great campaigns / acw 1863 [Updated October 2002]

GC3  3 prizes Beginners Swiss Elim Continuous 
      9, 11, 13:30, 16:30, 18, 19:30 
  Round 2  Round 3 13  Semi   Round 4 17 Final    


Paul Nied, KS

2002 Champion

2nd: Chris Withers, CA

3rd: Bruno Passacantando, CT

4th: Steve Sandy, OH

 5th: Mark Booth, VA

 6th: Steve Likevich, OH

Event History
1995    Ken Lee *      28
1996    Paul Tisevich *      16
1997    Joe Bellas *      24
1998    Bruno Passacantando *      21
1999    Pat Duffy *     14
2000    Scott Spurgeon     18
2001    Bruno Passacantando     17
2002     Paul Nied     21

* Roads to Gettysburg


GM: Ed Beach

Past Winners

Ken Lee - PA

Paul Tisevich - FL

Joe Bellas - OH

Bruno Passacantando - CT
1998, 2001

Hugh Mater - NJ

Scott Spurgeon - ONT

Paul Nied - KS

Great Campaigns of the American Civil War: 1863

The Great Campaigns tournament moved upstairs, into the light of day, and proceeded comfortably in our smaller but dedicated facility. Attendance remained strong in both events, with the 1863/1864 tournament drawing a solid 21 entrants, the highest attendance in four years.

For the third year, part 2 of the Great Campaigns of the ACW series featured scenarios from the 1863 and 1864 games: Stonewall's Last Battle, Roads to Gettysburg, and Grant Takes Command. Five of the seven scenarios used in the tournament came from recently released GTC, giving the players fresh strategic options to ponder.

Sheridan Rides South was first. Conventional thinking was to bid to play Union (about half the games had Union bids), but the Confederates defied that strategy, winning in eight of nine matchups. Everyone will have to rethink this one before next year! Round 2 featured The Battle Continues (a hypothetical Day 4 at Gettysburg) from The Skimisher, which worked well. We'll continue to use that scenario in years to come. After the traditional Salem Church matchup in Round 3, Trevillian Station from GTC followed. This round featured a few close matchups and a few lopsided cavalry dashes. Look for this one to be replaced with the soon-to-be-released Piedmont scenario next year. The day concluded with the new classic, Battle of the Wilderness. Its popularity was evident as we had eight complete boards of it going at once even though it didn't start until after 8pm. Even those players without a chance to make it in to the single elimination rounds didn't want to miss the chance to slug it out with this one. As the dust cleared at the end of the first day, Bruno Passacantando, Chris Withers, and Mark Booth were the top qualifiers, each sporting perfect 4-0 records for the day.

The quarterfinals brought the players back to 1864 to fight the Strike Them a Blow. Steve Sandy, this year's "Risen from the Ranks" award winner, dealt Mark Booth his first loss of the tournament, knocking him out with a well-executed Confederate fighting withdrawal. Paul Nied won the only Union victory with a quick knockout of Steve Likevich through combat losses. Brad Anderson, this year's "Rookie of the Year", bowed out against Bruno, the defending tournament champ, while Gordon Bliss fell to Chris Withers, winner of the GC2 tournament earlier in the week.

The semifinals moved a bit further south to Cold Harbor with the Bethesda Church scenario. Bruno bid to play Union but relived Grant's Cold Harbor frustration, falling to Paul after suffering enormous combat losses. Chris also prevailed over Steve as the Confederates.

The finals once again used Battle of the Wilderness, Paul bidding for the Union. In the opening move, AP Hill rolled a 6 movement allowance and killed the 5NY in the cavalry retreat. Hill was able to capture both Parkers Store and the Widow Tapp farm. However, with the next initiative Hancock secured the Block Road/Plank Road intersection for the Union and sent two divisions further south to stop any flanking attempts in the Wilderness. Chris then made a questionable call, retreating Heth out of Widow Tapp back to Parkers Store while entrenching Wilcox (rather than activating Ewell's corps). Paul won a number of initiatives in a row and before Chris could respond, Locust Grove had fallen. The Rebels were now well behind in losses and objective VPs so they switched strategy to try to take the more lightly defended Crossroads. Hill advanced again on the objective, but was repulsed and routed in the Union counterattack. Chris tried some more tricks with their miscellaneous brigades and with Longstreet, but the Union stymied them each time. The win represented Paul's first plaque in seven years of faithful attendance at the Great Campaigns tournaments. Congratulations, Paul Nied!

While the single elimination rounds proceeded, five other Great Campaigns enthusiasts tried the Rebels in the White House campaign game to be published in the upcoming Skirmisher 2. Even with multiple commanders, we easily finished this campaign game (representing Early's 1864 raid on Washington) in a single day. After a slow Confederate start, Dennis Mason (Early) moved the Confederate II Corps towards Baltimore. Rushing troops in to Baltimore from Petersburg, the Union players stymied this advance. Unfortunately they then relaxed when it looked like Early was retreating back to Virginia. Gerry Germond (Breckinridge) dashed from Howard County to the capital fortifications in a single turn and broke through into the District. By the next day, both the US Capitol and White House were in flames. Great Campaigns veterans Ken Lee and Ed Beach were court-martialed on the spot. Rookie of the Year runner-up Mark Greenwood will be forgiven as long as he returns and plays with us again next year. This one was so much fun we've already scheduled a rematch for next year.

 GM      Ed Beach  [7th Year]   6418 Waveland Way, Columbia, MD 21045   NA

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