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Afrika Korps (AFK) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated February 13, 2018
24 Players Bill Morse 2018 Status 2019 Status History/Laurels
  2018 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

The Unforgiving Game Strikes Again

The semifinals for this year’s rendition of The Unforgiving Game featured the return of two semifinalists from last year, Bill Morse, along with three-time winner and defending champion Bert Schoose, two-time winner and GM Jonathan Lockwood, and one newcomer, Michael Day, who powered his way into the semifinals for the first time as the top seed. Failing to make the semifinals, but nevertheless claiming a plaque at the end of the Swiss portion of the tournament, was journeyman wargamer James Tracy II, who declined to issue a challenge match to attempt making the final four, but instead claimed the 5th place plaque. Rounding out the laurel finishers at sixth was 2016 champion Robert Frisby. Who knows? If Afrika Korps ever makes it to a Level 6 event, it will be able to offer a 6th place “Sand Plaque” as the ultimate prize for prestige and membership in the Sandman club!

The first semifinal match featured Bert Schoose as the Germans versus GM Jonathan Lockwood, who bid one supply to be the British. Play proceeded normally in the early turns, with Lockwood falling back to Tobruch and Alexandria, causing the loss of one of Bert’s Italian divisions in the process. But then Bert demonstrated once again why Afrika Korps is The Unforgiving Game. While Lockwood was setting up his El Alamein defensive line, Bert noticed a fatal weakness along the Mediterranean coast, which he promptly exploited by expending two German supplies in the same turn (rarely done unless there is an instant game-winning opportunity to compensate) to not only overrun Lockwood’s delaying units, but the 2-2-6 on the Mediterranean coast as well. This created an opening for 21/3 Recce (2-2-12) to exploit and take the British Home Base at Alexandria. This was similar to Bert’s move against Bill Morse in last year’s championship final. Since it was the July 1 1941 turn, GM Lockwood realized that the Germans would have plenty of time to reduce the Tobruch garrison prior to the arrival of the November crusader reinforcements and promptly resigned, sending Bert to yet another championship final and a chance to become a four-time champion, while GM Lockwood took a 4th place finish.

The other semifinal had Bill Morse’s Germans going up against Michael Day’s British with no supply handicap. Bill soon discovered that Michael was an uncommonly aggressive British commander, as Michael attacked 21/5 Panzer (7-7-10) at 1-1 surrounded, but unfortunately rolled an A Elim to seriously weaken his position. Bill was soon able to take Alexandria with his forces, and seemingly had Michael on the ropes as he clung to a defensive position outside Tobruch. Michael’s position got even worse when his 1-1 breakout attempt resulted in yet another A Elim, leaving him with 2/3 Arm (4-4-7) outside of the Tobruch garrison (7/4 Arm and 21 Gds, a 4-4-7 and 2-2-6). But then the supply table intervened, as Bill lost six of his next supply attempts, and was only able to eliminate 2/3 by October I 1941, leaving only the Tobruch garrison between him and another championship final. Rather than risk the arrival of Michael’s Crusader reinforcements in November, Bill launched a 2-1 Holy Hand Grenade assault on Tobruch on October I 1941, which fortunately resulted in an exchange. This gave Bill the victory and a rematch in the championship final against his nemesis Bert Schoose, whom he had never defeated. Michael went on to finish third in his best showing ever in Afrika Korps.

The championship final proved to be a classic, with Bill’s Germans taking on Bert’s British with no bid, a reversal of their sides from last year’s match. Bill had almost driven Bert’s forces completely into Tobruch, but instead chose to leave 4 Italian divisions to contain the British while he concentrated on his drive to Alexandria. By July II, Bill’s forces were arrayed along the El Alamein line, when Bert chose to make (in his words) “the craziest move of my life”. He created an automatic victory against the center of Bill’s line (held only by a Recce 2-2-12), exploiting it to not only take Bill’s remaining supplies, but isolate the Afrika Korps near Alexandria as well in an apparently game-winning move, moving the captured supplies into the Egyptian desert, seemingly out of reach. But then Bill showed Bert why Afrika Korps really IS the Unforgiving Game! One of his Recce units outside of the encirclement was able to reach Bert’s captured supply units with the aid of Rommel’s bonus. Bill Recaptured his supplies, then used those supplies to create an automatic victory situation against Bert’s El Alamein line, which he exploited to take the British Home Base and isolate British forces in a brilliant countermove that stunned the defending champion and prompted his resignation, giving Bill Morse his first victory against Bert and his first well-earned Wood in Afrika Korps!

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 4

Bert Schoose Michael Day Jon Lockwood James Tracy II RobertFrisby
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Defending Champion Bert Schoose ready to begin
his title defense.
Bruno and Bert in a classic battle.
Finalists with GM Jon Lockwood
and onlooker Johnny Hasay.
GM     Jonathan Lockwood  [19th Year]       P.O. Box 3436, Reston, VA 20195-1436
    jsl552009@hotmail.com    703-476-2005