battles of the american revolution 

Updated 11/26/2008

2008 WBC Report   

2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Mark Miklos, GA

2008 Champion

Offsite Links


Event History
1999    Mark Miklos     22
2000    Cliff Hansen     12
2001    Volko Ruhnke     16
2002    John Vasilakos     19
2003    Mark Miklos     23
2004    Mark Miklos     26
2005    Mark Miklos     28
2006    Andrew Maly     20
2007     Dale Long     34
2008*    Mark Miklos     24

*Formerly Saratoga

Brandywine Event History
1999    Mark Miklos     13

PBEM Event History
2007    Jim Tracey     22



Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Mark Miklos        GA    08    219
  2.  Dale Long          NJ    08     74
  3.  Bruno Sinigaglio   AK    08     64
  4.  John Vasilakos     VA    08     60
  5.  Cliff Hansen       NM    01     48
  6.  Jim Tracy          OH    07     42
  7.  Volko Ruhnke       VA    01     42
  8.  John Miklos        GA    07     30
  9.  Don Hanle          VA    02     30
 10.  Andrew Maly        MD    07     29
 11.  Jeff Lange Sr      AE    00     21
 12.  Robert McCracken   DE    08     18
 13.  Terry Coleman      CA    07     18
 14.  Jonathan Miller    DC    01     18
 15.  Byron Stingley     NC    00     18
 16.  Michael Arrighi    CA    99     18
 17.  Michael Nagel      NJ    03     15
 18.  Jeff Lange         AE    07     12
 19.  Ric Manns          IN    06     12
 20.  William Riggs      VA    04     12
 21.  Luke Warren        DC    03     12
 22.  Hank Burkhalter    GA    02     12
 23.  Rob Winslow        NY    99     12
 24.  David Stiffler     VA    08      9
 25.  Mauro Faina      Italy   07      9
 26.  Derek Miller       VA    05      9
 27.  Paul Stoecker      DE    06      6
 28.  Rod Coffey         GA    07      9
 29.  Tim Wisner         MD    03      6
 30.  Stuart Smart       NY    00      6
 31.  Eric Kleist        GA    06      5
 32.  Tommy Miklos       GA    07      3
 33.  James Miller       VA    05      3
 34.  Paul Barker        UK    03      3
 35.  Bill Alderman      IL    03      3
 36.  Mark Hinkle        NH    99      3

2008 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists 

Dale Long, NJ

Bruno Sinigaglio, AK

David Stiffler, VA

Rob McCracken, DE

John Vasilakos, VA

Past Winners

Mark Miklos, GA
'99, '03-'05, '08

Cliff Hansen, NM

Volko Ruhnke, VA

John Vasilakos, VA

Andrew Maly, MD


 Each round featured a different game in the series. Unlike former years, players couldn't default back to the original Saratoga game. Could that be the cause of the 30% attendance drop?

John Vasilakos (left) goes head to head with the designer's son, John Miklos. The pin stripers fan didn't survive the test and Vasilakos moved on to a sixth place finish.

A Three-Cornered Final

24 players competed in this year's event. They played 25 games involving 55 player-starts that totaled nearly 140 hours of combined gaming. All had a good time, whether dueling as perennial champions or being welcomed into the fold as relative newcomers. No fewer than five past-champions were in this year's competition.

This year for the first time there was no automatic default game and all players were required to play the stipulated scenario in each round in order to advance. This proved to be a non-issue and, in fact, most players told me they were glad for the change.

Eutaw Springs was the Mulligan game and also the scenario for Round 1. There were four draws, two substantial American victories, and seven British victories (five marginal and two substantial.) There was a Round 1 upset when newcomer David Stiffler defeated past champion Andy Maly knocking him out of the competition.

Thirteen players advanced to Round 2, "Knyphausen's Feint" from Brandywine. Victories were evenly divided, three for each side. The six advancing players were (Americans) John Foley, John Vasilakos and David Stiffler and (British) Rob McCracken, Bruno Sinigaglio and Mark Miklos. Last year's champion, Dale Long, received a bye in this round.

The scenario for Round 3 was "Washington's Stand" from Monmouth. Dale Long defeated Rob McCracken and Mark Miklos had the bye. In the other matches Bruno Sinigaglio and John Vasilakos fought to a draw, as did David Stiffler and John Foley. A comparison of tournament points revealed that Bruno and David had the best overall records earning them the right to advance to the semi-finals.

Saratoga was used in Round 4. Both British armies won marginal victories with Dale Long prevailing over David Stiffler and Mark Miklos prevailing over Bruno Sinigaglio. By design, the three players advancing from this semi-final were going to be the two winners and the defeated player with the best record. Bruno and David waited anxiously as the score sheets were analyzed. In the end, Bruno and David were tied in tournament and victory points but Bruno's slight advantage in Army Morale entitled him to advance to the Final.

The three finalists secretly chose their sides. Dale alone picked the French but Bruno and Mark each picked the British. In the bidding that followed Mark bid 2 and Bruno 3 so, by default, Mark took the Americans and Bruno adjusted his at-start army morale down by three points.

The weather on Turn 1 was squall so the few pieces on the board just crawled around. On Turns 2-6 the British sortied out of the Savannah defenses to delay the early-arriving American vanguard and screen their own arriving reinforcements. They then managed a fine measured withdrawal back into their defensive works as the weight of arriving French and American units was making itself felt. During this bit of fencing the British lost a unit of Georgia Militia that was acting as a rear guard and the Americans gained the first VP of the game.

During Turns 7 and 8 the British dressed their lines and the French brought up variable reinforcements that were able to take advantage of good weather to rapidly advance the French mortar battery.

On Turn 9 the French began digging their siege works while American units on the other flank began their march through the covered way in the Yamacraw Swamp. It is noteworthy that 75% of the American forces advanced via the swamp to gain the extreme right of the British line and not a single American unit got lost in the attempt.

On Turns 10 & 11 each side fired on the Siege & Bombardment Table with mixed results. The Allies achieved the destruction of a Savannah city hex through "massive bombardment" and lowered British Army Morale by 1 due to an influx of refugees. The British caused a French artillery accident that eliminated one battery and also caused a breach to a hexside of French fieldworks. All three players continued to move men into position for the inevitable assault.

The Allies drew the "Espionage" event that allowed them to pick a random card from the British player's hand. They drew Major L'Enfant and later used that card to breach a hexside of abatis in the otherwise unfortified hex adjacent to the Spring Hill Redoubt. Previous card play by the British had caused a -1 drop in French army morale due to "Spoiled Rations."

It was at this point that the Allies decided to declare their attack against the Savannah Defensive Perimeter. Declaration is a pre-condition to moving adjacent for combat. It immediately causes the game to shift from the Strategic Game Turn Track to the Tactical and ensures a back-to-back move for the Allies. By attacking now the Allies understood they were giving up several more turns of bombardment and random event card draws as well as the possibility that the weather might turn rainy which is better to cover the infantry assault. However, on the upside they realized that an attack now would deny the British their final two reinforcing units including the Grand Battery, a 7-SP artillery unit. Also, Bruno had over committed to the American sector and there were two unsupported British artillery batteries within easy reach of a French overrun. It was too compelling. The Allies decided to assault.

The French had the honor of attacking alone while the Americans used one more turn to maneuver into position to support the attack on the opposite front. When the French hit the wall Bruno played the "American Deserters" card that would have given his defensive artillery fire a +1 drm. To his chagrin, the Allies countered with "British Ammunition Depletion" bringing British fire back to par levels. Nevertheless, Bruno managed to reduce the French Grenadier Bn, retreat the French Marine Bn. and eliminated the SC Combined Militia at long range. Enough attacking units remained, however, for Dale's French to overrun the two guns as planned and gain a 2-hex toehold inside the British works. Elsewhere, Dillon's Rgt of Irish mercenaries, fighting for the French, went ferocious in an attack against one of the British redoubts. Bruno played the card "French Columns Led Astray" however, which negated the effects of Irish ferocity. In the end, the Hessian von Wissenback Rgt. held the redoubt after severe fighting.

On his half of the turn Bruno launched a massive counterattack against the French, pulling every available unit from the center and even a few from the American sector where it was becoming clear he would be attacked on the next Allied player turn. These attacks had some success but in the key roll, where the British had a French stack surrounded with the possibility of capture, the French player was forced to use the Allied at-start momentum chit to re-roll the combat die. That re-roll resulted in a "pin" thus saving the French stack. Their army commander, Major General Prevost, led the attacking British but the Allies played the "C'est la Guerre" card that caused Prevost to return to HQ denying his units both his combat modifier and the ability to select from all eight tactics chits. Fate & Fortune seemed to be conspiring against the British.

The initiative on the next Tactical Game Turn went again to the Allies. This time French and American units attacked on both fronts at once. While British units held firm against the first American assault of the game, on the French flank Dillon's Irish disrupted the Royal Marines and opened a lane to the pinned and previously surrounded French stack. This was a huge break for the French player. Elsewhere on that flank, three low odds, low modifier French attacks (1:1 -2, 1:1 -3 & 1:3 -1) resulted in nothing more harmful to the French than a series of simple retreats.

After declaring all British counterattacks on the bottom half of the turn, Bruno was stunned when the Allies played their trump card, "Chaos on the Battlefield." All attacking British units had to make individual pre-attack morale checks. Those that failed would retreat and survivors would attack with a ­1 drm in close combat in addition to any other modifiers that might apply. No fewer than16 attacking strength points were compelled to retreat leaving only 8 to press the attack. The outcome was predictable and the British suffered terribly including one unit reduced, another eliminated and Col. Maitland, their best tactical commander, a casualty.

The Allies once again gained the initiative on the next turn over the fatigued British army. Out of six shots taken, British defensive artillery fire only managed to cause a retreat to Pulaski's Legion that was leading a cavalry charge through the breach in the abatis that was mentioned previously in this report. Allied attacks, two of which needed momentum to sustain them, resulted in another eliminated British unit and two captures. At this point in the game, VP status was French 5, Americans 3 and British 2 - but the telling statistic was Army Morale. The Allies enjoyed "high" morale (20 morale points each) while the British army stood "wavering" with morale of 4.

Bruno managed to rally enough units during his half of the turn to raise his morale status to "fatigued" and he promptly attacked. He sortied the remaining Georgia Militia out of the works in an attempt to overrun the lone and unsupported American artillery battery 600 yards out in the tree line. They were driven off, however, by the battery's defensive fire. Elsewhere Bruno's attacks met with some success but it was not enough to swing the tide. De Lancey's NY Loyalists managed to reduce the French Grenadier Volunteers and the 1st Bn. Fraser's Highlanders captured the Metropolitan French Rgt. Foix. On the other hand von Trumbach's Hessian Grenadiers, the King's Florida Rangers and the 2nd SC Royalists were all captured while the Georgia Loyalist Volunteers were eliminated.

As a final gesture Bruno played two random event cards that he was still holding. "Pulaski" was killed and his unit counter was replaced from the counter mix with a degraded one and "Troops Killed by Friendly Fire" caused American Army Morale to decrease a point.

As you may imagine, the Allies again won initiative on the next, and what proved to be the last, turn (Turn 19 on the Tactical Turn Track.) British defensive fire caused the Irish to take a step loss. It was at this moment that Mark and Dale noticed that with British Army Morale again at 4, whoever resolved combat first would stand the best chance to win the game since the game ends the moment Army Morale falls to 0 and the individual winner is that player with the most VPs at that moment. With Dale's French sitting on 8 VPs and Mark's Americans on 5 VPs you can imagine how hotly debated the resolution of this issue became.

Three-player Savannah is intentionally designed to put the Franco-American Allies into the shoes of their historical counterparts with respect to lack of cooperation, miscommunication, distrust and a general lack of teamwork. This is built into many of the games systems such as stacking and combat restrictions, separate army morale and VP tracks, and the requirement that limited Allied resources like momentum, diversion and random events be shared between them. The rules are intentionally unstructured as to how the Allies must work this out.

To this point in the game they did a fair job of cooperating but now, with the game on the line, their inherent foibles surfaced. For several minutes Mark and Dale were at an impasse. Mark suggested a die roll to establish precedent for attack resolution but Dale wanted not just one die roll, but a die roll prior to each individual combat. Mark agreed and AGM Rob McCracken endorsed the solution.

The Americans found themselves confronting three unsupported artillery batteries that could be overrun and captured for a VP each. The French had several good attacks in place. Victory hung in the balance.

The first die was rolled, Mark won and the American's overran a gun. (Score: French 8, Americans 6, British Morale 3.) The second die was rolled, Mark won again and the next British battery was overrun. (French 8, Americans 7, British Morale 2.) I privately felt this was playing into the French player's hands since I could not possibly keep winning the primacy die roll and he, still with a VP advantage, was now just two points on the morale track short of end-game.

The third die was rolled and Mark's Americans won again, overrunning the third British battery. (French 8, Americans 8, British Morale 1). Clearly the next die roll would determine the winner. As the dice tumbled down the tower time seemed to stop. Amazingly and against all odds Mark won yet again but he no longer had an easy overrun target. Instead his Americans had to attack uphill out of the Yamacraw Swamp at 3:2.

During Tactic Chit play Mark pulled an illegal chit and knew it the moment it left his hand. His attack did not have leadership so he was not entitled to the Frontal Attack card he had chosen. The final adjusted odds in the attack became, therefore, 3:2 +2. The die was thrown and the British defenders had to take a step loss giving the Americans another VP! As Bruno's morale fell to 0 and Dale looked on in disbelief Mark announced that having previously captured the Spring Hill Redoubt he was now entitled to add its 1 VP to his total since that calculation is only made at end-game.

Your final, Mark's Americans 9 VPs and 1st Place, Dale's French 8 VPs and 2nd Place and Bruno's British 3rd place. Even those that did not win agreed that it could not have been scripted any better. Allowing for the many interruptions by friends, passers-bye and others stopping to enjoy the show on the "big board," the Final took approximately six hours. This was the second time that 3-player Savannah was used as a Final for a BAR tournament, the other having been during RevCon at Prezcon last February. This will likely remain the format for the Final for some time to come.


Now that's what I call a bracket!

The 3-player Final is played on a giant display board.
 GM      Mark Miklos [9th Year]   NA   NA

2008 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page