a house divided [Revised August 2000]

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   Salon B

Tom Cannon, NJ

2000 Champion

2nd: Terry Coleman, CA

3rd: Trevor Bender, CA

4th: Barry Shoults, MI

5th: Marshall Collins, CT

6th: Chris Bauch, LA
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    David Metzger     18
2000    Tom Cannon    12
AREA Ratings
 1    None      -
 2    None      -
 3    None      -
 4    None      -
 5    None      -
 6    None      -
 7    None      -
 8    None      -
 9    None      -
10    None      -

Civil War for the hexagonally challenged ...

In a convention almost dominated by strategic Civil War Titles (Civil War, For The People, and Bobby Lee) a dozen dedicated grognards decided to pay their respects to a true original: GDW's A House Divided. Twelve gamers decided to forego the other two dozen events scheduled for Saturday morning and refight the US Civil War, from start to finish, in under eight hours. With 12 entrants, four expressed a desire to play the North, four desired to play the South, and four had no preference. After the gamemaster matched up the Unionists against the Confederates, the six games got quickly underway.

The tournament started off with the 1861 scenario and basic game rules were in force for the duration of the day. A standing house rule, known as the rule of 7, was implemented in order to minimize the luck element regarding moves and recruiting. This simple rule states that the sum of your marches die roll and your recruiting die roll in a month is always seven. As all scenarios started off with a 1 for marches for both sides, things had the potential to get bloody quickly, with lots of troops around and nowhere to go.

Much to the gamemaster's delight, the first six games ended in a balance of wins for each side, including one capture of Washington by Tom Cannon, an eventual finalist. It would not be the last time Tom pulled victory out from the jaws of defeat. Other winners of the 1861 scenario, including Terry Coleman, Trevor Bender, Barry Shoults, Marshall Collins and Chris Bauch jumped right in to the 1862 scenario for the second round. The 1862 scenario starts with both sides holding tenaciously to territory acquired since the beginning of the war, and enough veteran troops to enable promotions to the almost invincible crack troop status coming rapidly on the heels of successful campaigns.

In the quarterfinals, the leadership skills of the Confederacy began to show, as all three Southerners advanced to the Semifinals. With the Confederate player having the last turn, the Union was hard pressed to pull off a victory in any of the three games. Tom Cannon actually lost as the Union in the second round, but was advanced into the semis by virtue of keeping it closer than the other two Union players. In all three games, several Confederate cavalry units were noticed romping around north of the Ohio River, much to the chagrin of several Midwestern farmers and their daughters!

The semi-finals were once again a close fought contest. The 1863 scenario, which starts in April 1863, has a quality laden Confederate army including several veterans and a couple of crack infantry units starting in entrenchments (almost impossible to hit!) against a Union army that is so large it actually exceeds the Army Maximum Size. The Union is able to apply pressure in almost all theaters, with the Confederacy being forced to respond in kind. As before, most of the action centered in the Western Theater (Kentucky and Tennessee) while the Eastern Theater was more a campaign of attrition rather than maneuver. Who says A House Divided is not realistic? Once again, with the ability to respond to Union thrusts, the results were the same as before, culminating in two more Confederate wins by Spring 1864.

The finals started with last year's runnerup, Terry Coleman facing off against Tom Cannon, who had already come back from the dead once. In order to play a balanced scenario worthy of a battle for the championship, both players agreed to forego the proposed 1864 scenario and once again play the 1861 scenario, which had proved to be so balanced in tournament play. Terry took the North and Tom the South, where they had each won before. In an exciting, tension-filled game that came down to the last die roll, Tom Cannon pulled off a victory as the South, snagging the wood and Terry Coleman was a bridesmaid for the second year in a row.

In spite of the stabilizing element of the rule of seven, all players found at least one reason to complain about their marches die roll at one time or another. Perhaps with the addition of duplicate rules for determining marches for both sides next year, their complaints will be alleviated, but it's not likely! Still, all the participants said they had a very enjoyable tournament and they invite each of you to join them again next year for this old favorite.

 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn  [1st Year]    17 Seven Springs Court, Phoenix, MD 21131-1542
    Daribuck@aol.com    NA

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