Beat the Designer at his own Game
14 Players turned out for the tournament on Tuesday andWednesday,
a decrease of five players from the previous year. I assume
the decline was due to the mandatory Tuesday night start which
generally hurts attendance at most any event. Four regulars
were missing (two from the Con entirely). Murray Cowles, Rick
Young and Jim Winslow provided invaluable
support as assistant GMs. This year we played round 1 on Tuesday
night, and three rounds on Thursday. Unlike last year, a fifth
round was not necessary.
of 15 games were played, with but four players in the fourth
round. The Germans won six, or 40%. This is a similar proportion
to last year. Sides were bid for in eight of the games. Following
the trend from last year, no one bid for the Germans. The average
bid for the US was 1.12, with the range being 0.5 to 2.0. In
games with bids, the Germans record was 4-4, an improvement over
last years 3-5-1. Three players specialized in one side exclusively.
Winner Rick Young went 4-0 with the Allies. Murray Cowles scored
1-2 as the Allies, and Jim Winslow went 2-0 with the Germans,
sitting out a couple of rounds to play Clash of Titans, and perhaps
missing his chance to win this event! Of the top four finishers,
the Allied player went 6-0, while the German player managed a
respectable, but less impressive 5-2. US strategy again revolved
around keeping the Germans from entering Bastogne until 18-2,
and holding Vielsalm strongly with the 7th Armored Division to
protect the Trois Ponts and Grandmenil Panzer Release Areas.
Rick Sciacca and Murray Cowles faced off in round 4 for the
3rd place plaque in a grudge match. Rick had beaten Murray in
an earlier round and Murray was lusting for revenge. Normally,
I wouldn't pair two guys a second time, but both of them were
eager to mix it up again.
Rick had lost a very close game to me in round 3 after I made
a couple major errors and allowed him to sweep around my flank
not once, but twice. I have to point out that his attacks to
open the holes were very well conceived, however. I thought
I was cruising, then two turns later was leaving scratch marks
all over the board as Rick maneuvered brilliantly to threaten
multiple breakouts. The dice turned on Rick at a critical time
and I was able to barely hold my position together and keep him
one area away from the Meuse.
But back to round 4. Rick blasted Murray's defenders apart
on the first five impulses and seized Bastogne on 17-2! When
Murray's desperation counterattack on 17-3 produced heavy US
casualties and little else, Murray had to surrender. Good thing
Rick wasn't commanding Panzer Lehr back in 1944.
Rick Young and Ray Freeman made it to the championship game
by surviving Bryan Eshleman. Bryan had both of us in trouble
early in our games, but somehow we managed to wriggle out of
our difficulties and win our respective games ...I in round 2
and Rick in round 3.
The championship game was anti-climactic with Rick selecting
his preferred US side for a bid of 1.5 VP. The German first
impulse attacks were very effective except at Marnach (naturally).
Ray got off to a decent start, although breakthroughs at Marnach
and Lutzkampen were not in the cards. Unfortunately, the bridges
were not cooperating.
On 16-2 Ray successfully attempted the 2-1 gambit on St. Vith,
killing the engineer and capturing the town. However both blown
bridges stubbornly stayed down. The bridges were repaired on
16-3, however the delay allowed Rick to shift the 526 Mech and
9 arm north to make a counterattack at St. Vith. He lost some
factors, but plugged the one serious flaw in his
On 17-1, Rick continued getting good bridge results as attempts
to cross at Echternach and Goesdorf resulted in blown bridges.
Feeling he had no choice, Ray committed the Special Forces to
Wiltz whereupon Rick promptly rolled a 10 on the bridge demo
attempt! The Germans cleared St. Vith to their relief, but disaster
struck in Wiltz as the engineer survived a 9-1
attack! More bad news for the Germans at Lutzkampen survived
Having pretty much stymied German progress on the 17th, Rick
pulled back into Bastogne and Rambrouch and stuck nine SP in
Vielsalm to block any direct attempts to free 2 SS Pz.
The Germans massed for three major attacks on 18-1, sending
nine SP vs six in Bastogne, and losing six while killing zero.
At Houffalize, the US held easily against a 7-3 attack as did
Noville at 9-3. After five more impulses of relatively futile
attacks, Ray threw in the towel on the third impulse of the19th.
The US front line was Martelange, Bastogne, Bertogne, La Roche,
Grandmenil and Vielsalm, and the US had no less than 19 SP committed
in these areas. In addition, the front line was fully backstopped
with a second line. Under the circumstances, resignation was
definitely in order.
Congratulations to Rick Young on his dominating performance.
He seemed to win all of his games with ease, only being in brief
trouble against Bryan Eshleman.
For more info on Tigers in the Mist see their webpage at http://members.home.net/rayfreeman3/index.html.