TRC Champion: There can be only
Three-time champ Gary Dickson eased
an 11-year WBC drought by recently winning his fourth PBeM title.
Tigers in the Mist champ Mike Mishler finds the going tougher in TRC
against grognard newcomer Joe Angiolillo.
Bill Morse gets universal acclaim
from all the grognard GMs as the power behind the throne. It
is his computer scoring that keeps all grognard events up to
date allowing the free form scheduling system to work.
Greg Smith is prepared for some
heavy duty die rolling with his flak tower replica dice roller
built specially for the B-17 event. His opponent Tom Gregorio
edged him out for the fez leaving Greg in seventh place.
Bert Schoose does it again and captures his second TRC throne!
There were 36 contestants fighting it out for seven days. On
the eighth day 32 got to rest while four advanced into the elimination
phase. For those not familiar with the Grognard Con, numerous
classic wargames have adapted an open format whereby players
can play as much as they want and a scoring system determines
who advances into a 4-player single elimination phase held later
in the week. For the fourth year, the 5-turn scenario was mandated,
nobody chose to play the ten-turn scenario. As always, the competition
was fierce with numerous TRC champs vying for 2010 honors.
There were 74 games played. Surprisingly, they split down the
middle with 37 wins for each side.
The average bid was 11.46, for the Germans. This is the number
of extra replacement factors for the Russians, spread out over
the five turns of the scenario. In this case, it meant that the
Russians usually had two extra factors every turn and a third
one on the first turn.) The range of bids offered was from 0
to 20. (Nobody gave away replacements to play the Russians.)
The average bid when the Germans won was 11.89 and the average
bid when the Russians won was 11.02. The standard deviation was
3.78 and 5.03, respectively. This implies that the range of bids
in Russian wins was significantly greater but any further interpretation
There were 40 games that featured Light Mud in Sep/Oct and
34 that had Clear weather then. Of the 37 German wins, 20 had
light mud while the 37 Russian wins also featured 20 light mud
wins. Bear in mind that the Sep/Oct weather roll automatically
forced the Nov/Dec weather outcome, i.e., a Sept/Oct light mud
result generated a light mud outcome for Nov/Dec and a Sep/Oct
clear roll produced snow in Nov/Dec.
The player with the higher AREA rating won 77% of the matches.
Based on this information, the best predictor of match outcome
was AREA rating followed by weather. Bid and side selection had
minimal impact. Given that neither player has control over the
weather, and both players had 20 wins with light mud weather,
my belief is that the 2010 TRC match outcomes show the tournament
scenario to be relatively balanced at this point in time. (We
might be able to predict otherwise if more matches had been played
between players with equivalent AREA ratings, matchups, for the
most part were random for 71 of the 74 games.)
As always, it was the personalities that made WBC memorable for
me. For those of you wanting to put faces to the carnage, check
out the "Combat Footage" link at www.russiancampaign.com
for candid shots from the past three WBCs. More than a few folks
made an impression this year - only space limits my detailing
of more of the personalities and incidents that made the 2010
I knew we were in for a treat this year when a hobby notable,
Joe Angiolilio, called me a few weeks before WBC to talk about
his intentions to play in the TRC event for the first time. Sure
enough, Joe showed up BIG-TIME. In his debut, he managed to get
into the final four, I can't remember the last time that a first-timer
accomplished this. Nothing beats the experience of getting wood
at your first WBC!
Jeff Martin amply demonstrated why he's a champion of the
game, he beat some very strong players to make it to the Final.
Of particular interest is that Jeff is the first person to spot
a Caucasus coastline oddity; this had the GMs scrambling to find
a copy of TRC3 to verify that a particular hex was in contact
with the Black Sea.
Jim Sparks, normally engaged in the weeklong World at War
event, followed up on his impressive PrezCon TRC tourney
debut and made some waves in Lancaster. Welcome, James!
Greg Smith provided a demonstration of raw TRC firepower by
completing no fewer than 14 games of TRC during the open format.
Unfortunately, he missed scoring a plaque by the slimmest of
margins - he lost on a tiebreaker to yours truly. Next year beckons,
Greg, will you be able to play 15 games of TRC? Hopefully you'll
be able to do so with a couple of wins in the single-elimination
Michael Dauer, the "Natural", notched a perfect
3-0 record - unfortunately other events lured him away and denied
him the opportunity to fight for a spot in the SE round.
Gary Dickson recorded the most wins, eight, while Bert racked
up seven in the open rounds. Jeff Martin scored a Mendoza award
for a middling 5-5 record but his wins included one against the
eventual champion, Bert. Those familiar with the Grognard format
can attest to the fact that strength of opposition is usually
THE determiner for advancement into the semi-finals!
Another first for the event came when George Karahalios had
the Grognard points to make it into the SE stage but had to leave
early. Nonetheless he earned fifth place wood with an impressive
Of course, this event would not be the same without the aide
and guidance of my trusty assistant GMs, Gary Dickson and George
Karahalios. And finally, the biggest of shout-outs goes out to
Bill Morse for participating in the event and simultaneously
keeping the administrative engine going for Grognard Con!
I received numerous match write-ups this year - thank you one
and all! Below is a capsule summary of the last match:
Bert faced Jeff Martin, the only player who'd beaten him in
the preliminaries, in the Final. With the knowledge of seeing
how Jeff played in earlier matches as the Russians against Gary
and George, Bert felt comfortable taking the Germans and unleashed
the Odessa Overrun (OO) against Jeff. Furthermore, Bert shifted
more strength than he normally does to the south to account for
Jeff's northern defense which precluded any overruns in the north.
Some pro-German rolls left many Russian defenders out of position
and Jeff's reaction to the OO was further hampered by the available
On Turn 2, Bert delivered an overrun in the south that resulted
in the capture of Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov that turn with further
threats to Stalino and beyond. The attrition ratio was very unfavorable
for the Russians since most defenders were surrounded during
combat as a result of the initial AV on Turn 2.
Turn 3 saw a light mud weather result; a clear outcome would
have, in all likelihood, ended the game that turn. Nevertheless,
Bert dialed down his risk-taking and safely cleared out Kiev,
Sevastopol, Rostov and Leningrad. A Russian counterattack on
Rostov was repulsed.
By the time Jeff's Turn 4 move was to be made, his examination
of Bert's position revealed an untenable situation and he graciously
Over the past few years numerous lines of play and analysis have
developed regarding the 5-turn scenario. While the statistics
don't seem to bear this out, many 'conservative' Germans have
agreed that a light-mud Sep/Oct weather roll provides the safest
route to victory. Clearly this can not be depended on, so it
comes down to the German playing his first two turns in such
a way as to put him in a winning position. Key Axis strategems
include: Creating a credible threat to Moscow, overloading in
the south, and paying much less attention to casualties than
is normally warranted. From the Russian side of the board, assuming
a sound opening defensive setup, key responses include: Knowing
how to defend against the Odessa Overrun, maintaining an army
sufficient to provide Turn 3 defense against any possible weather,
and finally, having a BIG bag of tricks available for the final
turn! Both players minimally need to be able to master the "Attacker
Retreat Forward" tactic while on offense OR defense!
Knowing your opponent's style, before your match, proved to
be a big factor in shaping not only the Final but other games.
Several experienced players made assessments about their opponent's
strength playing each side and then bid appropriately to make
sure they were facing their opponents' 'weaker' side. The strongest
players were equally adept at playing both sides.
So ends another successful TRC tournament - it seems that five-time
winner Doug James will have to contend with a very tough field
next year if he wants to regain his wood - dethroning Bert Schoose
is no easy feat as has been demonstrated these past few years!
I look forward to the 21st running of the TRC bulls next year
- here's hoping that YOU are there in 2011!
Randy Schilb returned to WBC after
an 11-year absence.
Bert Schoose gains his second title
in a match of one-time champs.
Russian Campaign 8th BPA PBeM Tournament:
The 8th BPA-sponsored TRC PBeM Tournament has ended with Gary
Dickson capturing the crown by defeating Bert Schoose to recapure
the title he last held in 2002. This was his fourth PBeM championship
and elevated him to #2 in TRC laurels behind Doug James. The
game was featured in its entirety on the Consimworld original
Russian Campaign folder; posts 2357 - 2570.
The tournament attracted 31 entrants who played a total of
30 games. Highlights included Jim Tracy's 1st round upset of
top-seeded Doug James and subsequent topping of another high
seed, Jeff Lange, in the seond round.
Mike Pacheco made a strong comeback after missing several
tournaments, succombing only to Bert Schoose in Round 3. Newcomer
Ari Kogut made a strong impression with an upset of Tom Gregorio
in the first round followed by another strong showing in disposing
of veteran Forrest Pafenberg in Round 2.
The other laurelists were Ari Kogut, Mike Pacheco, Michael
Kaye and Ed O'Connor in that order.