By the Numbers...
What a weekend ...
- 135+ gamers
- 72+ hours of gaming
- 50 pizzas
- 40+ raffle/door prize winners
- 4 new product releases
- And 2 kegs of beer
Perry sez ... Winter Offensive 2014 Detailed AAR
Over 135 gamers attended Winter Offensive 2014 in scenic Bowie MD, raising thousands of dollars for the World War Two Foundation.
The two themes of this year’s Winter Offensive were not-ASL and big-games. In the big-game department, Gary Trezza and Randy Shurtz, under the watchful eye of designer Bill Cirillo, playtested all weekend the prospective CG IV for Festung Budapest that would use all four mapsheets. Truly a monster in size, and requiring the dedication of a true fanatic, Bill’s vision includes block control VC following the historical Russian approach to taking blocks of area. More cowbell! It’s always a pleasure working with Bill and Randy, and so it was also with Gary “Chuckles” Trezza. Thanks very much guys. Ken Dunn also got some playtesting done for The Normandy Project, Ken’s HASL design on the fighting around Sainte-Mère-Église. Plans for testing the Campaign Game fell through, but several scenarios were played on those beautiful maps.
The other big-games mostly all fell under the non-ASL banner. Ed Kraska was playing War of the Suns all weekend, taking up a 2+table footprint. I didn’t get an AAR from Ed, but it looked good to me.
Another big game back in the corner was The Blitzkrieg Legend with Curtis, Chip, and the OCS guys. After they were done with that they bought, learned, setup, clipped, played, and enjoyed Red Star Rising. They were very impressed with the game, and I was very impressed with their ability to immediately grasp an entire new game system.
The full campaign for Last Chance for Victory was setup Thursday and Friday. Matt Noah and John Stadick got through the first part successfully, and then gracefully tore it down to provide more room for gamers on Saturday. Throughout the weekend numerous smaller playings of the many one- and two-map scenarios were set up and played. Great to see it up, great to see it being played.
Ryan Schultz (with some help from series lead developer Ed Beach) shepherded 14 gamers through 25 GCACW games, including four campaign games, over two days at this year's Winter Offensive. The first day's play featured four All Green Alike 1861 campaign games from the recently released Stonewall Jackson's Way II with an even split of two wins apiece, Union and Confederate. The second day's convention play focused on a three round mini-tournament using scenarios from Stonewall Jackson's Way II/All Green Alike and Battle Above the Clouds. The opening two rounds focused on shorter scenario actions, typically one day/turn battles. Round three, starting in the afternoon, opened play up to larger, meatier fare. At day's end, Bill Cirillo emerged victorious with a perfect 3-0 record to take the laurels. Joe Chacon came in a close second, only losing to the series lead developer, Ed Beach, in the final round. Bill and Joe received some Civil War books from Ed as a prize while Bill C. also pulled in an official mini-tourney winner engraved dice cup.
Ed Beach shared the latest developmental map for the upcoming 1864 Atlanta game, mating up with the Battle Above the Clouds maps. The combined BAC-Atlanta map spread will be an incredible sight to see, and game on, when ready. Also shown was some creative work by Will Weissner covering the 1863 Suffolk Campaign, adding in a map to the south edge of the On To Richmond maps for Suffolk, Norfolk, and Fort Monroe.
Ryan intends to host a similar event at next year's Winter Offensive in 2015, and we eagerly look forward to continuing to expand this great line of games.
The Lincoln’s War mini-tournament on Saturday only took up one table, graciously allowing more space for other games, and seemed to be a rousing success. Hawkeye Aylward won, and I will refer readers to the Lincoln’s War folder on CSW for more details. Always great to have designer John Poniske around.
Things went fairly smoothly from The Management end of things. Another hotel event Saturday needed many of the rectangular tables that we gamers use, so table space was at a premium, especially on Saturday, always our busiest day. I was very concerned that we would run out of space and so put the fear of Perry into the players. They came through with flying colors, smilingly sharing space, and Condition Red was avoided. We always have a great group of guys, and they all pulled together on Saturday. Thanks guys. Gung Ho!
The Advanced Squad Leader Main Event final came down to Gary Fortenberry and David Lamb. Gary was undefeated, having won the three games in his mini and then two more games against undefeated opponents. David’s sole loss was to Fort in the mini, but such losses are wiped clean in the Main Event, and on his way to the final David beat defending champ Gary Mei. Sunday morning Gary Mei matched up with fellow 4-1 Phil Palmer. If Gary had beaten Phil, he would have ended up with a better 5-1 record than the loser of the final and would have come in second. Phil declared that he personally was not worthy of 2nd place even if he ended up 5-1. (And Phil was correct. He had dipped down into some very slight bottom-feeding on his way through the maze). But Phil beat Gary Mei in their game to go 5-1 and gain third place.
Fort and David chose A Polish Requiem from our Best of Friends scenario pack for the final game. This was the same scenario played in last year’s final between Gary Mei and Mark Pitcavage. I will leave a detailed AAR to others, but David beat Fort with some room to spare when Fort couldn’t get any AP kills.
- ASL Champion: David Lamb (engraved dice cup and $100)
- 2nd Place: Gary Fortenberry ($50)
- 3rd Place: Phil Palmer ($30)
- ASL Mini Tournament Winners: Gary Fortenberry, Neil Stanhagen, and Jeff Coyle
- GCACW Mini Tournament Winner: Bill Cirillo
- Lincoln’s War Mini Tournament Winner: Hawkeye Aylward
- All five Mini Winners received engraved dice cups.
Congrats to Champion David and all the other Offenders for making Winter Offensive a rousing success.
- Rory "Hawkeye" Aylward - MMP for a year (one copy of everything we release)
- Kevin Meyer - ASL for a year
- Bill Cirillo - Last Chance for Victory game
- Bob Sohn - Decision at Elst game
- Chip Saltsman - War of the Suns game
- Roger Taylor - Autographed WO 2011 Bonus Pack (signed by "Wld Bill" Guarnere and "Babe" Heffron)
- Kevin Meyer - Gamers for a year
- JR Tracy - WO 2014 tee-shirt (which he gave away to Doug Behel's game-playing daughter)
- Nick Richardson - Glass/Wood ASL Scenario carrying case
- Doug Behel - WWII Normandy autographed print (signed by WWII/Band of Brothers medic Al Mampre)
- Dave Bohnenberger - Band of Brothers framed collection
- Lee Medlin - Hang Tough poster/DVD set
- Ken Dunn - Curt Schilling autographed Boston Red Sox Cap
- Curtis Baer - Patriots tumblers and soldier phone stand
- Ken Dunn - NY Rangers shirt
- Jack Daniels - Curt Schilling autographed baseball
- Bob Sonier - Bobble Head and soldier phone stands
- Chris Chapman - The Panzer Slippers
- Sam Tyson - Dallas Cowboys Jacket
- Nick Richardson - Bobble Head
- Andy Lewis - Pittsburgh Steelers Warmup Jacket
- Doug Behel - Cincinnati Reds Blanket
- Roger Taylor - gag gift - box of old computer games donated by Dan Dolan
- Rick Goheen - Bobble Head
- Mack McWilliams - WWII Monopoly
- Doug Behel - Patriots Jacket
- Tony Kryfka - Autographed Angels of Mercy book
- John Poniske - Washington Redskins jacket
- Joe Chacon - Seattle Seahawks jacket
- Sean Deller - New York Jets jacket
- Matt Noah - Bobble Head
- Wray Ferrell - Ravens polo shirt
- Wray Ferrell - Bobble Head
- Matt Noah - Nationals cooler
- Mike Balis - Bobble Head
- Steve Kyle - Steelers knit hat
- Dave Odell - Baltimore Orioles jacket
- Lee Medlin - Axis and Allies games donated by Forrest Atterbery
- Kevin Meyer - Bruins baseball cap
- Chip Salston - Penn State baseball cap