The Designer Reigns Supreme Again
16 players turned out for the tournament on Wednesday and
Thursday, an increase of two players from the previous year.
Several regulars were missing (two from the Con entirely). We
played three rounds on Wednesday, and one fourth round game was
played on Thursday, the other was played on Friday by mutual
arrangement. A total of 14 games were played of which the Germans
won only two. This is a rather severe change from previous years,
being by far the most lopsided result in the history of the event.
Sides were bid for in only four of the games, which perhaps explains
why the US side did so well. Following the trend from the past
two years, no one bid for the Germans. The VP bids for the US
were 2 and 2.5. The US won both of those games anyway. Two games
also saw bidding using the US artillery DRM method. Those bids
were 1.7 and 2.3. The Germans won the game with the 2.3 bid (+2
DRM for 3 turns and +1 DRM for the last four turns). Two players
specialized in one side exclusively. Larry Hiemanz was shut out
as the German in all four of his games, whereas Bryan Eshleman
had split results in two games as the US player.
the top three finishers in the event, the Allied player went
7-1, while the German player managed only 2-2. 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.
Going into the fourth round, three players had a shot at first
place. Ray Freeman was 3-0 and was paired with Jim Winslow who
had a 2-1 record. Brad Jones, also at 2-1 played Larry Hiemenz
since Brad had already played Ray and Jim. If Brad won and Ray
lost, Brad would win the event on tiebreaks. If Jim won and Brad
lost or drew, then Jim would end up the winner.
In round 3 Brad was in very good shape against Ray after four
impulses as the entire US force consisted of the 7th armored
division and two 1 SP units in Bastogne. However, the Germans
had used most of their punch on 17-1 and were unable to gain
more gound until the 19th, when Houffalize, Baraque and Sprimont
collapsed like a line of dominoes. The position seemed to become
stable again, then on 20-1 the US missed three straight bridge
demolition attempts and Brad managed to maneuver to create some
serious threats. In the end the Germans came up a bit short as
the line Wellin-Rochefort-Marche-Petit Han-ouffet was the final
In the first game of Round 4, Larry's Germans got off to a
very bad start against Brad. It took the Germans until18-1 to
finally clear Marnach. Although the Germans did manage to take
Bastogne, they never got across the Ourthe River.
Unfortunately the other final was not close either. Jim graciously
allowed me to play in the semis for War at Sea which meant
we couldn't start our game until Friday. Ray took the German
side in exchange for a bid of 2 VP. The Germans got off to one
of the best December 16ths I've ever seen by rolling lights out
to hit dice. Vianden, Holzhum and Marnach all fell on 16-1, plus
both bridge repair attempts were successful. On 16-2 the Germans
cleared Hosheid, Weiswampach and Bleialf. In an attempt to really
compromise the US position, the Germans tried a 1-1 cheapo on
Goesdorf. The US artillery missed, but the US defensive fire
hit and a potential early US disaster was averted.
Unfortunately, Jim's position was still extremely shaky due
to very heavy casualties and German possession of Skyline Drive.
Massive German assaults on 17-1 overran St. Vith, Beho, Buret,
Wiltz, Goesdorf and Ettelbruck, while Lullange held. In an attempt
to exploit the thin US line, the Germans used the Special Forces
unit at Baraque for road interdiction. With the success of the
German 17-1 attacks, this meant the US would not be able to block
the center of the map. On his 17-1 impulse, Jim had to pull his
two surviving units (a 2 and a 1 SP armor) back into Bastogne
and hope for mediocre German rolls.
On 17-2 Ray raced his remaining reserves forward, seizing
Martelange and wedging 7 SP into Bastogne. When the Germans managed
to kill all of the Bastogne defenders, Jim surrendered.
Brad Jones took second place with a 3-1 record (a big improvement
from 0-2 last year) and won a WBC 2003: "Armies of the New
Caesar" t-shirt generously donated by Dave Wong.