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Player Backgrounds


Player Backgrounds
Post Game Analysis
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Randy Heller is the Designer of TAHGC's Bitter Woods. He recently retired as a USN CDR and is currently employed at National Naval Medical Center. Randy started out playing TAHGC's Bulge '65 and is intimately familiar with many of the Bulge games marketed. He is currently developing Third Edition Bitter Woods, to be released summer 2002.

Game Preface:  

"My goal is to win. Against a seasoned Bitter Woods grognard, like Tom, that is easier said than done. I have experience playing BW against Tom and I'm somewhat familiar with his style, which is highly aggressive and generally successful. I have seen Tom bypass a fortified Bastogne and never look back, which gives me pause. Do I want to tie up units in the town's defense and, if so, at what strength? I confess to a tendency to sacrifice units to retain terrain. In the campaign game, that is not necessarily a good idea and will require a paradigm shift on my part. On the other hand, I will need to ensure that I can get the British 30th Corps well in place behind the Meuse River before the Germans get too close. Bitter Woods is much more of a dynamic game than some other Bulge designs because of the mechanized movement phase. Should Tom be successful in "breaking loose" some of his mechanized units into the Allied rear areas, I will have to keep my cool to stay in the game. A primary goal will be to try and create a mechanized reserve to pose a counterattack threat. That usually falls to U.S. 3rd and 2nd Armor Divisions. These U.S. Armor Divisions, taken individually, are in many cases stronger than their German counterpart. The key is to avoid having to divide them up and throw them into the front line to stem the German advance. That will depend on the success of the German offensive up until that time - a combination of avoiding tactical errors and good ol' fashion luck of the die. All-in-all this will be a challenging and fun experience. I look forward to this game."


Tom Gregorio is a long-time gamer; boardgames, computer games, cards, dice, you name it.  While primarily interested in games centering on the conflict in the east, the Battle of the Bulge has also drawn his interest.  Playing face-to-face but once a year at WBC, he greatly enjoys that event and looks forward to taking his son there.  Tom works for a major pharmaceutical firm in their IT department and is currently on assignment in Stockholm.

Game Preface: 

"I enjoy playing Bitter Woods and find it offers a lot of different challenges.  The campaign game is particularly interesting because it offers a lot of opportunities to both players and rewards long-term strategy while still requiring a complete mastery of the game tactics.

At this point, I've only played as the Germans in the campaign game and have won each time.  Nevertheless, I believe the US has the edge!  Randy may lend credence to my belief; having trounced me several times before in the tournament scenario, I know I'll have my hands full!  The Wermacht has several advantages that I intend to take full advantage of:

bulletInterior lines:  Once we reach 19AM, the Germans will be able to maximize their 'threat' potential by keeping their forces on roads and out of the woods.  Being able to shuttle large forces around will help ensure that the US defense has to be thorough.  This will eventually be hampered by US interdiction, after 22AM, but I hope to have the Wermacht poised for victory before US air power shuts me down.
bulletSuperior 'point' forces:  With their large number of mechanized divisions, the Germans will be able to mass their forces to win critical battles.  Having two units with Endurance Ratings of 6 will also help, both on offense and defense.
bulletMomentum:  I intend to press hard; if I can stretch the Allied line sufficiently, they will never have the chance to drive me back.  The initial German assault can sometimes be overwhelming and I will constantly press forwards utilizing movement, advance after combat, Angriff assaults, and the mechanized exploitation phase to hamper the formation of a solid US defense.

This looks to be an exciting match and, as always, I look forward to playing Randy.  And having many sleepless nights as I fret about the power of US artillery...."