Year 5 of the Renaissance
Anzio continued its recent upsurge with an excellent
showing of 22 players participating between Tuesday and Saturday.
Many tense and interesting struggles were played out as we all
explored the subtle differences in play resulting from the new
terrain at the "toe" and "boot" of Italy.
The level of interest was high, and the new maps (with all the
terrain ambiguities resolved) were highly appreciated.
always, we saw numerous unexpected and unique situations develop
on the board. It seems that once you get the basic system down,
it is amazing how the game can develop in different and often
surprising ways, both strategically and tactically. This is probably
the main charm of the game, and it keeps longtime fans of the
game coming back year after year for more.
This year, first invasions were almost evenly divided among
Terracina, Salerno and Termoli. We saw a lot more German set-ups
with the 16th panzer positioned near Termoli, effectively denying
that invasion zone. The result was a higher number of first invasions
at Terracina, which is generally considered somewhat high-risk,
considering German air superiority at the start. Here are the
stats for this years event:
Seven Salerno invasions: The Allies won two.
Seven Terracina invasions: The Allies won two.
Five Termoli invasions: The Allies won three.
Two Napoli invasion: The Allies didn't win any.
Overall: 14 German victories and seven Allied victories.
Taranto proved to be an interesting battleground in quite
a few games. In several games, the Germans actually recaptured
Taranto from the Allies in September. This strategy is not a
trivial one, because without Taranto, Allied units trying to
shift from an unlinked invasion beachhead down to the south end
will find themselves taking an extra turn to get into the action.
This can be quite awkward for the Allies.
top four players in the Swiss Segment advanced to the finals:
Tom Oleson, Steve Likevich, Paul Fletcher and Bob Ryan. Not far
behind were Mark Bayliss and Paul O'Neil. Mark, our most enthusiastic
newcomer tthis year played a total of seven games during the
Swiss segment, second only to Tom Oleson's nine. Kudos also go
to John Alsen, who returned to this event after several years'
absence. John played well in three full games, including at least
one long hard one that was very close. Thanks also to Bill Riggs
and Kurt Kurtz. Kurt was a newcomer this year and gave Donald
Webster a very good game. Bill entered last year for one game,
and it was nice to have him back for two games this year. Other
newcomers James Dougherty and James Schubert seemed to enjoy
the game a lot.
In the finals segment, the first two games resulted in early
victories. Steve Likevich's Germans denied Termoli in the set-up,
so Paul Fletcher's Allies went ashore at Terracina. The Germans
crushed this invasion over the next four turns, retaking Terracina,
eliminating two elite Allied units and forcing four other Allied
divisions to evacuate. The Allies played on but were never able
to get far enough up the boot from the south to mount any real
the other semi-final, Bob Ryan's Allies landed at Termoli and
Tom Oleson's Germans succeeded with counterattacks down the corridor
toward the Port of Termoli. The Germans took the port, but the
salient was subject to being pinched from the north and south.
In taking Termoli, the Germans lost the 16th Panzer, while the
Allies lost two divisions. When the Allies pinched the salient,
the Germans had to fight to extricate the units that had taken
Termoli. This left the German line weak and the Allies found
an opportunity for an automatic victory that left the German
In the final game, it was two former champions, Ryan and Likevich.
Steve got the Germans with a -1 bid and placed the 16th Panzer
at Termoli. Rather than take the high-risk Terracina invasion,
Bob decided to come in at Salerno. In the early going there was
a back and forth battle for the important hill position at Vesuvio.
The Allies managed to hold ground in a 1-1 attack on the hill
and the Germans had to retreat.
When the Germans established a line along the Ofanto River
(south of Foggia) across to the area of the Volturno River north
of Napoli, a real donnybrook ensued The Allies found a way to
surround and destroy the 29th panzer grenadier at the town of
Ofanto. The Allies also had a soak-off unit retreat forward to
kill the inverted counter of the 71 Nebelwerfer. The Germans
came back with strong counterattacks at the Ofanto salient, surrounding
the British 7th Armored Division, but not destroying it. This
allowed the Allies to surround the 16th Panzer in response, destroying
it and opening a path for another forward retreat into the center
of the German line. On the same turn, the Allies turned the flank
at the Volturno River, which the Germans had to leave weakly
defended in order to launch the counterattack. At this point,
being down two fighting divisions, the Germans resigned. Congratulations
to Bob Ryan for a fine tournament victory and his sixth WBC wood.
22 players took part in BPA's Anzio PBeM tournament hosted
by Bruno Sinigaglio's BPAClassics.com. The laurel winners were
1st. Bob Ryan, MI
2nd. Tom Oleson, WA
3rd. Steve Likevich, OH
4th. Paul Fletcher, CT
5th. Bryan Jackson, NY
6th. John Ellsworth, IL