the russian campaign  

Updated 11/26/2010

Grognard Pre-Con
2010 WBC Report

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Bert Schoose, IL

2010 Champion


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GM Site  L2 Design Group

Event History
1991    Rob Beyma      31
1992    Alan Frappier      26
1993    Ed O'Connor      20
1994    Jeff Martin      16
1995    Rob Beyma      16
1996    Tom Gregorio      20
1997    Gary Dickson      24
1998    Gary Dickson      27
1999    Gary Dickson     26
2000    Doug James     30
2001    Phil Evans     27
2002    Tom Gregorio     30
2003    Doug James     30
2004    Tom Gregorio     36
2005    Doug James     33
2006    Doug James     23
2007    Bert Schoose     34
2008    Doug James     27
2009    Doug James     39
2010    Bert Schoose     36

PBeM Event History
1999    Gary Dickson      19
2000    Gary Dickson      22
2001    Doug James      23
2002    Gary Dickson      44
2003    Tom Gregorio     40
2006    Doug James     34
2008    Tom Gregorio     31
2010    Gary Dickson     31

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Doug James         NC    09    350
  2.  Gary Dickson       CA    10    319
  3.  Tom Gregorio       PA    10    302
  4.  Bert Schoose       IL    10    195
  5.  George Karahalios  IL    10     86
  6.  Rob Beyma          MD    05     76
  7.  Phil Evans         VA    04     63
  8.  Pat Flory          CT    05     61
  9.  Jeff Martin        CT    10     48
 10.  Ed O'Connor        NJ    10     44
 11.  Art Lupinacci      on    02     40
 12.  Joe Collinson      MD    04     36
 13.  Dave Ketchum       FL    04     36
 14.  Mike Pacheco       CA    10     32
 15.  Joe Angiolillo     CT    10     24
 16.  Alan Zasada        IL    02     24
 17.  Tim Nielsen        VA    09     18
 18.  Ari Kogut          TX    10     16
 19.  Scott Abrams       CA    06     16
 20.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    06     16
 21.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    05     16
 22.  Jim Eliason        IA    05     14
 23.  John Ohlin         FL    09     12
 24.  John Popiden       CA    07     12
 25.  Michael Mitchell   GA    06     12
 26.  Roy Walker         uk    08     10
 27.  Jeff Lange         ae    04     10
 28.  Michael Kaye       MD    10      8
 29.  Brad Frisby        MD    01      8
 30.  John Bullis        WI    02      6
 31.  Rob McCracken      DE    05      5
 32.  John Ryan          FL    07      4
 33.  Alex Gregorio      PA    08      3
 34.  Larry Hollern      TX    08      3
 35.  Marty Musella      VA    99      3

2010 Laurelists                                         Repeating Laurelists 

Jeff Martin, CT

Joe Angiolillo, CT

Gary Dickson, CA

George Karahalios, IL

Tom Gregorio, PA

Past Winners

Rob Beyma, MD
1991, 1995

Alan Frappier, CT

Ed O'Connor, NJ

Jeff Martin, CT

Tom Gregorio, PA
'96, '02, '04

Gary Dickson, CA

Doug James, NC
00, 03, 05-'06, 08-09

Phil Evans, VA

Bert Schoose, IL
2007, 2010

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.

TRC Champion: There can be only one...

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 eludes me.

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.)

Notable Mentions
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 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 WBC special.

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 portion!

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 5-2 record.

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!

Match Highlights
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 replacement countermix.
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 conceded.

Tournament Strategy
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.

The 2010 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.

 GM      Tom Gregorio  [11th Year]   1650 Chadwyck Place, Blue Bell, PA 19422    484-744-1086

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