memoir '44   

Updated 11/30/2011
2011 WBC Report  

  2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
Johan van Huyse, bg
2011 Champion


AREA BGG Days of Wonder CSW

Event History
2004    Steve Lollis     91
2005    Joe Harrison     93
2006    Joe Harrison     70
2007    Jon Miller     62
2008    Scott Gibson     62
2009    Gordon Rodgers     62
2010    John Skiba     53
2011    Johan van Huyse     70

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Joe Harrison       KY    10    117
  2.  Robert Eastman     NV    06     68
  3.  Jonathan Miller    DC    08     57
  4.  Sam Edelston       CT    11     54
  5.  Steve Lollis       MD    06     54
  6.  Johan van Huyse    bg    11     40
  7.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    09     36
  8.  John Skiba         NY    10     30
  9.  Scott Gibson       VA    08     30
 10.  Harrison Anderson  PA    06     26
 11.  Benoit Groulx      qc    05     20
 12.  Scott Sirianna     NY    04     20
 13.  David Gubbay       TX    10     18
 14.  Eric Monte         NY    09     18
 15.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    09     18
 16.  Jeff Cornett       FL    11     16
 17.  Frank Hastings     MD    05     15
 18.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    04     15
 19.  Chuck Turpin       VA    11     12
 20.  Jim Fardette       ae    10     12
 21.  Mike Wojke         PA    08     12
 22.  Chad Mekash        NJ    07     12
 23.  Mark Guttag        VA    06     12
 24.  Scott Edwards      SC    04     10
 25.  Rob Mull           CO    08      9
 26.  Gadoon Kyrollos    NJ    07      9
 27.  Jeff Paull         NJ    11      8
 28.  Jacob Hebner       CO    10      6
 29.  Michael Shea       CT    09      6
 30.  Matthew O'Conner   NJ    05      5
 31.  Paul Bean          MA    04      5
 32.  David Metzger      NY    11      4
 33.  Eric Martin        MD    09      3
 34.  Jack Morrell       NY    07      3

2011 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists:

Sam Edelston, CT

Jeff Cornett, FL

Chuck Turpin, VA

Jeff Paull, NJ

David Metzger, NY

Past Winners

Steve Lollis, MD

Joe Harrison, KY

Jonathan Miller, DC

Scott Gibson, VA

Gordon Rodgers, PA

John Skiba, NY

Johan van Huyse, bg

Jack Morrell and Evan Hitchings at pylon 13.

Britain's Peter Eldrigde and Chuck Stapp meet at pylon 7.

William Alderman and Dave Glowny at station 5.

Belgian visitor Johan van Huyse defeats John Skiba.

Special New Booklets, and a Storybook Ending

As in previous years, the format was a 6-round single elimination tournament, with a Mulligan round the night before. Each round was a 2-game match, with the players switching sides. This year, designer Richard Borg was again here in person, with six brand-new, official scenarios, which he was introducing for the first time. These came in special, pre-printed booklets subtitled, "World Boardgaming Championships * 2011." The field of 70 players was our largest of the past five years, and included three former champions, plus at least eight other former laurelists.

Our theme this year was the German invasion of Crete, which was significant as the first large airborne invasion in history, where 15,000 paratroops and glider forces landed at multiple strategic locations on the island. The actual battle consisted of ten days of brutal back-and-forth fighting. The scenarios were very tactical, employing mostly infantry. In the first four rounds, the Germans were all Special Forces, while the Allies had a tank (with only two figures) and usually artillery. There was a lot of terrain, and players had to use it. Every scenario had multiple objectives the Germans could take, though some of them could count as medals for either side; many of these were Turn-Start objectives, which created fierce fighting. All scenarios were to six medals, except for the seven-medal Final. No player ever got fewer than five cards. The consensus was that these were great scenarios, with a variety of options for both sides.

Mulligan and Round 1: Maleme Airfield - The Allies are trying to defend a hill, an unoccupied airfield, and a road exit hex on their side of the board. The results were well balanced: Allies won 40 games, Axis won 44 (45%-55%), with an average score of 4.61-4.56. Congratulations to Daniel Long, Zhiming Shi, Chuck Turpin, and Jonathan Young, who all scored shutout victories. Chuck held his Round 1 opponent to two medals in their match.

Round 2:
Airdrop Over Heraklion - Bunched-up Allies in and near the center are trying to defend an airfield and seven town hexes. Surprisingly, the Allies won only 12 games, to the Germans 26 (32%-68%), with an average score of 3.87-5.24. For the second consecutive round, Jonathan Young scored a shutout victory. Jim Dougherty held his opponent to three medals for the match. All four of last year's semi-finalists - including defending champion John Skiba and two-time champion Joe Harrison - were eliminated.

Round 3: Airdrop Over Rethymno - Played on a short board, with the Mediterranean cutting off nearly the entire first two rows of hexes. Terrain divides the Allies into three protected enclaves, but the Germans are positioned where they can make a lot of trouble. In fact, this scenario favored the Germans, 6-14 (30%/70%), by an average score of 4.05-4.55. No shutouts were scored, but after three rounds, only two players had won six games: Jim Dougherty and David Metzger. David held his opponent to just three medals this round. Our third former champion, 2004's Steve Lollis, met his untimely demise here. Jonathan Young was eliminated, by Chuck Turpin, in one of the day's closest matches, 9-9, 24-26.

Round 4: Prison Valley - The most terrain-filled scenario of the event, with a bunch of towns, forests, and hills. The Germans seek to gain several towns and a variety of other objectives. This scenario also leaned a little toward the Germans: 4-6 (40%-60%), with an average score of 3.90-4.50. We had nine players left in this round, so defending champion John Skiba played as an eliminator; losing a split match against Jeff Cornett. Turpin and GM Sam Edelston both swept their opponents, with Sam's match including a shutout win as Axis. David Metzger's unbeaten streak came to an end as he was eliminated by Belgian Johan van Huyse in another of the day's closest matches: 9-9, 39-41. Despite his early exit, David scored the tournament's highest winning percentage: 7-1 (88%.)

Round 5: Platanias - The Allies are defending a complex of hill, forest, and town hexes in the middle of the board, while the Germans seek to displace them by crossing a fordable river. The two sides also fight over some objectives on the Allied Right flank. Since five players remained, Skiba again served as an eliminator, but was swept by van Huyse. All three matches were sweeps, as Edelston and Cornett won in the same manner. The average score at Platanias was 4.24-5.13.

At this point, we were down to three players, and we needed to eliminate one to reach a 2-player Final. A "round robin" was played, repeating the Round 5 scenario. Since Jeff and Johan had records of 8-2, while Sam was 9-1, Jeff and Johan went first. Jeff's Axis Left advanced, and Johan retaliated hard against them, scoring three kills and the medal bridge there to win, 6-4. Next, Jeff had to defend as Allies against Sam. Despite two early kills by the Allies, Sam's Germans notched two kills against the Allied Left and captured a medal town. Then, Jeff shifted the battle to the opposite flank, where Sam happened to be holding three good cards. Sam scored a kill, took the medal bridge, and then went Behind Enemy Lines to eliminate a weakened infantry from a town, to clinch a 6-2 victory and an intriguing Final.

Johan and Sam were familiar foes from numerous online Memoir encounters. Living in Belgium, Johan knows many of the European WWII battles in a way that most American's can't: He lives near them, and often sees reminders of them, even 65-70 years later. He had flown to America for his "dream vacation," to play in the WBC Memoir tournament and meet some Memoir friends, and then go visit New York City for a few days. Sam had picked him up at the airport, and they were rooming together. Before the tournament, Johan had given Sam a lucky coin from Belgium.

Indeed, both players had experienced a lot of good luck thus far. Johan's record was 9-2, and one of his losses had been 5-6, after he had missed a 1-figure enemy unit, and his combined score was 62-40. Sam had plowed through his opponents, so far, with a 10-1 record and a combined score of 64-30. In six of his wins, the opponent had scored two or fewer medals. Where so many other strong players had fallen by the wayside earlier in the tournament, Johan and Sam had both experienced "storybook" runs so far. Now, the dream would end for one of them at the hands of his friend.

The Final scenario was Galatos. The namesake town is a 2-hex, turn-start temporary majority objective for either side, initially in the hands of the Allies. In Game 1, Johan had incredibly lucky cards: General Advance, followed by a seven-unit Infantry Assault in the center that seized control of the town. Then an Assault Center (seven units again), which scored two kills, followed by a three-unit Close Assault. Sam now played an Attack Center, which Johan Counter-Attacked, killing off the one Allied tank and the one Allied artillery. Sam had scored only one kill so far, and his position was perilous. He took a shot at a 1-figure infantry, and missed. Johan replied with his own Attack Center, which killed an Allied infantry and gave him a firm hold on the medal town. Sam played a newly drawn Move Out, and felt lucky to kill two small infantries. But he couldn't prevent Johan from getting the town medals and winning the first game, 7-3.

In the second game, Sam lacked cards to mass his forces for a big offensive. Johan advanced his artillery into the town, and it was difficult to displace. On Turn 7, Sam missed with three dice against a 1-figure infantry in the town, so the Germans responded with an Assault Right that eliminated one of the attacking units plus another Allied infantry. Though the Germans would gain that town hex on the following turn, Johan quickly reclaimed it by eliminating the invader. Then, on the next turn, he regained the 2-medal turn-start objective (to gain a 6-3 advantage) and played an Armor Assault. Johan's one tank advanced next to a full-strength German infantry, and rolled: three grenades and an infantry. Boom! 7-3 for the second game, too. The perfect roll to complete his storybook victory.

In addition, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, there were six multi-player Overlord games (including the third annual infamous Midnight Madness Overlord). Five of the games were run by John Skiba and had full tables of eight players. In addition, Richard Borg ran one while the main tournament was in progress, for players who had been eliminated from the tournament, as well as any interested passers-by.

Sword Beach - Johan Vanhuyse's Allies kayoed John Skiba's Germans, 10-5.
Bastogne - Richard Bliss led the Germans to a 12-6 victory over Sam Edelston and the Allies in six devastating turns.
Hedgerow Hell - A good time was had by all, but the result wasn't recorded.
Iwo Jima: Hell on the Beach - JDRommel's Pacific scenario that lives up to its name. Joe Harrison's Japanese knocked off Richard Bliss's Americans, 14-11.
Rats in a Factory - Scenario from the Sword of Stalingrad expansion, with Combat cards. Sam Edelston's Germans defeated Mark Mitchell's Russians, 18-13 in nine turns.
Firefight in Neffe - Winter War scenario with Combat cards and reduced visibility rules. Two teenaged commanders, David R. and Manuel B., duked it out, and in the end, David's Allies pulled out a tough 14-11 victory in 12 turns.

The GM wishes to thank Richard Borg and Days of Wonder for making these new scenarios available for the tournament, with additional thanks to Richard for being helpful in a variety of ways. Also, thanks to AGMs John Skiba and Mark Guttag. And special thanks to Anita and her daughters for their help at the check-in desk.

Jeff Paull and Jeff Cornett

GM Edelston and Chuck Turpin.



Champion Johan Vanhuyse receives his plaque from game creator Richard Borg and GM Sam Edelston.

Champion Johan Vanhuyse looks out over his final, winning position with GM/runner-up Sam Edelston

 GM      Sam Edelston  [2nd Year]   NA   NA

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