Blocks of Courage ...
Badges of Courage was a new game, published three months
before WBC/2004 and thus drew a fair number of players wishing
to take it out for a first spin.
Scenario: Day 1.
Each entrant played two games, one game as CSA and one game
as the USA. The two entrants with the highest total of Victory
Points over both games advanced to a final round.
The two preliminary rounds were hotly contested. Of the 15
games played (five losers on the first round chose not to play
in the second round), six resulted in CSA victories, five in
a USA victory, and four were ties. It effectively required two
victories to reach the final round. Advancing to the final round
were Patrick Mirk of Florida (20VPs) and Robert Lightburn of
Virginia (14VPs), both capable players with a slight edge going
to Patrick for the highest VPs in this tourney and past success
at other block games. Matt Calkins also had two victories, but
with a total of 11VPs, he finished third.
Choice of sides for the final game was determined by bidding
Victory Points for the CSA. Patrick won a coin toss and bid
0, Robert bid 1, Patrick bid 2, and Robert passed. Thus Patrick
played the CSA but needed +2 points for a victory, meaning 9
VPs to win. To avoid a tie in the championship game, the scoring
was set at:
CSA Victory 9VPs or more; otherwise the USA wins.
The final game was a classic. Robert (USA) defended well
early on, and launched a great counterattack on Seminary Ridge
that severely stretched the CSA line. But as always, such an
attack must inflict a mortal wound or the USA finds itself severely
compromised by the arrival of Ewell on their right flank. The
CSA somehow avoided collapse on Seminary Ridge and proceeded
to hammer the USA right. The Union now executed a reasonably
good fighting retreat, pursued by the CSA. The CSA occupied an
undefended Culps Hill and then, on the very last turn of the
scenario (8pm) stormed Cemetery Hill which they won. The game
ended with the CSA holding eight terrain points (Seminary Ridge,
Gettysburg, Benner Hill, Culps Hill, and Cemetery Hill. They
also had eliminated eight USA units, while losing four, for a
net score of +4. Hence the CSA total was 8+4 = 12 VPs. Both
commanders played extremely well and pledged to be back next
year for a rematch.