New VC Debut to Play Balance Success
Michael Trobaugh and Alan Zasada
GM Gary Dickson fends off challenger
Zasada in the Final.
The 2015 tournament featured a new GM and a Victory Condition change: the Germans now need to conquer territory equal to the green line minus one small city, versus minus two in past years. Compared to last year, average bids dropped from 15.4 extra Russian replacements to 11.6, and Russian winning percentage dropped from 59.7% to 52.6%. The new scenario appears to be very closely balanced so far!
23 players competed in the free form “grognard style” tournament—the lowest number of the past decade. Friday evening was devoted to a challenge round. When the smoke cleared Gary Dickson, Alan Zasada, Richard Beyma, and Bert Schoose were left standing. Three past TRC champions with eight shields between them made for a strong gauntlet to run.
In the first semifinal, Gary got the Germans for a bid of +11 versus Bert. Gary’s devastating opening assault created an early advantage, but Bert defended skillfully and even managed to retake Kiev late in the game. However, Gary landed a sea invasion next to Rostov on Turn 3 which was quickly reinforced with panzers when Bert’s 2-1 counterattack failed. Bert was never able to retake the city and Gary emerged with a narrow victory. The weather was clear/snow.
In the other bracket, Richard got the Germans for a bid of +10 against Alan. Richard started well but his 8-7 sea invasion failed, and, he lost a headquarters unit giving Alan a bonus point. Richard was able to capture Stalino, Dnepropetrovsk, and Leningrad, but desperate battles raged at Bryansk and Kharkov. Ultimately Alan was able to hold both cities plus Kursk for a -3 Russian victory. The weather was light mud/light mud.
In the Final, Gary got the Germans for a bid of +5 against Alan. Alan’s opening defense was solid; several Russian units survived but were retreated to poor positions. Kiev fell on Turn 2, and a successful sea invasion opened the door to Sevastopol, which fell to a 4-1 Stuka on Turn 3. Gary slogged forward in the light mud weather, but was unable to close on key objectives due to Alan’s dogged defenses. Stalino, Leningrad, and Kursk eventually fell, but Bryansk and Kharkov held out, with the latter surviving several 1-1 attacks. On Turn 5, Alan needed to retake both Kursk and Stalino to pull out a win. The last die rolls held no Russian magic, and Gary claimed his fifth WBC TRC shield.
The new management thanks Tom Gregorio for his 15 years of service as GM of the tournament.