The Champ is dead; long live the
It took 15 years but Ed Beach, the
designer of the series, finally reclaimed the championship he
last won in 1993.
BPA treasurer Bruno Passacantando
(right) returned for a try at a third championship but was denied
the elimination rounds.
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.
year's tournament continued the 2007 format. We played six straight
preliminary rounds on Wednesday and Thursday with a mix of scenarios,
primarily from Grant Takes Command. We added a scenario
from Stonewall in the Valley, McDowell, due to significant
enjoyment of this scenario in the online tournament. We had a
total of 17 commanders in all. This included about eight newcomers
or rusty returnees appearing at the Demo round with many of them
playing several rounds in the tournament. After two days of battles
(29 games played), we advanced four to the semi-final round.
The biggest news was that after many years of winning the
various GCACW tournaments, Chris Withers did not make it to the
elimination round. However, we must congratulate him for all
the success he has had in the past. This year, the semi-finals
saw Rob Doane as the Union beat Steve Likevich and Ed Beach as
the Confederates defeat Justin Rice in the Wilderness. In the
Final, Ed Beach led the Confederates to victory in Bethesda Church.
Ed reported that throughout the tournament, his opponents marched
poorly against him. Also congratulations to Brad Merrill for
his outstanding "Risen from the Ranks" performance
showing great improvement this year.
The battles this year were relatively straight forward with
no real wild situations reported. Probably the biggest variety
occurred in McDowell since it is a very long scenario in number
of turns (but few units) with lots of options for Stonewall Jackson
to run up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Overall, the Confederates
won the majority of the scenarios in every round.
Next year, Justin Rice has agreed to GM the event as my Army
Reserve commitments really make it difficult for me. Based on
the trends from the last few years, we may change the format
to just having preliminary rounds on Wednesday to advance four
to the semi-finals. The training session on Wednesday for new
commanders prior to the tournament will certainly continue as
we have gained many newcomers over the past few years. Also,
we will consider once again having a larger campaign played as
many people find those more interesting than the tournament (myself
being one of them).
During the week, Ed once again had the Battle Above the Clouds
playtest materials on display for the area around Chattanooga,
TN. Dave Cross and Justin Rice set up and played a few turns
of the campaign game. We didn't get very far but did get a feeling
of how the restricted terrain really affects play. Hopefully
this game may be available next year.