Memoir '44

Updated Nov. 30, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

Chris Kalmbacher, PA

2015 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
2014 Geoff Heintzelman 62
2015 Chris Kalmbacher 58


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Joe Harrison       KY    14    142
  2.  Sam Edelston       CT    15     87
  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.  Chris Kalmbacher   PA    15     30
 12.  Geoff Heintzelman  NC    14     30
 13.  Scott Gibson       VA    08     30
 14.  Harrison Anderson  PA    06     26
 15.  Jim Fardette       MD    15     24
 16.  Michael Shea       CT    14     24
 17.  Gareth Williams    ma    14     24
 18.  William Austin     VA    15     21
 19.  Benoit Groulx      qc    05     20
 20.  Scott Sirianna     NY    04     20
 21.  Jeff Cornett       FL    15     19
 22.  Daniel Overland    MI    15     18
 23.  David Gubbay       TX    10     18
 24.  Eric Monte         NY    09     18
 25.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    09     18
 26.  Tim Hitchings      DE    13     16
 27.  Frank Hastings     MD    05     15
 28.  Bob Heinzmann      FL    04     15
 29.  Chuck Turpin       VA    11     12
 30.  Mike Wojke         PA    08     12
 31.  Chad Mekash        NJ    07     12
 32.  Mark Guttag        VA    06     12
 33.  Scott Edwards      SC    04     10
 34.  Rob Mull           CO    08      9
 35.  Gadoon Kyrollos    NJ    07      9
 36.  David J. Glowny    CT    13      8
 37.  Peter Eldridge     uk    12      8
 38.  Jeff Paull         NJ    11      8
 39.  Barry Shoults      MI    14      6
 40.  Jacob Hebner       CO    10      6
 41.  Matthew O'Conner   NJ    05      5
 42.  Paul Bean          MA    04      5
 43.  David Rennert      MD    13      4
 44.  Juhana Keskinen    fi    12      4
 45.  David Metzger      NY    11      4
 46.  Eric Martin        MD    09      3
 47.  Jack Morrell       NY    07      3
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 1

Daniel Overland, MI

Jim Fardette, MD

William Austin, VA

Sam Edelston, CT

Jeff Cornett, FL

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

Geoff Heintzelman, NC

Tricked out 3D set spices up the action.

Goliath killer Aidan Powers vs Jim Bell.

Tim Hitchings vs Trevor Schoenen.

Flying over the beach.

Premature Eradication

Last winter, the GM asked the Memoir community to vote for this year’s scenarios.  Over 40 people participated in the poll, and they chose some great ones. 

Mulligan Round … Moyland Wood. This scenario is always filled with action. It can happen (very quickly) on any flank, and it tends to play very evenly.  This year, we had 21 matches for the Mulligan, which is the most this GM has had.  Sure enough, the Mulligan split, 21 wins for the Allies and 21 for the Germans, with an average score of 4.63-4.46.  Nine of the matches were sweeps.  For the Allies, Chris Trimmer earned a 6-0 shutout.  For the Germans, shutouts were gained by GM Sam Edelston and 2010 champion John Skiba.  It was John’s second consecutive year starting his campaign with a shutout in the opening round.

Round 1 … Moyland Wood.  The 9AM round had 14 more matches, and more of the same.  13 wins for the Allies, 15 for the Germans.  The average score was 4.50-4.75, and there were five more sweeps.  This round’s only shutout was won by Dan Dolan, as the Germans.  Dan also had one of the round’s two 6-1 wins for the Allies, with the other being gained by Stephen P. Smith. 

Round 2 … Vaumicel Manor. Another very balanced scenario that both sides win equally often.  Lots of terrain, and plenty of opportunity for tactical play.  It was composed by Jacques “jdrommel” David for the 2009 French Open tournament.  In a duel of former champions, John Skiba swept Joe Harrison out of the competition.  In another matchup of dangerous players, GM Sam Edelston faced 2014’s third-place laurelist, Gareth Williams, for the third time in four years, and this year it was Sam’s turn to win both games.  Reigning champ Geoff Heintzelman was swept by Daniel Overland, thus ending his title defense.  The ever-dangerous Jeff Cornett won a split decision against Daniel Heintzelman (after defeating Geoff Heintzelman in the Mulligan).  John Koski and Tom Bivens, making their first WBC appearances in years, both were sent to early exits in this round, as well.  Overall, Vaumicel leaned slightly toward the Germans, 16 games to 14, with an average score of 5.00-4.24.  Eight of the 17 matches were sweeps.  Edward Rader and Chris Trimmer had the biggest Allied wins, at 6-2.  Meanwhile, the biggest Axis wins, at 6-1, went to Stephen Smith (again) and John Kirk. 

Round 3 … Breakout to Lisyanka.  Onward to the Eastern Front for a late-war battle—no Commissar, but the Russians get only four cards.  Despite this handicap, they defeated the Germans ten times, while losing only four, with an average score of 6.21-5.07.  Because a couple of players had dropped out, we only had 13 players for this round, so Gareth Williams was reincarnated as an eliminator.  In fact, Gareth had the biggest Axis win, at 7-3; the biggest Axis win for an active contestant was by William Austin, at 7-4.  Jim Fardette had the biggest Allied win, at 7-1.  Two of the seven matches were sweeps.  Four of the seven matches were tied on medals:  Jeff Cornett ousted John Kirk, 13-13, +8 figures.   Daniel Overland knocked out John Skiba, 12-12, +5 figures.  Sam Edelston squeaked by Dan Dolan, 11-11, +3 figures.  And Chris Kalmbacher slipped past Stephen Smith by the slimmest of margins, 12-12, +1 figure.

Round 4 … Suomussalmi. Russia vs Finland scenario with ski troops and Commissars.  We were down to three matches.  In a battle of 2010 vs 2011 third-place laurelists, Jim Fardette swept Jeff Cornett, 6-2, 6-5.  Daniel Overland crawled past 2013 fourth-place laurelist William Austin by two figures.  And dark horse Chris Kalmbacher used fantastic Russian cards to equally fantastic advantage, trouncing Sam Edelston, 6-1, in just four turns, in their first game.  (Ironically, this was Chris’s first time using ski troops and the Commissar.  Sam had taught him those special rules just before the game.)  In the rematch, Sam managed a 6-2 win to create the illusion of a closer match.  

With only three players surviving after Round 4, we now had a situation not anticipated in the tournament rules.  (Note:  For next year’s tournament, the rules will be tweaked to prevent a similar situation from arising.)  The GM ruled that we should try to get to six rounds, and all three players should be given a chance to win.  As an eliminator, he tapped John Skiba (who historically has been jinxed in that role).  If the eliminator lost, there would be two surviving players to meet at Wardin for Round 6.  But if the eliminator won…

Round 5 … Raseiniai … semifinal … or was it?  Another Eastern Front scenario—this one from the first Campaign Book—and none of the three surviving contestants had seen it before.  The Russians have a Commissar and some cavalry, and two of their five heavy tank units are stuck behind some forests where they require three moves to get into play.  The Germans have Blitz air strikes.  

On board 1, Overland’s Germans got off to a fast start against Kalmbacher: After opening with an Assault Center that killed an infantry, he (on separate turns) rolled triple hits against each of the three 4-figure tanks on the Russian right.  The Germans led all the way, by as much as 6-2, before an Allied Armor Assault and Finest Hour closed the gap.  Finally, though, a German infantry went Behind Enemy Lines to win it 7-5.

Meanwhile, the first game on board 2 started out close, until eliminator John Skiba’s Germans opened up a 5-3 lead over Jim Fardette’s Russians.  Then, the Germans went Behind Enemy Lines, killed a cavalry, and took the medal town to win 7-3.

The rematch on board 2 went faster:  John’s Russians played two consecutive Assault Rights, and soon afterward, a Close Assault with four units.  They pushed up to a 5-2 lead, and finally a Russian 2-2-2 brought two more kills, completing a one-sided 7-2 win.

Back on board 1, Daniel and Chris were still locked in battle.  Daniel’s Russians exposed some forward infantry, advancing them out of the woods.  Chris’s Germans gained a 3-0 lead.  A bit later, the Germans obliterated a full-strength cavalry in the back-row medal town with a Barrage.  Finally, with a Probe in the Center, Chris rolled one Panzer into the medal town, while a second Panzer rolled perfectly to kill a 4-figure infantry, for an impressive 7-2 win.  Daniel and Chris had been so focused on their own battle that they had been oblivious to events at the other end of the table.  Chris was informed that the eliminator had prevailed, and thus there was no need for a sixth round, because Chris was already the champion and the proud owner of his first WBC shield!  For second place, Daniel and Jim both had seven wins, but Daniel had 55 medals against Jim’s 53.

As a special prize for winning, Chris will receive an invitation (as will 2014’s champion, Geoff Heintzelman) to participate in the international Memoir ’44 Champions Trophy 2015, which will be fought through Memoir Online late this year.  The 16 participants in this invitation-only event will be top finishers from the leading in-person tournaments in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the US, along with top finishers from English and French online tournaments.

As an aside, there were two matches in the early rounds where a player resigned in the middle of the second game, figuring that the match was lost, rather than completing it.  The winners of those two matches wound up in second and third places, and unfortunately those abbreviated matches could have affected their tiebreak scores. Playing out games to a conclusion is important to the scoring integrity of the tournament.


In addition to the tournament, as usual, we had several multi-player Overlord games in the schedule.  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.

Disaster at Dieppe.  From the official Battlemap, this scenario has tended to be won by the Germans about 80% of the time.  This afternoon, however, things were different.  Tom Bivens led an intrepid landing by Allied Field Generals Brian S., Nick A., and Tim H. up the beach.  German Commander Mark Mitchell commanded Field Generals Ronnie M., Tom A., and Greg B. in the defenses.  The Brits killed three units on their left and five on their right en route to a 10-7 surprise victory.

That battle was over so quickly that we had time to make new teams and play again.  This time, Greg B. commanded the Allies, as Field Generals Geoff H., Tom B., and Ronnie M. fought their way onto the beaches.  Tom A. commanded the Germans, with Nick A., Sam E., and John K. in the bunkers and towns.  The Allies killed four units on their right and took the objective hex in heavy fighting, with four more kills in the center (penetrating a Jeep deep into German territory), and one kill on their quieter left flank.  The Germans had difficulty finishing off 1-figure units on multiple occasions.  Once again, the Allies prevailed, this time by a score of 10-8.

Seelow Heights.  For this year’s post-tournament “MidnightMadness” Overlord, we scheduled Eric Mosso’s wonderful scenario, The Forgotten Battle, based on the 1944 Battle of Overloon, in the Netherlands.  Unfortunately, that scenario lived up to its name, as we … um … forgot to bring a copy, so Richard Borg’s new Seelow Heights scenario was substituted, instead. In online reports, this scenario has favored the Germans.  With John Skiba and Joe Harrison commanding the Russians and Germans, respectively, we chose sides by rolling dice.  The Russian attackers wound up being Barry Shoults, David Gubbay, and this year’s runner-up, Daniel Overland.  Supporting Joe on defense were Sam Edelston, and Geoff and Daniel Heintzelman.  One quirk of this scenario is that every time the Germans play a Recon-1 card, they automatically get a medal.  The Germans played five Recons, which gave them a bunch of medals and kept their hand nearly full.  The Russians lamentably had some dice problems, and wound up getting three of their five kills on a single “Their FinestHour.”  The Germans scored a bunch of kills near their left-center seam, and came away with an 18-5 victory.

Cadets of Saumur.  Sam Edelston commanded the French Cadets (Jim D., Jeff P., and John S., who was relieved by a different John S.), while Daniel Heintzelman commanded the invading Germans (David B., Steve S., and Ray R.). On the Allied Right flank, the two Johns got off to a good start in their first few turns, and basically wiped out the German units there.  In all, seven German units fell on that flank.  Meanwhile, the Allied Left consisted mostly of bad initiative rolls and getting shot at from a distance, so the Allied commander gave Jim the honor of rolling the final Barrage that concluded their 12-7 victory.

Twin Battles of Warnach and Bigonville.  It may have been a beautiful August Saturday afternoon outdoors, but inside it was miserable December weather in Luxembourg.  It was so bad that you could barely see the dice on the table in front of you.  Winter Visibility scenario from the Equipment Pack, with lots of fun, special units.  John Koski led the Allies, aided by Ray Regular, John Skiba, and Steve Smith.  Tom Bivens led the German defense, supported by Daniel and Geoff Heintzelman, and Trevor Schoenen.  Heavy attacks from the Americans were made against the towns in the center and on the right.  Stiff defense was provided from the Panzerjagers, Nebelwerfers, 88s, and Kubelwagen.  But in the end, the Allies rolled to a 15-6 victory, anyway.

D-Day Landings. We concluded the weekend’s Memoir-fest with a 4-board battle from last year’s D-Day Landings expansion.  At Juno,Jack Morrell’s Brits came ashore against Jim Dougherty’s Germans.  At Gold, Sam Edelston charged the beaches against Ray Regular.  (On both of these beaches, John Koski ultimately took over the German defenses, and after Jack left late in the battle, Sam took over for him.)  Steve Smith plowed ashore into the teeth of David Gubbay’s defenses on Omaha, and Joe Harrison landed against Tom Bivens at Utah.  Difficult landings for all the Allies followed, and heavy casualties were sustained at the start.  German reinforcements eventually started rolling up, while some of the Allies had difficulty obtaining reinforcements.  The Germans had the higher score at Omaha, but eventually the Allies gained control of nearly all the beaches and filled up the medal racks at Juno, Gold, and Utah.  With a game objective of 53 medals, the Germans surrendered at a 38-51 deficit. 

The GM wishes to thank AGMs John Skiba, Gareth Williams, Geoff and Daniel Heintzelman for their help at the tournament and the pre-tournament instructional demo … John Skiba for leading two of the Overlords … Joe Harrison, John Koski, and Tom Bivens for their help at D-Day Landings.  Also, extra special thanks to Richard Borg for creating this wonderful game and for generously donating copies of the “Memoir ’44 Tactics & Strategy Guide” book as prizes for the two top players.  Thanks, also, to Days of Wonder and Asmodee for continuing to support and expand this wonderful game.  And special thanks to the organizers of WBC for allowing us to make this North America’s premiere Memoir ’44 event year after year.

Multi-player games are always a part of the WBC Memoir '44 attraction.
GM Sam Edelston [6th Year] NA NA

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