Grognard Completes 14-Year Quest
Dave Stiffler heads a whole row of
Revolutionary War veterans.
Rob Doane and Bob Jamelli do battle
in the Mulligan Round.
Ah ... tweezer games ... I remember
Tommy Miklos mans his tweezers
vs Chuck Stapp.
of the 27-player field entered the Mulligan Round; the Battle
of Eutaw Springs. In what continues to be one of the most
balanced scenarios in the series, the Americans won five games,
lost four and tied two. American winners scored substantial victories
by Champ Easter, Bruno Sinigaglio and Tommy Miklos and marginals
by Chris Easter and Andy Maly. British wins included a substantial
victory by Rob McCracken and marginal wins by Dave Stiffler,
John Vasilakos and Rob Doane. The Mark Miklos-Rob Schoenen and
Chris Byrd-Chris Storzillo matches ended in a draw. The mechanism
to advance a player out of a draw was superior Army Morale. On
that basis, Byrd and Schoenen became eligible for Round 2 while
Miklos and Storzillo would have to fight in Round 1.
Seven of the 11 defeated players and five new faces joined
for a repeat of the Eutaw Springs scenario in Round 1.
The action again proved to be balanced with the British scoring
three wins and the Americans two. Chris Storzillo and Derek Pulhamus
had substantial British victories while Chuck Stapp's Redcoats
won marginally. Mark Miklos and Dale Long led their American
forces to marginal victory. Bill Watkins and Kaarin Engelmann
fought to a draw with the latter's superior Army Morale breaking
the tie as she advanced to Round 2.
The Round 2 game was the newest offering in the BAR
series; Germantown. Five hours were scheduled for this
round. 15 of 17 eligible players returned on Friday morning necessitating
the first and only bye of the tournament. It went to the defending
champion, Rob Doane. Play balance was again the watchword as
the Americans won four games to the British three, although all
the British wins were substantial compared with one substantial
and three marginal wins for the Americans.
Winning as the British were Dave Stiffler, Champ Easter and
Chris Storzillo. American winners included Rob McCracken, the
only substantial winner, and Chris Easter, Bruno Sinigaglio and
Mark Miklos with marginal wins.
Rob Doane returned from the bye to join the seven Round 2
winners as the quarterfinalists met to contest the field at Saratoga,
flagship game of the series. Here, each side won two games including
the only Decisive victory in the tournament as Chris Easter's
Americans captured the British baggage train on the next to last
turn for a Decisive victory over Chris Storzillo. In a rematch
of last year's Final, Rob Doane again defeated Champ Easter for
the other American win. In the British victories, Miklos and
Sinigaglio bested McCracken and Stiffler respectively.
The four fought the battle of Monmouth Courthouse in the
semifinals and five hours were again allotted for this round.
Sinigaglio's Americans held off a furious attack by Doane's British
to preserve a marginal victory with precisely the three VPs needed
to achieve it. On the other board, Miklos and Chris Easter fought
to a draw. Each player was awarded 1 Tournament Point. When added
to the Tournament Points that the players had collected throughout
play, Chris' cumulative total was 10 while Mark's was 8. On that
basis, Chris Easter advanced to the Final to meet a waiting Bruno
Play balance was certainly in evidence as across all offerings
the Americans enjoyed a slim 14-12-4 edge. It doesn't get much
The Final was Pensacola, sixth game in the series and
the second one to model a siege and assault situation. Each player
favored the Spanish so there was a bid for sides. Bruno prevailed
with a bid of 4, lowering the Spanish at-start Army Morale by
four points for the privilege of playing that side. The game
was remarkable for many reasons. The weather was wet for almost
the entire strategic (siege) phase of the game. The game begins
with clear weather on Turn 1 but it began to rain with the first
weather check die roll and players did not see the sun again
until Turn 13. Included were no fewer than three storms. Spanish
progress was slowed to a crawl as they tried to advance their
Corduroy Roads and dig their redoubts. Progress was so slow in
fact that Chris' British elected not to play an aggressive raiding
strategy, relying instead on the weather to impede the Spanish.
Once the Spanish siege batteries were emplaced, they failed
miserably. Not a single hit was recorded as Bruno attempted to
breach the walls of the three British fortifications. Ironically,
Bruno played the "Heavy Spanish Guns" card that would
have given him a +1 DRM on the damage table had he been able
to hit with those batteries.
Offsetting the bad weather and the lack of effectiveness of
his siege guns was the amazing accuracy of Spanish mortar fire.
Bruno hit eight out of eight times which led to several breaches
otherwise denied to him by bombardment. Had this been Vegas he
would have walked away a millionaire having passed eight times
in a row.
Chronologically, Bruno's Spanish landed unmolested on Turn
1 and he deployed the Principe Regiment and the Habana Garrison
to the Red Cliffs Fort inset map to silence the batteries there
prior to the arrival of his Turn 7 reinforcements. He needed
several turns to eliminate Major Pentzel, having first maneuvered
him out of the works and then chased him across the inset map.
There were several "Pins" in the combat results which
forced Chris to lose British Army Morale each time he broke Pin;
circumstances which would later come back to haunt him.
The game was slow moving through Turn 6 due to weather (two storms
and three turns of rain) when Chris played "Indian Atrocities
in Louisiana." The New Orleans Militia left the map and
Spanish Army Morale suffered a -1 adjustment.
The Spanish recovered the Army Morale point by playing "Spanish
Fue de Joi" in celebration of their victory in Nicaragua.
The British countered by playing "To-Arms!" and brought
the Pensacola Militia into the game, deploying at Fort George
rather than at the Governor's Plantation.
On Turn 7 the Franco-Spanish fleet arrived but Chris played
"French Demand Coup de Main." Needless to say, the
Spanish forces were in no position to launch the assault and
had to reduce Army Morale by 1.
On Turn 9 Chris successfully rolled for American POWs to enter
the game. This is the first turn they can be rolled for and he
gleefully sought to place them on the map. Alas, Bruno countered
with "HMS Hound Receives Faulty Intelligence" and the
POWs were removed to Jamaica, which is what happened historically.
On Turn 10 Bruno made his fourth attack on Major Pentzel in
the insert map. The first three attacks had resulted in Pin but
this time Pentzel was disrupted, however at the cost of a step
loss to the Principe Regiment. Also on Turn 10 the British launched
the first raid of the game. They sortied adjacent to Fort George
and attacked an unescorted Spanish artillery battery. The cost
of the capture was dear, however, as the British howitzer that
had accompanied the raid suffered a step loss before it ever
swung into action.
On Turn 11 Major Pentzel was finally captured having failed
his one and only attempt to leave the inset map by morale check.
Bruno's two units now began the long march back to the main map
and it would be several game turns before they re-joined the
The British played "Intelligence Coup" on Turn 12.
Chris looked at the top three cards in the RE deck and took one
into his hand.
Turn 13 saw the first clear weather since the game began and
with it the first of Bruno's amazing eight-in-a-row successful
mortar shots. It breached the wall hexside between Fort George
and the fort's earthwork extension. Army Morale for both players
at this point in the game sat at 14 with Bruno having gained
and Chris having lost to that point of balance. Spanish VPs were
1 12 for the Pentzel capture and the howitzer step loss and British
VPs were 1 for the Spanish artillery capture.
On Turn 14 Bruno played "Major Espionage Event" and
randomly discarded a card form Chris' hand. It turned out to
be the "French Siege Train," a card Chris could not
use and one Bruno would have liked to possess. Bruno's mortar
scored a second hit and breached another hexside of Fort George,
fronting the approach of the Spanish forces. This breach was
immediately repaired by Chris playing "Picks & Shovels."
More decisively, perhaps, Bruno's mortar shot also reduced the
massive 10 SP British battery in Fort George to its reduced side!
Turn 14 was active for both players. Chris launched his second
raid, a diminutive affair in which one group of raiding Indians
descended form the north map edge to exert a ZOC over the Corduroy
Road so as to interdict Spanish siege bombardment. The impact
was short lived; however, as Bruno's second Corduroy road was
completed to the junction with the main road, thus opening supply
to the siege guns on the very next turn. IN addition, Spanish
forces enveloped the Indians forcing them to retreat behind Spanish
lines where they were systematically eliminated.
On Turn 15 the British Army fatigued. Although Chris reduced
Spain's Third Brigade Artillery, he suffered from Bruno's third
mortar hit which caused a one point loss of British Army Morale
and the aforementioned raiding Indian was eliminated causing
a further loss in morale.
On Turn 16 another mortar shot resulted in a renewed breach
to Fort George in the same hexside that Chris previously repaired.
In addition, the Soria Regiment disrupted the King's Florida
Rangers. Coup de Main occurred automatically according to the
Turn Track. Since only one fort had been breached during the
strategic portion of the game, Bruno's Spanish suffered a -1
adjustment to Army Morale. On this turn the Hibernia Regiment
burned the Governor's Plantation garnering another VP for the
Spanish and a loss of Army Morale for the British. A fifth mortar
shot eliminated the Negro Volunteers and breached a hexside in
the Prince of Wales Redoubt. During Spanish Defensive Fire the
British Marines were eliminated.
On Coup de Main Turn 2 Bruno's mortar hit for the sixth time
causing a loss of 1 Army Morale, something the British Player
could ill afford at this juncture. Spanish forces maneuvered
for the close assault and the British used interior lines to
shift strength among the three works.
The assault was finally launched on Coup de Main Turn 3 with
a combined attack on both Fort George and the Prince of Wales
Redoubt. Chris played "Chaos on the Battlefield" requiring
all attacking units to make a pre-attack morale check. Normally
this card has decisive effect on breaking up an attack. Not one
of Bruno's units failed the morale check and they all went in
with cold steel. British Army Morale sat at 7 the moment the
assault was delivered.
In the fighting around the Prince of Wales Redoubt Bruno was
compelled to use his at-start Momentum chit. In the re-roll,
a Spanish stack under de Galvez reduced the Third Royal American
Regiment and killed the British Commander, Campbell. To add insult
to injury, the re-roll allowed Bruno to regain the spent Momentum
chit. The British were now wavering!
In Fort George the Civilian Volunteers were captured for failure
to retreat. British Morale fell to 3. Predictably, it was here
that the Spanish player got a back-to-back move and sealed the
fate of the British in Florida.
The Spanish Sappers entered and burned the Indian Village.
During the ensuing morale checks two of the remaining four British-allied
Indians quit the field. The mortar hit on its eighth consecutive
shot requiring the British howitzer to take a morale check that
With the British Army Morale at 3, Bruno went for the trifecta;
a rifle shot eliminated the previously reduced Third Royal Americans,
Bruno played "Spoiled Rations" to further lower British
Army Morale to 1 and for the coup de grace, he attacked and captured
an unsupported British garrison artillery lowering British Morale
to 0 and giving Bruno a Substantial Victory on Coup de Main Turn
Bruno Sinigaglio completed a 14-year quest to win the BAR
event at WBC and did so smartly, coming back form a low at-start
Army Morale and hampered as he was by foul weather. In retrospect,
the British may have been better served to prosecute a more aggressive
raid campaign and not rely so extensively on the weather but
that is for the next contest of champions to model.
Thanks to my AGMs Rob McCracken and Dave Stiffler without
whose able help I could not run this event.
John Vasilakos does battle with the
Molly Pitcher of WBC.
A kiosk and then some ...
The finalists get to play on
the BIG board.
GM and series designer Mark
Miklos oversees his finalists.
Play By Email 2012
The Battles of the American Revolution PBeM tournament
concluded on June 1, after two years of sustained hostilities
over the course of 36 games fought by 23 entrants. The Final
pitted Bill Byrne against Chris Easter in the Battle of Saratoga.
These players had previously met in round 4 of the tournament
at Monmouth (Holding Action scenario) and battled to a draw.
Both players got their preferred sides with no Army Morale impact.
The British (Easter) enjoyed clear weather on Turns 1-2 allowing
for a rapid advance and reaching the Freeman's Farm area by the
end of Turn 3. Byrne was careful not to expose the Americans
to the initial overwhelming superiority of the British forces
and formed a defensive line at the south edge of Freeman's Farm,
protecting the Middle Branch Ford. Turns 4-8 were a classic dance
of maneuver as both sides sought a weak spot to exploit. There
were a couple of minor skirmishes and several volleys of rifle
fire exchanged to little effect other than the British capture
of the Middle Branch Ford on Turn 6. The Americans deftly deployed
their forces taking advantage of 1) the strength of Arnold combined
with Morgan/Dearborn and 2) using the terrain by anchoring their
left flank in proximity to Bemis Heights.
On Turn 9 the Americans were able to successfully attack the
Hessians on the British left flank and inflict a step loss on
v. Specht infantry. This was the first casualty and VP score
of the game other than the British capture of Freeman's Farm.
Turn 10 saw both sides form solid lines and ended with the situation
British VPs = 1.0 Army Morale = 12
Americans VPs = 0.5 Army Morale = 13
The British had held the initiative throughout until Turn
11. Behind on scoring the Americans had no option but to attack
the well formed British line. Gates finally did release as the
Americans advanced which helped protect their flank as Arnold
advanced. The Americans were forced to attack at relatively poor
odds resulting in no losses and each side down another Morale
point. The more critical result, however, was that Dearborn was
disrupted with Arnold and had to fall back off the main line.
The British Turn 11 counterattack was certainly not a sure
thing. They could not afford to fall back with only a 12 VP lead.
Any withdrawal would risk their control of Freeman's Farm and
although attacking at better odds than the just completed American
assault, it would likely result in a weakening of the British
line as the forces mixed. That said, the British attacked in
force and took advantage of the better odds and DRM modifiers
to exact a toll on the American forces. As the turn ended, the
British had secured another VP (two each 12 step American losses)
as well as disrupting Morgan's rifles and effectively taking
them out of play for the final turn.
British VPs = 2.0 Army Morale = 13
American VPs = 0.5 Army Morale = 8
The final blow was dealt as the British took the initiative
on Turn 12, securing a double move against a very weakened American
line. The British again attacked in force knowing that both Morgan
and Dearborn were out of play. The results were not as dramatic
as the previous turn but further strengthened the British control
of the battlefield. As the day ended, the British held the upper
hand with a hard fought marginal victory.
British (Easter) VPs = 5.5 Army Morale = 14
American (Byrne) VPs = 0.5 Army Morale = 8
The other laurelists were Dave Stiffler, Jim Tracy, Rob Doane,
and Adam Deverell in that order.