The King Reclaims his Crown
I bet your momma wouldn't approve
of your using her tweezers for that.
The preliminary rounds draw the usual
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.
The Great Campaigns crown returned to familiar hands in 2010,
as Chris Withers defeated Dave Cross in the Final to capture
his ninth GCACW title (fifth since it was combined into one event).
Chris' eight-year streak was snapped in 2008 with consecutive
wins by Ed Beach, but Withers finally rebounded this year to
navigate the sharks and regain his victory banner.
This year's preliminary rounds featured three scenarios from
the recently-published Battle Above the Clouds. Crossing
Chickamauga Creek had six Union versus four Confederate wins.
The Union was 4-2 in Battle of Chickamauga, and again won both
games where it was shark-on-shark action (Ed defeated Chris,
and Dave Cross defeated Allen Hill). With pairings mostly settled,
only two games of McLemore's Cove were completed - Chris defeated
Brad Merrill, and Ted Drozd defeated Justin Rice - who conceded,
so he could race back to Virginia and tend to the birth of his
The tournament semi-final pairings were Dave Cross vs. Ed
Beach, and Ted Drozd vs. Chris Withers. They faced off in the
tense cavalry race, Sheridan Rides South.
Dave eliminated our defending champion in what Ed called his
closest game of the week. Dave's initial movement rolls with
Sheridan's cavalry were so poor, he was forced to leave one cavalry
division behind. Still, the Union cavalry managed to score good
victory points eliminating the Hanover Junction garrison, and
Dave was at the gates of Richmond with 17 VPs to end Turn 3.
Ed's attempts to pin the Union cavalry on Turn 4 failed, and
the Union won by a single victory point.
That set up our Final, with Dave and Chris squaring off in
a Grant Takes Command slugfest: Wilderness. It was Dave's
first trip to the GCACW Final since 2003, when he won the 1863
portion of the then divided tournament.
Chris bid 4 to play the Union. Dave's Rebels started slowly
with Hill rolling low and failing to reach Parker's Store. The
Union raced to Parkers with Hancock and dug him in. Chris then
began to surround Locust Grove. The Rebs came back by blocking
further Union moves towards Locust Grove, and then routing the
Union away from Parkers. Chris' counterattack retook the critical
store, but Longstreet arrived on the scene and the VP location
changed hands again. On Turn 2 - with Dave needing to offset
some manpower losses - the Rebels advanced past Parkers to the
crossroads beyond and routed the Union away. Chris managed to
retake it, but the Rebs answered by capturing Shady Grove. This
led to a series of lead changes from combat losses in minor battles.
When the smoke of battle cleared, Chris' Yankees had squeaked
out a one-point victory.
"Risen from the Ranks" honors this year go to Ted
Drozd, whose semi-final appearance marked his best Great Campaigns
showing. Congrats to Chris and Ted!
Great Campaigns 2nd BPA 2010 PBeM Tournament:
After four preliminary and three elimination rounds that sorted
through a field of 51 players in 97 games, Ed Beach emerged triumphant
to successfully defend his email championship in the Great
Campaign series. Ed topped Rob Doane in the Rebels in
the White House campaign game. His Yankees proved to be quite
a speed bump to Rob's rebels. Early's raid turned to Baltimore,
but Rob wasn't able to score enough victory points there to edge
Beach. Also scoring laurels were Mark Booth, Patrick Pence, Mike
Pacheco and Justin Rice who finished third through sixth respectively.
The next Great Campaigns PBeM tournament begins Feb 15th,
2010. The preliminary rounds will feature games from the newest
games in the series; Battle Above the Clouds. Contact
Justin Rice at email@example.com
or see http://www.wargamereplays.com/gcacw/tournament/gcacw10pbem1.html
for more details.