The battle was much smaller than previous, about a corp a side, with 12 elements vs 9 elements. It was actually played fast enough that we got to switch sides and do it again (The mirror world Kore Una post to be posted later).
The French and Prussians start arrayed across form each other on hills. The French seize the initiative and start their drive on the enemy. Prussians are fighting a delaying action, and score VP's based on the number of surviving elements minus the number destroyed. They gain bonus VP for each french element destroyed.
|Other angle. The North sea to the West (stream).|
Artillery can also choose to focus fire, and gains a +2 to hit, but only against one target. This is a huge bonus, and almost guarantees a point loss, and give a good chance of doubling for 2 points loss. As a base is usually 3, and rarely 4 strength points, that is huge. The focus fire cannot fire through units, and can't gain a canister bonus at short range. It's made the artillery much more interesting, and useful on the attack (it also helps that artillery moves on 1 pip now, and can be moved and fired). Artillery MIGHT be a bit too good now, that that's what play testing is for. Certainly the relative benefit of artillery on defense and offense has been evened out.
The french possessed a unit of hussar and cuirasseur. The historically were deployed in very heavy terrain that precluded them from doing much. In our game they were pretty far from the action, and also out of command. Neither of use ended up spending the points necessary to push them forward.
The Prussian reserve is out of command range, but certainly represents a bit of extra strength (although it's mostly 2 point lehrwehr) but more importantly a speed bump for a french advance around the flank.
|You can see the cavalry in the thickets in the distance|
I decided given the first turn, the village should be seized immediately. I won the roll off and the French, as perhaps should be expected, took the initiative and lurked forward.
The important thing to remember is that if you can kill your opponent, you won't take attrition damage. So in my mind, it pays to have those extra points of bonus to ensure a win. Honestly, you probably rarely have the choice and must use what is available though.
First turn my gunnery was very effective and I peeled off 3 or 4 points of prussians for 1 point loss of artillery. The new rules meant I could cannonade anyone on the ridgeline. It felt ahistorical to have the prussians deploy behind the ridge a la the British.
French turn two (LEFT), engaged across the front, and a cannon was brought forward. I felt it important to advance the cannon as much as possible to get it on the hill early. Early and proper placement of artillery seems to be very useful in this system (which is probably historical as well).
The prussians also choose to try and kill the artillery that has moved up. A wise decision should it work out. Artillery that loses a combat are instantly destroyed.
Unfortunately the artillery receive a cannister bonus (for the frontal attack) and defeat their attackers....badly. The prussians disappear in a shower of gore. The combat in the background is a tie and the troops remain locked in combat. Probably the worst result for the Prussians.
Turn 3 for the French see the cannons advance, the strong french units engage on the hills, and the unit in the village redeploy on the far side.
The Prussians kill their first french unit, breaking the deadlock. They do, however, lose both fights on the hills, eliminating one unit and retreating another.
As a result of one of our games a rule has been imposed giving the attackers a +2 pips to use each turn. This helps press the attack, and the defender is definitely suffering from it this turn. This rule applies to commands, and (in my in my mind at least) reflects operational tempo.
The cannons punish the counterattacking unit on the hill by focusing the fire. Around this time we decided that artillery bonuses should cap at +2. Getting a high bonus when the dice max out at 3 is a bit too predicatable and over kill. The odds are with the French and another unit disappears in small caliber grapeshot.
Two french units manage to jointly charge another Prussian unit. The battle has been decided, and the slaughter will continue for another hour or two until Night ends the battle.
Not where you want to have the enemies cannons: commanding the retreat path of your sorely pressed remnants.
Thanks again to Doug for hosting a great game. It's always a pleasure to play a game on a fine looking table with great company. I'll try and post up the mirror world battle where we switched teams.