Saturday, 30 June 2018

Mustafa Rides Again

This week saw a return to Maurice, which is probably the most consistently played set of rules in our increasingly varied wargaming club. We played a doubles game with each side choosing 60 pts ... or was it 80? I can't remember (work has been enormous lately as have the scotch's consumed before this post.) One side was a Russian and French alliance whilst the other was Prussian. 

We fudged the rules of scenario or mission and deployment which allowed one side to completely out deploy the other through gaining a look at where their opponent was going. This dictated the game as for much of the game the out-deployed side strove to move its forces to respond to the direct assault of the side that deployed second. The French and  Russians were able to combine an assault on the Prussian left. As seen in the top picture the Prussian right was caught completely out of position. 

Above the Prussian right, it was a struggle to involve them in the battle. Maurice is always about he short term versus the long term game. New players will push only a segment of their army up and spend all available cards to win a section of the battle. More experienced players will learn when to spend cards on bringing up other sections for a more combined assault. These players will generally win as they did on this occasion. 

The Prussian right threw forward their cavalry to force a reaction on this side which stopped further commands for their forward attack on the other side. The French had flung their cavalry so far forward they floundered with a single card left for many turns. 

Above shows the snuffing out of the Russian infantry. Four brigades marched into the centre and none returned. Monsters by Infantry from both left and right of the Prussian army and also cavalry from the right their units crumbled. This is another example of an initial advantage of multiple cards being played to support a localised attack leading to a long term loss. 

The Prussian reserve columns are thrown in. Conscripts match Russian guards with several National advantages. Another misconception as more units that move well will generally beat elite units. 

The Prussian left, initially out generalled, moves to built a solid defence against the French cavalry assault. Flanking attacks were not possible and the French were forced to charge an aligned frontage on troops and rely on dice rather than any other advantage. 

The French reserve were forced forward against the Prussian right cavalry threat. This soaked up cards and phased that could have been better used elsewhere. The result was indecisive for both sides. 

Above shows nearish the end. The Russian infantry attack in the centre was unsupported and completely destroyed. The French flanking attempt was fast initially then froze to allow a Prussian preparedness that meant cavalry attacked well prepared forces frontally and did not sweep the enemy away. Therefore the victory went to Prussia as their opponents - despite out-deploying their enemy - launched two strong single attacks that were not combined and allowed a counter attack. Too many national advantages fundamentally weakened the Russians especially in regard to the morale score while the French spread their forces too thinly and relied on favourable dice. 

As always with Maurice, husbandry of the number of cards so that each force might be able to launch a sustained and combined attack is key. It takes a while to realise that good cards come and go (as do sixes and ones rolled) but a good plan that is well timed and organised, will usually win. 

This makes Maurice a prince among other wargaming systems. Maurice by Mustafa is undoubtedly out favourite club system. 

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Lasalle game during Mustafa Night

Last evening was "Mustafa Night" in the garage for wargames. On one table Maurice was played and the other was Lasalle. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

French Indian War

Game = Sharps Practice II
Setting = French Indian War

Scenario = The one where someone goes from one end of the table to the other guarding something.

Victor = French

The game was brief.
One side marched down the table as fast as possible. In a march column.

The other side infested a wood and shot at them.

One plan didn't survive contact with the enemy but there was no alteration.

Shock and casualties proved too much.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Lasalle Napoleonic Wargame

Last night saw Mick's Brits visit my place to take on my French.

We both ran Penisula Armies - except for my Young Guard brigade that I wanted to use as they had never graced the table before.

Here is the overall set up. I chose a table that I knew would limit the avenues for attack. Mick further constricted this space with the additional defender terrain choices. 

Mick prepared to defend the objective. His large elite unit would play a key role in this. 

My plan consisted of a strong attack on the British left with my Young Guard brigade. I never really untangled these guys for the devastating assault I had planned. I also relied that Mick's reserve dragoons may arrive too late to play a role. 

My main attack forces streamed forward in columns. I needed troops at the front so I was forced to accept some would have to march through the woods that extended 2 feet into the table. 

Mick had his defences prepared and awaited the onslaught. One of his battalions on the right of the image was instructed with holding a gap against the flank attack. 

The Guard massed to overwhelm this battalion. Alas I relied on cannons causing damage - but his plentiful skirmishers reduced their effect - rather than charging straight in. 

I should add here we trialed a rule suggested on the forum - whose aim was to allow lines to effectively deal with attack columns - that allowed only a single unit to charge an enemy on each occasion. Lasalle makes it a bit easy to go steaming in with two columns on a single line and overwhelm it. This seemed to work quite well. I also allowed lines to inflict two disruptions on a column when firing for achieving 4 hits rather than 5 - hard but possible. 

The brave defenders awaiting for the Young Guard to figure out their attack. 

The front lines. Attack columns went in piecemeal due to the restrictive terrain and the march through the woods. 

The French plan (dream?) received a blow ... the British dragoon brigade arrives far too early. Turn 4 I think? 

But the dragoons themselves only had a narrow gap ahead to strike at the French. 

The Guard inch closer trying not to block the guns. Even though these were heavy guns they fail to place significant damage on the British. Any hit was rallied off by their high espirit. 

The dragoons come on. Before them (on the flank of the French) were a single battalion of conscripts who quickly formed square. 

Mick came forward as both sides threw their troops forward in repeated charges. The British made several holes in the French line (see left of image) but these were plugged by the French reserves. 

Artillery on both sides remained disappointing as both players struggled to best position these troops. 

Hold lads, hold! (They did by the way ... to the end.) 

The breakthrough came in the seventh turn but all too late. The Young Guard brigade was not able to turn its numerical and morale advantage into a battle winning edge. The sun was sinking fast now (and it was getting late as Mick and I had both decided to attend the Anzac Day dawn service the next day.) Some lucky rolls could have seen the French take another couple of battalions in combat ... 

But this did not occur. We called the game with a Young Guard battalion steaming toward the objective but just too far away. Two batteries stood in its way and Mick could have very easily turned his cavalry to contest the objective. 

The sun dipped below the horizon with the French divisional commander forced to report back to corps headquarters his objectives for the day had not been attained. The British would slip away with minimal losses pleased in the knowledge they had done their duty well. Neither side suffered significant casualties (2 Brits to 4 French battalions) but the French need a better way to pass through and around terrain to get to grips with the foe. A chat to the Emperor about correct laying of the guns wouldn't hurt either. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Savage Africa with Damp Parts

The Turkish slavers make their way through the bush. 

Faster or I shall feed you to the jackals!

The toll for this road shall be taken in blood ... and flesh for the pot. 

Was that a warning? Is this the right way?

Lady Fanny, Halt! I heard something ... 

The expedition were spread out across the rapids when the natives struck. 

Crocodiles await in the river. 

Professor Hardwig and his trusty boy await their turn across the rapids.

Please note in the last two images ... the damp parts. My new swamps. Not the best photo as I needed to take something from above to show the murky nature of the "water." But a very reflective surface with a low profile that I'm happy with. Now my brain tells me I should just do 4 more.