"Hammered" by the Scots
Kudos to the few individuals who showed up for Bobby Lee
in 2003. In the words of fellow GM Mark Guttag, it appears as
if the Bobby Lee tournament, starting on Thursday at noon,
got "Hammered" ... a not so thinly veiled reference
to the other block party event going on at the same time. Still,
from a GM's perspective, if you're going to get a small number,
at least get a small number divisible by 2, or even better, 4!
And that's what we had.
four players were Damion Mastrangelo, Ted Drozd, Matt Calkins,
and first (and probably last) time Bobby Lee GM, Daniel Broh-Kahn.
Matt was looking to move up from a sixth place finish in 2002
it wouldn't be hard with only four participants!
For the four played games of Bobby Lee we used the 1861 scenario.
At the end of the October 1861 turn, the Victory Track is checked
and Tournament Points are awarded per Rule 3.25. Since there
were only four of us, we didn't need to worry about tie breakers!
The game master had high hopes for a healthy turnout, but it
just wasn't to be. Perhaps noon was too early?
The first game was played between Damion Mastrangelo and Matt
Calkins. The game opened with the typical Union attack on Harper's
Ferry, which significantly weakened both armies. The Rebs eventually
had to evacuate toWinchester, foregoing the victory point at
Harper's Ferry. However, they were not done! They determined
to seize the initiative with a cavalry raid, which succeeded
in capturing both York and Lancaster. As a result of the Pennsylvania
Offensive, both the Virginia Peninsula and Alexandria were quiet,
as the armies built-up.
A Sportsmanship nomination went to Damion in his game against
Matt Calkins. Matt's offensive premise was predicated on his
interpretation of the rules, which called for victory points
through occupation of enemy supply sources, per rule 4.52 However,
the official errata states: "Control of enemy supply sources
is no longer worth Victory Points. Instead, controlling each
enemy supply source reduces the CSA by two RP's and the USA by
three RP's as long as control is maintained." Damion allowed
the game to continue as planned by Matt, leading to Matt's eventual
victory. Well done to both players!
The second game, With Daniel Broh-Kahn squaring off against
Ted Drozd, also had the typical Union Harper's Ferry offensive
which fizzled out for a lack of militia enthusiasm. The Union
then turned their attention on Centreville, with similar results.
After a build-up period, and late in the game, the Union went
for the jugular at Yorktown, which succeeded, but it was a case
of too little, too late.
The consolidation game featured Daniel vs. Damion. It involved
the usual subterfuge around between what is now West Virginia
and Maryland. The famous gaps, which severely restrict maneuver,
call for some sort of novel plan to penetrate the mountains.
The Union brought in a massive four-piece army to seize the gaps,
resulting in a huge battle which destroyed the two headquarters
set up there. That pretty much wiped out any Union offensives
for the rest of the game, which ended more or less in a draw.
Not a bad result!
In the final, Ted's Union forces faced off against Matt's
Confederates. Ted advanced to Winchester with a weakened force,
but was met by a more weakened Confederate force. The result
was a bloody melee which totally wiped out the Confederates force!
This game also featured an interesting battle at the edge of
the world, aka Delaware. The gamemaster's ruling determined that
edge hexes are playable, as stated in the rules! It was certainly
interesting to see Confederates all the way to Delaware. Again,
another well played and fairly fought game, which is always refreshing.
So there you have it. Many thanks to all who played, and to those
who came by and expressed support or sympathy! Yes, Virginia,
it is true that you can play a decent Civil War game in under
two hours. In any event, it was a pleasure to run a quick tournament,
and the usual post mortems, which this time focused on the occupation
of Acquia Landing, are always enjoyable! Perhaps Bobby Lee
is just a game whose time has come and gone, or perhaps better
scheduling will result in more attendance, if the game is voted
back or sponsored next year. Still, it is clear that this game,
and block games in general, still have their share of adherents!