bitter woods

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report    

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Tom Gregorio, PA

2007-09 Champion


AREA Boardgamegeek GM Site
Consimworld  L2 Design Group

WBC Event History
1999    Phil Evans     19
2000    Randy Heller     16
2001    Rich Ogata     14
2002    Tom Gregorio     16
2003    Bob Ryan     17
2004    Bob Ryan     20
2005    Randy Heller     20
2006    Steve Likevich     21
2007    Tom Gregorio     21
2008    Tom Gregorio     22
2009    Tom Gregorio     26

PBeM Event History
2000    Randy Heller     20
2001    Bob Ryan     27
2002    Tom Gregorio     25
2005    Phil Evans     27
2008    Bruno Sinigaglio     32

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Randy Heller       NH    09    202
  2.  Tom Gregorio       PA    09    191
  3.  Bob Ryan           MI    09    128
  4.  Phil Evans         fr    05     94
  5.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    08     57
  6.  Steve Likevich     OH    08     57
  7.  Bill Morse         VA    09     54
  8.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    08     54
  9.  Mike Mitchell      GA    09     42
 10.  John Grant Jr      CT    01     35
 11.  Rich Ogata         VA    01     30
 12.  Mike Pacheco       CA    05     24
 13.  Buddy Sinigaglio   CO    08     18
 14.  Dan Tierney        CA    05     18
 15.  Doug James         NC    06     15
 16.  Marty Musella      VA    08     15
 17.  John Popiden       CA    04      9
 18.  Nick Frydas        uk    03      9
 19.  Kevin Hacker       PA    09      8
 20.  Jim Tracy          OH    05      7
 21.  Jeff Lange         ap    08      6
 22.  Ed Witkowski       VA    07      6
 23.  Jeff Hacker        PA    05      6
 24.  Larry Hollern      TX    08      3
 25.  Frank Sinigaglio   NJ    08      3
 26.  Johnny Hasay       PA    07      3
 27.  Lance Roberts      AK    05      3
 28.  Rob Mull           CO    02      3
 29.  Chris Roginsky     PA    01      3
 30.  Paul Koenig        CA    00      3
 31.  Rob Beyma          MD    02      2

2009 Laurelists                                            Repeating Laurelists 

Bill Morse, VA

Randy Heller, NH

Bob Ryan, MI

Kevin Hacker, PA

Michael Mitchell, GA

Past Winners

Phil Evans, fr

Randy Heller, MD
2000, 2005

Rich Ogata, VA

Tom Gregorio, PA
2002, 2007-09

Bob Ryan, MI

Steve Likevich, OH

John Popiden looms over Bitter Woods designer Randy Heller.

Bill Morse (left) and Tom Gregorio for all the marbles in the Final.

Roll the Panzers ...

It was another milestone year for Bitter Woods. In this eleventh incarnation, not only was there record attendance, with 26 participants, the event was also graced with the presence of the "Patton's Relief" scenario which saw usage in addition to the traditional six- and eight-turn scenarios. As always, competitors were treated to another great year with numerous new tricks and tactics being unveiled in 2009.

The Tuesday night mulligan round had a super turnout with 22 players! The veterans used this session to get the rust off of their weapons while the less experienced took their drubbings without complaint; what they learned that evening would be applied in Wednesday's opening round. The mulligan round ensures that all Bitter Woods fans get at least two games under their belts as the Single Elimination tournament format would otherwise eliminate 50% of the event entrants after the first round. The shark count in this event was high with the owners of nine of the existing ten first place woods present. Phil Evans
earned the 'Most Distant Traveler' award as he came from France to try to add to his plaque collection.

Wednesday morning broke with a full roster of players lined up for the first Single Elimination round. Last year's champion, Tom Gregorio, did not participate in the prior mulligan round so he was ripe for an early exit and was essentially playing without a net from the get go Mentionable outcomes included:
* Marty Musella and Tom Gregorio fighting to a 'no decision' in their match; both players advanced due to the bye rules in effect for this tournament.
* Bob Bessin demonstrating that he'd been practicing in the off-season with a convincing win over Dan Dolan.
* Jeff Hacker rolling over the GM, Ed Witkowski, from behind a pair of dark sunglasses gaze that only added to the intimidation factor.
* Kevin 'accidently' came up with a scenario strategy subsequently dubbed "The Hacker Gambit" and the subject of much post-WBC discussion. This involved the US player fortifying Clervaux with a couple combat units and a leader on the 16AM turn which creates a bottleneck for the Germans in the south. This could be a game-winner, combined with the standard delaying tactics used elsewhere on the board. In Kevin's upset win over past champion Bob Ryan, this gambit proved decisive.

The second round on Wednesday had fewer surprises with the veterans sailing through to the next round.

The third round featured eight experienced players trying to make it to the final four. Match highlights included
* Bob Ryan leveraging Peiper in an exploitation to Trois Ponts that forced a white flag from Forrest Paffenberg.
* After hearing about Kevin's Clervaux gambit, Tom was all too happy to accede to Kevin's desire to play the Germans in the six-turn scenario. To make it even more interesting, Kevin started 'calling the dice' and they responded to his will. Nevertheless, Tom ground out a win by executing extremely conservative moves that assumed Kevin would get ideal dice.

The final four featured top-rated familar faces; defending champ Tom Gregorio vs designer Randy Heller and Bill Morse vs Bob Ryan.

The Tom vs Randy match was a replay of the 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2008 finals with the players splitting the championships at two apiece. This eight-turn scenario between the #1 and #2 AREA rated players would be the rubber game. Because Randy had only played the Americans up to this point in the tournament, he requested to play the Germans. Tom immediately agreed as Randy was a known master of the US defense and both the 2007 and 2008 finals had featured Randy's Germans being defeated. Tom played a precise positional game and that, combined with some atrocious dice from Randy, gave Tom an early edge. Every rollbahn, or avenue of approach, seemed secured by Tom's Allies but Randy spied a chink in the defense: An angriff on the approach to Bastogne had the Germans leapfrogging towards Noville and Tom was now in deep trouble! With measured desperation, Tom threw caution to the wind and sacrificed units to cut these advanced panzers from their supplies. While this would result in eliminated US units, the German advance would be sufficiently delayed to allow reinforcements to prevent the German tide from getting any further. The decisive event that had Randy surrendering after his 18AM turn was his failure to account for the mud weather on that turn: This extra movement point cost prevented him from exploiting a gap in the German line and saved Trois Ponts!

In his semi-final match with Bob Ryan, Bill Morse secured the win with a fortuitous advance that resulted in the capture of Eupen.

Since Bill had recently defeated Tom at Prezcon, it was with some trepidation that Tom agreed to play the Germans in the Final. Bill's defense was rock steady but Tom won the 50-50 roll and Skorzeny snuck through and enabled the elimination of three US units and the additional 'trapping' of a valuable US artillery unit. The artillery survived the initial assault but succumbed on the US turn because it was forced to counterattack and couldn't move. Some tactical misplays led to the Germans capturing Eupen and Trois Ponts, the destruction of sufficient American units for the victory point and the preservation of German mech forces gave the Germans four VP. At this point, Bill conceded.

As further proof of the dedication of BWD fans, Bill Bassin and Jeremy Osteen played an extended campaign game that, at last observation, still had them playing after 3AM! While Tom got his third straight shield, everyone in the tournament was a winner with all participants already looking forward to the 2010 WBC.

 GM      Ed Witkowski  [2nd Year]  NA   703-624-2412

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