age of napoleon [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report  

 2005 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Ken Lee, PA

2004 Champion

2nd: David Schubert, MD

3rd: Derek Miller, VA

4th: Steven Brooks, FL

5th: Andy Joy, MD

6th: Alex Vye, NB

Event History
2004    Ken Lee     20


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 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Ken Lee

PA

04
20
 2. David Scubert

MD

04
12
 3. Derek Miller

VA

04
  8
 4. Steven Brooks

FL

04
  6
 5. Andy Joy

MD

04
  4
 6. Alex Vye

NB

04
  2

From the Champion's viewpoint

The following report was submitted by Ken Lee.

Half of the 20 players in the field were new to the game. Having played it on five or six occassions, I was one of the more "experienced" players and ended up explaining the rules at the introductory session. Thanks to the help of other experienced players I think I managed to give a pretty good overview in about 45 minutes.

Jim Vroom was the gamemaster and he did a good job of organizing things especially since he and most of the players had very little experience with the game. Between myself and Jim, I think we were able to correctly interpret the numerous questions relating to card effects. Three that I am not sure of:

1) Can a moving army unit use a "Forced March" card to avoid interception? (We assumed yes) 2) Can an Insurrection Corp move outside its home country if it can be intercepted and thus forced to attack? (I assumed yes) 3) Manoever Sur Les Arrieres - Can the army being overrun "Intercept" into its own area? (I assumed yes, my opponent assumed no - I agreed to play that it
could not.)

Play throughout the tourney was the 1813 scenario which I believe almost no one, including myself, had played prior to the tourney. As such, there was a great deal of uncertainty relating to play balance. It was decided that the Coalition would win if they could manage a Decisive or Marginal victory while the French would win in all other circumstances. Sides would be decided by bidding the number of cards one would give up from their initial hand in order to get the side of their choice.

Based upon the rulebook statement that the French would be fortunate to win the 1813 scenario, the assumption going in was that the Coalition would have the advantage. As such, I believe that most players bid for the coalition in the first round. As it worked out, the scenario turned out to be very well balanced. By the third round I was actually willing to bid to get the French. In general, I believe the French are at a disadvantage in the Campaign phase since they are vastly outnumbered by the Coalition and have no ability to rebuild their forces since they have but a single unit (Grouchy) left in their reserve. However, in my opinion, the Coalition's advantage in the Campaign phase is made up by the French side's advantage in the Diplomatic Phase since they are the only side that can realistically benefit from the play of diplomatic cards (Napoleon I, Tallyrand). This reasoning proved its worth to me in the Finals when I got the French and was able to play "Napoleon I" twice in the 1815 Diplomatic Phase (thanks to a Napoleonica card). The result was that during the crucial 1815 turn, I was able to remove both the Austrians and the Russians from the game. (Even with this I almost ended up losing) In all, I played four times - winning twice with the Coalition and twice with the French. I believe my experience was representative.

Overall I found the 1813 scenario to be extremely interesting and enjoyable. Both sides have the opportunity to adopt a number of tactics and strategies. For example, the French can try for a knock out blow on turn 1; adopt a forward defensive position; or fall back to France to defend on their home soil. The Coalition can attempt to wear down the French army via combat;try for a lightning strike at Paris; or attempt to attrite the French army by taking away its minor ally corps. They also have the option of attacking with a number of armies from a number of directions. Based upon my four playings I did not see any "sure fire" strategies. However, I do have a few tips for the Coalition and the French:

Coalition:

1) Let the French go first.

2) Use the first turn to try to maneuver the French out of Prussia and Spain and thus free their forces to invade France.

3) Pay attention to the minor countries that supply corps to the French and to the British and attempt to conquer them if possible.

4) Remember the use of sea movement; that it can be used by non-British units; and that Paris is in a coastal space.

French:

1) Never, never, never leave Paris ungarrisoned. (I was able to steal a victory in the semi-finals by sneaking a single Austrian unit into Paris while paralyzing the French with "Indecision" and "Winter Quarters".)

2) Preserve as many forces as possible - you will need them in 1815.

3) If you are going to lose a unit due to the loss of its minor, utilize it in a suicide attack. At the very least you will force the use of a card to reflip.

As far as the tournament is concerned a total of eight players continued into the second round. I was fortunate to have some excellent luck and ended up winning come Sunday morning. All in all a very nice time and a great chance to test the game system out under fire. I am happy to report that it passed the test with flying colors.

I hope to see you all in Lancaster next summer when I defend my title!

This event needs a GM in 2005.

 GM      NA   NA
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