Saturday, January 23, 2016

Honours Of War first 'official' game

Played lately released Honours Of War rules today with Stephen.
We had played a few test type game with draft versions from author Keith Flint of the rules but this was our first outing with the nicely produced Osprey set.
I used my Prussians and Stephen fielded his Austrians.
I used Age Of Reason maps to set up the terrain and we went for a points based game (2400 points each) and simple encounter type battle (not very SYWish but good enough to test rules).
We simply diced for sides set up (after drawing deployment on map) and rolled for weather which turned out to be rain (-1 to all shooting)
Battle developed quickly into a fierce struggle for the two central villages and intervening ridge.
Cavalry on both wings were held back initially.
One of my Infantry Brigades became undone by having a Dashing Commander who rolled a 6 generating an 'Inspiring' result whilst close to enemy meaning I had to charge nearest enemy units.
This saw my foot go pell mell against a defended village and into teeth of advancing Austrian Grenadiers (ie Superior foot types).
In a bloody round of melee I lost 3 Infantry Battalions and a gaping hole opened in centre of my line.
From then on it was a case of trying to shore up line whilst Mounted launched themselves into fray.
Another hectic round of melee saw 3 Prussian and 2 Austrian Cavalry Regiment destroyed and several units suffer broken morale.
Game ended as Prussians had 11 out of 21 units destroyed (ie over Army Break Point of 50%).
Not bloodless for Austrians as they lost 5 or 6 units with several broken (but these are recoverable and do not count towards Army Breakpoint)
Enjoyed the game with rules working really well being easy to fathom and play.
We thought playtest versions were too bloody but Keith has reduced hit a tad and combined with rain shooting was not as decisive as before.
The melees however were brutal with opposing units either dying outright or being reduced to broken status meaning they had to retreat and spend several turns rallying and reforming.
All in all a good clean set of rules that give a quick decisive outcome.
Liked how Prussian units (at least pre 1760) are very maneuverable and Army has inherent bonuses to Initiative rolls and Commander quality.
We also liked how such options disappear once you get close to enemy.
The unit support rules are important but with obvious risks from Artillery bounce through and forced interpenetration (from Retreats/Routs).

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