bitter woods [Updated August 2000]

  10 15  21+


Randy Heller, MD

2000 Champion

2nd: John Grant Jr., CT

3rd: Bob Ryan, MI

4th: Tom Gregorio, PA

5th: Steve Likevich, OH

6th: Paul Koenig, CA

Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    Phil Evans     19
2000    Randy Heller     16
AREA Ratings
 1    Randy Heller      6207
 2    Thomas Gregorio      5636
 3    Robert Ryan      5627
 4    John B. Grant II      5412
 5    Phil Evans      5397
 6    Daniel Tierney      5111
 7    Michael Mitchell      5091
 8    Bruno Sinigaglio      5087
 9    Douglas James      5017
10    John Malaska II      5013

Designer Wins His Own Game ...

There were 16 entrants in this year's event. Sixteen games were played, resulting in ten German wins and six Allied wins. Last year's winner, Phil Evans, was unable to attend this year to defend the wood, but assures all that he will return next year to take back the crown. Three rounds were played on Wednesday, with the final round and third place consolation round played Thursday morning. As usual, the majority of the German victories occurred in the early rounds. Eight German wins against two Allied victories resulted from first round play. Newcomer, Kevin McCarthy, offered an early play challenge to veteran, Paul Koenig, who provided his typical verbal commentary with each move. Paul's Panzers were precipitously punished in the second round by John Grant's aggressive Allied play. Paul threw in an early towel when his 5th Panzer Army units were thrown back across the river and forced to vacate Clervaux.

The semi-finals really began to reveal a highly competitive level of play. Veterans Bob Ryan and John Grant squared off while Tom Gregorio and Randy Heller jostled for sides. At this point, Tom was resting on an overall 10-0 win/loss record and seemed unstoppable. Bob described his game against John as "a real barn burner." All three regiments of the 106th surrendered on 16PM due to three straight 6's rolled by John! That put Bob at 5 for 6 in surrender die rolls as the German player in two consecutive games. The 12SS became engaged at Hofen on 16PM, which slowed the drive toward Eupen by a full turn. The 16PM turn also saw the 28/112 regiment trapped, but the price paid was the failure to conduct the typical infantry infiltration south of Clervaux. The German had the advantage early, but the pendulum slowly swung back toward the Allies. The game continued through the 19PM turn very much in doubt. The Germans had three victory conditions (less than 3 mech losses, 18 Allied dead, and Eupen). John was able to prevent the fall of Parker's Crossroads and Trois Ponts with leader units. Bob's chances started to go up in smoke with the destruction of the Francorchamps fuel dump on 18AM. Even so, the Germans had a 1/6 chance of taking the Samree fuel dump on 19PM. Had it occurred, the Allies may have been able to counterattack in their 19PM turn and retake it. Tom's Germans had a strong opening against the Allies, capturing Monschau, Rocherath-Krinkelt and the Our River Bridge on the opening turn. On turn 2, Tom blasted through Hofen to trap a key regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. The Allies were really reeling back from Tom's excellent play and were never quite able to regain the initiative. Two bright spots kept them in the game ­ the blowing of the Francorchamps fuel dump and the construction of a fortification in Bastogne. A tactical error by Randy on 18PM nearly cost him the game. Bad positioning of an armored regiment in front of the Ourthe River bridgeheads left it without a viable retreat route. The Germans jumped on this opportunity, leaving the Allies with few units in the center. By game's end, Tom had destroyed an impressive 22+ Allied units. The Samree fuel dump failed its destruction die roll, leaving Tom with an excellent chance to win the game on the last turn. On 19PM, the Germans had a 2/3 chance to take the dump and a 1/3 chance of capturing Trois Ponts. Luck was not with Tom as both die rolls failed, leaving the Allies victorious.

John and Randy met the following morning to determine a tournament winner, while Bob and Tom played for the third place plaque. A die roll determined that Randy would once again take the beleaguered Yanks. As in Randy's previous game, a second turn loss of Hofen trapped a key regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. Allied play seemed not to be as desperate as in the previous game. Much centered around a 2-1(-1) 18AM attack on Noville. John received a strong advance, but made a tactical error in failing to bottle up Bastogne, allowing an additional Allied unit to enter the fortified town. The Francorchamps fuel dump declined to blow up. Its capture left John with three victory conditions and a generous two turns to take a fourth. The most likely target was Trois Ponts. Randy defended it with two full regiments and a leader, but overconfidently failed to provide artillery support. On 19PM, John cleverly bombarded the town and shocked half the defenders. This provided a 1/3 chance of success, which would have won John the final round game and the tournament. As luck would have it, the Allies retained the town, giving Randy a hard earned victory.

Bob's Germans defeated Tom's Allies in the third place consolation round. Bob trapped Middleton and Artillery 174 along the road west of Clervaux. In addition, the German 7th Army made good progress in the far South. Both 9/CCA and 9/CCB were eliminated for a total of nine destroyed Allied units. Peiper broke out by conducting a post mechanized movement attack along the road to Eupen, destroying a reduced regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division and advancing into Eupen after combat. After trapping additional Allied units in the woods southeast of Trois Ponts, Tom conceded.

 GM      Designer Randy Heller  [2nd Year]  4500 Westbrook Ln, Kensington, MD 20859   (301) 571-5113

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