panzergruppe guderian [Updated March 2008]  

Grognard Pre-Con

 2007 WBC Report  

  2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Michael Pustilnik, NY

2007 Champion

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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
2004     John Popiden      16
2005     Robert Frisby      24
2006     John Popiden      17
2007     Michael Pustilnik      18

PBeM Event History
2006    John Popiden      22
2008    Jim Tracey      28


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Robert Frisby      VA    08    207
  2.  John Popiden       CA    08    138
  3.  James Tracy        OH    08    106
  4.  Michael Pustilnik  NY    07     80
  5.  Keith Schoose      CA    06     42
  6.  Bill Borys         QC    06     30
  7.  Larry Meyers       IL    08     28
  8.  Kevin Hacker       PA    07     28
  9.  Jeff Hacker        PA    07     28
 10.  Phil Rennert       MD    00     18
 11.  Doug Porterfield   VA    03     17
 12.  Forrest Metz       CA    08     17
 13.  John Keating       IL    05     16
 14.  Mark Hinkle        NW    03      9
 15.  Nick Markevich     CA    00      9
 16.  Mauro Faina      Italy   06      6
 17.  Max Zavanelli      FL    00      6
 18.  Peter Reese        VA    99      6
 19.  Michael Kaye       MD    08      4
 20.  Charles Phillips   PA    06      4
 21.  Marty Musella      VA    01      3
 22.  John Clarke        FL    06      2
 23.  Hans Egneus      Sweden  99      2

2007 Laurelists

John Popiden, CA

Robert Frisby, VA

Jim Tracy. OH

Jeff Hacker, PA

Kevin Hacker, PA

Past Winners

Phil Rennert, MD

Michael Pustilnik, NY
1998, 2001, 2007

Robert Frisby, VA
1999-2000, 2002, 2005

Keith Schoose, CA

John Popiden, CA
2004, 2006

 GM Robert Frisby fends off the challenge of Keith Schoose.

 Michael Pustilnik on his way to his third PGG title.

More Grognard Fare ...

As was the case last year, the semi-final and Final rounds featured rematches of the usual suspects. In fact, all six laurelists were taken from the top eight in the list so the event remains a closed club with an exclusive membership.  

In the first semi-final, two-time champ Michael Pustilnik's Germans defeated four-time champ Robert Frisby in their fifth meeting. Pustilnik had defeated Frisby in the first round in 1998 and in the 2001 Final while Frisby had come out on top in the first round in 1999 and in the 2002 Final. This year Frisby conceded on Turn 4 after Pustilnik opened a gap in the Soviet double line and was about to move ten divisions through the gap during his second movement phase. Pustilnik destroyed three defending units in a hex in the MLR through initial movement phase overruns after an overrun with a regiment at 1-3 odds revealed one zero defense unit and two units with a combined defense of eight.  He then obtained a D2 result on a 4-1 attack against the three units defending behind the destroyed units --- a zero defense unit and two other units with a combined defense of four.  This created a gap in the Soviet line, and assured that the Germans could rapidly surround Smolensk and pocket a large number of Soviet units during the second movement phase.  

In the second semi-final, defending champ John Popiden's Soviets defeated Jim Tracy.  Popiden had also defeated Tracy in the 2005 semi-final.  This time Tracy moved aggressively to seize Roslavl and the southern hex of Smolensk relatively early; however, stiff Soviet resistance prevented him from taking the northern hex of Smolensk needed for victory.
In the Final, Popiden conceded on Turn 7 after a major German penetration of the Soviet MLR on Turn 4 enabled the Germans to surround Smolensk and destroy a large number of Soviet units.  Pustilnik disrupted three defending units in a hex in the MLR by overrunning them at 1-2 during his initial movement phase.  This enabled the Germans to place seven Soviet units OOS during the combat phase.  Successful attacks and subsequent overruns during the second movement phase resulted in the destruction of a large number of Soviet units and enabled the Germans to surround Smolensk.  Soviet counterattacks destroyed the German cavalry division, but failed to contain the German advance.  The Germans continued to advance east and inflict heavy losses on the Soviets during turns five and six.  With Roslavl and Yelna likely to fall within a few turns, and little chance of destroying any German divisions, the Soviets conceded.
    This year the Germans won 15 of the 20 games played, including the Final and one of the semi-final games.  In addition, only players with considerable WBC PGG tournament experience prevailed as the Soviets (John Popiden, Michael Pustilnik, and Jeff Hacker).  Most veteran players consulted by the GM agreed that the play balance favors the Germans if the VP level is 50.  Therefore, next year's format will likely include a VP bidding system similar to the one in place before 2005.

Panzergruppe Guderian Play By Email

This year's tournament featured a repeat of the previous event and perennial combatants John Popiden and Jim Tracy again met in the semi final. 

John and Jim fought a evenly contested game that was described by one combatant as   "...a real dogfight".  By Turn 9 Jim cut off all the Soviet units defending the area around Smolensk. Smolensk itself was defended by five rifle divisions who could not be reinforced but were in command. The Germans lost two motorized divisions in overruns. So Jim had a difficult challenge to gain the needed additional victory points after capturing Smolensk. By Turn 12 however - German units were in the Soviet rear and Jim won as the Germans with 79 points. A critical Russian mistake resulted in a lone Panzer division running amok in the rear and capturing the two 20 VP hexes on the edge of the board toward Moscow on the final movement point in the German Mech phase of the last turn.

Tracy vs Frisby: Frisby once again made it to the Final but had a relatively easy time by defeating Stewart, Kaye and Meyers on the way to the second straight Final that last time around saw him lose to Popiden. This time he faced Jim Tracy, and both players have played each other many times in person at the WBC. The following was an edited Sit Rep that recalled the Final....

Situation Report to Army Group Center   4 Jul 1941 (Turn 1)
The Soviets have deployed the 13th Army on a line between Mogilev and Orsha.  The 20th Army has been deployed in depth along the Orsha Smolensk highway, Vitebsk is undefended.  The Germans moved three Pz and two motorized divisions just north and parallel to the Orsha Smolensk highway which the Soviet 20th army has decided to defend.

SitRep to Army Group Center  6 Jul 1941  (Turn 2)
Recon units found a gap between 20th Army and what looks to be the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) for the 19th and 16th Soviet Armies defending to the northwest of Smolensk down to the Dnepr and on past Smolnesk.   I have ordered three of my five divisions to pin the 20th Army in place and sent a Panzer and Motorized Division to exploit the gap.  Overnight the Soviets have slipped a couple of mechanized divisions to complete the line.  My two divisions easily smashed through and are now encircling the 20th and 13th Armies.  

SitRep to Army Group Center 8 Jul 1941  (Turn 3)
The leading elements of Army Group Center have successfully surrounded the 20th and 13th Soviet Armies and the rest of my armored elements have come up during the night. We have now completely destroyed these two armies except for a few divisions holding desperetley onto the crossroads.

SitRep to Army Group Center 10 Jul 1941  (Turn 4)
Today I probed the bend in the Soviet MLR and into the outskirts of Smolensk.  Soviet resistence has stiffened and held up under pressure.  Will probe the line tomorrow.

SitRep to Army Group Center 12 Jul 1941 (Turn 5)
Lehr and GD were lost to operational status today while probing the Soviet MLR.  Found a potential week spot and have all of my armored units up in anticipation of a breakthrough.  Attempted to overrun the Soivet position between the bend and Smolensk and disrupted the defending units. (1-2 overrun), pushed DR behind the bend in the Soviet line cutting them off and successfully overran them also.  These overruns allowed me to push through to the second line and attack it in force with a combined Infantry and Armor assault.  

SitRep to Army Group Center 16 Jul 1941  (Turn 7)
Finished destroying 24 Soviet Rifle divisions and three more HQs from the Smolensk pocket.  I have now concentrated my armor for an assault on the next Soviet line of defense.   My units have been engaged for 14 days straight now.  Vyazma is just beyond the next Soviet line.  I will begin my assalut on the 17th of Jul.

SitRep to Army Group Center 18 Jul 1941  (Turn 8)
Great news to report!  I have assaulted the Soviet MLR and found another hole in the line and will continue on towards Vyazma.  I have the opportunity to take Yel'nya as defending units have been pushed back and we can just drive into town.  

SitRep to Army Group Center 18 Jul 1941  (Turn 9)
I still have supply problems which limits my thrust towards Vyazma. However I have punched another huge hole in the Soviet line and even with my leading elements running out of supply I have encircled Vyazma and am now looking towards Kaluga and the road north of Kaluga.

By turn 10 - the results were a forgone conclusion and Frisby graciously conceded to Tracy who can now claim the wood.

Over 80% of the games played resulted in a German victory. There has been great discussion among the elite PGG players as to what can be done to resolve this for the next PBeM tournament that has yet to be scheduled. Currently - in the hope that the new edition of PGG is ready to roll out of the L2 warehouse, the next PBeM tournament is waiting for the publication date for revised PGG.

Full details are available at Contact

 GM      Robert Frisby  [2nd Year]   10086 Tummel Falls Dr, Bristow, VA 20136   703-365-8086

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