Friday, March 10, 2017

Napoleon's Battles: First game Ru/Au vs It/Sax

Nate has gotten a fire in his belly to play some Napoleon's Battles. He has been steadily working on Austrians and Russians and, at last, we had enough troops to have a go at it (borrowing some italians and saxons as opposing forces). The scenario is that the allied Saxons and Italians are covering the retreat of the French army over a river after fierce fighting at leipzeig. The Russians and Austrians are trying to cut off this route of retreat.

 The Russians are on the right of the photos, the allied contigents on the left. Bottom left is my command (the Italians). We had 2 corp per side, with about 5 divisions total per side (ish).

We were learning as we went (except for the clever Nate who has played before, and is just rusty) so we did some silly things.
 The italians decided that offensive is a great form of defense and pressed forward to try and crack the Russians. They foolishly ran their light cavalry in front of the heavy (I think to soak up firing hits).

The Saxons turtled up on the left but, despite facing cavalry, chose not to form a bunch of squares.

Command ranges are pretty short in NB's, and once troops are out of range they can't do anything. If leaders are out of the chain of command they have a 50% chance of doing nothing, and 50% chance of half moves. Serious stuff. 

Cavalry seems pretty speedy as the italian lights learned to their dismay. They lost the dice off and promptly routed back about a foot.  Rallying basically requires you to remove your leader from commanding the frontline so your troops stop doing much. The conundrum is: rally or press the attack. Tricky tricky.

 Nice shot of the italian cannon lining up a crossfire on the approaching russian brigades. They were successful in driving off the first way of attacks, and sent the Russian left wing back.

While the Russian left recoils, the Austrians drive in towards the Saxons. Turns out the saxon infantry is pretty lame, even worse than the italians. 

Twin cavalry charges catch the infantry in line, and sends two of the routing immediately. Break through charges would be sent off by emergency square in the corn fields, but the cannon and infantry nearby will be an issue.

We were running short of time, which caused us to do some 'end of the game' gambits. The Italian lights, who had been doing so well, charged the nearby Russian brigades. Strange how those russian guard look almost the same as the line. The lights were sent routing away, creating a solid gap in the line between the Saxons and the Italians. The Italians looked fairly lost with 1/2 their brigades routed, 1 in square, and 1 stuck in the town.

The Italians, while largely successful in their attack on the Russians, hadn't really been decisive and routed much. They wouldn't be able to break their enemy before the Austrians would be a problem. We declared a solid win for the Ru/Au forces.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Star Wars Armada: Game 2

Once again I dropped in on my friend for a game of armada. Since I'm pretty clueless on the game, he has been making balanced forces. This time we played with some of the smaller support ships, and more fighters.

Our mission was to pick up 'intelligence' tokens, with a single nominated ship on each side. We both 'cleverly' hid the tokens in the asteroid fields, and set up for a head to head pass. Garret used a fast blockade runner, while I was hoping to explode him with my Gladiator. Unfortunately I've found the gladiator is a knife fighter that is incredibly tricky to actually get into firing range. Boo.

The rebels had admiral ackbar who adds a sick amount of firepower to all the broadsides, which ended up being pretty punishing over the game.

I didn't play my fighter  bomber screen well (is that even a thing), and it was nerfed pretty thoroughly by a bunch of named characters. I had a counter in my raider, but it was busy flying across the table trying to stay out of range the rebels big ship. It would appear that initial setup is *very* important in this game given the short (6 turn) time limit.

Another event which has solidified some wisdom for me is when his big ship (?liberty) pounded the snot out of my interdictor in one round. Choosing which ship to activate when is pretty key, as if it's destroyed before it takes it turn you are SOL. No spontaneous actions here. 

Our game hilariously involved LOTS of collisions. Our ships were almost destroyed by collisions, which really was what allowed the single turn of good rolling to kill my Interdictor. 

After that was gone, and with the rebels holding a 2:1 advantage in intelligence it was all over. Points wise it was a pretty substantial rout. It was note worthy that I was close to killing some key ships twice, and they escaped a near death. The liberty never really faced any threat though. 

Time wise this game took us about as much as the first game took 2.5 - 3 hours. I suspect this was due to some fatigue, as well as the plethora of special characters and extra card abilities on the ships. It will be interesting to see if we can bring this down.