CAFE’23: Final


The winner of the heats, with three victories and 43.7 points, was Alberto, who opted to play as Prussia.
Next came Björn, who had won twice and had scored exactly 40 points, and chose Austria.
Third up was Loughlin, with 2 wins and 39.3 points. He decided to play as Elisabeth.
That just left Maurice, who had managed to secure a place in the final in his last game in the heats. With two wins and 39.1 points, he would play as Pompadour.

The players are ready! Let the final begin!

Things moved rapidly in the early turns, with the allies driving the Prussians before them into ever decreasing space. Nevertheless, Lehwaldt managed to stand firm in Soldau in East Prussia while Cumberland successfully avoided the bulk of the French army and positioned himself in the south, thus setting up the Triangle Defence and forcing the French to divide their forces between Ferdinand, Cumberland and Magdeburg.

It was precisely in the south where the situation changed dramatically. Alberto had left a forlorn hope in Silesia, facing what turned out to be the great mass of the Austria army. Thus Björn was able to overrun Silesia in the first six turns. Worse still, three Russian generals were approaching from Poland, trying to harass the retreating Seydlitz and Keith.

The Russians advanced into Brandemburg with the apparent intention of disrupting Prussian supply lines into Saxony, where by now the entire Austria army had concentrated. Against so many enemy pieces, things looked pretty grim for Alberto.

The allies joyfully celebrate the arrival of Lord Bute.

The massing of so many Russians in Brandemburg made sense if you could peek into Loughlin’s hand. By turn five, he had drawn just two clubs and a reserve, not enough to dislodge Lehwaldt from Soldau nor to drive Heinrich and Dohna from Kammin, where they defended most of the Russian objectives.

To make matters worse, on turn seven the Earl of Bute joined the British government and Alberto suffered his first subsidy reduction, only partially offset by the French loss of India one turn later.

Turn 8: the situation remains threatening around Magdeburg, in Saxony and Silesia, while Russia licks her wounds after suffering a five-point defeat.

The mid-game started around turn eight. Just as it looked as if the Prussians would be crushed between Russians and Austrians in Saxony, Loughlin, having finally drawn a decent quantity of clubs marched north to attempt the conquest of Kammin. The pressure was off, Alberto had his own version of the “Miracle of the House of Brandemburg”. Björn hurled his forces time and again against the bulk of the Prussian army under Frederick himself. But defending with a triple stack and between 18 and 20 troops, the situation was well under control, despite the subsidy reduction. Those occasional, foolhardy Austrian generals who tried to march through Saxony alone to try to cut enemy supply, were picked off every time by the massed Prussia army.

Alberto assesses his dwindling resources during combat in the opening phase of the game.

Meanwhile, Maurice was using all his generals in an effort to corner the slippery Hanoverians. without ever closing on Magdeburg or Halberstadt. This carried on until turn eleven when the loss of the colonies in America drove France from the war.

Björn von Knorring, deep in thought considering how to defeat the Prussian defence in Saxony.

rance’s early exit changed the nature of the game, which was now entering its final phase. Try as he might, Loughlin could not break through in clubs in Kammin. Meanwhile, short of diamonds and unable to starve the Prussians out, Björn was out of options in Saxony.


Soon after the defeat of France came news of the death of the czarina in turn 14, followed quickly by the withdrawal of Sweden two turns later. And thus finished a relatively short final in which Prussia had only really seemed to be in danger in the first seven turns.

Alberto Romero had won and thus became the Spanish Champion 2023!