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Subject: KUTUZOV at PrezCon 2011 rss

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Fred Schachter
United States
North Carolina
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I had the honor and fun of game mastering PrezCon's KUTUZOV event which had four preliminary "Invasion" games played to determine who'd participate in Friday's Final.

Melvin Casselberry, a veteran of prior WBC competitions for Mark McLaughlin's "Nappy" designs "won wood" (to use the WBC term for a tournament winner) for his KUTUZOV "Event Final" victory as the Tsarists vs. Stuart Martin's Imperials.

As a change of pace and to force players out of their usual "comfort zones" due to familiarity with the "Across the Nieman" Turn One set-up scenario and its ensuing game play, we commenced the PrezCon tournament final with the "On to Smolensk" Turn 2 set-up (August/September 1812).

When the action commenced, the French did not so much as test entrenched Russian forces concentrated in and around Smolensk. Instead, Napoleon took his Army north into the Baltic region, ignoring Prussian-besieged Riga, to advance upon St. Petersberg. After the swift siege and capture of Tsarist Fortress Narva, a fierce battle against a Russian 2nd Army Formation under Platov resulted in that Russian Army's annihilation.... but with some losses for the French.

Next impulse, Napoleon compelled the Tsarists to retreat out of St. Petersberg by winning a battle by a single casualty (a close fought combat was that). Melvin then forced marched north another Tsarist 1st Army Formation under Kutuzov himself to attempt recapture the city. A mutual battle of annihilation ensued and although the Russians were repulsed, only two Imperial pieces were left in St. Petersberg: the Napoleon and Eugene leader units (!).

Stuart Martin, leading the Imperials, then did something rather interesting. He played "The Plunder of Moscow" card event to place a Scorched Earth marker on St. Petersberg and, upon surviving the two dice Attrition roll, dared what was left of Kutuzov's 1st Army forces near the city in Novogorod to enter the Capital Duchy in face of an Attrition dice roll and Nappy & Eugene's not inconsiderable number of Battle dice. The remnants of Kutuzov's Army did not take the chance.

When another Tsarist 2nd Army formation under Bagration advanced north to support 1st Army's upcoming assault on St. Petersberg, Nappy & Eugene, like a 19th Century version of "Thelma & Louise", intercepted into Luga, the Duchy SW of the capital city, to force a Battle versus Bagration. With some remarkable dice rolling all French and Russian pieces were mutually eliminated: that's right, not a single surviving piece and no survivor to roll for Loot.

Dramatic: but that made it all too easy for the Russians to recapture St. Petersberg through a 2CP Flag placement into the "Scorched Earth" Capital City Duchy from Kutuzov's Army in adjacent Novogrod to win the game.

Many thanks to all who participated in this year's PrezCon KUTUZOV Event. Everyone seemed to have a grand time and that is really what our hobby is all about.
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Yes, well done.

Despite getting my butt kicked and endless griping, the first game I setup when I got home was Kutuzov - and played out in solitaire Scenario 2.

Would do it again FTF with Stuart this past Saturday.

Scenario 2 is a nice place to play - it is pretty quick and not prone to the overly analyzed French opening of the Campaign Game.

Both sides are in a situation to cause each other great harm.
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