Still hitting the beach 19 years
later ... with a twist ...
Two-time champ Jim Eliason can't get
by the new champ in the L2 version - proving he is is skilled
in both versions.
Scott Beall loses to PBeM champ/GM
Mark Gutfreund in the first round using the original game.
Bruno Passacantando enjoys Jim
Doughan's "driveby shooting" of GM Andrew Cummins.
The three-time champ withdrew after dicing Andrew in Round 1.
Jim Eliason, a valued contributor
to the L2 edition, furthers the education of talented newcomer
Kevin Wojtaszzyk in the L2 edition. The shark pool is getting
Anticlimactic End Crowns New Champ
This year's line-up saw an even split between those who favored
the new L2 rules as against those who preferred the traditional
Avalon Hill version. The numbers were down slightly but there
were enough faithful to make for a vibrant and hard-fought contest.
Bidding in the main tightened up, averaging at 40 for the
Allies in the AH version as against close to zero in the L2 Design.
The overall results were split 8-10 in the German favor with
the L2 games seeing the majority of Allied wins.
Individual games teemed with exotic events. Caen being contested
on the invasion turn, British forces from Gold and Juno capturing
Aunay, Sword Beach falling to German control, disastrous sequences
of weather changes in both directions, and US troops in Carentan
on the 7th, being among the more notable.
There were five previous champions knocked out in the race
to the finish line this year. Mike Rinella dispatched previous
four-time champ Nels Thompson and then fell to Mark Gutfreund.
Defending champ Marvin Birnbaum succumbed to Kevin Hammond. Jim
Eliason lost on the first turn to Mike Kaye's unstoppable Allies.
I was knocked out in what constituted a drive-by shooting as
Jim Doughan's cards provided him with three key weather changes
in the first three days that brutally crushed my Allied hopes.
He then poured salt on the wounds by dropping out after the first
round for another event.
This carnage left a semi-final field comprising Gutfreund, Hammond,
Kaye and Passacantando, experienced players all, each seeking
their first BKN title. The dust of the semi-finals settled with
Mike's Allies triumphant over Mark and Kevin's Germans victorious
The history between the two finalists favoured Mike, a tactician
noted for fierce Allied play: 1-1 split in two late-round PBeM
Tournament games, with Mike going 2-0 in WBC play (2010 Mulligan,
2011 Round 2), and 3-1 in AREA rated PBeMs.
Both sides preferred L2 Rules and asked for the Allies, and
two quick bids had Kevin accepting the Germans along with an
extra 5 supply.
The para assault on Merville went D1 while the U.S. paras
made a 3-bridge opening. Naval bombardments missed every CA and
hit only the Utah defender. The US airstrike missed at Port-en-Bessin
for what appeared to be a bloodbath allied opening, as the British
flipped the Juno CA.
1st waves: one gun vs Gold (armor and 56th) and Juno (armor
only) missed all three units, two guns vs Sword flipped one Commando,
three guns vs Omaha only disrupted a regiment each of 1st and
29th at Omaha, and two vs Utah flipped and thus repulsed a lone
regiment that landed there.
Assaults: the Sword group disrupted the Sword CA. Armor went
D1 at Juno. At 11:10, the Omaha group landed safely, with 352nd's
artillery staying fresh. An 8:6 assault at Gold went D1, and
an Advantage re-roll there fared no better, which was the only
time in the match that the Advantage changed hands.
D-Day ran from Impulse 0-5. Two assaults at Gold and two at Juno
failed to disrupt the CAs there. The day later ended with the
Canadian artillery and both the Gold artillery plus a regiment
of 50th still offshore. An assault at Utah cleared the beach.
352nd scored 4 APs vs the Americans on Omaha, with regiments
of 1st and 29th D2 to go with two D1 Ranger units. On Impulse
4, one infantry unit from Cherbourg (in clear weather) failed
a try for the magic bridge, and 709th's artillery was moved up
for use against Utah Beach on the 7th. A Weather change gave
the Germans one cloudy impulse, which was used to move infantry
and artillery from Zone A into Caen.
The 7th ran from Impulse 0-4. Bombardments vs. a strongly
defended Caen were ineffective, but Sword and Merville were cleared.
Five more units landed at Utah without incident, but the 51/50
bridge remained German. Omaha was cleared, but with few units
available, Grandcamp was only contested, and the 31/33 bridge
was blown. A single assault on Juno went D1, and Divisional and
Corps artillery were offshore at Gold and Juno going into the
8th. On the night of the 7th, the Germans bought four impulses,
and the Allies one.
The 8th ran from Impulse 3-6. St. Mere-Eglise was cleared,
though 709th's artillery scored two disruptions vs Utah Beach,
including 90th's artillery. A 14:12 assault on Caen went D1,
and 21st Panzer's artillery then put three units on Sword to
D2. Grandcamp and Port-en-Bessin were cleared. Naval fire vs
Carentan flipped all four defenders, but a follow-up airstrike
whiffed, greatly hampering the Utah group for the 9th. The day
ended after another assault on the Juno CA only flipped it, but
before 711th's artillery could do further damage at Sword.
The 9th ran from Impulse 0-6. Dawn had the Gold and Juno CA's
still fresh, and the June 9th British reinforcements at the Juno
approach. The opening German move was a Lehr 6-7-5 reinforcing
Juno. Facing either two guns (from Juno approach) or just a 9:6
assault, Naval guns first flipped the Juno CA, then two assaults
were needed to clear it. An all-out assault also cleared Gold.
The Germans then spent one impulse to rebuild the Bayeux/Gold
bridge but failed a 6:5 assault versus all-spent units to try
and re-contest Gold. Carentan was contested with a +4 assault
that got only a -2 roll. A 3:1 bombardment versus Utah Beach
then broke up a potential second assault on Carentan. Isigny
was barely contested, and the 33/34 and 33/35 bridge were blown.
The 10th started on Impulse 0. After Naval guns failed at
Caen, an all-out 19:15 assault from Juno contested Caen with
two CPs. The next Allied move was an all-out 16:8 assault on
Bayeux that would have cleared on a -4 roll, but the dice came
up 2:10 for a stalemate! With large German reinforcements available
and a major assault possible on the spent artillery that defended
Juno (through Bretteville), Mike conceded the lop-sided contest
and the title.
And so the 2012 BKN competition closed with Kevin Hammond
a new champion fresh-minted from a fiercely competitive pack.
Mike Rinella and Nels Thompson, a
pair of past champs, tussle using the original version.
Defending champ Marvin Birnbaum downs
Andrew Choptiany in the first edition.
By Email 2012
Two grizzled veterans of Breakout: Normandy tournaments,
Mike Kaye and Mark Gutfreund, met in the Final of the 7th PBeM
Tournament to decide which of the pair would finally break through
to his first tournamnt title. The path to the title for each
was with their preferred side in all five rounds, the Allies
for Kaye and the Germans for Gutfreund. Kaye persevered through
numerous negative dice rolls for the entire game, and he still
had a chance to pull out a win on the sixth impulse of the 12th
by rolling +4 with an assault on St. Lo, but fell short on his
last gasp assault . One oddity: Carentan was bombed only once
the entire game and was never assaulted. Also scoring laurels
were: 3rd Tom Dworschak; 4th Kevin Hammond; 5th Marvin Birnbaum
and 6th Scott Fenn.