tigers in the mist  

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report  

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Mike Mishler, CA

2009 Champion



Event History
2000    Ray Freeman     16
2001    Robert Mull     19
2002    Rick Young     14
2003    Ray Freeman     16
2004    Tom Thornesen     17
2005    Tom Thornsen     18
2006    Ray Freeman     17
2007     Bryan Eshleman     18
2008     Bryan Eshleman     19
2009     Mike Mishler     16

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Ray Freeman        CA    09    178
  2.  Jim Winslow        ME    09     90
  3.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    09     86
  4.  Tom Thornsen       NY    08     82
  5.  Mike Mishler       CA    09     66
  6.  Rick Young         NC    05     61
  7.  Brad Jones         FL    09     60
  8.  Robert Mull        CO    01     36
  9.  Murray Cowles      uk    02     32
 10.  John Ellsworth     IL    08     30
 11.  Ric Sciacca        FL    08     22
 12.  Jack Morrell       NY    01     15
 13.  Bob Hamel          CT    08     14
 14.  Mark Kolenski      MA    09      9
 15.  Eduardo DeNucci    ag    04      9
 16.  Dave Schubert      MD    03      9
 17.  Raymond Hall       IL    00      9
 18.  Nathan Trent       VA    05      6
 19.  Jim Kramer         PA    05      6
 20.  Bill Hodges        VA    03      6
 21.  Larry Hiemenz      MD    04      3
 22.  Aaron Silverman    NY    00      3

2009 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

Jim Winslow, ME

Ray Freeman, CA

Mark Kolenski, MA

Bryan Eshleman, NC

Brad Jones, FL

Past Winners

Ray Freeman, CA
2000, 2003, 2006

Robert Mull, CO

Rick Young, NC

Tom Thornsen, NY

Bryan Eshleman, NC

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.

Still Misty

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 early.

Round 1

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 Drozd.

Round 2

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 Germans!

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 Brad resigned.

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.

Round 3

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, Vielsalm.

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 north.

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, Transinne, Wellin.

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.

Round 4

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 catch Mike.

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 resigned.

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
Draws: 2

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.

 GM      Ray Freeman  [10th Year]   NA
    Rayfreeman3@comcast.net   NA

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