Austria uber France
New Zealanders Llew Bardecki and Sara
Sparks join Nicholas Benedict, Melvin Casselberry and Bill Burtless.
Nebraskan Steve Smith joins the BPA
secretary Bruce Monnin in a game far removed from the stressful
decisions of Pro Golf.
The 9th rendition of the WBC Napoleonic Wars was won by Bruce
Young, providing the "obligatory" representation of
the Greenville Mafia in the Final. At the outset, Bruce had no
expectation of an Austrian victory, but he minimized the damage
from the early French onslaught and was able to lead the coalition
to a prolonged victory over the French on Turn 4.
Rolling for sides, Nick Frydas used the first choice to select
Britain, leaving the French to Melvin Casselberry. Tom Eskey,
selecting third, opted for Prussia and Jim Castonguay wasted
no time in selecting Russia. That left the low man on the dice
roll totem pole to play Austria - the usual victim of Europe.
Napoleon opened with a forced march to Venice and so Bruce immediately
knew he was in for a long day. His Austrians fell back, reinforced
by the arriving Russians, and Britain did its part by providing
Parliament. So far, so good - the Coalition held central Europe.
Despite blockading the French navy, the British fared poorly,
losing both Naples and Lisbon. France led at the end of Turn
1 but British and Austrian card expenditures denied a French
victory die roll.
Turn 2 dawned with much fighting in central Europe with Russian
armies eventually taking Munich. Prussia remained neutral and
enlisted Turkish allies. Britain landed in Spain, but a redeployed
army under Davout ensured Spain's loyalty. Card sacrifices again
denied France a roll for victory.
On Turn 3, Wellington took Madrid and other gains in Spain
but before the conquest could be completed, Melvin played Dos
de Mayo to break the pact with Spain and was able to retain control
of Lisbon. The focus on Spain, however, enabled the Russo-Austrian
armies to prevail and enter the easternmost duchies of France.
Prussia still remained neutral and added Sweden to its allies.
Russia failed an attempted roll for victory at the end of the
turn, prompting Prussia to join the Coalition.
Attacked from three sides, Turn 4 brought about the French
collapse. However, Napoleon remained elusive as the Austro-Russians
entered Paris. The Emperor was not yet done. Melvin launched
a desperate campaign in the east. Moving behind allied lines
and removing Russian flags in Associate keys along the way, the
French defeated the Prussians outside of Berlin. He then pivoted,
taking out local garrisons and flagging Vienna and three other
Austrian keys using Overruns and additional resources earned
along the way to fuel the unlikely campaign.
However, it was all for naught. To the relief of everyone,
France did not possess the Capitulation card, which would have
forced Austria's immediate surrender and completed a remarkable
comeback. Instead, due to the conquest sequence at the end of
the turn, France was conquered by Austria before Austria could
be conquered by France. So the end result of the French campaign
was that Russia lost control of those associate duchies in France,
the French lost all keys it controlled outside of France, and
Austria regained its home keys.
The expanded format of an added third heat juiced attendance
20% while including players from six nations and maintaining
a reunion atmosphere of old friends battling it out yet again.
Most games lasted over six hours, with one running ten! The Final
lasted eight hours, ending at 2 AM. Camaraderie, as always, was
high with players rejoicing in the sudden changes of fortune
which are so commonplace in The Napoleonic Wars.
Michael Rogozinski, Joe Woolshleger
and Henry Russell
The finalists before their eight-hour