Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report  

  2010 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Dorian Key, DC

2009 Champion

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Event History
2009    Dorian Key     20

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Dorian Key         DC    09     30
   2.  Phil Pendleton     PA    09     18
   3.  Pat Duffy          VA    09     12
   4.  Melvin Casselberry PA    09      9
   5.  Harry Theodore     NY    09      6
   6.  Darren Kilfara     uk    09      3

2009 Laurelists                                           

Phil Pendleton, PA

Pat Duffy, VA

Melvin Casselberry, PA

Harry Theodore, NY

Darren Kilfara, uk

Dorian Key on his way to winning wood at his very first WBC.

Graham Cosmos and Kevin McCarthy watch Darren Kilfara attack.

To the Gates of Moscow ...

The exciting Final was preceded by two heats of three Imperial French and four Tsarist Russian victories.  This was followed by a two game semi-final Friday, with each side winning once.

During these preliminaries, Darren Kilfara distinguished himself by scoring an impressive 15.5 Victory Points win as the Southern French, eclipsing the North French under Napoleon, by seizing the border fortresses as well as Kiev and most of the Pripyet Marsh Duchies.  Andrew McCarthy, also a South French player, despite a most adverse situation in which the Imperials ultimately lost by suffering an automatic defeat through Attrition losses, was able to precipitate a Tsarist "Will to Fight" resolution through aggressive play and almost turn the tide for the French cause.

In another memorable game of the initial heats, Harry Theodore scored 14 VP as the Tsarist 1st Army as he and Mitch Lake went on to a Russian victory.

The four finalists were Melvin Casseberry, French North, Pat Duffy, French South vs. Dorian Key, Russian North (1st Army) and Phil Pendleton, Russian South (2nd Army).  Remarkably, both Pat and Dorian, although experienced gamers, had begun their Kutuzov initiation by attending Developer Fred Schachter's Tuesday demonstration of the game. Talk about a couple of "quick learners"!

The initial French onslaught caught a lone 2-Strength Point Cavalry in Tilsit which was unable to evade Napoleon's 8 SP Army.  Dorian's unfortunate dice rolling continued when Wittgenstein's 4 SP Army could not evade and all but that Russian Leader was eliminated in Schlavii.  Napoleon then turned north in an attempt to by-pass the powerful Russian Baltic Fortress of Riga (nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the North") but was frustrated by timely play of the Tsarist "Bridges Blown" Event Card.

Napoleon's Army, supported by Davout and Ney's respective forces, assaulted Barclay's Army entrenched in Dunaberg.  Once again, the Russians failed to make their evasion dice roll and Barclay, with his entire force, was annihilated.

To the South, Phil and Pat jousted with the Russian fortresses of Grodno and Brest falling to Pat's Army South with a "Scorched Earth" marker being placed in Minsk to impede the Imperial advance.  Pat also played the "Hapsburg Offensive" Event Card to enhance the Austrian Army under Schwarzenberg and advance it towards Kiev.

For all the preceding defeats, French Morale remained high while accumulated Morale Loss Markers caused a reduction of Tsarist Morale from "Vive L'Emperor" to "Marchez Vous" but a single level away from "Les Grognard" Morale and its "Will to Fight" Marker, whose play could result in the possible mutiny of the entire Russian Army and an immediate defeat.

Dorian then played the "Truce" card, which forced the French advance to grind to a complete halt.  Melvin's Army North's drive was halted as was Pat's advance on Kiev.  This triggered a "Will to Fight" resolution; but the Russian die roll resulted in their remaining in the game.  When hostilities resumed Fortress Smolensk fell to the still aggressively advancing French.  However, that ended Turn 1.

Turn 2 commenced with the players realizing that if Russian Morale could be dropped another level,  a second "Will to Fight" resolution would be triggered and then capture of either St. Petersburg or Moscow would be sufficient to precipitate a third potential Tsarist surrender dice roll and an automatic Imperial win.   However, Russian play of the "Pay the Devil His Due" Event Card to raise their Morale one level, back to "Marchez Vous", avoided that potential way to defeat.

Melvin's Northern French, with aid of the "Mild Weather" card, continued advancing deeper into Russia.  When the "Bridges Blown" Tsarist Home Card again destroyed the way into Jacobstadt across the Divina River (twice in a single game!); Napoleon's Army simply by-passed the place and rather than advance on Moscow, which was becoming increasingly well garrisoned, drove north and in the process surrounded and destroyed 6 SP's and Barclay in Vitebsk by occupying every Duchy Barclay could have retreated into. 

After this battle, more reminiscent of a WWII Eastern Front panzer encirclement than a 19th century engagement, Napoleon's Army marched on an undefended St. Petersburg.  The Russians had overly focused on defending Moscow!

Dorian's Tsarist First Army placed a "Scorched  Earth" marker upon his own capital to attrition the menacing Imperial Army, scrounged up a defense force by moving SP from the hinterland, by sea, through purchase and out of the Regroup Box thanks to timely play of the "Raise the Serfs" Event earlier that turn to raise a force which barely, just barely, flung the Emperor back from the gates of St. Petersburg.

The next turn saw Kutuzov himself take over St. Petersburg's defense with additional troops and an Entrenchment (all of whom survived rolling for Attrition due to St. Pete's "Scorched Earth" marker).  Melvin's French, rather than seek bloody battle against a now daunting force turned around and force marched southeast to assault a leaderless Moscow!

Napoleon's first attack on Moscow's garrison, through some remarkable Russian battle dice results and play of the "Too Old for This" event card to deprive Melvin of a leader battle bonus of 10 dice (through Melvin's earlier play of the "What Price Glory?" Battle card), was repulsed.  More troops and a replaced and entrenched Barclay now faced the emperor. 

But French ambitions were not over yet!  For Melvin obtained most timely aid when his erstwhile ally Pat dispatched a South Army under Murat to lead the now cardless Northern Imperials in an Army Group for another close run battle to seize the vital Key Capital City of Moscow.

However, that Imperial assault also failed and with it the French Team of Melvin Castleberry and Pat Duffy conceded defeat.  Next turn would see Winter and a Grand Army but a shade of its former self. The emperor's ambitions to conquer Tsarist Russia had failed, by a slim margin, with Turn 2 defeats assaulting both St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Phil Pendleton's Second Tsarist  Army and Dorian Key 's First Tsarist Army had emerged victorious from WBC's inaugural Kutuzov competition. 

Curtis Baer takes a break from his Case White Campaign Game in the lobby to see how the other half lives.

Developer and GM Fred Schachter (center) gathers his finalists for battle on the big map with Mark's painted miniatures.
 GM      Fred Schachter  [1st Year]   NA
   NA   NA

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