Great Campaigns of the American
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.
Newly consolidated into a single event, the Great Campaigns
of the American Civil War tournament thrived at WBC 2005. Total
attendance across all GCACW was up by 10%. The number of participants
in our Wednesday teaching session and the number of commanders
in our Long Roads to Gettysburg multiplayer campaign game (a
whopping 13) both set all-time highs.
The Long Roads to Gettysburg demo was hosted by the designer
of that module, Ken Lee. With such a surplus of generals, Ken
was promoted off the battlefield, serving only as a staff officer
in Stanton's War Office for much of the game. The Union commanders
used the new addition of strategic movement effectively, marching
north to block the Potomac crossings before Lee's army could
arrive. The decisive contest occurred at Harper's Ferry. Ewell's
corps charged forward into a Union trap. Without Stonewall Jackson's
leadership, the II Corps was pinned against the confluence of
rivers. Their destruction late that night won the game for the
Union (after well over 100 commander-hours of play).
Thursday morning brought the start of the GCACW single elimination
rounds, and attendance in these games remained strong all day.
The16 players in the Seven Pines round set a record for recent
years. At the end of the day the Union and Confederacy had tied
with 13 wins apiece; Chris Withers and Steve Likevich (the only
players with three wins for the day) took top honors and advanced
directly to Saturday's quarterfinals. The other six slots wouldn't
be determined until the next day.
Friday's rounds were smaller, losing players to the For
The People and March Madness tournaments. Once again
three wins advanced you to the quarterfinals, with Dave Cross
and Ed Beach being the day's triple winners. Ed's only loss came
at the hands of Ken Lee in one of the weirdest tournament games
ever. Fighting out the battle of Fort Stevens, Ed launched a
succession of attacks on the Washington, DC fortifications. Ken
rolled a 6 in defense each time, winning our shortest scenario
without having to move a single unit!
Saturday's single elimination rounds featured the scenarios
Battle of the Wilderness, Bethesda Church, and Bloody Spotsylvania,
all from Grant Takes Command. Our Rookie-of-the-Year,
James Sulzen, fell in the Wilderness round to Chris Withers,
while our Risen from the Ranks award winner, Rod Coffey, lost
to Ed Beach. Former champ Paul Nied succumbed to Steve Likevich,
but PBeM ladder champ Rob Doane was able to upset Dave Cross.
The semifinals featured a rematch between Ed and Chris, who had
battled it out in Finals for the past two years.
Ed's creative use of Sheridan to wipe out half the Confederate
cavalry gave him a brief lead, but Chris turned the tables with
a devastating attack by Hill's corps who abandoned their forts
to strike the decisive blow. Rob continued his late surge and
advanced to the Finals for a try to upset the five-time champ.Fighting
between the WBC champ and PBeM ladder leader continued until
2am, when Chris was finally able to destroy a significant portion
of Rob's army against a river. It was Chris Withers, 8th straight
year where he returned from WBC with at least one GCACW plaque