Blocks Bursting in Air ...
The 2002 War of 1812 tournament got off with a bang.
We were in our traditional kick off of the WBC again. (I know
there were some pre-con events, but they are like a kick off
classic in college football.) Attendance was strong as usual
for the tournament. 21 Columbia Games enthusiasts played in
our single elimination tournament.
players could bid for either side they felt had an advantage.
There were a few bids, however, most players simply chose to
take one side or the other. I wonder if after four years of
results that trend will continue. The Americans won a clear
majority of games played. The US won 63% of the games played.
66% of their victories took place in 1812 1813 (10 of
12 victories in those years with eight wins at the end of 1812).
British players had a poor record this year, however, if the
game went to 1814 the British player won 71% of the time.
After four years of tournaments at the WBC the Americans have
been victorious in 51% of the games. The British have won 49%
of the games played at WBC. There may be a trend developing
for the US as they have won a majority of games in the past three
years after being dominated by the British in the first year.
It is true though that the American advantage in '01 was only
This year yielded our first repeat winner. David Metzger
won the tournament over Phil Barcafer. It seems that David has
been a dominating force in 1812 since he has been beaten only
once in three events and that was in a final with Robert Mull.
David provided us with his thoughts on the final game.
The war of 1812 began with American forces under the command
of General William Hull crossing the Detroit River and attacking
the British forces garrisoning Amherstburg. After a resounding
American victory, the British abandoned Western Canada and retreated
the tattered remnants of their garrison toward York in an attempt
to gather the remaining strength of their beleaguered Western
Army. Although the American's continued to advance, their progress
was slowed due to a disturbing turn of events in the East.
Rather than using their strong position in Kingston to reinforce
their Western forces and halt the American advance, General Isaac
Brock, the British commander, mounted a lightning strike into
Sacket's Harbor. The defending American commander was taken
completely by surprise by the bold British attack and was forced
to retreat toward the garrison in Albany. In an attempt to divert
American attention from the Western frontier and keep up pressure
in the East, the British continued their advance toward Albany.
The Americans on the other hand, continued their retreat
in order to preserve their strength and reinforce their demoralized
troops with their untouched Eastern army. By giving up territory
and strategically retreating, the Americans were able to combine
all of their Eastern forces in Ticonderoga while the British
Eastern army was separated to their North and South in Albany
and Lacolle respectively. Although the Americans were in a strong
position, the British, flushed with victory chose to make another
bold attack out of Albany in an attempt to crush American resistance
once and for all (Phil felt that the attack was necessary to
counter the US dominance of the western theater). Had this attack
succeeded, it would have left the Eastern United States virtually
undefended and open to British occupation. Unfortunately, the
British did not count on the strength or resolve of the American
defenders and the invading British army was virtually destroyed.
The American strategy then paid off, as they were able to reoccupy
Albany as well as capture all of Western Canada. After having
lost half of their Army and territory, the British sued for peace
and were forced to accede to American territorial demands.
David for your account of the final. I was disappointed in the
surveys this year provided by me to the players. The surveys
have helped me shape the tournament. Of the surveys returned
a couple of low responses came in for the single elimination
format. I would suggest people let me know if they would prefer
a double elimination format for '03. Double elimination would
guarantee play on Wednesday morning when many more of the war
games begin. I would like to know how many would prefer a the
double elimination format if they could not play other games
on Wednesday. Please email me with any suggestions you may have.
Thanks to Columbia Games for their support of the winners
and all players of 1812. I hope to see you all in '03!