washington's war * 

Updated Nov. 23, 2012 

 2012 WBC Report  

 2013 Status: pending 2013 GM commitment

Keith Wixson, NJ

2012 Champion

* We The People prior to 2010

Event History
1994    Andy Lewis      60
1995    Roger Taylor      56
1996    George Seary      54
1997    Thomas Drueding      40
1998    James Pei      40
1999    Marvin Birnbaum     32
2000    Brian Mountford     45
2001    Brian Mountford     32
2002    Marvin Birnbaum     54
2003    George Young     41
2004    John Poniske     43
2005     Chris Byrd     43
2006     George Young     45
2007     George Young     39
2008     Brian Mountford     38
2009     Marvin Birnbaum     34
2010    Keith Wixson     58
2011    Michael Mitchell     68
2012    Keith Wixson     51

PBeM Event History
2004    Paul Gaberson      46
2008     Dan Leader     50
2012    James Pei     70

WAM Event History
2004    Michael Ussery      16
2005    Marvin Birnbaum       24
2006    James Pei     13
2007    James Pei     20
2011    Tim Miller     28
2012     James Pei     22


Rank  Name                From  Last  Total
  1.  George Young         VT    12    284
  2.  Marvin Birnbaum      NY    12    251
  3.  James Pei            TX    12    217
  4.  Paul Gaberson        PA    12    198
  5.  Brian Mountford      NY    09    179
  6.  Keith Wixson         NJ    12    160
  7.  John Poniske         PA    09     91
  8.  Mike Mitchell        GA    11     61
  9.  Dan Leader           MA    08     60
 10.  Bill Peeck           NY    12     52
 11.  Chris Byrd           CT    12     52
 12.  Joe Collinson        MD    08     52
 13.  Tom Drueding         MA    11     46
 14.  Tim Miller           GA    12     42
 15.  Kent Tieman          TX    12     36
 16.  John Faella          RI    10     36
 17.  George Seary         NY    06     36
 18.  Jim Gutt             AZ    04     36
 19.  Eric Kleist          MD    10     32
 20.  Philip Burgin-Young  VT    12     38
 21.  Michael Ussery       MD    11     28
 22.  Pete Reese           VA    08     27
 23.  Ron Jacobsen         OH    12     24
 24.  Roderick Lee         CA    07     24
 25.  Michael Pacheco      CA    04     24
 26.  Anthony Burke        NJ    00     24
 27.  Terry Coleman        CA    12     18
 28.  Henry Rice           NM    09     18
 29.  Jim Fardette         ae    01     18
 30.  David Dockter        MN    02     16
 31.  David Tianen         WI    00     16
 32.  Pat Mirk             FL    03     15
 33.  Bruce Monnin         OH    08     12
 34.  Rob Taylor           MI    05     12
 35.  Paul Barrett         uk    04     12
 36.  Ken Gutermuth        TX    05      9
 37.  Jim Eliason          IA    05      8
 38.  Stuart Tucker        MD    04      8
 39.  Bruce Wigdor         NJ    02      8
 40.  Andy Lewis           DE    00      8
 41.  Jay Meyers           CA    12      6
 42.  Randy MacInnis       NJ    10      6
 43.  Seth Fine            WA    04      6
 44.  Joe Stenken          KY    03      5
 45.  Randy Pippus         on    12      4
 46.  Bill Powers          VA    11      4
 47.  Mark Yoshikawa       CA    06      4
 48.  Bryan Thompson       MD    04      4
 49.  Randall Borra        NY    00      4
 50.  Jim Falling          IL    99      4
 51.  Rob Doane            MD    12      3
 52.  Matthew Bacho        MD    04      2

2012 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists:

George Young, VT

Bill Peeck, NY

Tim Miller, GA

Philip Burgin-Young, VT

Randy Pippus, on

Past Winners

Andy Lewis, DE

Roger Taylor, VA

George Seary, NY

Thomas Drueding, PA

James Pei, TX

Marvin Birnbaum, NJ
1999, 2002, 2009

Brian Mountford, NY
2000-01, 2008

George Young, VT
2003, 2006, 2007

John Poniske, PA

Chris Byrd, CT

Keith Wixson, NJ
2010, 2012

Michael Mitchell, GA

Ray Freeman vs Derek Landel

David Boor vs Chris Collins

A New Revolution ...

The GM is not a Fan ...

I want to thank my assistant GMs and finalists Keith Wixson and George Young who helped the tournament run smoothly, as well as Paul Gaberson for running the demo.

As with all events run in the sauna that was our meeting place our numbers suffered along with the participants. I broke in disgrace in the third round and played in wet clothing in a failed attempt to control overheating. Nevertheless, the field was strong despite the playing conditions. Play was considerably faster with the Final ending a good two hours earlier at 2am.

The Final featured dueling AGM's Keith as King George versus George "Washington" Young. Keith had a poor hand and decided to immediately go for a southern strategy, eventually using three generals down south while Howe took Newport and Carleton stayed in Canada.

The Americans put the wood to monarchy with an early rush that saw 1779 begin with the Americans up 11-3 and a 1779 War Ends Card in play. Keith was so despondent when he picked up his hand and saw no War Ends card that he almost resigned. However, George had the 1783 War Ends card, so instead of receiving Keith's sword in his hands he ended up with it in his ribs as a most improbable comeback began.

Card luck shifted to the Brits as no further War End card appeared. The Americans were hit with back to back line mutinies in 1780 and 1781. Keith gained an op edge and the 1781 mutiny was followed by Lord North, clearing New England. The French arrived in New York City but did not play a further part. The Americans were forced to use their scant resources to save New England while the Brits secured the South and advanced on the middle states. 1783 dawned with Keith controlling the six he needed for the win.

Keith was able to feint a move for VA, allowing Clinton to swing into DE. The Americans maneuvered to secure enough so that it all came down to the last card play ... a George Washington Winter Offensive on DE. Washington's leadership roll failed while Clinton's succeeded - giving the battle and the war to Keith. The British win was unusual for the late rounds of the tournament. Overall, the Americans held a 41-27 edge but that only tells part of the story. The breakdown was Americans 32, Brits 25 in the first three rounds. Thereafter it was a 9-2 rout for the Americans and would have been 10-1 if the Final battle dice had broke differently.

Bidding reflected an American bias. In the first three rounds the most popular bid was 0, 26 times. Only four bids of 1 were put in for the Brits as opposed to 26 bids for the Americans averaging about 1.5. In the later rounds no bids were made for the Brits. The average for the ten American bids rose to 2 but they still had a 9-2 edge in results.

It appears that that one of the principal justifications for replacing We The People with Washington's War has failed. The Americans still hold a strong advantage. Instead of concentrating on a simple fix that could have produced a more even set of results on a classic design we now get to blunder around with a completely different design for a few years only to reveal the same flaws in play balance in the original.

For the folks out there old enough to remember The GENERAL magazine a play balance fix usually took no more than a little tinkering with either the victory conditions or initial resources to create a fair tournament scenario. The new method seems to toss out the baby with the bathwater and end up with the same problem. I want to try a fix for next year. Please send your emails if you want to take part in a discussion as to how to go about it.

Mark Popofsky vs Marvin Birnbaum

Bob Hamel vs Bill Edwards

2012 WAM Laurelists

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

Chris Byrd, CT

Terry Coleman, CA

Paul Gaberson, PA

Rob Doane, MD

 Play By Email 2012

James "The Master" Pei bested a field of 70 players to win the Third WTP/Washington's War PBeM Tournament, a six-round swiss competition which began in May 2010. Pei ran the table, going 6-0 to add to his legendary championship total, including his recent win in the WAM X Washington's War tournament. He defeated (in order) Andre Heller, Kirk Harris, Kent Tieman, Paul Gaberson (the 2004 We the People PBeM champ), George Young (a three-time WBC We the People champ) and Jay Meyers. His six wins included two as the British. In the unofficial championship game against the previously undefeated Meyers in Round 6 he won as the Americans despite Washington being captured in mid-game.

The other laurelists all went 5-1. Kent Tieman and Ron Jacobsen each finished with 13 tiebreak points and Tieman won the roll off to finish in second place. Tieman's only loss was to Pei in Round 3. He defeated Don Chappell, Henry Russell, Steve Caler, Pete Reese and Kirk Harris. Jacobsen's only loss was to Marvin Birnbaum in Round 1, but he then won the rest of his games, defeating Chris Leary, Gilbert Collins, Henry Rice, Paul Pawlak and Dan Leader (the 2008 We the People PBeM champ). Meyers fell to sixth place after the championship game due to poor tiebreakers. Gaberson also went 5-1, but finished out of the laurels entirely.

The 185 games played broke down as follows: 74 British wins to 89 American wins for a 55% American win rate (22 games were declared forfeits due to slow play and are not otherwise included in the statistics provided in this report). In Round 4 the Americans won 20 of the 26 games played to a conclusion, accounting for almost all of the difference. In the other five rounds the wins were split almost evenly.

Generally, the earlier a game finished, the more likely the result was to be a British victory. Eight games finished prior to 1779; all British wins by American resignation after losing Washington. 37 games finished in 1779 (14 British wins) and 54 contests ended in 1780 (29 British wins). The late games tended to favor the Americans. 42 concluded in 1781 (27 American wins) and 17 games finished in 1782 (13 American wins). Ironically, however, of the five games that finished in 1783 the Brits won four.

Washington was captured in 26 games. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those games (22) were British victories. The Americans did pull out four wins, however, including the aforementioned Pei-Meyers game for all the marbles.

The French entered the war in 69 games (42%). The American won 42 of those games (61%). In the 94 games where the French abstained, each side won 47 games.

The British Regulars Bonus was lost in 91 games (56%) with he Americans winning 55 (60%). In the 72 games where the Bonus lasted the entire game the Brits won the majority (53%).

The tournament went off without any significant problems and was completed in about a year and a half. Thanks to everybody who participated and especially to Don Chappell for being the Assistant GM. The tournament website is http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4bc94/waw/index.html

An AAR of the Pei-Meyers Round 6 Game follows:

American Player: James Pei
British Player: Jay Meyers

After a long uphill struggle, the American colonists won their independence from the British Crown at the end of 1782. It was a very close affair as American and French generals maneuvered tirelessly in a desperate attempt to gain control of the colonies after General Washington was captured in early 1779.

The British focused mainly on the New England strategy throughout the game. Both sides sparred evenly for the first three turns, with neither side gaining much advantage. Then things went downhill for the Americans in 1778 when the Brits used the most powerful card in the deck, Major Campaign, to trap an aggressively positioned Washington in Delaware. He survived a hair-raising battle, plus a few more breakout attempts, but was finally captured when Lord Howe cornered the Continental Army in Westchester. The resulting PC loss was disastrous, causing a rippling effect on subsequent plays as the colonials tried unsuccessfully to plug leaking PC holes. The year ended with Brits holding an 8-3 edge in colonies, with many American PCs isolated.

1780 opened with the Americans trying to fill in PCs. With the loss of Continental Army, Greene and Arnold were entrusted with leading the fight. It was a difficult task as the Americans now waged guerrilla warfare using 1 CU forces to harass and support the political war, but could not hold territory against any significant British force. The only glimpse of hope for the Americans was that the 1782 War Ends Card was played, giving the rebellion more time to regroup. The British used the turn to consolidate and expand southward into Virginia.

1781 was the Annus Mirabilis (Year of Miracles) for the beleaguered colonials. The Declaration of Independence, Franklin, and von Steuben event cards finally appeared in rapid succession, bringing the French into the war and enabling the Americans to contest a number of colonies. With a renewed spirit, the Americans penetrated into British controlled areas, securing New Hampshire and two southern colonies. The 1783 War Ends Card was played by the Brits, further pushing back the peace talks and giving the American-French alliance more time to re-establish control. The year ended with American control of seven colonies to six for the British.

1782 was unnerving, with heavy fog of war as the deck was reshuffled. All types of cards were back in play, including Campaigns, discarders, and War Ends. The French entry gave the American guerrilla forces a field army once again. With it, the Alliance went on the offensive, battling the Brits for control of Maryland. When the Brits were forced to play the 1782 War Ends Card, tension was ratcheted up another notch. The Americans strove to deny the Brits their sixth colony, and the focus was Frederick Town where several battles were fought. The Brits eventually won the fight for Maryland but lost the war when Lafayette was able to deny Virginia to the Crown on the last card play of the game. The final colony count was 8-5 in favor of the Americans, who also enjoyed a favorable 29-24 PC count.

Meyers leveraged his limited cards early on into a dominant position when he got better cards in the mid-game. Several times he maneuvered and played events in ways that forced Pei to go first on the next turn. It was only in '81-82 with arrival of very good cards that Pei was able to turn the tide.

 GM      Marvin Birnbaum [2nd Year]  NA 
   marvinbirnbaum@hotmail.com   NA

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