A New Streak for a New King of
The South will rise again and again
... every August, in fact, in Lancaster, PA.
Ted Drozd, Bruno Passacantando and
Justin Rice come marching home again.
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.
Having ended Chris Withers eight year hold on the title, Ed
Beach was not about to let him start another streak, so he started
one of his own. He topped Justin Rice in the championship
round of Chickamauga on Saturday, claiming his second
straight title and earning laurels as the first victor in a tournament
to feature scenarios from Battle Above the Clouds, the
eighth game in the GCACW series.
Twenty commanders appeared to preview Battle Above the
Clouds. The tournament format offered a choice between classic
and new scenarios, but only one of 23 preliminary pairings opted
to play an older game. That left a day full of western-theater
combat for the rest - 16 games of "Crossing the Chickamauga,"
six games of "McLemore's Cove," five games of "Chickamauga,"
and three games of "Ringgold."
Eight-time champion Chris Withers had a strong showing in
the prelims, with wins in each of his first four games (including
a sweep in the played-twice "Crossing" scenario). He
clinched an elimination-round bye with his win against Beach
in their third-round "McLemore's Cove" showdown.
Rob Doane earned the top seed. He was 3-0 in preliminary games
played, with wins against Dave Cross and Ken Lee. Lee was back
with the Great Campaigns crew full-time this year and was 2-1,
plus a 1-1 split in "Crossing." He joined Dave Cross
(3-1), Beach (2-1, plus a split in "South Mountain")
and Rice (2-2) in the elimination round, where Rice topped Cross
and Beach beat Lee in "Seven Pines."
There was one close semi-final and a blowout in "Wilderness."
Rice ripped off an improbable initial run to put Doane's Yanks
in a deep hole in their match while Beach and Withers fought
a wild battle, with several up-and-down swings. When Beach cleared
Parker's Store (for the third time) late on Turn 2, Withers conceded
and our Final was set.
"Chickamauga" - Scenario 3 from Battle Above
the Clouds - replaced "Bloody Spotsylvania" in
the championship round. Rice took the offensive-minded Rebs,
but Beach quickly tore off seven-straight initiatives to block
Bragg's easiest path over the Chickamauga. Rice responded by
driving forward to Lookout Mountain and splitting the Union army,
but Beach threw Thomas and Steedman forward to steady the line.
Turn 2 attacks were halted by one-sided combat dice in Beach's
favor, and the Yanks' spoiler attacks against Longstreet secured
Chattanooga on Turn 3.
Allen Hill earned "Risen from the Ranks" honors.
He was 2-2, including two wins in "Crossing." Hill
was the only two-win player not to advance to the elimination
Sarah Beach helps her husband and
Allen Hill set up counters for the GCA demo Campaign Game. What
a wife! Mine would tell me where I could put my counters but
that's about it.
Ayree Rice performs the same chore
for Justin. These guys got it made ... although I wouldn't want
to pay their credit card bills next week. It's gotta cost 'em!