still fighting the Bulge ...
Frank Sinigaglio ponders a move
in Semi-Final play.
Bill Morse seems to be enjoying
his position in the Final.
While most of us are fighting a different type of "bulge"
problem, WBC remains the place for grognards to meet and vie
over the AH classic Battle of the Bulge, 1981 edition.
A few classic style war games are hanging with the newer games,
as they provide an easy sojourn into some tense competition.
Open Swiss Phase. A total of 23 games were played in the preliminary
rounds by 18 different participants, allowing Battle of the Bulge
1981 to crack the Century threshold for the fifth consecutive
doncon. Contributing to this success are two things: The flexible
format pioneered by El Lingle and a bunch of grognards looking
for tournament games to play after they have been waxed elsewhere.
Of the 23 games played in the preliminary rounds, 12 were
won by the Germans and 11 by the Americans, while the overall
tournament totals were Germans 13 - Americans 13. The eight turn
tournament scenario developed by Randy Heller has been playing
right near 50-50 for 17 years. The results since Bruno took over
for our late friend John Grant in 2003 are now Germans 54 and
Americans 55. Making it to the Final Four were Bill Morse - 46
points, perennial Forest Pafenberg - 40 points, Frank Sinigaglio
- 38 points and John Clarke - 33 points.
Semi-final: Bill Morse's Germans attacked John Clarke. The
Americans were hosed on 16AM: the 9th, 38th and 423rd Infantry
were tied up in Engaged battles, while 393 inf, 394 inf, 14 cav,
422 inf and 424 inf were eliminated. To make matters worse,
the panzers advanced three vs 112 inf and four vs 110 inf (into
Clervaux). John's forces in the north and center were spread
thin and Bill's Germans were careful to avoid attacks that might
result in Engaged battles on 16PM and 17AM. At the end of the
17AM turn, 13 American units had bitten the dust and the rout
was on. The game ended on 18AM with an automatic German victory
for capture of two cities on the western board.
Semi-final: Forest Pafenberg's Germans attacked Frank Sinigaglio.
Paffy's Germans rolled fair in the north, but they were a bit
hosed in the center and south with five Contacts and an untimely
Engaged vs the trapped 422nd inf. Bad dice by Paffy in the playoffs
is not unusual. Paffy is infamous for his legendary bad dice
from the 2003 final, at which time he rolled zero kills of the
Americans on the 16AM turn - a one time event in 802 chances
of occurrence. But this time Paffy shaped up a bit. Good play
allowed Paffy to capture Stavelot and the Dump therein before
19AM, thus giving him the victory conditions required. Amazingly,
Frank recaptured the dump and then flunked the demolition roll
(match blew out), whereupon Paffy recaptured the dump to win
The Championship: Forest Pafenberg's Germans attacked
Paffy's 16AM attacks yielded the following results:
#1: 1-1(0) vs 4/12 in Echternacht. Aback1 - 4/12 escapes. An
#2: 1-1(-1) vs 9CCA. Contact. An Allied +.
#3: 4-1(0) vs 28/109. Exchange. A German +.
#4: 4-1(-1) vs 28/110. Exchange. A German +.
#5: 5-1(0) vs 28/112. Contact. An Allied +.
#6: 1-1(0) vs 106/424. Aback1. An Allied +.
#7: 1-1(-1) vs 106/423. Engaged. A German +.
#8: 1-1(-1) vs 106/422. Aback1. An Allied +.
#9: 8-1(-1) vs 14cav. DElim. A German +.
#10: 7-1(-1) vs 99/393. DElim. A German +.
#11: 1-1(-1) vs 99/394. Aback1. An Allied +.
#12: 2-1(-1) vs 2/9 and 2/38. Exchange. A German +.
#13: 1-1(0) vs 99/395. Engaged. A German +.
This was a fair opening for Paffy - five kills, however, lousy
advances of only one hex in almost every attack allowed Bill
to hold the front line close to the German initial starting positions.
Fortunes began to shift on 18AM as a bunch of Bill's Americans
had bitten the dust. Peiper launched a Blitz attack in
the north with the aim of cutting the Vielsalm-Trois Ponts road.
The Blitz was limited, but it opened the door for drives on Stavelot
and Trois Ponts. The Amercs were forced to abandon Malmedy on
18AM in an attempt to hold the two victory cities and the fuel
dump in Stavelot.
On 19AM the Germans ended their turn adjacent to Stavelot
(Fort) and Trois Ponts and it looked as if the game would come
down to two crunching German attacks on 19PM. But Bill, who has
certainly learned how to play by getting slapped around by Likevich,
did the unexpected and counterattacked. Bill pushed two critical
arty units out of the woods southwest of Trois Ponts and advanced,
thus limiting Paffy's possible 19PM attack to a one-hex affair
vs the town. Then to add insult to injury the units in Trois
Ponts attacked Peiper and retreated him away from the town, thus
ending the threat. Congrats to Mr. Bill for winning his first
Bulge 81 plaque.