afrika korps   

Updated Nov. 10, 2014

Grognard Pre-Con

 2014 WBC Report  

2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

John Clarke, VA

2014 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
2012    Vince Meconi    22
2013    Jonathan Lockwood    23
2014    John Clarke    41

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


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Vince Meconi       DE    13    245
   2.  Jonathan Lockwood  VA    14    208
   3.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    14    179
   4.  Bert Schoose       IL    12    156
   5.  Ed Menzel          CA    12    118
   6.  John Popiden       CA    10    108
   7.  Randy Heller       MD    11     81
   8.  Lane Newbury       TX    03     48
   9.  Greg Smith         PA    08     44
  10.  Bill Morse         VA    14     39
  11.  Joe Beard          AZ    13     39
  12.  James Tracy II     OH    11     31
  13.  John Clarke        VA    14     30
  14.  Barry Smith        NY    08     30
  15.  Doug Burke         MD    03     24
  16.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     21
  17.  Phil Evans         fr    01     15
  18.  Gary Dickson       CA    05     12
  19.  Johnny Hasay       PA    04     12
  20.  Andrew Miller      GA    03      9
  21.  Ray Clark          CT    13      8
  22.  Robert Hahn        NY    02      8
  23.  Mark McCandless    LA    14      6
  24.  Bill Scott         VA    10      6
  25.  Pat Mirk           FL    09      6
  26.  Ted Drozd          IL    08      6
  27.  Steve Likevich     OH    01      6
  28.  Michael Day        AZ    13      4
  29.  Richard Beyma      VA    14      3
  30.  Andy Gardner       VA    12      3
  31.  Chris Godfrey      MA    06      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Jon Lockwood, VA

Bill Morse, VA

Mark McCandless, LA

Richard Beyma, VA

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
'02, '06, '09, '11-'12

Jonathan Lockwood, VA
2003, 2013

John Popiden, CA
2005, 2008

Bert Schoose, IL
2007, 2010

John Clarke, VA

Greg Smith and Mark Gutfreund battle in the sand dunes.

Defending champ Jon Lockwood lost his repeat bid in the semifinals.

Still unforgiving after 50 years ...

The 50-year anniversary of Afrika Korps proved to be quite memorable, as players vied to unseat defending champion and GM Jonathan Lockwood in board gaming's version of "The Unforgiving Game." Motivated in part by the incentive of special commemorative shirts for the first 32 players who signed up and completed at least one tournament game, a record 41 entrants played, including the first female Afrika Korps player in the history of the tournament, none other than 13-year-old Victoria Reiff, daughter of "Plaque King" Bruce Reiff. Victoria took on GM Lockwood as the Germans in her first tournament game after he taught her the rules and showed her the best opening moves for both sides before giving her the choice of side. Victoria quickly earned the GM's respect as she drove the British into Tobruch and mounted an all-out 1-1 assault on Tobruch (otherwise known as the Holy Hand Grenade) in an effort to achieve a quick concession from the GM. Alas, Victoria rolled a "2", which resulted in a doubled exchange that took Tobruch, but with twice the British losses, crippling her chances for taking Alexandria before the Crusader reinforcements would arrive in November. She chose to concede after the costly assault, but earned her commemorative shirt and GM Lockwood's everlasting respect for venturing into a previously "all-male" wargame domain where her father fears to tread.

The semifinals opened with two-time champion GM Lockwood as the Germans against John Clarke, who made the semifinals for the first time. Despite average supply roll results, GM Lockwood was able to exploit an early tactical misplacement around Tobruch to seal off the fortress from outside reinforcements and compel the British to leave only a token garrison in Tobruch to delay the German advance. However, even though the Germans now had taken Tobruch with no losses, the British had saved all of their heavy armor for the defense of Alexandria, a development that would later prove decisive. As Lockwood's Germans advanced on Alexandria in full strength, he set up a line that he believed would hold until he could get more supplies, which by this time were down to just one supply unit. John Clarke then demonstrated why it is called "The Unforgiving Game." Lockwood had inadvertently left 21/104 (a 3-3-10) in a position where it could be surrounded and counterattacked by the British. What Jon had overlooked was that Clarke's additional British armor now enabled him to execute a 5-1 surrounded counterattack on 21/104 to achieve an Automatic Victory, opening a fatal hole in the German lines. John exploited the hole with 7/7SG (a 1-1-7) to destroy Lockwood's last remaining supply unit, isolating the entire Afrika Korps! Lockwood then had to roll for his life for the next two turns, hoping to get one supply unit before his entire force would be compelled to surrender from lack of supply. This did not happen, and Lockwood was sent to an eventual third place finish in the Allied POW camps, as Clarke advanced to his first AFK Title match.

The other semifinal had two-time champion Bruno Sinigaglio's Germans vs 10th-ranked Bill Morse as the British. The game progressed in standard fashion as Bruno was unable to entice Bill into doing anything unwise during the first six turns. Bruno made three of the five supply rolls before July 1941 with a little too much fanfare for Bill, which caused him to absent-mindedly sacrifice one 1-1-6 too many in the reduction of Tobruch. Bill masterfully retreated to the El Alamein line while Bruno built up supplies for the assault on Alam Halfa Ridge. The Germans were able to attack for three straight turns, July II, August I & II, which devastated the British Army. However, a sunk supply roll on August I granted Bill a brief respite. The ability for the DAK to capture the British Home Base by Nov I hinged on the supply rolls for August II, Sep I & II. Bruno needed two of those supply rolls to land in order to have a chance ­ it did not happen. Only one supply made it safely. So after the Sept II supply was sunk, Bruno's Germans fell back to Tobruch and kicked Bill into the sea with a well placed Holy Hand Grenade on Tobruch at 1-1. The antagonists thereafter traded punches evenly until Feb 1942, when Bill rolled a costly exchange in a series of low odds counterattacks. One attack killed a 7-7-10 via an exchange, but the resultant losses to the Brits permitted an automatic victory against their lines, which allowed the DAK to capture the British Home Base.

In the championship match on Sunday morning, Bruno's veteran Germans met John Clarke's British. However, weary from many days of continuous WBC combat, Bruno sought a quick decision by mounting the Holy Hand Grenade attack against Tobruch. In years past, the dice would be with Bruno in these assaults. Such was not the case this time though, as Bruno rolled a 6 for an Attacker Eliminated, giving John Clarke his first ever Wood in the 50-year anniversary tournament of Afrika Korps!

 Robert Frisby and Bart Riggs in the desert on the 50th avviversary of Afrika Korps. Free shirts for grognards!

 GM      Jonathan Lockwood  [15th Year]       P.O. Box 3436, Reston, VA 20195-1436    202-282-9868

2014 Previews | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page