Updated 11/26/2010

Grognard Pre-Con
2010 WBC Report

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Richard Beyma, VA

2009-10 Champion

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Event History
1991    Kevin McCarthy      17
1992    Rob Beyma      16
1993    Larry Lingle      16
1994    Joe Beard      18
1995    Joe Beard      10
1996    Bruno Sinigaglio      10
1997    Phil Evans      18
1998    Rob Beyma      16
1999    Chuch Stapp     17
2000    Rob Beyma     10
2001    John Clarke     18
2002    Rob Beyma     20
2003    Marty Musella     20
2004    Rob Beyma     17
2005    Marty Musella     18
2006    Rob Beyma     18
2007    Marty Musella     22
2008    Joe Beard     21
2009    Richard Beyma     19
2010    Richard Beyma     22

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    08    162
  2.  Marty Musella      VA    10    143
  3.  John Clarke        FL    10     97
  4.  Richard Beyma      MD    10     77
  5.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    10     55
  6.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    01     31
  7.  Joe Beard          AZ    08     30
  8.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     30
  9.  Pat Mirk           FL    09     27
 10.  Bill Morse         VA    07     24
 11.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    02     18
 12.  Bill Scott         VA    05     16
 13.  Tim Miller         GA    09     14
 14.  Joe Angiolillo     CT    10     12
 15.  James Tracy        OH    07     12
 16.  Larry Lingle       PA    00     12
 17.  Ray Clark          CT    10      9
 18.  John Ellsworth     IL    99      9
 19.  John Popiden       CA    09      8
 20.  Gary Dickson       CA    05      8
 21.  Johnny Hasay       PA    01      8
 22.  Don Tatum          MD    08      6
 23.  Steve Likevich     OH    05      6
 24.  Ivan Lawson        MD    02      6
 25.  Mike Horn          FL    06      3
 26.  Phil Evans         VA    03      3
 27.  Greg Smith         PA    02      3

2010 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

John Clarke, FL

Joe Angiolillo, CT

Ray Clark, CT

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Marty Musella, MD

Past Winners

Kevin McCarthy. OH

Rob Beyma, MD
'92, 98, 00, 02, 04, 06

Larry Lingle, PA

Joe Beard, AZ
1994-95, 2008

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Phil Evans, VA

Chuck Stapp, PA

John Clarke, FL

Marty Musella, VA
2003, 2005, 2007

Richard Beyma, VA

Defending champ Richard Beyma continues to be a clip off the ol' block as he successfully defends his title against Joe Angiolillo in the semis. Will he top his dad's six titles or will Rob make a comeback to put him in his place?

Newcomer grognards Ray Clark and Joe Angiolillo made quite a splash, qualifying for the playoffs in their first WBC. Ray is shown in action here against Jeff Lange. With their first WBC behind them, will they be primed for more in 2011?

Another Grognard Classic

The challenge for Waterloo in 2010 was to move from a "Trial" status and return to the Century ranks. With 22 players, realistic game duration statistics, along with the GM's and assistant GM's exhortations, we hopefully achieved our goal. Average game playing time increased to 5+ hours this year highlighted by more French maneuvering early in the game to force the Prussians out of the Quatre Bras bottleneck. In addition, the GM this year instituted a more rigorous recording of actual play times to accurately reflect the time involved. More than half of the Waterloo participants began play during the Grognard Pre-Con; while the others still had time to qualify during the regular convention time period. Several of the participants were returning veteran players who had not played the game or attended this convention in over 20 years. This seems to be a continuing trend where players see many of the classics being played again at the Grognard Pre-Con and return to the fray. Two such grognards did well for themselves and qualified for the semi-final games which featured former champion John "The Duke of St. Amand" Clarke paired against Ray "The Rapacious" Clark and last year's champion, Richard "Beyma the Younger" facing Joe "The Anvil" Angiolillo.

Semi-final #1 showcased perennial contender and 2001 champion, John Clarke (with an ­e) assuming command of the French Army while Ray Clark gathered the reigns of command for the Prussian/Anglo-Allied (PAA) Armies. Ray's skill was evident as this semi-finalist had not played Waterloo in over 20 years and his unorthodox set-up allowed French access to the slope hexes south of Quatre Bras saving the usual "speed bump" Prussian 1-6 cavalry brigade. Whether this was a clever ploy by a wily veteran or an oversight could not be determined as John's French forces rejected this opportunity/trap and initiated the approach marches of his forces with II Corps and a large number of accompanying cavalry and horse artillery units heading towards Nivelle. Ray fortified the heights and used the bulk of the Prussian forces to defend the primary road east of Quatre Bras. By 11AM, "The Duke of St. Amand" launched the initial French assault east of Quatre Bras destroying a small Prussian infantry division and a single artillery battalion (1-4), but the main attack only pushed a large infantry division back two hexes. Ray "The Rapacious" Clark repositioned the PAA forces to contest the French advances toward Wavre and Nivelle while reinforcing the divisions defending the primary road east of Quatre Bras, also known as the "Cauldron of Death". In this game The Cauldron was once again earning its name with a major French attack into the heart of the PAA defense. In a harbinger of things to come, John's French eliminated two large Prussian infantry divisions (6-4s) and managed to kill a third one in a soak-off exchange. Over in the Nivelle sector, three British cavalry brigades were sacrificed delaying the French advance. With the Prussian Army badly shaken, the Duke pressed his assaults toward Quatre Bras and achieved outstanding results when he eliminated two more large Prussian infantry divisions in two, 3:1 attacks at the cost of a single 2-6 cavalry division. Ray retaliated over at Nivelle when he blunted the French advance by obliterating 11 factors of cavalry for the loss of five of his own. He also shifted some Prussians defending the road to Wavre toward the slaughterhouse near Quatre Bras. At this stage of the game, PAA losses stood at 46 factors while French losses totaled only 20. As the night of 16 June approached, the French continued their relentless hammer blows driving toward Quatre Bras smashing a 7-4 unit with another D elim result and destroying several small delaying units near Nivelle. This was too much for the Prussians and Ray retired to the Genappe River to establish a new main line of resistance. However, British courage was evident near Nivelle and they launched a counterstroke but suffered a bitter exchange of factors that Ray's forces could hardly afford at this point. Losses were now 67 PAA factors versus 33 French. John's French next overwhelmed the Prussian rear guard and occupied Quatre Bras as night fell and compelled a British withdrawal out of Nivelle leaving the bodies of yet another 6-4 infantry division eliminated before their retreat. Ray ordered a single Dutch horse artillery battery to their death to delay the link-up of the two wings of the French Army between Nivelle and Quatre Bras. Daybreak on 17 June saw a thin but intact PAA defensive front from north of Nivelle across the hills in the center of the board extending to the forces behind the Genappe River. Eager to maintain their momentum, the French attacked in the center but suffered their first exchange involving the large infantry units; an exchange they could afford, but the PAA could not. On the Prussian far left, Ray destroyed an exposed French cavalry division and feverishly dispatched couriers demanding the approaching reinforcements speed their advance. In reaction to the small Prussian probing attack, John's French counterattacked but suffered his first D back 2 result. This was the only attack of the game that John lost more factors then he eliminated! Sensing that Lady Luck's gaze may be moving from John and hoping to re-establish his name, Ray launched a desperate counterattack near the hills in the center of the battlefield. But alas, Lady Luck must have just blinked, as Ray's PAA suffered a devastating exchange reducing his already depleted ranks. The French counterattacked in the center but only succeeded in driving back a 7-4 division while they maneuvered for advantage near Nivelle. This forced Ray to withdraw the British near Nivelle using two cavalry brigades to cover this retreat, while he maintained the Prussian defense of the Genappe River on his eastern flank. John overran the covering British cavalry and extended his own eastern flank down the Thil River in an attempt to turn the Prussian flank. These maneuvers forced a total PAA retreat toward Mont St Jean. The PAA forces re-formed their main battle line tightly deployed on the slopes of the hills north of Mont St Jean and the French immediately attacked. They killed a 4-4 infantry unit at the cost of a 2-6 cavalry division. Ray, in an attempt to buy some time, extended his lines westward to match the French deployment, but launched major assaults in the center. However, both large French divisions escaped on Defender back 2 results that generated howls of disappointment and great gnashing of teeth by the PAA staff officers! Sensing that victory was within his grasp, John's French launched a general offensive along the entire line of battle highlighted by attacks against several Prussian divisions that were trapped by a river and could not retreat. These attacks were overwhelmingly successful with all the trapped units destroyed and with D elim results for the other attacks. The loss ratio at this time stood at 127 PAA factors lost versus only 62 French lost. As night approached on 17 June, the few remaining PAA forces withdrew to Mont St Jean to make their last stand. The Duke then requested from Ray the Rapacious if he would concede to avoid further bloodshed, but the proud PAA commander refused. The Duke's forces proceeded to achieve two more D elim results. With the writing clearly on the wall, Ray hoisted the white flag of surrender as the French divisions formed up for the victory parade through the streets of Brussels. Ray enjoyed an excellent tournament and played a solid game with few errors except for the units trapped by the river. However, John's incredible string of D elim results throughout the course of the game would have negated even perfect play and heavily swayed the result of victory in his favor. It remained to be seen if his luck would extend into the championship game.

Semi-final #2 highlighted a match-up between defending champion Richard Beyma, and Joe Angiolillo, an experienced Waterloo player returning to competitive play after a 20 year absence. Joe realized that Richard was almost unbeatable as the PAA player, so he bid a rather high 13 factors to play the PAA side. Richard opened his campaign with an unopposed crossing of the Ligny River as Joe "The Anvil" Angiolillo adopted a defense set far back from the French with two Prussian Corps defending Quatre Bras and a single corps defending the road to Wavre. All British forces also concentrated at Quatre Bras. The French II Corps moved toward Nivelle while the main French Army axis of advance was through Tilly toward Wavre, foregoing the "Cauldron of Death" east of Quatre Bras. Joe's outnumbered Prussians on the road to Wavre hastily withdrew from St Gery northward awaiting reinforcements while he maintained his defense of the crossroads at Quatre Bras. He likewise dispatched two large Prussian infantry divisions to guard the approaches to Nivelle and force marched the arriving British reinforcements toward Quatre Bras. Richard retained the Imperial Guard artillery and I Corps (-) to guard the rear of the French Army that pushed northward toward Wavre with the leading cavalry divisions getting to the Thil River. Richard's French began to concentrate on the primary road north of Nivelle with other units heading toward the road to Braine Le Compt. By 3 PM, Richard cautiously continued his advance toward Nivelle and advanced forces trying to turn the PAA's far western flank. On the other flank the main French Army gained the junction of the Thil and Dyle Rivers while continuing to screen their rear echelon with the forces east of Quatre Bras. Joe reacted by moving significant forces from Quatre Bras to reinforce the eastern river lines. Richard opened the 5 PM turn with attacks to maintain his positions at the Thil/Dyle river junction. He also initiated an advance on the dormant Quatre Bras sector with an attack into the edge of the Bors de Mez woods. North of Nivelle, he concentrated all of II Corps on the primary road and moved to attack positions in preparation for the next turn. Joe responded with limited counterattacks at the Thil/Dyle river junction and in the Cauldron of Death east of Quatre Bras. Shunning battle near Nivelle, Joe dispatched a single British cavalry brigade to delay and die preventing a French advance. At this stage of the game the loss ratio was 20 French factors versus 30 PAA factors (but this included the 13 factor bid). French attacks continued on the next turn but the point of main effort moved southward from the Thil/Dyle river junction as several Prussian units were vulnerable to attack as they were not in doubled positions. The cautious advance toward Nivelle continued with the French front now expanding so that several axis of advance were now becoming available. More French units were committed east of Quatre Bras but the resultant attacks merely drove a 6-4 unit back two hexes. Joe continued his slow retreat from Nivelle using more 1-6 cavalry units to delay Richard's advance while he awaited additional British cavalry reinforcements heading up the primary road from Mont St Jean. The Prussians counterattacked near Quatre Bras but lacking sufficient forces along the eastern rivers, Joe assumed a defensive stance using the river's doubled defensive benefit. The loss ratio at this time was 28 French factors versus 41 PAA but 14 of the PAA factors were the important one-factor units used for delays and soak-off attacks. The morning of 17 June opened with a renewal of the carnage in the Cauldron of Death with a French counterattack resulting in an exchange of 5-4 units. At Nivelle, the slow French advance continued with another British 1-6 unit sacrificed. In response, Joe maintained a strong defense along the Thil and Genappe Rivers continuing to Quatre Bras and north of Nivelle. However, he was now using 2-4 units for delaying. Richard disposed of these bigger "prizes" and being on the verge of gaining maneuver space after seizing Quatre Bras, he redirected forces back to the Thil/Dyle river junction hexes again seeking to turn the eastern flank. In an attempt to maintain the Nivelle defense line, Joe massed his forces and counterattacked, eliminating two French infantry divisions. He maintained his river line defenses in the east and used a precious 1-6 unit to delay one more turn in front of Quatre Bras. The loss ratio at this time was 40 French factors versus 55 PAA and Joe was still very much in contention at this stage of the game. Stung by his losses at Nivelle, Richard assumed a defensive posture here, but continued the advance of cavalry in the east toward Wavre while maintaining a large threatening force at the Thil/Dyle river junction. Joe's PAA, taking advantage of his interior lines of communication, massed his forces to strike in the Quatre Bras sector, but was utterly disappointed pushing a French 6-4 back two hexes and losing two 1-6 units. In retrospect, this was the critical moment in the game as Richard quickly resumed the offensive at Nivelle, and due to an oversight by Joe was able to infiltrate a French horse artillery battalion that "undoubled" a PAA hilltop defensive position. Simultaneously, he forced the Dyle River line in the east threatening to cut off the PAA forces at Quatre Bras. These actions forced Joe to quickly retreat from his interior defense centered on Quatre Bras. By late in the afternoon of 17 June, the tide was swinging in Richard's favor. He was expanding the loss ratio in his favor helped by the fact that the PAA had to use 2-4 and 2-6 units to delay the French advances. Joe's earlier prolific expenditure of 1-6 units was now coming back to haunt him. The main PAA defensive line across the center of the board consisted almost entirely of large infantry divisions. While they were in strong doubled positions, Joe's almost total lack of supporting cavalry units enabled the more numerous French cavalry to maneuver to gain positional advantage, cut off retreats, undouble defensive positions, and threaten the roads leading to Brussels. Enjoying over 2 to1 superiority in factors, Richard's French furiously assaulted the PAA units. Facing these overwhelming odds, Joe retreated the remnants of his forces toward Mont St Jean but his entire battle line was exposed to attack since he lacked any light forces to cover his positions or flanks. The now concentrated French Army launched three large assaults but succeeded only in destroying a single 7-4 unit. Joe continued his retreat but the loss ratio at this time was 44 French factors to 94 PAA. The morning of 18 June saw almost every French unit involved in a Grand Assault in an attempt by Richard to conclude the matter. This assault resulted in the loss of 20 more PAA factors at the cost of 10 French. Despite entreaties from neutral observers to halt the slaughter, Joe threw his brave yet outnumbered divisions into an attack on his left flank that smashed a French infantry division while he concentrated his remaining troops in Mont St Jean. His remaining hope lay with the Prussian IV Corps now appearing on the eastern edge of the board but at least four turns from the immediate battlefield. Richard again launched another Grand Assault, crushing another 24 PAA factors, but Joe, as hard as the metal that made up his anvil, launched a series of desperate low odds attacks in hopes of a miracle. There was no miracle and hardly any PAA forces left so Joe finally raised the surrender flag but broke his sword before being captured by the French. Richard moved into the championship game in what promised to be an exciting and hard fought contest against another former champion. Joe likewise enjoyed an excellent tournament and played a solid game. His overuse of the 1-6 units early in the game became a liability later on and hastened his defeat. However, he faced a very steep challenge in Richard whose precise and flawless play makes him a formidable opponent.

In the Final, Richard and John gained their preferred sides as Richard outbid John to play the PAA for 10 factors. John quickly closed on Quatre Bras with the bulk of the French Army with II Corps (-) and a few supporting cavalry divisions heading toward Nivelle. Richard sensing an early 2 to 1 attack on the heights south of Quatre Bras massively defended the three-hex heights with double stacked large Prussian infantry divisions nullifying this early French tactic. In addition, he dispatched several cavalry brigades to screen the road to Wavre and several horse artillery batteries to guard the approaches south of Nivelle. The French advance developed with the bulk of the army south and east of Quatre Bras and II Corps (-) closing on Nivelle. The PAA adjusted their dispositions in reaction to the French deployments with two large infantry divisions reinforcing the horse artillery near Nivelle and a single 4-4 infantry division supporting the cavalry on the road to Wavre in the east. The initial British reinforcements forced marched toward Quatre Bras. John continued the advance and formed his main French battle line east of Quatre Bras while using a 2-6 screening unit to prevent the PAA gaining a first assault advantage. He eliminated a single 1-6 Prussian cavalry brigade on the road toward Wavre and maintained a credible threat force south of the Quatre Bras heights. The II Corps (-) continued closing on Nivelle. Richard repositioned the PAA forces to be able to counter any French axis of advance with units at the Thil/Dyle river junction hexes supported by a reserve corps stationed between the river junction and Quatre Bras able to move toward the most threatened sector. Early in the afternoon of 16 June, the French launched a probing attack down the primary road into the "Cauldron of Death" east of Quatre Bras but only managed to drive the screening forces back. The PAA counterattacked and destroyed a 2-6 for the cost of a 1-4. At the same time on the Nivelle sector most of the supporting French cavalry units countermarched eastward back toward the heights near Quatre Bras with the corresponding movement of PAA forces eastward also. At this early stage of the game losses were equal. John decided to make the next turn (3 PM) into a decisive stroke in an attempt to shatter Richard's defense with a 2:1 assault on Steinmetz's division (8-4) defending the heights south of Quatre Bras with supporting attacks east of the road junction and into the nearby forest of the Bors de Mez. Steinmetz easily repulsed the main French attack and all of the other attacks only killed a single Prussian 6-4 infantry division. However, John's soak-off attacks were disastrous as he lost a staggering 23 factors! John employed a tactic in these attacks of using more units to achieve 1:2 odds, relying on a greater probability of an Attacker Back result or being lucky in the hopes of rolling an exchange resulting in killing six factors at the cost of three of his own for example. With the heights secure, Richard's PAA forces massively counterattacked focusing on the two French infantry divisions trapped by the Bors de Mez forest hexes and unable to retreat. These PAA assaults were all successful and 16 French factors were destroyed at the cost of only two Prussian. The loss ratio now stood at 25 PAA factors lost to 42 French. French morale suffered irreparable damage at this point as the Duke of St Amand, sitting on his horse, observed the French conscripts beginning to desert the battlefield. In consideration of the time of the evening, the prospects of continuing play into the wee hours of the morning, and no doubt thinking about the previous impeccable play of Richard and his PAA armies; John graciously offered his sword in surrender. Richard "Beyma the Younger" could now claim his second consecutive Waterloo championship.

The GM would like to thank all former and new Waterloo players for their patience and interest in this classic as it retains a solid level of participation in the Grognard Pre-Con. Post tournament discussions among the veteran players and former champions suggest that even though Waterloo is very closely balanced, in expert play the very smallest of advantages rests with the PAA player. While the bidding for sides and the 10 sided die Combat Results Table have narrowed this slight PAA advantage, two minor rules adjustments on PAA stacking and attack coordination will be introduced next year to further balance play. The simplicity of the rules, attack and defense roles for both players, wide range of maneuver options, and overall balance have kept this nearly 50-year-old wargame a viable part of the Grognard Pre-Con and of the WBC. Whatever your personal reason, the GM invites all former and new players alike to give it a try. Waterloo - easy to learn, full of action, and fun to play - beckons to all wargamers who seek the faux glory of Napoleonic battles.

 GM      Marty Musella  [6th Year]  NA 
    Martin.l.musella@boeing.com   703-266-0353

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