russia besieged 

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Rob Beyma, MD

2006 -08 Champion

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Event History
2006    Rob Beyma     16
2007    Rob Beyma     18
2008     Rob Beyma     18

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    08     90
  2.  Art Lupinacci      ON    08     48
  3.  Jim Miller         VA    07     21
  4.  Jim Eliason        IA    08     18
  5.  Richard Beyma      MD    08     18
  6.  Craig Champagne    NJ    06     12
  7.  Lembit Tohver      ON    08      9
  8.  Jim Tracy          OH    07      6
  9.  Doug Richards      ON    06      6
 10.  Doug James         NC    08      3

2008 Laurelists                                      Repeating Laurelists:

Jim Eliason, IA

Art Lupinacci, ON

Richard Beyma, MD

Lembit Tohver, ON

Doug James, NC

Art Lupinacci (right) beats Lembit Tohver on his large display board but failed for the first time to make it to the Final of his own design.

Rob Beyma (left) meets Jim Eliason in the Final. Rob remained unbeaten in the game to rack up his third straight title.

Gaining Experience ...

The number of entrants in the Russia Besieged tournament was up slightly from last year. There were eight new players this year including veteran tournament players Jim Eliason, Doug James, and Michael Mitchell. The addition of a Mulligan Round Wednesday evening was well received and will be repeated next year. The seven turn scenario ending in May / June 1942 was played again but with the 2nd edition rules and charts for the first time in the tournament.

Sides were determined by bidding Victory Points to determine who was the Germans. The bids ranged from 14 to 22 with the average bid being 18.3. The most frequent bid was 19. Play balance improved this year with the Germans winning 11 of the 17 games played. In Rounds 2, 3, and 4, the Russians won four of seven games. In one notable Round 1 game, Doug James, playing the Germans with a bid of 18, nipped Marty Musella in a hard fought game. Doug picked up his 18th and 19th points on the last turn and Marty could only manage to recapture one of them in his turn.

Charles Drozd, Michael Mitchell, Richard Beyma, Jeff Hacker, Jim Eliason, Doug James, Doug Richards, Lembit Tohver, Art Lupinacci, and Rob Beyma all advanced to Round 2 Thursday afternoon. Charles and Michael dropped out to play other games. Richard Beyma's strong Russian defense bested Jeff Hacker who was playing the Germans with an aggressive bid of 20. Art Lupinacci, also playing the Russians, got by Doug Richards (19 bid) with the help of some early snow in November. Rob Beyma, playing the Germans with a bid of 19, edged Lembit Tohver in a game that went to Turn 7. Rob ended up actually needing 20 VPs when the Mar/Apr 42 weather roll increased the weather DRM to +2. In another close game that went to Turn 7, Jim Eliason, playing the Germans with a 17 bid, took just enough points on his last turn to edge perennial TRC champ Doug James.

Four players remained for the semi-finals. Jim Eliason joined Richard, Art, and Rob who all advanced to the semi-finals for the second consecutive year. Richard dropped out to play Napoleonic Wars. Marty Musella was added as an eliminator so that no one would get a bye in the semi-finals. Art bid 19 to play the Germans against Jim Eliason. The Germans immediately got off to a rocky start in the south with a couple of exchanges. Art dodged a big bullet on Turn 2 when a stack of German panzers northeast of Kiev escaped from a Russian 1-1 surrounded counterattack when Jim rolled low. Art rolled average weather in Sep/Oct but had to wade through strong Russian forces in the south. Despite rolling the coveted Lt Mud / Mud weather result in Nov/Dec, the Germans struggled to make progress against Jim's defense. Art tossed in the towel at the end of 1941. In the other semi-final game, Rob let a 19 slip out during the bidding when he really didn't want to play the Germans. This would make Rob's third game of the day as the Germans with a 19 bid. They got off to a mixed start against a good Russian defense. Kiev fell on Turn 2 but the Russians were heavily defending Dnepropetrovsk and the Crimea. Despite Clear / Mud weather in Sep/Oct, the Germans managed to capture Bryansk and Dnepropetrovsk. Nov/Dec produced just barely good enough weather (Mud / Snow) to continue the offensive. With four Stukas and another Impulse to attack, the Germans eliminated more Russian units and captured Kursk. The Germans had 18 VPs. Facing a -2 weather DRM with no army and no counterattack opportunities, Marty conceded at 1:30 AM. Having played for the last 16 hours, both players were near exhaustion.

In the Final, Jim opened the bidding at 18. Rob, who was tired of playing the Germans, wisely kept his mouth shut. The Germans got off to a good start, killing or trapping 18 units. Jim deployed seven panzer corps north of the swamp and three in the south. A successful Blitzkrieg attack in the center put a lot of pressure on the Russian defense. The Russians railed an army to Odessa and threw everything else in the south into a 3-1 counterattack versus a lone panzer corps. The panzer corps was eliminated but an untimely BR on 1st Impulse prevented the Russians from blocking the Lvov gap. The Germans drove forward in Jul/Aug, eliminating large numbers of Russian units. The Russian counterattack force in the south was pocketed and eliminated. The victories were not without cost as the Germans did take a couple exchanges. A 2nd Impulse Blitz attack by the Rumanian Mech unit succeeded in surrounding Odessa. The Russian Jul/Aug move found Rob very short of units. The Russians fell back to the Luga in the north and Dnepropetrovsk in the south. One infantry army was left behind to defend Kiev. The Russians did take a risk in the south, making a 2-1 versus the Rumanian Mech unit and sea moving an army to Odessa. Unfortunately, the 5-4 being sea transported to Odessa arrived flipped but the 2-1 attack succeeded in eliminating the Rumanian Mech corps and reopening supply to Odessa.

At this point, the game was hanging in the balance. Jim rolled the first of two big weather rolls and got Clear / Clear. Rob knew that he was in for a rough Sep/Oct turn but did have a +1 weather DRM for the Nov/Dec weather. The Russians dodged a bullet when a German invasion to undouble the Luga was aborted. The Germans set up for an undoubled 2nd Impulse attack on the Luga and swept into Veliki-Luki, Smolensk, and Bryansk. In the south, the Germans made a major effort to eliminate the Russians in and around Odessa. The panzers pocketed Odessa and three infantry corps were railed up to Odessa for a 2nd Impulse attack. [Art Lupinacci, who was watching the Final and taking photos of the map, commented that Odessa was the turning point. Without Kiev or Odessa, there was no Stuka support for an attack on Dnepropetrovsk.] The Germans eliminated the Odessa pocket and also captured Kiev with Stuka support. At this point, Rob took a strategic gamble with an already weak Russian army. The Russians advanced west of Dnepropetrovsk and counterattacked a German panzer at 3-1 and eliminated it. But a 1-1 Russian counterattack to regain the Luga and protect Leningrad was repulsed with losses. The Russians also advanced in the center towards Veliki-Luki and Smolensk.

We were now ready for the critical Nov/Dec weather roll. Fortunately, for the Russians, winter arrived early with Snow in November. The Germans went into their winter positions behind the Luga, in Veliki-Luki, Smolensk, Bryansk, Kiev, and Odessa. The Russians eliminated a stack of halved German infantry to unhinge the Luga in November. In December the Russians hit the German defenders in front of Veliki-Luki and Smolensk hard. Facing heavy losses and a rapidly deteriorating position in the north and center, Jim conceded at the end of Turn 4. Rob had earned his third consecutive Russia Besieged wood. Interestingly, both semi-final games and the Final failed to get past 1941. Combat fatigue was overcoming the players late at night. The tournament only figures to get more challenging next year.

Russia Besieged Play By Email

RUSSIA BESIEGED: Overview: Armchair warrior is proud to host the first BPA Sponsored "RBS PBeM Tournament". This single-elimination tournament will be used to crown a "Wood-worthy" RBS champion. Currently underway ... full details are available at Contact

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