A couple of multi-year champs in other
games try their luck in Gettysburg as Tom Gregorio and Ray Freeman
tussle. Tom's 5-2 record qualified him to advance.
Mark Gutfreund and Pat Mirk play in
the Preliminaries of Grognardcon as hex gamers made the rounds
of classic hex wargames.
Richard Beyma took the Gettysburg '88 crown defeating
Tom Gregorio in the Final. Richard was playing in only his third
WBC Gettysburg tourney and Tom in just his second. Richard finished
with a 9-5 record while Tom went 6-3. The GM took 3rd at 6-1
and veteran Greg Smith finished 4th with a 9-6 mark. The tournament
field apparently believed that the only way to keep defending
champ Ed Menzel from beating his oponents in the playoffs for
the fifth straight year was to keep him out of them in the first
place, which they managed to do by "holding" him to
a 9-3 mark in the preliminary rounds. The 68 total games played
was an all-time record for this event.
Preliminary games were played at the Grognardcon from Saturday
through Tuesday, and at the WBC proper from Tuesday through Friday.
Friday night, t13 players who had played the required minimum
number of games (three) to qualify for the playoffs were ranked,
with the top four advancing to the single-elimination rounds.
The qualifiers were, in order, Vince Meconi (6-0, 90 Points),
Greg Smith (9-5, 72 Points), Richard Beyma (7-5, 70 Points),
and Tom Gregorio (5-2, 66 Points). Richard Beyma was the only
player to repeat from last year's final four. Places 5 through
10 were captured by, 5th, Ed Menzel (9-3), 6th, Ray Clark (4-2),
7th, Ted Drozd (3-3), 8th, Charlie Drozd (3-6), 9th, John Clarke
(2-6), and 10th, Jeff Lange (2-3).
In the Saturday morning semi-finals, #1 Meconi faced #4 Gregorio,
and #2 Smith squared off against #3 Beyma. Gregorio's Confederates,
bidding 7.0, killed or flipped very few of Meconi's Union on
July 1, but began to rough them up on Turn 9. The Federals finally
quit on Turn 14 with a KO looming. Meanwhile, Beyma bid 5.5 for
the Confederates against Smith. The South's infantry proved very
resistant to North counterattacks and did not suffer their first
step loss until Turn 15; the Union resigned four turns later.
Richard thus reached his second consecutive Final and Tom's
initial playoff appearance guaranteed a first-time champion.
Richard took the South for 5.5 and his Grey juggernaut promptly
rolled over Tom's Blue. While not suffering a single unit killed
or flipped, the Confederates captured Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill,
and hex I11 and added 12 points for Union dead and stepped units.
Final score: Confederates 23, Union 10.5, a Southern knockout
on Turn 8.
The GM's 4-0 mark as the Grey earned him Best Confederate
Player honors, edging Tom Gregorio and Ray Clark, each 4-1. Best
Union Player at 5-1 was Ed Menzel; Greg Smith with four Union
wins was the only other player with more than two. Veteran gamer
but first-time Gettysburg player Ray Clark's 4-2 record and 6th
place finish, best among the seven freshmen, garnered him the
Rookie of the Year award.
The South won 43 games to 25 for the North; there were no
ties. 60 games used the Campaign Scenario, with the Confederates
on top in 41 and the Union in 19. Six games used the short July
1 scenario, with the Federals winning four. Two games featured
the rarely used July 2 scenario; both won by the Union. In the
Campaign Scenario games, there were 50 Confederate bids ranging
from 1.5 to 10.0 Victory Points, with the South prevailing 33
times and the North 17. Eight of the ten such games with no bid
were won by the South. In the six July 1 scenario contests, there
was one Confederate bid, three games with no bid, and for the
first time ever in this scenario, two Union bids. Neither July
2 scenario game had a bid. Overall, the average bid was 3.25/Confederate
for all games and 4.19/Confederate for games in which there was
a bid. Both averages have moved steadily upwards over the past
Average game length clocked in at 3 hours and 10 minutes,
the second longest since we began timing in 2004. Longest games
of the tourney were two 8-hour endurance contests, both involving
Greg Smith. In the first, the GM's Federals staggered past Greg's
Rebels by 66.5-63, a rare contest decided by the bid (in this
case, 4.5). The two sides combined had a mere 30 factors and
five unflipped units at game's end. Greg's fortunes as the Blue
weren't any better in losing his semi-final to Richard Beyma's
Grey over an identical 8-hour time frame. At the other end of
the spectrum, John Sharp and John Clarke ripped through their
game in just 15 minutes, shortest on record (it was Sharp in
a Confederate 1st day KO).
Again this year, first thanks go to Bruno Sinigaglio for running
the Grognardcon from Saturday through Tuesday afternoon. Thank
you also to a foursome of Assistant Gamemasters, Ted Drozd, Ed
Menzel, Greg Smith, and Bill Thomson, who helped run the tournament.
Finally, Bill Morse deserves appreciation for completely automating
the scoring at the WBC for all the Grognardcon games, including
Gettysburg '88. Thanks to the work of these six gentlemen, it
was the easiest event to GM yet.
Five-time champ Vince Meconi gives
way to new champ Richard Beyma despite going 6-0 in the Prelimianry
New champ Richard Beyma tackles Ray
Clarke in the Preliminaries. Ray went 5-2 to earn 6th place laurels.