russia besieged

Updated Nov. 16, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending December 2015 Membership Trial Vote

Jim Eliason, IA

2015 Champion

Event History

2006 Rob Beyma 16
2007 Rob Beyma 18
2008 Rob Beyma 18
2009 Rob Beyma 20
2010 Rob Beyma 24
2011 Richard Beyma 18
2012 Rob Beyma 14
2015 Jim Eliason 18


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    15    207
  2.  Jim Eliason        IA    15     96
  3.  Art Lupinacci      on    11     81
  4.  Richard Beyma      VA    15     75
  5.  Martin Musella     VA    15     39
  6.  Charles Catania    MD    15     36
  7.  Jim Miller         VA    07     21
  8.  Jim Tracy          OH    15     18
  9.  Craig Champagne    NJ    06     12
 10.  Doug Richards      on    12      9
 11.  Lembit Tohver      on    08      9
 12.  Walter Hnatiw      on    12      6
 13.  Jeff Hacker        PA    11      3
 14.  Steve Miller       NM    10      3
 15.  Charles Drozd      IL    09      3
 16.  Doug James         NC    08      3
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 4

Martin Musella, VA

Charlie Catania, MD

Rob Beyma, MD

Jim Tracy, PA

Richard Beyma, VA

Past Winners

Rob Beyma, MD
2006-10, 2012

Richard Beyma, VA

Jim Eliason, IA

The judge battles John Clarke on the steppes.

Jim Eliason downs Charlie Catania in the semifinals.

Michael Trobaugh vs Gregory Smith in the return of Russia Besieged after a two-year absence.

Marty Musella, fresh off his upset of the defending champ, comes up short in the Final.

No Longer All in the Family ...

Russia Besieged made its first return to WBC since Lampeter’s dismal swamp episode of 2012. In addition to a nucleus of veteran players, seven newcomers tried at least one game. And, Jim Tracy’s “German machine” revved into action this year.

A new feature was the introduction of the 5-turn Tournament scenario. Since this scenario was developed too late to be included in the Event Preview, its use was optional (the standard 7-turn scenario was the default scenario). Many players in the Mulligan round and Round 1 chose the shorter version The required number of VPs is 18 and the weather is predetermined. September is Clear and December is Snow. Players could elect to have Mud in October and Light Mud in November (historical weather) or vice versa. The mean playing time this year was approximately 3.8 hours.

Seven players qualified for Round 2. However, only four wanted to continue. Thus, Round 2 became the semifinals. Jim (the Gamer) Eliason and Charlie (the Professor) Catania played the 5-turn scenario with Light Mud in October and Mud in November. Both wanted the Russians. Charlie got them for a bid of 17 VPs. The Germans captured Leningrad, Bryansk, and Dnepropetrovsk on Turn 3 to bring their VP total to 19. With bad weather arriving on Turn 4, the Germans went on the defensive to hold onto their gains. Charlie conceded on Turn 4 when he became convinced that he could not recapture more than one VP.

In the other bracket, both Rob Beyma and Marty (the Gambler) Musella wanted the Germans in the 7-turn scenario. Marty won the bid at 21 VPs. The Germans had a very good first turn, killing 18 Russian units and flipping another one. The die rolls cooled off a bit on Turn 2 with only a D3 on a 5-1 (E) versus Kiev. On his Turn 2, Rob defended strongly at Leningrad, Moscow, Kharkov, and Dnepropetrovsk. With both players playing carefully, the first two turns took nearly four hours.

Marty rolled Clear/Light Mud for the Turn 3 weather. Marty pondered his options for several minutes while marching some infantry forward. Despite being in a fairly good overall position, Marty decided to gamble and go for Moscow. Five panzer corps and three Stukas attacked two infantry armies in the forest in front of Moscow at 7-1. The Germans also captured Bryansk and Kursk and attacked Dnepropetrovsk (with two Stukas supporting) at 4-1. The German combat die rolls started out low with an X2 at Dnepropetrovsk but improved with a DE in the critical attack in the Moscow forest. During the second impulse, Marty pushed the panzers up next to Moscow, added three Stukas and his last Field Marshal. Rob tossed in Zhukov to hold the Germans to a 4-1 (-2) attack (20% chance of capturing Moscow). The Fifth panzer plus a Stuka soaked off against another stack of infantry armies in the forest at 1-1 (-1). Marty rolled a 10 on his big attack and advanced three panzers into Moscow. Rob remarked that he would continue playing if Marty lost his soak-off attack. But, alas, Marty rolled a 9 (BR) on the 1-1. If the panzer corps had been eliminated or retreated on the 1-1 attack, the Russians would have been able to get a 2-1 (E) versus the single panzer unit remaining next to Moscow. But they never got the chance and the six-time champion’s day was done.

In the Final, both players wanted the Russians in the 7-turn scenario. They both bid exactly 20 VPs and 2 RPs. Jim won the resulting die roll and got the Russians. The first two turns saw the Germans advancing on all fronts with typical casualties. Besides the usual cities, the Germans also captured Kiev on the second impulse of Turn 2.
Marty again rolled Clear/Light Mud on Turn 3. Instead of concentrating on Moscow, the Germans advanced and attacked on all fronts. At the end of Turn 3, the Germans were threatening to cut off Leningrad, had captured Kalinin, were two hexes from Moscow, were in Kursk, and were adjacent to Voronezh and Kharkov. A second impulse attack on Dnepropetrovsk yielded a D2 result. Despite heavy losses, Jim counterattacked virtually everywhere. A 1-1 (-1) in the swamp near Leningrad resulted in a BR. A 3-1 (-1) versus the panzer in Kalinin resulted in only a DR but a 3-1 (-1) versus a panzer in the forest in front of Moscow resulted in a D2. A noteworthy second impulse attack was a 1-1 (E) surrounded versus the panzer adjacent to Voronezh. An ‘8’ (BR) was rolled and Voronezh held. The Germans had 16 VPs and were likely to pick up two more (Dnepropetrovsk) on Turn 4. 

As in many RBS games involving good players, the Nov/Dec 41 weather roll is very important. Marty rolled Light Mud/Snow. While providing some favorable weather for both players, this gave the Germans an opportunity to kill more Russians and gain some additional VPs before winter. The Germans recaptured Kalinin and secured Dnepropetrovsk. On their turn, the Russians recaptured Kursk. On Turn 5 (all snow), the Germans took Kursk again and the Russians retook Kalinin. A bold Russian invasion of a vacant Helsinki was driven off by the Axis navy. In a relatively quiet Mud/Mud turn in the spring, the Russians got Leningrad back in supply and pushed westward from Moscow. Interestingly, the Russians held Kharkov throughout.

Marty started the last turn two VPs short of victory. With Clear weather and six Stukas, the Germans captured Voronezh, drove the Russians out of Rostov, and once again put Leningrad out of supply. On his turn, Jim recaptured Smolensk, put Dnepropetrovsk out of supply, and drove the Germans away from Rostov. In a very exciting back and forth game, Marty came up one VP short at the end. Jim won his first WBC RBS plaque and ninth overall.  

GM Rob Beyma (7th Year) NA NA

2015 Previews | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page