bitter woods [Updated October 2002]

BWD  2 prizes Experienced Single Elim Continuous 
   10 Round 2 15 Round 3 20 Semi
  Round 4  9  Final     


Tom Gregorio, Sweden

2002 Champion

2nd: Randy Heller, MD

3rd: Bob Ryan, MI

4th: Forrest Pafenberg, VA

5th: Michael Mitchell, GA

6th: Rob Beyma, MD

Event History
1999    Phil Evans     19
2000    Randy Heller     16
2001    Rich Ogata     14
2002    Tom Gregorio     16

AREA Ratings

GM: John B. Grant Jr

Past Winners

Phil Evans - VA

Randy Heller - MD

Rich Ogata - VA

Tom Gregorio - Sweden

Returned to the Century by vote

A field of 16 participated. A modified six-turn version of the eight-turn tournament scenario was used along with time clocks to ensure timely completion of each round. As it turned out, there was plenty of time allocated and no games required adjudication.
All but one of the early round games resulted in German wins, albeit some were decided on the final game turn, while the semi-finals and final round were won by the Allies. This indicates that once experience in play is gained, the six-turn scenario favors the Allied Player. Next year's tournament probably will incorporate the new, Third Edition Peiper Alternative counters in at least the final rounds to allow the German Player a few more options.

In the mulligan round, Bruno Sinigaglio defeated the Number 1 AREA ranked player, Tom Gregorio, by implementing a very clever Angriff Attack in front of Bastogne, which resulted in the capture of this important victory point town. The loss of Bastogne spelled a quick demise for Tom. Phil Evans appeared to be steamrolling the gallant Yank defenders early on, but overlooked the opportunity to effectively utilize his air support. This, coupled with a SS Atrocity Random Event die roll, sealed the German's fate.

Bob Ryan and Michael Mitchell had a wild and wooly game in the second round. KG Peiper managed to move adjacent to Stavelot on 17AM, but refrained from attacking because Bob had held back an air unit for ground support. An unfortunate Engaged result at Malmedy locked up a good part of the German 6th Panzer Army. When other German mechanized forces caught up with KG Peiper, a concentrated effort was made to capture Stavelot. The result was a Counterattack. Bob jumped on the opportunity to attack KG Peiper at 4-1(+2) odds using a surrounded combined arms attack. A die roll of "3" put paid to Michael's strongest combat unit and any further chance of winning the game.

Bob Ryan met Randy Heller in the semi-finals. Bob's German forces had a key opportunity to break open the Allied defense south of Trois Ponts but could only come up with a D1 combat result. After that the Allied defense stiffened and the Germans were playing catch-up. An attempt to get the momentum back was thwarted on 17PM when the Skorzeny sneak attempt failed to cross the river southeast of Malmedy. Randy played a tight defense from that point on and was not further threatened.

The final round pitted Tom Gregorio, shaking off his Mulligan Round loss, against Randy Heller. The opening turn went well for Randy. He reduced 9/CCA in the south, rolled a D4 against 14AC in the Losheim Gap and captured Monschau. However, a Counterattack against 28/110 delayed the building of a bridge at hex 1424. Two opportunities to open up the Allied defense occurred on 16PM and 17AM. An attack in front of Clervaux could have channeled the defender's retreat to open up a road for mechanized exploitation, and a 3-1(-1) vs Malmedy could have carried Peiper et al into or near a fuel dump. Neither die roll allowed for these opportunities to be realized. From then on, Tom's expert play was able to keep the German forces at arm's length. Any drive on Eupen was easily thwarted, while 10th Armored was able to get into Bastogne without being challenged. The German push northwest of Malmedy became stalled prompting Randy to concede at the end of the German 18AM game-turn. Tom came back admirably from an early mulligan round loss to claim the crown.

John Grant was regretably too ill to attend WBC this year and was therefore unable to GM the event. Sadly, John died after a prolonged battle with cancer on October 17th.

 GM      John B. Grant Jr  [2nd Year]  198 Brookdale Rd, Stamfird, CT 06903   NA

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