The year 2000 brought change to The Great Campaigns of the
American Civil War (GCACW) series tournament play. Instead of
trying to pack an ever expanding series of games into a five-day
tournament it was decided to consolidate down to two events.
Additional campaign games were added for those who love truly
looonnnng games. The first tournament was titled '1862' which
encompassed four games: Stonewall Jackson's Way, Here
Come the Rebels, Stonewall in the Valley and On
to Richmond. The remander of the series covered the later
years of the war and was contested under the label 1863.
In 2005, the two events were merged into one due to declining
attendance and now covers the entire series.
In the tournament portion of this year's event, we primarily
focused on scenarios from Grant Takes Command. Preliminary
rounds on Thursday and Friday brought back a mix of veterans
and newer players. Unfortunately, several regular players at
this event were unable to attend WBC this year. Still the action
was stiff. It is readily evident that the PBeM ladder is allowing
many players to sharpen their skills. After two days of battles,
seven players advanced to the elimination round with last year's
champion, Chris Withers, receiving the BYE with five wins. Tense
battles in The Wilderness advanced three other players to the
semi-finals, with Ed Beach, Jay Myers, and Dave Cross being defeated.
Next up was the battle at Bethesda Church. Chris came from
behind to take the lead from Steve Likevich (who placed 3rd in
2005). In a well setup counterattack with assault and grand assault
which would likely have achieved a win if successful, Steve only
needed to lose the battle die roll differential by 2, but alas,
he lost by 3. In the other battle, tournament newcomer Justin
Rice (but a very experienced PBeM player) defeated Rob Doane
(who was 2nd in 2005).
The final battle of the tournament was Bloody Spotsylvania.
Justin's Union forces pushed hard and momentarily captured Spotsylvania
Court House. He was pushed out but was still in a good position,
but Chris's strategy of "positive combat dice rolls"
in the majority of the battles worked yet again, and the Union
Army suffered massive casualties in frontal assaults against
the fortified positions. Will anyone ever defeat Chris in a final?
Next year, we are looking at revising our schedule to have
preliminary rounds on Wednesday and Thursday with semi-finals
on Friday and a Final on Saturday to give players as much flexibility
as possible with other events. We will still have a training
session on Wednesday for new commanders prior to the tournament.
The campaign game will be started after the semi-finals on Friday
and played through Saturday when many people out of contention
in other tournaments are looking for interesting games to play.
During the week, Ed had a draft map for the area around Chattanooga,
TN on display and many people dropped by and expressed interest
in the Western Theater project. Hopefully development will be
much further along when we see everyone next year.