Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Autumn Big Napoleonics Game - Montmirail pt 2 (early day)

Starting from the morning we see both forces lined up (French to the bottom, allies to the top).
The Allies have obviously numerical superiority and were ordered to attack. Despite the surprise presence of the french old guard, they lurch forward.

End of Allied turn (Right). The cannons in the centre of the line, where rolling redhot dice and steadily putting the hurt on the guard.

The allies also managed to seize the central town, making for a tough to evict presence there.

The Hessians Hanoverians shake out their lines and get organized on the far flank.

End of French turn 1 (left).
Richards command (bottom right of photo) holds fast unwilling to hasten the very uneven fight. The forest will disorder the advance and may buy them some time.

The Guard lurch forward at top speed towards the forward deployed horse artillery (which can move and fire). The few cannons are positioned to batter the central town, and to discourage an advance up the middle by the central prussian corp.

Nansouty aggressively moves the cavalry forward, setting up for a cav vs cav fight, and hoping to crush hit the prussian central corp on the flank.

End of Allied Turn 2. The allied right flank (bottom left of photo) wisely turns a block of infantry battalions to prevent a flank attack by the guard. This generates some pressure relief on Richards command (French left flank) who know only face a slight excess of enemies.

The allied cannon continue to abuse the French guard.

End of French turn 2. The old guard close to within close range of the cannon, sure to take even more grevious casulties. On base turns to attempt to hit the flanks of the prussians on the right.

Richard has advanced some of his troops to help form a continuous line and prevent similar shenanigans against the french.
Meanwhile, in the centre, the prussian corp has been forming square to fend off Nansouty's cav corp. The prussian cav corp has come off worse for wear against the guard cavalry.

Note the french cannon to the left are positioned to punish any prussian advance out of the town. Their cannoning of the town has otherwise been ineffective.

A french cav unit in the lower right has angled to hold up the Hessian Hanoverian advance......

.....which thanks to poor command roll hasn't done almost nothing this turn.

End of French turn 3. Doug has a great shot of me staring blankly at the guard during this turn. I was trying to decide whether to fully commit moving them against the grand battery, they had taken a drubbing and were quite depleted at this point. I wasn't sure they could successfully kill the artillery once engaged.

Moving back seemed like a bad decision as well as they'd already paid for the ground with blood. Retreat would only cost them more. I finally decided to stay the course. It was looking like a reverse Napoleon reserves are committed, there's a rupture point developing, and the enemy has reserves he can pile on to break me. Dicey indeed.

Let's look up close. Bob has cleverly split his battalions into 2 lines to hit Richard, while still covering his advance. The french horse artillery is almost dead from a weak starting strength and firing attrition.

Meanwhile Bob's other block of 4 units is moving through the woods to threaten the village.

The prussian centre has very strong artillery units, and hordes of infantry ready to reinforce the fortified town. My only chance is to shut up the artillery and hit the infantry in the side.

You can see one guard infantry unit sitting in the back has 1 pip left. They continue to fall away from the artillery whenever I have the command points to spare.

Ian has cleverly arrayed his infantry from the centre corp into overlapping squares.

End of French turn 3. Probably easier to look at each area again.

Left flank. Guard with the flanking attack, and Richard infantry destroy a prussian unit. The horse artillery of Richards command disappear after killing the other unit of the 1st line.

After harming a unit, artillery make an attrition check, on a roll of 1 (on a d6) they take a hit themselves. Double 'poof' doesn't happen very often, but is strangely satisfying for both players.

The perfidious prussians have avoided contact with their guns for one more round. I think the guard are JUST short of the more devastating short range. At least one unit is up there to tempt fire from other, more intact unit. It didn't work, both Ian and Bob were very catholic in their targets, and happily identified units to 'take the shine off'.

Thanks guys.

Nansouty has driven back the prussian cav (both with 1 strength pip left). The horse artillery has moved up to cannonade some squares. The cav have managed to eat one square (on the left).

This would, at the end of the game, result in a huge discussion about square vs cav effectivess, combat modifiers, how to resolve multiple base combats, etc.

In defence to what happened rules wise, a overstrength heavy cavalry unit, with a overstrength light cav unit both attacking together won.....and then recoiled because the squares won't move. Artillery would eventually eventually allow these joint action units to destroy 2 prussian bases in square by damaging them to low strength. Arguably this was more believable as they squares were probably 'shaken' under fire. I think the big argument was about a fresh square 'losing' the fight.

Keeping in mind that 1/. you basically never see cav with strength 6, 2/. pips probably represent morale more than casualties, and 3/. there was a fixed bonus for a second unit attacking, it's been changed to another iteration.....this probably will never happen again.

The hessians Hanoverians continue to move forward, having secured their village. There is an opening for them to seize another village to swing the VP point total.

They do, however, face Nansouty's cav corp, which can be a bit of a challenge for infantry.

Under these rules infantry can close to fight cav. I suppose the idea is that musketry is base to base, and if the cav wish to retire, they'd have placed themselves further away.

I think it's mostly a gameability issue. Allowing cav to 1/. not be able to be contacted by infantry or 2/. have a choice to retire was VERY abuse-able (I'd done so myself), and super unfun for the infantry player. It seems to work now, although there was also a discussion about whether this was a problem or not. I think any solution would either be too rules heavy, or just create alternative issues.

It's now about mid day. The forces are strongly engaged across the entire front. The hessians have an opening, and the old guard could easily rupture and cost the French the entire war. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EXCITING INSTALLMENT!

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