Thanks to all those who decry the
retention of classic wargames ...
1776 once again returned to the Century in 2005 thanks to
membership vote. The format remained the first nine months of
the Campaign Game 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 set a new record for this event with
18. The field included a number of new faces, as well as three
of the previous four champions: Rod Coffey, Mark Miklos, and
Steve Packwood. In general, the British push south from Canada
while bringing the majority of their reinforcements into the
Southern states, where the Americans are unable to quickly counter
them. The Americans try to maintain an effective force in a good
position to take back British-controlled towns on the final turn.
The most common bid (eight of the17 games played) increased to14
towns this year. Most games were decided by a victory margin
of a single town.
In an All-Minnesota final, David Dockter bid 14 towns to play
the Redcoats versus eight-time champ Steve Packwood. During the
first quarter, the British built bateaus each turn in Quebec.
Also, during this time, the British moved three BR by sea from
Boston to Norfolk. The fleets then continued offboard and eventually
ended up in Quebec in the Spring. The British March reinforcements
landed at Head of Elk and marched into Philadelphia. The fleets
in Quebec were used to transport a sizeable number of Redcoats
to destinations along the American coast during Spring and Summer.
In June, with the aid of a Bateau built in May, the British force
in Philadelphia surprised a large American force eight movement
points away and destroyed it with only light losses. By August,
the British had strong forces in all four areas. In the South
Central area, the British attacked the only remaining American
force at Charlottesville at 2:1 odds hoping to eliminate it and
secure the entire area. However, the British were outcarded and
rolled a 1 for a No Effect in the first round - resulting in
no losses of troops and supplies for the Americans. This allowed
the Americans to attack two other cities at 2:1 odds. When the
Americans won both battles, David Dockter lacked enough towns
to prevent him from denying Steve Packwood his ninth title.
Yes, it's actually 1776 games as
far as the eye can see. HG Wells isn't the only one with a time
machine it appears ...
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