Year 10 of the Renaissance
Paul Fletcher fell just short this
year in a battle of two-time champions as longtime adversary
Tom Oleson got the best of him in their latest match.
Tom's revised maps and scenarios published
on his own dime have breathed new life into a classic wargame
at WBC in combination with Free Form scheduling.
Venerable grognard Tom Oleson once again devoted his efforts,
time, dedication, and innovation to the Anzio experience.
As in 2008, 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 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. Mike Scott - 78 pts
2. Tom Oleson - 61 pts
3. Bob Ryan - 48 pts
4. Paul Fletcher -
Top-seeded Mike who was making his first appearance at WBC
took on Paul's Germans in the first semi-final. Paul
had the 16th Panzer Division at Termoli so Mike landed at
Terracina and managed to weather numerous counterattacks. On
the November 1 turn, Mike had a line of units from Naples
to just south of Termoli and decided to execute the Second Invasion
immediately. Alas, the Allies fared poorly when they
came ashore near Rome and Paul returned to the Final for a shot
at his third crown.
The defending champion met the player whose name has become
synonymous with Anzio in the other semi. Bob
stationed the 16th Panzer at Termoli so Tom landed at Naples. Tom
did his normal 'bounce' off of the HG and NW71 at Vesuvio. Bob
was unable to crush the invasion so the Allies steadily marched
up from the South and linked up with the invasion force. Tom
executed the Second Invasion on Nov II at Terracina. This
created a Kessel of German forces east of Casino as the game
came down to the last few turns. Bob resigned the
Germans' chances on the Dec III turn.
Tom's Allies met Paul's Germans with the 16th Panzer
at Terracina. Paul did not garrison Vesuvio, so Tom
invaded at Salerno. Tom headed straight North, and
by the end of October the front was on a line from a few hexes
South of Cassino to just South of Termoli. Tom kept
pushing, but the German defense was strong. Tom couldn't
ignore an undefended Anzio, so he invaded at the first opportunity
- November I. Paul thought that Tom would not invade
Nov I and thereby give him the second invasion reaction forces
for the rest of the game. The Germans never came close
to retaking Anzio, but since the Allies were stalled South of
Cassino and Termoli, Rome needed to be taken too.
As both sides shifted most of their
forces into the Rome area, the battle raged for the high ground
East of the beach for seven turns, with the Frascati hill changing
hands repeatedly. The British 7th Armored division died there,
surrounded. It was a game of closely massed divisions, many 1-1
attacks, heavy losses on both sides, with free use of the reroll.
The Allies also threatened Terracina,
but the German sealed that off, helped by the earlier availability
of the invasion reaction. However, the Allies finally crossed
the Tiber on the coast, and attacked Rome from several hexes.
By December III Rome fell, giving the Allies the win and Mr Anzio
his third crown - a dozen years after the second.