Deja Vu ...
This year's final featured Michael Pustilnik and Robert Frisby
in a rematch of last year's final. Pustilnik bid 60 victory
points to play the Germans, and came up short when a 1-1 attack
on Roslavl and a series of 1-2 overruns on Vyazma failed to take
either city on the last turn. The Soviets won the final for
the fourth consecutive year.
The Germans destroyed the bulk of the 13th and 20th Armies
by the end of Turn 3. The retreating 19th Army, which was able
to move on Turn 1, along with the 16th, 22nd, and 24th Armies
and various reinforcements, built a L-shaped line running from
the northern map edge south to the Dnepr river and then east
to Smolensk. The Soviets deployed the remnants of the 13th Army,
the 21st Army, and four southwestern reinforcements around Roslavl.
When the Germans assaulted the Smolensk line on Turns 3 and
4, they discovered that the frontline units had above-average
defensive combat strength. The Germans attempted to penetrate
the line through a number of 1-2 overruns during their mechanized
movement phase on Turn 4. The Germans lost two panzer divisions
in these overruns, but succeeded in
penetrating the line and enveloping Smolensk. Over the next
several turns the Germans took Smolensk and methodically destroyed
the extensive Soviet forces near Smolensk north of the Dnepr.
The Soviet line south of the Dnepr protecting Roslavl and Yelnya
continued to hold until Turn 11.
The Germans took Yelnya from the north then, and moved into
position to assault Vyazma and Roslavl on Turn 12. They also
moved one panzer division into position on the west bank of the
Ugra river to threaten a seizure of hex 5915 (20 victory points)
on Turn 12. On the last turn the Soviets used three units, including
another southwestern reinforcement division, to block this panzer
division. The Soviets defended Vyazma and Roslavl by placing
three rifle divisions and a HQ unit in each of them. The Germans
needed to take either Roslavl or Vyazma on Turn 12 to win the
game. A 1-1 attack on Roslavl failed to take that city. The
Germans tried several 1-2 overruns on Vyazma during the mechanized
movement phase, but failed there too. They also lost another
division in the process. The Germans ended up with 45 victory
points (55 for five cities
plus five for the southwestern reinforcements, with 15 subtracted
for losing three divisions).
All of the bids fell in the range of 50 to 71 victory points.
This year the Soviets won half of the games played. The Germans
won half of the games when they bid 66 or more, and they also
won half of the games when they bid 65 or less. The Germans
won most of the first round games, and the Soviets won all but
one of the subsequent games (all of these post-round one games
involved bids in the range of 60 to 66 victory points).