Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blucher solo play test

Managed to get a solo play through of the Blucher game I had set up on an unexpected day off.
Very enjoyable with another slick set of rules by Mr Mustafa. 
Was able to use a little programme to sort the 'hidden' Motivation rolls (normally your enemy rolls 3 dice which he keeps hidden until to equal or exceed this total with your activations)
I did not use the Concealed Unit rules so first section of the Sequence of Play void.
A Movement Phase follows wherein the active side issues Orders to units and groups of units.
Meant to be by Corps first then individual units but I got this mixed up a couple of times.
The CinC can be used once per phase to issue a group order.
These activations cost Motivation Pips (MOs) counted against the total rolled by enemy (or in my case the app).
This a slick system with some tough decisions as to what is most important to activate in case you expend your current limit.
Several times I was left ruing a couple of missed moves.
Movement is free flowing with Infantry able to either Pivot at start of move and move 2 base widths (a unit being 80mm wide using my basing) or can Move any direction and end facing any way but restricted to 1 base width move. 
Cavalry go 4 and 2 respectively Artillery 2 and 1 if Foot and 3 and 1 if Horse (who can also move and shoot).
Movement includes Charges all based on the direction of the unit centre point and precludes any firing
Infantry units can adopt Prepared status (sort of forming Square) when faced by cavalry.
Firing phase is next and is simple enough with units rolling a number of dice based on current Elan (ie strength/morale points), range (1-2 BW for musketry 1-2 and 2-8 for Artillery) and type with several modifiers for tactical situations and Traits.
Each roll of 6 (or of a single 5 in certain circumstances) yields a Fatigue Hit on target (ie reduces Elan level)
Artillery are slightly different in that it has no Elan but has several Ammo slots which reduce in effect as used.
Then it's Combat (melee) which again is easily conducted with hits occurring on 4+ and each side rolling a number of dice based on Elan and situation.
Infantry need to be in prepared status against mounted otherwise they have to re-roll any successful hits.
The same applies to any unit flanked (except prepared units)
Outcomes are based of hit differential but with a successful attacker still suffering 1 fatigue.
Losing units generally retreat 2BW unless Infantry facing Cavalry who must retreat/break off instead if Infantry not destroyed.
After that it roll for enemy MO amount then enemy takes turn.
All very playable stuff.
There are several other factors covering terrain and Commanders the most important being several Traits that units may have, such as being Steadfast which garners an extra dice when defending in melee or Shock which garners an extra dice when attacking in melee.
The rules include a mini Campaign system entitled Scharnhorst but I only used it to generate the map having not really read it through properly but it looks good method of generating a tabletop battle after a sort of mini game itself.

All in all I enjoyed playing Blucher with a lot of "just one more turn" ensuing.
I believe I only made one or two mistakes in gameplay.
I forgot to call count Traits a few times and when a defender retreats, I simply moved them back 2BW when they should also have ended up facing away. 
This would slow them down getting back as they would potentially have to turn and so restricted to slower move rate combined with being at risk of being charged in rear.

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