L2 on Deck ...
We introduced some of the more significant rules changes found
in the newly released L2 Design Group Deluxe Edition of the game,
to include the Peiper Alternative Variant which allows the German
Player to break down the larger KG Peiper unit into its smaller
components. This allowed the German player more breakout flexibility,
but was offset by other rules benefiting the Allied player, such
as retaining full defense strength when out of supply and not
beginning the surrender die rolls until the 17AM game-turn.
year's champ, Tom Gregorio, was only able to commit to the Mulligan
Round on Tuesday evening, but did an admirable job of retaining
his number one AREA ranking by defeating Steve Likevitch, who
played the Allied side. In the first round of play, the game's
designer, Randy Heller, took advantage of the new Clervaux fortification
rule to place the Middleton HQ and a full strength infantry unit
in the town. His German opponent, Forrest Pafenberg, mustered
a 5-1 attack vs Clervaux but still only had a 50/50 chance of
routing the defenders and taking the surrounded fortification
on the first attempt. Had the attack failed, the Germans would
be behind their timetable. The nail biting die roll came up in
the German's favor. Forrest went on to win this game by capturing
Eupen and Noville and destroying 12 enemy units.
In the semi-final, Nick Frydas met Phil Evans. Phil unhinged
the American defense by capturing Monschau on the opening turn
with a 1-1 attack. Nick was sent reeling with continued above
average German die rolls. After Phil blew open a hole with mechanized
units and followed-up with exploitation along the Beho-Houffalize
road net, Nick threw in the towel.
The final round saw two titans square off. Bob Ryan played
the Germans vs Phil Evans' Allies. Both were previous winners
of the wood (Bob winning a BPA email BWD tournament). The opening
guns saw no Ami losses or engagements in the far south. The bridges
in front of Clervaux and at Vianden were successfully built.
A Counterattack was rolled against the 14th Armored Cavalry Group
in the Losheim Gap. This allowed a key regiment of the 106th
ID to retreat to Schonberg. Rocherath-Krinkelt was captured on
the opening turn. Phil responded by placing both the 106/422
and 14th ACG in Schonberg. Further Allied units defended in and
before Clervaux. On 16PM, Bob chose to attempt to surround Schonberg
by attacking defenders on the flanks of the village. A D2 vs
28/110 placed the German forces adjacent to Clervaux and a D2
vs Bullingen combined with a KG Peiper reserve move cut the road
leading to Malmedy hampering US movement of 2nd ID. The American
player abandoned Clervaux and defended along the road to Bastogne.
Allied Air Interdiction was placed in the St. Vith environs to
limit German movement options. A triangular defense was used,
centered on Malmedy, to limit the Peiper breakout potential.
On the German 17AM turn, Bob executed a masterful Angriff Attack
along the Beho/Houffalize Road, effectively trapping two U.S.
units. KG Peiper attacked U.S. infantry in front of Stavelot.
No Allied artillery support was available for this particular
defense. A D3 resulted in Peiper advancing across the bridge
into Stavelot and threatening Trois Ponts. Skorzeny executed
a reserve movement placing the roads out of Malmedy in German
zones of control. At this point the Allied player was in dire
straits. Only one unit was able to reach the center of the map
to defend Parker's Crossroads. Part of U.S. 7th Armor had to
be held back to block KG Peiper from driving on Liege. Phil heavily
defended Malmedy and Eupen to prevent further German gains. On
the German 17PM turn, a D4 against the defending unit in Vielsalm
captured the bridge and placed 116th Panzer in Parker's Crossroads.
German mechanized units successfully attacked Noville. A trapped
unit on the road to Bastogne was eliminated. KG Peiper broke
down into its three component units and attacked the lone artillery
unit defending Stoumont. 12th SS attacked north of Malmedy and
trapped two U.S. units in Malmedy in a generous advance after
combat. With the situation going from bad to worse, the game
Congratulations to Bob Ryan for his first WBC Bitter Woods
Tournament win. Most observers felt Phil was unstoppable based
on his early round performance. Phil attributed this loss to
early misplacement of his defense in and around Schonberg, and
plans on revenge next summer.
Next year's WBC tournament will fully transition to the new
L2 Design Group version of Bitter Woods, with all the
accompanying rules changes. We anticipate once again playing
the 6-turn scenario with probable use of time clocks. For those
new to the game, the Tuesday evening Mulligan Round will ensure
at least two games played.