D-Day IX Results
Nov. 13, 2006

Still the Champ of the Rear Guard

2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

Defending champ, Don Greenwood, retained his title by sweeping the field at 5-0 to claim 40 laurels and become the first player in nine years to successfully defend his D-Day title. With only 13 players on hand, the competition may well have been the last one in the series, as many regulars were missing. The competition was still stiff and there were more than enough players to give everyone a new talented foe for five rounds. Unfortunately, for the seventh time in nine years we had an odd number of players when one pre-registrant failed to show due to illness, thereby creating the need for byes and denying everyone a chance to play in every round. Nevertheless, 29 games were played—still three more than at this year’s WBC—as the game’s draw continues to ebb with age.

Thanks to being paired with Euro Quest, D-Day can continue to exist with smaller fields. However, it is unfair to those who travel great distances to continue to run the event if we cannot guarantee a reasonable expectation of a full field of skilled players. Therefore, unless we receive a minimum of 16 pledges to attend in 2007 by Feb. 28, this will be the end of the D-Day mini-cons. A pledge is defined as a player emailing conventiondirector@boardgamers.org before Feb. 28 with the statement that they intend to attend the next D-Day (Nov. 9-11, 2007) barring unforseen circumstances. The decision now lies in the collective hands of the players as to whether this is an event which will continue or not.

Greenwood became the first three-time D-Day champion. Overall, the Germans reclaimed a strong edge in play balance, winning 19 of 29 for a 65% winning percentage. Bids were again artificially lowered by Ken Nied who remained true to the tan and olive green throughout—claiming minimum bids and never venturing higher than 10. Overall, the bidding actually decreased this year to 24.5 to play the Germans—down 4.5 from last year’s 29. Bids ranged from a low of 0 to a high of 43. It would appear that balanced bidding for the Germans remains lower than it should be, simply because players enjoy playing the Allies more.

No After Action Report is complete without a few war stories. I think the best one was Henry Jones’ victory in Round 5. Henry had played till 1:30 AM on Saturday in a close losing cause as he dropped his second game of the tournament to Andrew Cummins. Tired and disheartened, with a long drive ahead of him in inclement weather, Henry decided to skip Round 5. Alas, I didn’t know this when we made the Round 5 pairings, and so we got underway not knowing Henry would be a no-show. A few frantic phone calls later, a groggy Henry arrived to provide the competition for Round 5—expressing his desire for a quick game so that he could get underway.

Little did we know what power Henry’s desire for a quick game would unleash as his Allies burst ashore on the 6th and wrung a concession from Clyde Longest in one day! Henry used his “postal” opening which gambles all on a British breakout from Gold & June beaches following an airstrike on Caen. The latter proved to be one of a thermo nuclear variety which pinned all the Caen defenders and allowed the Canadians to burst through the Bretteville gap once the Germans failed to blow the bridges. The Allied onslaught did not stop until it had claimed Aunay and threatened a breakout the very next day. We were all in awe of this Allied secret weapon. I resolved then and there to give Henry all the time he wants whenever we play…no need to hurry at all. No sir, take your time.

As for my exploits, when we again failed to have an even number of players at start time, I was resigned to playing the good host and sitting out the event so that no one would have to suffer a bye. Fortunately, for me a late arrival gave me the opportunity to play also and we got started shortly after the others. My recollections of my game with Chris Byrd are vague other than that I enjoyed good dice and he didn’t. I got the Germans for a bid of 31 and although he gamely played it out through the 12th, his luck never changed sufficiently to mount a serious threat and the Germans won rather easily.

The next morning saw us again with an odd number of players with the late arrival of Steve Koleszar. When no one volunteered for the bye, I fell on my sword and resigned myself to a day of learning some new Euros while I took the bye and hoped for yet another later arrival who never materialized.

By the afternoon round, Ken Nied informed me he would sit out a round after two lop-sided defeats. I’m not so sure Ken needed a break so much as he didn’t want to see me sit out the event. It was typical behavior for Ken, always a nice guy, thinking of others. In reality, I’d rather sit out then ask anyone who came just to play Breakout to miss a round, but he wouldn’t let me sacrifice my weekend either. So that paired me with Henry Jones, my regular email adversary, who gave me the Germans for a bid of 30. He tried the same opening Caen airstrike against me that he would later use to devastate Clyde Longest but managed to spend only one of the three defenders. Nevertheless, he still enjoyed good landings and his June 7th turn was a thing of beauty which totally laid waste my center. He was poised to do major damage on the 8th when suddenly his dice turned ice cold. He missed four straight lop-sided bombardments and suddenly his steam roller lost its steam. The bad 8th was followed by a worse 9th, and by the 10th my position was no longer threatened. I have rarely seen such a complete reversal of fortune in a game without the failure of a major assault or a weather change.

By Round 4, Clyde Longest and I were the last unbeatens and were paired automatically. I took the Allies for a bid of 43, although I suspect Clyde would have gone higher. But I don’t like to play the Germans when I’m tired so I took the supplies and shifted sides. The dice remained good to me and I enjoyed solid, if unspectacular, landings. In general, things progressed well for me except the Canadians couldn’t get out of their own way on Juno and didn’t clear the beach until the 8th. Although I traded the Advantage for Villars on the 7th, I was unable to contest Caen. Instead, I made good progress off Omaha, taking out the shore guns and the 352nd Artillery to open the 7th and cross the river while he was busy closing off Villars. My interdiction did a number on him there and also as he raced from Cherboiurg to Carentan and this was probably the deciding factor. I was surprised when he abandoned Carentan on the 10th rather than risk losing the Advantage to an overrun and instead fell back to form a strong perimeter with me needing only 1.5 VPs with three days to go. Merville fell easily—but the .5 were another matter. Caen was a veritable fortress with maximum defense and remained uncontested until the 12th when I was able to form a four division assault group to do the job. Even so, I was starting to sweat falling short of 9.6 and needed to stick on a +5 assault into Foret to seal the deal. The movement of both American corps artillery into firing position on Foret an Caen was the deciding factor.

So I was the last unbeaten player going into Round 5. I had done that twice before and lost the tournament with a Round 5 loss so i knew I wasn’t home free. I was surprised though to see that my opponent for the last game would be Nick Anner who is an excellent gamer but who has come to competitive Breakout only recently. He had narrowly defeated Scott Fenn in Round 4 to tie Andrew Cummins for the right to challenge. They diced off and Nick threw a 10 for the right to be the spoiler. I hoped that roll had used up one of his good ones and was not indicative of more to come. He took the Allies for a bid of 31 and came ashore with a conservative opening that was solid but not overwhelming. The biggest shortfall was hardly noticeable—a D1 CA on Sword that unbeknownst to us was destined to remain there for the rest of the game as he failed to clear it with about six different assaults at relatively low odds. This meant that Merville was never threatened. The British airborne were overrun by 12th ss on the 9th and he lost ten supply per turn from Sword —not to mention the VP penalty for failing to clear it should the game end with it still in German hands. I was toying with the idea of actually assaulting Sword on the 11th but the 12th ss were suddenly needed to save St Lo instead.

The dice remained kind to me for the most part throughout the game and I was feeling pretty good about my chances until the 9th when the game took some wild turns that made the Advantage trade hands several times in the space of three impulses. The first was a “2” on impulse 2 which changed the weather from overcast to fair. To add insult to injury he hadn’t even attacked that turn so there was no failed attack to console me on the weather change. Nevertheless, I gave up the Advantage which proved crucial. Shortly afterwords he failed a major assault into Foret that would have ended the day and instead gave me back the Advantage to good effect when the reroll practically cleared Foret. I gave it back to him when he made a three-ronged attack that appeared assured of gaining the Advantage back anyway, only to see it fail when the D2 defender in the third leg of his assault defied the odds and survived. Slap to the forehead time.

Then things got serious…he hit a major assault on the 10th against St Lo and followed it with devastating artillery fire. Fortunately for me, I got a weather change that allowed me to reinforce St Lo or I’d have been up the creek. Even so, I breathed a sigh of relief when he did not follow the initial assault with a second one. Had he done so, and packed British artillery into Foret, I would have faced an uphill battle to hold St Lo and the last two VPs he needed. As it was, he contestied Caumont and Villars instead, looking to isolate Tilly. I was happy to oblige as the later was worth only one VP, compared to St Lo’s two and he needed two to win.

All in all, it was a game I thought I had firmly in hand for most of the game but which at one point on the 10th I was very much in danger of losing.

All three of the 3-1 players lost their final game, so there was a seven-way tie for second at 3-2 which required three tie-breakers to resolve. Strength of Schedule was the main determinant with total number of wins by each player’s opponent, followed by total numbers of wins by opponents defeated. Head-to-head results were imposed whereever common opponents in a categioy allowed.

2006 Laurelists

Don Greenwood, MD

Clyde Longest, VA

Henry Jones, PA

Nick Anner, NY

Chris Byrd, CT

Andrew Cummins, UK

Final Standings for the weekend were:

1st: Don Greenwood 5-0 [SoS: 12/12]
2nd: Clyde Longest 3-2 [SoS: 16/8]
3rd: Henry Jones 3-2 [SoS: 15/7]
4th: Nick Anner 3-2 [SoS: 13/5]
5th: Chris Byrd 3-2 [SoS: 12/4]
6th: Andrew Cummins 3-2 [SoS: 12/6]
7th: Scott Fenn 3-2 [SoS: 11/5]
8th: Mark Gutfreund 3-2 [SoS: 8/3]
9th: Scott Moll 2-2 [SoS: 8/3]
10th: Steve Koleszar 2-3 [SoS: 11/2]
11th: Michael Kaye 1-3 [SoS: 9/0]
12th: Paul Nied 0-3 [SoS: 7/0]
13th: Ken Nied 0-4 [SoS: 11/0]

Boardgame Players Association Last updated 11/13/06 by kae.
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