a house divided   

Updated 11/11/11
2011 WBC Report  

   2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment
John Sutcliffe. uk
2011 Champion


  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
2011    John Sutcliffe     34

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  David Metzger      NY    11    120
   2.  Terry Coleman      PA    10     54
   3.  Phil Rennert       MD    11     45
   4.  John Sutcliffe     uk    11     30
   5.  Tom Cannon         NJ    03     30
   6.  Rick Young         CA    02     26
   7.  Rob Mull           CO    01     15
   8.  Trevor Bender      CA    00     12
   9.  Ben Knight         MD    99     12
  10.  Linus Park         IL    11      9
  11.  Ray Freeman        CA    10      9
  12.  Jonathan Price     NJ    03      9
  13.  Sean Conroy        VA    02      9
  14.  Barry Shoults      MI    00      9
  15.  Chris Byrd         CT    10      8
  16.  Jack Stalica       on    11      6
  17.  Marshall Collins   CT    00      6
  18.  Chris Bauch        LA    01      5
  19.  Brad Raszewski     MD    10      4
  20.  Bryan Van Norwick  CA    01      4
  21.  Steven Raszewski   MD    11      3
  22.  Erik Falk          MN    99      3
  23.  Scott Sirianna     NY    10      2
  24.  Roderick Lee       CA    03      2

2011 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists:

David Metzger, NY

Phil Rennert, MD

Linus Park, IL

Jack Stalica, on

Steven Raszewski, MD

Past Winners

David Metzger, VA
1999, 2002-03, 2010

Tom Cannon, NJ

Phil Rennert, VA

John Sutcliffe, uk

Four-time champ Dave Metzger defeats Linus Park in the semi-finals.

The champ meets his match in Britain's John Sutcliffe.
The South Does it Again ...

A House Divided made its triumphal return to the WBC in 2010 after a seven year hiatus with its largest attendance ever. Given that success, I opted to keep the same format in 2011 and was rewarded with an even larger turnout and a return to the Century. Since this was my first year as a GM, I took this as an opportunity to solicit feedback on all aspects of the tournament. Based on that feedback, I plan on making a few changes in 2012.

As in previous years, we used the basic rules and the 10-turn 1861 scenario. Few expressed interest in optional rules or other scenarios. However, many games ran beyond the two hour time slot allotted for each round.

We also allowed several methods for choosing sides. The default method was "high die chooses his side." However, players had the option of bidding victory points for choice of sides. Many players felt that the bidding system was more appropriate and provided a higher level of player control than simply one lucky die roll. So, in 2012, I will use bidding as the default method for choosing sides.

Finally, some players approached me about using a die roll averaging system for the critical "march" die roll on each turn. Although I see the value in this approach, most players take it for granted that this is a game using dice and luck plays a role. Given that the majority of feedback did not support using die roll averaging, I will not implement that in the default tournament rules in 2012. However, die roll averaging will be allowed if both players choose to use it. I will bring a player's aid to help track this for those players who opt for this rule.

As with most war games, our players love to debate which side has an advantage. Although the majority of players seem to prefer the Union, past tournament records illustrate that the game is well balanced with neither side predominating. This year was a little different. Amazingly, the Union won all 11 games in the mulligan round. I attribute this to the fact that many of the players were either new to the game or had not played it since 2010. It does seem to be the case that the Union has an advantage among novices. However, in the five single elimination rounds which followed, as in past years, the Union advantage melted away. The Union won 14 of 27 games, but, as in years past, the Confederates prevailed in the semi-final and Final rounds.

Because we play the 1861 scenario, most of the Confederate victories were spectacular wins with several players capturing Washington or successfully getting past Washington into Baltimore and the North East, thereby getting an automatic victory. On the other hand, the Union generally won by attrition in long, drawn out affairs.

The 34 competitors played a total of 38 games. We had many of the usual suspects supplemented by some new players. In fact, we had several who got their feet wet in tournament play after learning the game at the demo. One of the new players, Linus Park, progressed to the semi-finals. It is also noteworthy that both Steve and Brad (father and son) Raszewski made it to the quarter-finals. Fortunately, they did not have to play each other this year. In one of the biggest surprises, Terry Coleman, a perennial contender, fell in the quarter-finals. The final four were made up of one new player, Linus Park, past champions David Metzger and Phil Rennert, and a first time WBC attendee from across the pond, John Sutcliffe.

In the first semi-final game, Linus commanded the Confederates against four-time champion Metzger. Although the Union made some initial headway into Kentucky, the rebels kept the Union at bay for most of the game. Unfortunately, Linus could not gain any momentum for a final push to the North and David managed a marginal Union victory. Linus made a strong showing for a newcomer and looks like a force to be reckoned with in future contests. In the second semi-final, 2001 champion, Phil Rennert commanded the Union against John. John was a very aggressive Confederate which put the Union in a defensive position. The game was ultimately decided when John's Confederates won a large engagement.

David's Union forces were extremely successful at the first battle of Bull Run and managed to capture Richmond with one unit on Turn 2 of the Final. John, however, did not let this setback phase him. He re-constituted a large army in Nashville. From this critical location, he threatened both Cairo and Louisville. As a result, the Union moved the majority of their western forces to garrison both Cairo and Louisville, while preparing for a two pronged offensive. Unfortunately for the Union, John had other plans. He moved his forces by rail back towards Richmond. David was able to re-position his Louisville Army to protect Washington, but he could not prevent John from recapturing Richmond. At that point, John began moving his army north in an attempt to get behind Washington. When David rolled "2" (the lowest possible roll) for his marches on five consecutive turns, the Union was unable to fully organize their defense of the North, nor could they capitalize on the Confederate weakness in the West. Eventually, the Union engaged in one final battle outside of Baltimore but was soundly defeated. The Confederates went on to win an automatic victory. To win his title, John downed two former champions as well as several strong, experienced players. Without a doubt, John showed his skill on both sides of the conflict and won an impressive championship. Welcome to the WBC!

Edward Rader and Terry Coleman

Linus Park and Allen Joslyn

 GM      David Metzger [1st Year]    NA
    natashainterpreter@yahoo.com    NA

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