Designer Denied ...
GM Ed Witkowski (left) and Terry Hollern
Tom Gregorio (right) and designer
Randy Heller contest the Final.
Attention All Riders! Please keep hands and feet inside your
Sherman or Panther at all times! Oh, wait a minute this wasn't
the "Wild Ride Though the Bitter Woods" roller coaster,
it was the Deluxe Bitter Woods (DBW) Tournament at WBC 2008.
This year's tournament challenged 22 players in 26 matches!!
An awesome range of grizzled champions to new players rolled
their panzers and zeroed in that great American artillery. So
did the Americans win more or did the nasty Germans? Blammmm,
13 American victories and 13 German, an even split.
We started with the Mulligan Round on Tuesday evening.18 Bitter
Woodsians for the Mulligan!! This turnout was a very big surprise
for me! The round was determined by random draw. We had three
new players that evening, Bob Bassin, Terry Cotter and John Grasse
dove in head first. As fate would have it, I was matched against
Charlie Drozd, my Mulligan opponent from last year. We played
the same sides as last year too! Some great match-ups: former
champion and DBW designer Randy Heller defeated teammate Forrest
Paffenberg; 2006 champion Steve Likevich was defeated by Mike
Mitchell! The last Mulligan match finished was Charlie's and
my match, going until the last turn, with better results for
me. Time to rest for a busy day on Wednesday.
Round 1 started at 10am with defending champion Tom Gregorio
against Johnny Hasay. Jeff and Kevin Hacker returned to the tournament,
and drew each other in the first round. That caused a redraw,
can't have them come to an annual tournament and play each other!
Most matches finished at a good pace. However, one had to be
adjudicated, Tom and Johnny's. The GM and assistant GMs examined
the situation and even conducted a dump destruction die roll.
In the end, Tom was victorious. Oh, by the way, Tom forgot about
Round was played with a few mulligan round winners absent
and a number of byes offered to former champions and top rated
players so that there would be eight players in the quarter-finals.
Ah, the joys of GMing. This round had Larry Hollern, this year's
wildcard, surging past Mike Mitchell. John Popiden squelched
Kevin Hacker's upward climb. I unfortunately didn't take advantage
of an open road to Trois Ponts during the Peiper Breakout and
consequently didn't apply pressure in the "right areas"
where it would have made a difference, Bob Ryan was a happy winner
as the American player. Marty Musella won by forfeit, Terry Cotter
was very delayed in arriving due to a personal issue.
Thursday morning dawned on the quarter-finals. Randy's solid
American defense stalled Larry's Germans, resulting in an American
victory. John Popiden's Americans were no match for Forrest's
surging Germans. Marty and Tom's game had some wild moments.
"One critical early point was a 17PM German assault in the
center at 5-1 (-2) that had a 1/3 chance of getting a D4 result
that would have allowed him to send a lurking Reserve unit into
an undefended Parkers Crossroads or Noville." Marty didn't
get the roll and Tom's Americans firmed up another victory. Bill
(Americans) and Bob's game had what Bob states as "what
all agreed was to have been the 'worst ever' German opening in
the recorded history of the game against Bill". I was checking
on games and I thought they had just started but it was the 17th
and Bob was still fighting across the Our River! Chalk up another
for Bill and the Americans! One thing that is "good"
being eliminated early is that you can watch some great games
being played. The Semis were two such games.
A successful Heller Skorzeny Sneak along the Malmedy to Eupen
road landed the FJ150 in Eupen. However, Eupen was then surrounded
with the FJ150 and Dietrich in it. Next to Eupen was a surrounded
7 Armor regiment. Morse brought in the whole 30ID and attacked
but forgot to allocate his air, Randy used his. A D1 resulted
and a slugfest started. During one of Randy's attacks against
the 7th armor unit Randy didn't notice a range of 5 on an artillery
unit, oops! Numerous attacks took place on both sides with ENG
or CA results, all deadlocked! Randy was eventually able to crush
the Americans and was victorious. Forrest and Tom also had an
exciting game. Forrest scrambled to stop Tom's Germans. On the
18 AM turn he left some holes near Bastogne, the Germans had
Parker's Crossroads and Tom was able build a bridge leading to
an advance into Eupen. Victory for the Germans and Tom.
In the Final, Tom was able to perform extremely well as the
American player. There were a few mis-steps on Randy's part which
helped Tom along. The 6-turn scenario was being played and Randy
just wasn't able to crack the American defenses. Tom was victorious
once again! The real big question, will he do it again next year!
A big Thank You to all that joined in the fun. I hope to be GM
next year. A few goals: 1. Have 25 or more players. 2. All electronic
record keeping and 3. WIN WIN! WIN!
WINS 2006 BITTER WOODS PBeM TITLE: The fifth BPA Bitter Woods
PBeM tournament got underway on Dec. 16, 2006 to commemorate
the battle with 32 players and has ended five rounds later in 2008 with
Bruno Sinigaglio's GI's defeating son Buddy's Germans to claim
his first title. The Americans won 20 of the 31 games played,
including six of the last seven. Other laurelists in order were
Bill Morse, Steve Likevich, Jeff Lange and Frank Sinigaglio.