The King is No Longer the King
Greg Tanner and Justin Rice exchange
Three-time champ and designer Ed Beach
vs Seth Gunar
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.
Victory at Last ... Albeit a Small Skirmish ...
A previous champion returned to the winner's circle in this
year's Great Campaigns tournament after a ten year absence.
Dave Cross's rebs blew out Doug Smith in Rappahannock to Bull
Run, one of the many revamped Stonewall Jackson's Way
scenarios making their debut this year. Cross won the 1863 portion
of the tournament in 2003. He was also a finalist in 2010, and
long-time GM. Smith made his second appearance in the Final round
-- having lost to Chris Withers in the 2011 championship. No
disgrace that - given the latter's ten titles.
They were two of 17 players unveiling Stonewall Jackson's
Way II, the latest game in the series. SJWII revamps
many of its predecessor's Second Manassas scenarios, and adds
All Green Alike, a module covering the First Manassas campaign.
Wednesday's three-heat preliminary games started with An End
to Innocence, the AGA scenario covering the battle of First Manassas.
The Rebs were an impressive 7-0 in this one (Designer Chris Withers
insists this one is balanced!). This was probably an aberration,
though: In five of the seven games, the more-experienced player
was wearing butternut, probably skewing the results.
We then moved to SJW and played Lee vs. Pope (A perfect
3-3 balance), followed by Bag the Whole Crowd (Yanks prevailing
Four players advanced to the elimination rounds: Ed Beach
and Cross, and Greg Tanner and Smith, where they played McDowell's
Opportunity from AGA to determine the finalists.
Cross opened the Final by moving Jackson's Corps to Thoroughfare
Gap, with one unit falling disorganized. On Turn 2, he pushed
Stonewall's boys to F4, but gained Manassas with one unit across
Bull Run. Stuart raced through Thoroughfare Gap, but Pope did
not pull out of his forward positions, and both his boys in blue
and most of Longstreet's guys rested.
Jackson went on a rampage on Turn 3, annihilating Wagner and
burning the Fairfax City Rail. Stuart did damage, too, and Longstreet
was able to break out along the Warrenton Pike. Worst of all:
A counterattack by McDowell was bumbled, and the Union commander
was left trapped. On Turn 4, Longstreet was up to the task: He
crushed McDowell (a 3DR combat result plus multiple retreat losses),
and then followed by trapping and annihilating Sigel with King
(3DR plus a staggering six retreat losses). With that, Doug surrendered
his sword and Dave was crowned champion.
Dave -- early on Turn 4 -- had 30 points from burning rail
stations, 18 net casualty VPs and 7 points for routing Union
units: 55 total points, easily on the road to a Substantive victory,
and perhaps even Decisive.
For next year: Our numbers improved this August, but still
south of what we're striving for. Please keep an eye on the Trial
Events ballot from the BPA, in case we must face the dreaded
vote again this year. And please do keep playing Great Campaigns.
Work on the next games in the series (the campaign from Chattanooga
to Atlanta) is well underway, as well as another redesigned Eastern
Theater game. We're already looking forward to next year's tournament,
and we'd love to hear your feedback on how we can get you to
come play a game or two at next year's WBC.
By Email 2013
Three years and two GMs later, the third GCA PBeM tournament
has limped over the finish line. A total of 46 players participated
in 88 games with Steve Likevich and Scott Spurgeon surviving
through four preliminary and two elimination rounds to reach
the Final. They ended the marathon struggle with the three-turn
Battle of Chickamauga scenario from Battle Above the Clouds.
Steve's Yanks spliut the rebel army in two early and defeated
it in detail.
Other laurelists were Mike Pacheco, Jonathan Moody, Gary Kirk
and Ed Beach in that order.