breakout: normandy  

Updated 11/21/2010

2010 WBC Report  

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Nels Thompson , NY

2008-10 Champion


AREA Boardgamegeek

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
2009    Nels Thompson     20
2010    Nels Thompson     16

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
2011    Don Greenwood     38

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Don Greenwood      MD    10    372
  2.  Nels Thompson      VA    10    288
  3.  Andrew Cummins     uk    08    276
  4.  Alan Applebaum     MA    02    204
  5.  Jim Doughan        PA    09    187
  6.  Jim Eliason        IA    10    182
  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.  Brun Passacantando CT    10    116
 13.  Scott Fenn         MD    10    113
 14.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    09    104
 15.  Michael Kaye       MD    10    109
 16.  Steve Andriakos    TX    10     88
 17.  Phil Barcafer      PA    01     84
 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.  Kevin Hammond      NY    10     36
 23.  Bill Edwards       VA    99     36
 24.  Harvey Smallman    CA    07     24
 25.  Bryan Stingley     NC    03     24
 26.  Tom Gregorio       PA    10     22
 27.  Scott Moll         VA    10     22
 28.  Chris Byrd         CT    06     20
 29.  Matthew Ellis      uk    10     18
 30.  Nick Anner         NY    06     12
 31.  Anthony Daw        UT    06     12
 32.  Anders Egneus      sw    99     12
 33.  Ron Fedin          PA    04     11
 34.  John Crabtree      CA    01     10
 35.  Tom Drueding       MA    04     10
 36.  Hank Burkhalter    GA    10      7
 37.  John Grant Jr      CT    99      6
 38.  Chris Roginsky     PA    04      5
 39.  Dennis Nicholson   NY    03      5

2010 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists 

Matthew Ellis, uk

Bruno Passacantando, CT

Mike Kaye, MD

Jim Eliason, IA

Steve Andriakos, TX

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, 2008-10

Andrew Cummins, uk

GM Andrew Cummins and defending champ Nels Thompson strike a familar pose.

Two-time champion Jim Eliason is tested by Bryan Eshleman - the 2000 D-Day mini-con champ.

Still hitting the beach 17 years later ... with a twist ...

In its 17th year of competition at the WBC's Breakout Normandy continues to provide fresh surprises - and this year they were plentiful - spurred on by the adoption of mandatory and controversial house rules. [As a designer of the game, and someone who is very opposed to the variant rules employed during the 2010 event, I feel compelled to use my editorial pen to augment Andrew's view of this year's event ... you'll find my comments in brackets.]

For those who've been following these reports over the past few years two issues have regularly raised their heads. Balance - the game results have been significantly biased toward the German side despite efforts to counter this with bidding schemes. Tournament suitability -- a high proportion of games (maybe 15%) have been ending rapidly with one side or other in a winning position after the first day. The tournament rules changes, starting the bidding at 35 supply for balance and removing the major sources of early game losses were well received by those players in attendance. [To be fair, others (including me) showed their disdain for the changes by not participating as attendance shrank to an alltime low.]

This year the games split 60% Allied wins to 40% German with bidding between +17 and -20 supply. The extra good weather impulses seem to be enough to pull the Allies back from run of the mill landing ill-luck to give a competitive game.

The game remains fresh, despite years of experience, unusual situations still keep appearing. Who before has seen the Sword coastal artillery have to make a surrender check (Caen had fallen despite a whiffed Sword invasion)? Bayeux cleared on the sixth? British armour in Carentan? Or the Allies winning with their VP areas including Potigny, far to the south of a German held Caen. [Such events are not surprising given the artificial nature of the rule changes which limited player choices. Faced with such arbitrary limitations as being unable to advance past Bretteville, players quite naturally turned to different avenues to exploit with unforeseen consequences.]

Breakout has a reputation for being a hard-core event. Players steeped in the game over many years. Yet for the second year running a new player to the event has made it to the semi-finals, despatching strong competition en-route. This year the sensation was caused by my countryman from the UK 'Matt Ellis' whose onward progress was only halted in the Final by thrice-champion Nels Thompson.

The Final was a classic back and forth game, Nels' Allies had a poor start with Omaha stuffed and Utah only being cleared by the third assault. However an overnight repair of the blown causeway saw St Mere-Eglise cleared and on the bounce Carentan contested and Pont l'Abbe cleared. The Americans threw all of their assets into Utah Beach but limited supply restricted the results they could achieve. Long turns and successive weather changes with the Advantage passing freely made for a knife edge contest. Juno Beach was almost cleared by 12ss/26 on the 8th and remained contested overnight while Carenan was taken and retaken as fighting raged around. Omaha forces managed to stabilise the US position on the 11th while the British isolated Tilly by contesting Villars, Caumont and Balleroy. The capture of Tilly on the 12th sealed the game for the Allies and gave Nels his well-deserved fourth championship.

Looking to next year, we intend to work on the numbers playing with demo activities and adding a coaching component to the Mulligan round. Breakout Normandy is a fine game that rewards play at all levels and deserves our active support.

Sharks Mark Gutfreund and Bruno Passacantando enjoy the challenge that the highly qualified field always offers.

Newcomer Matt Ellis was new to the tourney, but certainly not new to the game as he tested Nels to the very end of the Final.
PBeM 2009-2010 Tournament:

BREAKOUT NORMANDY #6: Don Greenwood has taken the sixth rendition of the Breakout: Normandy PBeM tournament. Don's Allies overran Scott Fenn's Germans in Carentan on the11th to seal the win. The 6th had started out well for Scott, with a weather change that gave the Germans three impulses to move units from the Cherbourg peninsula. On a 7th of June that lasted 12 impulses, however, Don was able to clear St. Mere-Eglise with a single regiment attack, contest Caen, and move the American corps artillery into St. Mere and Trevieres. This would prove decisive on the 8th when Don blasted a formidable Carentan garrison with eight fresh units including three artillery with a +8 roll on a naval bombardment followed by a +4 roll with the VII Corps artillery. Then the V Corps artillery reduced the three fresh units in Foret to spent and allied air soon reduced those to D1. Both areas were contested on the 8th and Foret and Isigny both fell on the first impulse of the 9th. The 9th also featured three weather changes and Don managed to contest Caumont, makig Scott's attempts to funnel troops to Carentan even more difficult. The 10th saw Catz falling, Don continuing to pound Carentan, and Scott trying desperately to reinforce it. On the 11th with both corps artillery in place, Don pounded Carentan but Scott had some luck hitting fresh allied units in Carentan with artillery. On the sixth impulse Don assaulted at 15-4 against a pile of d2 units and took the area twice when Scott used the Advantage for a reroll.

Overall, the Allies scored a rare win in this tournament with 20 victories in the 37 games, led by Don's two Allied victories in the final rounds. Other laurelists were Kevin hammond, Tom Gregorio, Scott Moll and Hank Burkhalter in that order. The progress of the tournament can be traced at:

 GM      Andrew Cummins  [4th Year]  NA   NA

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