Command and Colors Napoleonics began with a Tuesday afternoon demo given by Assistant GM, Tim Hitchings.
The real fighting started in earnest on Wednesday at 9 am with 24 combatants. Gaming continued until the final shot of the final battle was fired at around 9 pm in the evening. 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 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 multiple single elimination games, the first round of Command and Colors Napoleonics uses a 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 Allies, 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 the following four matches:
1. Salamanca (Attack on the French Left) [British]
2. Elchingen [Austrian]
3. Alcañiz [Spanish]
4. Jena - Early Morning [Prussian]
Counters and pre-printed maps were provided for players who didn’t have the necessary expansions.
ROUNDS TWO AND THREE
After the First Round, the field was narrowed to four players who played a single elimination semifinal, then to the Third Round, with the final two players battling it out for the championship.
Phil Royce and Steve Smith were eliminated on tie breakers (total banners won). That narrowed the field to four. Steve Walker took on Tim Hitchings, while Geoffrey Heintzelman squared off against Joe Harrison.
After a spirited battle at Orthez, Tim Hitchings and Joe Harrison were eliminated, leaving a final contest between Steve Walker and Geoffrey Heintzelman.
A final battle at Maloyaroslavets, between French and Russian forces, loomed. Geoffrey Heintzelman’s initial attack up the center was repulsed by Steve Walker’s well positioned French Infantry and artillery.
The Russians found more success on their left flank. Led by their feared cavalry, the Russians virtually eliminated the French presence on that flank.
Fighting devolved into a game of attrition as each side sought to favorably position their forces.
The battle took a dramatic turn when the French Old Guard made its presence known, wiping out three full strength Russian infantry units on three successive turns.
Following the rampage of the Old Guard, the Russians felt compelled to launch a desperate all-out attack on the French center. The attack started successfully with the elite grenadiers taking out a French artillery, but withering fire from the French Infantry and remaining artillery ground the advance to a halt. The French counterattacks shattered the Russian Infantry bringing the game to an end with the French garnering 10 banners to the Russian’s 5.
Congratulations to Steve Walker and everyone who participated in the tournament. You are all winners in my book.,/p>
I am grateful to game creator, Richard Borg, to GMT, and particularly to Tony Curtis, for supporting Command and Color Napoleonics at this year's tournament.
My special thanks goes to assistant Game Masters Tim Hitchings, Jack Morrell and Bill Rohrbeck, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 215-968-1025.
|Charlie Hickok in round one action.
||Mike Stanley taking on the French.
|No time for sitting in this battle.
||Finalists with GM John Kirk.