Confederates by a whisker ...
players answered the call to arms in the inaugural Battle
Cry tournament at WBC. This lead to 14 groups of four for
the round robin after the GM and designer withdrew to act as
spoilers in the single elimination. This was perfect since it
meant only the winner of each round robin advanced. In the round
robin, everyone played all three of the other members of their
group in Brawner's Farm. This scenario was picked since the data
available showed it was one of the most balanced scenarios provided
in the game. To pick sides, you bid casualty dice to play the
Confederates. Unfortunately, I didn't ask for bids to be recorded,
but I do know some went as high as five dice. This was taking
a real chance since rolls of artillery could lead to losing flags
as well as other important assets before play even started.
11 of the 14 groups were won by players going 3-0. The remaining
three group winners were decided based on head-to-head match-ups.
There were 84 total first round games of Brawner's Farm played.
The Confederates won 58. So under heavy testing, the scenario
isn't too balanced. The interesting thing is the average Confederate
win was by 2.6 flags, while the Union wins were by 2.3 flags.
This means there weren't many games decided by one flag. Overall,
the Confederates captured 444 to the Union's 354. The breakdown
of side choice for the 14 players who advanced were five unbeaten
Confederates, two unbeaten Yanks, four unbeaten players playing
twice as Confederates, two 2-1 Yankees, and one player who won
twice with the Stars & Bars while losing once with the Stripes.
So the advancing players had 14 of the 26 Union victories.
single elimination field was filled with the 3-0 players randomly
assigned the 1-11 positions and the 2-1 players and two spoilers
randomly assigned the 12-16 positions. In the single elimination,
the higher seed could choose picking the scenario or picking
side after his opponent picked the scenario. The round of 16
saw scenario selections of Fredericksburg, First Bull Run three
times, Brawner's Farm three times, and Chickamauga. The Confederates
won four of the eight matches including all of the Brawner's
Farm games. Fortunately, the two spoilers were eliminated in
this round in very tight and exciting 6-5 matches. The round
of eight saw First Bull Run chosen three times and Chickamauga
once. Again the sides split even at two wins apiece. The semifinals
saw Ilan Woll's Union defeat Jeff Evich at Chickamauga 6-4 as
Jeff Mullet's Confederates whupped Ben Knight at First Bull Run
6-2. A consolation game was played for the third place plaque
which Ben Knight won as the Union 6-5 at First Bull Run.
finals matched Ilan Woll's Confederates against Jeff Mullet at
First Bull Run.The Union left swamped the Confederate right but
then ran out of steam and a sharpshooter killed Stonewall Jackson.However,
the decisive action was on the Confederate left where their cavalry
went rampaging through the Union lines. The boys in blue just
were too overwhelmed by the sight of the horses; 20 die rolls
failed to cause any casualties. Cavalry had a final glorious
battle as the decisive arm as Ilan won 6-3, tying the elimination
portion of the event at eight wins apiece for each side. Richard
Borg, the game's designer, graciously gave the winner a copy
of the game which was very much appreciated since Ilan didn't
have a copy and thought he should add it to his collection after
winning the tournament.
It's back to the drawing board on scenario selection for next
year, but everyone really seemed to enjoy the round robin and
guarantee of three games so we'll keep it.
I want to thank the players for keeping the games moving.
Most tournaments see play taking much longer than normal so I
allotted roughly an hour after set-up for each game. Nobody in
the round robin needed the time. Most games were finishing in
30 minutes. We had one single elimination game run long, but
the players went through almost two whole decks before deciding
the game which is much longer than I've seen any game last.
tournament drew three well known game designers besides Richard
Borg as competitors with GMT head honcho Gene Billingsly showing
he can sling dice with the best of them and finishing sixth.
Having Richard on hand with his beautiful miniatures version
of the game was also much appreciated and we hope to play the
finals and semi-finals on those elaborate layouts next year.