Only nine generals, a new low turnout for this event, made it to the hot environment of the Ski Lodge, whose newly installed air conditioners had not fully kicked in by Wednesday morning. The July heat wave was reminiscent of the climate at the time of the battles portrayed in the scenarios selected, other than we did not have to sit in the hot sun to fight it out. Missing were several regular players as well as the contingent from France that did not return this year. However, there were about seven people at the demo and three continued into scenario play. Congratulations to Mark Davis who was Risen from the Ranks as the newcomer with the best record.
The first scenario played was An End to Innocence from All Green Alike. This represents the day of the Battle of First Bull Run or First Manassas, whichever you prefer. This year we made a slight modification to the victory conditions based on observations from the past several years of a significant bias in favor of the Confederates. The scenario still proved difficult for the Union although we did have one Union victory and all the scenarios were much closer.
The second scenario played was Bag the Whole Crowd from Stonewall Jackson’s Way. This three day scenario represents the Battle of Second Bull Run or Second Manassas with the Union forces attempting to prevent Lee and Longstreet from linking up with Jackson. This is a fun scenario as there is plenty of maneuver and attacking for both sides and ended evenly divided. The battle I was observing between Bruno Passacantando and Doug Smith ended with some massive Union Grand Assaults (40+ if I recall) to push the Confederates away from the objectives.
After the second round, Jeff Coyle and Doug Smith each had two wins and there would be nobody to play a third round to get to two wins so it was determined they would face off directly for a reduced field Final. Both Jeff and Doug had played very well with steady improvement over the years so it was great to have some new people in the final round.
Jeff and Doug met on Saturday and played Crossing Chickamauga Creek from Battle Above the Clouds. Doug as the Confederates missed four assault rolls. Finally, running out of fatigue, he got the assault on his last chance. Modifiers yielded a 0 attack so he needed a +2 die roll differential to force a retreat and capture the objective hex, but in the end, only got a +1, so the win went to Jeff. Congratulations to both of them on a well-played tournament.
By next year, hopefully Atlanta and/or Here Come the Rebels will be out for some new variety and we will also look at changing days given some scheduling conflicts we saw now that we know the environment of the new venue.
|This year's reduced field needed only one row of tables.
|Johnny Hasay and promiising newcomer Mark Davis.
2016 PBeM Tournament
Some 2.5 years and 60 games after it started, Bruno Passacantando emerged from a field of 28 to claim the fourth BPA PBeM tournament for Great Campaigns of the American Civil War by besting Patrick Pence in the the final. They played From the Rappahannock to Bull Run from SJW II. Patrick's yanks were in a hole early on but managed to encircle Longstreet around Warrenton. Bruno, true to form, fought his way out of the trap, and Patrick graciously offered his sword on the last turn when it became apparent that the Union didn't have enough left for the counterattack. Also earning laurels were Mike Metcalf, John Cissel, Rob Doane and Scott Spurgeon for finishing 3rd through 6th respectively.
| David Cross [2nd Year]