The online tournaments were always a way for me to play my favorite boardgames in broader group of players than only my immediate circle of friends. That way I got to know many fantastic people – and when pandemic hit, that was a true retreat from everyday problems.

Today I would like to touch on one of such organized events – as always lead and meticulously planned by Mark McG. But before jumping to the main article, you can have a look at the example reports from such online endeavors in following links – like 2020 Imperial Struggle VASSAL Tournament or Commands & Colors tournaments during the pandemic.

Commands & Colors Ancients 2021 Open Tournament

Open Tournament is definitely the largest, longest, most session-intense organized play for CCA created. It is also fully “open” so the numbers of players often reach 30 or more – not surprising, taking into account that this is probably most popular game in the system.

So what are the rules?

  • We were playing 5 rounds; for the first round, players are paired randomly. Thereafter, players are paired against the player closest to them in rank (1st vs 2nd, 3rd vs 4th, etc) with the exception that no two players will be paired twice during the Swiss rounds.
  • Match outcomes are scored according to game wins and victory banner totals, with a total of 3 points available for each pair of games.
    • Both games won by one player: 3 points to winner / 0 points to loser
    • One game won by each player: 2 points to player with most total victory banners over both games, 1 point to player with least total victory banners, 1.5 points to each player if victory banner totals tied
  • Players are ranked each round by the total number of points they have accrued. Players on the same point total are further ranked according to their Strength of Opposition score, which is the total score of all opponents they have played so far.
  • After completion of the designated number of Swiss rounds (this time it was 5), the top 8 ranked players will advance to elimination playoffs.

Preliminary rounds

As you know how the tournament works, let us see how it went for me. Below photo session report from preliminary round – which I quite fortunatelly managed to end in the play-off position.

  • Round 1: scenario in which Romans tried to avenge the Teutoburg Wald debacle. Two games with Twan: 6-1 and 6-5 for me.
  • Round 2: Hellespont and untimely death of one of the Alexander Successors - Craterus. Two games with Renaud, 6-1 and 6-3.
  • Round 3: Sertorian rebellion in full swing, with Republican forces trying to crush it. Two games with Greg O: 5-6 and 6-3.
  • Round 5: Spartan rebellion after death of Alexander the Great. Two games with Polonus (my countryman) and two bitter defeats: 1-7 and 6-7.

As you can see, things went relatively ok till the Round 5, where two defeats almost thrown me away from tournament. Still, I was forunate enough to be on 6th place in the table and proceed to play-offs (where the true playing started!) You can check the situation after preliminary round on the tournament webpage.

Let us have a look at play-offs now – you can click on every image!


Bagradas Plains – a very balanced set-up – and often recommended as introductory scenario – awaited us in quarterfinals.
First game with Mark was very close – both in VPs and losses – but my Heavy Infantry decided the day.
The re-match was equally close, with me getting last two banners in last turn! And the losses in blocks were equal!

So far so goo, first play-off round finished! But in semi-finals awaited Polonus with whom I lost twice in preliminary rounds…


A huge and fitting scenario for semi-final – Raphia, with descendants of Alexander successors facing each other.
You know I lost 1-7 my first game with Polonus in Preliminary Round? Now the payback time came – 8-1!
After the result of first game, the second was a pure formality. Still, keeping with the motto “always play for real”, my forces did not lacked eagerness to fight and win!

Ok, semifinals won – that is already a huge achievement. But in final awaits almost unstoppable and undefeated opponent – Stanislav.


I love successors battles – and we were give one of them as scenario for finals. Great Eumenes and Antigonus facing each other, with hundreds of elephants on both sides.
The first game was completely crazy – I will not call it anything else. The elephants were doing miracles and the way game ended – double kill by one of those beast of evading leader and cavalry – will be remembered by me for long!
Not having too much to lose, I played second game without any stress and for fun. That proved to be a blessing as my mixture of light troops and heavy Elephants worked miracles!

Wow, those were two games to remember – and with pretty large group of spectators. The scenarios with elephants are unpredictable and after first game I was pretty upset due to completely unbelievable and improbable turn of events. But the second battle was more than enough to offset losses!


I did not want this article to be seen as showing off – I always report those large tournaments on my blog. Still, I could not hide that I am proud of the result achieved and ability to prove, that true competition starts only in play-offs. What is more, as always I met fantastic friends on those battlefields and we all are very thankful to Mark for organisation.

If you are interested in all details of this tournament or wish to join us, you can visit the webpage which is our central tool for contact, file exchange as well organized play. Enjoy!