Welcome to Grogardcon ...
Here comes da judge.
Top-ranked Tom Gregorio plays Charles
Defending champ Forrest Pafenberg
and designer Bruno Sinigaglio played Bulge '81 for old times
Tom Gregorio and Richard Beyma played
their semifinal on the big board with Richard advancing to meet
It was the first year of the merged Bulge '81 and Bitter Woods
tournaments in the Grognard format. During the tournament the
Germans won 10 and lost 11 in the 6-turn DBW scenario,
while winning 14 and losing 10 in the 8-turn DBW scenario.
In addition, six players tried their hand in Bulge 1981
as an alternative to the more demanding Bitter Woods scenarios,
with the Germans winning three of five games played.
were several notable achievements in the Preliminaries with Richard
Beyma going 6-0 and Bill Morse going 6-2. In addition, Bob Bassin
went ballistic in the prelims, going 4-2, while losing only to
veterans Bill Morse and Tom Gregorio. Vinny Sinigaglio finished
with the most Bulge 81 points scored in the prelims. As
the end of the prelims approached, the four players in line to
advance iwere Richard and Bill with 64 points, Forrest Pafenberg
with 56 and Tom Gregorio with 48, while Ed Witkowski, Bob Bassin,
Bruno Sinigaglio and Marty Musella sat in fifth through eighth
place. At this point, the 2014 instituted Grognard Challenge
made its debut. The Challenge occurs when there is time remaining
for one prelim game and it allows any player in fifth through
eighth to challenge a player in first through fourth, at random.
The Challenge prevents leaders from ducking opponents at the
end of the prelims and it allows those on the cusp of making
the playoffs a final chance to advance. Challenges were declared
by Ed Witkowski and Marty Musella. At random, Ed drew Forrest
and Marty drew Richard. In both cases the challengers lost, however,
if either had won, they would have jumped over Tommy into fourth
Richard's Americans defeated Tom in the 6-turn scenario semifinal.
The German 16AM attack was mediocre, with no bridges built, no
good advances and no trapped, engaged or flipped Amis. Richard's
16AM defense initially featured some "special sauce,"
i.e., he tried to get clever in the south by defending near Diekirch.
Tom pointed out the gap, allowing Richard to adjust his move.
Richard's comment after the game was that "Tom was too nice
to me." So, Tom gave away a great chance for a breakthrough
win into the Final and instead gets nominated for the Sportsmanship
Award. Continuing, Richard had not lost a unit by his 16PM turn
so his Peiper defense was "flush." Still, Tommy is
a dangerous German player and with a combination of well-prepared
attacks and optimum rolls, Peiper captured Trois Ponts on 17
PM. However, Richard maintained his hold on Stavelot throughout,
rendering further success by Peiper impossible. Also, on 17 PM,
the Skorzeny Sneak failed, but Tom trapped two US units near
Vielsalm with a successful challenge of interdiction through
a forest hex. On the German 18AM turn, Tom was not dead yet,
but he rolled two dreaded 1D1 results in both key attacks that
turn. On 18PM, Tom unsuccessfully tried to shock and seize Stavelot
and Noville, both fully defended with a leader and three units.
At the end, Tom was a VP short of victory.
Defending Champ Forest Pafenberg's Americans were crushed
by Bill Morse in the 8-turn scenario in the other semifinal.
Bill's 16AM attacks allowed both bridges to be built and a D4
vs 99/394 caused major problems in the north. The Germans had
more good results on 16PM, but Paffy stuffed Peiper on 17AM.
On 17PM, Bill Angriff Attacked a unit in 1712 and rolled an Advance
4 - the 1SS PG Regiment starting at 1713 ran through Trois Ponts
and back around Ambleve into 1912 adjacent to Stavelot. Paffy
countered with a 3-1(+1) that yielded a FF. Bill then applied
the "Coup de Grace" with a Skorzeny sneak between Stavelot
and Malmedy. Paffy surrendered at the end of the German 18AM
turn with a major German breakthrough looming.
"Rocky Balboa" Morse's Americans survived a punch-drunk
fight against "Ivan Drago" Beyma in the 8-turn scenario
Final as the veteran's took aim at their first BWD title.
The game started very late and finished very early, with both
players and the GM hallucinating at the end. The German 16AM
attacks were good in the south with two engaged and a FF vs 9CCA.
Other 16AM attacks were non-decisive, but Bill had to scramble
in the center and south. The fatigue of the players after a week's
combat was evident, both making spectacular blunders, but then
both following with spectacular recoveries. Peiper broke out
between Malmedy and Eupen on 17AM, but Richard blundered and
left him in Light Woods. Bill threw the kitchen sink at Peiper
for a 4-1(+1) that killed him; however, Bill had skeletons holding
in the center. As a result, Richard punched a hole for reserve
movement in the center on 17PM, but fatigue again reared its
head as the Germans had the wrong stack in reserve. The wrong
reserve stack got next to Parker's Crossroad, which the Germans
could never capture. If the right stack had been in reserve,
the Germans would have captured the Crossroad on 17PM with power,
breaking the game wide open. Bill recovered again and garrisoned
the crossroad, mainly due to the Hackers Gambit, which held up
the Germans on the way to Bastogne. Nevertheless, Bill's Mom
was happy that Bill won his first WBC Bitter Woods Championship