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Updated Nov. 23, 2012

2012 WBC Report    

 2013 Status: pending 2013 GM commitment

James Pei, VA

2009-12 Champion

Event History
1999    James Pei     22
2000    Trevor Bender     21
2001    James Pei     22
2002    James Pei     29
2003    James Pei     32
2004     James Pei     35
2005    James Pei     24
2006     James Pei     27
2007     James Pei     30
2008     Riku Reikkinen     32
2009     James Pei     18
2010    James Pei     24
2011    James Pei     33
2012    James Pei     28

PBeM Event History
1999    James Pei     24
2002    Stefan Mecay     46

WAM Event History
2003    James Pei      8
2004     James Pei     12
2005    James Pei     17
2006    James Pei     11


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  James Pei          VA    12    646
  2.  David Dockter      MN    11    216
  3.  Mark Giddings      NY    12    151
  4.  Mike Mitchell      GA    11     69
  5.  Riku Reikkinen     fn    09     68
  6.  Trevor Bender      CA    03     62
  7.  Nicholas Pei       CA    12     60
  8.  Stefan Mecay       TX    02     60
  9.  Bill Pettus        MD    12     52
 10.  Tim Miller         GA    07     52
 11.  Chris Byrd         CT    08     39
 12.  Baron August       PA    02     36
 13.  Henry Russell      PA    12     31
 14.  Peter Reese        VA    04     28
 15.  Tom Thornsen       NY    10     25
 16.  Rob Winslow        NY    05     21
 17.  Dan Hoffman        NC    02     19
 18.  Bob Sohn           PA    09     18
 19.  Hank Burkhalter    GA    02     18
 20.  Doug Whatley       MD    00     18
 21.  Tom Drueding       TX    99     18
 22.  Michael Ussery     MD    09     14
 23.  Taylor Golding     on    04     12
 24.  George Young       VT    03     12
 25.  Paul Risner        TN    02     12
 26.  Tim Hughes         uk    02     12
 27.  Bill Thoet         VA    03     10
 28.  Steve Bucey        OH    99      9
 29.  Jeff Donald        VA    12      8
 30.  Don Chappell       TX    10      7
 31.  Doug Mercer        MD    05      7
 32.  Kevin McCarthy     OH    99      6
 33.  Mike Casselberry   PA    11      5
 34.  Keith Butler       CA    03      5
 35.  John Firer         WI    01      4
 36.  Mike Welker        OH    99      3
 37.  Jon Gautier        NY    06      2

2012 Laurelists                                         Repeating Laurelists:

Mark Giddings, NY

Bill Pettus, MD

Henry Russell, PA

Jeff Donald, VA

Nick Pei, CA

Past Winners

James Pei, TX
1999, 2001-07, 2009-12

Trevor Bender, CA

Riku Reikkinen, Finland

For such a one-sided event, FTP draws consistently.

Peter Perla and Richard Phares continue their annual match.

 The Twilight Stuggle GM looks for new CDWs to conquer.

 Tom Cannon tries to find the range with his surname.

Guess Who? ...

This years tournament was another barnburner as the best players continue to try to unseat James Pei, who has dominated the event since its inception. I give you James Pei's personal point of view of the tournament.

"2012 proved to be a tough year. Not only was this a grueling tournament in terms of strong players, but the heat conditions in the Lampeter room was not unlike campaigning in the fields of those old days. Long story short, the antiquated AC system of the Host was knocked out by a severe thunderstorm in midweek. They tried to fixed it, but to no avail. So by Saturday, the temperature was hot and stifling. Most of the wargamers sought refuge elsewhere, leaving only a handful of stalwarts to tough it out.

It was in this sauna that Mark Giddings and I met in the Final. Unlike other "wimps" who cannot stand the "heat', or the faint hearted who can only endure a few hours before seeking relief, the two FTP titans endured and fought the Civil War at its best for nearly eight hours!!! Needless to say, we were both exhausted.

Special mention goes to Taylor Golding who came here from Canada mainly to compete in FTP. He brought his "bible" of FTP notes, rulings, and FAQ. He was often seen poring over a much worn map, studying and chatting with people days before the tournament. He fought valiantly against Nick Pei and Mark Giddings, two perennial Top 5 players. Another up-n-comer is Nels Thompson, a 3-time Breakout Normandy champion, whose FTP game has improved a lot. He went down in a very tough Round 2 match to Jeff Donald. Jeff is a local VA boy who has been playing FTP online for a number of years. This was his second WBC appearance, many years after his first when he was blown away. He showed he has learned his lessons well before meeting his match against Bill Pettus. Bill is another TOP 5 player who won the 2004 PBeM tournament by fielding four full-strength, 15-SP armies as the Confederate!

Then, there is Mark Giddings, whose specialty as a Union player with oversized corps has propelled him to his fourth WBC FTP Final. This matches the Final appearances of my other, more colorful, protagonist, David Dockter. However, in a twist of fate, Giddings was to play the South while I took command of the Union. In hindsight, I think this proved to be more beneficial to me as his Union play is much stronger -- especially given the way the cards were distributed.

1861: Turn 1: I took the wrong pile as his cards contained a Major Campaign and two CSA reinforcement cards. I was only able to leverage the Farragut card by sacking Columbus GA. Turn 2 was better as I pushed into AR and took out TX, just before he can play his Mexican Pipeline card. AOP also made inroads in N Va by kicking the Rebels out of Manassas. Turn 3 was terrible as I had four 1-Op and two 2-Op cards. Without any 3-Op card to move my lumbering AOP, the eastern theater remained quiet. I fortified the DC area and consolidated AR. Mark played more reinforcement cards and spent the turn evicting the Union foothold in Columbus GA. He also tried unsuccessfully to defend AR. By the end of 1861, TX and AR joined the Union, causing the permanent loss of two CSA reinforcements. This came back to haunt the Rebels.

1862: I drew good cards on Turn 4, allowing me to make advances in VA and close the W Gulf Blockade Zone. Elsewhere, I was fortunate in several attacks that delayed Lee's formation of an army in TN and killing off Bedford Forrest. But you can tell that pressure was building as the South was forming killer armies with ample reserves from reinforcement cards. Sure enough, Turn 5 saw the clash of big armies in the East as AOP gallantly butted its head against AONV in an effort to soak attrition. Losing two large battles, I pulled back AOP after being Choctawed. But CSA was sufficiently bloodied that the damage was minimized. Lee finally crossed the Mississippi River into Cairo but no further. Turn 6 saw AOP losing another large battle, but the attrition rate was starting to tell as the South did not receive any more reinforcement cards. Coupled with the loss of two states and a blockade zone, it was losing the attrition war. The end of the turn saw the CSA pulling yet another Major Campaign and succeeded in getting KY. But it was unable to prevent MO's entry into the Union.

1863: Upon Grant's arrival, he took his new army and promptly marched on to Richmond. In the fourth large battle, Grant lost a close tie, but Stoneman took a bullet, causing the entire Eastern Theater of operation to grind to a halt. So the focus of effort was shifted to admit WVa to the Union. Elsewhere, we sparred around a bit, and Lee was still unable to make headways from Cairo due to the excellent defensive positions of the Union forces. By this time, the Blockade level was raised to 3.

The turning point came during Turn 8, when a depleted AONV failed to evade from Richmond, and then lost the ensuing battle. Mark correctly judged that with his weak forces in the area, that AONV was better off as a force in being than being grinded to oblivion defending Richmond. To add insult to injury, I drew Rail Degradation and took his Minor Campaign card away. With my last play, I was able to convert VA and isolate all remaining CSA forces in NC. The end of the turn saw a huge SW swing with USA 111 to CSA 39. At this point, we were both mentally and physically exhausted after almost eight hours battling in the sauna. Mark probably could still fight on, but his SP and SW were both low. His reinforcement rate had been steadily declining with no more event cards added since Turn 4. He said he still wanted to soldier on, but when he failed three blockade zones on Turn 9, he graciously resigned."

The perennial BKN champ looking for new worlds to conquer faces Jeff Donald.

This time Mark Giddings gets the honor of falling in the Final to the Master.

 Play By Email 2011+

By all accounts, the 2012 World Boardgaming Championships were a great success, if a bit uncomfortable due to a 6:1 die split that resulted in a HVAC failure. Once again, James Pei successfully defended his FTP title. Of course, and not to take ANYTHING away from James, it was undoubtedly easier due Don Chappell's unfortunate absence (and maybe David Dockter's). Seriously, congratulations to James and our thanks to him for giving us all something to shoot at... I mean shoot for! Shortly after WBC, the results of James' PBeM match against previously undefeated newcomer Alberto Molina were reported. Alberto's CSA conceded to James' Union after the Summer of '63 with the SW at 75:42. The Union had closed three Blockade Zones and had a 35:16 edge in SPs.

In a second battle of the undefeated, Herr Dockter's Union downed third ranked Michael Mitchell's CSA in the Fall of '63 with the SW at 90:38. As of this writing, Nick Pei and Gary Kirk, both previously undefeated, are enjoying a battle for the ages in a game found on ACTS under the handle BPA 4-1. It is the Spring of '64 and the SW is 31:24 (USA:CSA). This is a donnybrook well worth the effort of looking through the journal. Doug Pratto, the other previously undefeated player is locked with newcomer Jeff Donald in yet another masterful game.

James Pei and David Dockter are guaranteed their positions in the Single Elimination bracket games to begin at the end of September, and as befits their AREA ratings (first and second respectively) they will anchor the brackets. The winner of the Pei/Kirk game will also be seeded as will Pratto should he prevail against Donald. Known to have qualified for the drawing to complete the bracket are: Michael Mitchell, Alberto Molina, Grant LaDue, Tom Thornsen, Sean Dolbee, Tim Tow and Jean Louis Dirion. Possibly qualifying, depending upon the outcome of their current games are: Jeff Donald, Mike Pacheco, George Young, Steve Likevich and Mustafa Corapci. Round 4 officially began on May 25th and ended on September 28th 2012.

The fourth round ended on schedule with one adjudication. Things only got tougher thereby, however, as there were 13 players with 3-1 records and only five slots available in the Single Elimination bracket. Five of the 13 were randomly selected to participate in the championship bracket. With exactly eight remaining, a special "Trans Mississippi" bracket was created for fun, honor and "I coulda been a contender!" bragging rights. While disappointment was clearly evident, all accepted this invitation in the spirit of good sportsmanship that is the hallmark of BPA members.

The Championship Quarterfinals feature Jean Louis Dirion (USA) vs James Pei; Tom Thornsen (USA) vs Jeff Donald; Gary Kirk (USA) vs Doug Pratto and Sean Dolbee (USA) vs David Dockter). Shortly after the brackets were announced a flurry of unauthorized handicapping for a betting pool broke out on ComSimWorld. It seems to me that the handicappers were basing their odds on their own experiences against these players rather than any valid mathematical analysis, so my advice would be to take the long odds in each case as I suspect that pay-offs are larger than risk across the board. This bracket strikes me as a highly competitive one. While Dockter and Pei are seeded to allow yet another Final confrontation, the path to both getting there is not going to be easy. This may yet be the tournament that sees the beginning of an end to a certain dynasty... and if not, then the greater the glory as the story will continue for another chapter. Round 5 of the tournament officially began on September 29th and will end on February 2nd 2013.

As I suspected would happen, Round 4 ended with more balanced results with respect to the sides. There were six Union victories vs five losses (and the one adjudication). Additionally the games lasted longer with one, the contest between reliable grognard Bill Peeck and Mike Kunin going into the last turn before a decision was reached. For more details please visit our tournament website at the link above.

 GM      Mark Herman  [10th Year]   NA
    NA    NA

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