Updated 11/17/2011

Grognard Pre-Con

2011 WBC Report     

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment

Richard Beyma, VA

2009-11 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
2009    Richard Beyma     19
2010    Richard Beyma     22
2011    Richard Beyma     25

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Beyma          MD    08    162
  2.  Marty Musella      VA    11    146
  3.  Richard Beyma      MD    11    107
  4.  John Clarke        FL    10     97
  5.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    11     61
  6.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    01     31
  7.  Joe Beard          AZ    08     30
  8.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     30
  9.  Ray Clark          CT    11     27
 10.  Pat Mirk           FL    09     27
 11.  Joe Angiolillo     CT    11     24
 12.  Bill Morse         VA    07     24
 13.  Tim Miller         GA    11     23
 14.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    02     18
 15.  Bill Scott         VA    05     16
 16.  James Tracy        OH    07     12
 17.  Larry Lingle       PA    00     12
 18.  John Ellsworth     IL    99      9
 19.  John Popiden       CA    09      8
 20.  Gary Dickson       CA    05      8
 21.  Johnny Hasay       PA    01      8
 22.  Don Tatum          MD    08      6
 23.  Steve Likevich     OH    05      6
 24.  Ivan Lawson        MD    02      6
 25.  Mike Horn          FL    06      3
 26.  Phil Evans         VA    03      3
 27.  Greg Smith         PA    02      3

2011 Laurelists                                   Repeating Laurelists:

Ray Clark, CT

Joe Angiolillo, CT

Tim Miller, GA

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Marty Musella, MD

Past Winners

Kevin McCarthy. OH

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

Larry Lingle, PA

Joe Beard, AZ
1994-95, 2008

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Phil Evans, VA

Chuck Stapp, PA

John Clarke, FL

Marty Musella, VA
2003, 2005, 2007

Richard Beyma, VA

Joe Angiolillo vs Steve Packwood

Robert Frisby vs Bill Riggs

Another Grognard Classic

In 2011 the GM for Waterloo set two objectives. The first objective was to ensure that this timeless classic retained its Century position in the list of games enjoyed by many at the WBC. The other was to evaluate two minor rule changes concerning Prussian & Anglo-Allied (PAA) stacking and attack coordination. These rule modifications were instituted to fine tune the play balance so as to make the PAA play slightly more challenging and revive a heightened sense of competitiveness in game play. The GM based this decision on his observations and evaluations of tournament play spanning the last 16 years along with discussions with most of the veteran players who have been competing in this game for over 40 years. In addition, the prohibitions governing Prussian and British units stacking in the same hex or combining to attack the same French unit historically reflect the lack of tactical coordination between the British and Prussian armies during the Waterloo campaign.

The future looks bright as both objectives were seemingly achieved! With 25 players, the most in recent memory, and with an average game playing time of 5+ hours, Waterloo will, almost certainly, be included in the Century list for the 2012 WBC. Likewise, the two rule modifications will be retained for next year since the general consensus among Waterloo players was that the modifications did make PAA play a tad more difficult. This supports the play balance statistics which show that the PAA side was winning slightly more games than the French side.

Waterloo in 2011 witnessed a continuing trend where several of the participants were returning veteran players who had not played the game for many years. Two of the semi-finalists were repeats from last year who joined perennial contender Richard Beyma and Tim Miller, another experienced player. These four grognards, succeeded in eliminating a large pool of veteran players most of whom had been semi-finalists in previous tournaments. Semi-final #1 featured returning semi-finalist Ray "The Rapacious" Clark paired against Tim "The Terrible" Miller. In Semi-final #2 the number 1 seed, defending champ Richard "Beyma the Younger" was pitted against Joe "The Anvil" Angiolillo, also a repeat semi-finalist from last year.

Ray Clark assumed command of the French legions while Tim Miller prepared the defensive positions for the combined PAA armies in Semi-final #1. The French opening was quite traditional with a cavalry heavy force moving toward Nivelle while the bulk of the French army advanced toward Quatre Bras from the east with a threat to advance down the Tilly to Wavre corridor. All of the combat on 16 June in fact took place on the Nivelle and Tilly fronts with a large number of exchanges, several important D back 2 results sparing French divisions while annoying the PAA commander. French attacks at 7 PM featured the first major assaults against the Quatre Bras defenses highlighted by an exchange of the Imperial Guard artillery (an 8-4) for a Prussian infantry division (a 6-4). Supporting French attacks also took place in front of Nivelle and at Tilly. By the end of the day the overall resultant loss ratio favored Ray's French. Holding the initiative, Ray's French resumed offensive operations at 7 AM on 17 June near Tilly where a large Prussian infantry division was destroyed in heavy fighting. Tim's British forces commenced a slow withdrawal through Nivelle covered by sacrificial cavalry brigades and he mirrored this activity retreating from Quatre Bras at the same time. Throughout 17 June Tim only initiated two counterattacks along his entire front while Ray's French launched major attacks almost every turn forcing the PAA back toward Mont St. Jean. When coupled with the automatic victories over the PAA rearguard delaying units, the results allowed the French to gain a very favorable loss ratio by the end of 17 June. Also, by this time Tim's depleted PAA forces had little maneuver room and were forced to defend both roads off the north edge of the board as separate battles. Consequently, Ray could mass the bulk of the French Army against one of these forces and he succeeded in overwhelming the eastern force near the secondary road. With the secondary road to Brussels open to French movement and the resultant PAA defections, Tim realized his cause was lost and offered his sword in surrender to Ray. (GM note: Tim's prolific use of delaying units early in the game had a negative impact on his play in the later stages of the contest). This game was characterized by very methodical movement and carefully executed attacks by both players resulting in an extended play period. Both players were commended for their high quality play and excellent positioning of forces. It should be noted that both of these players possess the skills to continue to be serious contenders for the championship in the coming years.

Semi-final #2 repeated the 2010 semi-final match-up but with a reversal of side played with Joe Angiolillo taking command of the French while Richard Beyma directed the combined PAA armies. (GM note: Richard, a formidable player with either side, is especially so when commanding the PAA side). Like most veteran players, Joe opened the game with the French forces advancing on three axes; a cavalry and infantry force towards Nivelle, an infantry heavy force toward Quatre Bras, and another joint infantry and cavalry force down the right flank heading toward Wavre. Richard responded by sending a large Prussian infantry division and two supporting cavalry divisions to reinforce the British at Nivelle. On the other flank he deployed light covering forces on the road to Wavre while the bulk of the Prussian army massively defended the heights near Quatre Bras to prevent an early French 2 to 1 attack. All three of Joe's columns advanced cautiously since he had no previous experience against Richard playing the PAA side. All of the rest of 16 June was characterized by a continuing methodical French advance on all three sectors with their cavalry approaching the Dyle - Thil river junction on the French right flank and minor skirmishing at Nivelle. Richard's defense was based on delaying south of Nivelle, defending the heights at Quatre Bras and maintaining screening forces along the Dyle and Thil rivers. This defense was anchored with a large reserve force positioned halfway between Quatre Bras and Nivelle and able to move to the sector that was in the greatest jeopardy. This game of maneuver suddenly ended at 9 AM on 17 June (Turn 9) when Joe launched a massive assault against the heights at Quatre Bras attacking five large Prussian infantry divisions in a series of 2-1 and 1-1 attacks. If the French obtained any favorable results (D elim or Defender back 2) the resulting French advance after combat would isolate some of the Prussian units and make a counterattack very difficult. However, of the five attacks, none received the desired French result - instead suffering two Attacker back 2, an exchange, and an Attacker eliminated. Richards's defense was unfazed. The next turn Joe again threw the cream of the French army against the heights hoping that better combat results must surely occur. In this series of seven attacks, Joe achieved slightly better results with two Defender elims, two exchanges, two Attacker elims, and one Attacker back 2. Sensing a chance for an early PAA victory, Richard ruthlessly counterattacked and pummeled the French forces racking up a commanding 35 factor advantage in the casualty count by the end of the turn. Joe claimed at this point that Napoleon was complaining about his hemorrhoids and flung everybody available in now desperate low odds attacks hoping for a series of miracle rolls. That did not occur and with the casualty count now 71 factors in Richard's favor, Joe abandoned the field - clearing the way for Richard to move to the championship game. (GM note: The new 10- sided die combat results table [CRT] makes a 2- 1 attack more attractive to some players and can produce dramatic results as evidenced by this year's championship game).

In the Final, Richard's PAA confronted Ray's French in what turned out to be one of the closest championship games of the last five years. Ray employed a traditional opening but reinforced the columns heading for Nivelle with additional French cavalry divisions. Richard responded with his usual massive defense of the Quatre Bras heights with two large Prussian infantry divisions in each hilltop hex denying early French 2-1 assaults. Ray's French columns continued their advance to battle and he pushed the mass of cavalry on his left flank threatening the river line near the road to Braine le Compte. At this stage of the game the French army was arrayed across the entire width of the board from west to east - road to Braine le Compte through Nivelle to the Quatre Bras heights and over to the Thil river. Richard adjusted his force dispositions in response by shifting a reinforced Prussian corps toward the Dyle/Thil river junction, another corps defending the Quatre Bras heights and the III Prussian corps(-) in strategic reserve halfway between Quatre Bras and Nivelle. Battle was joined at 5 PM on 16 June on the French far left flank as Ray's cavalry tried to force the river defending the road to Braine le Compte with an immediate British counterattack to hold the river line. The French cavalry was not to be denied and they continued their assaults on the next turn and succeeded in pushing across the river. However this became a "death hex" since they had no where to retreat and the British immediately attacked eventually destroying four cavalry divisions including the vaunted Imperial Guard horse artillery. Meanwhile, the main French effort was directed at the heights in front of Quatre Bras where Ray launched two 2-1 assaults against the doubled Prussian defenders with two supporting attacks. The French gained an early advantage by forcing the Prussians from the heights and not losing any factors in the supporting attacks. To compliment this key assault Ray pushed several divisions down the primary road east of Quatre Bras and into the Bors de Mez woods. Richard counterattacked strongly near Quatre Bras and Ray responded with his own counterattacks where he succeeded in killing two large Prussian infantry divisions. These losses forced Richard to withdraw behind the river at Genappe and he quickly reinforced this line with troops from the Nivelle sector using cavalry to screen the roads leading to the city. As the 16 June turn ended the loss factors ratio stood at 54 PAA versus 33 French. (GM note: with the favorable French loss ratio and their early penetration into the center part of the board, Ray was in a very favorable position). The morning of 17 June saw Ray clearing several delaying cavalry brigades and pushing several divisions in a flanking march toward Wavre while Richard adjusted his main defensive line near Genappe to Nivelle. At 9 AM, Ray launched the bulk of the French army into two gigantic assaults against doubled hill tops near Genappe. The defending Prussian divisions fought to the last man and exacted a heavy toll on the attacking French in the form of exchanges to both assaults. Richard immediately counterattacked against two French infantry divisions whose retreat path was blocked by a river with the result being 38 French factors lost at a cost of 12 PAA factors. Despite these critical losses, Ray's French continued their advances on both flanks. This caused Richard to withdraw from Genappe but he maneuvered to destroy another French infantry division near Nivelle that again could not retreat due to a blocking river hex. Throughout 17 June, Ray continued his echelon to the right advance attempting to turn the Prussian flank and force his way across the LaLasne River. Richard concentrated the Prussian army southeast of Mont St. Jean while the British army held the center of the board and harassed the French defending forces destroying French cavalry 2-6s. This resulted in Richard slowing increasing his advantage in the lost factors count which now stood at 109 French factors lost versus 101 PAA factors lost. As 18 June dawned Ray had succeeded in forcing a bridgehead over the LaLasne River and he launched several major assaults to break thru to the secondary road to Brussels. However, he rolled exchanges in all of these major attacks and lost all of the supporting soak-off attacks. Richard was much more successful with his inevitable counterattacks and he suffered no PAA losses. With the Prussian IV corps advancing toward the French rear and the way forward blocked by the British army and a single surviving Prussian division, Ray fled back to Paris to await his confinement on St. Helena. Richard again repeated as the 2011 champion of Waterloo. This was a hard fought game and Ray's early good luck pressured Richard unlike many previous games. The exchange results in the hilltop battles near Genappe were the critical battles of this exciting game. Had Ray maneuvered a turn or two more to force Richard to retire, the outcome may have been very different. Both players are to be commended for their superb play during this tournament and no doubt will be eager for a re-match next year. (GM note: All expert Waterloo players are ever cognizant of the dire consequences of leaving units in a position where they cannot retreat due to blocking terrain. Ray suffered several losses in this game because of this. I am confident that his future play will benefit from the lessons he learned in this close fought contest).

The 2012 WBC will be a very special time for all current and former Waterloo players as we will celebrate the game's 50th anniversary (copyright in 1962)! The GM was in his fourth year of wargaming when Waterloo came out and it immediately vaulted to the top as his favorite game. It is quite a testimony that this game continues to attract a substantial following 50 years after publication. Plans are underway to commemorate this true classic and the GM strongly urges all former and current players to visit next year, play a game, and spin a tall tale or two of their past glories. Moreover, an invitation goes out to any new players who desire a balanced, thought provoking, yet action filled contest where your skill as a commander is more important than the luck in your dice.

Tim Miller vs Bill Morse as his French close in on Waterloo with Bill Scott in the background.

GM Marty Musella watches as Ray Clark fails to unseat two-time defending champion Richard Beyma.

 GM      Marty Musella  [7th Year]  NA 
    Martin.l.musella@boeing.com   NA

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