breakout: normandy  

Updated 11/22/2009

2009 WBC Report  

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Nels Thompson, NY

2008-09 Champion

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WBC Event History
1994    Jim Doughan      50
1995    Bill Edwards      48
1996    Hank Burkhalter      54
1997    Jim Doughan      53
1998    Don Greenwood      52
1999    Michael Rinella     48
2000    Phil Barcafer     32
2001    Jim Doughan     34
2002     Alan Applebaum     26
2003    Jim Eliason     28
2004    Nels Thompson     33
2005    Andrew Cummins     27
2006    Jim Eliason     19
2007     Jim Doughan     20
2008    Nels Thompson     20
2008    Nels Thompson     20
2009    Nels Thompson     20

D-Day Mini-Con Event History
1998    Don Greenwood      17
1999    Alan Applebaum     19
2000    Bryan Esleman     18
2001    Andrew Cummins     17
2002     Marvin Birnbaum     23
2003    David Wong     15
2004    Andrew Cummins     15
2005    Don Greenwood     20
2006     Don Greenwood     13

PBeM Event History
1999    Jim Doughan      34
2001    John Crabtree      36
2003    Bruno Passacantando      48
2004    Don Greenwood     47
2006    Tom Dworschak     50

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Don Greenwood      MD    08    322
  2.  Andrew Cummins     uk    08    276
  3.  Nels Thompson      VA    08    258
  4.  Alan Applebaum     MA    02    204
  5.  Jim Doughan        PA    09    187
  6.  Jim Eliason        IA    07    176
  7.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    06    153
  8.  Marvin Birnbaum    NY    02    151
  9.  Tom Dworschak      GA    07    136
 10.  Henry Jones        PA    06    136
 11.  Mike Rinella       NY    07    128
 12.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    09    104
 13.  Brun Passacantando CT    08    104
 14.  Michael Kaye       MD    09    100
 15.  Steve Andriakos    TX    07     85
 16.  Phil Barcafer      PA    01     84
 17.  Scott Fenn         MD    08     83
 18.  Clyde Longest      VA    06     60
 19.  Ken Nied           KS    05     51
 20.  David Wong         NJ    03     50
 21.  Tom Pavy           OH    03     48
 22.  Bill Edwards       VA    99     36
 23.  Harvey Smallman    CA    07     24
 24.  Bryan Stingley     NC    03     24
 25.  Chris Byrd         CT    06     20
 26.  Kevin Hammond      NY    09     16
 27.  Scott Moll         VA    08     12
 28.  Nick Anner         NY    06     12
 29.  Anthony Daw        UT    06     12
 30.  Anders Egneus      sw    99     12
 31.  Ron Fedin          PA    04     11
 32.  John Crabtree      CA    01     10
 33.  Tom Drueding       MA    04     10
 34.  Tom Gregorio       PA    06      7
 35.  John Grant Jr      CT    99      6
 36.  Chris Roginsky     PA    04      5
 37.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    03      5
 38.  Hank Burkhalter    GA    99      2

2009 Laurelists                                                  Repeating Laurelists 

Alan Applebaum, MA

Kevin Hammond, NY

Mike Kaye, MD

Mark Gutfreund, KY

Jim Doughan, PA

Past Winners

Jim Doughan, PA
1994, 1997, 2001, 2007

Bill Edwards, VA

Hank Burkhalter, TX

Don Greenwood, MD

Michael Rinella, NY

Phil Barcafer, PA

Alan Applebaum, MA

Jim Eliason, IA
2003, 2006

Nels Thompson, NY
2004, 2008-09

Andrew Cummins, UK

Nels Thompson downs four-time champ Jim Doughan while defending his title. As a triple winner, Nels now trails Jim by just one BKN title.

Alan Applebaum (left) joins GM Andrew Cummins and Nels in the Final. The secret of their success: having the foresight to bring long sleeved wear to the meat locker.

Still hitting the beach 16 years later ...

In its 16th year of competition at the WBC's Breakout Normandy (BKN to its friends) continues to provide fresh surprises. Indeed it is probably this ability to generate different situations on almost every run of the game that leads to its enduring popularity.

The moment you think that you have a lock on a game, curve balls will come in to throw your plans into disarray. The softening up bombardment your assault needs has failed. Air interdiction has stopped reinforcements from reaching the battle. A key attack has been thrown back in confusion or succeeded beyond your wildest expectation. Against the background of an uncertain length of day you are forced to ruthlessly prioritise what you want to do from what you must.

The player pool in recent years has been viewed as something of a shark-tank with many highly competent players having absorbed the harsh lessons of the game -- this year was no exception with six previous champions and many contenders in the lists.

New players however can also be an occasional source of surprise -- Kevin Hammond in his first face-to-face encounter at the game took down Don Greenwood (ex-champion and game developer) in classical giant-killer fashion. He also despatched four-time winner Jim Doughan before being stopped in the semi-finals by Alan Applebaum.

There have been some subtle changes in the bidding since last year, the average bid remaining approximately the same at 36-37 supply for the Germans. But early round bids have increased somewhat (32->35) while later round bids have subsided from the heights of 50-70 seen last year towards 40-45. The overall results still favor the German side with 13 wins out of 24 (0.54) down from last years (0.65). Interestingly, the Allies won seven of the last twelve games and four of the final six in favor of the Allies. It seems that increased bidding and improved strategy with the Allies is indeed narrowing the gap.

Last year's champion, Nels Thompson, again reached the Final to face previous champion Alan Applebaum returning to BKN after a period of absence. They agreed to play with the no magic bridge variant, using cards instead of dice. Nels' Allies had a good landing, clearing Utah, Gold and Juno beaches and seizing Merville. The 7th was relatively short (A to 4) with the Advantage remaining with Alan's Germans. The 8th sees the Allies contest Caen, finally clear St Mere and break up the aggressively placed local German defenses in Troan but fail to contest Carentan & Balleroy.

At the end of the 8th, with Allied progress poor and the German position east of Caen weak, Nels decided his best hope was a breakout. Deploying his British reinforcements east on the 9th, after some initial failed attempts to contest Colombiers and Balleroy he created a killing zone in Troan. This drew in Alan's local reserve to its defense, threatening Bourguebus, Potigny and a potential encirclement of Caen. The 10th saw Troan fall, Mezidon contested and Houlgate taken with the Advantage surrendered in an attempt to prevent its capture - the Allied strategy was now clear.

Alan regrouped forces out of Mezidon to defend Zone A while Nels concentrated in Houlgate. The 11th ran long (2-10). Zone A was contested in force by a British corps, while the Germans prepare a large counterattack force for the 12th. Despite supply difficulties the Allies had twelve units, seven fresh, four of whom are artillery units in Zone A at the start of the last turn. Ranged against them, the Germans have around 20 units but with the day starting on impulse 3 they simply don't have the resources or time to stop the Allied breakout victory.

Winning with a Breakout against a skilled opponent is a very rare event, only a couple having been seen in the past decade of BKN play. Nels victory was well earned and deserved against a former champion.

 GM      Andrew Cummins  [3rd Year]  NA   NA

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