Tomorrow, a hundred years ago, Woodrow Wilson spoke to the US Congress and requested a declaration of war against Germany. Back in Europe, the bombardment of Vimy Ridge was underway in preparation for the battle of Arras with Allenby in charge of the British 3rd Army. In the skies, “Bloody April” awaited the Royal Flying Corps.
Today, a hundred years later, we engage in our own cardboard carnage among equally determined contestants, across the globe, time apparently delivering little distinction between the efforts of warriors striving to advance their causes, then and now. Our stakes are small but our hearts are still valiant. It should be noted that the BPA tournament pace is quickening: We ended last month with seven matches completed; sixteen more matches were completed this month as our POG heroes pressed home their ACTS attacks. Unfortunately, for thirteen of our vanquished comrades, this was their second loss which means they are now relegated to the sidelines. Wish them well, should you have the attention to spare from your own struggle.
- If you’re one of the nine ongoing matches that have not reached turn 8, you are not keeping up. If you’re one of five matches still on turn 5, or less, please be ready for some significant “attention” from your game moderators as adjudicating matches is far from an enjoyable activity.
- That being said, it’s apparent that most matches are progressing nicely. We had 54 matches start this round with 22 of the remaining 31 ongoing games now past turn eight, comfortably on track to finish by early June.
- We had our first twenty-turn match complete; kudos are due to Mitchell and Nemanja for displaying the POG fanaticism that most of us can but aspire to. Even better, they both had won in Round 1 which means both of them will be back in the fray in Round 3.
- With ten latecomers joining in, this round is even larger than the last; please do not assume your moderator has the time to regularly review your ACTS log. If you have a question, please email Michael, Paul, or Tom directly. (While Tom appreciates the attention, your specified game moderator should be your first contact.)
- A gentle reminder is warranted – not everyone has English as a primary language. Be gentle and don’t read any ‘tone’ into a message when none was intended.
- It is strongly recommended that all reserve box transactions be documented in the ACTS log. Numerous games feature ‘queries’ on this subject; head those questions off by documenting the state of the RB ANYTIME a corps goes in or goes out.
- Finally, remember this is a double elimination event. If you’ve already lost one game, or missed Round 1, you need to play every game like it’s your last – you get no credit for shells unfired. Play hard, play fair.
March Puzzle Solution: Last month we surfaced some questions that tested your knowledge of the deck composition and the US Entry/Russian Capitulation sequences. I’m pleased to say that a newcomer, Matt Johnson was the first to surface a correct response to all three questions and his response to the first surpassed what I had in mind! Several others, including Johnny H. and Steve K., were close.
- What turn will it be possible for the CP to have the smallest deck possible to draw from during the Draw Strategy Card Phase? The CP can have ZERO cards to draw from during the draw phase of turn 3. (The CP will have Von Francois, Severe Weather, Falkenhayn, and one other War Status card in their hand. They will still have a war status of “Mobilization” and will also need to have have played two 1-OP action rounds on turn 3.)
- What is the earliest turn both US armies can be in France? Turn 6.
- Turns 1 and 2: CP play all War Status cards for 6 WS, AP gets 5 WS from all WS cards but one BR reinforcement.
- Turn 3: CP play Rathenau, Zeppelin Raids, War in Africa, and Place of Execution. AP plays Italy, Lusitania, MEF, and Salonika. Total WS is now 22, eleven each for the CP and AP.
- Turn 4: CP plays Bulgaria, AP plays Brusilov, BR Reinforcement for WS, Great Retreat, Greece, and Independent Air Force. War Status at 30, AP plays Zimmerman Telegram.
- Turn 5: AP plays Over There and one US Reinforcement
- Turn 6: AP plays the second US reinforcement.
- What is the earliest turn the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk can be played? Turn 4.
- Turns 1 and 2: CP play all war status cards to get to 6 WS and puts an army in Breslau. AP plays war status events to get to 5 WS. At the end of turn 2, the CP uses ops to send the Breslau army to Warsaw via Lodz and the Insterburg army to Riga. (This solution assumes the AP is cooperating and opening up VP spaces for the CP.) Win both sieges and thus have three Russian VPs. Combined War Status is now at 11 and both players enter limited war.
- Turn 3: CP play Bulgaria, Rathenau, Tsar Takes Command, War in Africa and Zeppelin Raids. AP plays Lusitania, Great Retreat, MEF, and Salonika, and the second BR army reinforcement for another WS. CP is at WS 13, AP is at WS 11, and both sides enter Total War.
- Turn 4: CP plays H+L and U-Boats. AP plays Italy. Combined War Status at 30. CP plays Fall of the Tsar and uses the ops to move Austrians towards Kiev or Turks towards Baku. Action round 4: capture Kiev or Baku with OPS. Action round 5: Bolshevik Revolution. Action Round 6: Brest-Litovsk event is played.
April Puzzle: And now for something completely different. We’ve had numerous questions about sportsmanship and tournament etiquette; here are three situations to vex you. You are the GM, what would your decisive response be?
- My CP opponent put my RU unit in Ivangorod out of supply on Turn 1, Action Round 2. Round one he played GOA; on Action Round 2 moved GE8A to Warsaw and a GEc to B-L and then diced me with an attack on Lublin and and a subsequent advance into that space. We agreed to play with supply warnings. Can I force him to allow me to redo my AP Turn 1 Action Round 1 since he didn’t issue the supply warning after his first round?
- I submitted a battle to my opponent that stated the odds incorrectly My opponent ‘accepted’ the specification and resolved it. After the dice were rolled, he adjusted the odds and applied the die rolls; if I’d known the correct odds I would have adjusted my move. Am I obliged to apply the results to the adjusted battle?
- We’ve been periodically tallying the VP counts. We did a mid-turn count and now realize that we’re MUCH closer to an AV than previously reported and it’s likely that I will lose this turn because I can’t take back sufficient VP spaces. What options do I have?
Tricky Tactics: With the goal of introducing players to some things they may not have already thought of, here’s the Aqaba Assault. (Note: Unless I specifically assign credit, assume that this GM has been the victim of this move as well as any other ‘Tricky Tactics’, I would not dare to claim to be the inventor of this or most other ‘tricks’ I might share with you.)
Overview: The Aqaba Assault is a nice way to open up the AP Near East campaign with the Brits. By moving ANA to Aqaba on Action Round 6, and assuming the siege resolution gives you the 5/6th chance of destroying the fort, next turn you threaten to have a flanking attack on Beersheba. Getting to that 9A combat column is also often significant for the AP when they went to clear out Beersheba.
Tom, Michael, Paul