Breakout: Normandy (BKN) PBeM Reports Updated May 16, 2018

2017 PBeM Tournament
  Kevin Hammond’s Allies have defeated Jim Eliason’s Germans to capture the 10th BPA Breakout: Normandy PBeM Tournament. The decisive blow came on impulse 5 of the 11th when the Allies declared a double impulse against Carentan and captured its 2 VP’s. Generally considered a "German" player, Kevin was able to win 4 out of 5 matches with the Allies, including the last 2 rounds. Congratulations to Kevin, who adds this title to his 2 previous wins at the WBC. The tournament drew 36 players playing a total of 35 games. Remaining laurelists were Jim Eliason, Larry Meyers, Kevin Wojtaszczyk, Ron Fedin, and Mike Kaye.

2016 PBeM Tournament
  Veteran competitor Stephen Andriakos has won the 9th rendition of the Breakout: Normandy PBeM Tournament over a field of 32 in five rounds. He showed command from both sides of the table with three victories as the Germans and two as the Allies.

In the Final as the German, Andriakos was able to secure the so-called "Magic Bridge" after the runner-up, Dan Leader, decided to seize all four bridges around St. Mere-Eglise with his paratroopers on D-Day. The second and decisive turning point came on June 9, when the Germans were able to counterattack into Caen and throw the Allies out with a +1 die roll. From there it was all downhill for the Germans as Steve won his first BPA tournament.

The other laurelists were Don Greenwood, Henry Jones, Dennis Nicholson and Jason Albert who finished third through sixth respectively.


2014 PBeM Tournament
  Andrew Cummins, relieved of his GM hat and responsibiliies during the email wars, has won the 8th BPA PBeM tournament over a field of 30 in 29 hotly contested games. In doing so, he has become only the second player to win the BKN triple crown with titles at WBC, the PBeM crown and the now defunct D-Day mini-con.

The Final took on a decidedly international and historical flavor with UK's Andrew commanding the Allies against German Peter Brunken's Wehrmacht. Despite nearly losing Juno Beach on D-Day, Andrew was able to clear Omaha and contest St Mere Eglise on the 6th. This led to the fall of Carentan on the 8th, usually a fatal blow to German hopes. Andrew finished them off by isolating Foret on the 10th - all but ensuring his last required VP.

In contrast to the most recent WBC, this event - which started in 2012 - used the original AH version as the default, leaving use of the L2 version to those who mutually opted for its use. The other laurelists were the 2013 WBC champ, Mike Kaye, in third followed by veterans Scott Fenn, Henry Jones and defending champ Mark Gutfreund.


2012 PBeM Tournament
  Two grizzled veterans of Breakout: Normandy tournaments, Mike Kaye and Mark Gutfreund, met in the Final of the 7th PBeM Tournament to decide which of the pair would finally break through to his first tournamnt title. The path to the title for each was with their preferred side in all five rounds, the Allies for Kaye and the Germans for Gutfreund. Kaye persevered through numerous negative dice rolls for the entire game, and he still had a chance to pull out a win on the sixth impulse of the 12th by rolling +4 with an assault on St. Lo, but fell short on his last gasp assault . One oddity: Carentan was bombed only once the entire game and was never assaulted. Also scoring laurels were: 3rd Tom Dworschak; 4th Kevin Hammond; 5th Marvin Birnbaum and 6th Scott Fenn.

2011 PBeM Tournament
  Don Greenwood has taken the sixth rendition of the Breakout: Normandy PBeM tournament. Don's Allies overran Scott Fenn's Germans in Carentan on the11th to seal the win. The 6th had started out well for Scott, with a weather change that gave the Germans three impulses to move units from the Cherbourg peninsula. On a 7th of June that lasted 12 impulses, however, Don was able to clear St. Mere-Eglise with a single regiment attack, contest Caen, and move the American corps artillery into St. Mere and Trevieres. This would prove decisive on the 8th when Don blasted a formidable Carentan garrison with eight fresh units including three artillery with a +8 roll on a naval bombardment followed by a +4 roll with the VII Corps artillery. Then the V Corps artillery reduced the three fresh units in Foret to spent and allied air soon reduced those to D1. Both areas were contested on the 8th and Foret and Isigny both fell on the first impulse of the 9th. The 9th also featured three weather changes and Don managed to contest Caumont, makig Scott's attempts to funnel troops to Carentan even more difficult. The 10th saw Catz falling, Don continuing to pound Carentan, and Scott trying desperately to reinforce it. On the 11th with both corps artillery in place, Don pounded Carentan but Scott had some luck hitting fresh allied units in Carentan with artillery. On the sixth impulse Don assaulted at 15-4 against a pile of d2 units and took the area twice when Scott used the Advantage for a reroll.

Overall, the Allies scored a rare win in this tournament with 20 victories in the 37 games, led by Don's two Allied victories in the final rounds. Other laurelists were Kevin hammond, Tom Gregorio, Scott Moll and Hank Burkhalter in that order.


2008 PBeM Tournament
  Tom Dworschak has won the 5th rendition of the PBeM tournament, outlasting 49 other players in a six-round Single Elimination tournament. The victory was his fifth as the Germans in a tournament once again dominated by German play despite bidding for sides. The Germans won 29 of 51 games. Steve Andriakos took second when he lost the dice off for the Germans. Both players had submitted bids of 37 Allied supply to play the Germans. Also earning laurels were Harvey Smallman, Michael Kaye, Jim Eliason and Scott Fenn who finished third through sixth respectively.


2006 PBeM Tournament
  Overall, the Germans won 30 of 48 games; 62.5%, although the Allies fared better in the consolation rounds, winning 7 of 12. The supply bids to play the Germans averaged 13.8 in the first round—weighed down by 11 players who preferred the Allies and, thus, played with no bid at all. This Allied preference shrank quickly with only two surviving into the second round and the average bid climbing to 19.2. By Round 3, the Allied preference players were gone and the average bid rose again to 23.6. It rose still further in the semi-finals to 30.3 before dropping slightly to 30 in the fifth, and final, round.

Here is the winner’s after-action reportby Don Greenwood.
Having finally won one of these marathon sessions, I suppose I should provide some type of commentary on my road to the crown. Unfortunately, one doesn’t expect to win when one sets out on such an endeavor, and so no notes were kept on the many twists and turns encountered along the way.

Many details have already faded beyond recollection, so I must apologize in advance for any inaccuracies contained herein. Before I launch into that attempt, however, I should congratulate all my fellow players for their excellent sportsmanship and dedication. Such an effort travels at the speed of the slowest player and to successfully navigate 47 players through life’s maze in an event lasting nearly 18 months without any casualties along the way is quite extraordinary.

When I first got into this hobby in the 60’s and got my first taste of competitive play with play by snail mail, disappearing opponents were more the norm than the exception. We’ve come a long way since then and those of us who are left have risen to a higher standard. It’s a pleasure to have gamed with you.

Round 1: I figured I would not be long for this tournament when I drew Jim Eliason in the first round. Jim is a past WBC champ who has gotten the better of me on several occasions. Although he says we are even, I can only recall losing to him—not beating him. Both losses were burned deep into my sub-conscious by their very nature. The first game was every Allied player’s nightmare and the game was lost from the getgo with a terrible start but I kept going since we were at D-Day with nothing else to do between rounds. Amazingly, it only got worse. I’ve never seen such dice disparities before. Not only was he winning all the big rolls…he was winning all the rolls period. I think we played four days before I could take it no longer and gave up. In that time I think we counted maybe five times that I had rolled a 7 or higher. Bad as that was, the second loss hurt even more.

This time I was the Germans and seemingly had the game well in hand when he rolled a “2” Weather Change on a cloudy day and totally turned the game around. It was a classic case of how quickly this game can turn. I offer that by way of background because I simply can’t recall much of what happened other than my Allies got off to such a great start that Jim threw in the towel relatively early—on the 7th or 8th. I guess fate decided it was time to pay me back for those earlier lop-sided losses.

Round 2: Clyde Longest’s Allies nearly did me in during Round 2. He got off to a great start with a deep penetration through Bretteville on the 6th which had me on the ropes early. He remained firmly in command through mid-game and things looked grim for me. My saving grace was that he was running out of time…not game time—but tournament time. It looked like he would lose the game by time limit while holding a commanding position. At that point he made several dangerous assaults which both failed and promptly conceded although I think his position was still winnable. This was not a win to savor as I got the distinct impression that his sudden risky tactics were more a result of the time limit than my defense. This impression was reinforced when I played him later in the D-Day finals where he played a nearly flawless game against me. A fine player who I suspect I was able to best only with the aid of time pressures.

Round 3: I played Ron Jacobsen in Round 3 and was able to win as the Germans without much difficulty through a combination of hot dice and his relative inexperience. A relatively new player, Ron nonetheless hung in there without much help from the dice.

Round 4: This game against Scott Fenn was the one that won the tounament in my opinion. My Allies took Caen with a boxcars roll to start June 10th for 11 Victory Points but it was hardly the usual grind it out defense of Caen you normally see when Caen falls. The game was a real roller coaster with Scott faring poorly with Interdiction on both land and sea while my assaults were blunted by cold dice—winning only one and tying two of my first 13 assault rolls. I came close to throwing in the towel when I rolled a pair of -7s on assaults of Carentan and Caen on June 7th. Desperate, I used the Advantage for a 7-8 assault of Caen by a single armor brigade that successfully contested Caen and saved the day. The move was one of pure frustration rather than inspiration and would have been followed by my concession had it failed, but my luck mproved thereafter. Even so, I had to gamble all on the Caen assault to pull out the win. I can’t recall ever taking Caen against fresh defenders without preparatory bombardments before.,/p>

Round 5: With three of us left, we had to call in an Eliminator to prevent a bye. Once again, Tom Dworschak—the top AREA-rated player did the honors. I was relieved not to draw him since he eliminated me in the same situation in the prior tournament and I have never beaten him. Instead, I got Bryan Eshleman, a past D-Day champ who has always played me tough. I believe we’ve split four prior games. The only real difference between us is I happen to be in a good karma zone at the moment while his is heading in the opposite direction. I won the recent D-Day tournament while he was going an uncharacteristic 1-4.

When Dworschak defeated Andriakos early on the beaches, Bryan and I were left vying for the championship. True to recent form, his allies got off to a bad start and lost the magic bridge, but recovered with a strong 7th. Nevertheless, my new friends—the dice—kept pulling for me and I thought I was in a commanding position until I woke up on the 10th Regroup and realized Foret was in danger of being encircled. If that happened, he would regain the Advantage and the game. Unit poor in the center, I took the drastic action of totally abandoning Foret to prevent any chance of his killing three units to regain the Advantage. Fortunately for me, his luck in St Mere got no better and I was able to hold the area until Impulse 3 of the 12th. When he rolled snake-eyes two impulses later, the game ended with him a VP shy and I finally had won an email tournament.

All I can say is it’s great to be lucky.


2005 PBeM Tournament
  The Germans won 29 of the 47 matches played, with the majority of those coming in the first round. From the second round onwards, the Allies held their own, winning 10 of 23. The bids ran a similar pattern, opening with an average bid of 11.5 supply points for the Germans in the opening rounding, escalating to 13.8 in the second round, 20.3 in the third round, and 26 in the final two rounds.


2002 PBeM Tournament
  The Germans won 23 of the 37 games played. Supply bids escalated every round as the survivors showed their preference for the Germans. Despite this, John Crabtree wins as the Allies behind strong assault dice by taking Caen on the 10th against the vaunted German defense of WBC champ Applebaum in a game played in less than a week.


1999 PBeM Tournament
  The Germans won 18 of 32 matches. This was the last tournament in which VPs were bid for side determination. Hereafter, Supply Points were used.