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Subject: PrezCon Prep: Food and Fun with Wellington rss

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Rob Olsson
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In preparation for the PrezCon tournament that I will be GM-ing next week, I had invited VuduJoie, Jason R., and KingPut over for a game of Wellington. KingPut had to bow out because his wife was heading up to New York, so in the end there were only three of us. This was to be the first game of Wellington I had ever played under my own roof, so I wanted to make it an event. And the gaming called for food.

A Rioja wine to represent the Spanish, a portobella Wellington with a red wine reduction for England, and for France? Well, we needed some green so they were represented with a light salad. In the end, as the Newcastle Brown Ales were opened over the Iberian peninsula, it came down to gaming. Jason R. took Spain, VuduJoie took Britain, and I took both of the French armies, Nord et Sud.

Wellington got stuck in at Cuidad Rodrigo, not having enough 6s to siege and move on from the fortress. They were kind enough to play the card that causes the French to remove 4 strength points, so the French did, then Sud played a card to add four strength points in France, and Nord played another for three more. Spain focused on forces in the south to prepare for a Soult rampage through Spain.

As it turned out, however, Soult did not go to Spain. He had his eyes on Portugal.

Wellington took Cuidad on the second go round and scored a resource. Soult marched in to Elvas and also scored a resource on taking the fortress. For Britain, it was the choice of marching to Madrid while Portugal might fall, or consolidating forces to take on the French menace. For Wellington, the choice was take back the backfield. Welly marched back to do battle with Soult, who came out to meet him.

The first encounter was a victory for the British, forcing Soult back to Elvas. The second encounter was a rout for the British, sending Wellington and Beresford and De Espana back from whence they came without benefit of troops.

Hill and Wellington were eventually able to connect and made a valiant charge on Soult in Elvas, but were routed without a clear spot of retreat.

Meanwhile, Marmount, who had tried to march in and take out the troopless leaders but found the mountain passes became uncrossable, instead went north to take a key from Spain before marching into Almeida.

Soult went north to take Lisbon and Porto. With Madrid still under French control and seven other Spanish keys under French control (despite Spain's untiring efforts to free them) France won with a conquest of Portugal.

Over another Newcastle Brown Ale, VuduJoie, Jason R., and I discussed what might have happened differently in the game. I am of the opinion that the Allies have to take Madrid in 1812, if for no other reason than to cut off the Peace roll for the French. Soult in the backfield is bad news, but the French supply lines can be easily cut, leaving a too-far-forward Soult cut off and not much good. Plus, the Portugese Gambit cannot pay off if the French no longer control Madrid.

France also benefited from amazing dice rolls (we only failed to take one fortress on the first roll. All others fell quickly) and the French cards were heavy with fives, sixes, and must-play cards that benefited the French. It was a perfect storm for France and we did our best to sail the seas of good fortune to an 1812 victory.

I enjoyed playing both French sides and thought it was interesting that even though France Sud did most of the work, France Nord would have won with victory points. Spain had gutted France Sud's undefended keys.

VuduJoie is up for trying another short game on Wednesday to get me more prepared to GM at PrezCon. If you are interested, I hope to see you in Charlottesville, VA this Thursday and Friday. 7:00 p.m. on Thursday for the first heat, 1:00 p.m. on Friday for the second heat, and the final starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday as well.
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Peter Putnam
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Unfortunately, family stuff going to prevent me from heading down to Prezcon also this year.

Luckily, Army Pete came over last weekend to play Hold the Line and Twilight Struggle and I'll be heading to his place Friday to for some more HtL.

Please check out Worthington's booth and let us know what you think about the Napoleonic game coming out this year.

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Rob Olsson
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Check your PrezCon schedule on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. for the Wellington tournament and you will find me there. Also there at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. 7:00 p.m. is the final. After that, I should be available all day Saturday for Welly! :-)

I will send you my cell phone number so we can look each other up.

KingPut, sorry to hear that you will be giving PrezCon a miss this weekend. I will look forward to catching up another time.
 
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Wellington was a blast! Thanks Rob for an excellent GMing of the tournament, and calling my room so I could enjoy a pickup game with Fred the developer during the finals; a game you and I were doing very well with as the French except for that darned peace roll.

Though I did not get too far in the Welly tournament, I did achieve a goal of learning to play it better and meeting new friends.

In one of our sessions, folks, Rob headed towards conquering France, while Soult headed for Portugal, after securing Cadiz and heading north to blunt/distract Welly. Rob would not fall for the distraction, and continued with a drive on France - at one point we would see a precarious balance of a dual choke hold - France and Portugal in dire straits. Our French side hoping to survive the turn long enough to attack a hopefully crippled Allied partnership led by Rob.

It was not to be - while I took Oporto and Lisboa, and one of the forts and a couple of the non key Duchies, Druchet and friends lost the final battle with Welly - a Welly force bravely reinforced by sea via Rob ABANDONING Lisboa with great elan and gutsy effort to support the drive on France.

Well done, and thoroughly enjoyable.

The Spanish player would win that game to move onto the finals - my good friend and travel sharing roommate Stuart Martin.
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