Year 7 of the Renaissance
Defending champ Paul Fletcher
(left) who learned his craft from the master, Tom Oleson, gets
a refresher course on the way to besting his teacher and successfully
defending his title.
Paul O'Neill (right) is rebuffed
by Paul Fletcher and has to settle for third, but he has won
a more important battle. How many of us can still wear an original
Origins 1972 t-shirt?
Anzio continued its resurgence with an excellent showing
of 22 players participating during the precon and the convention
proper. Many interesting struggles were played out as the subtle
differences in play resulting from the new terrain at the "toe"
and "heel" of Italy have enriched this classic wargame.
The new maps have eliminated terrain ambiguities and resulted
in better play balance - the Axis line is more extended due to
inclusion of the toe and the heel. Also, the release of the US
1st and 9th Infantry due to aggressive German forays against
Taranto and Reggio has resulted in more historical ebb and flow.
year, players could choose to play the six-turn tournament scenario
in the preliminary rounds, if both opponents wished to do so.
The six-turn scenario begins with the Nov III turn and the Allies
poised to launch the second invasion. The Allies are close to
capturing the requisite victory hexes, but must eventually assault
the Cassino Line.
Six games of the six-turn scenario were played with the Allies
gaining the upper hand with four wins. The second invasion came
ashore at Anzio three times and at Pescara three times. The Allies
gathered two wins and one loss on the Anzio invasions and also
on the Pescara invasions.
During the prelims, the 15-turn Basic Game was played 17 times.
All players landed at Reggio on Sep I and all accepted the Italian
invitation at Taranto on Sep II. The first invasion landed at
Salerno eight times, Termoli four times, Napoli twice, Terracina
once, Mondragone once and Pescara once. A German set-up with
the 16th panzer positioned near Termoli discourages an invasion
at that zone while it encourages an invasion at Napoli or Terrecina.
The invasion at Napoli deprives the Germans of air superiority
on Sep III, but it is farther away from the cavalry coming up
from the south. Overall, the Allies won seven and the Axis won
ten. The following are the statistics for play of the15-turn
Basic Game during the prelims:
- Six games with invasion at Salerno and then Anzio: Axis
won 4 - Allies won two.
- One game with invasion at Salerno and then Termoli: German
- One game with invasion at Salerno and then Mondragone: German
- Two games with invasion at Napoli and then Anzio: Germans won
- Two games with invasion at Termoli and then Anzio: Split.
- One game with invasion at Terracina and then Napoli: Allied
- Two games with invasion at Termoli in which the Germans were
- One game with invasion at Mondragone in which the Germans were
- One game with invasion at Pescara in which the invasion was
crushed, but in which the Germans were in turn crushed.
Taranto again proved to be an interesting battleground. In
three games, the Germans recaptured Taranto from the Allies in
September and in one of those three they also destroyed the port
at Reggio. 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 take an extra turn to get
into the action. The results of these three games were as follows:
The Allies lost Taranto and Reggio, but won the game with successful
invasions at Termoli and Rome. The Allies lost Taranto and were
unable to win with invasions at Napoli and then Anzio. The Allies
lost Taranto and then lost the game with sub-par invasions at
Napoli and Anzio.
The top four players in the preliminary Swiss Segment advanced
to the semi-final playoffs with the following point totals:
First seed Tom Oleson, 59 points. Second seed and defending champion
Paul Fletcher, 42 points. Third seed Paul O'Neil, 35 points.
Fourth seed Bob Ryan, 31 points. Hay seed Steve Likevich.
The semi-final between Oleson and Ryan was over quickly. The
allies invaded at Terracina and were annihilated when Ryan counterattacked
the beachhead, advanced after combat and then eliminated the
beachhead on a second combat.
The semi-final between Fletcher and O'Neil went to the last
turn with Fletch's Germans victorious. O'Neal's Allies invaded
at Salerno and on Dec I at Termoli, but were only able to capture
Salerno, Naples, Foggia and Termoli.
The Final matched frequent antagonists Fletcher and Ryan.
Fletcher's German set up prevented an invasion at Terracina,
so Ryan landed at Termoli on Sep II. The initial foray across
the Sangro was able to stand, but the Allies retreated back across
the river in the face of a three-division German build-up on
and north of the river. Instead, the Allies attacked west from
the hills at Vasto and succeeded in pushing the Germans back.
In the south, the Germans decided not to attack Taranto, but
temporarily held the southern force with a minimal cordon. Shortly,
the Germans had to retreat to the north due to the westward expansion
of the Allied beachhead through Vasto. The Germans were loath
to allow a premature link-up, but did not have the forces required
to fully encircle the beachhead and still block the Allies in
the toe and heel.
The allies continued to push west and north towards Cassino
at a snail's pace. Masterful delay and judicious counterattacks
slowed the Allies. The second invasion came ashore at Anzio on
Dec II and Ryan succeeded in eliminating two German divisions;
however, the placement of those two divisions prevented the beachhead
from attaining sufficient depth and the Germans were able to
crush the invasion on Dec III. At the end, the allies controlled
Termoli, Foggia, Naples and Salerno. Thus, Fletcher was able
to take home his second consecutive Anzio Championship amid widespread
speculation that he was starting another Sincavage-like dynasty.
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