Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Autumn Big Napoleonics Game - Montmirail pt 1 (setup)

So on the weekend Doug (of Dots of Paint) hosted another big table game in his basement. Due to a variety of snafus, at least 2+ people were not present, but multiple commands are not overally taxing with this game. Speaking of, 'this game', Doug & Seth really need to come up with a title for their rules as they are getting pretty close to full polish (and I want something identifiable to call it in my blog entries). (UPDATE!: the working title with be General du Corp).

As noted in previous posts the rules are geared towards fast play convention settings. Each base represents multiple battalions (I think the number bandied about was 1000 people?). Gun bases represent a battery for each pip of strength and are more a locus of activity than a true position of gun (this allows for shooting through non engaged bases and 180 degree forward fire).

Prussians finished setting up
The battle, as always, was a thinly disguised historical based scenario. Doug does his best to confuse the players to what they are playing and facing. Given my nearly non existent knowledge of specific battles, it usually works just fine on me. I was particularly impressed this time as he had about 3 French bases on the table, and most of the Prussians. The Prussians were told that there are more french there and allowed to set up their forces as they wished. A grand battery of a LOT of cannons were formed in the middle, and a massive corp set up to seize the town in the centre. Secret info was then told to the allies.

Old guard(mortier) in the middle, Nansouty (cav) in the distance
On my side (French) I was given my forces after the allies set up. Turns out Napoleon is in the area and I have Friant (old guard) and Nansouty (Old gaurd cavalry). Richard has some super enthusiastic conscripts (sufficiently enthusiastic they were given kudos by the old guard historically). My orders are to crush the enemy as thoroughly as possible, as we have another couple armies to go defeat in detail. Power of the central position! Each village and town (only one in the centre) are worth VP's. Killed/Destroyed old guard units and broken corp are penalties. I've also been warned the allies have reinforcements off towards their line of communication (marked with wagon base markers on each players side).

I was particularly stoked to get to attack for once, and, amazingly, with super elite troops. The relative numbers though made this look like a classic quality vs quantity fight. Another confounding factor for the french is the near absence of artillery (moving toward some other fight I think). I had 5 strength pips vs 17 or so. Consider that the pips represent an attack each and you can guess at the artillery pain the French were to experience. 

Doug, after the surprise reveal of the troops, told us this is based on Montmirail. The Prussians on the board were actually Russians under Sacken.

Now for some eye candy interlude....

Old guard.

Nansouty's command. These bases had incredibly high strength values (most horse is 3 or maybe 4....this corp had 2 with 6).

Another classic feature of Dougs games are the close proximity of the armies. Given the short move distances and zero musketry distances it makes a lot of sense.

Full table view. Wagon marks the line of communication (i.e. line of retreat). Note the allies LOC is to the upper right. This gives the french an interesting opportunity to try and cut off the retreat fleeing allies (assuming they can break enough corp).

The allies have 3 commands, a cavalry corp on the far right (of the photo, left flank for them), and two large infantry corp (the split is down the middle of the grand battery in between the central town, and top left village).

French are Richard (enthusiastic conscripts 3 bases plus artillery) - left around the village, Friant (6 Old Guard stands and foot artillery) - middle, Nansouty (2 hvy cav, 4 light cav, 1 art) - far right. 

Also note the last troops to be revealed at setup were the Hanoverians (in orange) on the allied LOC. They were handled by Doug who is usually sufficiently distracted by game questions that he often forgets to move everything every turn. Ideal command for a relatively defensive force.

These guys were, historically, the actual Prussians under Yorck.

That's probably long enough for a blog entry. Stay tuned for some game play reporting.

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