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Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Dennis Culhane, PA

2008 Champion

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Event History
2005    Bob Heinzmann     26
2006     Dennis Culhane      8
2007    Mark Popofsky     10
2008     Dennis Culhane     11
 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    08     48
  2.  John Chabonneau    NH    05     24
  3.  Dennis Culhane     PA    08     23
  4.  Mark Popofsky      DC    08     16
  5.  Steve Campbell     NH    05     16
  6.  Dave Casper        CA    05     12
  7.  Paul Gaberson      PA    08     11
  8.  John Leggat        CA    05      8
  9.  Chris Byrd         CT    07      6
 10.  Peter Perla        VA    06      6
 11.  Pablo Garcia     Chile   08      4
 12.  Frank McNally      MA    05      4
 13.  Jay Meyers         CA    07      2
 

2008 Laurelists                                        Repeating Laurelists 

Mark Popofsky, DC
2nd

Pablo Garcia, Chile
3rd

Paul Gaberson, PA
4th

Bob Heinzmann, FL
5th

NA
6th


Past Winners

Bob Heinzmann, FL
2005

Dennis Culhane, PA
2006, 2008

Mark Popofsky, DC
2007


 

Paul Gaberson (left) falls to Dennis Culhane.

Pablo Garcia (left), visiting from Chile runs into Mark Popofsky.

Down to the Wire

For those who were unable to make the trip, the format was 1943 scenarios for all of the preliminary rounds and the campaign game for the Final. The 1943 scenario performed very well at WBC. This year's champion is Dennis Culhane who defeated the reigning champion, Mark Popofsky.

In the first round the JP and the Allies split 50-50, the two eventual finalists in the semi-finals each won with the Allies. The Final saw the reigning champion take on Dennis Culhane who was the runner-up in last year's tournament and the 2006 champion. Here is a synopsis of the Final in the words of Mark Popofsky.

Dennis bid 1 for, and played, the Allies in the Final ('42 Campaign). Mark's opening Japanese hand was excellent: VADM Kondo, a Force Card, Midway, and Central Agreement, with a few 2s and 3s, including a non-draw weather card. Japan weighed two strategies: Wipe out the US Navy (in addition to securing the usual objectives in the strategic resource area), or kick the Allies back to Australia and India by taking New Guinea, the Solomons, and Burma and dare Dennis to try to make Progress of War. Given the two potential uses of Kondo, Japan elected to try for Strategic Naval Supremacy and a quick end to a very long day of EOS.

Following two big offensives to take care of business in the DEI/PI (including wiping out the US naval units), the Japanese fleet redeployed to Eniwetok. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dennis dispersed the carriers to Noumea and E-Santu (without air in each). A card later, with Midway captured, Japan had a 50% chance of sinking the last US naval unit, the Big-E, which had run all the way to Broom, Australia (!), from Noumea (not a 1-hex island and thus Midway could not hit). Alas, only a flip was achieved, and the 2-PW hit for strategic naval situation avoided. (Japan made a mistake using the weather card in Burma rather than using it to prevent Big-E from running to Australia; the US arguably returned the favor by leaving Big E without the 7th LRB, which sat in the Solomons).

Employing three big cards in the failed bid for Strategic Naval Superiority, and its two tantalizing PoW points, left the DEI and Philippines still technically to fall Turn 3, and the Allies able to hold on to Sarong, lower DEI bases, and the Mandates and most of NG. Japan took all the DEI/PI surrender hexes, but with no offensives and much to do, dispositions for Japan were not optimal. The Allies then made their only arguable blunder: moving the (Big E) from Broom. Japan unleashed subs which not only sank Enterprise, but converted that sub card into a Force Card!! 100 A/N points then revisited Pearl and the remnants of the USN, needing only a .5 result to completely wipe it out. Alas, the dice gods gave the Allies a .25 v. 1 victory, and the 2-PW hit was again avoided by the slimmest of margins. (The Allies did not hold Heroic Repair or an Ambush).

This mattered greatly because Japan played Tojo as an Event Turn 3, would achieve a PW point for Midway and most likely Alaska by Turn 5. With the usual three others from DEI, PI, and Malaya seemingly in the bag, the Allies were staring at a potential PW defeat Turn 5 -- but they held one last ace up their sleeve: a 2-card advantage at the end of Turn 3. Dennis unleashed an elegant counterattack (War Plan Orange): staging SR air to a still-unsurrendered Morotai and landing the Aussie 12-12 adjacent to Davao, which was promptly assaulted. Although a reaction invasion ensued, the Allies won the ground combat on a 1 v. 5 result (8/1 on the dice), avoiding the Philippines' surrender!! Turn 4 reinforcements flooded in, including a second Corps and US naval units in Davao! Moral of the story for Japan: Keep an 18-12 in Davao until the Philippines surrender, if the Allies store an FO Turn 1 and you do not!!!

As Ron Franzen used to tell me, games when the Philippines do not surrender are not pretty for Japan, and this was no exception. Turn 4, the Allies exploited their position in the center (especially Sarong and the Philippine airfields) to just take the three hexes needed Turn 4 for Progress of War. More importantly, with the Allies able to now feed naval and LRB units into Davao, Japan now needed to attack (without Turn 4 offensives and no 3 OC cards), to keep it isolated. With A/N steps consumed in that effort (successful at a cost) and attempts to retake captured PoW hexes in the lower DEI (failed; e.g., PoW made), Japan did not see a viable long-game position after a timely play of Doolittle and the Allies' continued ability to exploit the Phillippine bases and conceded.

And so concluded a wild, tense, and very friendly match. Congratulations to Dennis on regaining his title.

 GM      Mark Herman [4th year]   NA
   NA   NA

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