Year 9 of the Renaissance
Chris Harris (right) accepts congratulations
from Carl Copeland in a preliminary game as 2006 champion Paul
Fletcher watches. Harris finished 4th overall.
Tom Oleson (left) and Bob Ryan battle
it out in the Final. Tom's revised maps and scenarios published
on his own dime have breathed new life into a classic wargame.
Venerable grognard Tom Oleson once again devoted his efforts,
time, dedication, and innovation to the Anzio experience.
This year he came equipped with a new rulebook for the
game (minor clarifications only); at his own expense! The Sicilia
scenario introduced last year remained popular. It has units
with undetermined strength (Italians) and is only six turns long.
This makes it a popular option to introduce new players to the
Anzio event. As in 2007, Bruno Sinigaglio graciously agreed
to GM the event during the 'Grognard' Pre-Con due to the GM not
being able to arrive until Monday.
The points scoring system to advance four finalists to the
semi-finals the last few years was once again used. The
loser in any scenario is awarded one point. A winner of
the 15-turn Anzio scenario earned 15 points. The Sicilia
scenario was worth five points and the 21 turn combined Sicilia
and Anzio earned 21 points. However, a winner also gains
one bonus point for each win a loser previously had. In
addition, only the best three games counted for each player.
This effectively deals with the issue of a contestant playing
more games than any other and/or a player only being involved
in matches with less experienced players.
At 5:00 PM on Friday the four highest scoring players entered
into the single elimination portion of the tournament. Those
four players were:
1. Tom Oleson 79 pts
2. Bob Ryan 65 pts
3. Robert Frisby 44 pts
4. Chris Harris 44 pts
The semi-final matches were Tom vs. Chris and Bob vs. Robert. Tom
Oleson was the first to move on to the Final round.
The other match had Bob with the 16th Panzer guarding
the beaches at Termoli so Robert came ashore at Terracina. The
Germans eliminated the Port at Taranto on the September 2 turn
and put pressure on the Allied beachhead. The Allies had
a long ways to go from the toe to get help up to the invasion
force without the use of Taranto. A mistake by Bob on the
September 4 turn allowed Robert to execute a Retreat Forward
and effectively relieved the immediate pressure at Terracina. While
the Germans held at Terracina, they had to give ground, albeit
grudgingly, to the Allied forces advancing northward up the boot. Robert
executed the Second Invasion at Termoli on the November 2 turn. The
German was able to create a line across the peninsula from Termoli
to Naples to keep the Allied forces at Terracina isolated. The
game came down to a December 3 counter-attack at Pescara by the
Germans that was successful.
The Final began Saturday morning with Tom's Allies landing
at Salerno. The game proceeded in what would be called a
relatively 'normal' fashion with both sides punching and counter-punching
until the November 1 turn when the Allies invaded at Mondragone! The
second invasion had effectively cut-off two German divisions
just north of Naples. The German had protected Rome, Termoli
and Terracina from the second invasion, but did not have enough
units to cover their rear area at Mondragone. The Germans
counter-attacked and dug in from Formia to Foggia. The November
3 turn saw the Allies attacking full bore toward Termoli. The
Allies still had their fourth Port counter in hand and wanted
to open a Port on the east side of the boot (though this never
did happen). On the December 2 turn the Allies went back
to putting the pressure on at Formia, but could not get even
a 'stick' to force the German to either attack or backup. By
holding at Formia to protect Terracina and stacking as much as
possible at Casino the game came down to a series of attacks
by the Allies toward Termoli. The game ended after the December
II turn following two consecutive '1' die rolls by the Germans. So,
for yet another year, the Anzio Final was memorable for
an unusual course of play.
Lastly, many thanks are again due to Bill Morse for the time
he contributed in logging all matches, keeping score, posting
results, etc. Thia tournament as well as all the Grognard
events owes much to his efforts.