Calling all Blockheads ...
Never before has a tournament field been so dominated by a
single player. Doug Mercer decisively maneuvered two of his four
opponents into resigning their positions on his way to winning
first place in this year's debut tournament of Bobby Lee.
The top four players received gift certificates from event sponsor
Columbia Games. Doug was also awarded a signed game map from
the designer for winning tournament champion.
The final game between John Boisvert
and Doug Mercer was a blend of furious fighting and quiet maneuvering.
Doug, as the Union player, began his peninsula campaign in May
1862 by pushing the Confederates out of Yorktown and declaring
an Emancipation Declaration. Confederate forces withdrew to Richmond
and the Union pursued as far as West Point. Both armies spent
June and July building up while Robert E. Lee took command of
the Army of Northern Virginia. In August, Union forces were redeploying
across the theater and began to concentrate around Manassas.
This turned out to be a feint to cover the movement of Union
heavy artillery to the outskirts of Richmond. In September, the
Union army was unleashed on Richmond and in a two-day battle
destroyed the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee's forces tried to
regroup at Petersburg, but there was little resistance that could
be offered. In failing to use maneuver as a weapon, the Confederate
forces played into the Union strengths and failed to take the
initiative during the entire summer. Surprisingly absent was
the use of the Valley by the Confederates to threaten Harpers
Ferry and outflank the Union forces in Virginia.
In semi-final action, two undefeated players battled across
northern Virginia to a bloody standstill. John Boisvert as the
Union fought John "Tex" Teixeira to a draw and won
the tiebreaker to advance to the final round. Meanwhile, Doug
continued his winning Confederate strategy and destroyed the
Union Army of the Potomac played by Stu Hendrickson.
Louis Giannobile began the tournament with a first round decisive
victory as the Union player. However, he fell in the second round
to Doug's Confederate strategy, which resulted in the destruction
of the Union army in Pennsylvania. David Norquist deserves special
mention as the only player facing Doug that did not lose by a
decisive margin. In retrospect, David wonders if not declaring
an Emancipation Declaration as the Union player cost him that
first round contest with Doug. Other players who participated
in fighting the 1862 campaign season in Virginia were - Gordon
Clay, Larry Luongo, Jay Meyers, Rob Mull, Terry Rodman, and Robert
The tournament was single elimination with players bidding
victory points for sides. Only two players in 12 games managed
to win both the bid and the game. The Confederates won eight
of the 12 matches, but only one of the final three. The first
round had four of six Confederate wins partially due to Union
players failing to achieve or declare an Emancipation Declaration
worth three Union victory points.
We failed to achieve the minimum 16 players for inclusion
in the Century list so next year I will try to run the event
as a Trial tournament again, but using the 1863 scenario. For
those with an interest in the Civil War this game offers a unique
combination of strategic maneuvering, tactical battles ranging
from cavalry skirmishes to multi-day battles the size of Gettysburg,
and psychological challenges that no flat counter or card-driven
game system can provide. Plan to join us for Bobby Lee in 2001!
Send any suggestions or questions to Tom Cannon.