tigers in the mist [Updated October, 2007]  

2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Bryan Eshleman, NC

2007 Champion

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Event History
2000    Ray Freeman     16
2001    Robert Mull     19
2002    Rick Young     14
2003    Ray Freeman     16
2004    Tom Thornesen     17
2005    Tom Thornsen     18
2006    Ray Freeman     17
2007     Bryan Eshleman     18

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Ray Freeman        CA    07    157
  2.  Jim Winslow        ME    06     72
  3.  Tom Thornsen       NY    07     70
  4.  Ric Young          NC    05     61
  5.  Brad Jones         FL    06     57
  6.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    07     50
  7.  Mike Mishler       CA    07     36
  8.  Robert Mull        CO    01     36
  9.  Murray Cowles      UK    02     32
 10.  Ric Sciacca        FL    06     19
 11.  Jack Morrell       NY    01     15
 12.  John Ellsworth     IL    07     12
 13.  Eduardo DeNucci   ARG    04      9
 14.  Dave Schubert      MD    03      9
 15.  Raymond Hall       IL    00      9
 16.  Bob Hamel          CT    07      8
 17.  Nathan Trent       VA    05      6
 18.  Jim Kramer         PA    05      6
 19.  Bill Hodges        VA    03      6
 20.  Larry Hiemenz      MD    04      3
 21.  Aaron Silverman    NY    00      3

2007 Laurelists

Mike Mishler, CA
2nd

Ray Freeman, CA
3rd

John Ellsworth, IL
4th

Bob Hamel, CT
5th

Tom Thornsen, NY
6th


Past Winners

Ray Freeman, CA
2000, 2003, 2006

Robert Mull, CO
2001

Rick Young, NC
2002

Tom Thornsen, NY
2004, 2005


Tigers has gotten the most out of a small, but dedicated group who return each year to play multiple games in the swiss format.

The use of a Mulligan round witrh a swiss format is highly unusual and unique to Tigers for the time being.

Still in the Mist

Ten players opted for the mulligan round on Tuesday night to kick off the event, including three new guys who attended the demo at 6 pm. There were no upsets in the first round. However, two-time champion Tom Thornsen came late because he was busy winning in a different event. The GM, playing the US side, rewarded Tom's tardiness by thrashing him thoroughly, with the aid of unbelievably cold German dice.

Other mulligan winners were past laurelists Jim Winslow, Nathan Trent, and Brad Jones plus newcomer Dave Schubert.

Eight other players joined in for the first round and interesting things began happening immediately. Bryan Eshleman demonstrated his inventiveness by using the US 1107th Engineers to capture Prum on 16-1, thus saving two regiments of the 106th for later use. Mike Kaye's Germans gamely continued, but looked dead in the water after a 9-7 assault at Bastogne on 18-3 netted no US casualties. Undaunted, Mike attacked the critical crossroads again on 19-1 at 10-7, and achieved a miracle, clearing out the defenders! I've never seen a 7 SP defended area fall before. It ended up being too late as Bryan cruised to a win.

Elsewhere, Rich Phares' 116 Pz seized Bastogne on 17-1, stunning John Vasilakos' defenders. Tom Thornsen annihilated co-developer Bill Alderman's front line on 17-1, leaving only three one-SP units on the map. Bill's position collapsed a few turns later. Bob Hamel defeated newcomer Darin Morley while another newcomer, Jon Izer, stunned veteran Jim Kramer by seizing Bastogne on 17-3.

Round 2

Ray Freeman's Germans enjoyed fabulous dice on the 16th and 17th, capturing Bastogne on 17-3. By the beginning of the 20th, Nathan Trent's US line was in tatters and he resigned. The upset of the round occurred when Bob Hamel's Wehrmacht smashed Brad Jones's position early, capturing Bastogne on 17-2 and releasing the 2nd SS Panzer on 19-2. Brad was forced to resign on the 20th.

Round 3

This round saw a series of furious games as Brian Eshleman's Amis managed to stave off Bob Hamel Although Bob did take Bastogne on 18-1, his losses had been heavy and he was unable to make much further progress.

In a rematch of last years Final, Ray Freeman defeated Jim Winslow's Germans. On 17-2, the 106th infantry remnants from Auw attacked a German mech unit at Prum and actually killed a step! This looked to be a bad omen for the Germans. They had a shot at Bastogne on the 17th, but failed to take the town. Ray immediately counterattacked successfully building the defenders to 7 SP. Jim attacked Bastogne again on 18-1 and ground the defense down to 4 SP. Ray decided that another counterattack was in order, but despite having 10 shots, managed only one hit. Still, this solidified the US position in Bastogne. Jim played through the 20th, but resigned once it became obvious that he could not score a breakout.

Dave Schubert scored a big upset against Brian Jones by playing solid defense, with no major objectives falling by the end of the 19th. That wasn't all as John Ellsworth stunned Nathan Trent by completely shutting down the German attack and Mike Mishler dealt Tom Thorsen his second loss of the tourney. The latter seemed close as Tom kept taking ground, but an impulse too late.

Round 4

Round 4 saw the three undefeated players paired with the highest rated 2. Bryan Eshleman took on Jim Winslow and Ray Freeman battled Mike Mishler for the right to play in the championship game. However, four other players still had a shot at wood and joined us for another round..

The first game to end was Eshleman-Winslow. Jim took the Germans and had a great start, sweeping Bastogne aside on 18-1 and releasing the SS on 18-2. Positionally, this looked over, but there are other factors which had their say. Bryan pulled back in the north, using the bad road net to give his weary troops breathing room. Jim's attacks in the center and south ran into repeated buzz saw dice, which ran up the casualty totals for the attacker while not leading to much space gain. Jim resigned on the 21st when the 84th division set up camp in Marche.

My game with Mike got off to a bad start as I failed to clear any of the northern areas on 16-1 and the situation got progressively worse. Mike had a lot of stuff to play with early, and I lost a critical 9-1 attack at Ettelbruck on 17-1 which shut down my south flank. After struggling stubbornly on hoping for some hot dice, I realized that a breakout was hopeless and resigned early on the 21st.

Meanwhile John Ellsworth outplayed Dave Schubert's Germans, holding Bastogne throughout, and giving up the SS at the last possible moment.

The longest game of the round was between Bob Hamel and Tom Thornsen. Bastogne fell on 18-1, but the US managed to just hold enough critical real estate to prevent another VP falling. The US had been issued faulty demolition materiels, but was holding ground pretty well with the US line on 20-1 being Neufchateau, Moircy, Champion, La Roche, Baraque and Trois Ponts. German attacks were dismal failures in the south as only Baraque and Trois Ponts fell. The Germans managed a low odds 4-3 attack on Marche on the 84/arm with four 1-SP units, achieving two hits, but US armor held to save the VP. A later US counterattack inserted sufficient defenders to stop one last German attack at Marche.

On 21-1, the Germans made a supreme effort to breach the line at Wellin, attacking at 10-3. The US shot poorly and the Germans had 11 shots to clear the area. However, they managed only two hits and the southern flank was saved. US engineers then blew the bridge Grupont-Rochefort, the only successful bridge demolition of the game, to seal the southern flank. The game ended in a hard fought draw at the end of the 22-1 impulse.

Final

In the consolation game, Ray parlayed decent moves and better dice into a relatively easy win over John. German attacks on the 16th and 17th virtually wiped out the defenders, so John pulled his three remaining units into Bastogne. However, a 7-3 attack on 17-2 was not enough to clear the city. In addition, light recon screens raced to seize Martelange, Bertogne, Houffalize and Beho.

On 18-1, the Germans set up a number of good attacks, although the first at Fauvilliers (at 6-2 failed). However, when the 10-2 at Bastogne swept aside the defenders, John realized that his bid (2 VP) would hand victory to the German side and resigned without seeing the remaining battle results.

In the championship game, Mike bid 1.5 for the Allies. Bryan started with a dream Wehrmacht offensive, clearing Marnach on 16-1 and repairing the magic bridge. This allowed the Germans to get a wedge into Lullage on 16-2. Bryan pressed heavily on 17-1, clearing the front line. Mike tried to screen Bastogne, which failed, thus a lone 1-SP unit was left to defend the city on 17-3. Bryan scraped up a 5-SP attack and took the city on 17-3. As Mike had bid high for the US, he was forced to try to take it back with the 10th armored. One German PzGrn SP survived to hold the town against the 7-4 US attack.

On 18-1, Bryan hit Bastogne hard (9-6) and infiltrated units behind the German line in a few spots, putting the defenders of Noville (5 SP!) OOS. On Mike's turn, he again hit Bastogne with a big attack, but a single 2-SP German PzGrn survived. Unfortunately, the meat grinder at Bastogne forced Mike to strip the rest of the front and the combination of heavy losses, open flanks, and Bastogne still in German hands forced resignation on the third day.

Congratulations to Bryan on his win. He is now at the top of the PBeM ladder and simultaneously holds the WBC Championship. Mike moved up to second from his 3rd place finish last year and played exceptionally well in most of his games. I don't recall any mistakes he made in our Round 4 game. John is to be congratulated for his 4th place finish in his rookie outing.

Bryan's success makes him the fifth player in eight years to win the Tigers WBC crown. This year's turnout was exceptional, with us having 18 players after the first round. I appreciate everyone who showed up and played, and continued to play for a shot at brass-wood and cotton (tee shirts). The Tees this year will go to Bryan and John, continuing my policy of giving one to the winner (unless he doesn't want it) and the highest finishing player who does not already have a Tigers tee-shirt.

 GM      Ray Freeman  [8th Year]   NA
    Rayfreeman3@comcast.net   NA

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