MBT WBC 2018 After Action Report
By Rob Schoenen
Doug Smith Becomes the WBC Tank Leader
A small, friendly and enthusiastic group of MBT competitors met to usher in the first MBT tournament at WBC/Avaloncon in many years, using the new GMT version of the Avalon Hill classic. Thanks to MBT designer and tournament sponsor James Day, players saw action in the MBT, FRG and BAOR scenarios, though rules were limited to those in the base game. With the addition of a few player-designed scenarios, participants faced a wide variety of tactical challenges. To keep the game “approachable” for new players, the only optional rule used was Turrets.
Round 1 of the preliminaries featured 5 matches: Two of First Clash, Part 1 (MBT Scenario #1), two of Rearguard Action and one Late to the Party, both of which were home-grown. The American side won both plays of First Clash, while the Warsaw Pact forces ruled the day in all the home-grown scenarios played. Pierre Massar offered his veteran’s view on balance for Rearguard Action, after which a tweak was instituted for future rounds. 1991 MBT Champ Keith Tracton proved he still has an eagle eye for line-of-sight by hitting Brady Detwiler’s advancing T-72 at a range of 2800 meters with a round from his M60A3. Unfortunately for Keith the round hit the heavily armored turret and bounced away harmlessly.
Round 2 featured four matches. Rules and tactics expert Jon Squibb’s British defeated Bob Murray’s Pact force in a turn 7 firefight after winning the turn’s crucial initiative roll in a playing of Initial Strike Part 1 from BAOR. In another First Strike playing, young Michael Tracy faced off against the enthusiastic Nathan Trent. Having reached a victory point hex, one of Michael’s Chieftains faced down three T-62s. The T-62s all fired at, hit, and achieved armor penetration on the Chieftain, but all scored No Damage results! Michael promptly fired back at the closely spaced T-62’s causing a catastrophic explosion to destroy one of them, resulting in Suppression results for the other two. This action helped earn Michael the win. Meanwhile, Alex Biggs’ Soviets fell to the wily Joe Chacon’s Americans in another playing of Rearguard Action. At the end of the second round, Jon Squibb, Joe Chacon and Doug Smith were 2-0. All had almost perfect chances of advancing to the semifinalist round, but who would be the fourth? Round 3 would determine this.
Three new players entered the tournament in Round 3; Mike Masella, Todd Treadway and former MBT multi-time champ Bruce Young. Michael Tracy defeated Mike Masella in a close match. Todd played to a draw with Nathan, and Bruce fell to the relentless Squibb, who was determined to maximize points for his WBC team in his tournament game.
Qualifying for the semifinals were Jon Squibb, Joe Chacon, Michael Tracy and Doug Smith. After three rounds of armor-only combat, the infantry finally made their appearance.
The Kaiser's Pirates WBC 2018 After Action Report
By Bill Beckman
Murray Takes Title
Kaiser’s Pirates had dropped out the Century but thanks to Andy Lewis (past KPR Champion) for sponsoring we were able to continue another fun year of ‘roll some dice and sink some ships’.
Because The Kaiser’s Pirates rewards careful hand management and card play in the long run and the luck of the dice on any given turn, a first-time player can make it into the finals, and this year it was Miles Rogers. Although the turn out was on the light side the competition was still heated with the difference for 5th seat (John Emory) and 4th seat (Tim Rogers) being 1/100 of a percent.
Our final table consisted of Bob Murry, Tim Rogers, Kevin Emory, and Miles Rogers. For the first round the start player was Bob who simply drew a card, followed by Tim who drew a card, then Kevin who also draws a card and leaving Miles to play the first attack on Bob merchants with a Shipping Lanes to sink only one merchantmen. During one point in the round Tim attempted to sink Miles wounded raider the ‘Grief’ however the dice did not roll in his favor so Tim placed the two Fog Banks on Miles and Bob leaving Kevin little options but to draw a card. Tim then is able to succeed in sinking the ‘Grief’ on his next attack. The remained of the round proceeded quickly ended with Tim taking 1st, Bob in 2nd, and Kevin in 3rd and Miles in 4th place.
The Kaiser's Pirates
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Both semifinal games featured a scenario designed by 1998 MBT champ Dave Sidelinger. Check-In Time features balanced forces in a meeting engagement, vying for control of a small town. Joe’s match against Doug featured some very skilled play by both opponents. Important Overwatch hits and Dismount Hand-to-Hand combat ensued. As the USA, Doug won two critical initiative die rolls in a row, allowing him to fire first and destroy a significant portion of Joe’s Pact forces. Undeterred, Joe fought hard and destroyed 3 Bradley IFVs and an M1 tank upon winning initiative in a subsequent turn. Alas, it was not enough for Joe to turn the tide and Doug advanced to the final with a win.
Having just learned MBT at the demo, Michael had quite a disadvantage against (#1 seed) Jon’s expertise in their match. Jon quickly moved to gain a majority of the disputed town area and inflicted serious losses on Michael’s American forces, especially in the scrimmage in the hills outside of town. Admirably, Michael bounced back mid-game, but it was not enough to earn him the win. Jon advanced to the final vs. Doug.
First Moves, Part 2 (Scenario 12; FRG) was played for the final. Doug’s German force entered all units at the edge of board 1 near Alpha 1. Jon dispersed his forces slightly, but most entered near the south side opposite of Doug’s setup. A bold move forward by one of Doug’s Leopard 1A4s resulted in a burning wreck, when it fell to an overwatch-triggered ATGM. Fortunately for Doug the smoke provided cover for the other advancing Leopards, which also came under heavy overwatch fire when advancing towards the Kilo-17 Bridge. Jon had set up almost all of his units in overwatch with a clear line of sight down the main road through town. The Germans took up positions on the west side of the stream. Winning initiative the next turn, Leopards and infantry fired Milan ATGMs struck back at the Soviet T-62s, killing three in the direct fire phase. Both players recognized that attempting capture of the bridge would be suicidal, and a brief stalemate ensued. After a failed attempt to lay a smokescreen across the bridge with his Leopards, Doug decided to shift to a flanking position. He moved his forces toward the center of the map with the aid of a very thin smokescreen, losing one Leopard in the process. Jon quickly moved 3 T-62s to cover the open area around the bridge at the map’s center and it looked like another stalemate would occur. Fate was unkind to Jon on turn 8 and he lost the initiative roll, allowing 7 of Doug’s Leopards to fire first on his 3 T-62s. The Germans did not miss their marks, destroying two and damaging one of Jon’s tanks. Jon, outnumbered and behind in scoring conceded the game to championship to Doug.
Start of round two by Miles looking for redemption that he found by claiming two warships and three merchantmen early leaving the rest of the table trying to catch up. Everyone played well however Miles kept his lead and ended the round in 1st followed by Bob in 2nd, and Kevin in 3rd and Tim in 4th.
Tim started the third and final round with a race for a possible tie for first all depending on how the dice rolled and who scored the most points (sound familiar). Kevin comes out swinging with Laying Mines against Bob but is only able to sink single merchantmen. Bob and Miles are keeping a close count on each other’s points staying within one or two point through out the game. When Bob plays a Breakout and receives the ‘Kronprinz Wilhem Grosse’ (D6 attack) and the ‘Iltis’ (D4 attack). After Kevin plays Limited Supply on the ‘Iltis’, Bob on his next turn attempts to capture one of Kevin merchantmen sail ship (3 points) rolling a D4 at -2 and so Kevin rolled a one and Bob rolled a modify two thus making his final score 69 vs Miles score of 68 giving him the round and winning Kaiser’s Pirates.