panzergruppe guderian [Updated August 2000]

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Robert Frisby, VA

2000 Champion

2nd: Phil Rennert, MD

3rd: Jeff Hacker, PA

4th: Nicklaus Markevich, CA

5th: Max Zavanelli, FL

6th: John Keating, IL
Event History
1991    Phil Rennert      16
1992    Phil Rennert      10
1993    Phil Rennert      12
1994    Phil Rennert      11
1995    Phil Rennert      8
1996    Phil Rennert      8
1997    None      -
1998    Michael Pustilnik      10
1999    Robert Frisby     16
2000    Robert Frisby     16
AREA Ratings
 1    Robert Frisby      5406
 2    Peter Reese      5200
 3    James Tracy II      5100
 4    Jeff Hacker      5000
 5    Kevin Hacker      5000
 6    Hans Egneus      5000
 7    Lance Cresswell      5000
 8    Philip Rodrigues      5000
 9    Michael Pustilnik      4994
10    Alfred Wong      4900

Seventh Crown Denied ...

Round 1:

Our returning six-time champion, Phil Rennert, started out the tournament playing the Germans with a bid of 65 against David Binder who played the Soviets. Comrade Binder attempted to fight the Germans in a forward defense and hold onto Smolensk. After a long valiant struggle Comrade Binder's command finally broke and the German onslaught destroyed or pocketed the Soviets and drove on toward Vyazma and on to Moscow.

Last year's champion, Robert Frisby got the chance to start the first game in the tournament as the Germans with a bid of 65. His opponent was David Buchholz. Comrade Buchholz deployed the Soviet 13th and 19th armies to blunt the initial German offense. Herr Frisby was not going to be stopped so easily this day. However. as the Germans pushed through and past the 13th and 19th they found an aggressive Soviet commander. Comrade Buchholz aggressively counterattacked the advance elements of the German spearhead west of Smolensk, resulting in the reduction of one German panzer division to a 2-10 regiment. The subsequent rescue of this division saved Herr Frisby the unenviable task of explaining the complete destruction of a panzer division to the high command. The rescue also resulted in a large pocket of Soviet troops. With a rather large portion of the Soviet army being surrounded around Smolensk, Comrade Buchholz decided to ask Stavka for more troops. Since Smolensk was an important communications junction this request was granted and seven divisions were transferred from the southwest front, resulting in nine victory points for Herr Frisby. After the reduction of this pocket, the German offensive continued unabated and acquired 65 victory points for cities captured. With 65 VPs for cities and nine VPs for a total of 74 for Herr Frisby and without enough troop strength to counterattack and take back ten V's Comrade Buchholz conceded on Turn 9.

Round 2:

On the second round, Phil pulled John Keating as his next opponent. John won the bid for the Germans at 74. Phil decided to use the Vyazma defense and with extra units, that were able to pull back from the initial front lines, built his defense. The Germans secured their lines of supply and proceeded to tackle the task of trying to break the Vyazma line. The Germans attempted to break the Vyazma defense with gutsy, but necessary, 1 to 2 odds. Surprisingly enough, the Germans now had a hole in the center of the Russian line. Undaunted by the apparent success of the Germans, the Russians went about the task of clogging the hole put into the line by the Germans and also counterattacked the German flank in the south. Herr Keating had attempted to cover this flank with single regiments. Rennert was able to surround and kill five of these regiments, of which four were components of two motorized divisions. Thus having plugged the hole in the front line and crushing the German southern flank and gaining ten points in the process, Keating had no choice but to surrender.

In this round, Robert Frisby played the Soviets while Max Zavaneli acquired the opportunity to play the Germans for a bid of 66. Comrade Frisby fell back to the Vyazma line with the bulk of the 13th, 19th and 20th armies. The reinforcement of the Vyazma line by the 13th, 19th and 20th armies created a fortress-like line which the Germans pounded for five to six turns without breaking. At this point, I would like to point out that as the German player you must destroy as much of the 13th and 19th armies as possible to have a reasonable chance to win with a bid of 66 or higher. Herr Zavaneli made several penetrations of the Soviet line, but every German penetration was quickly dealt with as the Soviets had more than enough reserves to blunt any German breach. On turn 10, unable to successfully exploit a break in the Vyazma line and acquire the 66th point, Zavanelli had had enough and conceded.

Round 3:

Phil now won the chance to play the Germans for a bid of 65. He would be playing against Jeff Hacker. Comrade Hacker used the Vyazma defense with variant H. Rennert advanced a panzer division up to the woods south of Yelnya to disrupt the Soviet defensive line. The soviet, smelling a chance to destroy a panzer division, formed his defensive line to surround this isolated division. This turned the offensive for the Germans into a wild brawl in the south around Yelnya. This fight was mostly in the open and eventually Rennert saved the division and created a breach in the Soviet line. The German division commander was awarded the Iron cross 2nd class for almost single handedly breaking the Vyazma line. After failing to destroy this division, and not having enough troops now to stop the German advance, Rennert was able to easily acquire the necessary victory points to advance to the finals.

Robert Frisby got a bye in the Semi-Final due to Nicholas Markevich dropping out of the tournament.

Round 4: The Finals

The stage was now set for the Final between six-time champion Phil Rennert and defending champion Robert Frisby. Robert won the right to bid first and bid 65. This left the choice to bid 66 or let Robert go with his bid of 65 to Phil. Phil bid 66 and got the chance to play the Germans in the Final. Under Rennert's skillful hand, the Germans utterly destroyed the 13th and 19th Armies, only two divisions escaping the slaughter. However the 19th Army managed to destroy a 4-10 panzer regiment before it's final demise. While the 13th and 19th Armies gave the ultimate sacrifice for the Motherland, the rest of the Soviet Army, under the skillful direction of Comrade Frisby, went about the task of building the vaunted Vyazma line. Comrade Frisby having completed the first stage of the Vyazma line waited for Herr Rennert to make the initial contact. The powerful German panzer and motorized divisions ran headlong into the Vyazma line. There was now no other way. This line could not possibly be outflanked - a soft spot must be found and exploited. The 13th and 19th Armies had bought the precious time to build a new line. Rennert attacked again and again threatening a breach of the Soviet line, but time after time Frisby successfully plugged the gap and stopped a fatal breach of the Vyazma line that would spell doom for the Soviet effort. At the end of the day, Comrade Frisby would become the Hero of the Soviet Union for his defense that day. Rennert conceded the crown to Comrade Frisby.

Congratulations to Robert Frisby for his second championship in PGG and to Phil Rennert for second place. I would also like to thank all of the entrants who participated this year as we have once again preserved this tournament in the Century for next year. Let me also take the time to encourage those who have played in the past to come play next year as we truly have a world class event at a world class convention.

Once again the Vyazma line proves unbreakable and denies the Germans more than 65 VPs. Many veterans of PGG feel that the game has reached an impasse with a 65 bid for the Germans as optimal. This has certainly been confirmed by the past winners of this tournament. In the finals, 66 has meant defeat for the German player. To get past the 65 VP threshold there will be a new bidding system for next year. This system will be VP - # of Soviet units. The Soviets will give up this # of units from the first turn reinforcements. Example: If a bid of 66 ­ 10 wins, then the Germans will have to take at least 66 VPs to win and the Soviet player will give up the first ten units of the first turn's reinforcements in any order he wishes. I have asked Robert Frisby to be the GM as I will not know if I will be able to attend until May. Give him all the support that you have given me these past three years. Hope to see ya'll next year in Baltimore.

 GM      J. Tracy  [3rd Year]   12415 S. 28th Ave, Bellevue, NE 68124   NA

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