Combat Commander  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report  

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Peter Gurneau, WI

2012-14 Champion

 

Event History
2007    Bob Heinzmann    48
2008    Mike Galandiuk    55
2009    Bob Heinzmann    56
2010    Michael Johnson    40
2011    Bryan Collars    40
2012    Peter Gurneau    43
2013    Peter Gurneau    41
2014    Peter Gurneau    40

WAM Event History
2010    Bob Heinzmann    19
2011    Chris Byrd    12

 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    12    165
   2.  Peter Gurneau      WI    14    162
   3.  Bryan Collars      SC    11     72
   4.  J. R. Tracy        NY    14     69
   5.  Michael Johnson    MA    11     52
   6.  Bob Jamelli        PA    12     48
   7.  Chris Byrd         CT    11     42
   8.  Jordan Kehrer      PA    14     40
   9.  Mike Galandiuk     OH    08     40
  10.  Tony Raimo         OH    13     30
  11.  Martin Sample      NH    13     24
  12.  Brian Hanchek      MA    09     24
  13.  David desJardins   CA    07     24
  14.  Bill Edwards       VA    13     22
  15.  Bill Powers        VA    11     16
  16.  Rob Winslow        NY    09     16
  17.  Greg Courter       MI    08     16
  18.  Chris Storzillo    NJ    07     16
  19.  Michael Redman     MN    14     15
  20.  Joe Chacon         VA    11     12
  21.  Chad Mekash        NJ    11     12
  22.  Jeff Spaner        MD    10     12
  23.  John Wetherell     PA    10     12
  24.  Jim Mehl           VA    09     12
  25.  Mark McBride       OH    08     12
  26.  Ray Stakenas       MI    07     12
  27.  Michael Gentile    PA    14     10
  28.  Dave Stiffler      VA    12     10
  29.  Stan Buck          MD    10      9
  30.  Bruce Young        SC    07      8
  31.  James Terry        NJ    12      6
  32.  Phil Walling       VA    14      5
  33.  Dan Dolan Sr       NJ    09      4
  34.  Joe Chacon         VA    08      4
  35.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    07      4
  36.  Chris Bauch        LA    10      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 

Jordan Kehrer, PA
2nd

J. R. Tracy, NY
3rd

Michael Redman, MN
4th

Mike Gentile, PA
5th

Phil Walling, VA
6th

Past Champions

Bob Heinzmann, FL
2007, 2009

Mike Galandiuk, OH
2008

Michael Johnson, MA
2010

Bryan Collars, SC
2011

Peter Gurneau, WI
2012-14

Roger Eastep vs John Gitzen of "Game On" documentary film fame.

Wouldn't it have been simpler just to play at the club?

Jeff Spaner vs Mike Gentile head a row of CBC action. The field has remained stable at 40+ for eight years.

Andy Lewis shows John Bateman he does more than just sell GMT games. He plays them too.

The Great Campaign Continues

The tournament was once again back in Lampeter Hall. Filling Conestoga 3 and spilling out onto the tables in the main hall as needed, 40 worthy competitors checked in for the day long contest of physical and mental stamina required for the CBC tournament. This year the theme of "The Great Campaign" featured scenarios for the year 1941, as the scenarios shifted to the Mediterranean and the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa. The tournament again used the Swiss-Elim format with four opening rounds advancing the top four players to single elimination playoffs.

The first round consisted of four games played in succession with two thirds of the entrants playing in three or more games. The scenarios for this year, in order played, were Round 1-Operation Mercury (Germans vs British); Round 2-Barbarossa Unleashed (Soviets vs German); Round 3-Operation Compass (British vs Italians); Round 4-Defend in Place (German vs Soviets). All four Rounds were played with new scenarios crafted and introduced at this year's WBC. Each of the scenarios played equally well and finished within the time limits established for the rounds. For the first time since starting to GM the tournament there was no need to prematurely end a game in progress by adjudication. Overall, the scenarios played to a reasonable balance with Operation Mercury providing the most balanced experience - splitting 16 contests. The remaining scenarios had slight variations to this ratio with Round 4's Defend in Place seemingly being the most unbalanced with but four attacker wins to seven defender wins. This stat is somewhat misleading as I watched two games end where the attacker had the opportunity to win at the first Sudden Death roll but failed to secure the victory and the defender eventually reclaimed the VP lead and won the match in the end. In its eighth year of competition the level of play and the caliber of the players in the tournament continues to remain at a high level where every match in the Swiss Elim portion is critical and will find CBC rivals facing off in win or go home contests.

After the preliminaries concluded, four players advanced to the elimination rounds. Perennial semifinalist, JR Tracy, was the top seed, followed by Jordan Kehrer, then newcomer Michael Reman, and qualifying for the fourth and final spot was the defending champion, Peter Gurneau. Mike Gentile and Phil Walling rounded out the Laurel positions taking 5th and 6th places. JR faced off against Peter and Jordan took the chair opposite Michael as the semifinals got underway. The scenario for this round, Operation Compass II, was another original scenario featuring Germans attacking the British. Both games were well played, tense, although JR and Peter's game was dramatically altered from the outset by an unfortunate draw of a random objective that forced JR to defend forward with the bulk of his units making them easy and early targets for Peter's attacking Germans. In the end though only one player can advance. Top seed, Jordan, after a tense game, dispatched Michael to advance to his first CBC Final while in the other bracket Peter returned to the Final for the third year in a row.

As in previous years, the lower seeded finalist, Peter, selected a scenario from the five played in this year's tournament and then the higher seeded finalist, Jordan, selected which side to play. Peter opted to return to Operation Mercury and then Jordan selected to play the defending Brits. The map has a few rolling hills (two of which contained the objectives for the scenario) and some sporadic forest hexes, so Jordan split his forces between the two objective hills and placed wire in the forests hoping Peter would have to choose to either (A) move slowly through the wire or (B) avoid the wire and advance in the open. Peter chose option (C) and setup a massive 15FP Fire Group within range of the weaker objective and started the game by breaking everyone in one of the objective hexes. Jordan quickly realized he would never be able to withstand that kind of fire power and would need to adapt his strategy.

Jordan recovered his units and tried to hold Peter's advance with the threat of fire cards and hidden wire, but Jordan failed to draw a fire card for what felt like 45 minutes (someone must have left the ammo back at base). Inevitably, the objective was overrun, but a British hero emerged, rallying the survivors to retreat and defend the map edge. Meanwhile, to distract the advancing Germans, a lone British squad made a break for the enemy map edge under the protection of a level 3 Brush hindrance. The Germans stopped in their tracks to shift some men to defend against this pesky squad. It was just before the squad was able to get off the edge that the first sudden death time trigger occurred at time space 8. The VPs were at 1 for Peter (with no hidden objectives), but Jordan had the initiative card; a high roll continued the game, but as the defender Jordan got a VP putting him in a tie-breaker lead again.

Jordan eventually managed to have his lone squad escape the map giving him a bit more of a point cushion, and now was just looking to kill the deck and get to time as soon as possible. Peter started his own march to the map edge now that he had broken through the Allied line, but the Brit survivors still had some fight in them. The British hero and his chums fired at the German squad that could have potentially made it off the map but the defense roll drew a time trigger this time with sudden death at 9. Jordan felt confident: he had the lead, the initiative card, and just needed to pull less than a 9 to end the game. Peter shuffled and rolled a 9. Jordan tossed the initiative card, and Peter revealed a 10; fight on.

Peter now had plenty of time to get his units off the map, take the lead, and finally win at the next sudden death roll just needing a 9 or less. A 3-peat for Peter! After the match both players expressed their admiration for the scenario stating that it was one of the closest games they had ever played and enjoyable to boot.

This year marks the second year in a multi-year tournament within the tournament. At the end of each WBC for this year and the next four the GM will compile a ranking of each player based upon wins and losses. Succeeding WBC tournaments will see the year of conflict advance by one year, until the end of the war is reached in five years. Over the course of those five years (aka 1940-1945) I will continue the competitor ranking for each year. At the conclusion the GM will award a special prize to the player who attains the highest winning percentage across all the tournaments. This worthy player shall be referred to in hushed tones as "The Leader of Men".

The Top Six after Year 2

1. Peter Gurneau
2. Jordan Kehrer
T3. Martin Sample
T3. JR Tracy
5. Bill Edwards
T6. Tony Raimo
T6. Derel Pulhamas
T6. Jeff Spaner
T6. Mike Gentile

Michael Redman, one of Dockter's Minnesota wargamer imports, falls to Jordan Kehrer in the semifinals.

JR Tracy can't stop defending champ Peter Gurneau in the semifinals. Peter went on to make it a three-pete.
 GM     Bryan Collars [4th Year]  NA
   jbcollars@bellsouth.net   803-467-7980

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