The classic wooden block wargame:
This single elimination tournament featured some dramatic
moments, including one of the most exciting finals imaginable.
Two rookies made it to the semi-finals, finishing third and fourth
after learning the game at the Café Jay's demo. The defending
champion was knocked out in the first round by tournament newcomer
Nicholas Markevich (played only five games of Napoleon
lifetime, but a veteran of many other wargames). The defending
champion's son, Scott Cornett, got to play the family rematch
against last year's runner-up George Seary. Scott rolled six
6's on ten dice to break his opponent in the first of two key
battles. Then, with the necessary reinforcements in reserve,
he rolled snake eyes for morale to lose the decisive second battle.
George went on to play the finals against tournament newcomer
Tom Ruta. Tom actually had the experience edge with over 30 games
played lifetime (to George's dozen). The final was a superb,
five-hour, nail-biter that ended at 5:30 am Sunday. It can best
be labeled "The Three Battles of Charleroi". George
chose the Allies with a bid of two step-reductions (from Prussian
infantry). Tom quickly attacked the Allied center, hoping to
split the two enemy armies before they could combine. In the
first battle of Charleroi, the Allies wisely retreated before
they were overwhelmed.
They regrouped and immediately counterattacked Charleroi with
an equal force but superior artillery. They also attacked two
neighboring cities, thus delaying most of the French reinforcements
for several turns -- during which time the French almost broke
(at one point needing to pass a single morale test to hold).
Eventually, the French won the neighboring battles and critical
reinforcements began to arrive. In bloody fighting, both sides
had most of their units reduced to 1's, after which they continually
rolled for morale, but did relatively little damage. The French
finally gained enough force to charge and suppress the guns,
eventually breaking the Allied morale.
The Allies retreated in
pieces. The French lead force advanced to Quatre Bras with their
eye on Brussels. Half the French army remained in Charleroi.
The Allies circled behind and hit the French remnants in the
third battle of Charleroi. They needed to defeat these weak units
before the better French reinforced from Quatre Bras. The bulk
of the units on both sides were brittle 1-strength units. Everything
was rolling for morale, and each hit was a unit destroyed. Eventually,
the French and
English armies were reduced to less than half strength. The Prussians
just managed to retreat from battle with enough units to survive.
The French won all three battles of Charleroi, but lost the war!
For complete tournament details, see http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/rabdwombat/nap_review_2001.htm.