Updated 11/30/2009

Grognards Pre-Con
2009 WBC Report  

  2010 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Rich Northey, MA

2009 Champion

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Event History
1991    Bart Rigg      12
1992    Johnny Hasay      10
1993    Tom Kearney      12
1994    Johnny Hasay      12
1995    Dave Giordano      10
1996    Eduardo De Nuccia      14
1997    Dave Giordano      20
1998    Chuck Leonard      16
1999    Dave Giordano     16
2000    Bill Scott     20
2001    Bill Scott     12
2002    Marty Musella     18
2003    Bill Scott     16
2004    Chuck Leonard     34
2005     Marty Musella     21
2006    Greg Tanner     19
2007     Bert Schoose     22
2008    Bert Schoose     23
2009    Rich Northey     23

PBeM Event History
2005    Eduardo DeNucci     19

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bill Scott         VA    08    127
  2.  Marty Musella      VA    09    125
  3.  Chuck Leonard      PA    09     90
  4.  Bert Schoose       IL    09     73
  5.  Greg Tanner        AZ    09     50
  6.  Dave Giordano      NJ    01     47
  7.  Rich Northey       MA    09     44
  8.  Alan Arvold        IL    09     36
  9.  Eduardo DeNucci    ag    05     26
 10.  Johnny Hasay       PA    05     21
 11.  Donald Webster     MD    05     21
 12.  Tom Cooper         OH    05     15
 13.  Peter Bertram      GA    05     12
 14.  Dave Talmage       VA    01     12
 15.  Jay Zollitsch      WI    00     12
 16.  Bill Thomson       TX    08      9
 17.  Steve Andriakos    TX    07      9
 18.  Joe Avinger        GA    05      8
 19.  Matt Spitznagel    MD    03      8
 20.  Tim Greene         TN    00      8
 21.  Randy MacInnis     NJ    05      6
 22.  Kurt Kurtz         OH    03      6
 23.  John Sharp         FL    05      5
 24.  Fred Schwarz       MI    05      4
 25.  Mark McBride       OH    02      3
 26.  Bill Riggs         VA    03      2
 27.  Tom Shaw           MD    02      1

2009 Laurelists                                       Repeating Laurelists:

Marty Musella, VA

Chuck Leonard, PA

Alan Arvold, IL

Bert Schoose, IL

Greg Tanner, AZ

Past Winners

91: Bart Rigg, KY
Tom Kearney, NC

Johnny Hasay, PA
1992, 1994

Dave Giordano, NJ
1995, 1997, 1999

Eduardo DeNucci, ARG

Chuck Leonard, PA
1998, 2004

Bill Scott, VA
2000-2001, 2003

Marty Musella, VA
2002, 2005

Greg Tanner, AZ

Bert Schoose, IL

Rich Northey, MA


The four finalists with a new face among the usual suspects.

It's not every day a new Grognard champ is crowned.

The first "hit" wargame

Tactical Warfare on the Eastern Front
For the 19th straight year, participants gathered to compete in the annual PanzerBlitz tournament at WBC.  As has been the recent custom, preliminary play for this event started in the Grognard precon on Saturday before the official start of WBC.  The format was 'free form', which permitted players to play matches according to their own schedule.  The play continued into WBC proper as the players competed for one of the coveted spots in the final four. 
Some of the early action included a tied score in scenario 23 between Alan Arvold and Rich Northey, two players that would eventually make it into the final four.  Alan and Rich were involved in the outcome of ten of the first 11 games played in this event.  In the other match, not involving those two, former champ Johnny Hasay knocked off John Clarke in scenario 54.  Jeff Schulte was winless in five matches but this was mainly because he ran into a bit of a buzz saw as all five of his games were played against either Rich, who has made the semi-finals of this event the past couple of years; or against the two finalists from the 2008 event.
During this year's tournament, matches included play of 14 different scenarios, including three PanzerLeader matches.   Scenario 1A was the choice in four matches with the Russians winning three.  Interestingly, the Germans won 79% of the games not involving scenario 1A.  There was one other tied match.  Since there were a variety of scenarios played, it likely does not reflect a play balance issue but rather just a statistical anomaly.
When the preliminaries ended, the top four positions for the semi-finals were Rich Northey (4-3-1) with 38 points, Alan Arvold (3-2-1) with 34 points, Marty Musella (2-1-0) with 31 points, and two-time defending champion Bert Schoose (3-0-0) with 30 points.  Bert could not play in the semi-finals, so Chuck Leonard (2-3-0) secured the fourth spot with 27 points in preliminary play.

The first semi-final match pitted Chuck against Rich.  They agreed to play scenario 1A.  Northey opened his Russian attack with an aggressive partisan and cavalry movement on the German's right flank along with an armored infantry attack on the left and in the center.  The armor and infantry attacked the 120mm mortar position on hill 129 while keeping relentless pressure using the cavalry and partisans on the German right.

Somewhat demoralized by the rapid collapse of hill 129, Leonard ordered an expeditionary force deep into Russian occupied territory and surrounded one of the 82mm mortar units and its transport on Turn 3.  In the meantime, the German's 120mm mortar was eliminated after surviving one turn dispersed. The Germans most powerful direct fire weapon was gone without firing a single shot.

The German's spirits were soon lifted by the successful destruction of the 82mm mortar and the disruption of virtually all of the attainable firing positions for the Russian's mortars. Rich dispatched a tank platoon to protect the remaining mortars and their transport.  A struggle over positions along hill 135 ensued however, the needed firing positions were denied the Russians by the German expeditionary force and this struggle yielded more kills for the Germans: another mortar and a wagon in turn and eventually one of the T-34s and finally a second wagon paid the ultimate price.

In the meantime the Germans successfully halted the encroachment of the partisans and cavalry on the right and it became clear that they could not reach the road without exposing themselves to elimination.  This seeming success came at the cost of two German rifle companies versus no losses for the Russians.  An outcome that once seemed decisively in favor of the German side but later was revealed to be a major success for the Russians.

The valley between hill 129 and 132 became a Russian playground. A variety of units took up residence on the road for a projected victory point result of 13 to 13.  Since ties were adjudicated to be Russian wins in this scenario at its start, Chuck's Germans were forced into a variety of risky attacks in an effort to disperse one of the units on the road.  Rich assaulted in an attempt to disrupt those Germans before they could attack.  In the end, some of Chuck's units were able to avoid dispersal and they got off some shots on the last German turn but none of the three low odds attacks were successful so the game ended in a 13-13 tie (Russian win) and a well-played victory for Rich Northey over Chuck Leonard.

The second semi-final match had Marty Musella play Alan Arvold.  Their match saw them play scenario 14 with Marty as the Germans against Alan's Russians.  The match began with a screening force deployed to the east to block a Russian armored relief force while the German assault group attacked the CP in the town.  The Russians were caught by surprise and their defensive fire had no effect.  German fire quickly destroyed part of the Russian anti-tank guns and the veteran infantry with supporting engineers destroyed the Russian CP.
On the next turn, Marty's German fire against the remaining anti-tank forces again missed (rookie tank crews?!!).   Fortunately, the veteran infantry close assaulted to successfully clear the town.  The German recon forces withdrew to cover the assault force withdrawal.  Russian relief armor had pushed into the carnage of the town so the German armor retreated using the infantry to cover their movement.  Next, German assault guns overran two Russian security companies in revenge for their attack that had destroyed a tank platoon.  Alan's tank fire destroyed three infantry platoons to leave only one German platoon remaining in the town.  The northern Russian infantry force moved to cut the German escape with an infantry assault on Opustoschenia.
On Turn 5, Musella's Germans are in full flight trying to avoid the pursuing Russians who mopped up the last German platoons in Bednost along with the two assault gun platoons. The long range mortars also destroyed a recon car platoon.
Turn 6 saw the German forces split into two elements by the fast advancing Russians with one element retreating towards Golad and the other in Graybosh.  The Russians allowed the Germans at Golad to escape and concentrated on eliminating the elements cornered in Graybosh.  Alan had trapped the German forces in Graybosh as his Russian forces closed in to finish them off.  The other German element of light recon units returned to the fray threatening Russian security forces holding Zabvenia.
It turned out that the German attack at Zabvenia was just a feint by Marty as those forces withdrew to the safety of Golad.  At Graybosh, Alan launched a combined infantry and tank assault hoping to kill an armored platoon to score the final points for victory.  However, the German defense was based on mobility and they were able to overrun three Russian truck platoons and one infantry company for four crucial victory points.  More importantly, the remaining defenders became invisible to Russian direct fire.  The final CAT attack was too weak and was easily repulsed.  The game ended with 34 victory points for the Germans to 30 for the Russians as Marty returned to the PanzerBlitz Final after an absence of two years.  Alan had a great run for the second consecutive year and vowed to make another attempt to win this event in 2010.
The Final was contested over scenario 52.   Rich's German battle group occupied the town of Bednost as they had been alerted to Marty's Russian raiding force in the vicinity. Out of the early morning mist, a Russian tank brigade launched an immediate massed infantry/tank assault on the town.  The alerted Germans responded with very accurate tank fire that decimated the supporting Russian tanks and followed that fire with engineer supported infantry counter-attacks that slowed the main Russian attack by disrupting several of Marty's tank companies.
The Russian direct fire attack finally got underway when massed anti-tank batteries and supported tank fire cleared one town hex of Bednost by fire which Russian infantry quickly occupied.  A Russian battalion managed to disrupt the prized command post (CP) objective hex with a close assault.  The German responded with fire that eliminated two additional tank companies and disrupted the infantry company in the town to prevent it from spotting for the other Russian guns.
On Turn 3, Marty's Russian attack slowed as he repositioned guns for future attacks and continued infantry close assaults that were not very effective even though they managed to keep the objective CP hex disrupted.  German close assaults were also ineffective for Rich this turn.  One German tank platoon successfully overran a Russian company.  It was destroyed by Russian fire at the beginning of the next turn.
Turn 4 was another session of maneuver for the Russians as the infantry company spotted for supporting anti-tank fire which destroyed the defending German howitzer battery.  A Russian company then occupied a second town hex while the single remaining tank company moved to occupy the town hex next to the German CP objective hex.  The Russians also deployed two 45mm anti-tank batteries and advanced covering truck platoons into assault positions next to the third and fourth town hexes in the rear of the German CP.  Rich's German response was quick and deadly with direct artillery fire destroying one anti-tank battery and two truck platoons.  Another truck platoon was lost in an overrun.
With a sense of desperation growing on both sides, the Russians fifth turn opened with very accurate tank fire at low odds that successfully disrupted the objective CP hex.  This lucky shot greatly increased the chances for the following massed infantry result to destroy the CP and basically gave the game to the Russians on a roll of 1 through 4.  The die spun and bounced but ended up with 6 pips displayed! 
The lone functioning German tank platoon tried to break up the infantry assault by overrunning two big Russian companies but the valiant maneuver by four tanks was totally ineffective.  In the rear of the CP, Rich's German units kept the adjacent Russian units pinned down by fire and left them unable to spot.
Russian anti-tank guns opened the next turn by destroying the German tanks out in the open after their unsuccessful overrun the previous turn.  Victory was again within Marty's grasp after the last Russian tank unit hit another lucky shot that disrupted the CP hex opening the way for its destruction by the Russian infantry.  Once again, the Germans were able to stop the Russian assault cold in their tracks.
On the final turn, victory depended on the ability of Marty's Russian tank to repeat for a third time its incredible shooting.  When his unit ran out of ammo, the CP could not be destroyed so Marty conceded the match.  Rich won with 21 victory points to Marty's 5 although the match appeared to be much closer than the final score indicated.
Six of the ten previous champions of this event played in the 2009 event but despite this tough field, a new winner emerged.  Rich won the event to capture his first ever WBC title, well done!  As a matter of fact, all 11 players that have ever won the PanzerBlitz event during its history, experienced the same thing in that each case it was that player's first WBC championship.  The moral of the story seems to be that if you are interested in capturing 'wood' at the WBC; you will need to join in on the fun of thePanzerBlitz tournament as this event is where champions are made!

 GM      Bert Schoose [2nd Year]  NA   NA

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