Germans Dominate the East Front
Although its simplicity often
dismisses as a serious game of skill in the judgement of some,
Memoir refuted that by returning four Laurelists despite
a large field.
One wonders whether this event's
format of always using the newest nationality releases adds to
or detracts from the attendance. What's next after the Japanese?
Andy Lewis checks out the competition.
The GMT VP plays games by all publishers as his wife will attest.
Those Lewis kids have a lot of games to grow into.
In its third year, the Memoir '44 tournament featured
its third different format. This year players could advance to
the second Round on Friday by winning their match during the
Mulligan Round on Thursday morning or the first Round on Friday.
As in 2005, in each round, players played a two-game match of
the scenario for that round, with players switching sides between
games. Players advanced to the next round based on most total
medals earned with enemy figures eliminated during the two games
serving as a tie-breaker.
The theme of this year's tournament was the Eastern Front
from Barbarossa in 1941through Stalingrad in 1942. Days of Wonder
provided a handout with four new scenarios for the Mulligan Round
and Rounds 1-4. Scenario 39 - [Typhoon] Gates of Moscow was used
in the semi-final (Round 5) and Scenario 41 - [Stalingrad] Red
Barricades Factory Complex was used in the Final (Round 6). Scenario
39 and 41 are two of the most popular and balanced Eastern Front
scenarios based on reported games on the Days of Wonder website.
All scenarios featured the Russian command rules which required
the Russian player to choose the card to play each turn during
the previous turn. This rule often severely limits the Russian
player's ability to destroy exposed German units or react to
Scenario 57 - [Barbarossa] Russian Breakout was used in the
Mulligan Round and Round 1. Scenario 57 is based on an attempt
by the Russians to break out from a German encirclement during
the opening weeks of Operation Barbarossa (July 21-31, 1941).
In the scenario a large Russian infantry force with just two
armor units faced a German force with six armor units. Due to
the relative lack of terrain, the Germans generally dominated
during the Mulligan Round (24-2 in reported games) and 1st Round
games (39-9 in reported games). A total of 28 games were played
in the Mulligan Round (14 matches) and 52 games (26 matches)
were played in the 1st Round.
Scenario 58 - [Barbarossa] Lipovec was used in Round 2. Scenario
58 is based on the German advance on the Ukrainian town of Lipovec
on July 22 1941. Although the Germans once again dominate the
Russians in armor in this scenario (3 to 0), the Russians have
three forward units set up in dug in forest hexes, with the remaining
defenders set-up behind the fordable River Szob around the town
of Lipovec. Although, the Germans still dominated (26-11 in completed
games), the Russians fared better than in Scenario 57. A total
of 40 games were played in the second Round.
Scenario 59 - [Barbarossa] Sea of Azov was used in Round 3.
Scenario 59 is based on the 3rd Panzer Corps encirclement of
the 9th and 18th Soviet Armies on September 26, 1941. In the
Scenario, the Russians start out with a superior infantry force
that is eventually ambushed from behind by a German armor force
of up to four units that appear on the Russian baseline as reinforcements.
The Germans dominated this round as well (12-4).
The quarter-finals, Round 4, featured five top players from
previous years: Joe Harrison (defending Champion), Steve Lollis
(2005 Champion), Robert Eastman (2005 Runner-Up), Benoit Groulx
(2005 3rd Place) and Harrison Anderson (2005 5th Place). The
Scenario for Round 4 was Scenario 47 - [Barbarossa] Battle for
Rostov based on the Russian counterattack against the German
held town of Rostov on November 25-26, 1941. Once again, the
Germans dominated winning all eight games played, meaning that
each player won a game in each match. Joe Harrison and Benoit
Groulx tied with eight total medals for their two-game match,
but Joe advanced to the semi-finals based on killing 39 enemy
figures to Benoit's 34. Steve Lollis also tied Harrison Anderson
in medals with nine, but Harrison advanced with 40 kills to Steve's
38. Mark Guttag beat Robert Eastman ten Medals to nine in their
match while Jonathan Miller beat Darin Morley ten Medals to eight.
In the Semi-finals (Scenario 39 - [Typhoon] Gates of Moscow),
Joe Harrison as the Germans beat Harrison Anderson as the Russians
7-2 in their first game, and Harrison conceded to Joe when Joe
scored three Medals in the 2nd game of the match, giving Joe
an unbeatable score of 1ten medals. Jonathan Miller also swept
his semi-final opponent, Mark Guttag, winning 7-6 as the Russians
and 7-4 as the Germans.
Unfortunately, Jonathan Miller had to resign during the first
game of the Final (Scenario 41 - [Stalingrad] Red Barricades
Factory Complex) to handle an emergency at home, thereby handing
the championship to Joe Harrison. Up until Jonathan had to leave,
the 1st game had been closely fought and Jonathan led 7-5 as
The GM wants to thank his assistants John Vasilakos, Daniel
Broh-Kahn and Stuart Hendrickson for all of their help. The early
rounds of the tournament went much smoother than last year and
the Mulligan round finished in just 1 hour and 45 minutes. The
GM also wants to thank Days of Wonder for all of their support
in printing scenarios for the tournament and providing extra
Eastern Front terrain as needed. Fortunately, we seldom had to
use the extra terrain pieces, because almost half of the players
in the tournament brought the Eastern Front expansion with them.
Well over half the players at least brought a copy of the base
set of Memoir '44, if not the Eastern Front expansion. So I want
to extend a big "Thank You" to all of the players who
brought a copy of the Eastern Front expansion and supported our
doing an Eastern Front campaign this year. In 2007 we are planning
to do a Pacific Theatre campaign. So everyone who hasn't done
so already should pick-up a copy of the Pacific Theatre expansion.