Memoir '44   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

  2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Jarett Weintraub, NY

2013 Champion

Event History
2004    Steve Lollis     91
2005    Joe Harrison     93
2006    Joe Harrison     70
2007    Jon Miller     62
2008     Scott Gibson     62
2009     Gordon Rodgers     62
2010    John Skiba     53
2011    Johan van Huyse     70
2012    Eric Caron     69
2013    Jarett Weintraub     64


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Joe Harrison       KY    12    133
  2.  Sam Edelston       CT    12     78
  3.  Robert Eastman     NV    06     68
  4.  Jonathan Miller    DC    08     57
  5.  John Skiba         NY    13     54
  6.  Steve Lollis       MD    06     54
  7.  Jarett Weintraub   NY    13     40
  8.  Eric Caron         qc    12     40
  9.  Johan van Huyse    be    11     40
 10.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    09     36
 11.  Scott Gibson       VA    08     30
 12.  Harrison Anderson  PA    06     26
 13.  Benoit Groulx      qc    05     20
 14.  Scott Sirianna     NY    04     20
 15.  David Gubbay       TX    10     18
 16.  Eric Monte         NY    09     18
 17.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    09     18
 18.  Tim Hitchings      DE    13     16
 19.  Jeff Cornett       FL    11     16
 20.  Frank Hastings     MD    05     15
 21.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    04     15
 22.  William Austin     VA    13     12
 23.  Gareth Williams    mo    12     12
 24.  Chuck Turpin       VA    11     12
 25.  Jim Fardette       ae    10     12
 26.  Mike Wojke         PA    08     12
 27.  Chad Mekash        NJ    07     12
 28.  Mark Guttag        VA    06     12
 29.  Scott Edwards      SC    04     10
 30.  Rob Mull           CO    08      9
 31.  Gadoon Kyrollos    NJ    07      9
 32.  David J. Glowny    CT    13      8
 33.  Peter Eldridge     uk    12      8
 34.  Jeff Paull         NJ    11      8
 35.  Jacob Hebner       CO    10      6
 36.  Michael Shea       CT    09      6
 37.  Matthew O'Conner   NJ    05      5
 38.  Paul Bean          MA    04      5
 39.  David Rennert      MD    13      4
 40.  Juhana Keskinen    fi    12      4
 41.  David Metzger      NY    11      4
 42.  Eric Martin        MD    09      3
 43.  Jack Morrell       NY    07      3

2013 Laurelists                                                   Repeating Laurelists: 0

John Skiba, NY

Tim Hitchings, DE

William Austin, VA

David J. Glowny, CT

David Rennert, MD

Past Winners

Steve Lollis, MD

Joe Harrison, KY

Jonathan Miller, DC

Scott Gibson, VA

Gordon Rodgers, PA

John Skiba, NY

Johan van Huyse, bg

Eric Caron, qc

Jarett Weintraub, NY

Jim Bell trades shots with James Dougherty.

Chuck Stapp has the honor of playing the designer, Richard Borg.

 Sharon Bryant and David Glowny maneuver.

 The last five to run the gauntlet to laurels.


Hard to believe, but Memoir '44 was introduced in 2004, and it was first contested at WBC that year, making this the10th annual Memoir '44 tournament.

This year's scenarios were chosen by Magnus Nygaard, of Denmark, whose 6,200 games of Memoir Online far exceeded anybody else in the world at the time. (The GM always asks someone else to choose the scenarios for this tournament.) We used seven scenarios, including separate ones for the Mulligan and Round 1. Nygaard chose most of this year's selections from the basic set. 23 of this year's field of 64 were also Online players, but there was still plenty of room for beginners, as the pre-tournament demo session had three people teaching at least six learners.

Mulligan Round: Operation Cobra -- We had 40 players, down from 50 last year. (The 10PM start time was an hour later than in the past and may have played a role in the lower numbers.) Post-D-Day battle where a large Allied force tries to unseat a German force, much of which is hunkered down in thick hedgerows. For the Allies, Jarett Weintraub notched a 5-0 shutout, and 5-1 victories were gained by 2004 champ Steve Lollis, Jack Morrell, Eric Mosso, and David Rennert. The biggest wins by Axis were a 5-0 by Tim Hitchings and a second 5-1 by Eric Mosso. This scenario was split evenly between Allies and Axis, 10-10, with an average score of 4.18-3.60 favoring the Allies.

Round 1: St. Vith -- This time, it was the Germans attacking entrenched American positions in the late-war Ardennes. We had 38 players in this round, including 14 re-entries from the previous evening, switching sides for two games per round. Even Memoir's creator, Richard Borg, joined in for a match (in which he was defeated by CCN champion Chuck Stapp). This battle favored the Germans with 22 wins in 38 games (58%), with an average score of 4.82-3.97. Biggest Axis wins were a 6-0 shutout by Peter Eldridge, and 6-1 wins by Chuck Stapp and Doug Landis. The biggest Allied win was a 6-0 by Richard Bliss. 2005-06 champion Joe Harrison was eliminated on figures by Michael Shea, after losing by one medal in the Mulligan to 2010 champ John Skiba.

Round 2: Foret d'Ecouves -- This scenario was introduced at the French Open a couple of years ago. The Germans are defending a big block of forest hexes in the middle of the board, with a large force of Allies attacking. The Allies claimed 22 victories in 36 tries (61%), by an average score of 4.94-4.65. Eight of the 18 matches were sweeps. William Austin scored the round's only shutout, as Allies. There were 6-1 wins by Jack Morrell as Allies, and by Tim Hitchings and Jarett Weintraub as Axis. Former champion Steve Lollis was denied by Canadian Rejean Tremblay. AGM Gareth Williams of Morocco avenged his loss to GM Sam Edelston in last year's semifinal by eliminating him here, with the GM barely salvaging a face-saving split in the second game.

Round 3: Montelimar -- Lively battle between the Americans and Germans, from August, 1944, near the Rhone River, where the action tends to be mostly in the center section. More good fortune for the Allies, 12-8 (60%), with an average score of 5.05-4.25. Four of the nine matches were sweeps. William Austin, Geoff Heintzelman, and Rejean Tremblay all won their Allied games by 6-1. The biggest Axis win was Michael Shea, at 6-2. Gareth Williams was eliminated by John Skiba. The last player with an undefeated 6-0 record through three rounds was Tim Hitchings.

Round 4: Saverne Gap -- The three sections of this map are mostly separated by impassable mountains that even the German artillery can't fire over, and the Allies can win by sudden-death if they occupy two distant town hexes (which is rarely accomplished). Nine players were still alive at this point, so Gareth was reincarnated as an eliminator. All five matches were nano-close: Skiba barely got past Tremblay, 8-8 medals, 36-33 figures, with a come-from-behind victory in the second game. Hitchings downed David Rennert, 9-9 medals, 39-38 figures. David J. Glowny similarly got past Geoff Heintzelman, 8-8 medals, 35-34 figures. William Austin eliminated the eliminator, 8-7 medals, 30-29 figures, including a sudden death victory in his Allied game. The remaining match consisted of two 1-medal games, but they both went in the same direction, as Jarett Weintraub used superior cards and dice to sweep Michael Shea by scores of 5-4 and 5-4, with a combined figure count of 44-38 in a relative rout. (His +6 figures equaled the other four victors, combined.) Since Hitchings had split his match, Tim and Jarett were now tied with 7-1 records.

Going into the semifinals, we still had five players. Eliminators had now failed in five consecutive attempts to even the brackets, dating back to 2011. In fact, in eight attempts since 2009, eliminators had succeeded only once. The GM decided to take matters into his own hands. "When life hands you a lemon, make elimin-ade."

Round 5: Invasion of Amoy -- Scenario by Magnus Nygaard, based on a 1938 battle in the Sino-Japanese War. Amphibious landing by the Japanese infantry against entrenched Chinese. The defenders have two 1-figure artilleries, and there are four objective hexes available to the invaders. Weintraub knocked out Austin, 6-2, 5-6. Skiba swept Hitchings, winning 6-5 as Axis and 6-1 as Allies. The GM, as eliminator, won 6-3 as Allies against Glowny, and then David's dice apparently fell victim to a Confundus charm for virtually the entire rematch, giving the eliminator a 6-0 win. For the first time since 2010, we would have only two players remaining for Round 6.

Round 6 Final: Ponyri -- 7-medal battle with tanks against tanks on the left side of the board, Russian defenders in sandbags all the way across the map, with artillery in the rear, and the 5-hex city in the middle is worth two medals to whichever side holds more hexes. It was the Battle of New York, with Weintraub representing Long Island and Skiba bearing the Upstate colors.

It wasn't surprising to see John in the Final. He's one of the best players around. Memoir '44 is why he comes to WBC, people know him from his five previous appearances in this tournament, and he's won this event before. This year, John had to oust three of the toughest opponents in the tournament --Joe Harrison, Eric Mosso, and Gareth Williams -- in his first three matches. But who was Jarett, and where did he come from? A virtual unknown in this event, but it turns out that he's won other flavors of WBC wood in previous years, including firsts at Lost Cities and Neuroshima Hex. Last year was his first Memoir tournament, and he got "smoked in the third round" by Joe Harrison. Since then, he'd played the online version of Memoir a few dozen times, and it was in one of those games that he recognized some changes he needed to make in his approach to the game; coincidentally, though he didn't realize it until this weekend because of the unfamiliar screen name, his opponent in that fateful battle had been none other than Joe.

In Game 1, as Allies, Jarett liked his initial hand so much that he snapped a photo of it. (Firefight, Armor Assault, Move Out, and Probe Right.) John's Germans came on heavily against the Russian armor, but the Russians punched back with a Firefight. Then, a German tank tried a mine field, and it turned out to be the 4d mine. Much carnage ensued, and eventually all of the Russian armor was gone. Ultimately, the last kill came from a Russian Artillery Bombard against a 1-figure infantry. A close game, with Jarett prevailing, 7-6 medals, 25-25 figures. If John had gotten another turn, he was all set to Barrage a 1-figure Russian infantry.

In the rematch, one of Jarett's Panzers double-flagged an infantry on the Russian Right out of its sandbags. Then, the Panzer moved into the hole, to attack further, and John responded with a General Advance card, but he was unable to eliminate that Panzer -- and that pesky Panzer subsequently eliminated the artillery and an infantry. This was part of a German onslaught that included two consecutive Armor Assaults, followed by a Counter-Attack Assault Center. John was stuck trying to defend his center (and the town) for three turns, without any Center cards. Jarett got two units into the town, depriving John of the two objective medals, and then he added a third unit, to win the game, 7-3, sweep the match, and win the championship.

This was Jarett's only second try at this tournament. John was the only 2013 Laurelist to hold any M44 Laurels from previous years.

Y'all come back next year, for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 10th anniversary of Memoir. The GM is hoping to get brand-new scenarios. Watch for the Event Preview in the spring!


In addition, as usual, we had several multi-player Overlord games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. These are always a highlight, because many players only have a chance to play them at conventions. They also tend to be a source of great battle stories.

All of these Overlords had eight players, except for the "bonus" Market Garden battle.

Tigers in the Snow -- David Rennert's Russians killed two Tiger tanks on consecutive rolls en route to a 13-8 victory over David A. Glowny's German forces. A highlight for the Germans was their successful destruction of a pontoon bridge that was holding a 4-figure Russian tank.

Operation Market Garden -- This one really lived up to its initials: OMG! "Tigers" went so fast that we were able to play the flip side, too. Daniel Heintzelman's Allies sliced through Eric Mosso's Germans by a score of 13-4, in a mere five turns. Lots of cards that had words like "Assault" printed on them, along with a second-turn Their Finest Hour that ordered nine units. For the Germans, who managed only two kills in the entire battle, the highlight was in knowing that the casualties were not real.

Stalingrad: Perdition -- Scenario composed by Eric Mosso. Sam Edelston commanded the Russian defenders against Geoff Heintzelman's wave of German invaders. Ferocious attacks by the Germans in all sections -- especially on their Right flank. The Russians won the game in the nick of time, 20-15, just before their opponents could sneak into multiple objectives and steal the win.

Twin Battles of Warnach and Bigonville -- An "everything but the kitchen sink" scenario, with lots of special units, from the Equipment Pack (which was introduced at WBC last year). The Germans were successful in holding off the Allied attackers, with a final score of 15-12, as the Allies took 2-medal town Warnach, in the center of the board, on their last turn, but the Germans were able to take it back and then slammed the door shut on their victory. Nick Avtges commanded the Germans, with his sons facing each other at Axis Right and Allied Left. Richard Bliss commanded the Allies, relieved in mid-battle by Sam Edelston.

El Alamein "Overthrough" scenario -- This super-sized combination Overlord-Breakthrough map was given to participants in the 2013 French Open, and Gareth Williams brought his copy to WBC. Beginning such a large battle at 11:30PM on Friday, after a long day of gaming, was not sustainable. However, we tried again Saturday evening, starting at 7PM, and this time Gareth led the Allied attack against William Austin's German-Italian defenders. At 11PM, we lost William and three other players to Slapshot or other forms of repose, so Sam Edelston took over the Axis defenses, and the two sides continued their fight to the death. Both sides hit each other relentlessly, until their cards were reduced nearly to the minimum, whereupon they started rebuilding. As they reached the bottom of the deck with no Finest Hour having been played, Gareth realized that Sam must be holding both copies of that card, and started retreating units. By the time the sand had settled on this four-hour marathon, the Axis defenders had prevailed, 24-10.

The GM wishes to thank AGMs Mark Guttag and Gareth Williams for all their help ... Geoff and Daniel Heintzelman, and Eric Mosso for their tireless help at setting up Overlords ... Magnus Nygaard for choosing the tournament scenarios ... Jacques "jdrommel" David for the English version of the briefing for his El Alamein scenario ... Days of Wonder for its support ... and Richard Borg for creating such a wonderful game and continuing to support it in so many ways.

GM Sam Edelston with his finalists: Jarett Weintraub and John Skiba.

Designer Richard Borg presents a special prize to the champ.

 El Alamein, one of four multi-player games for up to six players held after the tournament.
 GM      Sam Edelston  [4th Year]   NA    NA 

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