a house divided 

Updated 11/21/2010

2010 WBC Report  

  2011 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

David Metzger, NY

2010 Champion

Offsite Links

  Phalanx Games

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

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  David Metzger      NY    10    102
   2.  Terry Coleman      PA    10     54
   3.  Phil Rennert       MD    03     33
   4.  Tom Cannon         NJ    03     30
   5.  Rick Young         CA    02     26
   6.  Rob Mull           CO    01     15
   7.  Trevor Bender      CA    00     12
   8.  Ben Knight         MD    99     12
   9.  Ray Freeman        CA    10      9
  10.  Jonathan Price     NJ    03      9
  11.  Sean Conroy        VA    02      9
  12.  Barry Shoults      MI    00      9
  13.  Chris Byrd         CT    10      8
  14.  Marshall Collins   CT    00      6
  15.  Chris Bauch        LA    01      5
  16.  Brad Raszewski     MD    10      4
  17.  Bryan Van Norwick  CA    01      4
  18.  Erik Falk          MN    99      3
  19.  Scott Sirianna     NY    10      2
  20.  Roderick Lee       CA    03      2

2010 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists 

Terry Coleman, CA

Chris Byrd, CT

Ray Freeman, CA

Brad Raszewski, MD

Scott Sirianna, NY

Past Winners

David Metzger - VA
1999, 2002-03, 2010

Tom Cannon - NJ

Phil Rennert - VA

Charles Faella and Jack Stalica emjoy a resurrected classic.

Revived after seven years, AHD had its biggest WBC draw ever.

The Song (of the South) Remains the Same ...

Given its simplicity and suitability for a tournament format, you would think that A House Divided would be a natural for WBC. So, rather than dwell on why it hadn't been played there since 2003, I decided to GM the event. I requested a mid-day start on Saturday, since AHD seems a nice way to wind down from a week (or more) of gaming. Fortunately, enough Civil War strategy enthusiasts agreed with me that we set the all-time WBC AHD record with 30 players and 29 games played. Part of the reason for the increased attendance was the mulligan round Thursday evening, where 12 generals brushed off the dust and warmed up their dice for the main event on Saturday.

A general theme, in fact, seemed to be how rusty everyone had become, with lots of comments like, "Man, what a great game! I haven't played this in (insert # of years here)." Ironically, this may have helped the overall competitiveness of the event, because there were a lot of contests which came down to the last turn - and in some cases, to the last set of combat dice rolls.

The Confederate side won exactly one more game than the Union during the tournament, so the results seemed balanced enough. The Confederate victories on the whole were more spectacular, with just over half being automatic victories, including two captures of Washington, D.C. While the players had the option of using either the 1861 or 1862 scenario (both were played using Basic Game rules), only one game was contested in 1862 (which the Union won, in case you are keeping score). One trend I noticed, however, was that as the event moved into later rounds, most players wanted to play the Union, despite the slight edge in Confederate victories.

Although it had been seven years since the last AHD event here, there were a lot of familiar names. Bruno Passacatando won with his favored Union attack against Roderick Lee (who had finished 5th last time around). Veteran Chris Bauch captured Richmond way ahead of schedule vs. Adam Meldrom, only to fall in the next round to perennial contender Ray Freeman, who had already defeated Larry Sisson in a nail-biter. In other notable early-round matchups, Andy Maly blitzed through the Union northeast to best Charlie Hickock, and Robert Woodson beat Kyle Meldrom before falling to George Seary's positional crush with the Union.

There were some impressive newcomers as well. As the pairings would have it, Bradley Raszewski ended up playing his dad, Steven, then moved on with another win over Jack Stalica, in one of the closest games of the tournament. Scott Sirianna showed a marked preference for the Union in wins over John Morris and Dewayne Curry. And to no one's great surprise, Chris Byrd - master of card-driven wargames - found AHD a good fit for his style, even if it didn't have cards. Chris marched steadily through his section of the draw - despite having only learned the game that morning in the demo!

When the semi-finals were set, however, Chris was the only new face, joined by three-time champion David Metzger, perennial runner-up Terry Coleman, and Ray Freeman. Although Chris played pretty well throughout the event, he underestimated the breakout potential of the Rebels when played by a great player. David saw his opening late in the game, went for it, and was rewarded with a hard-fought victory. In the other semi, the battle of Bull Run never really happened. As a result, Terry had plenty of troops free. He was thus able to threaten Ray's positions all over the board, and maneuvered his way into the Final with an Army Maximum victory.

This would be the third time that David and Terry had met in the AHD Final which is saying something when you consider that the event was last run in 2003, and both previous title bouts had been nail biters. In a bit of role reversal, Terry commanded the Union, unlike in their earlier tussles. Early on, this looked like a good strategy for Terry, as he built a big lead, and even invaded the Rebel coastline. As he did against Chris, however, Dave built up an unstoppable attack, which captured Baltimore, always an important swing city. Terry couldn't muster enough forces to whittle the Rebel army down to size, and Dave broke through for an automatic win. A great comeback, which gave Dave a well-deserved fourth AHD championship.

I was very encouraged with how well the AHD tournament was received this year. It was great to see a lot of old faces, along with the new ones, such as Chris, who did so well in their AHD debut. In addition to the usual wargame crowd, we had a number of Euro/general strategy gamers give it a try. My bet is that a lot of them will be back, if we can manage to have this event again next time around.

 GM      Terry Coleman  [1st Year]    NA
    terryleecoleman@hotmail.com    NA

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