a house divided   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending December 2013 Membership Trial Vote

John Sutcliffe, uk

2013 Champion

Event History
1999    David Metzger     18
2000    Tom Cannon     12
2001    Phil Rennert     16
2002    David Metzger       8
2003    David Metzger     12
2010    David Metzger     30
2011    John Sutcliffe     34
2012    David Metzger     21
2013    John Sutcliffe     20

 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  David Metzger      NY    13    158
   2.  Terry Coleman      PA    13     66
   3.  Phil Rennert       MD    12     63
   4.  John Sutcliffe     uk    13     50
   5.  Tom Cannon         NJ    03     30
   6.  Rick Young         CA    02     26
   7.  Chris Byrd         CT    12     17
   8.  Brad Raszewski     MD    12     16
   9.  Rob Mull           CO    01     15
  10.  Trevor Bender      CA    00     12
  11.  Ben Knight         MD    99     12
  12.  Scott Sirianna     NY    13     11
  13.  Linus Park         IL    11      9
  14.  Ray Freeman        CA    10      9
  15.  Jonathan Price     NJ    03      9
  16.  Sean Conroy        VA    02      9
  17.  Barry Shoults      MI    00      9
  18.  John Teixera       VA    12      6
  19.  Jack Stalica       on    11      6
  20.  Marshall Collins   CT    00      6
  21.  Chris Bauch        LA    01      5
  22.  Larry Sisson       on    13      4
  23.  Bryan Van Norwick  CA    01      4
  24.  Steven Raszewski   MD    11      3
  25.  Erik Falk          MN    99      3
  26.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    13      2
  27.  Roderick Lee       CA    03      2

2013 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists:

Terry Coleman, CA
2nd

David Metzger, NY
3rd

Scott Sirianna, NY
4th

Larry Sisson, on
5th

Bryan Eshleman, NC
6th

Past Winners

David Metzger, VA
'99, '02-03, '10, '12

Tom Cannon, NJ
2000

Phil Rennert, VA
2001

John Sutcliffe, uk
2011, 2013

David Metzger and Phil Rennert relive an old classic.

Ray Freeman and Johnny Wilson refight the Civil War the easy way.

The Brit & the Bridesmaid ...

Since returning to WBC, A House Divided has enjoyed its best attendance over the past three years. While down slightly this year, we still managed 20 generals - not a bad feat for a game initially released more than 30 years ago.

A large part of the charm of AHD is its simple yet elegant system, which allows players to focus on strategy rather than game mechanics - offering an appeal to Euro and general strategy gamers, as well as wargamers. Significantly, the game appears to be well-balanced, despite decades of competitive play. And the 10-turn Short Game scenario provides an almost perfect length for a tournament game, especially welcome on Saturday, at the end of a full week of gaming.

Any potential concerns about attendance were banished when 12 players appeared for the Friday night mulligan round, which was not only a pleasant surprise for the GM, but also a source of conversation for the number of visitors who dropped by to chat and shake their heads in amazement. (Now, all I have to do is get the majority of these passers-by to actually play in the event next year...)

A number of the early winners were familiar. Ray Freeman's Union forces ground down Johnny Wilson's Confederates, while John Sutcliffe outpointed Bryan Eshelman. In a meeting of former champs, David Metzger won a hard-fought game over Phil Rennert. Terry Coleman renewed his bi-annual tussle with Tom Knapp, and Greg Tanner upset veteran Roderick Lee.

Unfortunately, as all too often happens, some players had other commitments, and were unable to follow up on their mulligan success. After the musket smoke of the early rounds cleared, the contenders began to emerge. Scott Sirianna had good wins over Michael Rogozinski and Chris Bauch, but his spunky Rebels were no match for David Metzger's Northern steamroller. Brad Raszewski beat Eric Filipkowski, only to fall to Bryan Eshleman, in a battle of Union sympathizers. Larry Sisson's reward for beating Chuck Frascati was to play 2011 champion John Sutcliffe, who proved he could win with Confederates as easily as Union - although, if you had heard John 'whinge' (his term) about his dice rolls, you would have thought his position was hopeless by Turn 4.

Terry Coleman played himself into the Final with a win over Bryan Eshelman, by taking six points worth of VP cities on one turn. Meanwhile, John met David in the semis, in a heavyweight rematch of their 2011 title clash. John built up a sizeable lead, only to watch nervously as David snipped away at the margin. It all came down to huge battles on the last two turns - David won one, but not the second, and John was back in the Final.

The championship game pitted a Brit who loves playing American Civil War games, versus a born Southerner who had always been the bridesmaid, in his fourth AHD Final. Moreover, this was the first time the two had played each other, which made for an interesting contest, starting from the bid - zero for the Union, lower than normal.

John successfully attacked at Bull Run, then proceeded to march down the Mississippi in an attempt to strangle the Confederacy on both flanks. Terry punched back in Kentucky, and managed to keep the game close for the South. As the closing turns loomed, Terry realized that he had to break the stalemate, or lose on points. He stripped Richmond to the bones, and moved two stacks of units into Indiana and southern Ohio. In the climactic battle for Richmond, it came down to the last dice roll. John's decision to promote Crack troops made the difference, as Terry was unable to score enough hits against those high-quality units, and the Southern capital fell. John confessed that if his attack on Richmond had failed, he would have conceded.

Terry still had a chance to win, however, and launched an assault upon three key cities on the last play of the game. Two cities fell to the rampaging Rebels, but the third, Louisville - ironically, where Terry lived for many years - was able to resist the Confederate onslaught. Both players were very appreciative at the high quality of the contest, especially given the great contrast in styles. John adds a new crown to the one he gained in 2011, while Terry gets his fourth runner-up finish, and another year to contemplate what might have been.

I was happy to return to run this again - as always, it was a great group of gamers. I kept the format simple: There were no ad hoc modifications for march or recruiting die rolls, all of which seemed to work well, especially for those who might have been a bit rusty. Not surprisingly for such a balanced field, the majority of games came down to the wire, with only four Rebel auto-wins (by achieving a greater Army Maximum than the Union, or by taking Washington D.C.)

Bids for sides were popular, and averaged 1 for the Union. This slight preference matched a trend, as this time around, Union wins doubled Confederate victories; this tendency held true even in the money rounds. Will the customary balance be restored next year? We'll need your votes in December to find out. See you on the fields of Fredricksburg and Bowling Green in 2014.

Bryan Eshleman loses to John Sutcliffe in the quarterfinals.

Terry Coleman falls to John Sutcliffe in the Final.
 GM      Terry Coleman [2nd Year]    NA
    terryleecoleman@hotmail.com     NA 

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