tigers in the mist [Updated October, 2004]  

2004 WBC Report  

 2005 Status: pending 2005 GM commitment

Tom Thornsen, NY

2004 Champion

2nd: Jim Winslow, ME

3rd: Brad Jones, FL

4th: Eduardo DeNucci, Argentina

5th: Bryan Eshleman, NC

6th: Larry Hiemenz, MD

Event History
2000    Ray Freeman     16
2001    Robert Mull     19
2002    Rick Young     14
2003    Ray Freeman     16
2004    Tom Thornesen     17

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Ray Freeman


 2. Jim Winslow


 3. Ric Young


 4. Robert Mull


 5. Muuray Cowles


 6. Tom Thornsen


 7. Brad Jones


 8. Ric Sciacca


 9. Jack Morrell


10. Bryan Eshleman


11. Eduardo DeNucci


12. Dave Schubert


13. Raymond Hall


14. Bill Hodges


15. Larry Hiemenz


16. Jim Kramer


17. Aaron Silverman



Past Winners

Ray Freeman - CA
2000, 2003

Robert Mull - CO

Rick Young - NC

A Different Kind of Tiger ...

17 Players turned out, up one from the previous year. Many regulars were missing, but we had six first time players participate, and four of them played at least three rounds. In addition, the demo had eight people in attendance. Jim Winslow and Tom Thornsen provided invaluable support as assistant GMs. This year we played a mulligan on Tuesday night, three rounds on Wednesday, and the final round Thursday morning.

The event was won by Tom Thornsen with a 3.5-0.5 score. Tom defeated perennial contender Jim Winslow in round 4. Bryan Eshleman was responsible for the only blemish on Tom's record, holding him to a draw in round 3. A total of 21 games were played, with six players participating in the fourth round. The Germans won seven games, the US 13, and there was one draw. The US did far better this year, probably because the new players were encouraged to play the Germans as it's fun to play them even if you lose. Sides were bid for in nine of the games. Following the trend from previous years, no one bid for the Germans. The average bid for the US was 1.44, with the range being 0.5 to 2.0. Although the US side did quite well overall, this years winner drove the Germans in his last three games. Jim Winslow went 3-1, playing the US exclusively. Brad Jones, who finished third at 3-1, played each side twice. Newcomer Eduardo DeNucci finished fourth with a 2-2 record, playing the Germans in each round.

Of the top five finishers, the Allied player went 7.5-1.5, while the German player managed a respectable, but less impressive 5.5-3.5. US strategy again revolved around keeping the Germans from entering Bastogne until 18-2, and holding Vielsalm strongly with the 7th Armored Division to protect the Trois Ponts and Grandmenil Panzer Release Areas.

I had a really good time with a teaching game with Roberto Sanchez during the mulligan round. Roberto employed something he called the Puerto Rican-German artillery. They were unbelievably alert, responding to his calls for support more often than not and usually with deadly effect. Despite holding onto Bastogne until December 20, I had to come up with a very creative defense near the end of the game to barely survive a breakout attempt by Roberto. In round 2, Bryan Eshleman basically sat on me. My German offensive never really got going and it was all over on the 19th.

Newcomer John Sharp gave Tom Thornsen a very tough game in the mulligan round. His offensive finally foundered on a stout US defense of Marche. After that scare, Tom switched exclusively to the German side, beating veteran Larry Hiemenz in round 2, and battling Bryan Eshleman to a draw in round 3. Bastogne fell on December 18 in the game with Bryan, which meant that Tom needed one more VP to pull out a win. Bryan screened the flanks and played solid delaying defenses up the center, holding on to Marche to manage the draw.

Meanwhile in round 2, John Sharp notched his first win in the event over Bob Hamel. These guys are slightly familiar with each other, having been AGMs for the VIP event at the WBC for many years. Bob scored a nice upset in the mulligan by beating up on Tigers developer Bill Alderman.

Newcomer Thomas Cooper made it into the win column by playing tough defense against Bob Hamel in round 3. Eduardo DeNucci lost the mulligan to PBeM vet Mike Kaye, then beat Jim Kramer in round 1 and Larry Hiemenz in round 3. In one of the closer matches of the tourney, Eduardo's German hordes were unable to punch through Brad Jones' final defensive line on the 21st, falling just short of the Meuse River crossings. This game decided third place.

Brad Jones' only loss was to Jim Winslow in round 3. Jim was very successful with his allied strategy of denial, beating Larry Hiemenz, John Sharp and Brad.

The championship game between Tom Thornsen and Jim Winslow was unfortunately decided early by the dice. Tom's first impulse attacks were not spectacular. He did clear Vianden and Lutzkampen, but Holzhum, Marnach and Habscheid held. However, Tom got a huge break when his engineers repaired both bridges over the Our River at the end of 16-1. Jim may have made a fatal error on 16-1 by committing 9 arm CCR to Burg Reuland in order to cover the hole opened at Lutzkampen.

On 16-2 Tom concentrated his forces to blast open Marnach and Bleialf. Apparently he did not attack Hosheid. Then on 16-3, he used his last reserves to clear out Lullange and Weiswampach. This is a sure sign that things are going swimmingly for the Wehrmacht.

Jim fell back in order to try to create a reasonable and efficient defensive position, retreating to Rambrouch, Doncols, Longvilly, Buret, Beho and Recht, in addition to 9 CCR left hanging in a now untenable position in Burg Reuland.

On 17-1 Tom put the hammer down by engaging every US unit within reach, including a pinning attack on 9 CCR which was now out of supply. Tom's attacks were devastatingly effective. He wiped out the entire US front line. Apparently Jim's bridge demolition teams failed him at Doncols as the Germans were able to cross and kill the defender there.

There was nothing for Jim to do but put his reinforcement in Bastogne and pray for a miracle. The 7th Armored screened the north, but Bastogne was essentially naked. Tom had sufficient reserves to mount a strong attack on 17-2 and Bastogne fell immediately. With Bastogne sure to yield 12 VP, enough for a win, and the Germans ensconced in the town in strength, Jim had to call it quits.

Congratulations to Tom Thornsen on his fine performance. He played a difficult schedule, being involved in two very tough games prior to facing Jim in the final. Tom has never played in this event, but has been involved in the PBEeM ladder for Tigers from the early rounds. All that on-line practice must have helped. One last observation. It was gratifying to me that six people who had never played in the event here or on the PBeM Ladder played this year. And of those six, five stuck around long enough to rack up a win. That's way cool. I hope they come to Lancaster to get a few more.

 GM      Ray Freeman  [5th Year]   NA
    Rayfreeman3@comcast.net   NA

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