bulge '81 [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report     

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Bob Ryan, MI

2005 Champion

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Event History
1991    Pierre Menard      14
1992    Rob Beyma      13
1993    Randy Heller      12
1994    Phil Evans      12
1995    Randy Heller      14
1996    Bruno Sinigaglio      10
1997    Phil Evans      15
1998    Bruno Sinigaglio      13
1999    Bruno Sinigaglio     13
2000    John Grant Jr       8
2001    Bruno Sinigaglio     10
2002     Steve Likevich     18
2003     Steve Likevich      23
2004     Steve Likevich      20
2005     Bob Ryan        20


Rank  Name             From  Last  Total
  1.  Steve Likevich    OH    05     89
  2.  Phil Evans        VA    05     52
  3.  Forrest Pafenberg VA    04     46
  4.  Bob Ryan          MI    05     45
  5.  Bruno Sinigaglio  AK    03     45
  6.  John Grant Jr     CT    01     20
  7.  Randy Heller      MD    03     15
  8.  Frank Sinigaglio  NJ    05     12
  9.  Bill Morse        VA    05      9
 10.  John Clarke       FL    04      7
 11.  Bill Scott        VA    04      6
 12.  Jim Falling       IL    99      4
 13.  Chris Withers     CA    05      3
 14.  Mike Mitchell     GA    02      2
 15.  Martin Svenson    VA    99      2
 16.  Buddy Sinigaglio  CO    02      1

2005 Laurelists

Phil Evans, VA

Frank Sinigaglio, NJ

Bill Morse, VA

Steve Likevich, OH

Chris Withers, CA

Past Winners

Pierre Menard, CT

Rob Beyma, MD

Randy Heller, CT
1993, 1995

Phil Evans, VA
1994, 1997

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK
'96, '98-'99, '01

John Grant Jr, CT

Steve Likevich, OH

still fighting the Bulge ...

While most of us are fighting a different type of "bulge" problem, WBC remains the place for grognards to meet and vie over the AH classic Battle of the Bulge, 1981 edition. A few classic style war games are hanging with the newer games, as they provide an easy sojourn into some tense competition.

Open Swiss Phase

A total of 25 games were played in the preliminary rounds by 20 different participants, allowing Battle of the Bulge 1981 to crack the 16-player threshold for the fifth consecutive doncon. Contributing to this success are two things: The flexible format pioneered by El Lingle and a bunch of grognards looking for tournament games to play after they have been waxed elsewhere.

The format consisted of an Open Swiss phase followed by a Single Elimination phase. The four best players from the Swiss phase squared off for first through fourth place. The best players were those who scored the highest based on their three best games using a formula similar to that used by VIP. A player received 10 points for a win, one point for a loss and two points for each victory tallied by an opponent that the player defeated. A running total of all player scores were prominently displayed at the Bulge 81 kiosk, with updates posted as each game ended.

The key to this format is the record of the opponent that a player defeats. In past tournaments, many players hoped to avoid playing the well-known tournament sharks, as play against them usually ended their chances for a plaque. Not anymore. Players who rack up wins now find themselves being shadowed by others who want a chance to score bonus points by beating a front-runner.

Of the 25 games played in the preliminary rounds, 10 were won by the Germans, while the overall tournament totals were Germans 11 - Americans 17. Thus an edge to the Americans this year; however, the eight-turn tournament scenario developed by Randy Heller has been playing right near 50-50 for almost 15 years. The results from this year serve to swing things back to normal from doncon 2003, when the Germans won 18 and the Americans 11. The tournament scenario totals for 2004 saw the Germans win 12 and the Americans 14. So the past three events total Germans 41, Americans 42.

Making it to the final four were Bob Ryan, Phil Evans and two players who have not done so previously - Bill Morse and Frank Sinigaglio. The number one target of the tournament, three-time champ Steve Likevich did not make the cut; however, Steve added spice to the affair by accepting all challenges and knocking down a few that had a chance to make the play-off rounds. One of those burnt by Steve was perennial finalist Forest Pafenberg. Paffy was knocked out by Steve in a last minute prelim by rolling his routinely expected bad dice; however, Paffy did not approach his legendary bad dice from 2003, at which time he rolled zero kills of the Americans on the 16AM turn - a one time event in 802 chances of occurrence. The highest achievers during the Open Swiss phase were as follows:




1. Bob Ryan



2. Phil Evans



3. Bill Morse



4. Frank Sinigaglio



5. Steve Likevich



6. Chris Withers





#1 Bob Ryan (Allies) vs. #4 Frank Sinigaglio (Germans)
This semifinal was an experience for Frank who rolled poorly on the 16AM turn. Although the Germans can still win or even blow out the Allies after a bad 16AM opening, it was not going to happen this year. The Germans eliminated only three units on the 16AM and 16PM turns and this allowed Bob to build an almost impregnable line early in the game. Frank tried a combination high odds attack and a nearby 4-1 (-2) blitz northwest of St. Vith on the 17AM turn, but rolled high on both permitting Bob to strengthen his line further. A good roll on both would have presented a headache for Bob. Frank's Germans surrendered on the 18PM turn and Bob progressed to the Final.

#2 Phil Evans (Allies) vs. #3 Bill Morse (Germans)
Phil Evans likes the Germans in Bulge 81, but Bill Morse wanted to try his hand on offense in this semifinal game and Phil obliged. Bill probably should have taken the Allies as abysmal die rolling made it easy for Phil to build a solid Allied line. As in the other semifinal game, the experienced Allied player easily rode the inexperienced and unlucky German player into the ground. With too many OD units piling up in front of his grey tinted German pieces, Bill threw in the towel. As a result Phil progressed to the Final with a chance to take home a second championship in Bulge 81.

The Championship
Bob Ryan (Germans) vs. Phil Evans (Americans) - This year No Girly Men!
Both of the finalists won games with both sides. Bob entered the Final with a 5-0 record with two wins as the Germans and three as the Allies. Phil was also 5-0 with two wins as the Germans and three as the Allies.

Bob's 16AM attacks yielded the following results:
#1: 2-1(0) vs 4/12 in Echternacht. Contact - 4/12 escapes. An Allied +.
#2: 1-1(-1) vs 9CCA. Contact. An Allied +.
#3: 3-1(0) vs 28/109. Engaged. A Mixed result.
#4: 4-1(-1) vs 28/110. Exchange. A German +.
#5: 5-1(-1) vs 28/112. D back 2. An Allied +.
#6: 2-1(0) vs 106/424. Engaged. A German +.
#7: 2-1(-1) vs 106/423. Engaged. Usually Mixed, but this time a German +.
#8: 2-1(-1) vs 106/422. Contact. Yow - this result causes suicide attack by 106/422 on the 16AM turn and it also forces the Engaged 106/423 to attack at bad odds on 16AM.
#9: 8-1(-1) vs 14cav. D back 3. An Allied +.
#10: 7-1(-1) vs 99/393. DElim. A German +.
#11: 1-1(-1) vs 99/394. Engaged. A German +.
#12: 2-1(-1) vs 2/9 and 2/38. Engaged. A German +.
#13: 1-1(0) vs 2/9 and 2/38. An Allied +.

On the American half of 16AM turn 106/422 is automatically eliminated and it also causes the destruction of 106/423. So, after the first turn Bob is in a very good position in the north and center with four Amis eliminated and four stuck in Engaged battles. In the south, 28/109 is tying up the main force of the German 7th Army and both American units that started south of the Sauer are back on defense.

On the next three German turns (16PM, 17AM and 17PM), Bob concentrated mainly on eliminating as many Allied units as possible while also judiciously using Blitz attacks and infantry infiltration when possible.

On the German 18AM turn a key battle unexpectedly occurred in the south at Martelange when Bob snookered Phil by reinforcing an Engaged 2-1(0) attack with ranged artillery and the Luftwaffe - the refought Engaged thus became a 3-1(-2) and the Germans rolled onto the bridge at Z31 with a four hex advance. In addition, the Germans advanced cross country with a risky Blitz attack versus a strong Allied force in Houffalize. The combination of results for these two attacks left Phil with problems in the center and on the southern flank, but he was still strongly holding Bastogne and all the other important victory hexes on the eastern board.

On the 18PM turn Bob's Germans tied up significant forces near Bastogne and Parker's Crossroads while other units made inroads onto the west board via the bridge at Z31. The units fanning out from the south onto the west board forced the reinforcing American Airborne units to garrison cities on the west board.

On the 19PM turn, the game came to a close as Bob's Germans won by capturing two cities on the western board - this is the first time a game in the single elimination rounds has ended in this type of automatic victory. Bertrix was captured in a tricky move by a German infantry unit moving by road, then combining cross country movement with fractional road movement - this is more common in Bitter Woods than in Bulge 81. LaRoche was captured by German units advancing after combat. Thus Bob won his first Bulge 81 Championship with the unusual automatic victory although Phil was still holding all the key victory hexes on the east board. A great game.

 GM      Bruno Sinigaglio [4th Year]   PO Box 60477, Fairbanks, AK 99706 
   brunofjs@hotmail.com   907-353-7563

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