Anzio [Updated October 2003]  

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Michael Sincavage, VA

2002-03 Champion

2nd: Bob Ryan, MI

3rd: Paul Fletcher, CT

4th: Carl Walling, PA

5th: Tom Oleson, WA

6th: Bill Scott, VA

Event History
1991    Tom Oleson        8
1992    Mike Sincavage      13
1993    Mike Sincavage      12
1994    Mike Sincavage      14
1995    Mike Sincavage        9
1996    Mike Sincavage        8
1997    Tom Oleson      10
1998    Mike Sincavage        8
1999    Mike Sincavage     12
2000    Robert Ryan     24
2001    Stephen Likevich     21
2002    Mike Sincavage     18
2003    Mike Sincavage     20

PBeM Event History
2001    Bob Ryan     22


Offsite links:

AREA Ratings
boardgamegeek 

 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Earned
Total
 1. Mike Sincavage

VA

03
114
 2. Bob Ryan

MI

03
  74
 3. Stephen Likevich

OH

01
  50
 4. Tom Oleson

WA

03
  46
 5. Paul Fletcher

CT

03
  37
 6. Carl Walling

PA

03
  27
 7. Chris Harris

VA

02
  16
 8. John Grant Jr

CT

01
    8
 9. Paul O'Niel

MD

00
    5
10. Bill Scott

VA

03
    4
11. Walter Garman

MD

99
    4
12. Bruno Sinigaglio

AK

00
    2
13. Bryan Jackson

NY

01
    2
14. John Ellsworth

IL

01
    1

Past Winners

Tom Oleson - WA
1991, 1997

Mike Sincavage - VA
1992-1996, 1998-1999, 2002

Robert Ryan - MI
2000

Stephen Likevich - OH
2001
 


Year 4 of the Renaissance

The tournament got off to a good start on Tuesday with several veteran tournament players getting into the action along with newcomers Joe Doughan and James McCarthy. Open Swiss rounds continued through Friday when four players qualified for the single elimination finals: Bob Ryan, Mike Sincavage, Carl Walling III and yours truly. Along the way we played 28 games. Twenty-two of those were the full 15 turn Basic Game, with invasions pretty evenly split among Salerno, Termoli and Terracina. There were also two Napoli invasions.

Twelve of the twenty entrants were players who have been with us for three or more years. These players now have a few years under their belts using the tournament rules that were introduced in 2000. It's pretty clear that these folks are now comfortable with the strategic implications of the tournament scenario and, as a group, are beginning to explore different approaches. This year we saw people trying various initial invasion zones as the Allies, (or denying certain zones as the Germans), with a clearer sense of how the game would flow from those different starts. People were also trying out different tactical approaches at all of the chosen first invasion sites. The resulting games were quite interesting, and we saw a variety of positions on the Anzio boards spread over the tournament area.

Along the way, we were happy to see old friend Donald Webster return after a year or so off, and we welcomed newcomers Vincent Alonso, Andrew Miller and Bill Riggs. Tom Oleson again played more games than any other entrant: his game count was eight!

Okay, some stats:

Eight Salerno invasions: the Allies won two
Six Termoli invasions: the Allies won four
Six Terracina invasions: the Allies won three
Two Napoli invasions: the Allies won one

Of course, where you invade is affected by the German set-up, and any invasion at Terracina or Termoli risks being crushed due to German air superiority at the start of the game. As a result, the Allied player's decision of where to come ashore continues to be a tough one, involving risk-reward tradeoffs. Do you want to go in at Terracina and get pounded hard for three or four turns and maybe get tossed right into the sea? Is Termoli really any better, with the road to the port of Termoli at risk of counterattack on the first turn, and with the Germans able to surround you at 1-1 if you stick your nose out too far? This is why we saw eight Salerno invasions, even though it is a long and tough slog up the boot to have a chance to win in December. There were many interesting games, but I will share some details about two games that had some unusual approaches.

One of those was a game that I happened to be involved in: the consolation game with Carl Walling III playing the Germans. Against my Termoli invasion, Carl chose to defend the southern side of the beachhead, allowing the Germans to retain the Vasto area with the threat of crossing the always-important Fiume Sangro. The Allies were forced to drive for Foggia overland from Taranto, and mud arrived before Foggia fell. During mud the Allies decided to push north, because the Germans had to devote considerable stength to holding the southern areas. The Allies gained a bridgehead over the Sangro and focused their efforts on driving toward Pescara. However, the resources required for this left the Allies weak in the south end, and as a result, through November, Foggia remained in German hands and the Allies only had Salerno and Termoli. Once the second invasion came in at Anzio, there were three fronts: The Anzio beachhead, the Termoli beachhead that had stretched north close to Pescara, and a line from the mountains north of Salerno across to Foggia. This weird configuration gave the Germans air superiority for one turn in December before the Allies woke up and captured Foggia. The last few turns were a battle for Pescara, which the Allies managed to win by rolling terrific dice. This game literally could have gone either way on the last turn. In fact, as the Allies, I was blessed with good die rolls all game long. All in all, it was one of the most entertaining games of Anzio I have ever played, due to the interesting and unusual positions and the way the game hung in the balance. Credit must go to Carl for his creative approach to defending the Termoli invasion.

In the final game, Mike Sincavage got the Germans on a -1 bid. Bob Ryan decided to go for the high-risk Terracina invasion and the slugfest was on. The Allies lost the US 45th Infantry Division and the US RGR regiment to the German counterattack the first turn of the game, but managed to hold on to the Beach and Terracina Port counters.

The Allies dug in as the Germans attacked the next couple of turns, but could not throw the Allies back into the sea. During this time, the Allies repeatedly tried a single attack on German defenders at 1-1 undoubled. The Allies had to retreat three times before getting a 'stick' on the fourth try.

The German had a nice short perimeter around the Terracina beachhead that was both constricting and strong. In an attempt to break the stranglehold, the Allies executed a forward retreat to place the New Zealand Mechanized and US 3rd Infantry Divisions behind German lines. These units bounced off a doubled German position, retreating south toward Naples even though it meant they were then out of supply. The next turn the Allies managed to relieve the OOS condition for these units by attacking and creating an inverted counter near Salerno, which opened a supply line. At the same time the surrounded units attacked and executed yet another Retreat Forward which put them on a mountain hex south of Cassino. The Germans successfully surrounded these units again on their next turn and the Allied units eventually starved to death.

The Allies conducted their second invasion on November 2 by landing in the Anzio/Roma zone. They surrounded and eliminated the German 26th Panzer and managed to link up the Terracina and Anzio beachheads while also moving into one hex of Roma. The Germans then counter-attacked in the Roma area, and slowly pushed the Allies back toward Anzio. The Allied drive up the peninsula had come to a crawl due to the German defense, and a shortage of Allied units. As the game drew to a close, the Allies held Salerno, Foggia, Terracina, and Anzio. A last ditch effort by the Allies to take Napoli came up short, and the Germans took the victory.

 GM      Paul Fletcher  [10th Year]   51 Hartwell Rd, West Hartford, CT 06117
    p.fletcher.977@worldnet.att.net   NA

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