In the Beginning there were sixty-four (64) gallant officers from Armies all over Europe. Dressed in splendor, mounted in style, tall and straight, these were some of Europe's finest fighting men. Many followed Napoleon and fought for the glory of their Emperor and France. A fair number boasted allegiance to King George and to England, while others followed Tsar Alexander. Prussians and Austrians also were among them. But why had they gathered? What had brought these warriors together? The answer, my friends, is that these officers had come to find the best -- THE MASTER. They had come to test their fighting skills and leadership abilities against the finest fighting men in Europe so as to determine once and for all (well, at least for a year) who among them was numero uno. They had come to claim the honorary title, THE MASTER OF EUROPE.
The sixty-four began Round 1 on Bastille Day, July 14th, 2001. The contestants were divided into two brackets, The Peninsular Campaign and the Russian Campaign, and were randomly matched against an opponent in one of four blind scenarios. In this first round, most officers commanded an army based on their allegiances (French or Allied Coalition). The scenarios and their designers were Brunswick Defends Mt. Plasir (Jones), Blücher vs. Grouchy (Peters), Seize the Highway (Jones), and The Cavalry Clash at Utitza (Peters/Jones). The French Armies dominated Round One play, winning 21 of the 26 completed games. Tournament pairings and results can be viewed at http://www.geocities.com/nwc_moe_2001.
In Round 2, the 32 surviving officers were randomly assigned an army to command in one of another three blind scenarios, Villers la Ville (Jones), MOE: Where do We Go From Here? (Bardon), and Taverns and Mist (Bardon). Round 2 began in the early Fall and was mostly complete by the end of the year. Now, only 16 remained with a chance to claim the title, Master of Europe.
Round 3 has just begun, with the remaining players again randomly assigned a command in a nasty little scenario called The Battle of Taratinova (Jones). Who among these sixteen will advance to the quarter finals? Pick your favorites. Place your bets. The final rounds promise to be most interesting.
Special thanks to all who participated and contributed in any way to this year's tournament. Special thanks to Prince Eugène (Barry Maunsell) for helping out and to the scenario designers and playtesters.
What? Missed this year's tournament? Defeated already? Don't despair. Look for Master of Europe II coming this Bastille Day !!!
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