Thanks to all those who decry the
retention of classic wargames ...
1776 was returned to the Century again thanks to membership
vote. The format remained the first nine months of the Campaign
Game for all rounds with all optional rules except hidden and
decoy counters. The players bid the number of strategic towns
(out of a total of 24, including Montreal and Quebec) that the
British player must control on the last turn.
This year attendance was up 50% and the field included all
four previous champions: Rob Beyma, Rod Coffey, Mark Miklos,
and Steve Packwood. In general, the British pushed south from
Canada while bringing the majority of their reinforcements into
the Southern states, where the Americans were unable to quickly
counter them. The most common bid was 13 towns (nine of 15 games)
and most games were decided by a single town victory margin.
In the final, seven-time champ Steve Packwood bid 13 towns
to play the Redcoats versus former champion Rod Coffey. On the
first turn, the Americans boldly attacked the British in a fierce
1:1 winter battle outside the walls of Quebec, costing both sides
one militia each and the Americans their supply unit. Elsewhere
during the first quarter, the British withdrew 5 BR from Boston
and transported them by sea to the South Center and Deep South.
In response, American forces moved from Boston toward New York.
During the second quarter, the British landed additional forces
in Philadelphia. The Americans marched first to Boston to counter
British activity, then toward Ticonderoga to counter the British
forces advancing from Quebec. The Americans also sent 3CA and
a supply unit north of Norwich to threaten the lightly garrisoned
fortress of Quebec. In July, the British landed forces at Georgetown,
Petersburg and Portsmouth, Virginia. The Americans then attacked
Georgetown and Portsmouth in an attempt to deny the British these
ports as potential entry points for the large August reinforcements.
The 2:1 attack on Portsmouth succeeded but the British forces
survived a 1:1 (-1) attack on Georgetown. In August, the British
reinforcements landed at Georgetown and quickly obliterated all
American forces in the Deep South. By September, the British
occupied 17 towns, including all of the Deep South and South
Center. The Americans needed to take back five towns in order
to win, but the forced march required for one of the attacks
failed. At this point Rod Coffey conceded and Steve Packwood
took the Centurion laurels for the 8th time.
Dave Dockter and Bob Jamelli (right)
refight the 1776 campaign.
2003 PBeM RESULTS:
Jan Orband of Belgium faced Doug Pratto of Massachusetts for
the first ever BPA 1776 PBeM championship using the first
nine months of the campaign game and the Boardgamer's Guide leader
rules. Doug bid 13 towns to play the British in an exciting,
but relatively bloodless, game of maneuver and counter-maneuver.
Both players showed a superb grasp of using troops and terrain
to block their opponent. Small, well placed British forces impeded
American reinforcements to Charleston in March. In May, after
Charleston fell, small American forces then impeded British expansion
out of the city. The British maintained a few BRs aboard ships
at all times, thereby forcing the American to spread his forces
thin in order to counter this constant threat to his coastal
towns. By August, the American had formed four main blocking
forces: Greene in Albany, Arnold in New England, Lincoln in South
Carolina, and Washington in Virginia. Although the British player
controlled the 13 towns he needed for victory at the end of his
September turn, the wily American found a back door into Alexandria
and overran the British garrison. Coupled with seizing Newport,
Jan Orband reduced the British to 11 victory towns and became
Others earning laurels in the 20-player event were:
2nd: Doug Pratto, MA
3rd: Stan Buck, MD
4th: Jim Engler, MD
5th: Stu Bieber, WI
6th: Rod Coffey, GA