Blockheads at war ...
year's tournament was a great deal of fun. We began with 20 players
a little down from last years 26; however, I felt that it was
a good turnout. I was hoping that being in the Iron Man tournament
as well this time would boost our numbers. This year I asked
players to fill out a survey to help me run a better tournament.
We used a random draw for sides. Last year the US won 68%
of the time. However, the British had won more than 60% the year
before. It was my decision not to include any bidding. I have
always felt that this was a pretty evenly matched game. This
year the results seemed to bear that out: of the 19 games played
the US won ten.
Player commentary generated some good quotes. Jonathan Price
wrote, "the British attack at Prescott was bludgeoned on
a wall of American Steel". Dennis Culhane was more succint
in describing his victory against Phil Barcafer as "Blood
Bath". Charles Hickok tells of the "dry gunpowder"
he had against Scott Bowling's redcoats. Overall, it seems that
most players had a good time.
The finals came down to David Metzger's redcoats vs Dennis
Culhane. David was gracious enough to pen his thoughts of the
The first year was characterized by a series of mishaps and
poorly coordinated attacks by both sides. The British began 1812
with a lightning strike for Detroit in an attempt to gain their
Indian allies and sweep the Western portion of the map. However,
the British field commanders badly managed their troops and after
a disastrous defeat, in which they took eight casualties while
only inflicting one on the Americans, were forced to retreat
back into Canada. The Americans immediately attempted to capitalize
on their successful defense of Detroit by moving into Canada
with six strength points to attack the remaining three British.
Unfortunately for the Americans one of their militia units refused
to enter Canada, which enabled the British to turn the tables
and completely destroy the American offensive.
The Americans then attempted to move into Central Canada but
once again, two of their three units refused to march, which
enabled the British to completely destroy the American unit that
crossed the border. Both sides then settled down for the rest
of 1812 to lick their wounds and hopefully enhance the quality
of their field commanders.
1813 began with a two-pronged British offensive in both the east
and west. The British obviously learned from their tactical blunders
in Detroit and successfully captured the city and gained their
Indian allies. In the East, a huge engagement was fought between
18 British factors and 15 Americans. While the battle went back
and forth between the two sides, nether army was willing to retreat
and the British ultimately triumphed and destroyed the entire
American eastern army. With the entire eastern US open to British
capture, the Americans began a series of lightning raids with
their dragoons and one militia unit into Montreal in order to
stop British replacements, tie up British troops, and buy time
for reinforcements to arrive from the West.
the American strategy was partially successful, the British ultimately
forced back the American incursion and it cost the Americans
another precious infantry unit. Both sides then began a series
of strategic maneuvers and feints in an attempt to lure their
opponents into a vulnerable position, but neither side fell into
their opponent's trap. However, by the end of 1813, the British
were in a position to take full control of most of Eastern and
Western US and the Americans were forced into a desperation attack
against the main British Army to keep from losing the war. While
the attack was valiant, the 15 factors of Americans were no match
for 21 high quality defending British regulars, and the bulk
of the American army was finally destroyed.
I want to thank Columbia Games for their support of the 1812
tournament. They graciously donated gift certificates for the
top four places again this year. I am looking forward to next
year as well.