squad leader   

Updated Nov. 23, 2012

Grognards Pre-Con

2012 WBC Report    

 2013 Status:  pending 2013 GM commitment

Bill Thomson, TX

2012 Champion

Event History
1991    Scott Romanowski      12
1992    Jeff Miller      19
1993    Brian Laskey      14
1994    Eric Stranger      15
1995    Kevin Welsh        8
1996    Eric Stranger      10
1997    Kevin Welsh      12
1998    Peter Pollard      17
1999    Peter Pollard      19
2000    Mike Pacheco     18
2001    Peter Pollard     20
2002    Andrew Cummins     22
2003     Peter Pollard     21
2004    Bill Thomson     24
2005    Mike Pacheco     18
2006    David Van Bronkhorst     22
2007     Bill Thomson     21
2008    Eric Stranger     25
2009    Phil Grasha     21
2010     Andrew Cummins     19
2011    Andrew Cummins     22
2012    Bill Thomson     17

PBeM Event History
2000    Andy Cowdery      16
2006    David von Bronkhorst     26

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Pete Pollard       CA    12    232
  2.  Bill Thomson       TX    12    220
  3.  Andrew Cummins     uk    12    170
  4.  Eric Stranger      OH    12     95
  5.  David v Bronkhorst VA    06     86
  6.  Phil Grasha        PA    12     78
  7.  Mike Pacheco       CA    06     78
  8.  Chuck Leonard      PA    11     40
  9.  Scott Bramley      NJ    12     36
 10.  Michael Hennessy   VA    05     30
 11.  Michael Day        AZ    02     27
 12.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    00     27
 13.  Eric Filipowski    MD    09     22
 14.  Bryan Van Nortwick NC    04     21
 15.  David Gubbay       TX    07     18
 16.  Bill Pittman       VA    99     18
 17.  Warren Day         AZ    01     16
 18.  Francis Spencer    CT    00     15
 19.  Neal Ekengren      FL    06     12
 20.  John Blazel        WA    06     12
 21.  Bob Menzel         MA    05     12
 22.  Dan Leader         WA    99     12
 23.  Andy Cowdery       IL    00     10
 24.  Rick Northey       MA    10      8
 25.  Bill Sosnicki      NJ    08      4
 26.  John Sharp         FL    07      3
 27.  Eric Dunsmore      CA    03      3
 28.  Stefan Eriksson    sw    06      2

2012 Laurelists                                   Repeating Laurelists:

Pete Pollard, TN
2nd

Andrew Cummins, uk
3rd

Phil Grasha, PA
4th

Scott Bramley, NJ
5th

Eric Stranger, OH
6th

Past Winners

Scott Romaowski, MA
1991

1992: Jeff Miller, NY
1993: Brian Laskey, CT

Eric Stranger, OH
1994, 1996, 2008

Kevin Welsh, NJ
1995, 1997

Peter Pollard ,TN
'98-99, '01, '03

Mike Pacheco, CA
2000, 2005

Andrew Cummins, uk
2002, 2010-11

Bill Thomson, TX
2004, 2007, 2012

David von Bronkhorst, VA
2006

Phil Grasha, PA
2009

Mike Pacheco and Bill Thomson

The soon-to-be champ and Eugene Riccio.

Dashing to Victory ...

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.

The 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 scenario.

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 ATG.

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.

 GM      Bill Thomson  [6th Year]   6601 Parkview Dr., Sachse, TX 75048
    bill@wargameacademy.org    NA

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