Eleven generals made it over to the Ski Lodge this year, increasing over last year’s number. There were nine people at the demo and four of them continued into the scenario play. Many of these players stated they had this series in its original form but now are definitely interested in the new games coming out. Congratulations to Jon Manley who was Risen from the Ranks as the newcomer with the best record.
The lineup used was the same as last year, with the first scenario played being 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. We included the modifications made last year to the victory conditions. It is still proving very tough on the Union players and all five games were Confederate victories, although it looked in most cases that the more experienced players played the Confederates.
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. As people gain more experience with this scenario, it looks like this scenario is biased towards the Union with all three scenarios as Union wins. The description of the scenario doesn’t match play because in the game, Pope knows Lee and Longstreet are approaching and can move to cover the gaps. There is no reason to smash up against Jackson as the description states. Also, there are just too many Union units for the Confederates to gain complete control of all the objectives. Ed Beach and Justin Rice played an alternate scenario in the second round, McLemore’s Cove from Battle Above the Clouds with Justin winning as the Confederates.
With three people with two wins, Ed beat Jon Manley in a tie-break game to advance to the semifinals. With four experienced players, the semifinals were set up for two good games. Justin Rice as General Grant soundly defeated Doug Smith in the Wilderness. Ed Beach used the training he received in McLemore’s Cove from Justin to defeat Bruno Passacantando. This set up a final between Ed and Justin. After a grueling match, Ed, as the Confederates, overcame the Union at Chickamauga. Congratulations to Ed on returning to the victory stand after 8 years.
What really generated a lot of interest were the new games coming out. They didn’t make it this year but are certainly close to a reality and should be ready for next year. Ed brought the proof maps from the upcoming Roads to Gettysburg II which combines the original Here Come the Rebels and Roads to Gettysburg, giving four new maps which connect with Stonewall Jackson’s Way II maps. Additionally, Ed had the three maps from Atlanta is Ours which connect with Battle Above the Clouds maps.
A special thanks to MMP for sponsoring the tournament. Unfortunately, I don’t think the way the calculations work GCA will ever avoid having to be voted in and it seems to get tougher every year with so many Eurogames out there that generate large vote counts. But it is nice that there is still interest and we are always getting newcomers or people becoming interested once again in the tournament and with the new games coming out, hopefully there will be more interest next year.
|Great Campaigns Finalists Justin Rice and Ed Beach
| David Cross [3rd Year]