Red Coats and Tories and Indians,
Dave Stiffler vs two-time champion
and third ranked Dale Long. Dave went on to take sixth place
and move up to 7th place in the BAR laurel rankings.
The finalists did battle over nn enlarged
map of Eutaw Springs. Wargamers do things in a big way down in
Lampeter, whether its shivering or sweating.
A very strong field including six past champions and nine
of the top-ten AREA rated players competed in this year's tournament.
The group was leavened by the return of a few old warriors like
John Clarke, Ed Welsh and Chuck Stapp who had been away from
the competition for a couple years. As always we attracted some
new recruits represented this year by Michael Webb and Jim Mehl.
In the Mulligan and first rounds we played the "Washington's
Stand" scenario from Monmouth Courthouse. 24 players
competed in the Mully and 16 in Round 1. The Americans won eight,
the British six and six games ended in a draw. Most victories
were marginal however both Mark and Tommy Miklos' Americans won
substantially as did Jeff Lange's British. In games ending in
a draw, the players advancing were those with the higher army
morale. These included Bill Morse, Rob McCracken and Chris Storzillo.
Battle proceeded in Round 2 to the forested wilderness of western
New York for the Battle of Newtown. Here the Continental
Army faced an army of Iroquois for the first and only time during
the Revolutionary War. 16 of the 18 qualifiers returned for Round
2. The Continentals took five games and the Indians three. Four
of the five American wins were substantial. Only Tommy Miklos'
Indians won substantially in his upset defeat of ninth-ranked
Rob McCracken. Other upsets included Bill Morse's substantial
win over sixth-ranked Jeff Lange, Melvin Casselberry's substantial
win over 2011 champion Rob Doane, Dave Stiffler's substantial
win over 2007 champion Dale Long and John Vasilakos' marginal
win over third-ranked Chris Easter.
Regrettably, Melvin Casselberry, declined to advance - leaving
an odd number of players and the need to award a bye. As the
2013 & 2012 champion, Bruno Sinigaglio waived his right to
accept the bye. 2011's champion, Rob Doane and 2010's champion
Dale Long were each eliminated. Jim Tracy, the 2009 champion,
was not in attendance. That left Mark Miklos, the 2008 champion,
eligible and he took the bye into the semifinal.
For Round 3 the players moved from the cool forested mountains
of New York to the hot and humid Palmetto scrub and marsh of
Florida's panhandle for the Siege scenario from the Battle
of Pensacola. The British/Indian forces won all three games
in this round. Bill Morse won marginally in his second upset
win over tenth-ranked Dave Stiffler, Tommy Miklos won marginally
over Chris Storzillo and John Vasilakos, himself a past champion
(2002), won marginally over reigning two-time champion and top
ranked AREA player, Bruno Sinigaglio whose gallant waiving of
a bye proved fatal to the defense of his title.
Worthy of mention in the Vasilakos-Sinigaglio match is the fact
that John's British killed the supreme Spanish leader de Galvez
on Turn 1 with fire from the Red Cliffs Fort as the Spanish fleet
was entering Pensacola Bay. Hampered by the lack of command and
control Bruno's Spanish nevertheless made a game out of it causing
two of the three breaches on the British redoubts needed for
decisive victory in this scenario.
In the game between Stiffler and Morse the weather was wet and
got wetter. Dave's Spanish could never seem to gain any traction
as they worked to advance their Corduroy Road, dig siege works
and bombard the British strong points. Tommy Miklos used raiding
effectively to confound Chris Storzillo and his approaching Spanish
forces and to impede their siege works.
We returned to the Mohawk Valley of New York for the semifinal.
Here Mark Miklos opposed Bill Morse while his son, Tommy Miklos,
drew John Vasilakos in the Battle of Oriskany. In the Morse contest,
Mark's British let Herkimer's relief column approach deep along
the military road. Indeed the ambush was sprung in Ambush Zone
3 in one of the last possible ambush hexes on the map. While
the American column was approaching, the British/Indian forces
stormed the Ft. Stanwix hornwork and disrupted and later captured
the 2 SP Continental that was stationed there. The ambush had
devastating effect. Herkimer was killed and another five VPs
were harvested. With Army Morale standing at 15 to 4 and VPs
at 6 to 0 and with few turns remaining, Bill's Americans surrendered.
The Vasilakos version turned out quite differently. Tommy's American's
were defeated on Turn 1. British defensive artillery fire scored
a hit and, by targeting enemy infantry and using the Coehorn
mortar, caused a disruption on the 5 SP Continental that Tommy
had garrisoning Ft. Stanwix. A unit in the fort can disrupt in
place IF it is stacked with at least one undisrupted infantry
unit. Unfortunately, Tommy's 1 SP militia was stationed in the
hornwork meaning that his disrupted unit in the fort had to retreat
three hexes and abandon the fort. John moved in, withstood a
one-turn counterattack and the game was over before it had ever
The Final would be a rematch between 2002's protagonists; John
Vasilakos and Mark Miklos. The format was match-play using the
Battle of Eutaw Springs in the South Carolina Low Country.
The finalists would play two games back-to-back switching sides.
The best combined two-game score would be the winner.
In the first game John played the British. It was nip and tuck
all the way, ending in a draw. Since Army Morale is the first
tie break and VPs the second, it mattered how the box score stacked
up. Mark had +1 tournament points/13 Army Morale/3 VPs. John
had +1 tournament points/8 Army Morale/5 VPs. Mark was positioned
well in case the second match also ended in a draw but an outright
win by either player in Game 2, even if marginal, would be enough
to win the championship.
John's Americans were having their way early in the contest.
The British were hard-pressed and at one point in the midgame
turns their line had ceased to exist, replaced instead with a
ragged and desperate formation anchored on the blackjack oak
thicket. British Army Morale was three points into Fatigued status
while that of the Americans remained high. What's more, the Americans
were holding two Momentum chits. It looked over for the King's
forces. At this most decisive moment fate intervened.
John elected to spend one of his two momentum chits to influence
the initiative die roll, hoping for the back-to-back move. With
his high morale status he would be adding a total of +3 to the
die roll while Mark's fatigued British would be adding 0. John
rolled a zero, net +3 and Mark rolled something better. The British
were able to get out of Dodge, fall back and form a new more
consolidated line. John's best chance to end the game passed
without incident. Now, slowly but surely, Mark fought his way
back; a disruption result here, a step loss there. At one point,
responding to a previous pin result, his counterattack resulted
in the capture of both the Pickens/Sumter Militia and the S.C.
Rifles. That VP and morale swing brought him back into high morale,
garnered him a momentum chit and more VPs.
With VPs standing at 6:12 for the British (they get 3 for holding
their camp which was not imminently threatened) to 3 for the
Americans and with only 12 game turns to go the British sent
a drummer boy to the front under a white flag to beat the parlay.
John offered his honorable surrender and it was accepted. The
outcome was a British marginal victory for +2 tournament points
(two-game net of +3), the win and the championship for Mark Miklos.
Congratulations to John for a well deserved second place. Congrats
also to my son Tommy who surprised a lot of people with his skill
in taking third place. I also want to thank my two AGMs, Rob
McCracken and Chris Easter, without whom the tournament would
not have run so smoothly.