Six Times the Champ ...
Devin Dausin seems to have an interested
The finalists do battle over this
You can't be me ... I'm me!
And you wonder why we ask for middle
It's Still a Rebel World ...
Ed Menzel defeated GM Greg Smith in the Final of the 23rd
WBC GBG tournament. Ed, who finished 6-2 for the week,
won his sixth WBC crown, the most of any player. For his part,
Greg posted an 8-4 log. Third place went to journeyman Bob Jamelli
with a 3-2 mark in his first playoff appearance. Defending champ
Richard Beyma (4-1) fell all the way to 4th with his his lone
loss in the semifinals and took home the book Gettysburg:
A Battlefield Atlas, given to the highest finisher who did
not win a plaque.
games were played at the Grognard pre-con from Saturday through
Sunday, and at the WBC proper from Monday through Friday. Friday
night, the eight players who had played the required three games
to qualify were ranked, with the top four advancing to the elimination
rounds. The top qualifiers were, in order, defending champ Richard
Beyma (4-0, 52 points), Bob Jamelli (3-1, 42 points), Ed Menzel
(4-2, 38 points), and Greg Smith (7-3, 36 points). To make the
playoffs, the latter won a strength-of-schedule tiebreaker over
5th place finisher John Sharp (3-0). Richard, Ed, and Greg all
repeated from last year's final four. Other top finishers were
6th, Devin Dausin, 7th, Andy Davison, 8th, Mark Gutfreund, 9th,
Bill Thomson, and 10th, Greg Smith.
By the way, GM Greg D. Smith is not to be confused with first-time
(for Gettysburg) competitor Greg M Smith. The fact that
they are both Pennsylvanians does not help. Perhaps we will designate
them GameMASTER Greg and GameDESIGNER Greg, as the latter has
created The Hunters: German U-Boats at War 1939-43 (Consim
Press). Fortunately, the two namesakes did not play this year
or Greg Smith beating Greg Smith might have caused all kinds
In the Saturday morning semifinals, seed #1 Beyma faced #4
Smith and #2 Jamelli played #3 Menzel. The Beyma-Smith semifinal
was a rematch of last year's semifinal, but with a different
result. Greg's Union forced a Turn 14 resignation. Richard. who
had bid 14.5, resigned once the Union had virtually assured a
July 2 automatic victory. As a result, Richard missed the Final
for the first time in six years. Meanwhile, Menzel's Federals
stopped Jamelli's Rebels. A Confederate bid of 3.0 provided just
enough to allow the Union to score a 47-32 July 2 automatic victory.
While the Final was the first ever between Ed Menzel and Greg
Smith, the two are frequent opponents, having played at every
WBC save one since 2005. Ed snagged the Rebels for a bid of 9.5.
Both sides maneuvered cautiously through July 1, resulting in
minimal casualties. Through Turn 11, the USA had suffered only
five factors killed and four flips, while the CSA had lost no
units and suffered three flips. But on Turn 12, the CSA eliminated
Slocum's XII Corps and Robinson, suffering the loss of Jenkins
cavalry in the process. On Turn 13, the CSA took the Peach Orchard,
killing Gibbon. Sickles' III Corps successfully counterattacked
on their half of Turn 13, blocking 3 CSA corps in the west. Federal
attrition continued to mount through Turn 14, while Rebel infantry
still remained completely intact. The Federals did get the chit
on that turn. However, on Turn 15, a Confederate attack on the
Peach Orchard at 10-10 odds resulted in a double flip of Sedgewick's
VI Corps and the return of the chit. The reroll still cost the
Union one step, and the Union's V Corps also lost a step in a
different battle. At the end of July 2, the Confederate Victory
Point advantage was only 0.5, but the Union's score was bolstered
by the bid and territorial holdings. In contrast, the Confederates
had a large casualty advantage and still had not suffered an
infantry step loss. As a result of the South's force superiority,
they continued to grind the Union down until the latter surrendered
at the end of Turn 17.
Champ Ed Menzel shared Best Confederate Player honors with
Richard Beyma at 4-1, and GM Greg Smith's 5-3 mark earned the
Best Union Player designation. 7th place finisher Andy Davison
was our Rookie of the Year.
This year's tournament again featured the mandatory Revised
Order of Appearance for all campaign scenario games. In the revised
version, the game begins on the 10 AM turn, or Turn 2. The Confederate
troops which in the printed rules arrive on Turns 2, 3, 4, 5,
and 6 now are all delayed one turn, to Turns 3, 4, 5, 6, and
7 respectively. Union troops arriving on Turns 1, 2, and 3 arrive
on Turns 2, 3, and 4 instead. Considering both the latest WBC
results and the results of the ongoing PBeM Ladder and BPA PBeM
Championship, it is clear that play balance has improved, though
perhaps still favoring the South somewhat. We will probably need
a few more tournaments to assess things fully.
29 total entrants played 36 games. Overall, the South and
North each won 18 games. 32 games used the campaign scenario,
with the Grey on top in 17 and the Blue in 15. Four games used
the short July 1 scenario, with the Rebels winning one and the
Federals victorious in the other three. There was a very wide
range of bids this year. No player bid for the Union in the campaign
scenario, six games had no bid, and 26 had Confederate bids ranging
from 2.0 to 14.5. All 4 July 1 scenario games had bids, one of
2.5 for the Confederates and three ranging from 2.0 to 3.5 for
the Union. In the campaign scenario games, the average bid was
4.30 for all games and 5.29 for the games in which there was
a bid. Those numbers are higher and lower, respectively, than
last year. The average Union bid in the July 1 games was 1.38.
With the bids ranging so widely, there obviously is still no
clear consensus on what the "right" range of bids should
be - or even if bids have any value at all.
Average game length this year was 3 hours 34 minutes, a full
half hour less than last year, but still the third longest on
record. Devin Dausin and Bill Thomson polished off their July
1 scenario in just 30 minutes, while at the other extreme, Ed
Menzel and Bob Jamelli slugged it out for 20 turns over 6 hours,
Again this year, thanks go to Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse
for running the Grognard precon portion. Thank you also to Assistant
Gamemasters Ted Drozd and Ed Menzel for helping run the tournament.
Last but certainly not least, Bill Morse deserves continued appreciation
for completely automating the scoring at the WBC for all the
Grognard games, including Gettysburg. Gentlemen, thank
you very much for your assistance.
Tim Miller takes on the five-time
champ on his way to becoming the six-time champ.