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Great Campaigns of the American Civil War (GCA) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated November 30, 2023
16 Players Justin Rice Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Rice Wins Great Campaigns!

I don’t know if the convention as a whole suffered from the after-effects of COVID, but still seems many of the generally older wargame crowd was staying away. Still, we had a reasonable crowd with 16 generals entering the tournament, about the same number as last year. As always, about 8 people were at the demo to learn about the system from Ed Beach.

The tournament format was the same as the past few years using three modules and allowing the players to select the scenarios they wanted to play. This year, as On To Richmond II only just came out, we used exactly the same set of games as last year with Hood Strike North (HSN) and scenarios the Roads to Gettysburg II modules Here Come the Rebels (HCR) and Roads to Gettysburg (RTG) modules. This required players only to bring two games to play as HCR and RTG are included in the same volume.

The first Round is always a lighter scenario, particularly suited for introducing the system to new players and to get one quicker game finished. One change from last year was we went back to South Mountain for the demo. Thus, this year only two games of Here Come the Rebels from HSN (2 US, 0 CS), but had six games of South Mountain from HCR (4 US, 2 CS), with no games of First Day at Gettysburg from RTG. Have yet to see a CS win in the Here Come the Rebels scenario, and it will be dropped next year.

We had 12 players stay for the second Round of slightly longer scenarios so still had a good number play at least two games. We played three We Will Make the Fight from HSN (1 US, 2 CS), one Harpers Ferry – Crampton’s Gap from HCR (0 US, 2 CS), and one The Battle Continues from RTG (0 US, 1 CS).

The third Round, Quarterfinal and Semifinal saw a total of one The Race for Columbia from HSN (0 US, 1 CS), five McClellan’s Opportunity from HCR (2 US, 3 CS), and two Battle of Gettysburg from RTG (2 US, 0 CS). MAC is always a fan favorite and the overall results are generally balanced to either side. TRC seems well balanced also. Although both BOG games were US wins, this could go either way (with basically one objective – Gettysburg).

I had six players with 2 or more wins after the preliminary Rounds. The highest two received bye’s and then I had four play the Quarterfinal. Bruno Passacantando (last year’s champion) defeated Bruce Coda and Doug Smith defeated Paul Sampson. Just a note of congratulations to Bruce Coda who was here for the first time just having read the rules and going to the demo but won two games in the preliminaries to advance. In the Semifinal, Justin Rice (top seed and last year’s runner-up) defeated Ted Drozd and Doug defeated Bruno to set up the final between Justin and Doug.

I did change the Final to the Pipe Creek Plan. I had just played that many times the week prior at a combined Great Campaigns of the American Civil War and Great Battles of the American Civil War event at Gettysburg. If you had not played that scenario, it is excellent. The setup is exactly the same as the Battle of Gettysburg scenario (starting on July 1), but instead of marching to Gettysburg, Meade pulls back executing his Pipe Creek Plan. MANY more options with that scenario than just piling on at Gettysburg and seeing who can get their grand assaults off. Congratulations to Justin Rice for his Confederate victory.

On the MMP front, just being release a month before WBC was On To Richmond II. was released. This game includes updated versions of On To Richmond (1862 Peninsula Campaign) and Grant Takes Command (1864 Overland Campaign). There is an entirely new module on the Petersburg Campaign. Thus, PLENTY of new scenarios known to work very well in tournaments (from the Avaloncon and early WBC days many years ago). Thus, they will be the focus of scenarios for next year although we will keep RTG II scenarios but I intend to drop HSN from the tournament.

As always, thanks to MMP for their support to this game series. In addition to publishing the games, they provided a number of tournament sets (maps and counters) that were used by most of us. They also provided gift certificates for the top four finishers.

I hope we are able to see everyone at WBC next year and over at MMP’s Winter Offensive in January for more GCACW play.

See everyone next year!

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 5
Doug Smith Bruno Passacantando Ted Drozd Bruce Cota Paul Sampson
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Justin Rice battling to the Final. The Civil War continues in Frist Tracks.
Marching his troops towards the Confederates. Finalists with GM Dave Cross.
GM David Cross [7th Year]