Still hitting the beach 21 years
later ... via Canada
A pair of former champs have at it;
Jim Eliason (2003, 2006) and Marvin Birnbaum (2011).
Talemted newcomers Kevin Wotaszczyk
and Robert Malcolmson serve notice on the old guard.
Yes, the CD got time off ro
pray for better dice against Michael Kaye. It didn't work.
Two more former champs try to recapture
old glory; Andrew Cummins and Mike Rinella.
The drama of the D-Day landings takes place every year at
the WBC's. In this the battle's 70th anniversary year the competition
has been strong invigorated by new players challenging
the established sharks in the pool. Fresh interest has been raised
in the game following the release of the L2 Design version. In
previous years play has been split between the original Avalon
Hill and L2 games. This time around L2 was the default and all
games were played under the L2 rules, simplifying both the event
and the analysis.
This year with 32 games, there was no bid in 21 of them while
another five were settled at plus/minus nine supply. Remember
that ten supply equates to a single extra impulse. The highest
bidding was by Kevin Hammond, twice giving three impulses to
the Allies to allow him to play the Germans - and with considerable
The overall result was 20 German victories to 12 Allied. The
Allies did best in the early rounds while the last seven games
of the elimination rounds saw six German victories.
One of the strengths of Breakout Normandy is the variability
in play generated by the range of combat and situational results.
This year proved no exception with fate producing many outlier
results. Ken Nied's dice gave his Allies a weather change to
wet on Impulse 2 of the 7th, as a +7 attack to clear Omaha Beach
failed 2-10, the day staying wet until its end at Impulse 11.
It was a dreary day for the Allies, indeed. My allied engineers
failed six attempts to fix the Grandcamp/ Isigny causeway in
succession. We saw the Allies clear Caen on the 7th and St Lo
on the 8th with huge rolls. On other maps the Germans triumphed
with weather change upon weather change or crushing dice rebuffing
huge Allied attacks. Snake eyes v boxcars to blow a +10 Allied
assault, stealing a whole days tempo from Allied operations off
We saw some innovative play this year on both sides of the
table. Nels Thompson has been using the Cherbourg forces previously
gathered for the Pont l'Abbe parastomp as a low-odds breaching
force to take the Magic bridge the hard way. We have seen desperate
German delaying ploys with Isigny being cleared and recontested
eight times during the 8th & 9th days, trading high quality
units for time. For the Allies, end of 9th & 11th initiative
plays to open up dangerous areas such as Troan & Bourguebus
or to fork German defences. On the 6th the Allies use of British
Air against Caen gives the possibility of the Allies winning
big (if successful) either by preventing the effective reinforcement
of Bretteville or leaving Caen exposed to a fatal contest by
forces coming from Juno or Gold beach.
On his road to victory, Kevin Hammond deliberately played
the Germans in all five of his games bidding higher for the privilege
as the opposition stiffened. Playing past winner Mike Rinella,
Jason Albert, Mark Gutfreund and Kevin Wojtaszczyk on his way
to the Final with four-time champion Nels Thompson.
Nels took the allies in the title match with 31 supply and
a firecracker of a game was on. The Allies tried for the knockout
on the 6th with Caen being successfully airstruck and the one
fresh unit having to deploy to Bretteville to prevent the imminent
seizure of Villars. The 7-7 armoured assault from Juno was thrown
back - success here would have made the defense of Caen extremely
Nels progress as the Allies was rather stalled by German weather
changes and poor bombardment rolls. Omaha developed well but
even with Carentan successfully engaged and cleared the points
weren't adding up for an Allied success. At the end of the 9th
, Nels double-impulsed through Troan and into Mezidon generating
threats to both breakout in Zone A and on Caen. Kevin expertly
defended against the breakout during regroup, falling back from
Houlgate into Zone A while packing Caen with troops & artillery
at the start of the 10th as the British contested Bourguebus.
Nels' failure to contest Caen earlier was now taking its toll.
The 11th saw Caen cut off but the defense was so strong that
neither Allied bombardments nor isolation rolls were enough to
endanger the defense. A German counterattack on the 12th threw
the Allies out of Bourguebus to restore communications to Caen
and the 2014 Final was over with Kevin Hammond a purposeful victor.
Former PBeM champ Mark Gutfreund goes
down vs eventual champ Kevin Hammond.
By Email 2014
Andrew Cummins, relieved of his GM hat and responsibiliies
during the email wars, has won the 8th BPA PBeM tournament over
a field of 30 in 29 hotly contested games. In doing so, he has
become only the second player to win the BKN triple crown with
titles at WBC, the PBeM crown and the now defunct D-Day mini-con.
The Final took on a decidedly international and historical
flavor with UK's Andrew commanding the Allies against German
Peter Brunken's Wehrmacht. Despite nearly losing Juno Beach on
D-Day, Andrew was able to clear Omaha and contest St Mere Eglise
on the 6th. This led to the fall of Carentan on the 8th, usually
a fatal blow to German hopes. Andrew finished them off by isolating
Foret on the 10th - all but ensuring his last required VP.
In contrast to the most recent WBC, this event - which started
in 2012 - used the original AH version as the default, leaving
use of the L2 version to those who mutually opted for its use.
The other laurelists were the 2013 WBC champ, Mike Kaye, in third
followed by veterans Scott Fenn, Henry Jones and defending champ