tigers in the mist   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending December 2013 Membership Trial Vote

Ray Freeman, CA

2013 Champion

Event History
2000    Ray Freeman     16
2001    Robert Mull     19
2002    Rick Young     14
2003    Ray Freeman     16
2004    Tom Thornesen     17
2005    Tom Thornsen     18
2006    Ray Freeman     17
2007     Bryan Eshleman     18
2008     Bryan Eshleman     19
2009     Mike Mishler     16
2010    Mike Mishler     16
2011    Bryan Eshleman     17
2012    Charles Drozd     17
2013    Ray Freeman     16

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Ray Freeman        CA    13    262
  2.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    13    143
  3.  Tom Thornsen       NY    12    109
  4.  Mike Mishler       CA    10     96
  5.  Jim Winslow        ME    09     90
  6.  Rick Young         NC    10     73
  7.  Brad Jones         FL    09     60
  8.  Charles Drozd      IL    13     45
  9.  Robert Mull        CO    01     36
 10.  Bob Hamel          CT    13     32
 11.  Murray Cowles      uk    02     32
 12.  John Ellsworth     IL    08     30
 13.  Ric Sciacca        FL    11     25
 14.  Jim Kramer         PA    12     24
 15.  Jack Morrell       NY    01     15
 16.  Dave Wong          NJ    13     12
 17.  Mark Kolenski      MA    09      9
 18.  Eduardo DeNucci    ag    04      9
 19.  Dave Schubert      MD    03      9
 20.  Raymond Hall       IL    00      9
 21.  Thomas Melton      VA    13      6
 22.  Nathan Trent       VA    05      6
 23.  Bill Hodges        VA    03      6
 24.  Larry Hiemenz      MD    04      3
 25.  Aaron Silverman    NY    00      3

2013 Laurelists                                       Repeating Laurelists:

Bryan Eshleman, NC
2nd

Bob Hamel, CT
3rd

Charles Drozd, IL
4th

Tom Melton, VA
5th

David Wong, PA
6th

Past Winners

Ray Freeman, CA
2000, 2003, 2006, 2013

Robert Mull, CO
2001

Rick Young, NC
2002

Tom Thornsen, NY
2004-05

Bryan Eshleman, NC
2007-08, 2011

Charles Drozd, IL
2012
       

Greg Smith vs Mike Mishler

Michael Kaye vs the still smilin' VIP champ, John Sharp.

 Jim Kramer vs a game beginner, Tom Melton

 Designer, GM and champ Ray Freeman vs Bob Hamel.

Four Rounds to Glory

As always happens, several veteran players were unable to attend which definitely hurt the quality of the field. However, five former champs joined three newcomers to keep the Tigers on the move for another year.

Round 1: Defending champion Charlie Drozd was held to a draw by Bob Hamel when Bob's Germans were able to capture Marche on the last impulse. Ray Freeman's Germans defeated Thomas Melton in a teaching game. Bryan Eshleman beat Dave Wong's Germans as Bryan held Bastogne until the 19th, but then defended stoutly and gave up little space thereafter. In a minor upset, veteran Mike Kaye's Germans lost to John Sharp. Apparently Mike saved his good dice for his first Breakout Normandy title. He was able to take Bastogne on the 19th and release 2SS Panzer the same day, but then ran out of gas. Mike did note some wild battle results like four 1-SP units killing 9 CCR on the 16th and an 8-3 which killed one of the 7th armored tank units. However, he also noted two 8-1 attacks whiffed ... which can be devastatingly bad for the Germans when it happens in the wrong place. Former champion Mike Mishler's Amis defeated new player Gregory Smith.

Round 2: Bryan took the Americans and won a quick concession from Thomas Melton. Ray played the Germans against John and had a phenomenal dicefest on the 16th. Virtually the entire American OB got obliterated on the first day. By 16-3, the US had no way to form anything resembling a line and the Wehrmacht was out of the gates. Bastogne held until 18-1, which avoided the TKO, but the Germans were in Grandmenil and La Roche on the 17th. Basically, the Germans advanced so far so early that they had no way to make real progress once US reinforcements showed up on 17-3. The Wehrmacht had to spend the 18th staging troops forward. Marche finally fell on 21-1 which sealed the win, although there were tense moments as John's defenders fought tenaciously on the 19th and 20th.

The defending champ continued to have trouble as his Germans lost to Dave. Although he was able to get a spearhead across the Ourthe River on 19-1, Bastogne held out until the 21st. Rick Young joined in with a game against new player Glenn Petroski. Rick's Germans were deadly and the game ended quickly with the loss of Bastogne on the 17th. Bob rolled as the Germans against Jim Kramer. Bastogne fell on the 18th and Marche on the 21st for a textbook German win. An early 2SS Pz release certainly helped the German cause.

Round 3: The two critical matchups for the round were Eshleman-Freeman and Hamel-Wong. Ray bid 1 to play the Americans and things went wrong for Bryan almost immediately. The Germans were unable to kill much of anything on the 16th. The one glimmer of hope was the capture of Lullange on 16-3, which is very unusual. However, the US had lots of troops survive elsewhere, and they dealt out much destruction. Bryan was able to grind through the stiffening defenses on the 17th while incurring serious losses, and was able to attack Bastogne on that second day, but lost five SP in the battle while killing only one defender. The last straw was at Vielsalm on 18-1, when a 10-6 attack using the Greif teams for battlefield confusion raised the defenders ire so much they killed seven steps with eight shots. With perhaps half the German OB in the dead pile, Bryan resigned.

Meanwhile Bob's US parlayed a stout defense of Bastogne into a win. The key crossroads held out until the 20th. Dave did release the 2SS on the 18th, but without a decent road net, he could not use them to make sufficient progress.

Tom Melton took the Allies against Jim and held Bastogne until the 21st. Jim released 2SS on the 19th, but as is typical, Bastogne's road net is worth far more than an SS panzer division. If you can't get the panzers into action, they can't make a difference. Charlie took a bye when his scheduled opponent failed to show.

Round 4: We had four games in the last round, with Ray up against Bob for the championship. Both Bryan and Charlie had a shot at some wood however, so their game was quite important to the final standings. Tom, playing the Amis, took on Bill Alderman. They left behind no detailed records, so all I know is that Tom won and there was not a bid. Scott Beall played the Americans against Nick Smith. The Germans conceded on the 18th after their offensive stalled, then bogged down completely.

Bryan bid 1 to play the Allies against Charlie. Bryan no doubt was looking forward to avenging his loss to Charlie last year. Charlie got off to a fast start. German recon units sped ahead to seize the Baraque crossroads on 17-1, a sure sign that the American line had been shattered on the 16th. Bryan managed to stave off an instant loss by holding onto Bastogne through the 17th. However, the crossroads fell on 18-1 and 2SS Pz was released on the following impulse. But Bryan stacked up his defenses and they held firm through the 22nd. Charlie could not take Marche nor breakout and a draw resulted.

Round 4 between Ray and Bob started off with a bid of 1.2 DRM for the Americans. Ray would therefore get arty on a 1-7 during the first two turns. Bob's logistics chief faced the firing squad as on the entire first day, the Germans got only three successful artillery calls! This is unprecedented. 1 SP of the 106th escaped Bleialf, allowing 1121 engineers to go to Noville. The pesky 106 unit then survived a 2-1 on the third impulse to hold St. Vith. Further south, the bridge at Gemund was repaired and Bob tried a 5-1 followup at Holzhum which cleared the defender. The Dasburg bridge was repaired on 16-2, and Bob launched a 6-2 attack on Marnach on 16-3. The defenders survived and Bob's hope for a breakthrough in the center died. Ray shifted 1A/526 to Houffalize and 1128 eng to Echdorf where they dug in.

Bob used the Greif teams on 17-1 at the Goesdorf bridge and the area fell when the bridge stayed up. High odds attacks at Burg Reuland and St. Vith vaporized the defense. The arty DRM had some effect as Ray missed two calls. The US then formed the line Vielsalm-Houffalize-Noville-Bastogne-Fauvilliers. The latter was perhaps too conservative. I later decided that defending Martelange might give me a couple of shots at a naked 3 Pz. Bob made a 6-1 attack on longvilly against my screening unit, and it survived. This unexpected bonus to the defense allowed the Americans to reinforce Bastogne to 6 SP on the 17-3 impulse.

The following comment probably occurred sometime during the 17th, but it is entirely possible that once the second attack on Marnach failed I was feeling pretty golden. "I could tell I was in trouble the moment Ray stopped swearing and started teaching...... "

It was one of those games where the early dice were consistently blessing one side with plenty of hits while dissing the other side (in this case Bob). On 18-1 the Germans made four attacks, at Fauvilliers, Bastogne, Noville and Vielsalm. Noville was cleared at 9-2, but the other three attacks (at 6-4, 10-6, and 9-6) knocked out only five SP of defenders. Bob's follow up attack on Houffalize at 9-6 killed a single SP. The American line is very strong for this time in the game and no significant territory had been given up.

The disastrous results on the first seven impulses meant that the German could do little but position themselves for another try on the 19th.

19-1 saw six strong attacks by the Germans. 6-3 at Fauvilliers did nothing. 10-4 at Bastogne gained three German hits, but the last defender survived. Sprimont fell to a 6-1 as the Germans tried working around to encircle Bastogne from the north. A bridge demo roll failed and the Germans hit La Roche with 10-6. The battle was a desperate affair. Defensive fire massacred the Germans, killing six steps, but their riposte was deadly and four US defenders died. Attacks at Houffalize and Vielsalm however caused only minor casualties to the Americans. Bob tried a 1-1 cheapo at Bastogne. The US missed, but so did the Germans leaving the area fully stacked. Another bridge demo attempt failed and the Germans made a 6-3 attack on Moircy. The US held, but lost two steps.

On the 20th, La Roche and Bastogne fell as did Baraque. Hitler finally agreed to release the 2nd SS. On 21-2, the Germans managed to take Neufchateau and Petit Han, but it was clear that the offensive was way behind schedule. A last throw at Baillonville and Marche took the former, but Marche held easily. Elsewhere the Germans could not get in to Wellin, Rochefort, or Ouffet and Bob resigned without playing out the 22nd. This was Rays first win in this event since 2006. Bob made it to the championship game for the first time, and deserved better dice than he got.

Results: Second place came down to a tie-breaker between Bob and Bryan. Bryan had a significantly tougher schedule based on his opponents won-loss record, so hewas awarded second. Andy Lewis of GMT donated a couple of copies of the game in ziplock envelopes and asked that they be donated to new players. Tom Melton got one by scoring two points and playing all four rounds! The other I will give out next year to a newcomer who commits to playing a few rounds and shows promise.

Statistics:

German Wins: 4

American Wins: 11

Ties: 2

The results were completely reversed from last year when the Germans held a significant advantage. Again there was very little bidding, all for the US. Only four games featured bids, with one at 0.5 and two at 1.0 and one DRM 1.2 game. The Americans won two and drew one of these.

 GM      Ray Freeman  [14th Year]   NA
    Rayfreeman3@comcast.net    NA 

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