Napoleon Returns, Triumphant Again
Jim Mehl's PAA are no match for Ron
Devon Draker's French cannot
break Walter MacEachern's PAA.
The second tournament of Napoleon 4th edition had 12
players vying for the wood. We played two rounds to determine
best records and then advanced four players to a semifinal round.
Players bid steps taken from their units for choice of side.
William Austin won his first two rounds and paired up against
Fred Bauer who won two games as the French with Austin advancing
on a narrow victory. Walt MacEachern was new to the game but
advanced to play Ron Draker who used the French steamroller strategy
up the center, keeping the French army together as it pushed
toward Brussels, to overcome the Allies.
The Final saw Draker use the same French strategy he employed
to good effect in earlier games. This time, however, Austin
did not wait for Draker to attack with the entire French army.
He jumped one-third of the French army at Waterloo from Brussels
with most of Anglo-Dutch army and Wavre with nearly two full
Prussians corps. This was an excellent move, because Ron was
out of position with only a third of his army in range to reinforce.
The remaining French forces were sitting in Ligny, having pushed
the Prussian corps there back. The French massed their artillery
in the center and Austin reinforced his left flank. The battle
raged on for several rounds with heavy English and Prussian pressure
on the French right flank nearly breaking the French army. Only
Draker's deployment of the Guard infantry and cavalry kept the
flank from collapse. In the center, French artillery was effectively
reducing Austin's forces to one step units. Draker made several
attacks trying to break through, but they failed until late in
the battle when he ordered one last desperate attack. Austin
had five units at one step and only needed one of them to pass
their morale check - a roll of 4 to 6. All five failed and the
combined Allied army was routed.
It was a close run battle indeed, because the French right
flank was nearly wiped out. Austin conceded after the battle
having lost too many units to rout attrition.
Perhaps the most epic game, however, was between defending champ
Jeff Cornett and Draker in the second game of the tournament.
Ron bid two to play the French, taking two steps off of French
units. Jeff played a brilliant game and managed to effectively
use the night turns and screening forces to keep the French bottled
up at Charleroi. With aggressive force marching, and some heavy
losses, Jeff managed to combine the entire Prussian army at Ligny
and nearly the entire Anglo-Dutch army at Quatre Bras. Ron attacked
the Brits at Quatre Bras with eight blocks - mostly artillery
and Napoleon - allowing two corps to start in the same battle
board column. Ron deployed his grand battery on the left flank
and proceeded to batter away at the Allies - inflicting one to
two step losses every round while he brought in reinforcements
from Charleroi - two blocks a battle round. Jeff organized a
concentration of artillery, infantry and cavalry in the center
and launched an attack on the French center mid-battle, hoping
to break the French line. The French guard helped save the day
again while Ron was reducing the Allied right flank to one-step
units. Realizing that the Allies were going to lose the battle,
Jeff managed to pull out of the battle without a complete rout,
but his army was so dispersed and damaged that Ron was able to
fight multiple successful skirmishes to defeat both Allied armies
on the last turn. He also barely managed to occupy both Brussels
and Ghent on the same turn. It was the most exciting game I
have seen in dozens of games where the French took on practically
the entire British and Prussian armies and won. Rolling lots
of ones with long-range artillery fire helped.
William Austin's PAA forces stop Tom