In those difficult times VASSAL is usually one of the few ways to play your favorite boardgames – with additional benefit that you can also reach the people from around the world. Being ardent fan of the Commands & Colors System, it is quite common for me to take part in related tournaments – C&C Ancients, The Great War, C&C Napoleonics or Samurai Battles. The source and center for all of these is a great website run by Alessandro Crespi

Today I would like to share with fellow readers the report from the first ever Mini Tournament run for C&C Medieval.

Easter Roman Empire outlived its Western counterpart by a millennium, in large due to many great emperors – like Justinian I, second from left above

As there is only base game of this last C&C series installment, there was no specific topic / battle played as a tournament theme – we have like 19 scenarios in the rulebook and 9 of them were topic of the competition. But it is worth to mention what the C&C Medieval base game is about.

Count Belisarius is probably most recognizable general of the early Byzantine period – not surprising, as in combination with emperor Justinian, they managed not only to ensure survival of Eastern Roman Empire, but also to re-conquer large swaths of Western Empire. C&C Medieval scenarios allows us to familiarize with that famous person by playing many of his battles with Sassanids and Vandals. We have also couple of add-on skirmishes after the era of great general. A very nice bonus are 3 grand battles from late Roman era, including Catalaunian Fields.

Commands Colors Medieval materials:
Action reports of the Belisarius Campaign
C&C: Medieval vs Ancients Comparison – Part 1 – Major Changes
C&C: Medieval vs Ancients Comparison – Part 2 – Minor Changes
C&C: Medieval vs Ancients Comparison – Part 3 – Comparative Plays 
C&C: Medieval - Review

Preliminary Round

The rules of mini-tournaments are constant across all C&C games – let us remind them shortly: The tournament consists of usually ten players (we had twelve – a lot of interest in that new game)  who will be randomly assigned into two even groups, typically Sassanids & Byzantine. In the preliminary phase, one group will play the Sassanid side and the other group will play the Byzantine side in each scenario. A schedule will be provided that shows the match-ups for each round of the tournament.

After the preliminary rounds are completed, the two players from each group who won the most total banners will play each other in a two-game match for the Semifinals, playing both sides of a single scenario. The winner of each Semifinal will then meet in the Finals, to play a two-game match for the championship. Ties for most total banners at the end of the preliminary phase or in a two game match are broken by determining which player lost the least number by least total blocks lost.

Simple, effective and fun! We tracked results of the games on website:

MT01 groups and results (click to enlarge)

Let me now report at least some of the scenarios we played – I would like also to present beautiful (thanks Giulio!) CCM Vassal module.

Solachon 586 AD (Kardarigan’s Stand)

That is really interesting scenario – actually the last in the rulebook. I was playing against PCScipio42, leading Byzantines and starting with 11 (!) cards in my hand but drawing new ones only once a Scout card was played:

Set-up – my Roman forces has a goal of defeating PCScipio42 Sassanids before I run out of time (click to enlarge)
Despite the result (my victory 5-3) that was pretty close game when you look at the status on the map. Attacking uphill is always difficult! (click to enlarge)

Lazic War 555 AD (Onoguris)

On the other hand, here we have one of the largest scenarios in the game – up to 7 banners, featuring the city, storming the gates rules, Romans besieging the Sassanids who in return are being relieved by a mounted contingent. Really interesting piece of tactical puzzle here – many ways to play that battle. I was competing here against Viridovilas.

Set-up – my Roman forces are either next to the city or hidden in the hills; at the same time Viridovilas is arriving with relief to city of Onoguris (click to enlarge)
I immediately risked storming the city and it paid off. Then my Super Heavy Cavalry quickly redeployed and the game resulted in total carnage for the Easterners – completely unexpected result, which is not so rare though in CCM games (click to enlarge)

Semi-finals & Finals

After 7 games of preliminary round I was lucky to enter semifinals – really, by a scratch as there was a need for a tie-breaker between me and Travis – we had similar amount of VPs, so lost blocks decided in my favor. And tn next round I met… wow, yes, Marcin whom I introduced to the C&C games, wargaming hobby and our Vassal community. As we shall see, the student surpassed the master.

Callinicum 531 AD (Phase 1)

Set-up – Callinicum as many of CCM scenarios has a pretty confrontational set-up, with armies fairly nearby (click to enlarge)
GAME 1: I was leading Sassanids, Marcin Byzantine. My heavy forces approached Romans twice and twice were repulsed by superb arrow fire. In the end my depleted ranks were charged and broke completely. 1-6 and total defeat 😦
GAME 2: This time I was in charge of Romans and Marcin of Persians. I did a better job this time but not much – pity I did not have those Darken the Skies  cards 🙂 This time 3-6 defeat.

Well, that was quite a beating on my side:) In second semifinal Togan won with EZPickins advancing to final where he faceed Marcin (stormwalker) – more details below:

The final rounds of our tournament

In the last round a very dramatic competition took place. Guys were playing “Callinicum (531 AD) Phase 2“. In the first game Marcin won 5-2… only to lose 1-5 in second game. That was so close! Congrats to Togan for winning the first C&C Medieval tournament!

PS. Additionally, all tournament details can be found here: