Dashing to Victory ...
Mike Pacheco and Bill Thomson
The soon-to-be champ and Eugene Riccio.
Andrew Cummins was on hand for the 2012 campaign given his
consecutive wins in the previous two years. Having the awe and
admiration of the community for being king of the hill is a subjective
term as many were willing to replace Andrew in the top spot.
Camaraderie and good-natured insults are commonplace in this
community, which makes this event an enjoyable highlight of the
summer. The field featured six past champions touting 16 of the
previous 22 titles. Supplemented by the usual suspects, the player
pool nonetheless had a few missing faces attributed either to
real life or other priorities, but those on hand remained a prolific
bunch. 48 matches were completed with 24 SQL, 20 COI,
3 COD, and 1 GIA games completed.
tournament followed the free form format with preliminary rounds
played Saturday through Friday night. Participants sought to
maximize points for wins and bonus points for defeating other
players with significant win totals. Unlike other Free Form events,
the same player could be played if a different game module was
used. The rules expansion in each SQL module imposes a new set
of challenges while expanding the number of scenarios available.
This helps identify the player's ability of the game, not the
The qualifiers for the elimination rounds were Phil Grasha
in the top seed against #4 seed Pete Pollard, and Bill Thomson
vs the defending champion. All four finalists sported titles
in their resumes.
The first semifinal had Phil Grasha leading the German assault
on Pete Pollard's Russian defense in COI WG200 'King of the Hill'.
The Germans had a small arsenal consisting of a PzIII, PzJag,
81mm on board mortar and various SW to bolster the infantry force,
which featured 548s with limited smoke capacity. The single Level
2 hill on board 18 dominated the various nearby terrain victory
hexes. The Russian player's option of various fortifications
bolsters the limited infantry force, supported by a 45L ATG and
a 37LL AA gun. The Russian goal is to maintain a defense until
the arrival of reinforcements in the form of a single T34C and
a small infantry force of six 458 squads. The Russians demonstrated
early success by killing and breaking units of the assaulting
Germans, imposing a two-turn delay as the Germans regrouped.
Forced by the limited number of turns, the Germans pushed extra
hard later in mid-game to secure the VC's. The death blow was
highlighted by the 37LL AA gun destroying the PzIII after the
tank topped the hill. Following the loss of his last anti-tank
weapon, Phil conceded the match.
The other semifinal had Andrew leading Americans in a SQL
battle of WG104 'Eviction Notice'. The American force possessed
substantial firepower but limited infantry strength and time.
Victory would be determined by controlling the one key building
[the infamous 3M3]. The German-held advantages including a HIP
ATG, concealment, fanaticism in the objective building, limited
OBA and late arriving AG with engineer support. Both side's forces
possessed a limited number of squads. The American firepower
advantages in the form of multiple AFVs including a M16 and onboard
81mm mortar support were blunted in the initial turns by concealment,
terrain, and German fanaticism. The promise of the low die roll
did not materialize. German shots were limited to preserve concealment
and successfully bled the limited American infantry. The HIP
German ATG was a threat that never materialized given the American
axis of advance. In the end, German reinforcements in the form
of two Stgs and engineers secured Bill's victory.
Long time rivals Pete Pollard and Bill Thomson advanced to
the Final to contest the COI scenario TS2 'Pavlov's House' with
Bill leading the German assault on the Russian building. Mental
exhaustion was apparent in both players as WBC progressed into
Day 8. For the first three of seven turns, Bill repeatedly attacked
the same target hex despite a blocked LOS [as previously determined],
maneuvered around non-existent buildings [by SSR], and under-counted
the strength of the main German firegroup. The German assault
force was whittled away by fire of the fanatic Russian defenders,
while the German firebase achieved no success. This prompted
the bold move of one of the two German tanks that was promptly
turned into a burning wreck by the previously hidden Russian
Rather than concede, Bill took a short mental break hoping
to increase his level of attention to the game and generate a
new plan. The remaining German tank maneuvered to a weak point
blank position on the opposing side of the building. To further
relocate to a useful position, it successfully survived both
an ATR immobilization and infantry immobilization actions. The
Russian squad was eliminated on a rally attempt roll of 12, greatly
depleting the Russian force.
Sensing the need to make a bold charge across open ground, it
was found that Pete's tinkering with his few Russian defenders
had created an opportunity. The German infantry stack composed
of a 9-2 leader, and three squads dashed forward to Pavlov's
House, surviving both a 4 IFT-2 crew manned LMG shot, and a sniper
shot at the 9-2. Once in the building, a squad on each side was
broken in the ensuing point blank mayhem. Victory conditions
are based on the number of squads inside Pavlov's House. Since
the Russian force was depleted, the small foothold that Bill's
'sprinters' achieved was enough to secure victory. The ensuing
Russian move initiated a last ditch close combat, which also
went in the Germans favor to end the game and hand Bill Thomson
his third SQL title.
Phil Grasha and Scott Bramley
Defending champion Andrew Cummins
and Peter Pollard.