storm over arnhem [Updated August 2001]

SOA   2 prizes Experienced Swiss Elim Continuous 
   Round 2 12 Round 3 15 Round 4 18 Round 5 21
  Round 6 Final

     Club    Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Polo

Phil Barcafer, PA

2001 Champion

2nd: Tom Drueding, TX

3rd: Steve Loleszar, VA

4th: Ron Fedin, PA

5th: Henry Jones, PA

6th: Ed Kraska, MD
Event History
1991    None      ­
1992    James Fuqua      15
1993    Steve Koleszar      19
1994    Steve Koleszar      14
1995    John Ellsworth      19
1996    Steve Koleszar      16
1997    Steve Koleszar      19
1998    David Wong      17
1999    David Wong     16
2000    Ed Kraska     13
2001    Phil Barcafer     17

AREA Ratings:

GM: Henry Jones

A Win too Far? ....

Storm Over Arnhem lived up to the member's voting confidence when the vote-restored Century entry attracted17 hardy souls to remain in that groiup on its own merits. A Tuesday evening mulligan round was added which was well received and the effort to both shorten the tournament length and be flexible with the semi-final/final time also may have helped. With so much competition for a gamer's time at the WBC, one must work to keep the older games alive.

The swiss-elim format of last year in which the four best records after three rounds would advance to the semi-final round was used again, but with some significant changes. This year one point was given for a win and drawn games gave each player 1/2 point. In the event of more than four players with equal totals, then strength of schedule using AREA ratings would determine who would advance. Also a winner of a mulligan round game could skip any one of the three 4-hour qualifying rounds on Friday.

We had a very strong field with past champions Steve Koleszar, David Wong (who happily was back from Kosovo) and John Ellsworth in attendance as well as the 2000 reigning champion Ed Kraska. Not to mention Phil Barcafer of BKN fame and Henry Jones and Ron Fedin transferred west from the TPS front. The mulligan round was uneventful except for the upset victory by Henry Jones against Ed Kraska in a very long 6-hour (thank goodness no time limit on that round) game which
earned both players the moniker of "speedy" for the rest of the week. The heavy action commenced on Friday morning with a full schedule of games. After the dust cleared late Friday we had Ron Fedin vs Phil Barcafer, and Steve Koleszar vs Tom Drueding in the semi-finals. Those two games were played on Saturday with Phil and Tom emerging victorious to set the stage for the final showdown which both players agreed to play on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM.

This would be Tom's third appearance in the finals and he was hungry to finally take that last step to secure SOA wood. Tom is an aggressive player and in keeping with that he bid -3 for the German side. He opened by making a northeast attack and Phil fed in a whole platoon in an effort to thwart the10th Recon artillery fire. Each of the platoon elements was killed off, but that left the10th Recon exposed and another British platoon shooting with the integrity bonus eliminated the 10th Recon before it could get off a single artillery shot. Then a shot by the British artillery hit for 10 cp's! Casualties were heavy on both sides with 11 German and nine British units gone in the first turn. More intense fighting followed during turns 2 and 3, with the Germans pushing hard in areas 22 & 24, and the British rolling some hot dice. There was some especially hard fighting in areas 6 and 16. By the end of the third turn, the Bohltz Pz's were destroyed as well as the other two SS artillery units. German artillery was now almost nonexistent. Casualties stood at 21 German and 17 British units. The Germans had 8 vp's in hand. By turn 4, the Germans had set up two large kill groups, but the British were able to pull back and force the German to chance advancing again into the path of those hot dice. This cost the Germans six more units eliminated to a British loss of 1 unit. Turn 5 was somewhat uneventful with the British dice cooling off and the Germans picking up one vp to give them nine. However, turn 6 would prove to be the back-breaker as the British hit on every roll and eliminated 13 German units to a loss of only five British units. VP's stood at 11 for the Germans. Unit losses for the Germans was now at 43. Tom started turn 7 with few units remaining and after failing to hit with an attack group, resigned the game. Congratulations to Phil Barcafer, who having captured BKN wood last year, moves to the streets of Arnhem and garners wood there too; and for Tom Drueding, who finishes second for the third time, thus extending his quest.

Some random thoughts: The British won 63% of the games played even though there was a decided preference for the Germans. There were only eight plus bids during the entire tournament. Interestingly, Phil Barcafer made four of those. There were two rules questions that arose during the tournament: (1) Regarding the hidden AT gun rule and how it should interact with the occupation limits rules; (2) The retreat priority rules which in some cases can have armor units making a "forward," retreat. I plan to clarify both of these at the 2002 convention with house rules and will post these on ConSimWorld and here on the Storm Over Arnhem Preview page prior to the convention.

Lastly, I want to recognize David Wong for his constant smile, his ever friendly manner, his support of SOA (he brought t-shirts emblazoned with an SOA logo for everyone) and his sportsmanship. After winning his first game on Friday he had to withdraw because of a prior commitment and he would not be returning. However, he had a change in plans and did return for the third round on Friday, which he also won. His 2-1 record, due to his strength of schedule, qualified him to advance to the semi-final round, but he refused to do so because he had withdrawn earlier. Having won SOA previously, he would prefer not to deprive someone else of the opportunity. Very few people would act in this manner.

 GM      Henry Jones  [1st Year]   117 Loch Shin Dr., Moon Township, PA 15108-9617   NA

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