Another New Champion ...
Raynald Foret and Wayne Morrison tangle
Series designer Ed Beach and 2012
champ Rob Doane
We came all the way from Paris to
play each other?
Raynald Foret falls in the Final to
The year 2000 brought change to The Great Campaigns of
the American Civil War (GCACW) series tournament play. Instead
of trying to pack an ever expanding series of games into a five-day
tournament it was decided to consolidate down to two events.
Additional campaign games were added for those who love truly
looonnnng games. The first tournament was titled '1862' which
encompassed four games: Stonewall Jackson's Way, Here
Come the Rebels, Stonewall in the Valley and On
to Richmond. The remander of the series covered the later
years of the war and was contested under the label 1863.
In 2005, the two events were merged into one due to declining
attendance and now covers the entire series.
With the Continued Absence of Chris Withers, the 2014 emphasis
was on Repelling the French ...
The 20th year of the tournament continued last year's swiss
elim format. We played three preliminary rounds on Wednesday
with a mix of scenarios. We covered all eras of the games in
print (All Green Alike, Stonewall Jackson's Way II, Battle
Above the Clouds) in the preliminary rounds to provide a
good flavor of the differences in the armies. We had a field
of 17 commanders, including six newcomers showing up at the Demo
with many of them playing several rounds. We advanced six to
the elimination round. Congratulations to Peter Putnam as our
Risen From the Ranks choice, advancing after going 2-0 in the
From the preliminary round results, we have determined that
we will need to make a minor change next year. We used An
End of Innocence from AGA as the introductory one-turn
scenario in the training session and first round of the preliminaries.
However, it remained a complete blowout with Confederates winning
all games. Thus, we may be looking at having a recommended bid
to play Confederates or have to determine an alternate short
scenario. There were no significant issues with Lee vs. Pope
from SJWII or McLemore's Cove from BAC.
This year's tournament definitely had a "World Cup"
feel as we welcomed Thibault Nguyen and Raynald Foret from France.
Both are excellent players who made it to the elimination round.
They fit right in playing both at a very high level but also
helping with newcomers, making it a fun tournament for all. They
mostly play campaigns (which are definitely more fun), but both
found that the longer scenarios we played from Battle Above
the Clouds really do provide some good challenges.
In the end, the way the seedings worked, Raynald (bye) and
Thibault (defeated Ted Drozd) squared off in the semis as the
"French Bracket" and Justin Rice (bye) and Rob Doane
(defeated Peter Putnam in QF) as the "American Bracket"
with Raynald and Justin advancing to the "Wilderness"
for the Final. Justin prevailed to win his first GCA tournament.
A few days later he actually showed our French visitors where
the climactic showdown took place at the Wilderness battlefield.
We definitely hope to see Raynald and Thibault again.
Ed Beach also set up the Atlanta Campaign playtest
maps and we played several turns of the opening phase of the
campaign. Still plenty of playtesting to do, but this looks to
be a really exciting addition to the series.
The French have landed.