monty's gamble  

Updated 8/19/2009

2008 WBC Report   

  2009 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

David Long, NC

2006-08 Champion

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Event History
2003    Walter Garman     11
2004    Mike Rinella     20
2005    Jim Eliason     22
2006     David Long     16
2007    David Long     14
2008     David Long     14

PBeM Event History
2006    Tod Whitehurst     31
2007     Tod Whitehurst     29
2009    Jim Eliason     24

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  David Long         NC    08    104
  2.  Tod Whitehurst     VA    09     90
  3.  Jim Eliason        IA    09     89
  4.  Andrew Cummins     UK    09     43
  5.  Mike Rinella       NY    07     42
  6.  Rob Mull           CO    07     33
  7.  Ken Dunn           MD    08     27
  8.  Anthony Daw        UT    09     24
  9.  Walter Garman      MD    04     16
  10.  John Haas          DE    07     13 
 11.  Todd Treadway      VA    06     12
 12.  Jim Eliason        IA    04     12
 13.  Buck Markowitz     DC    06     12
 14.  Scott Moll         VA    07     11
 15.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    09     10
 16.  Peter Phelps       AU    09      9
 17.  Allen Hill         MD    06      9
 18.  Bob Jamelli        PA    04      9
 19.  Paul Nied          KS    05      6
 20.  John Haas          DE    06      6
 21.  Michael Kaye       MD    06      4
 22.  Chris Roginsky     PA    03      4
 23.  Trevor Bender      WA    07      3
 24.  Charlie Budzinski  NJ    06      3
 25.  Wyatt Bogan        VA    05      3
 26.  Joel Tamburo       IL    03      3

2008 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

Andrew Cummins, UK

Jim Eliason, IA

Ken Dunn, MD

Mark Gutfreund, KY

Tod Whitehurst, VA

Past Winners

Walter Garman, MD

Michael Rinella, NY

Jim Eliason, NY

David Long, NC
2006 - 2008

Mark Gutfreund (left) opposes Mark Rinella at his own game.

Eric Stranger (left) provides the opposition for Austrian Herbert Gratz.

Thrice as Nice ...

2008 saw MG:MG hold steady at 14 participants, which stopped a downward slide the tournament had been experiencing since it's debut. GM and defending champion Dave Long defended his title in a hard fought match against previous GM Andrew Cummins' Germans to take home his third straight crown.

Balance continued to be the key precept, as the 12 games played yielded an even split with six victories for each side. The players seem to generally agree with that sentiment as all but three games had no bids, with the remaining three opting for the Allies, perhaps reflecting the fact that as the Allies, with the burden of attacking, you get to enjoy throwing the XXX Corps hammer blows around.

After Round 1, one winner opted out, leaving six to compete for a spot in the semi-finals. Jim Eliason, the 2005 champion, tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, with some spectacularly bad rolls on Sept. 19th in an attempt to clear Nijmegen. Jim proceeded to roll a negative differential on the dice for ten straight rolls, turning what promised to be an easy victory over Tod Whitehurst's Germans into a nail-biter. Tod's 9th SS Recon battalion, fought off six consecutive 0 or +2 diiferential attacks before finally succumbing on the 20th. In another odd happening, eventual winner Dave Long managed to pull off a rare back-to-back Impulse 2 weather change against Ken Dunn's Germans, by rolling snake-eyes on an air bombardment on Impulse 2, changing the weather to cloudy, only to roll another '2' on Impulse 2a to change it right back to sunny.

With three players advancing to the third round, game designer Michael Rinella volunteered to play the role of eliminator, and the luck of the draw found Jim Eliason and his cold dice failing to cross the Maas against Mr. Rinella's tough Germans. That left the last game, Dave Long versus Andrew Cummins, as the de facto championship game. In the Final, Long's Allies managed to overcome a potential fatal blunder when he failed to advance the Guards Armored Car far enough up Hell's Highway, allowing Andrew Cummins to hold XXX Corps below the Maas River until the 19th. However, with Eindhoven having fallen on the 17th, the Allies managed to secure all the paratrooper victory areas, the advantage, and prevent any infiltrations. The game ended with 1st AB cowering in Arnhem and Oosterbeek, with the Germans desperately trying to clear Wyler as the clock ran out.

MMP graciously favored the top three with gift certificates for their places. Mark Gutfruend won the GM's German award for quickest capture of Arnhem as the Germans (the only one of the entire tournament, in fact), while Jim Eliason took home the Allied Award for the fastest capture of Nijmegen. Hopefully, if MG:MG can sneak back as a trial event again next year, we may actually see an increase in participants in this relatively unknown Area Movement gem.

Monty's Gamble PBeM Tournament:

The third Monty's Gamble: Market Garden PBeM tournament has concluded on schedule. We began with 24 players who were paired at random and were given the flexibility to agree amongst themselves which side to play (we allowed the players to do this throughout the tournament). Jim Eliason was the top finisher preventing Tod Whitehurst from claiming his third title in a row.  This year the Germans took a slight advantage in wins, 13 to 11 for the Allies.  It still proves that this is one of the most balanced tournament games still being played.
Below is an AAR of the final game written by Jim.  It was the most unique game of MGM I've ever played and even with poor dice it could have turned around at any moment which is a tribute to the excitement that this game can produce.

Tod's note that the game was unique was a big understatement. Bizarre was more like it. The paratroops started well; Grave and St. Oedenrode were cleared at dawn. Tod used the Advantage for a double impulse 0 to assault Wolfheze (which worked), take Arnhem and the Son bridge all at once. This turned out badly since XXX corps was a disaster. The first day ended on impulse 3 and the whole of XXX corps assaulted and failed to even clear Zone F. Except I retreated the last unit out so I could have a fresh mobile unit in Eindhoven for the next day. This gave Tod 17 supply I could have denied him, but that extra fresh unit did turn out to be crucial. 

After the first German impulse of the18th, Monty's boys were looking at a delay unit in Valkenswaard from the 59th division, and two units backing it up in Geldrop. Eindhoven had seven units with 18 steps in it, with a defense of 9. Tod went around Eindhoven, and it was still German-controlled at the end of the third day. But the Allied dice were very poor and despite the day going 12 impulses, XXX corps got no point units across the Wilhelmina canal until regroup. The 180th division, which usually has to guard Zeeland on the 18th, was sent instead to Aarle and Nuenen. These guys plus Rink moving around from Acht and the fresh SS unit from Eindhoven held Neunen until impulse 7. The road was open to Uden, but only the two artillery units were still fresh. 

While XXX corps struggled, the paratroops continued to do well. The Red Devils captured Elden and the Arnhem bridge and a big SS assault on the city caused only 1 CP. I could have prevented the fall of Elden by barraging Driel, but I opted for a bombardment instead, which failed. This could have been a crucial error on my part, but turned out to be moot. The 101st captured Best, and the XXX corps artillery motored through on their way to Uden. Most of the Germans starting in Zone C were sent west to stop XXX corps' access to the MaasRiver, and the 82nd captured Wyler on impulse 8. 

Meanwhile, the Germans were digging in, in and around Zeeland. On Monty's first impulse of the overcast 19th, there were five fresh (including an artillery) and one spent units in Zeeland, two fresh and two spent units in Mill, and a fresh unit in Volkel blocking the road to Mill. He had no units with the MP to assault Zeeland or Mill until all the units there were spent, and only three that could assault spent units, and none of them were tanks. And the Germans had the Advantage. Clearing the block rapidly would have allowed a formidable force to assemble for an attack on Nijmegen since the day started on C and an OR of either Zeeland or Mill would give a +3 sunset drm and likely the second very long day in a row. But it was not to be. Allied dice stayed ice cold. XXX corps and Gds division artillery bombardments shredded the defenses, but too slowly. A 9-1 attack against eight steps failed to clear Zeeland. It was finally cleared on impulse 7 by the last unit able to attack, but the day ended the same impulse, dooming any chance of a reasonable attack on Nijmegen (which was going to have five fresh units in it with two more able to reinforce), and prompting Tod to resign. 

To add insult to injury, all the units of the 82nd able to get to Wyler had been disrupted by SS artillery fire, and the artillery park in Pannerden on the 20th was going to be defended by five FLK units. Wyler was very likely to be recaptured and Tod might have had to abandon it during regroup to avoid its loss also costing a sunset drm or even the Advantage if I needed to spend it early in the turn. 

Tod kept his good cheer throughout this total dice blowout and I commend him for his tenacious and courteous play and good conduct of the event.

Additional laurels were earned by:

3) Anthony Daw, UT
4) Peter Phelps, AU
5) Mark Gutfreund, KY
6) Andrew Cummins, UK

 GM      Dave Long  [1st Year]   NA   NA

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