russia besieged   

Updated 11/17/2011

2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment

Richard Beyma, MD

2011 Champion

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Event History
2006    Rob Beyma     16
2007    Rob Beyma     18
2008    Rob Beyma     18
2009    Rob Beyma     20
2010    Rob Beyma     24
2011    Richard Beyma     18
 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    11    168
  2.  Art Lupinacci      on    11     81
  3.  Richard Beyma      MD    11     72
  4.  Jim Eliason        IA    10     48
  5.  Jim Miller         VA    07     21
  6.  Charles Catania    MD    10     15
  7.  Jim Tracy          OH    11     12
  8.  Craig Champagne    NJ    06     12
  9.  Martin Musella     VA    11      9
 10.  Lembit Tohver      on    08      9
 11.  Doug Richards      on    06      6
 12.  Jeff Hacker        PA    11      3
 13.  Steve Miller       NM    10      3
 14.  Charles Drozd      IL    09      3
 15.  Doug James         NC    08      3

2011 Laurelists                                         Repeating Laurelists:

Rob Beyma, MD
2nd

Art Lupinacci, on
3rd

Martin Musella, VA
4th

Jim Tracy, OH
5th

Jeff Hacker, PA
6th

Past Winners

Rob Beyma, MD
2006-10

Richard Beyma, VA
2011

Jim Tracy plays Michael cardwell while Richard Beyma and Ron Draker are paired in the background.

Local gamer John Martino studies his board position. The Lancaster native obviously prefers the WBC site.

Still in the Family ...

Sometimes, the more things change results in just more of the same. Not a reference to the current politcal climate, but the end of a five year reign of Rob Beyma and the start of the reign of Beyma the Younger. The rest of us are still looking up at a Beyma on the medals stand.

The Mulligan Round continued to be popular with eight extra games being played. The 7-turn scenario ending in May/June 1942 was again the version contested with an average playing time of 4.3 hours. Sides were determined by mutual agreement or by bidding VPs with replacement points used as a tiebreaker. VP bids ranged from 18 to 22 with an average bid of 20.0 which was up this year as more players perceived a German advantage. Overall, play balance was close although the Germans won five of the seven games played after Round 1.

Eight players advanced to Round 2. Richard Beyma's strong Russian defense stopped Jim Tracy with the help of some Mud in October. Despite heavy losses during the winter, Art Lupinacci's Germans grabbed some additional VPs in the spring of 1942 to win by several VPs against John Martino. Despite bad weather in the fall of 1941, Rob Beyma's Germans hung on to overcome Jeff Hacker. Marty Musella's Germans edged Charlie Catania in a long game to reach his first RBS semi-final.

Pairings for the semi-finals were randomly assigned. Richard bid 21 to play the Germans vs Art and soon found a weakness in Art's new defense, AVed a 4-6 in the Odessa MD, and captured Dnepropetrovsk on Turn 1. Art surrounded the AGS panzers in Dnepropetrovsk but the Germans advanced aggressively in the center. By the end of Turn 3, Richard had three panzer corps in Moscow. Art surrounded the panzers in his turn but Richard relieved them on Turn 4. While Art was busy dealing with the panzers at Moscow, Richard grabbed Kharkov and Stalino to exceed his bid. Despite taking heavy losses during the winter and eventually losing Moscow, Richard still tallied 23 VPs for the win.

In the other semi-final, Marty bid 20 to play the Germans and got off to a good start by winning a key blitz attack against the Western MD and killing or trapping a lot of Russian units. He had a number of opportunities early in the game, especially a 4-1 (E) attack on Dnepropetrovsk on Turn 2. A DE here (a 40% chance) would have been huge. Unfortunately, Marty could manage only a D3 result and Dnepropetrovsk held for another impulse. At the end of Turn 3 (the Sep/Oct weather was Clear/Light Mud), Marty was close to several major objectives. However, the German hopes were thwarted by November snow. The game continued until spring but snow/snow in Nov/Dec was too much to overcome.

That created another Father vs Son Final and not surprisingly, these two experienced players each bid 20. Richard took the tiebreaker by giving the Russians more infantry replacements. Rob had a pretty good idea of what was coming, having played several inter-family contests per year since the game came into being. But Rob hadn't developed a five-year winning streak by sitting on his laurels. He unveiled a new Russian defense to slow his son's usual blitzkrieg. It was designed to

1. Cause Richard to use a lot of time on his opening attack

2. Have several units survive in the Kiev and Odessa MDs

3. Limit penetration in the center.

It was successful in but two of these three areas. Richard took 53 minutes for his first turn and went through three different openings before deciding on just the right one. Richard AVed the same hex in the Odessa MD as he did against Art. However, the panzers couldn't reach Dnepropetrovsk so Richard settled for a 4-1 against Odessa with a panzer and the German Mountain Corps. A DE resulted in Odessa falling to the Germans on the first turn. The Germans also AVed a Russian infantry army in the Western MD and got a big advance with his armor on a blitz attack. A critical 4-1 second impulse attack on Minsk also resulted in a DE. This 50% chance got the panzers one additional hex closer to Moscow, without any losses, and prevented Russian survivors (on an X2, D2, or D3 result) from moving back into the city to block the German Turn 2 advance. Richard killed 14 units and trapped or cut off nine more. The only German casualty was a 4-5 infantry on a 1-3 soak off. The surviving Russian units in the Kiev MD made a 1-1 surrounded counterattack vs two 8-8 panzer corps near Lvov. Rob got a BR on the first roll but an AR during the second impulse forced the Russians to retreat. A 4-6 mech unit was evacuated to Rostov. Rob defended Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, and Sevastopol heavily.

On Turn 2, Richard took advantage of a poorly positioned infantry army and blitzed a stack of German panzers to within TWO hexes of Moscow. Army Group South also captured Kiev. Moscow was in dire danger, as in Richard's semi-final game with Art. Rob deliberated for several minutes whether to stack the Russian units shoulder to shoulder in and around Moscow or to counterattack. Richard had counted several times to ensure that it was impossible for the Russians to get a 1-1 counterattack. Rob uncharacteristically took a big chance. Two Russian infantry armies counterattacked at 1-2, but from a forest hex, while additional mech and cav units railed to Moscow. If the Russians could avoid an AE result (only a 20% chance) on their 1-2 first impulse attack, they would have a 1-1 surrounded second impulse attack against the panzers. The first impulse attack was an AR which became a BR (because of the forest). The second impulse attack was also a BR. While not eliminating them, it did serve to trap the panzer stack. Two Russian mech units also attacked an Italian infantry unit in Veliki-Luki at 2-1 (+1) and forced the two Stukas there to relocate back to Minsk. The mech units moved south on the second impulse in an attempt to slow German reinforcements from reaching the trapped panzers.

Rob was hoping for Clear/Mud weather in Sep/Oct but got Clear/Light Mud (average weather) instead. Richard relieved the panzers on his third turn but lost two flipped panzers in soak-offs. The Germans also attacked Dnepropetrovsk at 5-1 (-1) in the first impulse. Richard won this critical attack big with a DE result (a 40% chance). This permitted the AGS panzers to exploit adjacent to Stalino during the second impulse. With the three remaining Stukas, the Germans attacked Stalino at 4-1 (-2). Yes, a -2 DRM; Richard had already used all of the German Field Marshals. Rob tossed in Zhukov to make the DRM -2. The Germans avoided the unfavorable BR, D1, and X2 outcomes and rolled a D2 which cleared Stalino but did not capture the city. Elsewhere, German infantry reached the Luga river and marched into Kursk. A German panzer unit also surrounded Kharkov during second impulse. Rob counterattacked the panzer behind Kharkov at 3-1 and moved two fresh infantry armies into Stalino. The panzer corps was killed but, unfortunately, the 4-6 mech unit was poorly positioned and could not reach the Stalino sector during second impulse. So, it moved across the Donets river to help defend Kharkov. Two more infantry armies were railed up behind Stalino during second impulse. In the center, the Germans had consolidated two panzer and one infantry corps on a forest hex two hexes from Moscow. The Russians brought in their Moscow reinforcements and got a 2-1 (-1) surrounded versus this stack. Like the turn before, an AR became a BR. On the second impulse 2-1 (-1) attack, Rob rolled an A1 result. Thus, another attempt to annihilate a surrounded German panzer stack came up short.

The Beyma family had fought to a draw for the first three turns. Two weakened armies faced each other from Moscow to Stalino with some minor forces on the Leningrad front. The German army was within striking range of Moscow, Kharkov, and Stalino. But would the weather hold? The Germans had captured 18 VPs and Richard was eyeing Stalino as he reached for the die to roll the Nov/Dec weather. A 1 roll (Lt Mud/Mud), a 2 roll (Mud/Mud), or an 8-10 roll (Snow/Snow) would all but decide the game. Richard rolled a 1 (Lt Mud/Mud) and cruised to his first, and well earned, Russia Besieged shield. The (Field Marshal) baton has been passed from father to son.

The post game analysis pin-pointed four critical die rolls during the course of the game.

1. The 1-1 surrounded vs the two AGS panzers on Turn 1. While the Russians had only a 24% chance of success (Richard tossed in a FM both attacks), a win here would have been huge.

2. The 1-2 versus the German panzer stack in front of Moscow on Turn 2. While there was only a 20% chance of failure, an AE here probably would have meant the loss of Moscow on Turn 3.

3. The German 5-1 attack on Dnepropetrovsk on the first impulse of Turn 3. If the Germans had not won their attack with a DE (only a 40% chance), they wouldn't have reached Stalino on Turn 3. Stalino would have been very strongly defended on Turn 4.

4. The Nov/Dec weather roll. Richard believes that this is THE most important roll in the tournament scenario. It often decides a game between top players. It certainly was judged the telling blow in two of the last three games of this tournament. A 3-5 roll (Lt Mud/Snow) or 6-7 roll (Mud/Snow) would have resulted in a very close, hard fought game that probably would have gone down to the last turn. As the Klingon Commander said in an original Star Trek episode, "it would have been glorious".

 GM      Rob Beyma (5th Year)  NA  
    robbeyma@aol.com   NA

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