afrika korps   

Updated Jan. 12, 2013

Grognard Pre-Con 2012 WBC Report  

 2013 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Vincent Meconi, DE

2011-12 Champion


Event History
1991      John Poniske      12
1992      Mike Crowe      15
1993      Joe Beard      20
1994      Joe Beard      17
1995      Phil Evans      16
1996      Bruno Sinigaglio      10
1997      Bruno Sinigaglio      25
1998      Gregory Smith      23
1999      Gregory Smith     24
2000      Randy Heller     20
2001      Lane Newbury     29
2002      Vince Meconi     29
2003      Jonathan Lockwood     22
2004      Randy Heller      30
2005      John Popiden      20
2006       Vince Meconi      34
2007       Bert Schoose      23
2008      John Popiden      24
2009       Vince Meconi      20
2010       Bert Schoose      19
2011      Vince Meconi      22
2012      Vince Meconi      22

PBeM Event History
2003      Ed Menzel     26
2008       Bruno Sinigaglio      26
2010      Bert Schoose      26


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Vince Meconi       DE    12    239
   2.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    12    176
   3.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    12    159
   4.  Bert Schoose       IL    12    156
   5.  Ed Menzel          CA    12    118
   6.  John Popiden       CA    10    108
   7.  Randy Heller       MD    11     81
   8.  Lane Newbury       TX    03     48
   9.  Greg Smith         PA    08     44
  10.  James Tracy II     OH    11     31
  11.  Bill Morse         VA    10     30
  12.  Barry Smith        NY    08     30
  13.  Joe Beard          AZ    10     27
  14.  Doug Burke         MD    03     24
  15.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     21
  16.  Phil Evans         fr    01     15
  17.  Gary Dickson       CA    05     12
  18.  Johnny Hasay       PA    04     12
  19.  Andrew Miller      GA    03      9
  20.  Robert Hahn        NY    02      8
  21.  Bill Scott         VA    10      6
  22.  Pat Mirk           FL    09      6
  23.  Ted Drozd          IL    08      6
  24.  Steve Likevich     OH    01      6
  25.  Andy Gardner       VA    12      3
  26.  Chris Godfrey      MA    06      3

2012 Laurelists                                        Repeating Laurelists

Jonathan Lockwood, VA

Ed Menzel, CA

Bert Schoose, IL

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Andy Gardner, VA

Past Winners

John Poniske, PA

Mike Crowe, VA

Joe Beard, AZ

Phil Evans, fr

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Greg Smith, PA

Randy Heller, MD
2000, 2004

Lane Newbury, TX

Vince Meconi, DE
'02, '06, '09, '11-'12

Jonathan Lockwood, VA

John Popiden, CA
2005, 2008

Bert Schoose, IL
2007, 2010

Frank Cunliffe plays the Grognard scorekeeper, Bill Morse.

Vince Meconi and Charles Drozd ward off kibitzer John Sharp.

first to five in the sand dunes ...

The four survivors of the Preliminaries gauntlet featured three former champions and one veteran still in the hunt for his first AFK title as the grognard tourney remained a closed society with the top five laurelists all adding to their totals. In the first playoff match, four-time champion Vince Meconi's Germans opposed Ed Menzel who had bested him in the qualifying rounds. In contrast to their earlier game, the Germans steadily gained momentum after several supply setbacks during the early going. Vince was able to seal off the British in Tobruch with three attacks. In so doing, he absorbed the loss of two Italian units in soakoff attacks, but exacted a toll on the Brutish during his advance on Alexandria. Desperate to halt the German advance, Ed tried the British version of the Holy Hand Grenade with a 1-1 attack against Vince's two 7-7-10 units, which failed with calamitous consequences and Ed's pursuit of a first AFK title would have to wait for another year.

The other semifinal paired two-time champion Bert Schoose's Germans versus 2003 champ Jonathan Lockwood. Jon declined to use his favored Paleveda Gambit defense (sending two 2-2-6s along with a supply unit deep into Cyrenaica to act as a blocking force along the coast road surrounded by escarpments), because he hoped to inflict more German casualties around the Tobruch escarpment by having those two units available. Bert subsequently lost two Italian infantry divisions while sealing off Tobruch, which bode well for the defense of Alexandria.

As the game progressed, however, it became apparent that even if the German offensive against Alexandria stalled, Jon faced the prospect of either a long grinding battle of attrition near Alexandria, or of having Bert heave the Holy Hand Grenade in desperation at Tobruch (the Holy Hand Grenade is the Grognard term for the 1-1 assault against Tobruch; a "1" or "3" takes Tobruch with no losses, a "5" or "6" eliminates the attacking force, a "2" takes Tobruch, but with a costly exchange result that usually finishes the Afrika Korps, and a "4" is an Attacker Retreat 2). Jon sought a "knockout punch" that would end the game quickly. Fortunately, Bert had provided that opportunity by leaving only two Italian infantry divisions guarding against a potential breakout by the Tobruch garrison. However, by throwing in his August reinforcements along with the 9A/18 (2-2-6) brigade that he had withheld from the July reinforcements, the British could stage a combination 2-1 and 1-2 attack against the Italian divisions, giving them a 67% chance of a successful breakout. At the same time, however, the British retreated to a final defensive line in front of Alexandria consisting of a double line of 1-1-6 infantry brigades. Because the Germans had only two supply units left in Egypt at the time, he would not be able to get through to Alexandria without using all remaining supply, leaving him vulnerable to isolation. The rest of the British army put to sea from Alexandria and headed for Tobruch, where they would land and act as the exploitation force to cut off the Afrika Korps in Egypt if their breakout succeeded.

Jon was rewarded with a 'defender retreat' result on the 2-1 attack. Even though his supporting 1-2 attack drew an "Attacker eliminated", it did not matter. The breakout was underway! Bert retreated his two Italian divisions to the western escarpments to protect his home base in Tripoli. Leaving his 21/5 Panzer Grenadier (3-3-10) at El Alamein to contain the Alexandria garrison from advancing west, he began retreating from Egypt in an effort to drive back the breakout force. The British exploitation force landed at Tobruch on August II and began driving east and south to form a defensive line to seal the Afrika Korps in Egypt. Four British infantry brigades were sent west to form a line in front of the two Italian infantry divisions. After one unsuccessful 2-1 attack against his units holding the escarpment near the coast road, Bert was left with only one supply unit in Egypt. Realizing that he would not be able to seal the British off before the Operation Crusader reinforcements arrived in November, Bert conceded in September 1941.

This left two familiar adversaries still standing whose games have taken on a familiar pattern over the years. Jon took the British, per his usual custom, and Vince promptly advanced his 2-2-12 as far as possible along the coast road to prevent the Paleveda Gambit defense (per his usual custom!). Jon then adopted a modified version of the standard British defense, and was able to inflict some casualties on the German forces before Vince was able to drive his forces into Tobruch and seal off the garrison. Vince was hampered by poor supply, which enabled Jon to both delay his advance and erect a strong defensive line around El Alamein. Unfortunately for Jon, it also put Vince in the frame of mind to use the Holy Hand Grenade against Tobruch at his first opportunity, which he did in September, taking Tobruch in the 1-1 attack. In years past, a successful 1-1 attack against Tobruch would elicit a quick British resignation. However, Jon is made of sterner stuff and believes that this just sets the stage for a subsequent British version of the Holy Hand Grenade; a 1-1 attack against the 21/5 and 15/8 Panzer (7-7-10s!) at the earliest opportunity when the Germans advance on Alexandria. A "1" or "2" result takes out the 7-7-10s, and effectively kneecaps the Afrika Korps. Jon used a smaller version of the Holy Hand Grenade in September with a 1-2 attack (hoping for an exchange result), but was only partially rewarded with a D back 2. Vince counterattacked in October, destroying several British infantry brigades. Jon brought up his remaining reserves and counterattacked again, destroying both German Recce Battalions (2-2-12). However, a much shorter supply line with the possession of Tobruch, enabled Vince to counterattack again on October II, destroying several more infantry brigades and compelling a British retreat to El Alamein where a delaying force would enable him to receive his November reinforcements. Vince continued his offensive in November, taking the Ruweisat ridge and driving south of Alam El Halfa with 21/5 Panzer. Lockwood's Crusader reinforcements landed in November, and he counterattacked with two 1-1 attacks along the coast road, destroying two more Italian infantry divisions and just falling short of destroying two more, including Ariete (4-5-6). Unfortunately for him, Jon was unable to maintain these counterattacks without eventually leaving himself open to an overrun counterattack, which Vince executed in December to take Alexandria and an unprecedented fifth Wood!

Ed Menzel falls to Vince in the semifinals.

Vince wouldn't bite on Jon Lockwood's Palevda Gambit in the Final.

 GM      Jonathan Lockwood  [13th Year]   P.O. Box 3436, Reston, VA 20195-1436   NA

2012 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page