Some of the Brothers have been playing the new rules 'Napoleon at War' ( NaW)and I was invited over to Ross' place for a run. It was a quiet one with Ross, Nick (senior) and myself. As a trial, the forces were kept to a minimum ( 1 Brigade of Infantry, 1 battery of guns , and a Brigade of cavalry). Ross devised a simple scenario- clear the opposition away -and the game was on! We were using Ross' very nicely painted 15mm Poles for both sides..
|The deployment- Ross on the left, Nick and I on the right.|
|My troops- the Hussar Brigade on the left , infantry in the middle- and guns on the hill to the right.|
Now, if you haven't played Napoleon at War ( like me) you will be in for a very big surprise. Obviously the rule designers wanted a set of rules that could cover big battles- and these are fast. I won the initaitive and sent my cavalry forward on my left flank - Nick took our artilley to the right to maintain a field of fire for the whole game and our infantry advanced up the guts. By turn two our cavalry had clashed- and cavalry melee is fast, bloody and decisive. When in hand to hand, units roll one die per base- but this is halved for cavalry. So Ross and I rolled two dice each- each hit ( a 4+ for drilled troops) means that an enemy base is removed! The loser then retreats- if it's a draw the defender wins. Fair enough- my first Hussar unit sent his opponent packing and then did a breakthrough onto his second unit...and won again! ( Good die rolling - I did have Nick (senior) on my side and he has unerring faith in his ability to roll 6s!)
|My cavalry in the foreground- after I defeated Ross' Hussars in turn two- They returned and rallied back a lost element each- but my blood was up and I decide that my weaker unit (on the right) was going to charge the guns on the hill- bad mistake!!|
After this I decided to hold one unit to keep an eye on Ross' cavalry and decided - foolishly - to send my weaker unit against Ross' guns. Now if you know anything at all about Napoleonics, Horse and Musket warfare, The Crimean war, etc etc- I can hear you asking what drugs was I taking at the time to decide on such a thing- well true to form I was blasted with canister and there was nothing left of my Hussars. NaW has an interesting way of dealing with casualties- When a casualty is caused in melee- a whole base is lost. When casualties are caused with musketry or cannon fire- it's determined on a figure basis.
In the center, the infantry clash flowed smoothly with my first battalion lacking any real support - it got hammered by Ross' guns and muskets. But when I finally got my act togather- and with the support of Nick's guns we inflicted some serious casualties on Ross' defenders. Now the rules have an interesting mechanism that has some serious implications on play. During a player turn the decision to fire on an enemy unit means that , of course, he can return fire. If however, the active player choses not to fire, there is NO return fire. At first I thought this bizarre, but then , as Ross and Nick pointed out, you are penalised for moving and shooting- less 2D6. So in some cases it's actually best to move into musket range and then wait for the other player to fire in his phase- take the casualties- and then return fire- unless of course he gets lucky with his dice and inflicts massive casualties. In our game Ross' line was too strong and by game's end I had lost one unit and two other were at half strength- we called it a night and gave the victory to Ross....until next time!
|Ross' infantry line|
|Ross' gun battery in the center of his deployement.- my cavalry paid dearly for trying to charge this...and it led to a discussion about the Charge of the Light Brigade! C'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la guerre!|
|View from Ross side- 'They're coming up in the same old style'|
|The infantry lines close- ' And we shall meet them in the same old style'|
|Fire fight in the center- the skirmishers out in front- these are useful in absorbing casualties- the firer uses one die less for each skirmisher stand- to a maximum of two.|
|Game's end- my infantry severly depleted(right)- the cavalry running (left) and our guns off on the extreme right- nowhere in sight!|