Designer's Experience Prevails
16 Players turned out for the inaugural Tigers in the Mist
Tournament on Wednesday. Despite it being a class B event,
with six first-time players, the tournament ran smoothly. Andy
Maly and Bill Alderman provided invaluable support as assistant
GMs. The one problem was the length of the rounds. Each ran late
so the fourth round began officially at 11:50 pm, instead of
10 pm as planned.
A total of 19 games were played, with eight players playing
at least three rounds. The Germans won ten games, the US won
eight, and there was one tie. Sides were bid for only seven times.
The German bids ranged from 0.5 to 3 VP (Average bid 1.5, but
discounting the 3 bid, average was 1.0). The US was bid for three
times, with the range being 0.5 to 1.5 (Average bid 0.83). The
sides bid for scored five of seven in the games played, with
the Germans and US each losing once in games where they were
the preferred side. Three players who played at least three rounds
specialized in one side. Aaron Silverman scored 1.5/3 with the
Allies. Jim Winslow scored 0/3 with the Germans, but maintained
a great attitude throughout the event. Ray Freeman scored 4/4
as the Germans. However, I was giving my opponents choice of
sides in all of my games. Frankly, I was shocked that all of
my opponents opted for the US. The US side is "simpler"
to play, but requires ice water in one's veins, particularly
during December 17th.
Jack Morrell and Raymond Hall faced off at the witching hour
for the 3rd place plaque. As the US side, Jack had lost to 5th
place finisher Robert Mull in round 2. Raymond also lost in the
2nd round, to finalist Murray Cowles while playing the Germans.
In round four, Jack's Germans had tremendous early success and
quickly ran wild, forcing an early resignation by Raymond. The
US player (Raymond) committed his reserves early on the 16th
and wasn't able to cover the multiple threats presented by the
German 16-3 move. On the 17-1 turn, Jack captured Bastogne and
Grandmenil and killed all but two single factor US units. At
this point Raymond resigned what appeared to be a pretty hopeless
By mutual consent, Murray Cowles and Ray Freeman played their
championship match on Thursday evening, with Murray selecting
the US side. Unfortunately, my dice were on fire the first day
and Murray found himself starting the 17th with only six 1-SP
units on the map. On 17-1, the Germans seized Noville, Houffalize,
Baraque and Vielsalm, opening a huge hole in the center of the
board which could not be closed. However, the 2nd Rangers held
Longvilly astride the main road to Bastogne against a 10-1 attack,
and a strong task force from the 7th Armored division recaptured
Baraque. Bastogne fell on18-1, and the Germans seized a bridgehead
across the Ourthe at La Roche. Even worse, 2 SS Pz was released
by a powerful attack into Trois Ponts.
Murray then fashioned a brilliant defensive effort to stabilize
his position on the line Neufchateau-Moircy-Champion -Lignieres-Baraque-Trois
Ponts. It looked as if the German offensive might stall when
a unit of the 101 Abn blunted a thrust into Champion. However
on 19-2 the Wehrmacht broke through an entrenched position at
Moircy and on the following impulse invested Libramont, which
put half of a US armored division out of supply at Neufchateau...a
threat both players failed to notice for at least ten minutes.
Murray could not recover from this last disaster and his line
broke open on
December 20 and I was able to seize Ciney and Namur and set up
to exit a massive force through zone I. With no way to stop the
Germans from flooding off the map, Murray resigned on December
[Congratulations to Ray for winning the debut of his game
at WBC. I can attest to the fact that it gets harder to defend
one's turf with each passing year ... they learn so fast. ...