Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report     

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Ed Menzel, CA

2006-09 Champion

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Event History
1992    Michael Uhrich     19
1993    Kevin McCarthy     17
1994    Allen Kaplan     18
1995    Vince Meconi     10
1996    Allen Kaplan     16
1997    Kevin McCarthy     22
1998    Kevin McCarthy     22
1999    Vince Meconi     10
2000    Vince Meconi     12
2001    Kevin McCarthy     18
2002    Vince Meconi     11
2003    Vince Meconi      8
2004    Allen Kaplan     28
2005    Jim Tracy     27
2006    Ed Menzel     33
2007    Ed Menzel     31
2008    Ed Menzel     33
2009    Ed Menzel     35

PBeM Event History
2006     Barry Shoults     26
2008    Vince Meconi     28



Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Ed Menzel          CA    09    182
  2.  Vincent Meconi     DE    09    156
  3.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    08     91
  4.  Dave Zimmerman     PA    09     78
  5.  Ted Drozd          IL    08     62
  6.  Barry Shoults      MI    07     56
  7.  Jim Tracy          OH    09     38
  8.  William Place      PA    08     31
  9.  Richard Beyma      MD    09     24
 10.  Mike Pacheco       CA    06     24
 11.  Greg Smith         FL    08     18
 12.  John Clarke        FL    09     12
 13.  Rob Doane          MA    08     12
 14.  Doug Porterfield   VA    07     12
 15.  Tom Grode          AZ    06     12
 16.  Michael Uhrich     PA    99     12
 17.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    03     10
 18.  Kevin McCarthy     OH    01     10
 19.  Bert Schoose       IL    08      9
 20.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    04      6
 21.  Wayne Morrison     FL    02      4
 22.  Robin Chiang       CA    08      3
 23.  Joel Ferich        PA    05      3
 24.  Buck Karpowitz     DC    03      3
 25.  Ken Whitesell      PA    00      3
 26.  Pete Pollard       TN    02      2
 27.  Bryan Van Nortwick NC    01      2
 28.  Roger Knowles      OH    01      1
 29.  Victor Hutcherson  MD    00      1

2009 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists 

Richard Beyma, VA

Dave Zimmrman, PA

John Clarke, FL

Vince Meconi. DE

Jim Tracy, OH

Past Winners

Michael Uhrich, PA

Kevin McCarthy, OH
'93, '97-'98, '01

Allen Kaplan, NJ
'94, '96, '04

Vince Meconi, DE
'95, '99-'00, '02-'03

Jim Tracy, OH

Erica Snarski and Bill Scott were just two of the 35 grognards to play the old Smithsonian title.

Ty Hansen and Craig Yope take a break from Axis & Allies to reinact Pickett's Charge.

Grognards Indeed


Can anybody beat Ed Menzel at Gettysburg '88? The answer would appear to be no, at least when the title is on the line, as the Fullerton, CA resident made it four consecutive championships at the 2009 World Boardgaming Championships in Lancaster, PA last month. Ed finished with an 8-4 record and defeated second-year contestant Richard Beyma (Blacksburg, VA/5-4) in the Final. Veteran Dave Zimmerman (Myerstown, PA) took third at 4-2 and another sophomore, John Clarke of Tampa, FL finished fourth with a 4-6 log. The 35 total entrants and 67 total games played both were all-time bests at WBC. Not bad considering that just six years ago we were down to eight players and seven total games played.

Preliminary games were played at the Grognardcon from Sunday through Tuesday, and at WBC proper from Tuesday through Friday. Friday night, the record 17 players who had played the required minimum number of games (three) to qualify for the Final Four were ranked, with the top four advancing to the single-elimination rounds. The top qualifiers were, in order, Ed Menzel (6-4, 68 Total Points), Dave Zimmerman (4-1, 66 Total Points), Richard Beyma (4-3, 64 Total Points), and John Clarke (4-5, 62 Total Points). Ed Menzel was the only player to repeat from last year's final four. As usual, all the playoff slots were determined by hairbreadth margins; one game won instead of lost would have meant a different playoff lineup. Places 5 through 10 were captured by, 5th, the GM (Wilmington, DE/6-2), 6th, Jim Tracy (Dayton, OH/6-4), 7th, Pat Mirk (Tampa, FL/4-1), 8th, Ted Drozd (Chicago, IL/4-2), 9th, Greg Smith (Boca Raton, FL/4-4), and 10th, Erica Snarski (Wilkes-Barre, PA/3-6).

In the Saturday morning semi-finals, #1 Ed Menzel faced #4 John Clarke, and #2 Dave Zimmerman squared off against #3 Richard Beyma. John Clarke's Confederates, bidding 5.0, damaged the Union on July 1, but suffered significant losses on turns 9-11 and resigned at the end of Turn 12 with only three unflipped infantry units remaining. Ed Menzel thus avenged a preliminary round loss to John. Meanwhile, Richard Beyma bid 7.5 for the Confederates against Dave Zimmerman. The South scored some good rolls early while North counterattacks did nothing. The Rebels attritioned the Yankees for three consecutive turns and turned the Union left flank. By Turn 9, the South continued to shred Union infantry stacks, and with Union counterattack capability diminished, they surrendered.

For the fourth year in a row, the final contest featured Ed Menzel against an opponent who had defeated him earlier in the tournament; this year, Richard Beyma had scored a July 1 knockout as the Confederates despite a bid of 5.0. And for the fourth year in a row, it was Ed Menzel turning the tables in the rematch. Richard acquired the Grey for a bid of 7.0. The Union managed to keep their losses low on the first day, with four factors killed and two flips. The Confederates suffered one factor dead and one flip. The Confederates also had two artillery units at hexes B4 and D2 blocking some of the Union's Turn 8 reinforcements. The tide turned on Turn 9 as the Confederates suffered an infantry flip and the two blocking units were eliminated. Turn 10 saw more Southern reverses, with an infantry flipped in one battle and a double infantry flip in another, followed by a chit transfer and the same result on the reroll. The snowball continued rolling downhill on Turns 11 and 12 with more Confederate casualties, leading to Lee's concession on Turn 12.

Dave Zimmerman's 4-0 mark as the Grey earned him Best Confederate Player honors. Best Union Player at 4-1 was Ted Drozd, the third time he has received the designation. Veteran gamer Tom Gregorio's 2-1-1 record, best among the 11 freshmen, garnered him the Rookie of the Year appellation.

Here are a few stats. As headlined, the field of 35 entrants exceeded by two the previous largest field, and the 67 total games played surged past last year's then-record total of 49. The South won 36 games to 29 for the North; there were two ties. 57 games used the campaign scenario, with the Confederates on top in 34 and the Union in 21, plus the aforementioned pair of draws. Nine games used the short July 1 scenario, with the Federals winning seven. One game featured the rarely used July 2 scenario; it was won by the Union. 46 games featured Confederate bids, ranging from 0.5 to 8.0 Victory Points, with the South prevailing 27 times to the North's 18, plus one tie. There was no bid in 20 games and the Blue came out on top ten times to nine for the Gray, with one tie. In the one July 2 scenario game, the Union made the bid for the only time at the WBC - and what a bid it was: 18! And they still won; in fact, the Confederates were wiped completely off the board! The competitors, Charles and Ted Drozd, stated that this proves the July 2 scenario is impossible for the Confederates to win.

It's clear that the Union has an advantage in the July 1, July 2, and July 2-3 scenarios, and that the Confederates have an advantage in the campaign scenario. Setting aside the single game with the Union bid, the average bid was 2.67/Confederate for all games and 3.84/ Confederate for games in which there was a bid. The latter is a full point higher than last year. Whether the bidding at these levels accurately reflects the aforementioned advantages remains to be seen. For example, no one has yet bid for the Union in the July 1 scenario, even though the Union is winning, on a percentage basis, more in that scenario than the Confederates are winning in the campaign scenario.

Average game length clocked in at 2 hours and 53 minutes, a little less than half an hour shorter than in 2008 (which had the longest game length since we began timing the games). Of course, the "average" included a 6-hour endurance contest as well as one that finished in 20 minutes, the shortest game on record.

Again this year, first thanks go to Bruno Sinigaglio for running the Grognardcon from Sunday through Tuesday afternoon. Thank you also to a quartet of Assistant GMs, Ted Drozd, Ed Menzel, Greg Smith, and Bill Thomson. Finally, Bill Morse deserves appreciation for completely automating the scoring at the WBC for all the Grognardcon games. Not having to calculate the standings takes a huge load off the GM.

Jim Tracy and Doug Porterfield refight the blue and the gray.

Richard Beyma tackles veteran Dave Zimmerman in the semi-finals.

It was youth versus experience in the Final and experience carried the day again.

Richard Beyma was unable to prevent Ed Menzel's fourth straight title.

 GM      Vincent Meconi [6th Year]   105 Churchill Ln, Wilmington, DE 19808-4355    NA

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