Updated Nov. 12, 2014

Grognard Pre-Con

2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Richard Beyma, VA

2014 Champion

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
2012    Joe Beard    20
2013    Joe Beard    25
2014    Richard Beyma    25


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Richard Beyma      MD    14    173
  2.  Rob Beyma          MD    08    162
  3.  Marty Musella      VA    14    157
  4.  John Clarke        FL    14    123
  5.  Joe Beard          AZ    13    100
  6.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    11     61
  7.  Joe Angiolillo     CT    14     61
  8.  Pat Mirk           FL    13     51
  9.  Tim Miller         GA    14     47
 10.  Ray Clark          CT    12     39
 11.  Chuck Stapp        NJ    01     31
 12.  Mark Gutfreund     KY    08     30
 13.  Bill Morse         VA    07     24
 14.  Forrest Pafenberg  VA    02     18
 15.  Ed Menzel          CA    14     16
 16.  Bill Scott         VA    05     16
 17.  James Tracy        OH    07     12
 18.  Larry Lingle       PA    00     12
 19.  John Ellsworth     IL    99      9
 20.  John Popiden       CA    09      8
 21.  Gary Dickson       CA    05      8
 22.  Johnny Hasay       PA    01      8
 23.  Don Tatum          MD    08      6
 24.  Steve Likevich     OH    05      6
 25.  Ivan Lawson        MD    02      6
 26.  Mike Horn          FL    06      3
 27.  Phil Evans         VA    03      3
 28.  Greg Smith         PA    02      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Tim Miller, GA

Joe Angiolillo, FL

Ed Menzel, CA

Marty Musella, NC

John Clarke, VA

Past Winners

Kevin McCarthy, OH

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

Larry Lingle, PA

Joe Beard, AZ
1994-95, 2008, 2012-13

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

Phil Evans, VA

Chuck Stapp, PA

John Clarke, FL

Marty Musella, VA
2003, 2005, 2007

Richard Beyma, VA
2009-2011, 2014

Ed Menzel moves from the sands of Africa to do battle at Waterloo with Joe Angiolillo.

Tim Miller advanced to the Final before falling to three-time champ Richard Beyma.

Prussians to the Rescue ...

Tweezer Wars or Geezer Wars?

WATERLOO continued its renaissance in the wake of its 50th Annniversary party as 25 grognards again took part - equalling the most in its 24-year WBC history. The minor rule modifications of the past four years - 10 sided CRT along with the Prussian/Anglo-Allied (PAA) stacking prohibition - have been well accepted by the players resulting in tightened play balance. However, bidding for side selection continues to favor the PAA and the higher number of PAA victories seems to support this player preference. Players have realized that with the PAA, time is on their side and with the constant stream of reinforcements; early losses can be replaced while errors in play or force distribution are not so catastrophic.

So what is the French player to do? The quick answer is to spread out and their initial superiority at the game's outset allows them to do this! The PAA player enjoys good defensive terrain that limits the French to a single axis of attack east of Quatre Bras initially. The second axis of advance toward Wavre in the east opens soon thereafter while the dual paths south of Nivelles expand the French avenues to four by the afternoon of 16 June. But these are insufficient even if the potential threat for a 1-1 or 2-1 attack against the Quatre Bras heights is added since the primary roads connecting Quatre Bras and Nivelles provide superior internal lines of communications for the PAA player to counter the most dangerous French advances. A French player who tries to frontally assault his way through the three primary axes of attack at Nivelles and Quatre Bras will have a difficult time breaking through without favorable dice. Consequently, the French player must also threaten the river line in the west that defends the road to Hal. In this sector it is the French who enjoy the advantage of the interior lines of communications as it is easier for them to transfer forces between the river and the primary road toward Nivelles complicating the PAA defense. Simultaneously, the French advance toward Wavre must not be neglected with the initial objective being the Dyle/Thil/Genappe river junction in the east. From here the French can threaten an advance toward the LaLasne River, threaten to turn the flank at Quatre Bras and the Genappe River, or extend the PAA defenses northward along the lower Dyle River. A French force in possession of this important river junction again enjoys interior lines of communications over the PAA player. Now the purpose of all of this French maneuvering is to spread out the PAA defensive front and then break this front that runs from the river near the road to Hal over to the Nivelles corridors continuing to the Quatre Bras heights down to the Thil and Dyle Rivers. With these thrusts the French player has potentially up to 7 axes of advance to choose from by late on 16 June and the most critical aspect of expert play comes to the forefront at this time.

The French Army starts with 193 factors and the defending PAA forces number 116 while the first three reinforcements bring that total to 151. Initial PAA bids and the inevitable PAA delaying unit losses only contribute to this French advantage. Both players must remain acutely aware of the combat factor ratios in each sector! This is not to say that the French must have a superiority of factors in each sector as this is usually not possible. For example, if the PAA player has a 7-4 and a 4-4 defending the river near the road to Hal but the French threat consists of three 2-6's then the advantage lies with the French. Or, if the PAA is defending a river line using two 4-4's and the threatening French force is 20 factors, then the PAA is at an advantage accepting the fact that a risky 2-1 French attack is possible. Likewise, if the French player is attempting to infiltrate a solitaire 2-6 through a forest between sectors and the PAA player counters with their 2-6, then this is advantageous to the French since it makes their superiority slightly better in some other sector. If a player can attain force superiority in one or more sectors and then defeat the opposition units, this should lead to collapse of the initial PAA defensive front in the case of the French or result in additional units to reinforce other sectors in the case of the PAA player. Player awareness of these ratios is crucial for quality tournament level play!

With the absence of last year's champion, Joe "The Surgeon" Beard and former champion, Rob "The Elder" Beyma, the competitors realized that their chances of attaining the sacred wood were greatly improved. The competition for a semifinalist spot was especially intense again this year with eight players straining to grab a coveted position with the four semifinalists not being decided until late Friday evening. Noteworthy competitors Ray Clark, John Clarke, Gary Dickson, Bill Morse, and Greg Smith were all in the running for a playoff spot. The four eventual semifinalists were newcomers "Tasmanian" Tim Miller and Ed "The Magnificent" Menzel along with perennial contenders Richard "The Dark Knight" Beyma and Joe "The Anvil" Angiolillo. Waterloo aficionados will note that Richard Beyma, formerly known as "The Younger" has changed his nom de guerre (war name) to "The Dark Knight" with the rationale for this change to be provided at a later date.

In semifinal #1, "Tasmanian" Tim Miller secured the PAA with a 5-factor bid versus the greatly improved Ed "The Magnificent" Menzel's French. Ed advanced slowly toward Quatre Bras, Wavre, and Nivelles and while his first major attacks did not occur until late on 16 June, they were hugely successful with four defenders eliminated. Ed continued his attacks at Nivelles and Quatre Bras early on 17 June and again killed several PAA units, but his luck faded at Nivelles when further attacks resulted in DB2 (Defender Back 2) results. These negative results apparently affected Ed's morale as he attempted some 1-1 attacks during the early afternoon of 17 June even though the losses were equal at this point in the game. A devastating 1-1 Attacker Eliminated result broke Ed's morale and he conceded to Tim's PAA armies.

In semifinal #2, Richard grabbed the PAA with a 6-factor bid. Joe's French advanced on a broad front and enjoyed some success early on 16 June resulting in him breaking Richard's defensive front. Richard's PAA defense stiffened late on 16 June and his incessant counterattacks to restore his front resulted in a 20 factor advantage in losses. Joe's play is usually characterized by many more low odds attacks than most players and this characterized Joe's play throughout the morning and early afternoon of 17 June by which time he had almost closed the gap in lost factors. Since he now enjoyed superiority of numbers of the troops in contact, late on 17 June Joe launched several low odds attacks in the central part of the board hoping to overwhelm Richard's outnumbered defenders. With the looming arrival of the Prussian IV Corps and the quickly closing British reinforcements, Joe realized it was now or never. Unfortunately Joe's luck ran out at this point and he sustained crippling losses and surrendered.

The Final saw Richard again bidding large (eight factors!) to gain the PAA side. The bulk of the French advanced toward Nivelles and Quatre Bras with only a small cavalry force heading towards Wavre. Richard concentrated the bulk of his army in the hill mass between Nivelles and Quatre Bras to take advantage of his interior lines of communication. Tim skillfully maneuvered the French off the Quatre Bras heights and captured Nivelles by mid-afternoon on 16 June including a 1-1 victory against the Prussian 8-4 south of Nivelles! At this stage Tim enjoyed both a positional advantage and was ahead in the lost factors race - 28 French versus 42 PAA. Late on 16 June, five French cavalry divisions crossed the lower Dyle River with a single Prussian cavalry brigade retiring in haste toward the LaLasne River. However, on the main front, Tim's attacks did not go well over the next two turns with two DB2 results against large PAA infantry divisions and a crucial Attacker Eliminated(!) in an ill-advised 2 to 1 battle. By 1100, 17 June, the Prussians had established a solid defense of the LaLasne River as Richard began what looked like a general retreat toward Waterloo by the British forces with the French in hot pursuit. However, this was just a ruse by Richard who suddenly counterattacked and surrounded a major portion of the French Nivelles force taking advantage of the western primary road. After these battles the losses stood at 95 dead French versus 78 PAA dead. Tim was left with no choice but to attempt rescue of the trapped divisions using a series of low odds attacks that were partially successful and averted an immediate French defeat. The French were down 13 factors as this stage of play but enjoyed a slight superiority of troops in contact. At 1900, 17 June Tim still retained the initiative and concentrated his forces in the center of the board south of Mont St. Jean. One could sense that Tim's morale had been shaken by the earlier 2-1 Attacker Eliminated result and especially Richard's skillful counterattack near Nivelles. Consequently, Tim's French again gambled on a large 2-1 attack against a stack of 15 factors in an attempt to regain superiority on the battlefield. Alas, it wasn't his day as again he rolled the dreaded Attacker Eliminated result so he hoisted the white flag of surrender. Richard Beyma had again prevailed and was crowned the WATERLOO champion for 2014!

It is interesting to note that in all three games for the championship, the morale state of the players had a significant impact on their command decisions. Statistically, the games were close but the players saw the situation differently. The wear and tear of a long convention contributes to this situation certainly while involvement in the playoffs of other games is a factor too. Regardless, the quality of play was truly outstanding. A hearty thank you to the participants and I hope to see you next year! Special thanks as always to Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse for their leadership, assistance, and support with the statistics and stewardship of the GROGNARDCON

 GM     Marty Musella  [10th Year]  171 Indian Trail Rd., Arapahoe, NC 28510 
   7210bully@gmail.com   252-249-0694

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