It's When you win that counts ...
Ben Knight (left) treats Terry Coleman's
rebels rudely as Bill Edwards and GM Jeff Cornett observe.
Ben's federals have the tables turned
on him in the championship match with Steve Lollis.
Scenarios were selected randomly from the15 that come with
the game. Extra card draws were bid to determine the
choice of sides. An analysis of tournament bids reveals
that players wanted to avoid playing the Confederate side in
Murfreesboro, New Market, and Pickett's Charge. The
Union side was unpopular for Kernstown, Antietam, Fredericksburg,
and Devil's Den.
After bid adjustments, the sides tended to balance out with
players winning on both sides for all scenarios except Antietam. The
Confederates won all four games of Antietam even though the Union
had extra card draws of three, three, one, and zero. The
next most lopsided scenario was New Hope Church where the Confederates
won four out of five times (although the preference for sides
Competition began with five rounds of Swiss. Eight
players advanced to the playoffs with advancement guaranteed
for players that won at least four games. Ben Knight
and Bill Edwards had perfect 4-0 records, and thus did not need
to play their fifth game. Next best were Roy Gibson,
Bill Alderman, and Terry Coleman with 4-1 records. Three
players with only three wins advanced based on random selection
- Steve Lollis, Jack Morrell, and Bill O'Neal. Steve
actually had a 3-1 record, but due to the random draw, did not
need to play his fifth game and was awarded a bye.
Bill O'Neal advanced to the playoffs after losing his first
two games by winning his next three. Two other players, Terry
Coleman and Roy Gibson, lost their first game, but then swept
their next four Swiss rounds. Thus, using a five-round
Swiss format gave hope to players who lost early and incentive
to play all five rounds.
The single-elimination playoffs were seeded based on Swiss
records. Bill O'Neal continued his come-from-behind
streak in the Quarter-Finals by beating previously undefeated
Bill Edwards. The other undefeated player, Ben Knight,
won over Jack Morrell. In evenly matched games, Steve
Lollis defeated Bill Alderman, and Terry Coleman defeated Roy
In the semi-finals, Ben Knight and Steve Lollis won to force
the only rematch of the tournament. In play, Ben had
beaten Steve by executing a successful Pickett's Charge (impressively
with a bid of only 0 for choice of sides). By random draw,
the Final was the battle of First Bull Run. The championship
would be decided by the most basic (and most balanced) scenario
in the game.
On a bid of zero, Ben played the Union and moved first. The
battle began with Ben cautiously probing on his left for two
turns, wounding the Confederate artillery. Steve responded
by killing one of the probing Union infantry (score 1-0). He
did this by advancing his leader with infantry to the ridge that
dominates the center of the Board. Steve's leader
unit was then sent to the rear due to supply shortage.
The battle then intensified greatly. Ben force
marched in the center, but Steve promptly counterattacked. Ben
then unleashed an All Out Offensive, making his first kill of
the game (score 1-1). Steve's response was to attack
in the center, killing two more Union units. With
the Confederates leading 3-1, Ben rallied one of his infantry
in the center, followed by a further Confederate probe in the
Weakened in the middle, Ben switched the action to his right
flank where a cavalry charge killed a Confederate unit (score
3-2). Steve then executed a Hit-and-Run to kill the
charging Union cavalry (score 4-2). Ben now attacked
on his left flank, killing a unit (score 4-3).
Steve took the battle back to the center with a probe that
killed another Union unit. The Confederates were now
winning 5-3 and needed only one more kill to win. Ben
responded with an attack in the center killing one infantry,
then rolling two dice against a two-strength cavalry. Ben
called, "Gotta do it!", and he did, killing the Confederate
cavalry, and tying the game at 5-5.
Steve could only respond with a cavalry skirmish on the left. As
he put it, this was his ultimate gamble, "Do or die!" His
skirmishing cavalry ran down the Union artillery, killing it
for a very close and exciting 6-5 confederate win.
Steve Lollis and Ben Knight each ended the tournament with
six wins, one loss, and a bye. They gave each other
their only defeat, but Steve's win came at the end when it counted