  Seth Gunar        NJ     08      4
 42.  Scott Moll        VA     07      4
 43.  Dennis Culhane    PA     99      4
 44.  Bill Pettus       NJ     09      3
 45.  Steve Huskey      KS     00      3
 46.  Joe DiCamillo     PA     99      3
 47.  Doug Austin       VA     06      3
 48.  Rob Winslow       NY     99      2
 49.  Paul Horvath      CA     00      1
 50.  Paul Abrahamse    MI     99      1

2008 Laurelists                                               Repeating Laurelists:

Dave Dockter, MN

Pete Reese, VA

Rob Hassard, NJ

Tom Gregorio, PA

Steve Parrish, VA

Past Winners

Peter Reese, VA
2000, 2002

Dave Dockter, MN
2001, 2006

Rob Hassard, NJ

Nick Anner, NY

Thomas Drueding, MA

Stefan MeCay, TX

Riku Riekkinen, Finland

Dave Dockter displays his hand of five Russian reinforcement cards - a rare happening of some note I'm told - whilst his opponent displays a lone Mata Hari card.

After a gazillion dice rolls, the only one that matters is the dice off of all 2-1 players for the right to continue in the elimination rounds. Nine such hopeful souls try their luck.

The Opening Guns ...

In 2008 POG moved its start date from Sunday Afternoon to Monday morning and increased the number of players. A good group, we had no rules disputes or, at least to my knowledge, any unhappiness over rules or results. Sadly no one came up to the GM to make a sportsmanship nomination - we are all too focused on the games I guess. Six people advanced to the elimination rounds on points and ten people took part in the ANNUAL DICE ROLLOFF for the final two positions. It should be noted here that unlike many tournaments POG, primarily because it is such a long game and therefore has only three preliminary rounds, has a system wherein the players who have two wins and one loss all get to roll dice to determine the final qualifiers. It has eliminated the occasional unhappiness over issues of strength of schedule and other similar tie breaker systems which would be unfair with so few preliminary rounds. Basically everyone who is 2-1 must brace the dice gauntlet for the remaining quarter final slots. This keeps most players in the running for the three preliminary rounds and eliminates the problem at the preliminary stage of getting eliminated because someone had the misfortune to draw the top ranked player (who in any case this year himself went 2-1). It was a very festive occasion this year with a lot of cheering and booing depending on how the dice fell. One participant, last year's winner, broke one of his dice in the roll off.

Competition in POG has gotten tougher. Three of the four semi-finalists were previous WBC champs. The fourth was new to WBC but apparently has won repeatedly in other forums and traveled all the way from Finland to participate. Both semi-final rounds came down to Turn 20 with both games within one VP of each other. David Dockter's AP defeated Pete Reese's CP. Riku Riekkinen's AP defeated Rob Hassard's CP. Riku's bid was 3 for AP (I heard he said he would never bid 3 for the AP again), no guns played, Rob held both Metz and Strasbourg. Both sides knew that one point would decide the game. Rob was looking to play High Seas Fleet, but Riku held the card since Turn 8, Riku held on to win with a VP count of 12.

The Final was set. David Dockter bid 3 for the AP (AP wins ties). Riku opened with Guns of August, and fell back to defend the Rhein over the next two turns, and was able to trench. The Serbs were taken out by Turn 2, Italy came in by Turn 4, was stabilized by both sides, and remained quiet. David loaded up in the Near East, and launched an attack with the British and Russians that captured Baghdad, while using Pleve combat card to assist. A Russian Caucasus army pushed forward, after two attacks, where the defender rolled a 1 to miss the army both times. Riku meanwhile started attacking the Russians on the main map, causing the Russians to melt away. The AP was quiet in the west, as all effort was in the Near East. The CP took Riga with the von Hutier combat card. The Tsar took command, and shortly afterward the Tsar fell, the revolution was not far off. Riku quickly brought in both Turkish armies, and threatened the Caucasus armies supplies. The Caucasus army fell back, and the CP retook Baghdad, and captured Ahwaz and Basra. Allenby came in, but was blocked by strong CP forces in Gaza and Beersheba, including a Turkish army in Beersheba. The end game saw the AP attack in the west, but was too late, the Russians were already too weakened, all but Russian Odessa VP space on the main map were CP controlled. The treaty of Brest Litovsk would soon be played, so David , seeing the handwriting on the wall, threw in the towel and conceded the game to Riku.

A great victory, but just the start of his WBC adventures. He was not yet done bringing down the Nest of Spies. He had his sights set on ending WBC's longest winning streak .... Check out the For the People page for more of Riku's exploits.

GM and two-time champ Pete Reese (right) schools a challenger on his way to a third place finish.

Finalists Dockter and Riekkinen playing for all the marbles. The Finn would top the two-time champ and deal Nest of Spies a fatal blow.

2009 WAM Paths of Glory Tournament

We had only 12 entrants to the tourney this year. Most conspicuous of the absentees were Herr DR and Pete "Rain Man" Reese. We had the usual format of no draws and the AP winning ties, so players were cautioned to bid accordingly. Again, as usual, the mean bid was just over 2 to play the AP with one player bidding 4 to keep them from Tom Drueding! As it turned out to no avail as Tom worked his way through the ladder to meet up with, who else, Chris Byrd in the Final.  Players were allowed to select either Barbarossa to Berlin (BTB) or Pursuit of Glory (PUG) as alternate games to POG with the default being POG. We had one BTB and one PUG game played. The POG games were very equally split between AP/CP wins. The most notable POG win was Doug Austin as the AP player putting the entire CP force out of supply in an early round!!! This caused attrition for every CP unit on the board, a first for WAM play. The Semi-finals saw Byrd and Charlie Hickok playing and Drueding and Ken Gutermuth paired against one another. Ken's stated goal was to last the entire game!! 

As mentioned above we had a repeat of last year's Final with Tom and Chris. Tom won the AP with a bid of 3. These two pachyderms went at it Saturday evening. By Turn 5 it was looking bleak for Chris. By Turn 10 he realized that his CP forces were in an untenable position and, being the sportsman that he is, conceded. This allowed them to test drive PUG. I did not get any feedback on their experience. Even given the reduced number of players we all still had a good time and some BBQ!!  Looking forward to next year.

2009 WAM Laurelists

Chris Byrd, CT

Ken Gutermuth, NC

Charles Hickok, PA

Tim Hall, UT

Bill Pettus, NJ

Paths of Glory PBeM Results

The "sharks were well represented among the 89-player turnout with most of the top rated players cruising through the initial rounds of what would be a 196-game, three-year marathon.  An interesting addition from past tourney's was a 6-member "Italian" contingent who all did quite well with three of the six making it to the 4th round (at which point the field had been reduced to nine players).  A new innovation this time permitted all players to continue to the second round in either the lower or upper division.  Thus, regardless of how poor one's record was in the first round, these players could continue without any detriment in the lower division (although some chose not to).  Cinsequently, we still had 74 playing in Round 2.  Three of the lower division advanced to Round 3 together with 18 from the higher echelon.
Bidding - the game was standard POG with the extra AH corp at Lutsk and Stanislaw.  Probably because so many games have been played, the bidding has become pretty predictable with the average bid at 2 for the AP. The CP has pretty much gone to the defend the Rhine, kill the Russians strategy. I will be starting a new tournament with slightly different rules hopefully to change this a bit.
In the Final Stefan Mecay got the CP and in both cases fell back to the Rhine and crushed the Russians.  In the other medal game between Reese and Byrd the same thing was attempted but the CP fell 1 short of victory for a draw. Following Stefan in the Laurels totals were: Chris Byrd, Peter reese, Rob Hassard, Mauro Gasbarrini, and marvin Birnbaum.
All in all, a lot of games over a long period of time.  The next tournament will have a shorter period for the games (3-3 1/2 months) as it has been almost three years for this tournament to reach completion.

Rules - sames as before with the following additions

  1. Use optional corps at Lutsk at Stanislaw as always;
  2. Use optional trench rolls and the 8 card hand;
  3. Use the optional historical setup/rules (on GMTs web site);
  4. Move VP spaces from Turkey (2 - Jerusalem and Kharput) to Koblenz and Aachen and move VP spaces from Ahwaz and Venice to BL and Sedan.
  5. CP will get one RP per turn if during TW  (starting the turn it draws its TW cards) so long as it has at least three French Belgian spaces including (the three spaces must include Sedan) during the turn interphase.

To enter, contact before August 2009.

 GM      Peter Reese  [3rd Year]   NA   (NA)

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