Tuesday, June 06, 2017

General D'Armee - scenario from rules played (and more views on rules)

Played the scenario in rule book today at Stephens.
This is set in 1813 based around MacDonalds attack at Bautzen.
I took the French and Stephen the Russians.
We approximated terrain as best we could.

A fun game and this time round we found Artillery was not dominant (mainly down to poor rolls).
Stephen did make a minor mistake at set up by intermixing his Artillery Brigade with Infantry units but we were able to fix that early so no real impact on play.
French actually managed to form a reasonable attack, well except for my Brigade of 3 Dragoon units which were Hesitant for 4 turns (thankfully opposing Russian mounted force was similarly impotent !)
I managed to mangle (ie Disperse) the Russian right wing with my Italian Recruits besting the Russian Recruits opposing them, the loss of associated ADC is fairly critical .
I also took one village but failed in initial attempt to take central village objective.
Eventually both mounted Brigades heaved forth and into each other with a French Dragoon (Campaign Cavalry) Retreating whilst Russian Hussars (Battle Cavalry) Retired to Own Lines (this caused a long discussion on the fate of Retreating and Retiring outcomes and table edges (see below)
As we called time I was about to turn the Russian right and hopefully take the Redoubt objective so called this a minor win (at least I have !) for once.

Observations from game this time were that once more we loved the Command/ADC system (initially 6 French vs 5 Russian) and Skirmish Screens and found Charging, Shooting and Combat systems slick again.

We did come across a couple of new issues:
1. Being uphill confers no benefit to defenders (only Steep Slopes) or detriment to attackers which sort of makes retention of high ground superfluous ?

2. BUAs are fairly weak defensively and very much a dice-fest once melee occurs (automatic after defensive fire as no charge procedure).
We had no problem with this just a bit different to other sets we have played.
Similarly a Redoubt occupied by an Infantry Column would seem to have its benefits cancelled by the column effects (at least at close range or to Artillery at Effective Range)

3. As mentioned above we found that if defender sets up too close to table edge (sort of the default in this scenario) they run a major risk of Retreating/Retiring off-table and counting Dispersed.
We thought this was fine for Routing units but seemed harsh for Retiring or Retreating units that we thought should maybe stop at edge and get at least a chance to Obey Orders and Reform.

4. Some definitions in the rules could be tighter for instance we found that what constitutes a unit counting as Flanked is not fully defined (indeed only an illustrated example seems to indicate intent) in that enemy needs to face the flank not just be present it seems.

All in all an interesting encounter and we find a lot to like in the rules.
Do they produce a 'better' game than Over The Hills/Field Of Battle/Blackpowder etc I guess the answer (at least thus far) is no just a different game arriving at similar results via another route.

French left wing Brigades (Russian Artillery Redoubt visible at 1 o'clock)

FrenchArtillery Brigade in center (it was pants all day long !)

French center and right Infantry Brigades

Russian left wing on slopes and precariously close to rear table edge !

Russian center and village objective (note the guns here were placed in error and moved)

The Redoubt (moved Battery ended up to immediate right as viewed)

French advance on left wing

Russian Artillery battery re-deployed

Failed French assault on Village objective (the Russian Skirmishers were a real pain)

Infantry Assault orders on village and slopes

Russian extreme right wing Brigade dispersed (yee hah !!)

Units to left of Redoubt (as viewed) were also forced to Retire exposing its flank

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