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The Russian Campaign (TRC) PBeM Reports Updated May 19, 2018

2018 PBeM Tournament

By virtue of their wins over Ed O'Connor and Gary Dickson respectively, Tom Gregorio and Philip Watkins were to face each other for the second time in 2017. (Oddly enough, they just matched up in the TRC ladder for their first match against each other.) Armed with the knowledge of his opponent's preference for pushing hard as the Germans, and seeing his prior Russian defense demolished, Tom was determined to make sure he played the German side so he successfully bid 20 replacement points to get them in this ten-turn scenario.

Philip's opening Russian defensive setup was tough. Too tough, thought Tom, too tough! After deciding that his normal high-attrition opening assault would not fare well, it was noticed that the Western Military District was relatively weak near Kaunas. Was it a trap? Tom couldn't recall the last time he overloaded in the center. After recalling having lost, as the Russians, to a few folks who weren't afraid to go all out for Moscow, the decision was made - the Kaunas stampede was so on!

The nine Russian factors around Kaunas were overrun and ten German mechanized units were racing towards the Russian capital. Elsewhere, Tom 'starved the replacement pool'. (Attacking in a manner to reduce the number of Russian units that could be rebuilt.) Whereever possible, German attacks would also limit the ability to rail units from other parts of the front to the Moscow environs.

The Russian response was predictable - lots of counter attacks. Pockets at Lvow and RIga easily broke out and a triple layer of skirmishers were thrown up in front of Moscow. Stalin was railed to safety. Perhaps in a bid to prevent a soak-off attack against the capital, Moscow was not backstopped, i.e., no units placed adjacent.

On Turn 2, the Germans continued to singlemindedly focus on Moscow. Ignoring Russian garrisons in Riga and Odessa, the Russian defender in the front line was AV'ed and the second-line defender was eliminated at 7-1. On second impulse, another defender in front of Moscow was AV'ed and sufficient German factors remained to get a 2-1 directly against Moscow. It was a 50-50 shot of forcing the defenders out, Tom won the gamble, and the game ended.

While seemingly an inglorious ending, this game illustrates one of the major evolution's in competitive TRC these days: Overloading the south is no longer the only way to win. Going all out for Moscow is a very risky move but it's now part of the tool kit for tournament players and is a deterrent to gimmick Baltic and Western Military District setups. Congrats to Philip, Tom and everyone who participated for getting through an event that took almost three years and we look forward to the twelfth iteration, of the BPA sponsored TRC tournament!

2014 PBeM Tournament

After two years of single elimination play encompassing 29 games between 30 opponents, Ed O'Connor's Russians defeated Pat "the TRC Sensei" Flory in the 10-turn scenario in a hard fought match. Despite the attrition favoring the Germans, i.e., the Germans lost less than expected and the Russians more, Ed's tight play combined with the Germans admittedly less than aggressive style at the tail end of the game helped Ed land the victory. While the Germans had a good chance of capturing Leningrad, and possibly Moscow, a German capture of Kursk would have been decidedly an uphill proposition. The dice favored the Germans early but 1942 saw the luck swing the other way and, combined with lousy (pro-German) weather, gave the Red Army the path to victory. Stay tuned for the announcement of the tenth edition of the 2014 BPA-Sponsored TRC PBeM Tournament; as the champ, Ed will soon get to enjoy the new experience of being the man with the target on his back!

Laurels for third through sixth place were won by John Malaska, Doug James, Bert Schoose and John Ohlin.

2012 PBeM Tournament

The 9th Annual TRC PBeM Tournament was completed in five rounds with a field of 24 players. The Final matched defending, four-time champion Gary Dickson against two-time champion Doug James in the 10-turn scenario, with bidding determining extra replacement points given to the Russian. The two had also combined for nine WBC titles in addition to their email resumes. Doug got the Russians at +16. The "Schoose Option" was employed for weather, giving the Germans a maximum of three stukas in Sept/Oct and Nov/Dec combined, with up to two in light mud and 0 in mud.

Gary's Germans got off to a great start with some really hot initial dice followed by a successful sea invasion of a vacant Sevastopol, a 2-1 attack vs. Kiev, and 3-1 attack vs. Leningrad. The advance slowed when the weather turned light mud followed by snow. Doug's armor failed a key October 2-1 attack against a 5-4 in Bryansk, and in a rare mistake, Doug botched his retreat, allowing Gary to leave and then re-enter the City. Ultimately the Russians killed the 5-4 and took Bryansk, but lost several armor units in an unequal exchange. Gary withdrew out of winter range but remained in good position to take advantage when the March/April 1942 weather roll came up clear. Gary's hot combat dice continued, but Doug's remained cold throughout the match, including a key surrounded 3-1 against a German stack near Smolensk in June, 1942, that failed with a "contact". Gary's July/August turn featured more of the same and Doug threw in the towel early.

Also earning laurels were Michael Kaye, John Ohlin, Ari Kogut and Ed O'Connor who finished third through sixth respectively.

2011 PBeM Tournament

The 8th BPA-sponsored TRC PBeM Tournament has ended with Gary Dickson capturing the crown by defeating Bert Schoose to recapure the title he last held in 2002. This was his fourth PBeM championship and elevated him to #2 in TRC laurels behind Doug James. The game was featured in its entirety on the Consimworld original Russian Campaign folder; posts 2357 - 2570.

The tournament attracted 31 entrants who played a total of 30 games. Highlights included Jim Tracy's 1st round upset of top-seeded Doug James and subsequent topping of another high seed, Jeff Lange, in the seond round.

Mike Pacheco made a strong comeback after missing several tournaments, succombing only to Bert Schoose in Round 3. Newcomer Ari Kogut made a strong impression with an upset of Tom Gregorio in the first round followed by another strong showing in disposing of veteran Forrest Pafenberg in Round 2.

The other laurelists were Ari Kogut, Mike Pacheco, Michael Kaye and Ed O'Connor in that order.

2009 PBeM Tournament

The 7th BPA-sponsored TRC PBeM Tournament has ended with Tom Gregorio capturing the crown by defeating Ed O'Connor.

In a separate Novice tournament, Michael Kaye defeated Paul Koenig to capture the top spot. The Novice bracket attracted eight entrants. Paul Koenig defeated Alan Heath to make it to the Final while Michael Kaye defeated Vince Meconi to for his Final ticket Unfortunately, Paul Koenig at that poinmt had to withdraw.

The Standard tournament attracted 31 entrants. All seedings were done by AREA rating. One first round bye was assigned randomly.

Doug James, Michael Mitchell, Ed O'Connor, Larry Hollern, Gary Dickson, John Bullis, Tom Gregorio and Roy Walker made it into the bracket of eight.

The familiar faces emerged into the final four: Doug James, Ed O'Connor, Gary Dickson and Tom Gregorio.

Ed pulled off an upset against Doug in a close match while Tom bested Gary to reach the Final.

The German summer offensive got off to a good start despite Lt Mud Mar/Apr. killing off nine armies in two first impulse 4:1 attacks and the follow-up surround attacks. The Russian reformed his line back to the rail junction between Bryansk and Kursk. In May/Jun, the two first impulse 4:1 attacks against big stacks got lesser results (D1), but carefully planned retreats allowed the German to kill off 11 armies as he turned to attack towards Leningrad and smother Rostov. The Russian counterattacked in the south between Bryansk and Kharkov setting up a second impulse 1:1 surround attack against a big stack which did not succeed. The German summer offensive continued with the capture of Leningrad, Smolensk, Kharkov and the river hex north of Rostov by the end of Jul/Aug, killing off 53 factors for the loss of 10. The Russian pulled back his battered forces to Valdai Hills - east of Smolensk - Bryansk - Kursk - Rostov - Krasnodar.

The German summer offensive continued into Sep/Oct, killing off 12 armies as he smothered the Russian defenders in Bryansk and Kursk and outflanked the Don River defense of Rostov. The Russian attack out of Bryansk to break the smother succeeded, but the one out of Kursk failed.as did a Crimean sea invasion. The Russian set up a weak line Stalingrad - Krasnodar - Maykop Oil Filed. The final turn, Nov/Dec brought Snow but little relief as the German killed off the defenders (19 factors, including big mama) contesting Kursk, captured Tula and Krasnodar sending the Victory Point count to +7, the German needing +4 to win. The Russian sea invaded with Big Mama to attack Sevastopol, counterattacked to contest Krasnodar and set up second impulse 4:1 against Tula. If all three succeeded, the Russian would win. The attack to contest Krasnodar succeeded, but the one against Sevastopol failed. The Russian player resigned

2007 PBeM Tournament

The Sixth BPA tournament has concluded with Doug James matching his WBC championship in that game with the email crown as well, this time over Gary Dickson who was unable to attend WBC this year. There were 33 matches played in the Single Elimination tournament of 34 players with 3rd to 6th place laurels awarded to: Scott Abrams, Michael Mitchell, Bert Schoose and Roy Walker respectively.

2006 PBeM Tournament

The Sixth BPA tournament has concluded with Doug James matching his WBC championship in that game with the email crown as well, this time over Gary Dickson who was unable to attend WBC this year. There were 33 matches played in the Single Elimination tournament of 34 players with 3rd to 6th place laurels awarded to: Scott Abrams, Michael Mitchell, Bert Schoose and Roy Walker respectively.

2005 PBeM Tournament

Tom Gregorio defeats Gary Dickson to capture title. Other Laurelists were Mike Pacheco, Pat Flory, Jim Eliason, and Rob McCracken

2004 PBeM Tournament

Gary Dickson defeated Pat Flory to capture title. Other Llaurelists were Doug James, Tom Gregorio, Dave Ketchum, and John Bullis.

2002 PBeM Tournament

Doug James defeated Tom Gregorio to capture title. Other laurelists were Pat Flory and Gary Dickson.

2001 PBeM Tournament

Gary Dickson defeats Pat Flory to capture title. Other laurelists were Jim Eliason and Tom Gregorio

2000 PBeM Tournament

Gary Dickson captures first The Russian Campaign PBeM title