afrika korps   

Updated 11/15/2011
Grognard Pre-Con
 2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
Vincent Meconi, DE
2011 Champion



Event History
1991      John Poniske      12
1992      Mike Crowe      15
1993      Joe Beard      20
1994      Joe Beard      17
1995      Phil Evans      16
1996      Bruno Sinigaglio      10
1997      Bruno Sinigaglio      25
1998      Gregory Smith      23
1999      Gregory Smith     24
2000      Randy Heller     20
2001      Lane Newbury     29
2002      Vince Meconi     29
2003      Jonathan Lockwood     22
2004      Randy Heller      30
2005      John Popiden      20
2006      Vince Meconi      34
2007      Bert Schoose      23
2008      John Popiden      24
2009      Vince Meconi      20
2010      Bert Schoose      19
2011   Vince Meconi   22

PBeM Event History
2003      Ed Menzel     26
2008      Bruno Sinigaglio      26
2010      Bert Schoose      26

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Vince Meconi       DE    11    209
   2.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    10    158
   3.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    11    153
   4.  Bert Schoose       IL    11    147
   5.  John Popiden       CA    10    108
   6.  Ed Menzel          CA    11    106
   7.  Randy Heller       MD    11     81
   8.  Lane Newbury       TX    03     48
   9.  Greg Smith         PA    08     44
  10.  James Tracy II     OH    11     31
  11.  Bill Morse         VA    10     30
  12.  Barry Smith        NY    08     30
  13.  Joe Beard          AZ    10     27
  14.  Doug Burke         MD    03     24
  15.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     21
  16.  Phil Evans         fr    01     15
  17.  Gary Dickson       CA    05     12
  18.  Johnny Hasay       PA    04     12
  19.  Andrew Miller      GA    03      9
  20.  Robert Hahn        NY    02      8
  21.  Bill Scott         VA    10      6
  22.  Pat Mirk           FL    09      6
  23.  Ted Drozd          IL    08      6
  24.  Steve Likevich     OH    01      6
  25.  Chris Godfrey      MA    06      3

2011 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists

Ed Menzel, CA

Bert Schoose, IL

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Jim Tracy, OH

Randy Heller, NH

Past Winners

John Poniske, PA

Mike Crowe, VA

Joe Beard, AZ

Phil Evans, fr

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Greg Smith, PA

Randy Heller, MD
2000, 2004

Lane Newbury, TX

Vince Meconi, DE
2002, 2006, 2009, 2011

Jonathan Lockwood, VA

John Popiden, CA
2005, 2008

Bert Schoose, IL
2007, 2010

GM Jonathan Lockwood lectures one and all on the benefits of the Palevda Gambit.

Ed Menzel's Axis forces schools head grognard Bruno Sinigaglio in the semi-finals.

once more behind the sand dunes with the grognards ...

The top four seeded players after the 2011 Swiss preliminaries were: Bert Schoose, Ed Menzel, Bruno Sinigaglio and Vince Meconi in that order. All but Ed could claim former champion status in this event and between them they accounted for nine AFK titles.

In the first semi-final match between three-time champion Meconi (Axis) and two-time champion Schoose, Vince was delayed by the British in classic fashion as Rommel pushed them back to Tobruch with flanking maneuvers. Bert's Royal Navy played havoc with Vince's supplies, sinking three of five in April, May and June, but Vince still managed to force Bert back into Tobruch. Once the Cyrennaica fortress was encircled, Rommel moved east. However, further successful operations against the allies were impossible as the Royal Navy sunk three of four supply convoys in July and August. At this point, the German supply line back to Tripoli had become untenable and Vince had to resort to the Holy Hand Grenade (1-1 low odds attack on Tobruch). The Grenade worked, and the Allies were now the ones in trouble as two 4-4-7's and a 3-3-7 were eliminated and Rommel was inspecting captured supplies in Tobruch. Bert now realized that his chances of holding Alexandria until the arrival of the November Crusader reinforcements were nil without a counterattack. Alas, his two 1-1 attacks resulted in an A Elim and an A Back. The Axis captured Alexandria on Nov 1 to secure their victory.

In the other semi-final, Menzel sent his entire 21st Panzer south and Sinagaglio considered using GM Lockwood's Paleveda Gambit (sending a supplied blocking force of two 2-2-6s into Cyrenaica near Bengasi). He opted instead for the more conservative choice of a standard umbrella defense around Tobruch. Eventually, the Axis pushed the British into Tobruch. However, Ed was plagued by bad rolls on soak-off attacks, forcing the Axis to invest Tobruch with only an Italian 2-3-4 on H24 and another on H26. The British fell back to El Alemein to await the Axis onslaught. Ed dispatched Rommel to hold the Axis home base, because he needed the 2-2-4 garrison to replace his Italian losses. At the beginning of the British Aug 1 turn, the Afrika Korps was halted at El Alemein, and Savena, traveling from the home base, was a turn from closing the investment completely at Tobruch. Bruno seized the opportunity to attack out of Tobruk at 2-1, before the investment could be sealed - a D Elim, D back or Exchange would doom the Afrika Korps far to the east. However, an A Back 2 instead killed 12 irreplaceable British factors and saved the Afrika Korps. Ed now turned his eastern force westward and captured Tobruch in September. With the arrival of the November Crusader reinforcements, the war dragged on into 1942. In the ensuing slugging match at the El Alamein line, Bruno narrowly missed destroying the two German 7-7-10s with a 1-2 attack using two 4-4-7's. In his second major counterattack, Bruno killed a 7-7-10, a 3-3-7 and an Italian on a 1-1 attack, but Ed's counterattack created a German advance into Ruweisat, trapping and killing two adjacent 4-4-7's without supply. At that point, Bruno lost his home base and Ed's Axis forces prevailed.

The Championship match began poorly for Menzel's Axis on May 1 with a 4-1 Exchange vs a doubled 2-2-6 at G18. Vince's Royal Navy then made matters worse by sinking the Axis supplies on May 2 and June 1. As a result, Rommel was not able to force the allies into Tobruk before arrival of the June reinforcements. After several attacks and the accompanying expenditure of much supply, the Axis invested Tobruch and moved east. The British had the upper hand at this juncture and the German position deteriorated further as several more supply convoys were sunk by the Royal Navy.

On Sep 1, 1941, with Ed's Axis hopelessly bogged down, he decided to change his fortunes by using the Holy Hand Grenade versus Tobruch. The desperation attack succeeded with a D Elim, and Ed waltzed into Tobruch. The Axis now headed east, but paused to send a 7-7-10 far to the south to eliminate a pesky 1-1-12 moving west along the southern edge of the board. But Vince had purposely exposed that unit in order to execute a 1-2 surrounded counterattack against the exposed 7-7-10. The attack failed, and Ed made the situation worse by killing another four British factors. The Germans now became more methodical in their approach to the Alam Halfa escarpments and the British were able to land the November reinforcements. Vince launched another desperate counterattack, which killed four Axis factors and an axis supply at the cost of eight allied factors, including a 4-4-7. The Axis still held the upper hand and now attacked killing six factors, including the last British 4-4-7.

It was now Dec 1, 1941, and Vince was down to 25 factors. The British, cramped into the vicinity of the home base, used 14 factors on one critical 1-1 attack vs a German 7-7-10, 3-4-6 and 3-3-10. Four other factors were needed for a 1-5 soakoff. Incredibly, Vince rolled a D Elim on the 1-1 and an A Back 2 on the soakoff, effectively kneecapping the Afrika Korps.

The tide had turned again as Vince regained the upper hand. Ed attempted to recover the initiative on the next turn, but an Exchange killed eight more factors on each side. Those losses Vince could sustain, but Ed had only six units remaining and he could no longer both continue the attack and protect the axis supply line. At this point Ed surrendered a well fought championship match to Vince, who became our first four-time Afrika Korps champion.

Vince Meconi's Germans stop defending champ Bert Schoose in the semi-finals with the Holy Hand Grenade.

Ed Menzel comes up short in a bid for his first AFK crown as Vince Meconi claims his fourth title.
 GM      Jonathan Lockwood  [12th Year]   P.O. Box 3436, Reston, VA 20195-1436   703-476-5237

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