POG Tourney March 1 2017 Update

Round 2 is underway and there are a total of 52 matches.  24 matches were between folks who racked up a win in Round 1 and 28 matches involved those who lost in Round 1 as well as the ten new heroes joining the event this round.  Tom Drueding, as the most recent former champion, after Nick Anner, is on the sidelines having accepted the bye this round.  This month’s update will be abbreviated if for no other reason than I’m recovering from a week off and we’re still in the early stages of this round.  As a reminder, this is round two of a double elimination event so approximately 25% of our entrants will be bidding adieu this round.
Game Pace:
  • If you’re on turn 4 or less you’re already falling behind.
  • After the first month, we already have seven matches completed.
  • More than half of our active games are on turn 5 or more.
Bidding Summary:
  • 12 matches of 52 had an AP bid of 0.
  • 32 matches had an AP bid of 1.
  • 7 matches had an AP bid of 2.
Administrivia:  I’ve had several questions regarding the projected duration of this event.  Given the ridiculous number of participants, I expect us to not have a winner declared until late 2019 at the earliest with a strong likelihood of a Q1 2020 completion.  As people get acclimated to the pace, it’s possible we can drive to completion earlier but I think full twenty-turn matches will still go three months unless two POG fanatics happen to be matched up.  Should the demand be sufficient and the GMs available, we may pursue starting the next tournament prior to this one finishing but that would still be a 2018 start at the earliest.
PrezCon POG:  The 2017 Winter Nationals were recently completed in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We had 17 Grognards competing under the stewardship of GMs Johnny Hasay and Pat Duffy.  If you think four month PBEM rounds are grueling, try seven hour face-to-face matches!  We had several students involved as well as many grognards from this PBEM event.  Much to my chagrin, Alex Gregorio defeated Tom Gregorio to claim the title by deftly switching to an all-out CP mid-war assault in the west that saw Paris, and Tom’s morale, collapse.  Twelve German armies in the west with multiple trench-busters proved too much.  The key learning for Tom was to NOT play “They Shall Not Pass” until a CP trench-buster was revealed.  Matt J. and Brian R. rounded up third and fourth place finishes with some mighty impressive newcomer performances.
Face to face play is a different beast when it comes to POG – you need to get your sleep, bring your war face, and, most importantly, be able to recover from mistakes that you’d never make in the leisurely games that you see on ACTS.  The next big POG face-to-face event will be the World Boardgaming Championships in Seven Springs in PA in August – come for the gaming, stay for the fun, and leave with your honor intact:  It doesn’t get any better than that!
February Puzzle Solution:  Last month’s puzzle was focused on the impact of the Valona to Taranto line switching from a dashed line to a solid line.  For whatever reason, this triggered the largest number of unique responses and some of them were very subtle.  Sadly, none of them surfaced the practical distinction I had in mind when I conjured up this puzzle.  Making this a particularly tricky puzzle is that the rule changes were not always in synch with the map changes so I went with assessing the impact of this map graphic change against the current rules.
With that in mind:  12.3.2 specifies that “Enemy occupied spaces connected to friendly attacking units only by dashed lines are ignored for the purpose of determining Flank Attack Attempt drms.”  In other words, when the connection was a solid line, the flank modifier in the situation depicted below, an Italian attack against Foggia was +0.  With that connection now a dashed line, the flank modifier is +1.
Inline image 1
Key things to note:
  • The line has always had “IT only” ascribed to it.  That limits movement, SR, AND supply.  Regardless of the solid or dashed connection, non-Italian units would not be able to leverage that ‘connectivity’.
  • Allied (non-IT units) advancing out of Salonika are still precluded from drawing supply over that Taranto to Valona connection; the non-Serbs will still need to draw on the Salonika to London port supply route.
March Puzzle:  This month we’ll focus on the cards with some straightforward questions.  Please don’t assume that straightforward means easy!  Hint:  Assume both the CP and AP players want to achieve this objective and you may also presume optimal card draws.  You’ll also want to make sure you’re referencing the most recent cards.
  • What turn will it be possible for the CP to have the smallest deck possible to draw from during the Draw Strategy Card Phase?
  • What is the earliest turn both US armies can be in France?  
  • What is the earliest turn the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk can be played?
Tom, Michael, Paul