The King is Still the King
Ken Lee and Dave Cross
Michael Metcalf and Nathan Hill
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.
New faces or old veterans - it doesn't seem to matter. Chris
Withers defeats all challengers.
Withers vanquished his eighth different Final challenger to win
his 11th Great Campaigns wood, this year blasting event
newcomer Doug Smith's Union forces in "Battle of Chickamauga,"
the 3-turn tournament Final which was resolved after just one
Forrest's cavalry led Hood and Walker's infantry over the northern
bridges and swarmed through, around and over Steedman's reserve
corp. With Polk pinning a good portion of the Union right, the
rebel cavalry handed the Union left a large number of VP casualties,
and Forrest took Chattanooga by rolling a +3 on a +0 attack.
By the end of the first turn, the Rebels had 56 VPs, with nearly
20 from the difference in casualties. That was enough to force
an early concession from Doug.
Though the Final didn't go Doug's way, his march to the championship
round was clearly the story of the tournament. We made a slight
format change this year, reducing the number of preliminary rounds
from four to three, with plans to advance all players who won
any two of those first three games.
Doug - who had just learned GCACW in the previous year - defeated
veterans Dave Cross and Greg Tanner in the first two rounds (Crossing
Chickamauga Creek and Battle of Chickamauga) to secure
a spot in the quarter-finals. Chris beat Mike Metcalf in the
third round (Sheridan Rides South) to finish with the
only 3-0 qualifying record and secure his customary No. 1 seed
in the elimination rounds (and the bye that came with it).
The new format also made the third preliminary round exciting,
with several veterans facing win-to-get-in showdowns.
Joining Chris and Doug in the elimination rounds were Dave Cross,
Rob Doane, Justin Rice, Ed Beach, and Mike Metcalf. Rob defeated
Dave, Ed topped Justin, and Doug beat Mike in the quarter-finals
(McLemore's Cove). Chris then eliminated Rob while Doug
beat three-time champion Ed in Wilderness to make the
Final. Doug was our only player without a previous AREA rating
to reach the elimination rounds, making our "Risen From
the Ranks" award a no-brainer.
In the third year of Battle Above the Clouds scenarios
at WBC, we're starting to compile some balance statistics on
the three scenarios we've deemed tournament appropriate. Balance
is looking pretty solid: Crossing the Chickamauga, Union
takes 18 of 34; Battle of Chickamauga, rebels own a thin
8-7 advantage; McLemore's Cove, rebels win 6 of 11. Clearly,
the playtesting and tweaking really paid off in the development
Expect more of the same in 2012: Stonewall Jackson's Way II
is well into playtesting, and we are optimistic next year's Great
Campaigns tournament at WBC will include some of its revamped
Tom Beach and Allen Hill
Ted Drozd and Chris Withers