the napoleonic wars five-player [Updated October2003]  

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Forrest Speck, MD

2003 Champion

2nd: John Haas, PA

3rd: Mark McCandless, LA

4th: Henry Russell, PA

5th: George Young, VT

6th: Edward Kendrick, UK

Event History
2003    Forrest Speck     67

Waterloo Event History
2003    BruceYoung     24


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AREA Ratings

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Living Rules:

 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Forrest Speck

MD

03
60
 2.  Bruce Young

SC

03
50
 3. John Haas

PA

03
36
 4. Bryan Collars

SC

03
30
 5. Mark McCandless

CT

03
24
 6. Scott Moll

VA

03
20
 7. Henry Russell

PA

03
18
 8.  James Eaton

LA

03
15
 9. George Young

UT

03
12
10.  William Burch

MD

03
10
11. Ed Kendricks

UK

03
  6
12. Charley Hickock

PA

03
  5

and the most requested new WBC event is ...

"I've never seen THAT happen before!" is the comment most heard around the room in the four sessions and 21 games that made up the multi-player tournament of The Napoleonic Wars. For most of the 67 gamers who heard that line, the comment was a compliment, not a complaint. It usually marked some entertaining and unusual combination of strategic choice and event card play that pushed the envelope and demonstrated that no two games are ever the same in The Napoleonic Wars.

From the 16 games played in the two opening heats, winners advanced to play in the four semifinals, and from there to the final. Of the 21 games played, 19 were full five-player games and two were of the four-player variety. France was the victor in seven of those 21 games, including the final. This, as one observer remarked, was only fitting for the first annual tournament of a game named in honor of the French emperor who started all of those wars 200 years ago.

The French may have won a third of the games, but that means they lost two-thirds of them. Of the 14 games in which the Allies triumphed over the Corsican Ogre, Russia won five, Britain four, Prussia three and Austria two. In addition, in four of the 16 first round games, the Prussian player advanced on a "bye" into the semifinals. (A 'bye" was given as a consolation to any Prussian whose game ended on the first turn, provided that Prussian was still neutral and had NOT influenced the die to end the game early).

The winner of the final game, and the tournament, was Forest Speck. As France he racked up a truly amazing 13 victory points. John Haas fought hard as Russia to come in second in that game (and the tourney) with five points, followed by Mark McCandless as Britain with three. All three of these gentleman went home with a plaque. Henry Russell as Austria finished fourth (no plaque this year, but definitely next year). As always, timing is everything in The Napoleonic Wars.

Fifth place in the tournament went to George Young, and sixth to Edward Kendrick, who came all the way from Britain with his son to play.

Rather than play in the tournament, designer Mark McLaughlin set up his quadruple-size version of the game, complete with painted lead soldiers, model ships and buildings, to teach the game to new players and to play in pickup games with old and new friends. This left Mark free to answer rules questions or adjudicate disputes, of which there were very, very few ­ a mark of the gentlemanly atmosphere of the tournament and the friendly nature of the competition.

The story of The Napoleonic Wars at WBC did not end with the last die roll of the last turn of the tournament on Saturday night. At the Sunday morning awards meeting The Napoleonic Wars was honored TWICE. It received the Charles Roberts Award for best pre-World War II Boardgame AND was the recipient of the first ever "Alexander" award. Named in honor of both Alexander the Great (whose likeness it bears) and the late son of designer emeritus Richard Berg, the Alexander is awarded "For Creativity in Historical Boardgame Design."

Although accepted by the designer, the awards in truth belong to the veritable demi-brigade of playtesters and rules readers who participated in the six-year process that resulted in the completed game. The designer acknowledges that these awards, and this game, came about because of the great devotion and attention to detail of developer Don Greenwood and the other members of the Last Stand of Avalon Hill team, notably Stuart Tucker, Ben Knight, and Roy Gibson, as well as many others who have raised the cheer "Vive L'Empereur" for The Napoleonic Wars.

Haven't played it yet, eh Mike? To clip or not to clip ... is there time?
 GM      Mark McLaughlin  [1st Year]   NA
   mgmprsm@yahoo.com   NA

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