Still hitting the beach 15 years
Scott Moll wins a Round 1 tussle with
Mark Popofsky. Moll pulled the upset of the tournament with a
late rally to topple four-time champ Jim Doughan.
Jim Eliason (left) and Bruno Passacantando
enjoy a rematch of their last game when they met in the 2003
Final. This time Bruno got his revenge.
With the Allies coming ashore in Breakout Normandy for their
15th consecutive year, the opposition in the field of 20 was
extremely stiff. No less than seven champs from previous WBC's
were present in the initial line up. Like a fine wine the level
of competition has significantly improved with time.
The tournament retained its format from last year's event
of a Mulligan round followed by Single Elimination. Player numbers
have held up so we will stay with this for next year's hostilities
The strength of the field showed itself with the emergence
of three giant killers:
* Scott Moll's Allies despatched defending champion Jim Doughan
with a June 12 capture of Caen;
* Bruno Passacantando turning the tables on 2006 Champion
Jim Eliason in the rematch of that year's Final by smashing his
German's death-grip on Sword beach for another June 12 win;
* And Scott Fenn's Allies astounding 2005 champ Andrew Cummins'
Germans with a June 7th capture of both Isigny and Carentan.
As usual, the games teemed with off-the wall events, the three
1's from Coastal Artillery that stuffed the 4th Division completely
on Utah, turns ending prematurely on impulse 3 with snake-eyes
and turns that defied probability by lasting from C to 11. Strings
of bombardments which failed recouped by single bombardments
that worked far beyond any reasonable expectation. Units completely
paralyzed while moving under air power on the one hand, while
with others the air apparently asleep as units parade past unhindered
to their destination.
In play the most significant innovation from previous years
has been the trend for the Allied player to deploy forces from
Utah (90th Division & Corps Artillery) to Omaha to give greater
depth and options to the Omaha push.
Bidding for the Germans is up from last year by around six
points to an average of 37 supply. The level of bidding also
increases in later rounds going from around 31 in the Mulligan
up to 54 in the semi-final/Final, as more experienced players
want to either play as German or get sufficient recompense as
Unfortunately there has been no increase in the percentage
of Allied victories which remains stuck at 32% ... identical
to last year. Interestingly, the average supply bid for games
the Allies won was 32, while the average bid for games the Germans
won was 39. It seems that supply point bidding - at least at
the level that players are going to is not succeeding in balancing
the game. This will be addressed in next year's tournament.
Despite the best efforts of the pack, the Final was contested
by two former champs, Nels Thompson (2004) and Don Greenwood
(developer). Nels claimed the Germans gifting the Allies 70 supply.the
equivalent of an extra turn of good weather impulses. The Allies
had an excellent start, all beaches landing successfully, Bretteville
and then Verson cleared but the advantage lost to a late weather
change which allowed Cherbourg forces to move to cover Carentan.
On the 7th the US cleared St Mere-Eglise, regained the advantage
but lost it again as a +3 assault into Caen failed twice, the
second attempt ending the day. In recompense the 8th lasted from
C to 11, Bayeux, Isigny and Foret falling to the Allies. On the
9th, focus of the game moved to Carentan where it stayed for
the duration. After some delaying action in Isigny and an early
weather change to dry, the advantage came back to the Allies
following a deadly air bombardment on Carentan that threatened
to deliver it to Don's forces. The allies had three major assaults
with some chance to take the city on the 10th and 11th but after
this and many bombardments Nels' Germans were still holding out
on the 12th.
The opening bombardments were about par, after the Germans
had filled Carentan with armor and infantry. An impulse 1 10:2
German bombardment of the 10 units waiting in Carentan for the
order to attack netted 4 units spent, including the lead armor.
Don passed on an even-odds roll to clear before the final German
unit was put into the area, and when he rolled a 3 on an impulse
4 bombardment, he re-rolled it, but again failed the re-roll
with a 3 for the game end. Nels Thompson taking the game and
the 2008 BKN championship.
Nels Thompson (left) defends against
the fittingly British assault of Andrew Cummins who played the
role of Eliminator in the semis. Had Andrew won, the event would
have been shortened by a round, but Noooooooooooooooo ...
Don Greenwood (left) and Scott Fenn
battle in the other semi and hope for a Cummins win. Fenn surprised
all by opting to play the Allies. Scott has a reputation as a
stellar German player, but his Allied invasion ran into early