panzergruppe guderian [Updated October 2003]  

 2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Keith Schoose, CA

2003 Champion

2nd: Robert Frisby, VA

3rd: Jim Tracy, OH

4th: Mark Hinkle, NH

5th: John Keating, IL

6th: Doug Porterfield, VA

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
1998    Michael Pustilnik      10
1999    Robert Frisby     16
2000    Robert Frisby     16
2001     Michael Pustilnik     14
2002     Robert Frisby      16
2003     Keith Schoose      16

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Robert Frisby


 2. Michael Pustilnik


 3. Keith Schoose


 4. Jeff Hacker


 5. James Tracy


 6. Phil Rennert


 7. Doug Porterfield


 8. Larry Meyers


 9. Mark Hinkle


10. John Keating


11. Nick Markevich


12. Kevin Hacker


13. Max Zavanelli


14. Peter Reese


15. Marty Musella


16. Hans Egneus



Past Winners

Phil Rennert - MD

Michael Pustilnik - NY
1998, 2001

Robert Frisby - VA
1999-2000, 2002

A New Face in the Winner's Circle ...

For several years now a number of us veteran PGG tournament players have been looking for a new bidding system to promote greater play balance. This year we introduced such a system. All bids began at 65 and players used "Dutch style" (counting down by one) bidding to determine sides and victory point levels. This was a change from what I had originally considered and had listed on the WBC website. Before the first round, I gathered all the players and explained the Dutch Style bidding and asked for a vote, informing the players that if only one person wanted to use the old bidding system that was what we would use. Everyone voted to use the new Dutch Style bidding. This bidding system was well received and worked very well. We plan to use this bidding system again at the 2004 WBC.

The Final this year featured Robert Frisby, looking for his fourth championship and his second back-to-back year championship, against the upstart Californian Keith Schoose. Both finalists won their shot at the title by beating all would be champions as the Soviets.

Robert defeated Kevin Hacker, no easy feat in any round let alone the first round. Robert received a bye in the second round and then defeated me, Jim Tracy, in the semi-finals to advance to the Final against Keith. Keith, our west coast upstart who played against Phil Rennert in an AvalonCon PGG Final years earlier, reached the Final by defeating Doug Porterfield in the first round and Mark Hinkle in the second. Going into the semi-finals a late round dropout occurred, leaving only three contenders. Keith got the bye into the Final as Robert had already used a bye.

Robert opened the bidding in the Final. He passed at 65 and both players kept passing until the bid reached 55. At a bid of 55, Robert decided to play the Germans. Keith said that if Robert had not taken the Germans at 55, he would have taken them. Now the stage was set --- the Germans had not had a single victory in the tournament thus far. The German honor was left for Robert to reclaim, and it was in good hands.

The Soviet opening defense established a roadblock on the Smolensk highway in several forest hexes east of Orsha. One Soviet armored division went north to slow the German divisions advancing from that direction. The German panzer divisions engaged the Soviet blocking force to begin the destruction of this force and open the way to Smolensk. A German panzer division attempted a flanking maneuver to head SW of Smolensk but was engaged and pinned next to the Dnepr by a couple of Soviet divisions. As a result of this pinning action, the Germans were slowed in their progress and would have to await further forces before eliminating the defending blocking force. In all of the early confusion, the 13th, 19th, and 20th Soviet Army HQs escaped to reorganize an indepth defense of Smolensk and Roslavl.

When the rest of the panzer divisions and some infantry support finally showed up, the Germans smashed the Orsha and forest road hexes blocking force and cleared the highway to prepare for the assault on Smolensk. The German armored assault smashed through the first line of defense west of Smolensk. German panzer and motorized divisions poured into the gap between Smolensk and Roslavl. A potential gap appeared as a single Soviet division with a defense strength of eight holed up in the woods east of Smolensk repulsed the onrushing panzers. Had this position not held, the Germans would have been in position to compromise the defense of Smolensk. This was the turning point in the battle for Smolensk as the second Soviet defense line west of the city held firm. The Soviets in turn caught the Germans a bit overextended and attempted to destroy a German division. The Soviet counter attack failed to achieve the objective of destroying a German Panzer division but it had the secondary effect of diverting precious panzers from the main assault to attempt to rescue the beleaguered panzer division. Multiple German assaults on both hexes of Smolensk failed, and other German attacks failed to envelop the city from the east.

Meanwhile, the Germans were getting behind their timetable for obtaining the victory points needed for victory. Although German forces occupied Roslavl and Yelna and destroyed nearly all of the nearby Soviet forces, the steady flow of Soviet divisions from Stavka allowed the Soviets to maintain a solid line of defense around Smolensk. Under pressure to make progress and create the breakthrough the Germans desperately needed, they attempted a risky attack on two untried units in the Soviet line in the forest northwest of Smolensk. The Germans threw in all available forces into the assault: two infantry and an armored division. The Soviet units turned out to be too strong, and all three German divisions were lost in the 1-2 attack. The Soviets were able to claim a clear victory by holding the vital communications center of Smolensk, and by preventing the Germans from taking any cities to the east of Yelna.

When the smoke cleared from the PGG tournament, the Germans, for the first time at AvalonCon/WBC, had failed to achieve a single victory. Robert a three-time champion had been defeated by the west coast upstart Keith. Congratulations to Keith Schoose on a fine tournament and to Robert for making the Final again. And a special thanks to all who played in the PGG tournament. I hope to see all of you back again next year. You make the trip to Baltimore worthwhile.

 GM      Jim Tracy  [1st Year]   NA 
    NA   NA

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