a house divided [Updated October 2003]  

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

David Metzger, VA

2002-03 Champion

2nd: Terry Coleman, BC

3rd: Ray Freeman, CA

4th: Jonathan Price, NJ

5th: Roderick Lee, CA

6th: Phil Rennert, MD

Event History
1999    David Metzger     18
2000    Tom Cannon     12
2001    Phil Rennert     16
2002    David Metzger       8
2003    David Metzger     12

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. David Metzger


 2. Terry Coleman


 3. Phil Rennert


 4. Tom Cannon


 5. Rick Young


 6. Rob Mull


 7. Trevor Bender


 8. Ben Knight


 9. Jonathan Price


10. Sean Conroy


11. Barry Shoults


12. Marshall Collins


13. Chris Bauch


14. Bryan Van Norwick


15. Ray Freeman


16. Eric Falk


17. Roderick Lee



Past Winners

David Metzger - VA
1999, 2002

Tom Cannon - NJ

Phil Rennert - VA

Civil War for the Hexagonally Challenged ...

Who would have thought that a 30-year old trial event such as A House Divided could pull in so many people, if a dozen can be considered a lot?? Still it is a good number for a Saturday afternoon, and the game-master fought valiantly to keep each game under two hours. Playing the 1861 scenario exclusively contributed a long way towards that goal, as there are only 20 pieces on the board to start the game! All three AHD editions were featured in this Civil War Classic, from the original with paper map all the way up to the beautiful new mounted edition from Phalanx.

Let's start with the final, since this game featured appearances by perennial favorites Terry Coleman and David Metzger. Both players had high hopes for a great game, as they are both intimately familiar with the game and all its nuances. Since the first turn's movement rolls are predetermined, there is not much that either player can really do on turn 1, and the game started with the traditional battle of Manassas, as David led his Unionists successfully southward. Terry consolidated in his turn, looking forward to the Rebel's chance to take the offensive in turn 2.

In turn 2, the Union rolled a 4 for marches, and undertook a Jefferson City offensive. Terry had his hopes for a drive crushed by rolling a 1 for movement, leading to the bare minimum of two marches. His position was still looking good, if he could get the marches in the next turn. In turn 3, the Union rolled a 3 for marches, and took Springfield. Would Terry's luck break? Nope, as he rolled another minimum roll, this time a 2, leading to more frustration and consolidation of his forces.

Turn 4 was to be Terry's last chance. David, as the Union, had rolled a 4, and surrounded, attacked, and eliminated a Union force in Bowling Green. Unfazed, Terry hoped for better results for his offensives elsewhere, perhaps in the east, where he had built up. The writing was on the wall when Terry rolled a 1, indicating that he had the worst possible movement rolls for four turns in a row. Although the Union rolls were average at best, it was all over but the shouting. With nothing to do, the Confederates could only watch and wait as the Union steamroller gathered steam.

Turn 5 was the straw that broke the camel's back. The Union rolled a 5, the highest number of marches for either side in the whole game. It was enough: They attacked Decatur, and achieved a 5:1 kill ratio on the first turn of combat. Although the Rebs finally broke their rut and rolled a 3, there was very little they could do to stem the tide. Turn 6 saw the Union march into Atlanta, a mere three years earlier than historically! Turn 7 featured the Second Battle of Bowling Green and the Second Battle for Bull Run, but it was all academic at this point: The Confederates had been crushed decisively!

Although the Sunday morning final was a great disappointment, the Saturday semifinal games were noteworthy. There were six preliminary rounds, so we'll start with Game 7, which featured Coleman vs. Roderick Lee. Here, Terry's Rebel luck for marches was much better than in the final. A major Confederate cavalry raid on turn 5 to the Northeast caused the Union city count to fall below the Confederate number, leading to an automatic CSA victory.

Game 8 featured Jonathan Price's Union against Ray Freeman's Confederates. Ray kept up the pressure with a continual threat to the Northeast, which directly led to a reduction in Union defenses around Washington, always a sore point for the Union. The Union player had to spend much of the game chasing Confederates around Baltimore and Philadelphia, yielding the
initiative, and eventually victory, to the Confederates.

Game 9, between David Metzger's Confederates and Ray Freeman's Union, offered up a valuable lesson to all Union players. You must resist the temptation to reinforce the first battle of Manassas with the unit starting the game in Harper's Ferry. Ray brought the Harper's Ferry force in, and David retreated from the battle. He then undertook an audacious assault on Washington in the first turn of the game, which almost succeeded!

Turn 4 featured action around Vicksburg and Fort Smith, and the Confederates rolled a 6 to consolidate their western army on the battlefield at Memphis. The Union responded by consolidating and entrenching, and placing cavalry at strategic locations to stop the Confederates. But against a pro and eventual winner like David, you've got to be careful!!! A Union force got ambushed and annihilated on Island Number 10.

One thing this last game showed was the value of maneuver. On turn 7, the Union rolled a 6 for marches, the best they could do, and spent the turn consolidating their gains at Louisville and invading Mobile. They had a huge force ready to roll down the Mississippi! But the Confederates rolled a five, spread out, and by doing so took back enough cities to lead to an automatic victory. Thus, the Union player has got to keep in balance the task of having a force capable of a sustained offensive, while at the same time spreading out to prevent the Confederates from a city grab. As Ray learned the hard way, those offsetting goals are often impossible.

Another great tournament, and many thanks to all the participants! Vote AHD back in 2004, and I'll run it again!

 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn  [4th Year]    17 Seven Springs Court, Phoenix, MD 21131-1542
    Dariibuck1@comcast.net    NA

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