Updated 11/26/2008

Grognard Pre-Con
2008 WBC Report     

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Joe Beard, AZ

2008 Champion

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Event History
1991    Kevin McCarthy      17
1992    Rob Beyma      16
1993    Larry Lingle      16
1994    Joe Beard      18
1995    Joe Beard      10
1996    Bruno Sinigaglio      10
1997    Phil Evans      18
1998    Rob Beyma      16
1999    Chuch Stapp     17
2000    Rob Beyma     10
2001    John Clarke     18
2002    Rob Beyma     20
2003    Marty Musella     20
2004     Rob Beyma     17
2005    Marty Musella     18
2006    Rob Beyma     18
2007     Marty Musella     22
2008    Joe Beard     21

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    08    162
  2.  Marty Musella      VA    07    122
  3.  John Clarke        FL    07     73
  4.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    08     45
  5.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    01     31
  6.  Joe Beard          AZ    08     30
  7.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     30
  8.  Richard Beyma      MD    08     27
  9.  Bill Morse         VA    07     24
 10.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    02     18
 11.  Bill Scott         VA    05     16
 12.  Pat Mirk           FL    06     15
 13.  James Tracy        OH    07     12
 14.  Tim Miller         GA    04     12
 15.  Larry Lingle       PA    00     12
 16.  John Ellsworth     IL    99      9
 17.  Gary Dickson       CA    05      8
 18.  Johnny Hasay       PA    01      8
 19.  Don Tatum          MD    08      6
 20.  Steve Likevich     OH    05      6
 21.  Ivan Lawson        MD    02      6
 22.  Mike Horn          FL    06      3
 23.  Greg Smith         PA    02      3

2008 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists:

Rob Beyma, MD

Mark Gutfreund, KY

Richard Beyma, MD

Don Tatum, MD

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Past Winners

Kevin McCarthy. OH

Rob Beyma, MD
'92, 98, 00, 02, 04, 06

Larry Lingle, PA

Joe Beard, AZ
1994-1995, 2008

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Phil Evans, VA

Chuck Stapp, PA

John Clarke, FL

Marty Musella, VA
2003, 2005, 2007


Battle of the Beymas: It's father vs son in the semi-final. It appears the Younger still has a few things to learn from the Elder, chip off the old block that he may be.

GM Marty Musella and Mark Gutfreund. Despite his "retirement", Marty played this year, although perhaps not enough. Mark made the elimination round.

Another Grognard Classic

Waterloo, a classic old dog that can learn a new trick, enjoyed a virtual slugfest of well-balanced games. The tone and playing time have changed with the widespread use of the10-sided die Combat Results Table (CRT) resulting in shorter games, a quicker tempo of play, and added uncertainty regarding established defensive tactics. The wide spread use of 2 to 1 attacks, especially in the first half of the game, increases the tension level considerably for both the French and Prussian Anglo-Allied (PAA) players. Also, the well known defense of positioning a single 6-4 or larger infantry division so that it can only be attacked from a single hex, thereby negating the classic 3 to 1 attack, has lost that sense of invulnerability associated with the old CRT. The new CRT has been viewed by many as providing opportunities for challengers to test the play of the established masters of Waterloo. This theory seemed to be borne out in the scramble to reach the semi-finals with two relative newcomers competing against two masters with Richard "Beyma the Younger" versus Rob "Beyma the Elder" in semi-final #1 and Mark "The Warrior" Gutfreund versus Joe "The Surgeon" Beard, who arrived at the GrognardCon pre-convention after a 9 year hiatus, paired for semi-final #2.

The first semi-final pitted father against son based on the excellent preliminary play of Richard Beyma. Side selection had a slight psychological twist to it as Richard bid 13 factors to play the PAA in anticipation of his father's attempts to bid higher still to prevent this. However, Rob only bid 2, so while Richard got to play his preferred side, it came at an elevated cost. Beyma the Elder's opening featured a classic pincer attack with the main body of the French Army heading east of Quatre Bras aiming for Wavre and a supporting column heading for Nivelles. The massive Prussian divisions guarding the heights south of Quatre Bras faced a field empty of French grenadiers. June 16th was characterized by almost all marching as Rob's French sought positional advantages along the width of his advance. As the French closed on Nivelles late in the day, Rob uncharacteristically launched several 2 to 1 attacks on the large infantry divisions guarding the road south of Nivelles. Simultaneously, a full corps attack supported by the Imperial Guard destroyed a Prussian 6-4 aggressively positioned on the forward slope east of Quatre Bras with an additional 2 to1 supporting attack along the road. These well-coordinated attacks across the front were designed to put maximum pressure on Richard's combined PAA armies. Richard immediately parried these thrusts with his own counterattacks near Quatre Bras and re-positioned his forces on his right flank in the vicinity of Nivelles. Meanwhile, a bloody exchange highlighted the fight on the eastern flank along the Thil River with each side losing an infantry division. At this stage of the game losses were equal. Late on the 16th, the battles reached a crescendo as Rob's French continued their drive toward Wavre, trying to penetrate the Dyle River line and destroying a Prussian 6-4 infantry division as Richard's PAA labored to set up a doubled river line defense. The French boldly advanced down the primary road east of Quatre Bras sweeping aside the single delaying cavalry brigade but Richard's PAA reacted with a reinforced Corps counterattack that annihilated the Middle Guard and forced the Imperial Guard 8-4 artillery unit back two hexes. This ferocious assault compelled Rob to quickly withdraw the entire French force threatening Quatre Bras out of range of further PAA attacks. However, the concentration of PAA forces in this sector enabled the French to gain an overwhelming combat ratio along the Dyle River forcing the PAA units to retire to the LaLasne River. In the Nivelles sector, the French succeeded in controlling the road to Braine Le Comte blocking the arriving British reinforcements. In reaction, Richard's PAA withdrew the bulk of their divisions to the vicinity of Genappe and north of Nivelles with the normal delaying forces east of Quatre Bras and at Nivelles. The morning of 17 June began relatively quietly for the French with marching replacing fighting as they advanced toward the LaLasne River and closed on Quatre Bras and Nivelles. However, Richard saw an opportunity to cripple the French at Nivelles that his dad had overlooked and launched a large scale attack from his central position on a stack of 12 factors with a 3 to 1 attack. While he re-took Nivelles, this crucial attack resulted in a bloody exchange that would have significant consequences on the force loss comparison and seriously impacted PAA morale. Undaunted elsewhere, Rob's French continued their relentless advance toward the LaLasne, seized Wavre by destroying a single Hanovarian infantry brigade, launched a reconnaissance-in-force toward Genappe, and closed on Quatre Bras. But in the Nivelles sector Richard's bold counterattack did force Rob to precipitously withdraw as he pursued his thrust and parry strategy of retiring in the face of PAA strength knowing that there would be weaknesses in other sectors. Mastering this strategy is the key to successful French play in Waterloo. During the morning of 17 June, Richard reinforced the LaLasne River line and launched an audacious (low odds) counterattack against the recce-in-force units trapped near a river but were driven back two hexes missing another important opportunity to keep factor loss levels near equal. He also started to concentrate his large infantry divisions near Mont St Jean with a phased retrograde movement northward from Genappe and Nivelles. Rob's French followed up this PAA withdrawal and managed to catch several Prussian units that the normally alert Richard had failed to notice could be overtaken by the French. At this stage of the game losses favored the French 66 to 46. The depleted PAA formed their main battle line south of Mont St. Jean during the afternoon of 17 June in anticipation of assaults from the converging French forces all the time sending frantic dispatches to speed the Prussian IV Corps. As Rob's French cautiously advanced toward Mont St. Jean in an impressive line of battle, they once again retired their flanking force on the LaLasne River in the face of PAA force superiority. Richard's PAA now faced the daunting task of having to defend a line extending all the way from Braine La Leude on his right, through Mont St. Jean, and along the LaLasne River. As evening approached, the French exploited a small gap in the line that enabled them to launch a coordinated assault with their right wing forces on the LaLasne River that undoubled a Prussian 6-4. This was the piece de resistance of a massive general assault by the French Army and sounded the death knell for the combined PAA armies. Even with the exchanges from these attacks, the PAA counterattacks could not make up the deficit in losses as many of their low odds attacks were unsuccessful. The sun set on 17 June and on Beyma the Younger's attempt to de-throne Beyma the Elder as the best Waterloo player at least for this year. The caliber of play by both players in this semi-final was outstanding as Rob was required to pull all of his best strategy and tactics out of his playbook to overcome his son's determined defense.

In the second semi-final, The Surgeon magnanimously offered The Warrior his choice of sides and Mark chose the PAA since he had more experience with that side. Joe's French opened the game with an advance on a broad front across the width of the board with the main effort on the right toward Wavre, screening forces in front of Quatre Bras and a secondary thrust toward Nivelles, a classic opening. Mark deployed the better part of two Prussian corps to contest the French advance toward Wavre, defended the heights in the center at Quatre Bras, while also using the bulk of the arriving British units to defend Nivelles. Late in the afternoon of the first day, Joe's French launched a major attack on Nivelles that resulted in Picton's large (7-4) British division being trapped against a river and driven back to its destruction. Mark reacted by concentrating the PAA forces at Nivelles but was unsuccessful in holding it as it fell to the French on the last turn of 16 June while Mark's PAA retired to defensive positions behind the river directly north of Nivelles. On the opposite flank, the PAA established doubled defensive positions behind the Thil and Dyle River lines. As dawn broke on June 17th, Joe's French paused at Nivelles assuming a defensive posture as they policed up the wounded and resupplied their ammunition in preparation for a resumption of their advance. Meanwhile, the French eliminated those pesky cavalry units screening Quatre Bras. On the right, the main French force pivoted to the west and forced the Thil River line by 1 pm destroying the small Prussian rear guard infantry division while a mixed cavalry/horse artillery force galloped straight for Wavre. Simultaneously Joe's French went over to the offensive at Nivelles resulting in the PAA setting up a defensive line anchored on the doubled hill and river positions from Nivelles to Genappe and beyond using their formidable infantry divisions. By mid-afternoon on the 17th, the point of main effort shifted back to the Nivelles sector with two major assaults against doubled positions that exceeded French expectations with the total destruction of the two defending divisions. The shaken but resolute combined PAA armies began a measured withdrawal northward toward Mont St. Jean and Mark reinforced the forces at the LaLasne River against the approaching French cavalry. Late on 17 June, Joe's French began a careful advance toward Mont St. Jean screening his main battle line with cavalry in anticipation of possible low odds counterattacks from Mark's demoralized PAA forces while sending additional forces to strengthen the wing moving up to the LaLasne River. Additionally, Joe dispatched a small covering force led by the Young Guard infantry division, to contest the arrival of the Prussian IV Corps if they used the primary road on the east edge of the board to threaten the French rear. Joe was making all preparations for a massive French assault on the morning of 18 June. Sensing impending doom and despite the arrival of the distant Prussian IV Corps, Mark threw his entire combined PAA armies against the well screened French lines in a series of low odds attacks. These desperation assaults resulted in merely driving back the French divisions two hexes and they would return with a vengeance. Mark's morale sagged as the massive dressed French battle line, led by the Old Guard, surged forward on all sectors engaging almost all of the PAA units. These devastating attacks were executed with perfection and final reports told of how Mark "The Warrior" Gutfreund died heroically at the hands of French lancers commanding the final Prussian rear-guard as the routed PAA survivors fled the battlefield and Joe "The Surgeon" Beard rode victoriously into Brussels and the Waterloo Final.

A real "Clash of the (Waterloo) Titans" now lay in store for the championship game, much anticipated by the rest of the Waterloo players. But alas, in a repeat of last year involving Richard, Rob was unable to play the championship game. He was locked into the Russia Besieged Final and that was his team game. So, he made a decision to play that Final, which he won, and that victory best supported his team.

Early intelligence reports indicate that Beyma the Elder may be retiring again from further Waterloo competition effectively passing his baton to his son. Whether Joe "The Surgeon" Beard returns from the far West next year also remains to be seen. That pretty much opens the doors for the next set of contenders to the Waterloo throne. Come join us next year and give this simple, balanced, really old (but revered!) classic a try!


Go to those kiosks and take a left. The Old Folks home is right inside.

 John Clarke, Bill Scott and Pat Mirk push cardboard.
 GM      Marty Musella  [4th Year]  14520 Oak Cluster Dr., Centreville, VA 20120 
    Martin.l.musella@mdnt.com   703-414-6609

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