tigers in the mist [Updated October, 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Tom Thornsen, NY

2004 -05 Champion

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Event History
2000    Ray Freeman     16
2001    Robert Mull     19
2002    Rick Young     14
2003    Ray Freeman     16
2004    Tom Thornesen     17
2005    Tom Thornsen     18


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Ray Freeman        CA    05    111
  2.  Ric Young          NC    05     61
  3.  Tom Thornsen       NY    05     60
  4.  Jim Winslow        ME    04     54
  5.  Brad Jones         FL    05     48
  6.  Robert Mull        CO    01     36
  7.  Murray Cowles      UK    02     32
  8.  Ric Sciacca        FL    02     16
  9.  Jack Morrell       NY    01     15
 10.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    04     10
 11.  Eduardo DeNucci   ARG    04      9
 12.  Dave Schubert      MD    03      9
 13.  Raymond Hall       IL    00      9
 14.  Nathan Trent       VA    05      6
 15.  Jim Kramer         PA    05      6
 16.  Bill Hodges        VA    03      6
 17.  Larry Hiemenz      MD    04      3
 18.  Aaron Silverman    NY    00      3


2005 Laurelists

Brad Jones, FL

Rick Young, NC

Ray Freeman, NC

Nathan Trent, VA

James Kramer, PA

Past Winners

Ray Freeman, CA
2000, 2003

Robert Mull, CO

Rick Young, NC

Tom Thornsen, NY

A Different Kind of Tiger ...

18 turned out for the tournament, up one from the previous year. Many regulars were missing, but we had six first time players participate, and four of them lasted at least three rounds. In addition, the demo had five people in attendance. Jim Winslow and Tom Thornsen acted as assistant GMs. This year we played a mulligan on Tuesday night, three rounds on Wednesday, and the Final on Thursday.

The event was won by defending champion Tom Thornsen with a 4-0 score. Tom pretty much erased everyone he played by blowing them away repeatedly as the Germans. If I remember correctly, all of his games were essentially decided by the fall of Bastogne on the 17th. Tom defeated Brad Jones in round 5. Brad's second place finish was his best so far, topping a third last year. He has consistently improved each year since he started playing in the event. In addition to their plaques, Tom and Brad got the new, improved Tigers T-Shirts.

A total of 22 games were played, with six players still participating in the fifth round. Each side won 11 games. The Germans did better this year than they have in recent years, mostly thanks to Tom's 4-0 record. He should give lessons. Sides were bid 13 times. Following the trend from previous years, no one bid for the Germans. The average bid for the US was 1.5, with the range being 0.5 to 2.5. Purists (other than Tom) were Rick Young, 3-1 as the Allies, Murray Cowles, 1-2 as the Allies, and newcomer Charlie Drozd, 0-3 as the Germans. Brad Jones took second with a 3-1 record, Rick Young was 3rd, and Ray Freeman 4th at 3-1. Jim Kramer finished at 2-2, losing to Rick in Round 5, and our rookie of the year, Nathan Trent, went 2-3, losing to Ray in Round 5. In looking at the results of these top six players, the Germans scored 10-4 and the Allies 7-4. When playing each other, the result was 5-3 in favor of the Germans. Tom got the Germans in the title game giving up a 1.0 VP bid.

The key to winning this year seemed to be an early collapse of Bastogne. Tom shredded every defense on the 16th-17th , scoring three breakouts. Brad did the best defensive job on Tom, losing Bastogne on 17-3! Brad kept counterattacking, but was unable to get this key crossroads back as Tom skillfully defended with active counterattacks of his own while continuing to advance elsewhere. Brad had a very interesting game against Nathan in the Mulligan round. Brad, as the Germans never took Bastogne, but scored a breakout win. Nathan held the town strongly with the101st airborne, but it was surrounded and placed out of supply. Not having the division to slow the German drive on the Meuse turned out to be fatal.

My most interesting games by far were against Brad in Round 4 and Nathan in Round 5. Both games had wild and crazy turns, and neither could be called flawless. Both featured large forces of both sides getting surrounded. It was like those Eastern Front dances of death in POG. In my game with Brad, six German and seven US SP surrendered to each other at the end of December 20th and marched off hand in hand to Paris to find some Champagne. Against Nathan, my Germans broke out on 17-1, but failed to take Bastogne. Clever US counterattacks on 17-2 opened supply lines to some isolated defenders, but Bastogne fell to the Axis. On 17-3, a US counterattack at Bastogne failed to retake it, but another attack cut off a German spearhead. Fierce fighting in the north and at Bastogne occurred on the 18th and the Germans expanded down south. The 19th was decisive as much of the US main line of defense was destroyed and pockets of resistance in the German rear were sealed off for good. Unable to prevent the exit of many German units, Nathan resigned.

The turnout was good, interesting games were played, and German results improved dramatically, demonstrating that maybe the final word has not been written on the tournament scenario.

 GM      Ray Freeman  [6th Year]   NA
    Rayfreeman3@comcast.net   NA

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