POG Tourney September 2017 Update

Round 3 of the BPA tournament grinds on with battlefield defeats taking six more folks out of the tournament.  Fatigue is likely to be setting in as we enter our second year but, as a reminder, all Round 3 match results are due by October 20th, no exceptions.  We have almost two months to wrap up this round but it’s becoming readily apparent that games are going to go longer – plan accordingly!
A few administrative notes:
  • At this stage of the event most people know the rules really well.  The largest number of issues requiring moderator intervention seem to center around opponent responsiveness followed closely by situations created because ‘liberties’ are being taken with the ACTS/PBEM process.  As always, please be communicative and precise in your ACTS log messages and do not make assumptions – it’s better to pause and seek clarification rather than to assume your opponent will take losses the way you would or make the advances you would.
  • No decisions have been made regarding the next BPA PBEM event, we don’t expect this tournament to finish in 2018 so it’s likely it will be 2019 before another starts.  Sustaining two POG events simultaneously may not be feasible, but we’ll see how things are going a year from now.
BPA PBEM Tournament Status Summary
We have fifty days left out of the original one hundred twenty.  While many of you are wrapping up, a sizable number are falling behind.  Here’s a quick overview of game status:
  • As of August 31st, 10 of 40 matches have been completed.
  • 7 CP wins and 3 AP wins.
  • 9 matches have not reached turn 9 – you are in danger of being “clocked out”.
  • If one (or both) players are not engaged in the game, not only will the GMs assign a loss before the end of the round, they will also assess whether or not the players should be allowed to progress into Round 4.  Regardless of whether or not this ‘time clock’ loss was that person’s first loss.  To further display how serious we are about keeping slow games moving, we’re not ruling the possibility of assigning BOTH players a loss!
  • Keep those cards & dice moving, please!

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Sportsmanship Nominee:
On a more positive note, a particularly gracious move was noted this round.  Because his opponent mistakenly assumed he had some corps in the RB to replace some flipped armies, Paul Huntley voluntarily adjusted his CP move to allow his opponent another round to redress the situation.  Very nice, I’m not sure many would have been able to overcome the urge to knock some enemy armies permanently out of the game.
It’s not known to many, but the natural sequence of steps in ACTS when shifting from Mobilization to Limited War and then to Total War does not match the actual sequence of play in the rule book.  Tom D. and Uffe C. pointed this out to me at WBC and Fred F. outlined the process for handling this in ACTS play.
  • In ACTS, the normal end turn sequence, after the six action rounds are played, is to discard combat cards, end turn, build a new “Draw” deck with the new War Status cards shuffled in, and then draw new cards for the new turn.
  • According to the rules, but rarely done in actual play, per 16.4.1, the new “Draw” deck is built during phase “E.4” of the War Status Phase.  Combat Card discards are performed AFTER the new cards have been shuffled in.  Finally, during phase “G”, new cards are drawn and THEN the turn advances.
At this point you may be asking yourself, what does this really mean?  It means that when you shift from Mobilization or Limited War, your combat cards that you were going to discard go into the discard pile AFTER the reshuffle and thus you can’t draw them again in the first deck of your new war status phase!  Not a big deal, perhaps, but still educational to many, including myself.  The way to handle this war status change in ACTS is as follows:  (Thank you, Fred!)
  • At the end of action round 6, players should not discard combat cards in ACTS when they are first going into Limited War or Total War.
  • Any player going to a new war status should indicate in the ACTS log which combat cards they are going to discard at the start of the next turn.
  • “End Turn” is clicked on by one of the players.  ACTS will then shuffle in the new cards in for the player(s) going to Limited or Total War.
  • The player(s) in the new war status should draw their new cards.  (They will only get enough cards to reach the hand limit.)
  • These players then should conduct their discards and redraw individual cards to fill their hand back up.
Yes, this is not an intuitive process but now you know how to handle it.
End of Summer Challenge:
It’s been a while but let’s close out the summer with two puzzles.  The first is aimed at the number crunchers while the second will provide some less strenuous brain exercise.
Puzzle #1791:  Delaying Italy
Situation:  You are the CP in a WBC Historical Scenario match with eight card hands.
  • It is CP Action Round 6 of turn 2 and War Status for the AP is 2 and the CP war status is 4.
  • Your cards are:  Von Francois, Severe Weather, and Wireless Intercepts.
  • The CP has played seven Mobilization events and the AP six events.
  • The AP has one card left in his hand, Blockade, and the CP has no play to deter that being played as an AP event in round 6
  • You have no pressing moves to make on the board.
Objective:  You do not want to see Italy come in next turn.   (Assume your AP opponent will play it as soon as possible, regardless of the board situation.)
Multiple Choice:  Given optimal play towards achieving that objective, what are the odds of the AP being able to get Italy in next turn?  Responses with some semblance of actual logic/math behind them are preferred!
  1. 30%
  2. 25%
  3. 21%
  4. 19%
  5. 15%
Puzzle #1792:  Lloyd George’d.
Situation:  You are the AP in the WBC historical scenario.  You’ve calculated the VPs and if you lose a VP this turn, you lose the game.
  • It’s turn 20, AP Action Round 6.
  • You still have a BR MO to make; the CP played Lloyd George on Action Round 1.
  • The AP can only make a 1-OP play.
  • Your field of play is that depicted below, no off-map shenanigans!
Objective:  Win the game!  What’s your best “path to glory”?
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As always, keep those game reports, questions, and comments coming in and we hope you enjoy this last weekend of summer!
Michael Dauer
Tom Gregorio
Paul Hubbard