napoleon [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

 2006 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Scott Cornett, FL

2005 Champion

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Event History
1993    Tom Scarborough      12
1994    Dave Durlacher        8
2000    Jeff Cornett     16
2001    George Seary     14
2002    Jeff Cornett     20
2003    Scott Cornett     17
2004    Jeff Cornett       8
2005    Scott Cornett     12


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jeff Conett        FL    05     86
  2.  Scott Cornett      FL    05     68
  3.  George Seary       NY    01     48
  4.  Tom Ruta           MA    01     32
  5.  Lane Newbury       TX    01     24
  6.  Matt Calkins       VA    02     21
  7.  Phil Rennert       VA    05     12
  8.  Jonathan Price     NJ    00     12
  9.  Larry Felton       PA    01      9
 10.  David Norquist     DC    00      9
 11.  Ron Draker         VA    05      6
 12.  David Earles       PA    00      6
 13.  Brad Merrill       ME    05      4
 14.  Carl Willner       MD    04      4
 15.  Chris Byrd         CT    02      4
 16.  Forrest Atterberry VA    04      3
 17.  Bill Place         MA    03      3
 18.  Michael Sincavage  VA    01      3
 19.  Larry Lingle       PA    00      3
 20.  Charlie Kersten    OH    05      2
 21.  John Lynch         NY    02      2


2005 Laurelists

Phil Rennert, MD

Jeff Cornett, FL

Ron Draker, VA

Brad Merrill, ME

Charlie Kersten, OH

Past Winners

Tom Scarborough, MO

Dave Durlacher. IN

Jeff Cornett, FL
2000, 2002, 2004

George Seary, NY

Scott Cornett, FL

The classic block wargame:

We had a 50% increase in players this year! A total of 12 players representing 10 different states (TX, IL, OH, NY, ME, CT, MD, VA, DE, FL) competed in this year's championship. Please, be sure to vote Napoleon back into the WBC next year. We have momentum building again for this tournament. All games displayed excellent sportsmanship. Everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to play and improve their skills at this grandfather of all block wargames.

The semifinals matched five-time WBC finalist Jeff Cornett against veteran wargamer, but a newcomer to this event, Phil Rennert -- who had played only a handful of practice games prior to this tournament. Feeling confident, Jeff settled for a bid of 6-step increases to add to the French "Super-Cav". This was right after Jeff had just scolded Chris Byrd for settling in the 1st round for a bid of only 6, then losing to Jeff as the Allies.

It's a simple rule! Why can't people remember? I tell them every year on the Napoleon web site and in the tutorial. Always bid 1 more than your opponent for the right to play the Allies!

As the semifinals began, for the first time ever in tournament play, Jeff was confronted by the precise setup of the Allied "Cornett Defense". Phil had obviously been doing his homework -- including studying the tournament web site with all the opening setups from the Finals for the past three years. He also had read the rules, practiced a couple games before WBC, wrote the GM to clarify some rules questions, and then even attended the tutorial.

As the game began, perceiving a weakness in the Prussian defense, the French immediately force-marched for the first two turns to sack Liege before nightfall. Nevertheless, the Allies promptly counterattacked and pushed the French cavalry out of Liege. The French then made a major dawn assault in multiple battles across the river intending to crush the Prussians before the combined British and Prussian armies could consolidate together in fortress Liege. Phil's Allied battle tactics were skillfully employed -- capped off by a mass cavalry counterattack before all the French reinforcements had the chance to join the battle. The outnumbered French quickly broke. Mercifully, Napoleon died, thus ending the game with a quick and decisive Allied win.

Well done Phil! Somewhere echoing off in the distance could be heard the lilting voice of Chris reminding Jeff to always bid one more for the Allies. It's a simple rule!

The Finals matched Phil Rennert against Scott Cornett -- who was left to defend the family honor and try to extend their tag-team Napoleon tournament domination.

For the third year in a row, the bid in the Final was raised to 10 for the choice of sides. As Phil improved 10 French "Super-Cav" and "Super-Cannons", Scott setup his patented "Autobahn Defense". Phil, by virtue of making it to the Final, now earns the honor to have his French opening named after himself. Concentrating the entire French army on the left without even bothering with any kind of decoy distraction on the Prussian flank, we saw the introduction of the "Rennert Echelon Left" patient French attack. The French bravely marched overland at a steady pace with no hasty force marching to incur unnecessary losses.

The French arrived at dawn and proceeded through a series of casual but successful assaults turn after turn on Ghent. Each turn, the Allies would recapture Ghent (yet after losing a block), but then lightly defend it while shifting back to concentrate on the defense of Brussels.

As the French night turn approached, Scott found a chance to pounce on a nearly surrounded force of nine units in Grammont. The key word was "nearly". Phil smartly withdrew from battle -- with his cavalry essentially gaining a bonus move on the retreat. The French army was effectively able to shift its power toward Brussels ready to attack at dawn. The victorious Allies were left regrouping in the wilderness a long way from Brussels and needing to force march home.

At this point in the game, the English had lost half a dozen blocks, the Prussians had lost a couple (with six more hanging out in Leige), while the French had lost ten -- yet mostly just light infantry. The French had concentrated their forces including most of their well-rested Super-Cav and Super-Cannons for a dawn assault on Brussels.

Soon after the battle began, the Allies hastily withdrew from the battle -- preferring to fight again on their immediate next turn through their own counterattack with all available English and Prussians present and with the Allies gaining a setup advantage. It would prove to be a nail-biter of a battle.

______________________ ______French Reserve______ ______________________ 3 3
4 4 A A A A 1 1 1 1 1 .... French SuperCav
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ....
A A A A A A ....
Allied Grand Battery
Allied Left Allied Reserve Allied Right

The Allies counterattacked Brussels. After seeing the French setup, they concentrated their grand battery in the middle. The French artillery were distributed evenly among the flanks. The Allies charged their right flank intending to silence these guns and deal a crushing blow with massed cavalry. However, the French Super-Cav then massed and countercharged the Allied cavalry. There was much bloodshed with the French cavalry slowly gaining the upperhand. The Allies threw in all available infantry reinforcements, yet were eventually reduced to a thin red line of 1's rolling each turn for morale. The French were inevitably going to win this flank.

In the middle of the battlefield, the Allied grand battery was eating away at the French. The French middle was reduced to 1's. A steady stream of French "canon-fodder" was now needed to reinforce the middle. Which would break first?

Meanwhile, on the Allied left where things had been quiet, the French shifted their artillery to the middle n order to better concentrate their own artillery file. The Allies now advanced a couple of elite British infantry on the left to engage the remaining pair of smaller French infantry. After a few hits, the French were now becoming vulnerable there as well.

With all available French forces engaged (yet winning) on the Allied right, the French were not able to disengage and quickly enough reinforce their weakening other flank. Suddenly, before either of the major combats in the middle or cavalry flank were resolved, the small unit action on the Allied left failed French morale and broke. Battle, game and tournament over.

It was a great Final match, with a decisive game-ending battle for Brussels that could have gone either way. Scott credited his win to the steady pounding from his grand battery in the middle. Phil's cavalry charge (Super-Cav!) on the Allied right was textbook perfect, but Scott was able to throw enough junk into that flank to keep it hanging on. Ultimately, the little skirmish on the left flank carried the day. In retrospect, Phil made only one mistake that game -- (drum roll please) -- he failed to bid one more for the Allies!!! (seems ike a simple rule for a veteran gamer to remember).

Since his rookie year learning the game in 2001 and 2002, Scott is now 10-1 in WBC tournament play over the last three years -- winning the WBC twice, and losing only in last year's final by failing an 80-1 morale die roll in his favor when he otherwise had the game decisively won. Meanwhile, he has raised his AREA rating by over 1000 points from just below average to around 6000. Other rookies should be encouraged by his example, and also by the studious approach to this year's tournament by Phil.

Perhaps, next year encouraged by the example set by Phil, we will see some of the wargame legends -- George, Matt, Dave, and Tom to mention a few -- return to the Napoleon tournament. Someday, might the great wargame Caesar even be lured to the challenge? (James, are you out there listening?) And, oh yes, when the wargame greats do finally dare return to the Napoleon tournament, be sure to have the courage to (all in unison now), bid one more for the Allies. It's a simple rule!

For more details on the tournament, go to:_ (

 GM      Jeff Cornett  [4th Year]  728 Ashgrove Terrace, Sanford FL 32771   407-330-1968

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