Another New Face in the Winner's
year two newcomers to the WBC, John Popiden and Bill Borys, placed
first and second respectively. Two former champions, Robert Frisby
and Keith Schoose, lost in the second round courtesy of the new
blood. Welcome to the pool.
This year the VP bids to play the German side ranged from
49 to 60, with a median bid of 55. The Soviets won about 54%
of the games played. Over the last few years, the bids have been
trending down as Soviet players continue to dominate. Last year,
the Soviets won a higher percentage.
In the final, with neither the 16th nor the 19th Army able
to move, Popiden bid 49 to play the German side. During the first
three turns, the Soviets deployed their main forces in a line
defending Smolensk and Roslavl while the Germans reduced the
Soviet forces defending the western quarter of the map. On turn
3,, the Germans began assaulting the northern part of the Soviet
line, which ran from 1806 to a screen in front of Roslavl. The
Soviets defended Smolensk by deploying stacks of three rifle
units in 1814, 2015, 2216, 2217, and 2418. The turn 3 attacks
did not have any major impact.
On turn 4, with the entire German mech force arrayed for a major
assault to the north of Smolensk, the Germans probed
1711 and found another strong hex: an 8 and a 5. Then the Germans
tried a 1-2 overrun against 1814 and destroyed
an HQ on an ENG result. The main attack at 1814 was a 3-1 ---
it resulted in a D1 which left two 5's in the hex. The second
prong of the German assault was an attack against the
two divisions in 1808 which, after the probe, were known to be
a 4 and a 3. A D1/A1 left the Germans ready to overrun the
one division (the 4) that remained. With many of the German mech
divisions ready to roll, they overran 1814 at 1-2 with a
D1/A1 result. The two 5's, now disrupted, retreated to 1914.
The Germans overran the single armor in 1913 --- a 7 --- and
rolled a D1/A1. This left the 5 HQ in 2011 holding the line.
Successful German overruns through 1808 enabled a motorized regiment
to pin the 5 HQ and place it out of supply so that the Germans
were able to destroy it on a 2-1 overrun. This placed the Soviet
frontline north of Smolensk out of supply. After a total of twelve
overruns on turn 4, Das Reich regiments reached 2714, 2514 &
2410 and a full Panzer division reached 2315. Overall the
Soviets lost six divisions and three HQ's.
On turn 5, the Soviets did not have any HQ's left north of Smolensk.
The Soviets launched several counterattacks to form a new line.
Some of the attacks succeeded (one of them destroying the Lehr
regiment), but one key attack on a Das Reich regiment failed.
As a result, the hole in the Soviet line remained. German
overruns on turn 5 led to the elimination of 17 Soviet units
and the last 5 HQ. The Germans also surrounded Smolensk and Soviet
units defending nearby --- ten divisions and two HQ's.
On turn 6, the Germans eliminated another fifteen divisions
and two HQ's. At the start of turn 7, with eleven divisions without
HQ's cut off in the north and only twenty divisions left to defend
the cities other than Smolensk, the Soviets conceded. The German
victory ended at least a five-year losing streak for the Germans
in the PGG final.