Great Campaigns of the American
Civil War: 1863
The Great Campaigns of 1863/1864 tournament focused on scenarios
from Grant Takes Command for the second year, and enjoyed
17 entrants who participated in nine rounds of play before a
champion was crowned.
from GTC started and ended Friday's qualifying rounds, with Sheridan
Rides South up first in the morning and Battle of the Wilderness
as the nightcap. In between, rounds of The Battle Continues (a
Roads to Gettysburg scenario from Skimisher 1), Salem
Church (Stonewall's Last Battle), and Piedmont (from the
new Skirmisher 2) were also tightly contested. The participants
obviously felt that the first four scenarios were balanced; games
with no bids were in the majority and when bids did occur, a
Union Bid of just 1 victory point was the most common selection.
This balance held up in the results as well; in these first four
rounds, there were eight Union wins and nine Confederate.
Interestingly enough, play then proceeded to the Battle of
the Wilderness, a scenario that was used for the quarter-finals
last year (when all four Union players advanced). Using this
historical data, each Union player gave up three to six victory
points to play the boys in blue and then each proceeded to lose
to their Rebel opponent! A new more conservative approach to
Confederate play in the Wilderness seems to be effective in stopping
the powerful Union advances that we saw in 2002. Bruno Passacantando
used such a rebel defensive enclave to hold off GM Ed Beach's
Union advance (that featured a fierce offensive by Sheridan's
cavalry that placed Sheridan directly behind the Army of Northern
Virginia when it finally sputtered out).
Day Two of the event proceeded to the single-elimination rounds,
with David Cross and Mark Booth facing off in the play-in game
of Sheridan Rides South to see who would join Bruno, Paul Nied,
and Chris Withers in the semi-finals. Mark's Confederates performed
an all-out retreat southward, avoiding casualties but surrendering
most of the RR stations. The extremely close match came down
to whether or not a single Union brigade could rejoin Sheridan's
main force on the final turn. In the end, the unit did escape,
allowing David to advance to fight Bruno.
had never played Strike Them a Blow before, and therefore selected
the Confederate (defensive) position. Low movement rolls by Hancock
slowed the Union advance, however Bruno's VI Corps was to get
an entrenched foothold south of the North Anna river on the second
turn. Day 3 saw intense action around Hanover Junction, with
the crucial rail junction changing hands twice. In the end Bruno's
desperate counterattack failed, moving David into a final round
match against defending champ Paul Nied.
In the final, David played Bloody Spotsylvania for the first
time, again choosing the defensive Confederates. David forced
marched Ewell's corps to Spotsylvania, establishing a strong
defensive position. He mixed some preemptive attacks with entrenchment
actions near Spotsylvania to hold off Paul for three turns. Then
rain arrived for two days. Paul was forced to resign, as his
Army of the Potomac had already suffered heavy casualties and
was not even close to threatening Spotsylvania. Congratulations
to David Cross, the third winner in the past four years to earn
their first WBC plaque from the GC3 tournament.