A Win too Far? ....
The Storm Over Arnhem tournament format allowed for
an initial three round swiss-elimination to get to a final four.
In the initial swiss-rounds decisive victories were counted
higher than marginal victories, but the systems of counting decisive
victories and marginal victories differently made little difference
in determining the final four, of Henry Jones, Tom
Drueding, Matt Fagan and Ed Kraska. Our two time champion David
Wong was in Kosovo this year playing real wargames, but we expect
him back again in WBC 2001. The final game involved Ed Kraska
and Tom Drueding. Both players had been to the finals several
times before without taking first; this game would result in
one of them breaking through. Tom bid minus 2 and took the British
for the first time in the tournament; while Ed took the Germans,
which he had been playing for all his victories this year.
Sixteen games were played iwith an average winning bid of
ñ0.06 for the British side (last year the average was
ñ0.2). Of the sixteen games, twelve (75%) were German
victories (last year 70% of the victories were British). The
sides continue to appear to be very well balanced.
For the final, Tom opened up the game by moving units into
Areas 28 and 26 and then followed up by moving units into Zone
D, blocking the Training division units from shifting left around
the city on turn one. Ed responded by redirecting the Training
division straight at the right side toward Area 11 and Area 16.
On Turn 2, Ed pushed on Area 11 and was almost able to completely
clear and capture the early areas in close combat. As Ed continued
to push the German attacks, the British took very heavy causalities
in Turn 3. Although Tom's British held the perimeter areas through
Turn 3, the large number of British causalities left a very fragile
defense. Turns 4 and 5 the British gave up ground slowly while
trying to save units, but Tom did manage to prevent the Germans
from getting any Victory Point areas. Ed continued to cause the
British casualties, leaving few units for final defense, but
if the British could keep the Germans from getting any Victory
Points until the final turns it wouldn't matter how many British
units were left in the end. On Turn 6 the Germans opened their
first crack at the VP areas taking Areas 22 and17. The Germans
now had two turns to get the remaining 17 VPs. The Germans opened
by setting fires to help clear the areas. Positioning moves and
good British luck left Ed's Germans in possession of only eight
VPs by the end of Turn 7 that would require he get all the VP
areas on the final turn. Turn 8 boiled down to an all out effort
to take Area 8 -- the
final British holdout. Several preliminary fire-group attacks
failed to budge any British but the Artillery was called into
action and broke the defense enough to leave the game up to close
combat. Ed took the Area and the game with the use of the Advantage
chit on the last roll in close combat.