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PanzerBlitz (PZB) WBC 2019 Event Report
Updated December 21, 2019.
19 Players Bert Schoose 2019 Status 2020 Status Event History
2019 Champion   & Laurels
 

Choices

Choices…….A combination of gut instinct, analysis and intuition are the combined arms of the strategist. Carnal impulse alone most often yields disastrous results with few exceptions. This is one of the lessons gaming has taught me over the years. “Reality is that which, when you stop believing, doesn’t go away” Philip K Dick

This year is the 49th anniversary of the classic tactical World War II boardgame. The GMs Rick Northey and Alan Arvold previewed some special offerings to be featured for next year’s 50th . Custom t-shirts and mugs were on display. Play this year drew from the usual standard situations and also from custom modules for Poland 1939, the Russo-Finnish conflict of 1939-40, France 1940, Operation Barbarossa 1941, PanzerZug armored train skirmishes, the battle of Malaya 1941 and the battle of Prokhorovka (Kursk south pincer) 1943. This expansion of “situation 13”, do your own, historical battles has been a continuing offering from the GMs over the years. The week was enjoyed by all, both new faces and familiar regulars alike. In one Poland 1939 battle, polish cavalry and infantry fought a Russian armored mobile infantry column to a draw. In another early war battle from France 1940, a French counterattack held an objective while German armor reinforcements arrived too late. In the battle of Malaya, the Japanese banzai charges were not enough to capture the bridges and exit the board in the two situations played. Prokhorovka battles were dominated by the Soviet “God of War” artillery barrages. The situations, 1A, 14, 45r1, 51r4 and 52, in use for many years in the tournament, were played as well, with 45r1 being the most popular.

The final four, with GMs Rick Northey and Alan Arvold not playing in the semis, were Burt Schoose, Art Dohrman, Bob Jamelli and newcomer Curtiss Fyock. By the second Saturday, the event participants had played in 30 games.

Art and Bob decided on situation 52 in semifinal game #1; The Russian combined arms force attacks a town defended by a similar German kampfgruppe. In the opening firefight on the hill, Bob’s Russian forces formed two battlegroups on either side of the town of Bednost. The attack came from the west side with Russian Infantry close assaulting the town. Art charged out of the town to overrun Russian positions with his tanks and assault guns at point blank range. The back and forth of direct fire, overruns and close assaults left the German defense force strong enough to stop the Russian attack. Art won his semifinal game and advanced to the final for his second championship challenge in three years. “Your beliefs affect your choices. Your choices shape your actions. Your actions determine your results. The future you create depends upon the choices you make and the actions you take” Roy T Bennett

Curtiss and Burt chose situation 1A for their semifinal game. This battle featured Burt’s Russian armor mounted with infantry and supported by cavalry moving in on the right flank to assault the town of Golod. Curtiss’ German combined arms force was able to block the Russian advance and open a counterattack on the salient, attacking mortar and cavalry units. Meanwhile, some of Burt’s armored infantry deployed on the hilltop and threatened the German HQ comprised of three CP units. The Russian armor held in reserve had now penetrated into the rear of the German supply line and were forcing the diversion of mobile units from besieged Golod. The counterattack was foiled by cavalry charges on the edge of the woods that destroyed a German assault gun platoon. By continuing a multi pointed attack to control the main road, Burt’s Russian forces were able to divide the German defenders in enveloping maneuvers. With the road now cut at several points, the German forces were not able to repel the Russian units. At the end of the game, Burt won with victory points for units on the road, mortar fire to the road and for German units destroyed. This gave Burt another run at the championship.

The final game between Burt and Art was decided to be situation 45r1. This late war Russian armored surprise attack on two German held towns plays fast and furious. Historically, this PanzerBlitz situation represents a replaying of one of the maskirovka (deception) battles in Belorussia as a prelude to Operation Bagration in the spring of 1944. Art moved his Russian tanks and assault guns up to surround the central town supposedly in the steppes outside of Minsk. Burt’s German SPA units and mobile anti-tank guns destroyed several Russian tanks, including a valuable SU-152 unit. Assaulting infantry dispersed the remaining SU-152 company. Return fire from the Russian tanks destroyed all the units in the town. On the move, the Russian armored force took the high ground opposite the river crossing and the second German held town. The Russian victory conditions require contesting control of all towns on the board, leaving the Germans with two or less town hexes under their control. Art’s Russian Guards rifles and SMGs are dismounted to assault the town. German infantry then moved into the river hex to block the Russian advance. Repeated Russian fire fails to clear the river hexes to allow spotting and attack of the town via the river crossing at a ford. On the last turn of the situation, the Germans held three town hexes which gave Burt a strategic victory and his fifth PanzerBlitz WBC tournament first place wood and diorama. “Great leaders create more leaders, not more followers.” Roy T Bennett

Thus as the close of the 49th year of PanzerBlitz draws near, the “boardgame that changed tactical wargaming” stands on the threshold of the 50th anniversary. With remembrance and celebration of the creation of one of Avalon Hill’s greatest successes that became the standard which all that came after are built upon, some special prizes will be featured at next year’s WBC 2020.

“What’s done is done. What’s gone is gone. One of life’s lessons is always moving on. It’s okay to look back to see how far you’ve come but keep moving forward.” Roy T Bennett


 
2019 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 4
Art Dohrman Bob Jamelli Curtiss Fyock Rick Northey Alan Arvold
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
 

Finalists with GM Rick Northey.

 
GM  Rick Northey [9th Year]  NA
 geppeddooo@aol.com  NA