Gaining Experience ...
Art Lupinacci (left) managed to return
to the Final of his design again but is yet to win it.
Damn ... these counters get better
looking all the time.
The field for the second Russia Besieged tournament
was slightly larger than the first and much improved in quality.
Three more veteran wargamers joined the field and one of the
returnees had noticeably elevated his game. The seven-turn scenario
ending in May/June 1942 was played.
Even though the average bid was up from last year, the Russians
won all but one of the games played. Someone forgot to tell "newcomer"
Tracy James about the Russian edge. Jim defeated a good player
in Round 1 with the Germans and had a 60% chance of capturing
Kharkov on the last turn in Round 2 to win again with the Germans
against a returning laurelist. James Tracy earned best German
In another good preliminary game, Charles Drozd's Germans
had veteran James Miller on the ropes in Fall 1941 with Lt Mud
/ Lt Mud weather rolls in both Sep/ Oct and Nov/Dec. However,
a strong Russian winter offensive eliminated a dozen German units
and left them in a weak position by the spring of 1942.
In the semi-finals, James Miller's Germans squared off against
Art Lupinacci. Art made the high bid of the tournament (18 RPs)
to play the Russians. Note: The average bid after Round 1 was
13. The Germans got off to a good start eliminating or trapping
18 units but suffered a couple of X2 results. Turn 2 saw German
panzers racing towards Leningrad and Veliki-Luki but also five
more X2 rolls. The German fortunes improved with Clear / Clear
in Sep/Oct and Army Group South swept into Dnepropetrovsk. Nov/Dec
saw Lt Mud/Snow weather and a German assault on Leningrad supported
by four Stukas. The Russians counterattacked in the center and
inflicted heavy German casualties. The Germans did get Lt Mud/Clear
in Mar/Apr but were too weak to mount a major offensive.
In the Final, Rob Beyma bid 14 to take the Russians. Art's
Germans had a good first turn eliminating 15 units and cutting
off four more while losing only a step. On Turn 2, the main German
panzer force crossed the Dnepr bend and captured Smolensk while
positioning themselves well for Turn 3. Army Group Rumania supported
by two panzer corps took Odessa while the remnants of the Baltic
and Kiev Military Districts were mopped up. Rob reluctantly fell
back, abandoning Bryansk to defend Moscow, Tula, and Kursk.
Rob was relieved when a Lt Mud/Lt Mud was rolled for Turn
3. However, Art noticed that Leningrad was defended only by a
weak infantry army. Art railed up a German reinforcement from
Helsinki and invaded next to Leningrad on the 2nd Impulse and
added two Stukas. Rob tossed in Zhukov on defense but the Germans
cleared Leningrad on a '9' roll (X2). The Russians rushed reinforcements
to the Leningrad area and made a 1-1 (+1) counterattack. An '8'
(D1) was rolled and Leningrad was saved. The Russians also counterattacked
west of Dnepropetrovsk, eliminating a 4-5 on a 5-1 but losing
a 5-4 on a 1-3. A 2nd Impulse 1-1 resulted in an AR. The Germans
rolled Lt Mud/Mud in Nov/Dec. Art assessed the situation, including
the 48 Russian units on the board, and conceded the game, and
Rob had his second Russia Besieged plaque.
Next year we plan to add a Mulligan Round so that everyone
who wants to can play at least two games. We also plan to play
with the 2nd edition rules in 2008.
Besieged Play By Email
RUSSIA BESIEGED: Overview: Armchair warrior is proud to host
the first BPA Sponsored "RBS PBeM Tournament". This
single-elimination tournament will be used to crown a "Wood-worthy"
RBS champion in the newest BPA Century event. Starting date is
November 1st. Full details are available at http://armchair-warrior.tripod.com/id3.html