Sunday, November 16, 2014

Field of

Played our 'in lieu of Warfare' Field Of Battle game. Four players involved (the Warfare 'team') and an excellent game it was too.
Stephen Pollock arrived reeking of garlic so seemed obvious choice as French Commander.
The rest of us drew lots (well poker chips) for sides and  Stephen Brittain was French sub-commander with John Brittain as Prussian Commander with yours truly as underling.
This worked out well as both Stevie B and I have good working knowledge of the rules whilst John has only played once and Mr P has never played the rules or Napoleonics before.
With the Brittain brothers facing each other and I vs Mr P this allowed the game to crack on a a decent rate.
I had set-up the scenario as per previous post only addition was I rolled for various units prior instead of keeping all types the same although not too many low or high rolls to change stats significantly in the end.
Brigades were assigned (fairly easy as both forces had six each)
Used the pre-battle Fate system of FOB2 which only yielded a small advantage to Prussians with Tactical Deployment (ie one Brigade was able rearrange its deployment after set-up).
Game started with a 'race' (such as it was in mud) to the central town which the French narrowly won (getting Initiative and required Move cards).
With Guard units in the Built Up areas it was going to be tough to dislodge the French.
I was on Prussian right and held back an Infantry Brigade initially on extreme flank in the town watching the scary Old Guard Cavalry Brigade deploy that direction.
I moved my second Infantry Brigade to support Johns and brought the Cuirassier Brigade to the right to support.
John Bs Infantry became heavily embroiled at village with his two Cavalry Brigades on our left.
Stevie B had some awesome shooting rolls (ie 12 on a D12) with one Artillery Battery (once we got into 12" visibility range) and a Light Infantry unit in the town which coupled with low defence rolls from John saw four (!!) Prussian units destroyed or routing in short order.
I then saw a Line unit Rout in similar fashion from more than a 'whiff of grapeshot'.
All this hurt for only a few paltry hits on enemy (Guard D8 defence) and our Morale Chips were whittling down rightly vindicating my decision to add 10 chips to starting levels.
Johns Dragoons on our left also suffered but he did manage to recover these and a couple of foot units from Routing status with the the mud saving them from routing directly off-table. On my flank things heated up as I took offensive throwing my Infantry forward supported by the Cuirassier.
I managed to get both Cuirassier in against a single Young Guard unit in line but only caused a fall back and then he recovered from becoming out of Command and pushed both units back in disorder (Out Of Command status).
I did get some success with volleys against both the vaunted Grenadiers A Cheval and the Chasseurs a Cheval routing them both and giving them hits.
But Mr P managed to recover them a couple of turns later. By this time a couple of lowly Prussian Landwehr units had Routed and our losses were such that we had expended all our Morale Chips (including an extra 4 we gained for holding French Objective).
This made recovery of units and hits a tad difficult and gave several Morale chips to the French.
Inevitably an Army Morale card came up for which John threw an equally inevitable 1 ending the game with a decisive French Victory............Schizen !!
The venerable and much lauded French Old Guard foot brigade spent a good deal of the game 'stuck in the mud' failing several move rolls (ie rolling 1) and barely saw action which was just as well as they were best Infantry units on table.
But that Artillery Battery more than made up for them earning I suspect a Legion D'Honneur or maybe a night out with Josephine............
All in all the scenario such as it was worked fine with the mud essentially increasing the table depth for movement and with the rain stopping and starting a couple of times which seemed plausible.
All players enjoyed the game (I hope anyway) and we found FOB to be excellent for such a multi-player game as a lot of its abstractions are subsumed in such a large game.
Possibly the only change we might considered is the very generous (ie there are none) unit Interpenetration rules although it may be a needles complication ?
We had 54 units on table ie virtually my whole Napoleonic collection and yet managed to play and complete the game in 7 hours which included at least an hour to set-up and start and another hour time out for lunch.
We then rounded of day with Chinese food although John had to go (being a new Daddy to Daisy Veronica he had a call to home) but was replaced by Richard Murphy.
All in all a great days gaming and something of a compensation for missing out on our annual jaunt.
Was great to have my wargame room filled with such action and good friends.

Not too many pics as I got so involved in the game :-)

Race begins for Town with Prussians so near and yet so far......................

Johns (Blucher) Infantry Brigade and two Cavalry Brigades face his brother

My Infantry Brigades with Cuirassier support (green cards are Morale 'Chips')

John moving Dragoon up in support of town assault with our 'Action' card deck on display

Mr P (Napoleon) has redeployed the Old Guard Cavalry from his centre to his left (much to the chagrin of his subordinate).
Note also Old Guard foot lagging behind in centre and that damnable French Foot Battery (on left of pic).

French have won the 'race' occupying the town in force...........damn.
The unpredictably of the Piquet/Field of Battle system allows such events and is one of its joys when playing.

Messers Stevie B and Mr P discuss tactics (is it me or does Mr P have a vague resemblance to 'Boney' ?)

Action developing on Prussian right

Some sod posted couple of pics of Warfare gaming area just to annoy me and if I see any from the trade area I will possibly cry !! :-)

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