Roll the Panzers ...
Veteran tank jockeys Johnny Hasay
and Paul Fletcher push armor through the Ardennes. The judge
went on to finish fifth this year.
Bruno Sinigaglio, the designer of
AH's second edition of Battle of the Bulge, and defending
Bitter Woods champ took second this year.
This year's tournament had a mix of new and familiar faces.
A few, such as L2 Design Group's Lembit Tohver, took the opportunity
to dive into deep water and play the seasoned opponent in hope
of learning some of the finer details of play. This proved to
be a special year for repeat player, Dan Dolan, who won his very
first game of Bitter Woods by defeating Charles Catania's
Germans in the Mulligan Round. Kevin Hacker also had the game's
designer on the ropes with a 50/50 chance for a big breakthrough
and resulting win, but the all-or-nothing die roll would not
cooperate. Not surprisingly, a number of veteran players felt
confident enough of their game skills to forego the Mulligan
Round and simply appear for the first elimination round on Wednesday
morning. This proved true for both Forrest Pafenberg and Tom
Gregorio, who easily defeated their initial adversaries.
Randy Heller finally broke a string of losses to Bill Morse
in the 6-game turn scenario. The capture of Noville and loss
of 12 Yank units caused Bill to throw in the towel one turn earlier
than anticipated. Johnny Hasay broke Dan Dolan's one game win
streak, but later fell to the lethal artillery defense put up
by Bruno Sinigaglio. It appeared as if this would finally be
Forrest's year for victory, having handily defeated opponents
in the early rounds, but he, too, fell prey to the crafty defense
of the Alaskan grognard.
Four-time champion Gregorio humbled his opponents in succession
during the closing rounds of play. Speculation is that Tom toyed
with both Randy and Bruno by giving each of his opponents a key
victory point location on Turn 2. In his game with Randy, Tom
lost both Bastogne and Parker's Crossroads. However, by scenario
end, Tom had eliminated more enemy units than he had lost, to
include the capture of General Dietrich. Not only did Randy fail
to gain enough kills, but he failed to avoid the loss of four
or more non-infantry class units as well.
The Final between Tom and the defending champ drew a consistent
crowd of onlookers. Bruno started out masterfully by blowing
through Tom's defense on the first day and capturing Trois Ponts
with KG Peiper prior to the "Peiper breakout game-turn."
Later in the game, Bruno used artillery bombardment to capture
Bastogne. However, Bruno was unable to garner the unit kills
to acquire that particular victory point. The decision came down
to the last turn as Bruno attempted to first finesse and then
bludgeon his way into Parker's Crossroads. The attempt failed,
giving back the Bitter Woods crown to Tom Gregorio for
the fifth time, increasing his title total to 11, and forever
engraining his confidence shattering tactic of victory point
giveaways in the annals of WBC tournament play.
The BPA pbem Deluxe BitterWoods Tournament featuring the "Patton's
Relief of Bastogne" Scenario has ended with Bruno Sinigaglio's
Americans defeating Mike Kaye's Germans in the Championship game.
This is the second consecutive win for Bruno in a BPA PBeM BWD
Tournament. Bruno also took first place in the WBC 2010 BWD Tournament.
The tournament used a single elimination format with no byes.
Players defeated in earlier rounds were employed as Eliminators
to complete rounds with an uneven number of players this
procedure facilitates the elimination of byes and minimizes the
number of rounds required to complete the tournament. A total
of 23 games were played in four rounds. Germans players won 13
games, while Allied players took ten.
A total of 23 entrants began the first round of the tournament
in February 2009. The player pool was split in two by AREA rating.
The 12 players with the higher AREA ratings in one pool were
randomly paired versus the players with the lower AREA ratings.
The winner of this tournament received a gift certificate from
L2 for the purchase of an L2 game. In addition, the highest finishing
player of those who began the tournament in the pool of lower
AREA rated players also received a gift certificate from L2.
That prize went to Lance Roberts of Fairbanks, Alaska who finished
third. The top six finishers earning laurels reflected in he
standings above were as follows:
1. Bruno Sinigaglio
2. Mike Kaye
3. Lance Roberts
4. Larry Meyers
5. Tom Gregorio
6. Jeff Lange
For details of the tournament go to home.comcast.net/~bitterwoodsweb//BWHome.htm.