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PanzerBlitz (PZB) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 26, 2016 Icon Key
18 Players Bert Schoose, FL 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
  2016 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.
 

Appearances can be Deceiving

A wide variety of situations were offered at this year’s tournament. All three of the modules, PanzerBlitz, Panzer Leader and had games played upon agreement of players. “Dr” Alan Arvold, “PhD”, a prolific writer on the games for the General and other publications of old, offered his modification of situation 7, now designated IS5. In addition the Dr produced play balance adjusted versions of Panssari Salama. GM Rick Northey was working hard on new creations in the past year, including; US Marines landings at Saipan 1944, the Allied breakthrough at El Alamein 1942, The battle of Khalkhin Gol between the Russians and Japanese 1939, as well as more Eastern Front situations from the battle for the Caucasus 1942. There were also games from Panzer Leader France 1940 and Operation Cobra 1944.

A total of 35 games were played leading into the final four. As the warriors gathered on Saturday, three former champions Greg Tanner, Chuck Leonard and Bert Schoose with ten titles between them joined Art Dohrman as the 2016 semifinalists. PanzerBlitz regulars all, they composed themselves for the goal of victory. ”All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.” “Victorious warriors win first, and then go to war.” “Know thyself, know thy opponent, a thousand battles, a thousand victories” from Sun Tsu.

Chuck and Bert selected situation 14. Chuck got off to a good start as the Germans, eliminating the Russian command post in the opening turn. However, on Turn 2 the winds of war shifted to Bert as he destroyed a German tank destroyer platoon with combined arms tactics and trapped two armored car platoons in the woods. At this point, with the large Russian armored force on the move to counterattack, Chuck split his forces, a fast group trying to make a run into the rough terrain and another company of tank destroyers occupying high ground to cover the retreat. Seeking space to maneuver, Chuck moved his small force to block Russian units from taking tactical positions to form a pocket. In the next few turns, both players made small systematic countermoves to thwart each other’s plans. Leo Tolstoy wrote that: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”.

Finally on the last turn of the game, Bert needed one die roll to come up for him to win, anything but a 6, and he got the favorable result to advance to the Final.

Greg and Art picked Situation 52, the shootout on the hill battle. After Greg set up his German forces in Bednost, Art moved in with his Russian Tankovy Corps. The line of infantry that protected the German command post in the town were steadfast in their defense, and could not be dislodged by the Russian Guards units deployed opposite them. Using combined arms; direct fire, overruns, and close assaults, plus some damn hot dice, Greg was able to destroy three Russian tank companies, three infantry companies and disperse other units spotting the town. Art could not return fire on the town with his significantly reduced force. In a last push, the remaining Tankovy units closed on Bednost in a bid to eliminate the CP. The Russians did not get the luck they needed and Greg’s German forces survived to continue his title defense.

Now that the Final was about to begin one might think of Bertrand Russell, the 20th Century “mathematical” philosopher, who wrote: “War does not determine who is right, only who is left.” Greg, the defending champion two years running, and four of the last five years faced Bert who holds three such titles. The two had more victories in the event than all the current active players combined.

Situation 1A would be the test in 2016. Bert took the Russian raiding force and Greg defended a road with his German Kampfgruppe. Bert decided to concentrate his force on the right flank heading for the high ground of Hill 129. While the Russian cavalry units caught up to the infantry riding tanks, the German defense of the supply road was being stiffened. By Turn 5, the Russians controlled Hill 129 by eliminating a 120mm mortar battery and two infantry platoons. Bert had deployed three 81mm mortar batteries to lay fire on the road. In a series of systematic positioning moves, Bert gained a foothold with his tanks on the road in some woods on the NW side of Hill 132. The score stood even at 9-9. A German CP was positioned not more than 500 meters away past a copse of trees. Greg sent his tank destroyers over to counter the threat, but they were unable to disperse, nor block one Russian tank company from closing on the CP to destroy it with direct fire.

At this point, Greg decided to counterattack the Russian mortars with his halftracks carrying infantry supported with a platoon of Wirbelwind mobile assault guns. The infantry positioned to spot the batteries while the guns took up firing positions nearby. Russian partisan forces, who had been idle for most of the battle, sprang forth, out of the woods, to attack the German units, dispersing them. A firefight and close assault followed, but Greg was unable to eliminate all the partisans in time to get to the batteries. The counterattack was stalled until the last turn. Bert won by a score of 15-9 to claim his fourth PanzerBlitz title and enhance his grognard reputation.


 
2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 4
Greg Tanner, AZ Chuck Leonard, PA Art Dohrman, AL Alan Arvold, IL Rod Coffey, MD
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
 

Chuck Leonard and Alan Arvold

The Final pits two former champions

Art Dohrman and Bert Schoose meet in the semifinals.
 
GM  Rick Northey¬†[6th Year]  NA
 geppeddooo@aol.com  NA