still fighting the Bulge ...
Bob Ryan prepares for his next match.
Frank Sinigaglio's Americans (left)
are pummeled by Steve Likevich's panzer opening.
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 26 games were played in the preliminary rounds
by 22 different participants, allowing Battle of the Bulge 1981
to crack the 16-player threshold for the sixth consecutive doncon.
Contributing to this success is the flexible format pioneered
by El Lingle which allows grognards looking for tournament games
to play after they have been waxed elsewhere.
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 68 and Americans 66. Making it to the Final Four were
2006 champ Bill Morse with 38 points, three-time champ Steve
Likevich 38, 2005 champ Bob M Ryan 36 and perennial runner-up
Forest Pafenberg 36.
Semi-final: Bill Morse's Americans were seriously hosed
on 16AM with a spectacular opening by Forest Pafenberg's Germans.
The 9th, 38th , and 395th Infantry were tied up in Engaged battles,
while 14 cav, 422 inf, 109th inf and 9CCB were eliminated by
various means. To make matters worse, the panzers advanced four
vs 394 inf, four vs 112 inf and three vs 110 inf. The solid opening
by Paffy was held off by Bill's stubborn defense, but the kills
mounted with 16 eliminated by 18PM. Bill's three engaged infantry
remained so for several turns, as Paffy went around them. Bill's
defense began to collapse near Malmedy when an untimely exchange
forced him to use an artillery unit to hold the line.Although
Paffy miscalculated and botched the overrun, allowing the artillery
to escape, a good advance allowed the Germans to trap an armored
regiment. Continued pressure by Paffy resulted in the capture
of Stavelot and the fuel dump on 18PM. At that point, Bill knew
all was lost and surrendered.
Semi-final: Steve Likevich's Germans engaged the 9th
, 38th , 395th and 424th Infantry while eliminating the 393rd
, 14cav, 422nd , 109th and 12th infantry. There were no great
advances, but Bob Ryan's Americans were short ten units for defense
on 16AM. The Americans were able to from a reasonable defense
in the center, but the wings were going to hell. Eventually,
Bob had to cover three roads with only two units and Steve was
able to capture two towns on the western board for an automatic
victory on the 18AM turn.
Forest Pafenberg's 16AM attacks yielded the following results:
#1: 1-1(0) vs 4/12 in Echternacht. Contact 4/12 escapes.
An Allied +.
#2: 1-1(-1) vs 9CCA. A back. An Allied +.
#3: 3-1(0) vs 28/109. Contact. A Washout.
#4: 4-1(-1) vs 28/110. D back 4, A Adv 4. A German ++.
#5: 5-1(0) vs 28/112. D back 2. An Allied +.
#6: 1-1(0) vs 106/424. Contact. An Allied +.
#7: 1-1(-1) vs 106/423. Contact. A Allied +.
#8: 1-1(-1) vs 106/422. Contact. An German +.
#9: 8-1(-1) vs 14cav. D back 4, A Adv 4. A German +.
#10: 1-1(-1) vs 99/393. Contact. A Allied +.
#11: 7-1(-1) vs 99/394. DElim. A German
#12: 3-1(-1) vs 2/9 and 2/38. D back 3, A Adv 2. A German +.
#13: 1-1(0) vs 99/395. A back. An Allied +.
This was a horrible opening for Paffy ... one kill and one
trapped. If the advance 4 versus the Bloody 110 had not occurred,
allowing the Germans to capture Clerveaux, Paffy would have been
shot at sunrise by the Fuhrer. Bad dice by Paffy in the playoffs
is to be expected. 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 1 tn 802 chance.
Paffy tried to take advantage of the success at Clerveaux,
but Steve was able to blunt the offensive by holding adroitly
in the rough terrain between St. Vith and Clerveaux. As a result,
Paffy's attacks in the center resulted in Engaged daggers into
Paffy's heart or attacker retreats on low odds attacks.
Soon Paffy realized that Bastogne or Parker's Crossroad was
not going to fall, so he surprised Steve with an all out sledgehammer
to capture Stavelot and the Fuel Dump within. Unfortunately,
the dump in Stavelot is evacuated on the Allied 19AM turn as
it was historically, so Paffy had to take the town on the German
19AM turn. As fate would have it, Paffy blew a 50-50 die roll
to capture the town on 19AM and finished the game with three
victory points - one short.
Congratulations to Steve Likevich for winning his fourth Bulge