Returned to the Century by vote
A field of 16 participated. A modified six-turn version of
the eight-turn tournament scenario was used along with time clocks
to ensure timely completion of each round. As it turned out,
there was plenty of time allocated and no games required adjudication.
but one of the early round games resulted in German wins, albeit
some were decided on the final game turn, while the semi-finals
and final round were won by the Allies. This indicates that once
experience in play is gained, the six-turn scenario favors the
Allied Player. Next year's tournament probably will incorporate
the new, Third Edition Peiper Alternative counters in at least
the final rounds to allow the German Player a few more options.
In the mulligan round, Bruno Sinigaglio defeated the Number
1 AREA ranked player, Tom Gregorio, by implementing a very clever
Angriff Attack in front of Bastogne, which resulted in the capture
of this important victory point town. The loss of Bastogne spelled
a quick demise for Tom. Phil Evans appeared to be steamrolling
the gallant Yank defenders early on, but overlooked the opportunity
to effectively utilize his air support. This, coupled with a
SS Atrocity Random Event die roll, sealed the German's fate.
Bob Ryan and Michael Mitchell had a wild and wooly game in
the second round. KG Peiper managed to move adjacent to Stavelot
on 17AM, but refrained from attacking because Bob had held back
an air unit for ground support. An unfortunate Engaged result
at Malmedy locked up a good part of the German 6th Panzer Army.
When other German mechanized forces caught up with KG Peiper,
a concentrated effort was made to capture Stavelot. The result
was a Counterattack. Bob jumped on the opportunity to attack
KG Peiper at 4-1(+2) odds using a surrounded combined arms attack.
A die roll of "3" put paid to Michael's strongest combat
unit and any further chance of winning the game.
Bob Ryan met Randy Heller in the semi-finals. Bob's German
forces had a key opportunity to break open the Allied defense
south of Trois Ponts but could only come up with a D1 combat
result. After that the Allied defense stiffened and the Germans
were playing catch-up. An attempt to get the momentum back was
thwarted on 17PM when the Skorzeny sneak attempt failed to cross
the river southeast of Malmedy. Randy played a tight defense
from that point on and was not further threatened.
final round pitted Tom Gregorio, shaking off his Mulligan Round
loss, against Randy Heller. The opening turn went well for Randy.
He reduced 9/CCA in the south, rolled a D4 against 14AC in the
Losheim Gap and captured Monschau. However, a Counterattack against
28/110 delayed the building of a bridge at hex 1424. Two opportunities
to open up the Allied defense occurred on 16PM and 17AM. An attack
in front of Clervaux could have channeled the defender's retreat
to open up a road for mechanized exploitation, and a 3-1(-1)
vs Malmedy could have carried Peiper et al into or near a fuel
dump. Neither die roll allowed for these opportunities to be
realized. From then on, Tom's expert play was able to keep the
German forces at arm's length. Any drive on Eupen was easily
thwarted, while 10th Armored was able to get into Bastogne without
being challenged. The German push northwest of Malmedy became
stalled prompting Randy to concede at the end of the German 18AM
game-turn. Tom came back admirably from an early mulligan round
loss to claim the crown.
John Grant was regretably too ill to attend WBC this year
and was therefore unable to GM the event. Sadly, John died after
a prolonged battle with cancer on October 17th.