Still hitting the beach 14 years
Two frequent adversaries - Scott Fenn
and GM Andrew Cummins from the UK - enjoy another tense battle.
Nels Thompson is either putting a
lot of English into that dice roll or he's getting ready to throttle
Few contenders can have as rocky or well deserved a road to
victory as Jim Doughan in this year's competition, beating en-route
the previous 2004 and 2005 winners (Nels Thompson and Andrew
Cummins GM) together with Designer Don Greenwood and strong
pbem player Steve Andriakos.
The format this year moved from Swiss to Single-Elimination
plus Mulligan, with the effect of stemming the fall-off of attendance
seen over the past few years.
An optional alternative scenario start (post 6th June invasion)
was introduced to reduce first turn luck but this proved to be
unpopular with the players, only being used in 15% of games.
Game balance this year was firmly tilted towards the Germans
with around a third of the victories going to the Allies. Despite
strong bidding for the Germans moving from an average of 28 in
the first and mulligan rounds through 31 in the second and 44
in the Final, the tilt to the Germans remained unchanged.
The games were full of incident, Rinella managing to snatch
an early loss in the Mulligan as the Allies losing a succession
of high-odds attacks on the 7th with an early weather change
featuring an SS rampage! Steve Andriakos demolished Marvin Birnbaum
when Carentan fell to the Allies on the 8th and was then promptly
recaptured by Steve's Germans. My game against Nels Thompson
generated an envelopment of Caen after a long 9th with a German
collapse as the city fell when they failed to break the British
ring of steel. Mike Kaye's Allies kicked last year's winner Jim
Eliason out of contention in the second round with Bayeux, Caumont
and Torigny falling in a single impulse following a German collapse
In the Final, Nels Thompson played the Germans to Jim Doughan's
Allies for a bid of 50 supply. The Allies landed well, with
all of the beaches in good order and Sword and Merville cleared.
During a single impulse of wet on the 6th, Nels counterattacked
Merville from Troarn at 5:6 and failed, in a move he was to regret.
On the 7th, Jim cleared St. Mere Eglise and contested Caen,
forcing Lehr and 12th SS to run interdiction and sending several
defenders retreating out of the city at D2. Carentan was also
contested on the 7th. Nels ran defenders under interdiction
to defend here -- units that should have been moved during the
overcast impulse of the 6th.
The German center was denuded with defenders sucked into Carentan
and Caen on either side. Nels began a risky gambit to draw impulses
out of Jim's plan by defending forward. Jim cleared Treviers
and Colombieres, then re-cleared Treviers after Nels retook it,
following up by clearing Isigny, via Treviers and Colombieres.
Nels had to cover St. Lo and moved his lone fresh defender (the
corps artillery) from Foret back into the area. Jim repaired
the Grandcamp causeway and contested St. Lo on a +1 assault with
a unit of 1st Division. Nels had no fresh units adjacent to
St. Lo, and a Lehr armored regiment was stopped in Caumont by
interdiction. Jim followed up with a +2 assault by a unit from
the 29th Division that cleared St. Lo, and Nels resigned, the
Germans in a hopeless position giving Jim Doughan the 2007 crown—his fourth—making him the undisputed master of Normandy.
BREAKOUT NORMANDY #5: Tom Dworschak has won the 5th rendition
of the PBeM tournament, outlasting 49 other players in a six-round
Single Elimination tournament. The victory was his fifth as the
Germans in a tournament once again dominated by German play despite
bidding for sides. The Germans won 29 of 51 games. Steve Andriakos
took second when he lost the dice off for the Germans. Both players
had submitted bids of 37 Allied supply to play the Germans. Also
earning laurels were Harvey Smallman, Michael Kaye, Jim Eliason
and Scott Fenn who finished third through sixth respectively. Details
are available at http://www.boardgamers.org/specific/bknpbem05.htm.