A New Revolution ...
Ray Freeman vs Derek Landel
David Boor vs Chris Collins
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.
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
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
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
Marvin Birnbaum, NY
Chris Byrd, CT
Terry Coleman, CA
Paul Gaberson, PA
Rob Doane, MD
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.