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Waterloo (WAT) WBC 2022 Event Report
Updated October 17, 2023
17 Players Marty Musella Event History
  2022 Champion & Laurels
 

GM Musella Wins Fourth Waterloo Title!

Finally, after two long years, the 2022 World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) convened again at western Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Resort. It was with great exhilaration when old friends were able to reacquaint themselves and catch up on families, friends, and prior gaming experiences. While playing games is the reason for WBC, seeing our friends is the compelling reason for our yearly return to Seven Springs Resort, at least in this Game Master’s (GM) opinion.

Finally, after two long years, the 2022 World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) convened again at western Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Resort. It was with great exhilaration when old friends were able to reacquaint themselves and catch up on families, friends, and prior gaming experiences. While playing games is the reason for WBC, seeing our friends is the compelling reason for our yearly return to Seven Springs Resort, at least in this Game Master’s (GM) opinion.

The Winterberry room has become the unofficial room for the GROGNARDCON where several of the “classic” wargames (Africa Korps, Bitter Woods, Panzerblitz, Russian Campaign, WATERLOO) are conducted along with the Battles of the American Revolution, Washington’s War, Paths of Glory, etc., and several “monster” games that run the entire length of each WBC. Other games also show up periodically during the convention in the Winterberry room. The grouping of these games in the same location is beneficial for the convention and advantageous for the involved players. Also as a note, several attendees wore COVID masks, but the majority of people were maskless. So much for my observations of this year’s WBC, so on to the specifics about WATERLOO.

First the good news – The Boardgame Players Association’s leadership voted to make WATERLOO a “Legacy” game. This hallmark designation makes it somewhat easier for WATERLOO’s inclusion every year in the listing of games to be played. A “Century” game must meet both a minimum player requirement and an hours played time requirement. A Legacy game must only meet the minimum player requirement of 16 players.

Now the less than good news - The WATERLOO tournament suffered a somewhat shaky start on the first Saturday when the convention program booklet showed its starting room in an out of the way 3rd floor meeting room along with the Russian Campaign. Veteran wargamers quickly left notes that both WATERLOO and the Russian Campaign players should show up in the Winterberry room for future games.

In the past, when I arrive on Sunday (late afternoon – long road trip), there have usually been 3 to 5 WATERLOO games already completed with 6 to 8 players registered. This year there were no games completed! It is not known if the initial scheduling twist, the unexpected wedding, or the lower attendance at the GROGNARDCON and in Winterberry Hall caused this slow start. As the GM, I was already aware that several of the “usual” WATERLOO players were not in attendance at WBC this year. Consequently, my usual challenge to locate 2 or 3 players to reach the magical 16 number, became a more daunting task!

On Monday, only 5 players were registered and on Tuesday a further 7 players joined their ranks. It took almost herculean efforts to get to 15 players on Wednesday and an unexpected “walk-on” on Thursday got us up to the required number of players. The addition of the 17th participant on Friday morning was icing on the cake, though I’m immensely grateful for each and every participant!

The tournament rules and clarifications have not changed for the past several years and are the standard used in Greg Smith’s continual WATERLOO ladder, Ed Menzel’s yearly Play-By-Email (PBEM) tournament, and at WBC.

There was a total of 15 games of WATERLOO played at WBC this year. Several of those games involved inexperienced players, but in those games involving veterans, the balance statistics show a perfect 50% split of French versus PAA victories. The history of the play balance statistics since the rules and combat results table (CRT) were modified back in 2005, convincingly supports a much-improved play balance in this “old” but still totally enjoyable Classic! The web sites of Greg and Ed for the ladder and PBEM tournament respectively, contain the latest tournament rules and clarifications information.

The four Semifinalists in seeded order that qualified were Marty (“Mad Marine”) Musella, Pat (“The Resurrected”) Mirk, Bert (“The Renegade”) Schoose, and Richard (“The Dark Knight”) Beyma. The addition of a player’s “war name” is an established feature of all my event reports since I’ve been the GM. The war names are usually selected by the player themselves, but the situation with Pat Mirk needs to be explained since he departed early Saturday before he could give me his name. Pat and I stayed in the same chalet designed to house 6 comfortably but housing 11(!) most of the time. Pat arrived on the first Saturday and, possibly due to the severe overcrowding (just kidding), experienced a medical emergency that required the attention of official EMTs. After they got him stabilized and he rested, he reassured us that he knew what the problem was and his own inattention to his correct medical procedures had caused him to faint. He was in top form the rest of the convention! So, when it came time for me to assign his war name, I thought that “The Resurrected” was entirely appropriate. Next year of course, he will have the opportunity to pick a war name for himself.

As GM for more than a decade, I have not competed for the plaque since 2007 thereby allowing a lower seeded player to move up if I was one of the Semifinalists. However, based on my hard work in the early part of this tournament, I decided to participate in the Semifinals.

All the Semifinalists were experienced, veteran WATERLOO players, though Pat had last played competitively, several years ago. His being the second seeded Semifinalist was, therefore, somewhat surprising. The Semifinal games were scheduled for 1400 (2PM) on Friday, 29 July. However, due to scheduling conflicts with other tournaments, the 3rd and 4th seeded players were unable to compete in their matches. Consequently, as GM, I decided to forego the Semifinal round and move immediately to the championship game. The GM Guidelines are very specific about prohibiting a Semifinalist participating in two events simultaneously.

In the championship game, Pat (“The Resurrected”) Mirk remained to his opponent, Marty (“Mad Marine”) Musella, somewhat of a mystery. I remember Pat as a consistent veteran from our years at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. However, he had not played WATERLOO much at Seven Springs until this year. Pat was immensely proud of the fact that in his return to the “classics”, he had qualified as the 2nd seed in this tournament. Moreover, his victories over some of the current stalwart WATERLOO veterans, Bert Schoose – a Semifinalist, and Ed Menzel, a former champion several times over, raised my level of uncertainty. Moreover, while I had observed portions of many of the week’s games, I had not seen any of the games that Pat participated in. So, I secured the PAA side for a “low” bid of 4 as a precaution.

Pat opened the French campaign with a fairly standard movement pattern of widening the front both west, towards Nivelles, and down the eastern Tilly corridor. As the PAA, I retreated as normal avoiding any major combat. I did notice that Pat’s advances did not maximize the full movement capabilities of the French cavalry/horse artillery which reduced the pressure/stress on my PAA defense and helped me conserve a few of my 1 factor delay units. Combat began in earnest in the Nivelles sector as the French tried to force the corridors south of Nivelles. The British had concentrated their forces to counterattack here leaving very light screening units farther west to protect the river line just north of the road to Braine le Comte. Even though the British blunted these French advances, Pat’s French were able to steal a march and gain access to the western river blocking the British reinforcement entry hex of the road to Braine le Comte. This resulted in a quick British retreat from south of Nivelles to reinforce and re-open the contested road.

In the far east, Pat’s drive northward toward Wavre continued as the Prussians collected their forces near the Thil/Dyle River junction. Seeing the likelihood of a Prussian attack, Pat withdrew these forces to rejoin the main French Army threatening Quatre Bras (QB) and its heights. June 16th was a day of maneuver for both sides with light losses while Pat angled to get set up for major attacks against the QB heights and near Nivelles on the 17th. The morning of the 17 June saw major attacks by the French down the primary road (Corridor of Death) east of QB meet by fierce counterattacks by the Prussians in response. Losses were almost equal in this sector. In the west, the “Mad Marine’s” British forces had succeeded in clearing the road to Braine le Comte so that the reinforcements were only delayed one turn. However, the British defense line was now established in the doubled positions directly north of Nivelles.

With the French Army concentrated in only two sectors, in front of QB and Nivelles, Marty’s PAA forces were feeling somewhat confident that the situation was “well in hand” as the constricted terrain prevented the French from taking advantage of their superiority of units and factors. In the early afternoon of the17th, Pat launched massive, coordinated attacks in both sectors including a 1 to 1 versus the Prussian 8-4 (Steinmetz) on the QB heights. His Defender back 2 result unhinged the entire left wing of the Prussian Army forcing its retreat towards Genappe. Fortunately, Steinmetz was able to retreat to fight on! Some of the retiring Prussians were able to assist the British near Nivelles and push the French back. The plethora of PAA delay units at this stage of the game really limited the French advance toward Genappe and gave the British and Prussians time to establish a solid defensive front of doubled positions across the middle of the board.

Marty’s PAA forces began a disorderly retreat from the middle of the board toward Mont St. Jean with losses almost equal, 87 French versus 81 PAA factors. Pat’s French pressed their attacks from Genappe but got out ahead of the forces advancing from Nivelles. Marty placed screening forces in front of these units and concentrated his attacks against the French eastern flank. He successfully trapped and surrounded several French divisions against the forest hexes northeast of Genappe as the Prussian IV Corps arrived on the board. Pat recognized that the situation had deteriorated and laid down his sword. Marty “Mad Marine” Musella was the 2022 WATERLOO champion! This GM salutes each participant during the 2022 convention and all the other Waterloo players unable to attend! The Waterloo community continues to thrive during the year thanks to the unending efforts of Greg Smith (greg.docsmith@gmail.com), who runs the WATERLOO Ladder, and Ed Menzel (edmenzel@roadrunner.com), who runs the yearly BPA sanctioned PBEM tournament. If not for their efforts, I’m certain that WATERLOO would not be part of the WBC and would not have achieved its Legacy status! The WATERLOO community supports the teaching of this wonderful game through the year to newcomers of any age and to those “retread” Grognards who played the game as youngsters!

.Lastly, my thanks as always goes out to Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse for their unending support to this game and the other classic games that we Grognards play. However, both Bill and I will definitely explore if charges can be brought against Bruno for his “chalet packing” scheme and be more attentive to his living arrangement reservations for next year’s WBC! Being a GM and preparing the required paperwork would not be possible without their assistance. They are extraordinary players and outstanding friends! Also, I extend my gratitude to all the players who take the time to play my favorite game, WATERLOO, as their friendship and comradery keeps me coming back to this convention.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about WATERLOO, I can be reached at 7210bully@gmail.com.

 
2022 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
Patrick Mirk Bert Schoose Richard Beyma John Clarke Bruno Sinigaglio
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
 
Laurelist John Clarke in Heat action. Laurelist Bert Schoose can’t stop Patrick Mirk.
Patrick Mirk working his way to the Final
against former champ Ed Menzel.
Finalists Patrick Mirk and GM Marty Musella.
GM  Marty Musella [16th Year]