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Master of Europe Tournament:
An Update

by Brigadier-General Sir Kenneth "Muddy" Jones, KG

December 15, 1812
From Russia with Love?


Russian Infantry advancing

I write this note with a heavy heart. News has arrived from the steppes west of Moscow that a French column under the command of Marshal Davout was cut off by Cossacks and elements of the Russian Army and destroyed. The action took place near a small village called Taratinova. It was said that the French soldiers fought gallantly against a numerically superior foe but were surrounded and eventually overwhelmed before assistance could arrive. Bitter cold was said to have hampered the relief column.

The Emperor expressed deep sadness at the loss of these gallant men, especially Marshal Davout, who gave so many years to the service of France. In his remarks, the Emperor promised that this loss will be avenged.

Among the gallant officers who fell defending the honor of France were:

Among the victorious were:

These victorious officers advance to Semifinal Round (4) of the tournament.

Russian Cossacks

There are still two games outstanding but, as elsewhere, the French appear to be hard pressed. But anything is possible. Napoleon has promised that a medal will be struck should one of his gallant officers save Davout's column and achieve victory for France.

The next round begins soon. Anyone for a good game of Capture the Flag?

The Battle of Taratinova, December 11, 1812

Napoleon's Grande Armée began its retreat from Moscow in late November 1812, but in this alternative history Kutuzov was not content to follow passively. The Russian Combined Armies harassed the retreating French mercilessly and occasionally managed to isolate a segment of a French column. This scenario finds a portion of the French I Corps in such a predicament. It must hold off the Russian forces surrounding it until help arrives. Can the Russian commander crush this isolated French force? The outcome could decide the Master of Europe. 12+ Turns.

Relative Strengths: Russian to French = 1.6 to 1.0

Point Values: Infantry = 2 pts.; Cavalry = 6 pts.; Artillery = 6 pts.

Scenario Designer's Note:
Round 3 of the MOE and The Battle of Taratinova saw some of the best players in the NWC engage in a fierce fight in which a beleaguered French force attempted to hold off the Russian hordes until help could arrive. To be honest, despite playtesting, the scenario turned out to be too heavily in favor of the Russian forces and the outcome almost preordained. The Russian player was advantaged with the infamous +4 morale factor and merely had to be aggressive from the outset to win. While I do not apologize for the scenario (all is fair in love and war, and some battles simply cannot be won without a great deal of luck), I would like to commend all the players for the spirit in which these games were played. No complaints were heard from the players that drew the French side and each battled courageously until overcome.

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