War by another name ...
The Totaler Krieg! Event this year drew eight players,
which is less than was hoped for, but enough to probably let
the event continue in 2002. The format was changed this year
in an attempt to draw more players, but this did not pan out.
The two preliminary rounds scheduled for Thursday were canceled
due to numbers and the event moved straight into the single-elim
portion. The scenario on tap in the first round was Gotterdammerung
from the Bunker to World War III. This scenario pits the
Western Allies against the Soviets after Germany has fallen.
While the Soviets have the manpower, the Western Allies have
the Support Units and Delay Box DRM's on their side. This scenario
was well received and will most likely see action again in 2002.
There were three Western Allied wins against one Soviet. It is
felt that this scenario is balanced.
The second round consisted of two matches in two different
scenarios. Byron Stingley took on Paul Abrahamse in the Case
Bruder Hitler's Mid-East Piece. This match saw Byron pull
out a win against TKG veteran and former playtester Paul.
The other match saw Todd Treadway take on Bob Ryan in the
Spanish Ulcer Operation Condor or Iberian Torch? scenario.
Bob's Western Allied troops got off to an early advantage with
an invasion at Bilbao. Todd was able to counter and capture Gibraltar
when Bob foolishly left Tangiers without a British HQ. However,
the Western Allies were able to pull off a counterattack from
Bilbao that put most of the Axis forces out of supply and the
The Finals match pitted Byron Stingley (the 2000 WBC TK! Champ)
against Bob Ryan (the TK! GM). The scenario played was The Russian
Campaign. The Finals had been scheduled for an eight hour match
on Saturday, but Byron and Bob got together and mixed it up on
Friday afternmoon for six hours. The game was completed on Saturday
after yet another ten hours of play.
Bob's Axis forces were able to make good ground in their opening
but did not capture Leningrad or Moscow in the initial surge
due to Byron's crafty Soviet defense. Byron made the inevitable
counterattack at Moscow in the winter of '41-'42, but the Axis
were able to place the assaulting force out of supply and threaten
a pocket. This made the Soviets fall back and Moscow was soon
inhabited by German ground troops. Meanwhile, Leningrad was still
holding out so the Axis made a serious effort to capture the
city. Leningrad finally succumbed to the assault in the summer
Sevstopol and Rostov never did fall to the Axis forces and
the game became stalemated (with both sides hammering on each
other) until the last turn of summer '43. A breakout by the Axis
into the Steppes proved to be pre-mature as the Soviets were
able to cutoff the Exploiting forces. The Summer turns of '44
proved too much for the Axis to handle and the Soviets drove
into Rumania and took back most of their Russian territory. In
addition, the Axis had vacated Narvik and the Finns were unable
to come to the rescue. The game ended with the Soviets clearly
going to take back enough Strategic Hexes to get the Tide back
to Allied Crusade 0 which represents a Soviet Tactical Victory.
Byron and Bob both agreed that the match had seemed to hinge
on the fate of Rostov. Had the Axis been able to take it and
hold it for six months, they would have gotten two victory level
shifts and this would have tipped the game unalterably in their
favor. Ultimately, however, Byron had played a tough defense
and got the much deserved win.
The format for next year will most likely see the elimination
of The Russian Campaign scenario from the event as a 16-hour
Final match is a bit long. It is hoped to once again change the
format of the event in an attempt to draw more players. There
is a possibility of a campaign game being offered.
For complete details on the tournament format go to: http://members.aol.com/bobmryan/TK_WBC_Event/TK_HomePage.htm