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Subject: 2019 Wilderness War tournament AAR rss

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Grant LaDue
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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A New GM, A New Double Champion

The 2019 Wilderness War tournament saw Grant LaDue take over as GM from long term, and much appreciated, gm Keith Wixson. Many thanks to Keith for all his assistance this year, and for his many years running the tournament.

The tournament kicked off on its traditional Wednesday, with a 3 hour demo Tuesday night. The new GM might need to have his head examined! We got 16 players for the perfect number for a 4 round straight swiss tournament.

Highlights:
• 4 new players came in from the demo, one playing a full 3 rounds!
• 3 long term players returned after prolonged absences. Thanks to you all!
• 8 tables in the first round, 6 in the second, and 4 in each of the third and fourth, with just one bye in the third round.
• The French went 6-2 in the first round, even in the next two, but got swept by the Brits in round 4!
• There were several blowouts in the second round, highlighted by one game where Montcalm, Levis, and another French leader died on the second card play in the siege of Hudson Carry North. Brutal!
• A stone head hatchet went to the winner, with second place getting a gunstock tomahawk. Prizes will be offered again next year.

• The tournament will move to single elimination on Friday in 2020, with a Thursday night mulligan. The epic demo will be Tuesday or Wednesday. Rules are taught for about an hour and the remaining time is spent discussing the strategy from the starting position.

Round 4 found your erstwhile GM faced off with previous GM Keith Wixson with the only 3-0 records. We’ve slugged it out many times, but always in the semis or earlier in years past. Keith’s board was set up, so we began with Keith getting the French and me the British.

Spring of 57 began with the usual French attack on Hudson Carry North. The British responded with the Big Highlanders bringing Wolfe and 3 Highlanders to Philly, while Amherst and one landed in New York. A great beginning for the British! HCN fell, moving the vp’s to 5 while Amherst secured Hudson Carry South. The French began to set up raiding, as the Mohawks arrived with Johnson. Several attempts by the French to raid the Mohawks failed, until Johnson secured their home and moved to join Wolfe with one Mohawk providing auxiliary assistance. Wolfe drove immediately towards Ohio Forks, establishing a supply line for the start of Fall 57 while the French got a raid in.

Fall of 57 showed us what the trend of the game would be. Neither side got any reinforcements. The French would see almost no Indians throughout the game, while the British saw no troops for a full year, and only one small Highlander in late 58. The British did add a ranger to Wolfe’s force after the Mohawk deserted this fall. Fall 57 found the French getting their marines out of dodge and tearing down Ohio Forks, lowering the vp’s to 3, never to reach 5 again. Ohio Forks was seized, and forts built there and in the mountains next to it. Otherwise the Fall saw all troops going back to winter quarters, only one additional raid, and Wolfe leaving Johnson with a small force to hold OF while he swung back to NY. VP’s ended at 3.

Spring of 58 saw a continuing dearth of reinforcements for both sides. The British assembled a set of two maximum armies in Hudson Carry South and began the drive up to Montreal against Montcalm and the main French army one column down. Careful play saw Ticonderoga and Crown Point torn down with neither force risking an all or nothing battle. Stockades backed up HCN and Ticonderoga, with British forts capping the valley at Crown Point and just to the North. The French continued to raid as furiously as they could.

Fall of 58 saw dire straits for the French as the British grinder neared Montreal. Bradstreet and the small Highlander had been added to Halifax “just in case”, and the French pulled out of Louisburg to reinforce Montcalm, gambling that the British couldn’t land the one impulse while Louisburg was leaderless. That gamble failed as the British immediately jumped on the island. The rest of the turn saw Louisburg being desperately sieged before winter while the French raiding. Louisburg fell with a few cards to spare after winter quarters. French raiding was sufficient to end the year at 0 vp’s.

59 began with the French attacking a fort, but being stymied by Lake Schooners. The British drove North, but the French managed to evade. British forces continued to relentlessly drive north, building forts with time to get at it. The spring saw the French choose a bit of brilliant desperation. They dove into the mountains, grabbing a stockade the tired GM didn’t notice, and setting themselves up for the hope of drawing a campaign in the fall.

Fall of 59 saw that hope rewarded, with Levis establishing a nominal siege of HCS to permit Montcalm to attack the stockade at HCN. Fortunately the regular at HCN escaped, and even more fortunately, the provincial rolled a 6! Outraged at Montcalm’s dastardly attack, the provincials shot Montcalm! Last year’s gm immediately resigned to this year’s gm! Cries of “it was just the dice!” were countered by the notice that they were *his dice*. :-) This was also a satisfactory revenge for a pretty long odds win by Keith over me in last year’s semifinal. In any case, our heroic GM found himself with his second Wilderness War championship, and the really nice hatchet.


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