The game's designer and GM, Ray Freeman,
schools event newcomer Dan Pasaric.
The defending champion Bryan Eshleman
is held to a draw by Nathan Trent.
Once again we welcomed a crop of new players (six in all),
most of whom attended the demo at 6 pm. Unlike previous years,
no veteran players played in the optional Tuesday night round.
This led to a few rules interpretation issues that were not caught
Top seed and defending champ Bryan Eshleman was held to a
draw by Nathan Trent. Nathan got off to a hot start, but was
unable to crack Bryan's defensive line built along the Ourthe
River to score another VP. Looking at the game record, I think
Nathan's Germans should have kept pounding away since he had
the requisite points for a draw on the 18th, so there was nothing
to lose by continuing.
The GM won as the Germans against newcomer Dan Pasaric, who
picked up sufficient pointers to stay interested enough to play
four games. With some coaching, Dan was doing well early in the
game, but over-committed his forces on the 19-1 impulse, electing
for a strong counterattack on Bastogne to reinforce its garrison.
The Wehrmacht then broke through at Grandmenil and Trois Ponts
on 19-2, releasing the 2SS Panzer. A lone panzer grenadier unit
dashed through the gap to reach Ville on 19-3. The 20th saw a
series of interesting moves and small battles in the north where
both sides were putting the other's spearheads OOS. In the critical
battle, Marche was taken on 21-1, which led to the fall of Ciney
and Havelange on 21-2. That was enough to secure a German breakout.
Mike Mishler defeated Rich Phares's Germans by pretty much
stuffing the German advance. Jim Winslow's Americans won against
another newcomer, Mike Masella. Jim held Bastogne through the
19th and gave up little ground after that. Mark Kolenski's Germans
defeated Warren Bender by seizing Bastogne on 17-3. In an upset,
Jim Kramer's US forces won against Rick Sciacca by holding on
to Bastogne until the 20th. Brad Jones as the Amis held on to
Bastogne until the 19th and gave up no more VPs to defeat Charlie
Jim Winslow's Germans smashed through Jim Kramers defenders
to seize Bastogne on 17-3, securing an instant win due to the
bid when Kramer's counterattack failed to regain the city. Rick
Sciacca got back on track by seizing Bastogne on 17-3 against
Nathan Trent in yet another case where a US bid led to an early
loss. Mike Masella made it a German hat trick for the round against
Dan Pasaric by grabbing Bastogne on 17-1. In the other quick
game of Round 2, Rick Young's Germans took Bastogne on 17-2 versus
Bryan Eshleman. That's four straight two-day wins by aggressive
The other two games were more drawn out. Ray Freeman's US
(and some bad die rolling) stopped Brad Jones's Germans cold.
Brad got off to a poor start, clearing only Vianden and Bleialf
on 16-1. He then took two more areas on 16-2, but repaired the
magic bridge at Marnach, which fell to a 6-2 attack on 16-3.
On 17-1, the US blew three bridges, effectively shutting down
the German southern flank. In the center German attacks failed
to clear Weiswampach and Lullange allowing the Americans to put
half of the 7th armored division in Vielsalm. By 18-2, the US
held a line along the main north-south Highway and Vielsalm with
a minimum of four SP in every area. German resources were so
worn down that on 19-1, the last German engineer was killed and
In what turned out to be a pivotal game, Mike Mishler's US
held Mark Kolenski's Germans to a draw. The game report was a
bit thin, but a bid of 1 for the US, coupled with the fall of
Marche on 21-1 ensured the tie.
Mike Mishler continued to play the US and defeated Brad Jones.
Brad was unable to take Bastogne. Mark Kolenski as the US defeated
Rick Sciacca. Apparently Rick's dice were very bad and he resigned
early. Bryan Eshleman's Germans won against Dan Pasaric.
Jim Winslow defeated Ray Freeman in a classic game. Jim, playing
the Germans, cleared Habscheid, Lutzkampen, Vianden, and Holzhum
on 16-1. If this disaster wasn't bad enough, Jim cleared Bleialf,
Berg Reuland and Hoscheid on 16-2 and also repaired both bridges.
Marnach fell on 16-3. Ray formed a weak line _Ettlebruck, Goesdorf,
Wiltz, Longvilly, Buret, Beho, St. Vith on 16-3.
The US engineers were very alert on 17-1, blowing all three
bridges at Ettelbruck and Goesdorf. Jim blew through the defenses
at Goesdorf, Longvilly, Buret and St. Vith, but the one factor
counter at Beho survived. Grief teams interdicted the road at
Baraque. The US scraped together a defense, with the 7th armored
holding Vielslam and Baraque, and managed three 1 SP units in
Bastogne by stripping the south and center of defenders.
Jim hit Bastogne hard with a tank heavy 10 SP attack. The
entrenched engineer from Wiltz was the only survivor, but this
saved the game. At the end of the 17-3 impulse, the US line was
Martelange, Bastogne, Nives, Sprimont, La Roche (1 SP), Baraque,
On 18-1, the Germans smashed Bastogne and seized Sprimont
and La Roche. In addition, they killed three US SP at Vielsalm,
a serious development for the defense. On 18-2, the Germans made
only two attacks, and both failed! However, a follow up attack
on Martelange cleared the area on 18-3.
By 19-1, the German army had been reduced to four units of
3 SP or better, but the US was down to only 25 SP, not good considering
21 SP of reinforcements entered on the 18th. The Germans pulled
a rabbit out of the hat, clearing Vielsalm at 7-3 on 19-1. They
also seized Lignieres and Nives and invested Neuf Chateau and
Champion. With Marche and the lower Ourthe line in extreme danger,
the US weakened Moircy and Neuf Chateau to form a defense at
Marche, Petit Han and Hotton.
On 19-2, the US caught a break as both Moircy bridges were
blown. But then the Fuhrer Begleit captured Neuf Chateau from
a RCT of the 101 Abn with an 8-3 attack. With the southern Ourthe
position outflanked, the US retreated to Transinne and Grupont,
and proceeded to make a fatal miscalculation. Another unit was
needed in Marche. On 19-3, the US pulled back to Ville in the
On 20-1 the bridge St. Hubert-Grupont blew. Hotton fell to
a 4-1. Marche held, but the US lost four of six SP. Transinne
also held. On 20-2, the Germans made no headway. At the end of
20-3 the US line was Ville, Petit Han, Marche, Rochefort, Grupont,
On 21-1, the Germans cleared Transinne, Grupont, Marche, and
Petit Han. A 7-4 at Ville killed three SP. The US felt pretty
good, until Jim pointed out that he would win unless I recaptured
Marche. I had miscounted the VP. I duly put together a 9-7 desperation
counterattack on 21-1, needing a miracle. Jim got three hits,
meaning I could only afford one miss with my eight shots. Both
US artillery shots hit, but then I whiffed with my first ground
unit. This was a great game! The Germans got off to a fabulous
start, but then some stuff (like bridges, or a lone survivor
in a key battle) would go my way and I'd get back in the game.
Then Jim would find a way to create new problems and I'd have
to scramble again. I'm sure there were mistakes, but other than
my miscalculation of VPs, it was a very well played game with
many problems created and managed by both players. Really edge
of the seat stuff.
Mike Mishler was paired with Jim Winslow and Ray Freeman with
Mark Kolenski. This was a little unsettling. If Mark and Mike
both won, they would be tied for 1st with 3.5 points, and since
they had played to a draw in Round 2, I told them they'd have
to play a fifth game.
Mike took the US for a bid of 1.0. Jim got off to a good start,
although the bridges stayed down until the 17th. Mike had to
leave a hole at Martelange in order to get two units into Bastogne.
Jim hit Bastogne on 17-3 with a 7-2 attack, but failed to clear
it. On 17-3, Mike threw the 10th armor into Bastogne and took
few casualties, having seven SP survive.
Jim managed some nice gains elsewhere on the 18th, taking
Neufchateau and Bararque on 18-1 and releasing 2SS Pz on 18-2.
However, Mike held bitterly on to Bastogne until 19-1 and managed
to slow the German drive sufficiently to prevent the loss of
any other VPs or a breakout across the Meuse. Now only Mark could
In the other game, Ray got off to a horrible start as the
Germans, clearing only Habscheid, Bleialf and Holzhum for the
day. A 9-1 and two 1-1s at Vianden all failed. Neither bridge
was repaired. On 17-1, a 9-1 on Marnach failed, and it looked
very bad indeed. On 18-1, however, Vielsalm, Marnach and Eschdorf
fell, although Trois Vierges and Beho held. But on 18-2, the
2SS Pz was released, creating one bright spot in an otherwise
gloomy German picture.
On 19-1, the Germans found their dice hand, and cleared every
area attacked. Trois Ponts, Beho, Trois Vierges, Longvilly, Wiltz
and Rambrouch. The US then overcommitted, leaving only three
units unmoved. On 19-2, the Germans cleared Martelange at 6-2,
Houffalize at 9-1 and Basse-Bodeaux at 9-1. This created five
holes, and only three could be sealed. On 19-3 The Germans attacked
Bastogne at 9-7 to pin its defenders. Both sides suffered few
casualties. More decisive was a move through Bertogne, Sprimont,
Champion and La Roche, and a German sprint up north to Ville
and Erezee. This created insoluble problems for the US, and when
a desperate counterattack at Houffalize was shot to pieces, Mark
Mike Mishler has become the new champion, with three wins
and a draw, all as the US. I appreciate everyone who splayed,
and continued to play for a shot at wood and cotton (tee shirts).
I only gave out one tee-shirt this year, to Mark Kolenski for
his fine 2.5-1.5 record, a very impressive debut. No other players
without a tee shirt scored more than a point.
German Wins: 10
American Wins: 8
Number of Games with Bids: 13 (all for the US)
Games with VP bids: 12
VP Bid Range: 0.5-1.5
Average VP Bid: 1.0
Games with Artillery DRM Bids:1
Average DRM Bid: 2.7
Side Score of Games between Top Six Finishers: 3.5-2.5 in
favor of US.