Command and Colors Napoleonics began with a Tuesday afternoon demo by assistant GM, Tim Hitchings. The real fighting between 24 dedicated combatants commenced on Wednesday at 9 am. Gaming continued for twelve straight hours ending (of course) at Waterloo, where the final shot of the final battle was fired at around 9 pm. All told, it was a very long, but very gratifying, day of gaming.
The Command and Colors Napoleonics Tournament is broken into three separate rounds of play:
- Preliminary (Swiss)
- Semifinals (single elimination)
- Final (single elimination)
THE FIRST ROUND:
The Command and Colors Napoleonics Tournament is run on the premise that if you come to play, you want to play A LOT. So instead of having one after another single elimination games, the first round of Command and Colors Napoleonics uses the Swiss Elimination format, which allows every player to play — win or lose — a minimum of four games. That means there’s going to be a whole lot of dead French, dead British, dead Russians and a bunch of dead tired players, but despite the length of the first round, and even because of the length of the first round, the response to the marathon gaming session has proven to be uniformly positive.
This year, the first round consisted of four separate matches:
- 1) Vimiero, a British vs French scenario, contained in the base game.
- 2) A second helping of Vimiero.
- 3) Bussaco-Ney’s Assault—a slightly longer, more varied British vs French scenario from the base game.
- 4) Czarnowo, a French vs Russians game from the Russian expansion.
After the First Round, the field is narrowed to four players who move on to a Single Elimination Semifinal, then to the Third Round, with the final two players battling it out for the championship.
This year’s top six players were:
- Jack Morrell: 4-0
- David Schneider: 4-0
- Joe Harrison: 3-1
- Peter Eldridge: 3-1
- Steve Walker: 3-1
- Andrew Doughan: 3-1
Steve Walker and Andrew Doughan were eliminated on tie breakers. That narrowed the field to four. Reigning champion, Jack Morrell took on challenger Peter Eldridge, while David Schneider squared off against Joe Harrison.
After a spirited semifinals, Peter Eldridge and Joe Harrison were eliminated, leaving a final contest between 3 time champion Jack Morrell and challenger David Schneider.
Even though David played the role of the British at Waterloo, he pressed the attack on his right flank. Jack was temporarily on his heels but he rallied, stopping the attack and then mounting a furious attack of his own, including a massive cavalry charge on his right flank. In the end, history was reversed, as the French defeated the plucky, but undermanned British leaving Jack alone at the top for the fourth year in a row.
Congratulations to Jack Morrell and everyone who participated in the Tournament. You are all winners in my book.
I am grateful to game creator, Richard Borg, to GMT, and particularly to Tony Curtis, for sponsoring Command and Color Napoleonics at this year's tournament.
My special thanks goes to assistant Game Masters Tim Hitchings and Jack Morrell, who spent endless hours helping me to prepare for the tournament.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or wish to stay informed about next year's tournament, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.